How to Use Google Analytics to Increase Conversions

how to use google analytics

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Your website has a wealth of data about visitors and their behavior. However, all these data are going to waste if you’re not using an analytics tool. A top choice (because it’s free and provides you with in-depth information) is Google Analytics.

In particular, Google Analytics is a hugely useful tool for increasing conversions. Through goal funnels, you can locate problems with your web pages that are causing you to miss out on conversions. Other metrics can tell you even more about visitors, allowing you to make smarter marketing decisions.

First, though, some terminology.

What Are Google Analytics Conversion Goals?

Before going any further, you need to be clear what a goal is in Google Analytics.

A goal represents a conversion — in other words, it means a user has completed an activity that will have a positive impact on your business. As well as taking users closer to a purchase, goals can include visits to pages that indicate a user is interested in your offering in other ways.

What Is a Google Analytics Conversion Funnel?

A conversion funnel (also called a goal funnel) is the sequence of steps that lead to a conversion. In Google Analytics, each step in a funnel needs to be a page on your website. This is important to note since, although Google Analytics does offer event tracking, you can only use conversion goals in your funnels, not events.

How to Set Up Conversion Tracking in Google Analytics

To use conversion tracking in Google Analytics, you need to set up the above-mentioned goal funnels. Just in the case you’ve never used Google Analytics before, we’ll start at the very beginning with setting up a Google Analytics account.

Step 1: Create Your Google Analytics Account

If you already have a Google account (most people do — it’s what you use for things like Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube), you can use this to sign up for a free account with Google Analytics. Specify that you want an account for a website and input the website name and URL. You’ll also need to get a tracking ID. Under “Data Sharing Settings,” check all the boxes next to the recommended options.

After you’ve done all this, click “I Accept” under the terms of service agreement and Google will redirect you to your new account.

Step 2: Add Google Analytics to Your Website

Next, you’ll need to add your tracking code to your website. Find the code by heading to “Admin” and choosing “Property” followed by “Tracking Info.” Either paste the code onto each page of your website or use a plugin to do it for you. For instance, if you have a WordPress site, you can use MonsterInsights.

Step 3: Create Your Goals

To set up your first goal, click the “Admin” tab and look for the “Goal” under the “View” column. Once you’re on the Goals page, click the “+ New Goal” button. This will take you to the Goal setup. You have the option to use a template, set up a smart goal, or create a custom goal. Most of the time, it will be best to make a custom goal, as this will allow you to specify the exact criteria you want.

As you’ll be using the goal for a conversion funnel, you need to set the type as a destination. Make sure to give the goal a name you’ll remember.

Step 4: Set Up Your Funnel

Further down the page, you’ll see “Funnel (optional)” with a toggle to switch it on or off. Set it to “On” and you’ll be able to set up the steps the user needs to complete to reach the goal. Specify if any of the steps are essential for meeting the goal by toggling “Required” to “Yes.” Once you’ve done this, click “Verify Goals” — this will enable you to check that you’re tracking the right data.

Step 5: Analyze the Results

After you’ve been tracking the funnel for sometime, you need to analyze the results. You can find the data by heading to “Reporting” and choosing “Conversions.” Here, there’s an overview of your goals as well as a funnel visualization. The funnel visualization is an excellent way to quickly check if visitors are dropping off at a particular point in the funnel.

What Metrics Should You Track in Google Analytics?

Conversion funnels on Google Analytics are a great start, but to make the most of this tool, it’s worthwhile paying attention to other metrics that relate to conversions as well.

Conversion Rate

A key metric for improving conversions is, of course, conversion rate. This metric typically refers to the number of users that become customers. If you have an e-commerce site, you should aim for a conversion rate for between 3 and 5 percent. The right percentage for you will depend on factors like your industry, the demographics of your customers, and the price of your products.

Cost per Conversion

Knowing how much you spend per user to gain a conversion will show you which channels are the most cost effective. You can use this information to determine where to focus your efforts in the future.

Micro and Macro Conversions

As you saw when creating goals, in addition to the larger purchases, you have smaller conversions — simple actions that lead a user closer to becoming a customer. Conversions at the top of the funnel are micro conversions, whereas those at the bottom are macro conversions. Monitoring the difference between micro and macro conversions will show you how many leads make it all the way through the funnel.

Exit Pages

If you have an issue with a specific page, you’ll see it in the exit pages metric. In the case many visitors are leaving your site from the same page, determine how you could improve the experience to keep visitors on your site for longer.

Bounce Rate

Sometimes, the problem is with your website as a whole, rather than a particular point in the funnel. A sudden increase in bounce rate immediately tells you that you have a problem. For instance, you could have a performance issue, slow-loading times, or lack optimization for a certain type of device (even mobile devices as a whole).

If you’ve recently designed (or redesigned) your website, bounce rate is an especially important metric. Google uses bounce rate as an indication of the usability of your site. A high bounce impacts your SEO, making it more difficult to rank well in searches.

Time on Site

Another metric that directly links to SEO is time on site. If Google notices you have a short average time on site, you will struggle to rank in the search results. Plus, a short time on site tells you that visitors are failing to find what they’re looking for. Perhaps you’re attracting the wrong users or you need to adapt your targeting.

Leads Generated

Also relating to traffic that falls outside your target audience is the metric leads generated. Looking at leads gives you an indication of how much of your traffic is qualified and has the potential to convert. You can use this metric to see which channels are performing the best with your target audience.

Form Completions

Monitoring form completions is useful for all types of businesses. If you’re an e-commerce business, you can look for patterns in users filling out a form and failing to complete an order. Other types of businesses should monitor completion of forms requesting callbacks, signups for your newsletter, and for otherwise providing contact information. All these express an interest in your business and its offerings.

Landing Pages

There are two ways you can statistics around landing pages to improve your conversion rates.

First, comparing landing page views to conversion rate shows you how well your landing pages are performing. For instance, a high number of sessions but few conversions implies you need to make some changes to the pages.

Second, you’ll be able to see if organic traffic is arriving at your site via landing pages rather than your homepage. This will show you if your SEO to bring traffic to these pages is working.

Product Performance

If you have an e-commerce site, it’s important to look at the performance of your products. It can be difficult to track products manually if you have an extensive inventory. Monitoring them in Google Analytics will show you if any in particular needs your attention for SEO to gain visibility.

Receiving Support for Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a relatively easy to use tool, but it does require a large amount of time to learn. Only after many hours of reading how-tos and watching tutorials will you understand all the various functionalities and know how to use insights to fully optimize conversions. Plus, you’ll need to dedicate even more hours every week to checking the analytics and making appropriate changes to your website.

A better option than handling Google Analytics yourself is to outsource the task. The virtual assistants for sales at MYVA360 know how to use Google Analytics to optimize your conversion rate. As well as monitoring analytics, they’ll create reports to show you how to utilize the data. This will leave you free to focus on what you do best: turning sales-ready leads into customers.

Contact us to find out more and to schedule your free trial.

Laura Holton

Laura is a professional writer specializing in content aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs. She has helped countless startups find the information they needed to take their ventures to the next level.

Laura Holton

Laura is a professional writer specializing in content aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs. She has helped countless startups find the information they needed to take their ventures to the next level.


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