Grab Your Analytics Life Jacket - Web Kaizen™

Grab Your Analytics Life Jacket

Businessman in life jacket

Getting actionable data from Google Analytics can be like drinking from Niagara Falls: the river of information is so deep and wide, you can be swept away and drown in data. Save yourself with a lifejacket of a few key performance indicators you can rely on until you’re able to swim through the sea of metrics on your own.

Establish what a conversion is for you

Conversion rate is the percent of your site’s visitors who take a desired action. In this context, the converted have usually made a purchase, but if your site isn’t selling products your definition of a successful conversion could be something else, such as signing up for a newsletter or verifying contact information. Conversions should be the ultimate goal of any series of goals you’ve established for your site. Knowing the conversion rate and monitoring it will help you determine the effectiveness of your strategies to improve it, including your pay per click efforts.

Set goals along the way

Some goals can be defined like mile-markers on the path to conversion. If conversions for your site are defined as email signups, a goal might be to get people to a page explaining the benefits of subscribing or even to the sign-up page itself. Goals can also be defined more broadly as desired actions outside the narrow definition of conversion.

For example, whereas an e-commerce conversion might mean making a purchase, e-commerce goals can include increasing the number and frequency of purchases, increasing the items in the basket, and increasing the value of items purchased. For content-driven sites, common goals may include having users spend more time on site, visit more pages and interact with more media.

This underscores the notion that the path to conversion may not be a straight line, and goals should be established for other actions that indirectly support conversion. If your brand’s value increases through customer engagement with an element on your site, it’s a candidate to become a goal.

Pay attention to spending, revenue

You don’t have to look too closely at your online ad program to determine which ads get the most clicks, and what the cost per click is. These stats are easily accessible and get right to the point.

Or do they?

Actually, they only tell half of the story. An online advertising campaign or element thereof should be measured not just by how many clicks it generates, but by how many sales it leads to. One ad may be very effective at generating clicks, but might be perceived as misleading or over-promising after the click if their message doesn’t match the message the resulting page presents. Users who feel such a disconnect aren’t likely to complete the sale, even though you’ve paid for their click.

Knowing the ratio of ad spend to revenue generated helps you evaluate the advertising messaging, creative and positioning to help you spend advertising dollars more effectively. It can be helpful to link your web site’s analytics to your CRM data to better visualize these relationships.

Google Analytics supports the integration of CRM data with it. By doing so, you can better define remarketing lists while fine-tuning your segmentation and reporting capabilities. It’s also worth noting that there are tools available to bring GA data into CRM platforms like SalesForce, ZOHO, HubSpot and more. By doing so, you’re better able to determine which marketing channel is responsible for each sale.

Greg Norton

Grab Your Analytics Life Jacket

was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.

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