As an avid Google Analytics user, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with all of the data! I could spend days and days trying to determine actionable steps to help improve my website and online marketing endeavors, but that's just not realistic. I'm sure it's the same for you. So I want to provide you with four actionable steps you can do right now within your Google Analytics account.
The following steps are tailored for those involved with improving websites and gaining more website traffic through external sources. With that disclosure, let's get started!
Mobile Website Traffic
I'm sure you've read studies and even seen more traffic coming to your site from mobile devices, but do you know how many visitors? This is an important metric to understand. If for example, you are getting a lot of mobile website traffic, but you don't have a mobile website, you could be losing out on a bunch of new customers! Not to worry, let's see how much traffic you're getting first.
Take a look at the screenshot below. You can see that almost 20,000 visits occurred from a mobile device. While that's not a huge sum of traffic considering that over 328,000 people did not use a mobile device, thats still 20,000 potential customers who may not have had a great website experience if you didn't have a mobile site. So, I would take a look at these reports, located under your Audience reports, and think if it's worth it for you to develop a mobile site.
One last suggestion. Have some fun with this step. Have all of your colleagues or friends visit your site from their various mobile devices. What do they think about their experience?
Social Media Engagement
I know I don't have to sell you on the ever-growing social media space, but I do want to sell you on the idea of trying to narrow your focus areas and in turn, your valuable time. What if you knew what social media entities were bringing you the most traffic already? Then, you could try focusing all of your effort on those site(s).
Enter the new Google Analytics social media reports. These can be found under your Traffic Sources reports. Take a look at the screenshot below.
In this example, you can see that YouTube has been our biggest social media entity, at least in consideration of most traffic. So, assuming I don't have all of the time in the world, I want to think about just focusing some social media effort with engaging YouTube videos. I'm curious — what social media site is bringing you the most traffic? Let me know in the comments!
Now, bounce rate. The idea with bounce rate is that a website visitor has left, or “bounced” off your site on a certain page. When we look over the bounce rate on our pages, we want to know which pages are not engaging enough to keep people on our sites.
Take a look at your Content reports, and sort your data by bounce rate. Also, sort your data by “Weighted,” as seen in the highlighted section below. This will provide you with a fair estimate of popular pages (pageviews) that have resulted in people leaving your site (bounce rate).
In the example above, let's take a look at number four. That's a course page highlighting our Introduction to Microsoft Excel 2010 course. Now, we're getting a lot of traffic there, but people are not signing up for that course, and leaving our site. This is a perfect example of an actionable step — we want to change that content to make it more exciting for our visitors!
This one is going to be a quick one, but a very important one! Check out your Traffic Sources reports and check out your referrals, or external sites that brought you traffic. You're going to want to do this regularly to see if there are any sites out there that are bringing you traffic that you didn't know about. Did some site write a blog about you? Did a customer write a great review on a site? Take a look below.
In that screenshot, let's talk about number one. While that is already a partner site of ours, let's pretend for a moment that it's not. If I saw that site, I know it is bringing me a fair amount of traffic. If you know this, go ahead and approach that site and see how else you can work with them — guest blogging, contests, paid ads, article submissions or more.
And that's a wrap for this article! I hope you learned a few, new actionable steps for your Google Analytics account. If you have any questions on these steps, please leave them in the comments below and I'll get to them. And stay tuned for another Google Analytics blog coming up soon.
Editor's Note: Another article on Google Analytics by Bob Clary you might enjoy is:
— The New Google Analytics: Site Speed Reports
About the Author
Bob Clary has over eight years of marketing experience. He is currently the Marketing Manager and Google Analytics Trainer at Webucator and is a Google Analytics Qualified Individual. Bob has also created Webucator's online Google Analytics courses.