Let’s be honest, the sheer amount of information available within Google Analytics can be intimidating.
But to many ecommerce owners, Google Analytics is nothing more than a web traffic-monitoring tool. Between all those graphs and menu tabs, however, hides the most sophisticated tool for gaining insights into your customer base. And its reports can not only reveal deep insights about your visitors but should influence your future marketing decisions as well.
As an ecommerce merchant, you surely know well how important it is to track sales, traffic and conversions. Many of these do not provide any specifically actionable insights, however.
These reports within Google Analytics on the other hand, do:
People land on your site from many sources. They conduct a search and find you on the results page. Or they click on your Adwords ad, your banner advert, a link in an email you sent them. They could even type in your URL directly to the browser, click a referral link on another site… the options are many.
Yet which of these sources brings the most converting traffic–and by extension, which one should you focus on and which ones you should stop investing time and resources in?
It’s important that you know where your customers are coming from and why. With such knowledge, you can assess what’s working with your marketing and what needs to be improved.
The ability to segment data is by far one of the most powerful features of Google Analytics. It allows you to determine who your best customers are, what channels they use to reach you, and what information speaks to them the most, among other things. Thanks to segmentation, you can also see your numbers in a new way and uncover more information about your site.
One recommendation is to segment conversions by the day of the week. Have you ever wondered which day brings the most conversions? The information may seem irrelevant at first, but once you know this, you can shift your promotional strategies closer to that day to see if it might increase your conversions.
For example, at my old company, the high-converting day was Tuesday. Thus we changed our marketing strategies to focus either on Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
Another useful report is a list of the pages where people most commonly enter and exit the site. This can help you assess a number of aspects of your marketing:
Knowing how many visits it takes for an average customer to finally make a purchase is powerful knowledge. What’s more, finding out not only the number but also a typical path it takes for a customer to finally arrive at the checkout page is a true pot of gold. After all, it is hard to just guess what channels your customer took before finally buying from you. They may have started with organic search, returned via an ad only to return few more times by typing your URL into the browser window. You will want to know this information in order to best optimize your sales funnel.
The revenue per product report can reveal which products generated the most revenue during any given time frame. Moreover, you can quickly see not only the best selling products for a particular period of time but also how much revenue they generated, how many transactions there were, and an average order value for each transaction.
What’s more, you can also assess how much money you’re spending on keywords for these products and determine their ROI by comparing spend to the revenue the products bring. This way you can quickly assess if it makes sense to increase promotional spend for any given product to generate even more traffic to it.
Google Analytics can be intimidating, true. Especially at first, with the sheer amount of information the tool offers. It is worth it to go beyond the basic functionality, however, to uncover a depth of data that can help you make more informed marketing decisions.