Spending valuable time and resources on Google Analytics is only worth it if you’re able to gleam actionable information. The goal is to find data that illuminates hidden aspects of your business and provides a basis by which to make strategic choices. This is particularly relevant for marketing strategy since Google Analytics can quickly show whether the goals of any campaign are being met.
Google Analytics reporting is a fantastic tool for providing immediate access to actionable business information plus it’s highly customizable which ensures that reports only show your company’s unique KPIs.
Here are key 3 Google Analytics reports to help guide your marketing strategy:
Simply put, Traffic Acquisition is the most essential report to guide your marketing strategy. Having an understanding of where your traffic is coming from and how different marketing initiatives affect traffic sources is essential for measuring marketing success. For example, if you spend $2k on SEO and $2K on Facebook Ads, your Traffic Acquisition reports will tell you exactly which marketing strategy has the best ROI.
You can also customize this report to be even more specific to your business. Some ideas for customization are:
- Reporting that reveals the effectiveness of each unique stream of traffic. This can be achieved by looking at total sessions, unique users, new users, goal conversion rate and goal value per session, all organized by source.
- Watching how behavior varies for new and returning customers by tracking overall traffic, conversion patterns and event completion from each.
To access these reports go to Acquisition > Overview. Then, get more detailed by going to Acquisition > Overview > All Traffic > Referrals to get a deeper understanding of where your traffic is coming from.
SEO Strength Reports
For local businesses in particular, SEO is the keystone to a successful marketing strategy. Google Analytics helps you keep a very close eye on your SEO strength via three types of SEO Reports – Queries Reports, Landing Pages Reports, and Geographical Summaries reports.
- Queries reports show which Google searches were the best for driving awareness and traffic to your website. Not only can you see which searches yielded the most impressions, but you can also see how many of those impressions lead to clicks, and therefore traffic to your website. This will give you information on your organic click-through rate for specific search terms.
- Landing Pages reports show which pages of your site are ranking in Google. Understanding which of your pages rank well in Google and which pages need more optimization is important when planning your marketing and SEO strategy. If you’re trying to sell or launch a specific product or service and the page is not ranking well, this will give you insight into what changes you need to make.
- Geographical Summary reports provide general SEO metrics from different geographical areas. This will tell you what towns, cities, states, and even countries your traffic is coming from. If you’re a local business that needs to focus on driving traffic that’s close to your area, these reports can help tell you if your marketing strategy is doing that.
To access these reports go to Acquisition > Search Console > then select the report you’re looking for.
Calibrating how much to invest into your social media strategy can be tough. Certain industries really thrive on social media — fashion and apparel in particular. Other industries have put a lot of resources into social and seen very little return. Luckily, Google Analytics reporting helps you strike the right balance.
Your best friend in social reporting is Network Referrals, which can be found by going to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals. Here, you’ll quickly see which social networks are bringing traffic to your site and which pages are being shared the most. This helps in measuring the success of both individual channels and multi-channel campaigns.
Some reporting customizations could include:
- Metrics like Goal Conversion Rate and Goal Value will tell you which social media sites you should pay more attention to as these reports focus on how traffic is translating into tangible results.
- Zoom out of your data and set the line graph to ‘days’ to see patterns corresponding to posting days and times.
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