Welcome back to our virtual dojo where you can learn how to be a Ninja when it comes to understanding Google analytics! If you read through part one, you’ve already installed the analytics code on your website, established some landmarks, and know a bit more about supermarkets. You have already gathered some great data and now know your best landing pages and how much time people are spending on your site.
So now what? You have all this great data (which is great), but how are you going to use it? Well, these next two points focus on segmentation and remembering that all the numbers you see in the backend of analytics represent people. We’ll explain more as we go so please read on!
3. Make Segmentation Your New Religion
Ok, maybe not really your new religion, but you get the point.
The supermarket example we kept going on about ad nauseam in part one stands on the fact that you’re looking at your customers rather than your products. Instead of lumping wine with alcoholic drinks and cheese with dairy, you lump both products together, because they correspond to similar needs/desires. That’s what segmentation is all about, but this one is trickier than it seems.
The big guys from consulting firms like McKinsey are always looking for trainees with strong analytical skills, and that’s what you’ll need to develop or hire.
Segmentation allows you to look at all those thousands of points of data – that represent real visitors chilling and browsing around in your website – and then pierce through the barrier of anonymity with no violation of privacy. I’ll suggest two basic approaches: (1) browsers-to-buyers and (2) buyers-to-trends.
In the first approach, you want to look closely at how the mass of people that walk through your door behaves. The visitor flow tool in GA is perfect for this. Maximize the detail level, and find out how close to making a sale you were. Look through several interactions, and use that insight to give visitors the extra push they need to convert.
In the second approach, focus on sales. Ask yourself who are the visitors that are already converting, and then work to bridge the gap between these and the ones who browse but don’t buy. This might mean new product offers, or it might even mean you want to create an entire new section to your business and to your website.
Whichever approach you choose, give the official help pages a good read before looking for info on the web. They are amazing resources, and only a few blogs will give you as much insight into GA’s advanced segmentation, and its newest features.
4. Remember: They’re People, Not Numbers
Now, this is somewhat of a golden rule you want to keep in mind.
Google Analytics is an amazing tool, but it can’t solve your business problems. It will give great insight about the many goings-on in your website and in your online business, but it can’t humanize your process. And, this is as true in business as in everything else, people are not rational agents, as one would guess from reading about Economics. Most of what they buy or don’t buy has a lot to do with preconceptions, strongly held beliefs, and personal preferences.
GA is a fantastic tool that will give you a powerful microscope to look at behaviors on your website. What it can’t do is show you what’s behind the behaviors. It can’t explicitly show you that your wording isn’t landing well with your prospects. It won’t explain why a blue and red banner works better than a green and yellow one, but the data will show you that it does. Your job is to read between the lines of data, and uncover those preconceptions not even clients themselves are aware of.
Here’s where the customer is always right, even when they aren’t. The data is usually crystal clear and very compelling, especially when it comes to hard information, like sales or income. Main point being: when you’ve assessed that some strategy works, stick to that strategy. Try changing a few variables now and then, but stick to the main formula. Sometimes people buy for no reason other that their recognition of the process and the product.
Thanks for sticking with us through both parts and we hope you came away with some good insights into Analytics and what it all means. If you have any other suggestions, comments, or great points of view about how you used the Analytics data to grow your brand, please let us know!