Google Analytics

[Series] Getting to know your GA data dashboard [Analytics Series - Part 2]

Part of an ongoing series to help you get acquainted with your analytics tools and dashboards better. Today, we look at some of the reports Google Analytics has for you.

In part 1, we talked about GA in general. How you configure it, how you set things up, and obviously, how Benne makes the whole process extremely smooth. ;-) Today, we look at some reports you have on your GA dashboard.

Now that you have set up Analytics on your website, hopefully added a goal or two, and set up site search measurements, you are ready to get acquainted with your dashboard (or get to know your dashboard if you have already been using it).

The reason we keep on saying Google Analytics is complicated is because at every step of the way you need to know what you need to do, and where you need to go in order to get meaningful information. (Remember the setup hierarchy we discussed in the last post?)

The dashboard is no different. Each time you log on to GA, you are taken to your Audience Overview report.

ga overview

This is the report and the interface that most of us are familiar with, and this is the only thing most users of GA ever get acquainted with and exposed to.

According to some surveys as many as 85% of GA users only look at the Audience Overview report when they log on to their GA dashboard.

But much like the iceberg, this is a very small percentage of the data that is available to you. The audience overview report is just one of 50+ reports that GA has ready for you by default. Each of these reports has some pertinent information for you, and depending on what your business objectives are, each one of these has the potential to shape your marketing strategy and/or broader business roadmap. Let us look at a few.

Audience Reports

What do your visitors look like, what their general interests are, where do they come from, what languages do they speak, are they new to your website or have they been here before, how often do they visit you, how are they viewing your website. These are some of the information you can expect out of the audience reports.

These reports, much like any other report you would find in GA, is a treasure trove of information. The problem is, you need to know specifically what is it that you are looking for, where to find it, and how do you use that information. Otherwise you are just looking at some pretty charts and figures.

For example, just imagine what you could do with the language and country information?

I myself would produce native language content based on where my visitors are coming from. If in addition to the incoming traffic, I end up finding that visitors from a particular country convert better as compared to my overall conversion trends, I would increase my marketing efforts targeting audience in that region. This could be in the form of paid advertising, being active on blogs, communities and forums frequented by this subset of my audience and being more active on social media based on the times they are most likely to be around.

But, as we said, it needs you to know where to look, what to look for, and how to apply it. That is where marketing experience and expertise comes in handy. With Benne, we are simplifying that process. The system analyses all the data behind the scenes and highlights any anomalous or action-worthy behavior to you. No more digging through countless reports to get meaningful insights.

visitor language

Acquisition reports

Most people thing acquisition reports are meaningful to you only if you are running paid campaigns. That isn’t actually true. Acquisition reports helps you understand all your traffic, segregated by traffic source/medium. This is extremely important to decide how you are going to allocate your resources to different marketing channels.

If one particular medium is converting better than the rest, you would understandably want to double down on it and allocate more of your resources there.

If you are getting a lot of organic traffic and this traffic keeps on coming back, your content marketing efforts are bringing in results and you would want to do more of that.

Much like audience insights, Benne analyzes acquisition reports also, to highlight to you your most promising opportunities and marketing overview. If you want to know more about it, DM us, and we will help you understand how you can do more with your GA reports.

Behavior reports

Which pages are most responsible for driving traffic to your site?

Which pages lead to the most signups?

Which pages end up losing the visitor?

Set up properly, your behavior reports can help you retain your audience longer, improve your content, its placement and general usefulness, and help drive your business goals.

Another slightly overlooked segment in your GA dashboard is the Site Speed section. This is the section that tells you how fast or slow your pages are loading for your users, and if that is losing visitors for you.

Site and page performance is a crucial piece of the puzzle. One, we believe, shouldn’t need to be dug out. But at the same time, it is something you don’t need at the front and center of the stage. Think of it as a bouncer at a club. When there is a problem, you want them to step in right away, without you needing to call for them. At all other times, you want them to just blend with the background, not drawing attention to themselves at all. As if they aren’t even there.

That is exactly how we feel about site performance monitoring. Which is why Benne Analytics has a retroactive but subtle mode enabled, by default, on all customer websites. If there are pages on your website that are suddenly losing performance, you will be alerted immediately - via email, browser notification, slack etc, depending on your settings. If you don’t hear from the page performance module, that’s a good thing, because it means everything is working just as it is supposed to.

Conversion Reports

This is the most crucial and most complicated of them all, primarily because there is often a dollar figure associated with it. If you are an ecommerce website, this dollar figure is often the net value of the items you sell, but if you aren’t one, this could very much depend on how you have configured GA while setting it up.

Let us look at Conversion Reports, in detail, when we get back to this in our next story.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.



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