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7 Great Reasons
To Use Google Analytics

Understanding your website audience is key to delivering relevant content to potential customers and making conversions. Google Analytics put all the necessary information at your fingertips, however, knowing where to access this data and understanding what it means can be difficult. Here are 7 ways you can use Google Analytics to understand your website audience and improve your website.

Understand Your Audience Makeup

Understanding who your current website audience is allows you to better target those users and cater to their needs. To discover insights about your online audience, use Google Analytics to look at audience demographics for age, gender and location.  

Knowing the average age of your website audience helps you prioritise the channels to focus on and uncovers new opportunities for content. Knowing the gender mix of website visitors will help you find the appropriate tone to use in your messaging. Knowing the gender of your audience will help to drive the copy and messaging you use on your website and external updates. You can find out the countries, states, and cities where your website viewers are located. If the city you live in or do business in is not the top city, you may want to consider shifting your web strategy to target your geographic area more closely.

Find it under:   Audience > Demographics > Overview

and  Audience > Geo > Location

Discover Sources of traffic

Discovering where website traffic is coming from can provide useful insight into future online marketing opportunities for your website. Google Analytics reporting provides an overview of where your website traffic is coming from, as well as showing how different traffic sources drive different types of engagement with your website. Information can be provided on what ads are driving traffic to the website, what organic efforts (such as blogs) are working and can show what, if any, money spent on social media is effective.

Find it under: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

If your website traffic is coming from referral sources you can uncover where your customers are spending time and what information they are seeing when they come across your website. Review your top referral websites and think about pathways which might help to further increase traffic from these sites. Each referral source is a potential advertising and partnership opportunity to explore further. Additionally, you could take this further and expand horizons by finding more sites like your referrals to grow traffic.

Find it under: Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals

Learn what content is popular

By taking a look at your most popular content, you can see what information resonates most with people. Is the most popular content on your website the same as your own top priorities for what you want you visitors to be looking at? If the top content pages are not aligned with your own priorities then you should review your current web content and restructure. Usually 80 percent of a site’s traffic will visit 20 percent of its pages. More often than not, these pages are blog posts or feature pages. By identifying the top 10 content pages on your site that have traffic, conversions or results - you can determine what content is most relevant to your audience and create more of that with the goal to grow your audience and increase conversions.  

Additionally, consider whether this popular content is easily accessible. If not, you should consider moving your most viewed pages to the top of the page or in the main navigation to make it easier for customers to find the page and increases conversion rates.

Find it under: Behaviour > Site content > All pages

Learn what content people see first

The landing page report shows you the most popular pages that people first land on when they visit your website.  How are people interacting with these pages when they first land on your website? If your home page is your top landing page, and it has a very high bounce rate, you might want to reconsider the user experience, layout or add extra information to help users understand what your website is all about.

Your top landing pages are crucial to optimise as they often receive very high levels of traffic, and are the first pages your visitors see on your website. If visitors can’t quickly locate the information they are looking for or get confused, they will leave without converting into one of your website goals. Check the landing page report for pages with high bounce rates and low conversion rates, these are indicators of poor performing pages on your website.

Find it under: Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages

Can users find what they are looking for?

By viewing where users are clicking on your site, you can see whether certain elements of a page are hidden or buried. Is your most popular content front and centre? If people have difficulty finding the content you would like them to view, consider moving it to front and centre of the page. Making use of the Navigation Summary report can help determine if users are finding what they are looking for. For any specific page, the Navigation report presents two columns showing the pages users’ were on prior and after the current page selected. If users are going back to the page they were originally on, or going to an unexpected following page, it can suggest a need to revise the navigation bar as they may be having difficulty finding the information they are after. 

Find it under: Behaviour > Site content > All Pages > Navigation summary (in the main content section).

Changing the 'Current Selection' allows you to change the page and data you are viewing.

Additionally, Google Analytics have released a Chrome Extension called Page Analytics that allows you to get detailed information about each page of your website while you browse it. This reporting reveals exactly what visitors are clicking on and provides insights into your visitors journey and flow around your website.

Understand the user journey

Understand your audience journey through your website with the use of goals. Set up goals for anything transactional: email sign-ups, checkouts, abandoned carts, creating an account, social sign-ins, and more. By checking these goals regularly, you can begin to see trends in your users that you could only guess about before. Additionally, creating funnels with these goals lets you see where users are dropping off in the sales process.

Find it under: Conversions > Goals > Overview 

Know what devices customers are using to view your website

Make sure that your website works well for your audiences on the devices they are viewing on. If the majority of your visitors are viewing your website from mobile phones, then it is essential that your website is mobile friendly (responsive). If you can see that most users are viewing your website on a mobile but they’re spending half the amount of time on your website compared to a desktop user and have a much higher bounce rate, you might have a problem.

Find it under: Audience > Mobile > Overview

Unlock further data with Google Search Console

The secret to understanding and optimizing your mobile and web audience is to link your Google Search Console to Google Analytics so you can share data between the two. Once enabled, a mountain of additional data is available for analysis, including organic search traffic data, keyword performance and what users see in Google search results before they decide to click to your site. Furthermore, it can provide critical information about how Google sees your website, including mobile usability, 404 pages, site links and what sites link to you. These two data sources provide greater insight than one alone.

Summary

Most useful reports to look at regularly:

  • Audience demographics (Age, gender, location)

  • Visitor segments (particularly first time vs. repeat, by traffic source and browser)

  • Top pages report (your top 10 pages, and bounce rates)

  • Top landing pages report (key for improving these first)

  • Navigation path reports (to know where visitors usually click)

  • Top traffic channel report (to see which working well/not well)

  • Top referrers report (to see which site links send most traffic)

  • Goals overview report (so you see overall site conversion rate)

  • Funnel visualization report (so you can see drop-off rates)

  • Mobile overview report (to see your % of mobile/tablet visitors)


These are OneClick’s top tips to understand your audience and improve your website. Spending a little time delving into all the data that Google Analytics offers, you will soon have a much clearer picture of how customers currently see your website, what content they are interested in, what edits could be made to make your website more user friendly and in turn increase website conversions.

Monique Oosterbaan

Author: Monique Oosterbaan
Published: 14/03/2017