What type of information should you be looking at within your website analytics?
As dealers become more and more aware of the information available within Google analytics, this question keeps coming up. So, here's a nice starting point regarding the type of reports you should include with your mix. I chose these reports simply because of their high level nature and their ability to create solid awareness of your website performance. The path to each report shown below can be seen within the left hand navigation of the pages. Click images for full size.
Goal Conversion Tracking.
Google analytics gives you 20 goal conversion tracking opportunities. It's a very simple concept, you need to have conversions in place to monitor your performance. How can you tell if a long tail keyword is helping if you're not tracking it's activity? How are you judging the performance of a new landing page with this data? You can't make those decisions without looking at the goal conversion activity. It's a must-have report.
Organic Search Traffic
Most of your traffic (25-50%) may come from branded search traffic - which is fine, but you always have an opportunity to pick up traffic from other long tail, non-branded search terms from online shoppers who haven't found a dealership. Buyers doing research use a lot of other search terms to find different makes, models and ultimately to locate a dealership by location. Track your organic search phrases to find opportunities to drive relevant traffic to lower level search pages and/or improve existing pages. This can also help you improve the site links displayed under your primary URL shown within the organic results by properly organizing relevant content within specific pages. The example below shows the standard site activity. To see the goal conversion data, simply click on the goal links to the right of the site data text under the explorer tab at the top.
What pages are your visitors looking at? And of course, what's the goal conversion from those pages? Another simple practice of determining where your visitors are going and what they're doing. How do know which pages to improve if conversion is poor? Which pages should you be marketing even more aggressively? Don't see your specials page on your top 10 list? Now you know where to focus your efforts.
NOTE: All reports are showing higher percentages of traffic from the "Not Provided" category. This is Google's way of not showing all of the results to prevent marketers from trying to game the system. This also maintains a level of mystery to keep us guessing while we continue to improve our marketing efforts. These results include the activity from Google users who are logged in. A large percentage of those results are already contained within the rest of your results, they just aren't shared by Google.
Goal flow is a nice visual tool to help your staff better understand how each channel can help contribute to the goals being tracked. You can quickly see where the traffic comes from, how it's split into the different goals and the amount of successful actions and drop-off's. Select the different goals and sources from the drop down menus at the top view each specific activity.
This couldn't be any simpler. This report breaks down your desktop and mobile traffic. Want to dive deeper? Click on the "devices" link in the navigation to see which devices are being used to access your site. Some dealers are getting more traffic from iPhones, others from Android while others are seeing more traffic from iPads. Use that data to help determine how your site is built, what type of content is being published and how your customers are responding to the different formats.
Organic Traffic by Location
This is a custom report that you'll need to build. It's not that difficult; follow the step-by-step instructions to set up the Organic Traffic by Location report. This report will open your eyes as to where your traffic is coming from and help identify opportunities for improvement. This can also be valuable info for your offline marketing efforts. And of course, the conversion goal data helps your decision making process here as well.
What other reports are you using to help better decisions about your website performance?