Earlier this year, we named Google Analytics our most useful digital marketing tool of 2021. Whether you’re a digital marketer or a company owner looking for a little assistance with digital marketing, a basic understanding of Google Analytics comes very handy. Understanding the data that are collected and reported in Google Analytics can have a major impact on your marketing strategy.
At Monsoon, we approach digital marketing holistically. That means we understand the importance of knowing how all of the marketing channels are working together. We use the data to reveal how the users interact with an ad, regardless of where it came from. Google Analytics is very important to for us, which helps us to craft the most effective marketing mix, leveraging the natural synergy between the marketing channels.
What is a Google Analytics report?
Google Analytics provides dozens of standard reports with a variety of filters and segments to sort the user data. For someone still learning the tool, all of these options and reports can feel a little overwhelming at first.
Therefore, we’ve selected what we believe the handiest reports in Google Analytics. We look at these reports on a daily basis, either to understand what is happening with the campaigns or to get more information about the visitors and their behavior. We convert this data into an actionable marketing strategy that helps businesses to achieve their business objective.
Nothing is more important as a marketer than knowing your audience.
“Audience Overview” reports an overall snapshot of the traffic going to your website. From there, you can break it down by almost any demographic: age, gender, geographical location, device, operating system and more. You can stack any number of these to give you a specific cross-section of your audience, ultimately breaking your audience down into individual personas and revealing important statistics such as which group is showing intent.
This is crucial for developing a target audience for specific campaigns and is an invaluable supplement to any audience reporting coming from other channels, such as social media reports.
2. Acquisition Reports
Acquisition reports allow you to understand where (what channel) your traffic is coming from as well as overall trends in traffic over time and short-term dips or increases.
You can break down traffic into various user groups, similar to the overall Audience reports, and look at top channels, campaigns or keywords. Conversely, this also reveals where are the weak points of your campaigns.
These reports help you start to determine profitability by showing which channels – organic, paid, direct, referral, social media – result in high conversion rates. It is a very important report to understand the dynamic between different marketing channels and through which source the customers should be acquired.
3. Behavior: Landing Pages & Exit Pages
The Landing Pages report is one of the most useful Google Analytics reports for digital marketers. It allows you to see which of your landing pages are the highest performers, and what low performers need to be further optimized. This report also shows dwell time. Pages with a noticeably high bounce rate should be investigated. For evergreen content, Landing Page reports are useful for tracking pages that are growing or losing traffic. Perhaps most importantly, these reports reveal which pages lead to goal conversion, whether you’re collecting emails or making a sale.
4. Behavior: Events & Top Events
Depending on how well tracking works on your website, certain Behavior reports will be more useful than others.
When you’re first trying to understand customer behavior on your website, a report like “Behavior Flow” might be particularly useful as you track how individual users move through the website. Google Tag Manager can help with tracking on your website, and it can make the Events report very useful. Events are classified as user interactions other than loading a web page. We like the “Behaviors – Events – Top Events” to display top user interactions with content such as downloads, link clicks, form submissions, and video plays.
5. Assisted Conversions
Assisted Conversions show how channels work together to contribute to a conversion. For example, a user might see multiple ads in the Google Display Network before ultimately converting through a paid social channel.
This is useful for tracking the path to conversion and when evaluating channels that might appear to be underperforming at surface level.
When dealing with Assisted Conversion metrics, you have two main attribution models to choose from: rules-based and data-driven. Google defines an attribution model as an “algorithm that determines how credit for conversions is assigned to touchpoints on conversion paths.”
6. Model Comparison Tool
The Model Comparison Tool allows you to compare how different attribution models value each marketing channel. Depending on which attribution model you’re using, it can change the perceived performance of each channel, so it’s useful to compare across models.
Rules-based attribution models follow fixed rules for assigning conversion credit regardless of the conversion type or user behavior. These include options such as “last click” and “first click,” which give all of the credit for conversion to the last or first-clicked event, respectively, and “time decay,” which gives more credit to clicks that happened closer to the time of the conversion.
These are just a few of the most useful Google Analytics reports, which we believe digital marketers should know. Each reveals a small slice of invaluable insight into how users interact with an ad or website.
Google Analytics however is just one piece of the puzzle. When used in combination with other channels and reporting, such as the analytics available from social media and email marketing, we can create a comprehensive picture of your digital audience.
At Monsoon, our experience affirms the importance of approaching online marketing with the big picture in mind. We have the expertise to help you build a data-backed digital marketing strategy that works best for your company and your audience. Learn more about our strategies and contact us today to get started.