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The digest of business decision metrics and where to find them in google analytics

Integrating analytics often comes as an after thought. Building and maintaining a website is time consuming enough with out monitoring decision metrics as well.

So why bother?

Google Analytics helps to increase conversion rates, increase traffic, understand ROI and reduce website maintenance time.

Analytics helps you to discover your audience. Who they are, what they like and what they don’t like. When you know your audience, you will know best what to say to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

Using these decision metrics, you will specifically know which parts of your website to prioritise for content updates, which bits you can deal with later and which areas to delete. Further on, we can track audience behaviour over time which help to make effective decisions not only over your digital content, but the product and services you offer within your business.

These are our bread and butter decision metrics when it comes to running Opturlo. We reference these guys weekly, if not daily. It helps us make sure we are delivering the right information to our audience and helps us focus on parts of our site that require the most attention.

Login to your Google Analytics dashboard, and lets go…

The 6 decision metrics are:

  1. Audience >> Interests >> Overview
  2. Audience >> Demographics >> Overview
  3. Audience >> Geo >> Location
  4. Audience >> Geo >> Location >> City >> Users >> Network Domain
  5. Acquisition >> All traffic >> Referrals
  6. Acquisition >> Search Console >> Queries

Who’s looking at you?

1. Navigate to: Audience >> Interests >> Overview

Here you will find Affinity Category and In-Market Segment. Affinity is all about profiling people in terms of their general interests over weeks / months / years, whilst In-Market is showing you people who are actively searching, and comparing, your products and services on the web – right now.

For example

I like technology and have been browsing the net about it since dial up. Google has more than likely affiliated me as a technophile which is why I am largely grouped there in Affinity Category. Recently however, I’ve been looking at getting a new car. I’ve been searching the web for videos, reviews and dealerships. I rarely browse for cars, so Google will understand that I am looking at something different. Unlike technology, it is not a general interest, so Google won’t affiliate me with Automobiles. What Google will do is profile me under in-market segment as someone temporarily interested in Automobiles.

Mind blown? It’s scary right; Google probably has a good idea about what car I am looking for and how much I am willing to spend on it. It probably also know’s that the tech inside the car has to be the latest and greatest because of my affinity with technology. Now, if you are a car dealership, looking at hundreds of similar profiles, what would you do with that golden nugget of information?

2. Navigate to: Audience >> Demographics >> Overview

Now you know what people are interested in, next your going to find out their age and gender. This metric always surprises me. For Opturlo, my audience is fairly evenly split between men and women. 40’s is the most dominant age group followed by 30’s & 50’s.

With digital companies predominantly catering towards men as their target audience, I know that I need to take a more balanced approach on my website. Combining this demographic metric with my audience metric above tells me I need to appeal to;

  • Women and Men, predominantly interested in technology and business, with secondary interests in fashion, design and travel.
  • Middle to Senior years of experience in the workplace; probably at a decision making level in their careers and/or running their own company.

Of course, you might be sat their thinking, well I’m a uni grad or a retired brick layer, [insert your demographic here] so that’s not me. It’s true that all sorts of people are going to look at you – and purchase from you, but the reality is that you can’t cater for absolutely everyone. Using decision metrics to focus in on who you should cater for, means you can concentrate on delivering your best for that primary demographic.

Where did they come from?

At this point you should have at least one audience profile based on general interest, temporary interest, age and gender. Let’s take these decision metrics up notch and understand where your visitors came from.

3. Navigate to: Audience >> geo >> location

Here you will see the list of countries where your website traffic has originated. You will probably find that the country in which you operate is the main source of traffic. If it isn’t, perhaps think about getting your website translated into other languages or writing country specific content.

Click on the top traffic country. For Opturlo, this is the United Kingdom. When I click into the United Kingdom, I can see the traffic breakdown by region. Although not as large as England, I do have a surprising number of readers from Scotland on the increase. Regional culture can influence how people engage with your website, so right now I am thinking of ways in which I can keep my Scottish readers as happy as my English ones.

Now this is where it gets interesting. Above the table next to Primary dimension > Region, click on city. At the bottom right of the table, click on the drop down to show 100 rows. As expected, the top hitters for Opturlo are London, Oxford, Hemel Hempstead, Reading, The Chalfont’s / GX, High Wycombe, Marlow, Henley and Beaconsfield. I would say 90% of my customers operate within Greater London, Bucks, Berks and Oxon so there is a pleasing correlation between traffic location and purchase location. Does your traffic correlate to your customer base? If it doesn’t, what might you change moving forward?

My Scottish readership are entirely from Edinburgh and Glasgow. It’s worth recognising that regional expansion could be more valuable to your business than local expansion. In my case, these are areas I need to seriously consider and research when it comes to growing Opturlo. Maybe the competition is looking at me? Perhaps I offer something that isn’t abundant for small businesses there, or these are business owners based in Scotland that are possibly looking to expand into the South. Let’s try and find out…

4. Audience >> Geo >> Location >> City >> Users >> Network Domain

Audience >> Geo >> Location >> City >> Then click on your city of choice, for this example, I have clicked >> Edinburgh. Now that Edinburgh is isolated, above the table you will see a drop down called secondary dimension. Click secondary dimension >> users >>  network domain. Here you will see a list of network providers (ISP’s) that traffic from this city was served from. It takes a little detective guess work here, but essentially, you will be able to see if your traffic was served from a home broadband provider or a business network. You are really getting into the gold dust now.

