Google Analytics gives us so many pretty graphs, but value is only gained when that data is used to drive action to improve your site. So how do we begin to analyze results in Google Analytics? Firstly, you need to understand what your website is about and what it actually does for your business. This may seem like a obvious place to start, but you would be surprised at how many people I meet that cannot answer this question.
What is the purpose of your website?
To generate leads? To sell products? To register subscribers? To sell services? To provide support?
Once you can identify the purpose of your website you can begin to identify ways to improve your site. Generally your initial focus will either be content or a specific process you want to optimize.
3 ways to improve your website content by analyzing Google Analytics reports:
1. Analyze the Keywords report
Review the Keywords report, do the keywords align with the purpose of your site or business?
If you identify an organic keyword that is important to your business, but has a high bounce rate, then develop content that specifically targets visitors using that keyword.
2. Analyze the Site Search report
Setup Site Search to identify gaps in content. Are people searching for something that your site already answers? If so, you should look at your navigation system, can they get there easily?
If Site Search contains search terms that you know won't bring up relevant content on your site, you need to ask yourself why? Do these search terms identify opportunities to generate new content or fill the desires of your website visitors?
3. Analyze the Top Content report
When you look at top content report are there any pages that have a low average time on page or a high bounce rate? This generally indicates that a page isn't giving visitors what they are seeking. Review the pages that have the lowest time on page and highest bounce rate.
You can begin to see how to analyze results in Google Analytics based on the purpose of your website. Once you understand how your site works as a business tool, you can use Google Analytics to inform your process.