As one of the most powerful data tools out there, Google Analytics provides you with a myriad of valuable data that can help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing, how well your website converts visitors and ultimately your conversions. Additionally, Google Analytics helps you understand visitor behavior on your site such as time on site, exit pages, number of pages per site and what content resonates with visitors and what content does not. But many local business owners are not using this data to its full potential. In fact, many are missing out on some of the most valuable features of Google Analytics – the types of features that not only generate great insights but ones that can help you make actionable improvements.
Below are 8 of the most important features in Google Analytics that you’re most likely not using.
#1. Create More Than 1 View
By creating more than 1 view in Google Analytics you can experiment with the data you view without the fear of data loss. Avoid data discrepancy and data loss by creating an unfiltered view of the data with no filters or configurations as well as a test view where you can implement different filters and configuration changes to analyze the exact data you want.
#2. Demographic & Interest Report
While not used too frequently by analytics users, this report provides invaluable data on website visitors ages, genders and interests. This is one of the best ways to understand your website’s audience. For instance, is your website traffic mostly females who are between 45 and 54 or men between 25 and 34. Knowing this information can help you make intelligent decisions on website revisions that will appeal to your key audience. Additionally, if your target audience is males between 25 and 34 and the majority of website traffic is women between 45 and 54 then you’ll need to revise your digital marketing strategy to drive more relevant traffic. With this information you can target your marketing campaigns for higher conversion rates.
#3. Event Tracking
Google Analytics tracks many actions by default; however, it doesn’t track events by default. Events include actions such as the number of people who click on a download button, form submits, the number of people who click on a social media icon or the number of people who played or paused a video on your site. This type of tracking enables you to track action even when a URL is not recorded. With this type of data you can dig deeper into custom behavior on the site to get a better understanding of how website visitors are engaging with your content.
#4. Integrating Your Webmaster Account
Get additional data sets by integrating your webmaster account such as search queries. Search queries help you analyze the quality of the current traffic to your site as well as help you identify new keywords to optimize your site for. You are also able to see the pages on the site most often listed in Google search results. This type of data can also be used to strengthen your pay per click advertising campaign as you identify new keyword opportunities.
#5. Tracking Number of Mobile Users
More than ever before, consumers are visiting websites via mobile devices, particularly smart phones. If you are not tracking the percentage of website visitors coming from mobile devices then you are missing out on some valuable data about your website visitors. Whether a major percentage of your traffic is from mobile devices or not, you need to have a mobile-friendly website, preferably responsive design. As you monitor traffic from these devices, check every 15 days, continue to revise your mobile optimization strategy to enhance visitor experience and to convert more mobile traffic into new patients.
#6. Using Benchmark Reports
Wouldn’t it be great to know how you are doing compared to other businesses in your industry? Well, benchmark reports do just that. This extremely valuable report enables you to see how your metrics stack up against others in your industry. With benchmark reports you can compare and understand how each of your channels perform compared to industry standard, see what areas could use a major overhaul, and learn which areas you are meeting or exceeding industry benchmarks. This is a great resource for learning areas of opportunity for your website and traffic.
#7. Implementing Parameters to Track Digital Campaigns
Odds are you have traffic coming to your website from multiple digital marketing campaigns. How are you tracking those channels? If you want to know which channels are the most effective, you need to implement UTMs. These simple tags can be added to a URL so that when someone clicks on a URL with UTM parameters those tags are sent back to analytics for tracking. You can use these for anything from display ads to emails to pay per click advertising. With these data you can easily pinpoint traffic and conversions from each of your marketing sources online.
#8. Analytics Notifications
One of the great things about Google Analytics is that Google regularly evaluates your analytics tracking code, account configuration and other analytics implementation in order to find tracking code issues. Through the analytics notification feature they will communicate any issues to you. For instance, if you don’t have the demographic and interest report enabled, this feature will suggest that you add it for better insight into your website visitors. Check this feature regularly to see if you have issues that need resolved.
Like most data tools, Google Analytics provides extremely valuable data sets and insights but this data is only truly beneficial if you are making the most out of the tools, features and data available. If you are not analyzing the data correctly, gathering insights and using all the features at your disposal you are missing opportunities for your business.
About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as a Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $4,200,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.
To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/10-things-not-google-analytics/131675/