My Edinburgh traffic is predominantly Virgin Media and BT home broadband providers with a few unknowns. This would indicate that largely people are at home browsing the net for information in a general public, freelance or sole trader capacity. As I can’t see any business networks there, I can (with reasonable confidence) say that technophiles and potential customers are looking at me, whilst established digital agency’s (my competition) are probably not looking at me.  While I’m here –  a big shout out to the NHS and Tesco staff in England clicking around on their lunch break.  🙂

5. Navigate to: Acquisition >> all traffic >> referrals

Set your parameters above to the last 3 months and hit 100 rows below. Now you can see company domains that have directly brought you traffic. If you click the urls, you will see the specific url paths that have made the referral. This means the exact post, pin, image etc that you are embedded in. Cool huh?

Their visitors are clicking on it and landing on your site. Shift your eyes to the right and study the user and bounce rate column. Those urls with a low bounce rate probably indicate that you share a similar audience, or at least their audience is interested in your content.  Reach out to the owners of these referral websites. Say hello and thank them for linking to your content. Understand if there are any collaboration opportunities and ascertain if there is anything more you can do so as they could link to more of your product range.

If you use social media, you will probably notice that you have hits from the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. (In our case Linked in). Here you can see how well your social media efforts are performing and understand if you need to spend more or less time working on a channel. For example if you’ve been flat out posting on Facebook but receive more traffic from Pinterest, perhaps reduce facebook to 1 post per week and post every day on Pinterest instead. As a rough guide, link 80% of social media posts back to your website and 20% to other related content outside of your business.

So what about what’s not in there? If you can’t see your suppliers in there, arrange a meeting with their digital marketing person to see how you can be featured on their website as a stockist / retailer / service provider / partner.

Isn’t it interesting to see who has a link to you? Directories, companies, bloggers, you tubers, competitors, etc. Just by looking at your referrals you can decide where the most valuable opportunities are and spend time nurturing those.

6. Navigate to: Acquisition >> search console >> queries

If you haven’t already, link your search console and then revisit this step in a few days or so. If your search console is linked, lets get cracking…

Here you’ll see the keywords and phrases that people specifically typed into google search that returned your website urls in the search results. Toggle down to show 25 rows and in secondary dimension, add country. Whilst it’s good to know at this level for what words you are appearing; it’s even better to know:

  • Those keywords that earned you clicks
  • Those keywords that have the most potential for more traffic
  • The average position ranked for earned and potential clicks in Google.

Look to the right of your keyword list and you will see four headings; Clicks, Impressions, Click Through Rate (CTR) and Average Position.

Select the clicks title and your keyword list will prioritise by the number of people who found, and clicked on you, for that given keyword. Provided that those keywords are relevant, keep nurturing those words in webpages, blog posts and social media. Scan to the right and look at your CTR. Don’t be despondent, anything over 3% is considered an above average level of clicks. Consider improving and creating more content where relevant queries have a CTR at  less then 3%. It means that you are being served (making an impression for that word) but not being clicked on enough for it.

Next, click on the Impressions title and take a look at your list now. Your list will have sorted in to impression priority. Have things changed? If your list has changed take a look at what queries now appear and ask yourself if they are relevant to your business. If so, start using them more across your digital content channels.

Now we are going to dive into average ranking position. For this you will need to select 1000 rows below, and then at the top of the dashboard click on export >> xls spreadsheet. Open this excel download and click on the second tab which is likely labelled Dataset 1. Apply a filter to the headings.

Average position for earned clicks

Clear any previous filters, select the clicks filter and select the top 10 – 20 highest click results (filter out 0 click queries). Next, click on average position filter and select the results to show in an ascending order.  Now take a look at your search query keywords. Those keywords with an average position between 1 – 10 means you are ranking averagely across the first page of Google, and people are clicking on your url. You may see that your CTR is close to and over 3% which is great so keep up the good work if those are keywords you want to continue to rank for. Surprised by what you see? If you are aren’t happy with those queries that earn clicks then check out average position for potential clicks below to see where the gaps are.

Average position above 10 would indicate that you are not frequently appearing on the first page, if at all, however, you are receiving clicks so people are finding you none the less. These are the keywords to work on in your web content as a priority before moving on to…

Average position for potential clicks

Clear any previous filters, click the impressions filter and select the top 10 – 20 highest impression results. Next, click on average position filter and sort the results to show in a descending order.  Now take a look at your search query keywords. These are keywords that you are showing up for a lot, however because you are way down the google SERP results, it is unlikely that you are receiving clicks or your CTR is low. Boost your ranking for these keywords by typing them into google yourself. Who comes up on the first page? Could you do a better job than them? If so, write about it like your morning coffee depended on it!

What are they doing?

If you have made it this far, you deserve a coffee (or a G&T).

Now that we’ve scratched the surface about using analytics to make effective decisions about your web content; my next post is going to focus on profiling your audience and their behaviour over periods of time. This will involve segmentation, goal setting, traffic flow and conversions.

This is where you will discover what the different types of people actually do on your website. Did the 50 year old movie lovers happily purchase? Did the foodies from Farnham click around and if so where? or did the sports fans with a temporary interest in knitting leave you in a huff?

I’m currently writing this post; Google Analytics to understand Audience Behaviour and Digital Marketing ROI. 

Please check back here beginning of August 2018 for the update.

If you would like to know more about other types of decision metrics, or  Google Analytics and how it can help you understand your audience, give me a call, or send me a message – I’d be glad to help! Gem.

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