Google Analytics is great for gaining all sorts of insights into site performance, and yet if you’re only using its basic features, you’re barely scratching the surface of what it can do.
To remedy this, here are techniques that pros use to extract maximum value from Google Analytics, which even amateurs can adopt.
Exploring exit pages to discover content stickiness
Dealing with a high bounce rate is obviously important, but this overlooks another aspect of visitor behavior; exit rate.
This is defined within Google Analytics under the Behavior section, within the subsection Site Content, where Exit Pages gets its own specific segment.
As the name suggests, an exit page is the point from which visitors quit the site for greener pastures. So if they’ve clicked through to a landing page, then browsed elsewhere on your site, before abandoning it, you need to know about this.
If the exit rate for a particular page is high, it suggests the content on it is either not especially sticky, or actively repelling visitors, thus allowing you to make tweaks as necessary.
Using events tracking in Google Analytics
The benefits of Google events tracking are many and varied, and basically let you analyze distinct interactions made by users with different aspects of a page.
From interface elements to forms and beyond, events tracking gives you an insight into the effectiveness of the overall site design, as well as the impact of specific aspects of each page.
It’s a good idea to use a third party tool to handle events tracking duties if you find that the standard Google Analytics solution is a little clunky, which is an accusation of some level at it. It is also a good idea to use professional services to rank on google and make the most out of your website. This way you can be sure that the tracking data is being collected accurately and efficiently for later use.
Avoiding in-house IP dilution
The data you collect via Analytics has a tendency to get diluted by visitors coming from within your office, meaning that you won’t have a representative overview of how real visitors harness the site.
The easiest solution is to filter out any IP addresses that originate internally, ensuring that the value of the metrics you monitor is preserved.
Embracing dashboard customization
Google Analytics is surprisingly flexible, and rather than settling for the standard layout you can conjure up a dashboard that’s outfitted only with the elements you want to see, rather than data and tools that are surplus to your requirements.
The default dashboard can be adapted with a maximum of 12 different widgets, so say for example you want to bring a particular metric into focus, this is just a few clicks away. The way data is expressed is also adjustable, whether you prefer graphs, tables, timelines or anything else.
Selecting segments to see how specific visitors tick
Treating your audience like a homogenous whole is unhelpful, whereas with specific segments to track and analyze, it’s easier to tell whether you’re clicking with visitor categories or alienating them.
Google Analytics has lots of segments of its own, and you can make your own as well. So whether you want to focus on visitors who are using a particular device, or to look at those who have converted in comparison to those who bounced right out, this clears things up.
Finally, it helps to have targets in place to ensure that when you are using Google Analytics, you know what milestones you hope to hit, and how visitors are intended to use your site when they arrive on it.
Goals are the foundation of any push for increased online impact, so don’t forget about them when you are leveraging all of the other features that this platform has to offer.