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Google Analytics in Very Plain Language. Part IV: Uncover New Opportunities

| Posted in category Analytics Conversion Optimization PPC Advertising

SEO Ninja"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."
Demosthenes

Hey, GA ninjas! It’s Thursday and it’s time for another Google Analytics tutorial.

Modern web is all about proactive decision making, you need to get insightful data at the right time and take steps to improve your performance. In today’s post you are going to learn about some potential points of improvement that may be detected with Google Analytics.

We are going to get through several standard GA reports that may give you hints about hidden opportunities of your web-site and advertising campaigns:

  • Traffic Sources > Referring Sites
  • Traffic Sources > Keywords
  • Visitors > Map Overlay

Traffic Sources > Referring Sites

We assume that you are doing your best to promote your website on the web and you are probably buying traffic via banners/ commercials/ text links/ etc. One way to evaluate the quality of traffic coming to your website and its relevance is the bounce rate.

For those who are unfamiliar with the metric: when a user comes to a page of your web site and leaves this page, i.e. he/she is not willing to see any other pages, GA earmarks such visitor as the bounced visitor. In plain language bounce rate is the ratio of the users who landed on the page of your web site and left the website to the number of users who proceeded to the other pages. The latter are more likely to convert and complete goals.

Ok. Enough theory. Login to your analytics account. In the left-hand pane click Traffic Sources > Referring Sites. Sort pages by bounce rate in descending order – just click on the head of the Bounce Rate column. Your report should look like this:

Google Analytics Screen

As you noticed, on top of the spreadsheet we got a number of sources that generated very few visitors. If your web site enjoys 1K+ visitors daily such data doesn’t have much statistical value. Let’s enable Weighted Sort and see what we get.

Google Analytics Screen

Google algorithm brings statistically more important results to the top of the list. Are your paid traffic sources heading the chart? – Then it’s time to react.

Potential solutions:

  • Cut fat and stop advertising
  • Change the ad’s content or its type
  • Improve or change the landing page

You may now reverse bounce rate filter to bring the better performing traffic sources on top. Check out if there are any potential placements for your banner there!

Traffic Sources > Keywords

We are going to use similar tactics in order to find best performing keywords. Click on Traffic Sources > Keywords in the left-hand pane. (Hopefully, after GA in Very Plain Language. Part II you set up goal conversion tracking and you are ready to use this data.) Let’s filter out paid search keywords. Click on non-paid link.

Sort the keywords by conversion rate. Don’t forget to enable Weighted Sort feature. You’ve just generated a list of best performing keywords for your website. It’s time to get some ads for them or improve their rankings in SERPs!

If you are already buying advertising for certain keywords, you might like to improve your performance. Then generate a similar report for your paid keywords. Consider increasing bids for the keywords that perform better and stop advertising for keywords that don’t bring you enough value, or try to improve the Search Keyword –> Ad –> Landing Page –> Conversion Funnel channel.

Visitors > Map Overlay

Napoleon Bonaparte would have never succeeded in his endeavors if he hadn’t had an ambition to extend his empire all over the world. Let’s see if you are following his steps.

Click on Visitors > Map Overlay. Drill down to the appropriate scale. If you are a local pizza delivery service from NY, chances are slim that guys from Honduras are willing to order from you. Alternatively, if you are selling electronic goods and the content of your website is available in 101+ languages – Country/ Territory may be the right size for you. Back to business, sort geographic regions by goal conversion rate applying Weighted Sort. Look for the areas that are bringing significant numbers of goal conversions and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Start showing ads in a new region, optimize for local searches, cease advertising in certain areas, increase/ decrease budget for adverting or promotion of your services in certain areas, etc.

Do you have more ideas of insightful reports that are may help you improve ROI? Tell us in the comments section.



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