Make Smart Marketing Decisions with Google Analytics
Re-write your compelling content. Re-share it. Promote your best content. But how you know which content is the most compelling? How do you know what content is most compelling?
Increase Conversions with Google Analytics
- Determine what business content of yours is the most compelling.
- Use that content to be better, smarter, faster.
Why should any marketer go beyond number of social shares and re-tweets investigation and dig deeper?
Typical engagement metrics do not go beyond ROI (return on investment). Traffic x conversion rate = success. The more holistic your view and the deeper you can look down into the marketing funnel, the better your marketing decisions will be.
Most webmasters assume that if they get page views, that everything will fall into place. But you absolutely must go deeper than this. Driving traffic to your site is important but you want to be sure that the traffic is not “hollow traffic”. If you have a page on your site that has a page that is ranking accidentally really high in Google. But if the conversion rate for that page is zero, then you are only getting part of the story. Traffic is great but you need to make money too. As a marketer, you need to dig deeper and Google Analytics is the tool of which is best used to do this. You need to know how to look at the numbers so that you can improve your marketing strategies.
Setup Google Analytics in 3 Steps:
- Filter out traffic from your own activities. To do this, you can filter out traffic from your own IP address with an IP address filter. This is done in the admin section. Visit https://whatismyip.com to get your IP address, then login to your Google Analytics admin section to create a filter. You can create many IP address filters. It doesn’t work unless the IP address is static (meaning it doesn’t change).
Tips for your “thank you” page:
- Minimize the number of form fields. The goal of the web designer is to reduce the friction between the website and the visitor so that the MDA is easy to take. Make your website actions as simple as you can.
- Setup each of your thank you pages in Google Analytics. Each form has a different process which can be tracked in Analytics. Setup each URL of your thank you page in Analytics admin section. Now you will be able to tell which types of traffic, from which sources, visitors who saw which content, repeat visitors and how much time they spend on each page.
- After setting up these two setup steps in Analytics, you can then tell which of your visitors correlates with the visitor taking an action specifiically, revenue generating activities. By measuring the goal completion pages as “goals” in Analytics, you can see WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY. Which of these correlates with revenue generating activates. When you know this — you can then focus on the activities or content on your website that is most profitable. You will save time and can focus on your most profitable strategies.
What is goal completion on Analytics?
Don’t go overboard. Examples of goals include watching two videos, went this many pages deep, or performed certain events. If you setup too many goals, such as 25, you will inflate your overall conversion rate. With too many goals setup in Analytics, you will skew your data. So, although there are many ways to setup goals, keep it simple so that you can really focus on what exactly triggers the user to complete your MDA.
Which website or blog content is best at turning visitors into subscribers or paying customers?
Which content is most compelling? The easy way to look this up in Analytics is to look at your “reverse goal path” in the conversion section” of Analytics. It tells you what people were doing before they completed your MDA. You can then see which of your content is most compelling. This way you can specifically drive traffic to that post or article.
Go beyond the basic metrics of blog comments, social share numbers and page views. What content should you “push” ?
Steps to maximizing conversion with Google Analytics:
- Find out which of your content is most compelling,
- Setup goals in Google Analytics,
- Understand which page of your content is most compelling and magnetic at pulling visitors to your MDA (most desired action), the “thank you” page, in this example
These three steps will completely alter your strategies. You can decide that you want to create less content, but spend time on more of the content that is attributed to data that actually converts.
Cross domain tracking
You can tell Google Analytics where the visitor is supposed to come from. But in most cases, a webmaster will not need to do this because he/she is using Analytics to track one website per one Analytics instance.
Steps to determine conversion rate for a blog post:
- “Behavior” > “All content” report to find out what content is more compelling and what the conversion rate is for each post. If you have goals setup and attribute a goal value (such as one dollar, for example) you can look at this report shows you which content is more compelling.
- “Conversions” > “Reverse goal path” to see the “advanced filter” that you have created. For example, assuming that your articles are all in the same directory, such as website.com/blog you can setup a filter for the directory “blog”. An “advanced filter” for “goal previous step 1“ to be /blog. Now you are only seeing the conversion rates for blog posts. Take that data and put into a spreadsheet. This is the “total number”. This is the actual number of subscribers per blog post.
- “Behavior” > “Page views” to see a certain date range. A website with less traffic may require you to look at longer time frames, such as 6 months versus 4 weeks or even 1 week. If you are analyzing the data for a popular website, you can look at smaller time frame of data. Do a weekly report to see a moving 30-day calendar. Look at, for example, the 30 days prior to the previous week. This way you can determine more accurately what is working and what articles are not. Note: Divide the total number of subscribers by the number of page views. This will show you real conversion rates. This will show you the actual percentage.
- Now that you know that certain content is more compelling than others and what content connects more with people, you can take action to promote that content.
- Put your most compelling content in a heavy rotation in social media,
- Link to your “conversion champions” with other blog posts,
- Produce more content along the same lines as your high-converting content. What’s working… let’s do more of that. You should not care if you get a ton of traffic unless it actually converts.
