Conversion rates. At the end of the day, this is what it all comes down to. It’s easy to dream of huge conversion rates; however, they’ve been rather hard to achieve lately. Hard, but not impossible. There are many tips and tricks out there on how to increase your conversion rates even by 529% in only one day.
We are not going to deliver overnight magic solutions in the following blog post. We are going to leisurely talk about how you can increase your conversion rates by following some efficient Google Analytics tips. Because yes, used wisely, Google Analytics can help you to increase your conversion rates. Big time.
The next Google Analytics tips and insights will help you to master metrics and data to improve the decision making process for your online business.
You’ll learn how to increase your conversion rate by monitoring the bounce rate, by measuring the quality of your SEO traffic, by identifying slow loading pages and so much more.
Can Google Analytics Increase Your Conversion Rates?
The simple answer is yes. Google Analytics can actively increase your conversion rates. Of course, if used properly. There are direct and indirect benefits of using Google Analytics. And when you know exactly where and what to look at, you might be surprised by the insights you’ll get.
A study made by Compass informs us that the average conversion rate for online stores is only 1.4%, while the best performers have a rate of 3%.
Now it all comes down to you. Do you want to stay in the crowd, or you would prefer to take a stand? If you wish to be better than that, you’ll have to boost your conversion rate and be as close to 3% as possible.
Although it is possible to achieve even better results for some industries, 3% is a really good target.
To keep track of your conversion rate, use reporting tools. Google Analytics is the most popular free tool you can use to measure the success of your inbound marketing efforts. You are about to learn how to increase your conversion rates through Analytics. Therefore, grab a coffee, a paper and a pen, and get the most out of your business.
1. Monitor Bounce Rate to Increase Your Conversion Rate
You might know by now that the bounce rate is one of the most important metric in Google Analytics and that it is commonly misunderstood by many Analytics users. It doesn’t track the time on site.
There are many definitions of bounce rate in the www world. According to Optimize Smart, the bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or web sessions.
Bounce rate represents the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
This metric is very important because it tells you a lot about the quality of your website. Putting it simply, the lower the bounce rate, the better. Having a low bounce rate means that your users are satisfied with the content they received based on the query they were looking for.
There is a debate in the industry on weather bounce rate will be replaced or not with dwell time. It all comes down to the fact that bounce rate does not offer a true insight of your visitor’s experience on your website.
Visitors can bounce for a lot of different reasons and it is hard to tell whether they had a good or a bad experience from this metric alone.
Google Analytics does not make any difference between a “good” and a “bad” bounce. A bad bounce can happen for instance when a user lands on your page and suddenly decides that it was not what they were looking for and returns to the search engine results page. A good bounce happens when a user reaches your page, decides to stay a while to consume your content, finds what they were looking for, and then leaves.
However, for the moment the dwell time concept is not very clear in the industry, not to mention that is very hard to measure. What we can measure and take advantage of is bounce rate.
In order to monitor the bounce rate through Google Analytics you should click on Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages and you will see the pages that people click on your site. These landing pages matter the most because they are the first thing a user sees on your site.
As you can see in the picture above, Google Analytics can calculate the bounce rate of a web page or website.
What you can see by using Analytics is how quickly people hit the back button to return to the SERP page.
You want your users to spend as much time as possible on your website. There is also a video tutorial provided by Yoast that can help you around. You also have a comparison icon you can click on to see and compare the bounce rate of all your landing pages.
What is the ideal bounce rate?
According to Yoast, any page marked red is below your site’s usual bounce rate. If that page is red and has a bounce rate of 0-10%, it should still be OK. If it is around 20-30% you should for sure verify it, especially if it is one of your top 10 pages.
The bounce rate can be very easily connected to your conversion rate because if a lot of users leave your domain fast, it means that you will have very few users who find what they are looking for on your website or that your offer might need to be revised.
Therefore, closely inspect your bounce rate to make sure you are not loosing conversions. How can you have good conversion rates if the users are leaving your web pages in seconds?
Not only the product you sell is important, but also the manner in which you present it, how you promote it and how you choose to sell it.
2. Measure Overall Organic Traffic to Better Understand Your Users
If you want to make sure that your website is effective, you will need to have great traffic and a nice conversion rate.
Analytics offer you the chance of comparing your traffic by date by going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Afterward, you can select and compare in order to see whether there is a growth in your online business. This will tell you if your work or digital marketing campaigns have an impact.
