To build an effective digital marketing campaign, you need to thoroughly audit your website, get an idea of its current performance, distinguish vulnerabilities, and set growth vectors. Also, web requirements change frequently, so you need to constantly update and refine your strategy, based on an extensive spectrum of indicators.
If performed manually, this work can be tedious and time-consuming. Happily, there are many user-friendly automated tools available for digital marketers. Google Analytics is one of the most popular options. Apart from basic parameters, it provides in-depth insights that help you gain a competitive edge and improve your rankings in search.
In this article, we will consider the most important metrics to track in GA to establish an upscale web presence for your brand.
1. Bounce Rate
High traffic means nothing if users quickly leave your website. This is a distress signal that something is wrong with your content and user experience. Apart from poorly written and badly presented information, your bounce rate can grow due to slow loading times, failure of certain features, incompatibility with mobile devices, and other performance issues.
You need to determine exactly what alienates your visitors and causes them to leave. Evaluate your website from a user’s standpoint, go through the basic processes, and work on weak points. Not only will this help you retain customers, but it will also improve your SEO metrics, since Google endorses and promotes platforms with long view times.
2. Conversion Rate
The goal conversion rate is calculated as the number of goal conversions divided by the number of sessions, times 100. For example: if your ecommerce goal is ‘Purchase completed’, every time a purchase is completed it will count as a goal conversion.
Micro and Macro Conversions
Conversion does not exclusively mean sales. It can also refer to registrations, newsletter subscriptions, file downloads, form completions, clicks on the Call Us and Email Us buttons, following links to your stores on marketplaces, and other steps taken by your website’s visitors.
Do not despair if your sales CR is between 2-4%. This is a good result for e-commerce websites, even though it may seem disappointing that 96% of visitors to your platform go away without taking action. To get a comprehensive idea of your marketing results, study user behavior at all stages of the shopping funnel, taking into account different conversion types. Find out at which stage most prospects wriggle off your hook, and take steps to keep them moving forward.
Remember that any actions taken by users indicate their interest in your brand and the likelihood of buying from you in the future. Exploratory activities preceding an order placement are called micro conversions, which are easier to drive than macro conversions, aka sales. At the micro level, users are more willing to provide their contact data for registration and subscriptions, post comments, rate your content, and other actions that do not require a monetary commitment..
It is important not to alienate customers at this stage, and to quickly provide first-rate customer support to lead your prospects along the shopping funnel to macro conversions.
New and Repeat Visitors
Distinguish between new and repeat visitors, since these two groups require different treatment. Develop two separate strategies, one for customer retention and one for making a stunning first impression. In both cases, your website must provide seamless and exciting user experience to engage your customers and earn their trust.
3. Cost per Conversion
Most businesses require an initial investment. To build an extensive clientele and start gaining a profit, you first need to spend some money on marketing.
Cost per Conversion is a metric that shows how much you need to invest to drive each conversion. It helps you determine whether your marketing efforts are cost-effective.
The event tracking feature in Google Analytics reveals customer interactions with your website and their decision-making process before purchasing certain products. Use this information to track customer conversion behaviors such as clicks on various page elements, outbound links, Call Us and Email Us buttons, PDF and media file downloads, video viewing duration, interrupted purchase completion points and more.
5. Performance of Landing Pages
Landing pages are extremely important to marketing, since they bring your prospects closer to conversion.
The Landing Page section in GA helps you know which landing pages are working as expected, and which ones require revision. Use it to check traffic, bounce rate, number of new users, and conversion rates of individual landing pages. Compare their efficiency, direct more marketing efforts towards successful pages, and refine or remove underperforming ones.
6. Product Performance
Analyze the performance of individual products in your catalog, to distinguish the most popular items from those requiring more promotion. Access GA’s Product Performance table for detailed insights on your inventory. Compare monthly metrics to identify trends in customer demand.
7. Entry Pages
Determine which pages customers most frequently access from search. Compare them with pages that have similar rankings but rarely serve as entry points and have a low click-through rate (CTR). If you only have one or two entry pages, start promoting other pages to generate more traffic to them. Improve their titles and snippets. Add numbers and calls to action.
8. Exit Pages
Pages that cause users to leave your website are your worst enemies. Carefully study them to find low quality or obsolete content, faulty features, or other issues.
9. Sources of Target Traffic
Well-designed promotional campaigns use a variety of traffic channels and diverse digital marketing disciplines like SEO, PPC, and SMM. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for engaging with each channel. Marketers establish a specific ratio for every business, depending on the industry and target audience.
To maximize your promotional strategy, you need to determine which channels work best for your brand and attract users that convert into buyers. Compare traffic metrics for different sources, and evaluate channel-specific conversion rates. If some channels are underperforming, think about how you can improve your online image for them.
The preferences of web users are constantly changing, so you need to constantly monitor updates in all your digital marketing disciplines to remain competitive. The best solution is to hire a specialist for each channel, since it is nearly impossible for a singe individual to keep track of all of them..
10. Page Views per User
Bounce rate and view time correlate with the number of pages viewed by users. Take advantage of internal linking to prevent your prospects from leaving after viewing a single page. Provide links to related content that expands their knowledge on a topic or offer compatible products. Create a “You may be also interested in” block for commercial pages and an “Other articles on the topic” block for information pages.
11. User Flow
Track browsing routes to know where every user goes after accessing your website, and what they do on every page. Configure User Flow in Google Analytics to visualize visitor behaviors in a graphical report, to see if you are providing the shortest paths to conversion. Remove extra menu items, blocks, and other elements that extend the buyer’s route to the checkout page.
Most B2B websites offer the following user journey: service page -> prices page -> contacts page.
You can set different parameters for a more precise analysis of user behavior, for example, location. The screenshot below shows shopping routes for users in China.
With the Browser parameter, you can find out at what stages visitors bounce off when using your website in different browsers, what problems they face, and why their user sessions end. Use this information to find poorly performing pages that hinder order placement.
There are multiple key factors to consider when building and refining your marketing campaign. They can all be easily traced using Google Analytics and other similar tools available on the web. Take advantage of the latest analytic software to simplify your digital marketing work and reach your strategic goals faster, with lower investment.
If you do not have time to invest in digital marketing for your website, entrust your promotional campaign to seasoned specialists. At Clever Solution, we thoroughly audit our clients’ websites to develop customized optimization strategies. We constantly monitor industry updates and refine our methodologies to meet new requirements, and we leverage the latest tools to deliver robust results on short notice.