27
Apr
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Conversion Optimization Through Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides a wealth of data for those looking to optimize their conversion, whether a webmaster is interested in very basic site tweaks or a comprehensive testing process. Optimizing your conversion often requires a level of experimentation, and Google Analytics can give you insight into changes that may be beneficial, in addition to showing you exactly how these changes altered your conversion, traffic flow and audience data.

Audience Analysis and Audience Demographics

Google Analytics has an entire section devoted to audience analysis, which covers demographics, interests, geographic areas, behavior, technology, mobile conversion and other important aspects of consumer reach.

  • Experiment with targeting the age group, interests and genders of those visiting your sites, to secure your niche within an audience. Ask yourself whether your brand is properly reaching out to your audience and whether this is the audience that you were trying to reach.
  • Likewise, consider targeting audiences that your site is not currently popular with, to expand your audience reach. Targeted content may provide value to a core subset of your audience that you aren’t currently appealing to.
  • Use geographic audience data to further target your audience. If your site is national or global, consider targeting specific geographic locations in your content, to better draw in these market segments. If your site is local, consider paring down to local and regional content to improve conversion rates. Traffic that does not convert is not always meaningful.
  • Behavior analytics allow you to investigate how many individuals are returning to your site over time, how frequently and whether or not they’re engaging with your site. If users are not returning, they may not be finding value in the site. Experiment with new forms of content which may engage them and bring them back in the future.

Technology and Mobile Analysis

Your website users can be connecting to your website on just about any platform, ranging from a high tech work PC to a smart refrigerator in the kitchen. Technology analysis will let you see what browsers and operating systems your users are connecting from, and determine whether you are adequately serving them.

  • Look closely at the behaviors and bounce statistics of your audience related to certain browsers and operating systems. If any of them are particularly high, there may be issues with the user experience stemming from this platform.
  • Mobile users are quickly consuming market share and need to be catered to. Your mobile statistics are very important. If you see any conversion issues on primarily mobile devices, you should enter into a process of mobile refinement and testing.

You will also see trends emerging–such as increased tablet usage in the past couple of years–that you may need to react to quickly to ensure that your audience stays with you as technology changes.

Acquisition and Advertising Analysis

Google Analytics does a lot of work for you. In particular, it tracks your overall traffic, search engine optimization and social media penetration statistics. And, of course, it integrates into AdWords. Through acquisition and advertising analysis, you can determine the best ways to build your raw traffic. After all, without traffic, you can’t have conversion.

  • Explore your traffic channels. Where are you getting the majority of your traffic from? Are they converting? Perhaps you’re getting a significant amount of referrals but it’s from an unrelated website–and the users are not engaged, but rather immediately bouncing. This may bump your traffic, but it also increases your noise-to-signal ratio. It’s a bad link, and one that should be removed, unless you can find a way to retain and target that audience.
  • Your search engine optimization section will show you your most popular queries and landing pages. This can be a fantastic guide throughout the testing process. Consider changes to your landing pages geared towards further conversion, or building new queries on top of your currently popular ones.

You can also examine your AdWords statistics in this section, though AdWords itself offers a more robust platform to do this in. Part of the value of Google Analytics is that it offers a single platform on which you can view almost every traffic and engagement statistic.

Social Tracking and Analysis

Social media makes up a significant portion of advertising today and is primed for conversion; you get to know your audience intimately and can target them with unprecedented ease of access. Google Analytics can help reveal trends in your social media sharing and identify any issues with conversion.

  • Look at your conversions by platform. Is there a social media platform that appears inherently more willing to convert? Has your campaign been any different on this platform or is it the platform itself? Experiment by doubling your efforts on that particular platform to see whether it increases your conversions, or by changing your tactics on other social media platforms to mirror the tactics you use on the more successful platform.
  • Which landing pages are social media users hitting? Think about creating new landing pages to better integrate the experience with these key audience demographics. Each social media platform has a different audience, and a holistic user experience may not be the best option for your social media referrals.
  • Utilize the plugins section to determine whether your users are engaging while they are on-site. If they are not, ask yourself why. Is the content being presented not share-worthy? Is it difficult for them to share the content? Experiment with different types of content and ensure that sharing remains visible throughout your site.

Conversion Funnels and Goals

Google Analytics offers a unique conversion-tracking tool set that allows you to set up traffic funnels and goals. Before you begin a testing process, set up your traffic goals by enabling them on analytics. This will make it easier for you to determine whether your testing has been successful or not.

  • Goals can be anything from actually making a purchase to registering on the site–any “conversion” can be tracked through Google Analytics. Track multiple conversion goals to make your testing even more worthwhile.
  • Use the “funnel visualization” analysis to see where your traffic is going and what your audience is doing, as opposed to your goals. Throughout the testing process, you can move towards a tighter visualization.
  • Multi-channel funnels and e-commerce tracking can be used for high-level fine-tuning of your conversion rates. In particular, e-commerce tracking will give you data such as sales performance, time to purchase and transaction amounts.

As you explore the above test ideas, remember to invoke the basic principles of website testing. You should always have a control model and a test model, to ensure that the results you see are directly representative of your changes. Further, you should never make changes without an understanding of why you’re making the changes and the results that you hope to gain–otherwise you won’t be able to determine whether it’s working. And, to further augment the usefulness of your Google Analytics, don’t forget to connect your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Omar Kattan
About Omar Kattan

Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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