- On Twitter, for example, you can create a different tweet list. Keep a list of your winning content and just keep sharing it. For every 20% of your time spent creating content, you should create 80% of time promoting it.
Re-write your compelling content. Re-share it. Promote your best content.
Which content is the most compelling?
Great things happen with the right cheese. Your website is the mouse trap. Your content is the cheese. So what cheese is best to turning visitors into customers (or subscribers)? What blog posts convert?
Which social networks are driving what type of activity?
Google Analytics is trying to get better at tracking social activity. It is very difficult to do because it is everywhere. Look at “Acquisitions” > “Referrals” to see what people are doing from Facebook, for example. It will help you gauge and optimize your activity so you know what type of content to put on a certain social network. No need to spend a lot of time working on a social network that is not converting for you. This is the magic of Google Analytics. If used correctly, you actually will save time while converting more. And by using these strategies, your Analytics time spent will be a time saver as well as a money-maker. It’s pretty much what we all want… to be able to work less and make more money. It’s an entrepreneur’s dream come true.
Look this up under “Conversion” > “Reverse goal path”. What were people doing immediately prior to subscribing. You can see which content is most compelling. Now you can drive traffic to a certain post. What post to push? By knowing what content is the most compelling, you have more knowledge that can be used to increases conversions.
Best Conversion Goal
As a webmaster if you know what the conversion rate is for each article, you can literally decide that at least 25-30% of your content be high-converting content. It’s a big eye-opener and without the data, this can not be done. Growth can be attributed to the data you analyze in your Google Analytics.
Conversions or Share?
- By finding which existing content is converting well, you can re-create it.
- Identify your great converting content, share in a rotating system. For example, share all new content and rotate it with your real winners as far as conversions.
- Share converting content more than your content that is a winner with social share.
If you have a winner, keep playing it. You don’t necessarily need to keep creating new content but as long as it is evergreen content, keep it in rotation. There are so many ways to drive traffic, but with these strategies you are working smarter. Write a “round up” and put your winning content on top. Turn you good content around and write an article about mistakes, for example. You can’t write about the same content all the time, but you can turn it around and write about it from a different perspective.
While we are talking about blog posts, we should probably mention that WordPress sites are a contestant target for hackers. Your WordPress blog can be malware infected and you don’t even notice it.
Plug-in tip: Malware is something that can impact your blog, especially if you are running WordPress. Malware can be sitting somewhere on your blog, latent for years, waiting for a Troll to activate it and use your domain as an attack weapon. It can take a long time to “cleanse” your servers. Preemptively use this tool to check and see if your servers are clean. Anti-malware by gotmls.net is a plug-in for WordPress that gives you the ability to run a scan of your WordPress site. You can tell it to scan the entire site or certain directories. Just like running a virus check on your computer, except it is in side of WordPress. Check off options: threats, back-door scripts, etc. It provides a definition of dates on which your scan will run. It’s a free tool that you can use to scan your WordPress sites to detect malware and remove it. Install it on your WordPress blog.
Gauge and optimize your activity. What kind of content to put on what network. No need to slave away on a network that doesn’t drive any converting traffic.
Rates vs. Quantity
If you just look at the raw numbers, it can be misleading. You need enough data to make an informed decision. You can measure a specific tweet, for example, by creating a bitty link that is specific and this way you can track visits from that specific tweet.
Look at a particular post of yours that is doing well. In Google Analytics, you can view source to add different columns to your report in “Behavior” > “All Pages”. Above this view, there is a drop-down. Choose “secondary dimension” to see where people came from to get to this page. This will tell you what content is performing well and it is live.
“Acquisitions” > “Social track backs” shows you who is linking to you and from where. It also tells you is you are getting traffic from that link. This is a useful networking devise. If, for example, someone links to you from a blog visit that organization and communicate with them. This way you can nurture your relationships that create great links, plus provide you with incentive to build on that relationship. Give love to the right people!
Simple, practical things with Analytics can be done within minutes. Don’t be intimidated because these steps are so useful, while at the same time saving you time.
Google Analytics “Solutions Gallery”
In the Solutions gallery, there are ratings and reviews on other dashboards. With one click you can add that dashboard to yours. Dashboards can be shared and added with one click. The Google Analytics solutions gallery is a tremendous time saver.
1. Social dashboards
2. Conversion optimization dashboards
3. Search optimization dashboards
Marketing Time Savers
After your Analytics is setup you don’t even need to go to Analytics because you can use your dashboard to e-mail the data to you. Be sure to setup your goals so that Google will know the URL of your thank you pages. Click “Add to dashboard” and put all your favorite reports in your dashboard. Then from the Dashboard you can have that data e-mailed to yourself at whatever frequency you like.
Which of your social networks are the most valuable?
Every time you promote content on a social network, you are promoting a link. You can put your campaign tracking code using the Google URL builder. Use Analytics to make decisions. Make sure you are using better decisions.