Websites require on-going modifications throughout their lifespan, which range from regular housekeeping, to back end improvements, or larger scale redesigns. Google Analytics can help address areas to optimize so that your marketing initiatives are set up for success.
Where should you focus your marketing efforts?
From social media campaigns, to emails, SEO, and blog activities, deciding where to focus your marketing efforts can be a challenge. Google Analytics provides details that can help steer your marketing objectives in the right direction. The tool can show you how your customers move through the funnel, which pages are visited the most, the length of time they consume content and more. Google Analytics provides a wide variety of information including:
• Top converting traffic sources
• Best converting landing page
• Highest visit count landing page
• Top keywords that drive conversions
• Top converting states / cities / countries
What actions are customers taking on your site?
Hosting an online storefront creates a different customer experience that would otherwise occur in a bricks and motors store. Ideally, you want to create a customer centric experience for your shoppers in order to maximize your conversion rates. A straightforward, aesthetically pleasing site will add to your customer’s experience from their point of entry and will impact how they interact from there. As a merchant, you want to be aware of the next actions that users are taking. Are they going straight to your about us page, or are they immediately looking at products that you’re offering?
A streamlined process for your customers to view your products, add them to the cart, and process their payments will lead to higher conversions. Measuring the effectiveness of your current sales process and your customer’s interactions can easily be done with Google Analytics and it can lead to actionable data if you focus on the right metrics (link to GA post).
Audit Your Current Marketing Initiatives
In order to get a better idea of where to focus your next marketing strategy to optimize your ecommerce site, start by auditing your current campaigns.
SEO – Measure your SEO stance by looking at the Keywords report to see which terms are pulling customers onto your site. Make sure that you access your paid and organic reports because this information can help indicate whether to invest more resources into building out a SEO plan or if you could benefit from using a different approach to paid ads.
PPC – Measure your PPC results by setting up event tracking and goals. Also, if you’re running ads with Yahoo or Bing, set up your Google Analytics reports to track these sites because otherwise this data will show up as organic traffic.
Email Campaigns/ Remarketing – By setting up goals in Google Analytics, you can monitor cart abandonment behavior, which provides a foundation for email/remarketing campaigns. If a customer adds a product to your cart and then left without following through with their purchase, try reaching out to them. By sending them an email reminder that the product that they were interested in is still available could help re-engage them back to complete their transaction.
You should also be measuring why this cart abandonment occurred, which can be monitored via Google Analytics’ funnels to visualize a user’s path leading up to a conversion. Other strategies include cross sell/upsell emails a few days after a customer makes a purchase, remarketing to remind a dormant customer after a period of inactivity, or to let customers know about special offers.
Newsletter – If you’re considering sending a monthly or quarterly newsletter, you can also use the Google Analytics URL builder to link your website’s URL in the Newsletter and it will track the traffic and conversions that are generating from this initiative.
Content Marketing – Content marketing can drive a lot of website visits due to the changing landscape of search algorithms. Analyze your bounce rates on your home page and your top landing pages (i.e. About us) to see how it’s performing. Each traffic entry point will impact your bounce rate. For example, traffic entering off of a search will have a higher bounce rate than traffic that visited your site directly. In short, take your bounce rate with a grain of salt but it should range between 40%-60%. Focused content can help improve your bounce rate and will also help generate better standings in SEO. This post goes into more detail as to how you can optimize your “About Us” page for more conversions.
Using Google Analytics to gauge your marketing strategies is extremely helpful for guiding where to go next. Once you have all the reports set up for areas that you’d like to measure, actionable data will be generated that can be influential in strategic decision-making and help maximize your conversions. If some of these metrics are not already set up in the functionality of your Google Analytics reporting, build them out, and then begin analyzing them in a few weeks time.