Traffic comparison by date-min
In order to fully understand how to monitor traffic and assure your conversion rate, you should understand how to use the Analytics tool properly.
A very useful feature in Analytics are customized alerts. This will keep you constantly up to date when something is happening to your site. It is a good trigger you could use in your SEO campaign.
You can set Analytics to mail you whenever there is something wrong.
Go to the navigation menu and click the Real Time tab to see a more compact Analytics version which provides limited options and data. This will present you information about users that visit your pages in this moment, their location, the pages they’re viewing, the keywords and websites referred to them and conversion as they happen.
It is incredibly easy to find yourself spending time on this section, but beware that this will not get you enough actionable Google Analytics data.
Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the Web like deer on a freeway.
Under the Audience tab, you will find data that will help you to comprehend your audience. Here you will notice details from demographics to location and technology as well. You will even be able to see the browser and the devices that were used to access your site.
The Acquisition section offers details about how visitors arrived on your domain. This will also provide a breakdown by channel or will tell you how your traffic arrived on your page. In order to obtain data for the SEO section, you will have to link your Google Webmasters account.
With the new update from Google, it is easier and a lot more relevant to see the information from Search Console integrated into Analytics. Using this qualitative data analysis method will help webmasters to see all the metrics in one place and make decisions based on the data combined with those two tools.
Google Search Console integrated in Analytics
All these steps will help you to follow your viewers’ footsteps and understand your buyers. It is important to export the analytics data and make customized reports on the correlation between your analytics and Search console data.
Integrating data from third-party tools, plugins and platforms with Google Analytics helps you gain insight about your online marketing efforts.
Select a longer period for your Analytics reports so you can make a comparison between different months or various SEO projects period.
3. Use Internal Site Search to Optimize Your Customers’ Experience
Data gives you the power to make insights of value. Starting from here, you can make informed decisions on you digital marketing strategy and therefore work on your conversion rates.
Why looking at your internal site search? Internal site search can paint a valuable picture on how your users got to your site.
By viewing the site search report you can see what users are looking for from your site and what they are experiencing difficulty finding.
Now let’s see how exactly you can do this:
You can check out a list of search terms that users have looked for on your domain by clicking on Behavior > Site Search > Overview.
According to Yoast, it is very good to keep track of this dataset because it will provide an idea of what your visitors hope to see on your website. This will show you a breakdown of a couple of stats related to site searches and a list of terms that were searched in the timeframe you are looking.
In order to be able to obtain such data, you will certainly need to have your domain’s search set up properly.
Something you might notice is that some users have probably used search terms that you haven’t made a page for so far.
It is an awesome opportunity to find a new subject to cover. Also, it offers you insights about the words that were used by your visitors.
Site Search Overview
Do not worry if it seems a bit hard to understand; here is a brief description of the metrics used here:
Sessions with Search: Total number of Sessions that involved someone completing at least one search within your site;
Total Unique Searches: Total number of times people searched your site (excluding duplicate searches during the same visit);
Results Pageviews/Search: Average number of times people viewed the search results pages after completing a search;
% Search Exits: Percentage of Sessions in which people left the site right after completing a search;
% Search Refinements: Percentage of times people conducted an additional search after their initial search;
Time after Search: Average amount of time spent on the site after completing a search;
Average Search Depth: Average number of results pages people viewed after completing a search;
Whenever users look for something, you might think if you already offer that product or if you can provide it in the near-future. This will help, of course, with your conversion rate.
In case many visitors search for something and they do not find it you will have a higher bounce rate and maybe a lower conversion rate as well.
4. Measure the Quality of SEO Traffic to Compare Conversions
Even if you often hear that quality can be subjective and it is hard to measure, there are a couple of ways in which one can measure the quality of any traffic source or any type of traffic, whether it is PPC, affiliate, display, email, social traffic, etc.
To measure the change in search traffic quality you can use the Assisted Conversions report: Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions.
You should be aware of the fact that it can be quite common for sites with rich content, such as blogs, news site, publishing sites to have a high bounce rate, a low average time spent on a page or even low pages or sessions.
What happens in these cases is that visitors reach them in order to consume the latest content and then they bounce without any further browsing. You might want to rethink your content marketing strategy.
assisted conversions report google analytics
While having this report active you can set the date range to ‘Last month’ and compare it to ‘Previous period’. You will now have a month-to-month comparison of conversions directly from search.
