How do you objectively gauge how engaging your website's content is?
Marketers don't have time or space for guesswork. Analyzing data to influence your future marketing decisions is key to an effective marketing strategy that isn't just a shot in the dark. In this blog, we're highlighting two reports that will give you the insight you need to assess engagement and plan for improvements. In case you're wondering, we'll be focusing on instructions that use Google's Universal Analytics (UA), but read on to learn how we can help you make a smooth transition this year to GA4 before it's too late.
Report #1: Source/Medium Report
This report provides an actionable, high-level overview of your website’s performance broken down by traffic source. Here’s where to find it:
Once there, you'll see the top sources for your website traffic along with the performance details for each. This data helps you identify critical details like…
The identity of each traffic source and how many users it’s sending you (Acquisition)
How engaged those users are on your site (Behavior)
Bottom-line results produced by each traffic source (Conversions)
There are a couple of things to look for here. First, are there any decent referral sources that you can optimize to increase traffic from their site? For example, we discovered that we were getting referrals (and conversions!) from a site called Clutch.co, so we optimized our profile and began testing keyword sponsorships.
You can also use the Behavior columns to see where your most engaged users are coming from so you can focus your efforts on those mediums. If email is outperforming YouTube, for example, you might decide to up your email game and reduce time spent on YouTube.
If you aren't already, it’s essential that you tag your traffic with UTM codes. If one of your highest traffic sources is “(direct) / (none)”, you’re missing out on important data. This tool generates UTM codes quickly and efficiently.
Report #2: Landing Pages Report
In Google Analytics, a landing page is any page on your website that a visitor lands on first (makes sense). The report is helpful because it tells you which pages website visitors are seeing first and if they’re engaged enough on that page to move deeper into your website. You’ll find this report here:
Here, you’ll look at the bounce rate, which will show that some pages do a much better job of drawing your audience into your website than others. It's helpful to look at the pages with high bounce rates to analyze why people are leaving.
BUT, bounce rate doesn't tell the whole story. If you have conversion-focused landing pages, you may have a perfectly acceptable but still very high bounce rate. This leads us to…
Look at Pages / Session and Avg. Session Duration
This data gives us key behavioral insight, which is a reflection of how your content is engaging (or not engaging) your website visitors. For example, Pages / Session tells us whether your content contains good navigational and internal linking structure. Avg. Session Duration clues you into how compelling your content is overall.
Examine the high- and low-performing pages to see what you can learn (and more importantly, what you can do to leverage the high-performers and improve the low-performers).
A few questions to keep on hand when looking at your high-performing pages:
What kind of content is on the page (written, images, video, animations)?
What is the layout of the page? Is it organized and easy to understand?
Does the page contain navigation elements and/or internal links? How many?
Jot down those answers then evaluate your lower-performing pages against the same questions. You will probably spot some easy ways for your team to make quick improvements.
It’s amazing how much you can learn from just these two reports. Even more magical? The opportunity to optimize your website with incremental improvements to enhance overall engagement and conversion.
A quick note:
You've probably seen the email notifications from Google. GA4 is coming. If you are still using the UA version of Google Analytics (don't feel bad, a lot of organizations are) just know that you'll need to make the transition to GA4 by July 2023. If you want to learn more about making the switch to GA4, we've got you covered.
Give Speak a shout.
The Speak team comprises strategy, design, digital marketing, and technology pros. We work with clients across the US and pride ourselves on creating project and campaign success for our partners. If you'd like to chat about an upcoming project or bid, don't hesitate to reach out.
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