10 tips for using Google Analytics to understand your website visitors & sales

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Every business has a brand and often that brand comes with the website. With more and more people using online tools to find what they want, businesses have started using online tools to help people find their products or services. In this article, we will be discussing one of these online tools, Google Analytics.

More specifically, 10 tips for using your Google Analytics to understand your website visitors and increasing sales.

1. Visitor conversion

The way a first-time visitor will interact with your website will be different to how a returning visitor will interact with your website. Ideally, you want to create a great user experience for both first time and returning visitors. A returning visitor will be more accustomed to your website and will know how to navigate and use your website. A first-time visitor will be seeing your website for the first time and will not necessarily know or understand how to use your website if it is not straight-forward. If your website is not user-friendly, you will have a low conversion rate for new or unique visitors. Using Google Analytics can help you determine what it is they see when they first visit the website. Using this data can improve the initial visit and overall experience.

2. Source of website traffic

Usually, a website is only one component in a grander online marketing campaign which would also include social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, etc. This being the case, your website will normally have many different sources from where people will find your website. There are three main sources:

  1. Direct visitors: These visitors would have seen your website URL on a business card, letterhead, flyer, signage, etc. and will enter your website URL directly into their browser
  2. Search visitors: These types of visitors are normally people who have searched for something in a search engine like Google and have clicked on a search result that came up in their search
  3. Referral visitors: These visitors would usually find your website URL somewhere online like on another website or blog that they may have been reading or on a social media post that was shared by one of their friends

All sources of website traffic are very important but each of those sources convert differently. Google Analytics can help you collect data which will allow you to see which areas of conversion need attending to. For example, if your direct visitors’ number is low, your website URL could perhaps be too difficult to remember or the website URL could not be included throughout all your branding material.

3. Visitors interactions

There will always be visitors that come to your website and do not convert, but it is also important for you to monitor and evaluate their behaviour or interactions on your website. By monitoring the behaviour of non-converted visitors, you’ll be able to see where it is you are losing their interest and where you can improve your website. The goal is not always to just get them to read your content but to also interact with your website. Therefore, if your website is not interactive, you will not likely convert as many visitors as you could. Getting people to interact with your website is very important but it is also equally as important to find a way to get those interactions to turn into conversions such as purchases, subscriptions, downloads, etc.

4. Conversion of a return visitor

Everyday your potential customer or client is exposed to marketing all around them which includes everything from an email in their inbox to a printed flyer in their hand. Getting a person to visit your website in the first place is a difficult enough task. If this person is returning, you should be treating them as a gem. For some reason, they need your product or service and they have begun the research process which every consumer goes through. By using Google Analytics, you can see if they converted as a first-time visitor and if they didn’t, it can tell you why they didn’t convert when seeing the website for the first time. If the returning visitor did not convert as a first-time visitor, do not be dismayed because clearly your brand made enough of an impression that they returned. By monitoring the trend of your return visitors, you can see what methods are most likely to convert them into paying customers.

5. Visitors value

When a person visits your website, they create value with every interaction that they have with your website. Some visitors will create more value than others. Generally, you don’t look at the individual value created by each visitor, instead you should calculate the total value by taking the total number of visitors and dividing that by the total value created by those visitors. It is very unlikely that you will be able to establish the true value of your visitors because there are many intangible factors that will affect the final value. For example, it’s easy to measure the value that a purchase will have on an e-commerce website, but it is difficult to calculate the value based on an online review, a comment, or a word of mouth referral. By using Google Analytics, you can have a general idea of the value that the visitors bring to your website. Based on that data, you will be able to determine what sort of things you can add to your website to increase the value of each visitor.

6. Website bounce rate

So far, we have covered the different sources where visitors may come from, the difference between the various categories of visitors, and how each interact with your website differently. We’ve also covered how we can monitor the behaviour of each interaction that a visitor has with your website and how to use that data to increase conversions. However, all those factors will become redundant if you have an extremely high bounce rate. A bounce rate counts as a visitor who visits your website but does not interact with your website or does not spend a lot of time viewing your webpage. Since they are not interacting with your website or spending a lot of time, they are not likely to become a conversion. There are many reasons why your bounce rate might be high, but the most likely reasons would be:

  • Weak sources of website traffic
  • Landing pages that take a long time to load
  • Landing pages that have a poor user experience

7. Conversion costs

A conversion cost is how much it costs you to generate a lead or conversion on your website. This means that if your cost per conversion is higher than your value per conversion, your website won’t be making any profit and might possibly be costing you money rather than making you money. Thus, you need to find ways to increase your visitor value and conversion rates whilst keeping your lead generation costs as low as possible.

8. Exit pages

Your website homepage is not the only page that can become an exit page. Sometimes people will click on multiple pages and then exit for some or other reason. For example, let’s say a visitor goes to Google to search for a product, your product page comes up in the search page results and they decide to click on your website link. If they decide that your product is what they are looking for, the next step will be for them to try find a way to contact you. Normally, they will follow a call to action that you have placed on the page and if you don’t have one, the next step is usually to look for a contact page. If your website is difficult to navigate or confusing in any way, the visitor might feel that enquiring about your product is not worth the hassle of navigating through your website.

Alternatively, that same visitor might click on multiple links within your website before they make a purchasing decision. At any point, they might lose interest and exit your website. The page on which they exit your website would be called the exit page. By using Google Analytics, you can figure out why people are exiting your website and you can then modify your conversion process to increase visitor conversions.

9. Page views

A page view is a representation of every time a visitor loads a page on your website. Having a high number of page views can be either a good or a bad thing based on other data that can be collected by Google Analytics. A high number of page views is considered good if these page views are generated because of successful website content. On the other hand, a high number of page views is considered bad if people are loading multiple pages because they can’t find what they are looking for or because your pages aren’t loading properly and they need to keep reloading them. By using the data collected by Google Analytics, you can determine which of the two categories your website falls into.

10. Average session duration

The average session duration is the average amount of time that a visitor spends whilst on your website. The more relevant your website is to the visitor, the more time they will spend on your website. There is a delicate balance between too little and too much time spent on a website by one particular visitor. If the visitor is spending too much time on a page, it might mean that there is too much information or the information is confusing causing the visitor to spend more time trying to sort through the information. Ideally, you want to give your visitor enough information to make an informed purchasing decision, keeping the call to action easy to understand and easy to follow.

The right online recipe

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that can make up the right kind of website when it comes to your website traffic and overall sales. However, if you do not have all of the necessary elements in place, you could end up going down the wrong road. If you do not know how to create or maintain a website that will ultimately convert – get in contact with us.  We will help you increase your website visitors with advertising and improve sales conversions with great copy writing.

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