In the event of multiple visits to the site, you can have conversions in which the search was important, but not
directly correlated to the conversion.
You should make use of this report in order to inspect conversions from search traffic. If you notice a decline in conversions that come from search, but the overall traffic is steady, then you can easily conclude the traffic that comes from search is not qualitative.
Focus on 5-10 KPIs that are important in achieving your website or business objectives. – Andrew Kucheriavy
It is as well quintessential to determine the location and the reason people come to your website. Focus on analyzing the conversion rate of each website goal for every traffic source and for every target market as well.
Even though a lot of online shops run campaigns on a national or international scale, it is essential for us to find out how each main geolocation is performing. We should check, for example, the conversion rate of your goal for a specific city, like New York, and see if there was an increase for the last month.
If you wish to check out the conversion rate for every traffic source in your target market you have to create an advanced segment which will include only the traffic from your city.
Be careful to segment the conversion rate metric and take decisions influenced only by the overall conversion rate.
5. Identify Slow Loading Pages to Enhance Conversion Experience
Patience is a virtue. This saying doesn’t apply to the online stores. If you want your visitors to stay on your domain so you can convince them to make a purchase, you must take in mind their short patience span.
As years go passing by, they seem to be more and more demanding. Let’s think of it as this:
In 1999, when people were still converting to high-speed internet connections, users were willing to wait up to 8 seconds for a page to load.
But how about now? Well, guess what!
Now, if it takes more than 3 seconds, the customer will forget about your page.
If you already knew about this, you should invest in optimizing it. Slow speeds will destroy your mobile websites. If you don’t believe us, so check out the following facts:
79% of online shoppers said they would not return to a website to make another purchase
73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load.
44% said they would tell a friend about their bad online experience.
51% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that crashed, froze, or received an error.
38% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that wasn’t available.
47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1-second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
As you see, it seems that optimizing load times is one item which is often overlooked. In addition to affecting user experience and conversion rate, page speed is a really important factor in search rankings.
This means that we should keep an eye open for slow pages and we should see as well how this will impact conversion rates. In order to check the page load times, you should navigate to Behavior > Site Speed > Page Timings.
page load times google analytics
If you set the middle column to ‘Avg. Page Load Time’, the right column to ‘% Exist’ and add a ‘Secondary Dimension’ of Medium to filter down to show only organic traffic, you will be able to get average page load times site wide and average exit percentage for all pages.
6. Analyze Your Users’ Behavior to Better Meet Their Needs
Even if the data is not perfect, understanding some aspects of your visitors’ behavior will provide an important background to you. Once you do, you will also be more educated and able to make better decisions regarding what data is missing. – Daniel Waisberg
Some SEO experts believe that the Shopping Behavior Analysis is a hidden gem of the Enhanced Ecommerce feature-set from Google Analytics. Armed with this type of data, you would be able to analyze how your users behave. Then, you will see if they proceed to checkout or if they quit in the middle of the shopping procedure.
google analytics shopping behaviour analysis
As presented by Avinash Kaushik, co-Founder of Market Motive Inc. and the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, in the example above you can notice the total sessions that did not end with a conversion. Out of those, you can also see the number of sessions with product views, the Cart Abandonment rate and the Checkout Abandonment rate.
It is quite interesting to observe this scenario.
Out of 173k sessions, 29k saw the product page, only 5k added something to the cart, 3k proceeded to the check-out and 550 users have completed the transaction.
But how about now? What should we do? There are two possibilities from this step. One thing we can do is to apply an advanced segmentation. This is how a Direct Traffic segment will look like and you will notice that the numbers will change.
google analytics shopping behaviour analysis direct
Furthermore, you can segment by males and females, big or small buyers and you can create an e-commerce segment for the group.
You can make, for instance, Sessions with Product Views and you can apply the segment to the Traffic Sources report.
Another thing that you can do is change the Session metrics. You can select to see New and Returning Visitors, Abandonment metrics or even choose device category, city, source and user category. This means that you can separate various users and check the behavior. It is also quite interesting to look up for the segmentation of user behavior by source.
The Shopping Behavior Analysis from Google Analytics will allow you to change the experience that the users have, from source to confirmation. We believe that this tool is a gem because even though it is very easy to understand, it is also strong enough to let you find some of the big problems your website might have.
