4 Hidden Gems in Google Analytics

Have you been trying to figure out how you can improve your website? It’s nearly impossible to create a higher converting or more valuable website if you only operate on guesswork alone. To truly take your website to the next level you need to be tracking and collecting valuable website data.

There are numerous ways you can optimize your website based upon collecting website and user data. One of the most effective and easy-to-use tools is Google Analytics. This free tool can give you tons of valuable data. However, even those who do use this tool only end up getting basic traffic reports.

Below we’ll show you four different ways to you can use Google Analytics to greatly improve your website and conversion rates.

Let’s get to it.

1. Do Continuous Testing

Google Content Experiments is a tool within the analytics platform that allows you to test varying aspect of your website to see which changes will improve your conversion rates.

Split-testing is the only way to know for sure which changes will tangibly improve your website. To run a content experiment navigate to the section of your analytics dashboard via Behavior>Experiments, as shown below:

Google Analytics Content Experiments

Then, name the experiment, create an objective, and set up the area of your website you’d like to test.

Common elements you’ll want to test include:

• Your headlines

• The size and color of your CTA/CTA buttons

• Landing page copy

• Overall page verbiage

• Font-size

Make sure that when you’re running a test you only test for a single variable at a given time.

2. Know What Devices Readers Are Using

It’s important to know which devices your users are utilizing to access your website. For instance, if most visitors are using their iPads to view your site, yet you know your site performs poorly on this screen size, then fixing your site will lead to an increase in user experience.

This data can be found within the Audience>Mobile>Overview section of your analytics dashboard.

Google Analytics Device Overview

Take note of any devices or screen resolutions that are the most commonly used, and make sure your website performs well across these. Remember, most user preferences are shifting towards mobile. This might not be true for your market, but it is true for most.

3. Measure Site Speed

Site speed can effectively kill your conversion rates and overall visitor satisfaction. Most users will expect your site to load quickly, so it’s important to decrease your overall website loading speeds.

To pinpoint any slow loading pages navigate to Behavior>Site Speed>Page Timings. This will give you an idea of any underperforming pages.

Google Analytics Page Timings

To find suggestions that will help you improve your overall loading speeds navigate to Behavior>Site Speed>Speed Suggestions.

Google Analytics Site Speed Suggestions

This is a great place to start optimizing your website. Slow loading websites don’t do anyone any favors.

4. Pinpoint Any Traffic Leaks

Do you know which pages of your website are losing the most traffic?

Most sites have traffic funnels, where a user will enter at one point, go through a funnel, and hopefully get converted into a new lead. However, there are usually holes in your site that will cause a user to exit the funnel. It’s important to diagnose these, so you can patch them.

To find traffic leaks navigate to Behavior>Site Content>Exit Pages. Look for any pages that have a very high exit rate. These are the pages you’ll want to spend some time figuring out why people are leaving the page in such high numbers.

Google Analytics Exit Pages

Google Analytics can be an extremely powerful tool to unlock the potential of your website, if it’s used effectively. The hidden gems we showcased above are the just starting point to creating an analytics strategy that gets you results.

What’s your favorite way to use Google Analytics? Please share in the comments below.

Screenshots provided by Jeremy Jensen

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Kevin Wood writes about technology and human potential. You can find him at his virtual homes Wooden Writing and Counter Culturist.