We should be aware that in the purchasing behavior, the time of year is really important without any doubt. It seems like December is the mother of all converting months and that is thanks to the winter holidays.
The worst converting months are by far March and July, but we should keep in mind that your industry and your culture will certainly have a great impact on your sales. Even though this might not be something new to the owners of e-commerce stores, it seems that out of 100 visitors only one conversion occurs.
7. Use Landing Pages’Reports to Directly Improve Conversions
It is very useful to use the Landing Pages report because this shows you first of all what pages are greeting your visitors.
Landing pages are, if we think of it, the start of a relationship with each visitor and this is exactly why we wouldn’t like this to be a bad experience.
Even though you have the best homepage out there, if your users land on your domain by reaching your blog first, this means that you have to take advantage of this and implement an online marketing strategy based on what they notice when they get there. Because a lot of people might not know what you do, it can be of an immense help to include some details about who you are.
Now you should also be aware of the performance of every landing page that you have on your site.
Some pages might encourage users to further explore your domain, while others might have quite a big bounce rate.
This is why the Landing Pages report can be so useful. It will give you information on what pages are successful and you might learn to apply the tactics that work for a page to other pages. In order to see conversion opportunities, you can apply an advanced filter.
Let’s say that you have a blog. If you apply a filter, you will be able to see which are the posts that attract the most traffic on your domain. You will also be able to find out exactly which posts will make visitors curious.
You can also use the advanced segments to filter the total traffic and find out how many people come from social media. This might help you to judge your social media strategy as well, because some articles from your blog might be more appealing for the readers that come from social media.
landing pages for social
You can also see what the conversion rate for each blog post is. It does not matter if you want your visitors to buy your product, to help out a cause by becoming a volunteer or create an account, the ultimate goal is conversion. Set a relevant goal.
After you set goals, you will be able to observe what pages are influencing readers to take action and increase the conversion rate of your site.
goal set in google analytics
8. Look for Conversion Opportunities in Your PPC Data
Google Adwords can offer a lot of valuable information if you pay attention to it. The PPC data can help you to create a better SEO strategy to improve conversion and other important metrics. If you take the keywords data from the report Adwords offers, you can make a connection with your best performing landing pages from Google Analytics. This way you’ll find out what better optimization can be done.
It’s not such a laborious process, it is more a technique you need to make sure is done correctly. Otherwise, you might not have relevant results. There are 3 steps:
Pull out PPC data to find out your best performing landing pages
Compare Google console data to PPC data
Plan and implement your SEO strategy
You can follow the complete process if you check our previous article about PPC data.
The paid search traffic can tell you a lot of information. You can see exactly which are the keywords with the highest CTR, conversion rate and monetary value. Look for the keywords that are the most expensive and the lowest CTR. You should beware of those and optimize your website content for those that have low-medium value and high CTR.
If you go into Analytics at Aquisition> Adwords you’ll find information about your paid campaigns, keywords and so on.
There are a lof of Google Analytics tips and tricks in the online world that try to explain what does Google Analytics track or how to interpret Google Analytics reports.
This article is not an “understanding Google Analytics for Beginners” guide nor is trying to tell you what does Google Analytics track.
We’ve tried to put together some Google Analytics best practice and tips to improve efficiently and visible your conversion rates. If you already are among the Google Analytics users you might have noticed that it might not be the most user-friendly tool and although it gives you a lot of precious data, you might find yourself in the situation of not knowing how to analyze Google Analytics data.
After you make a Google Analytics account and place the Analytics tracking code on your website, you can create lots of reports and track your website’s activities.
Use the Google Tag Manager for an easy implementation. Then, you’re set and ready to create data analysis strategies, track and take decisions based on the users’ flow.
We believe that all the tricks to master Google Analytics data that we have presented here will help you to increase your conversion rate. Of course, together with your social media marketing , search engine optimization and your overall digital marketing strategy. Analytics is a gold mine because you have the information from Adwords and Search Console integrate into one. It is easier with all this built-into-one tool.
What we suggest is to go through all of them in order to optimize the buying process as well as possible and to see what really works for you.
It important to follow the conversion funnels and take decisions based on the data provided by the Google Analytics reporting tool.
After that, see what does Google Analytics tell you and look for opportunities for conversion optimization.
If you discover something that boosts your conversion try to stick to it, explore it more and you might find out that you will gain further advantage.