Phil Pearce: Kind of, best or most useful reports from Google Analytics to answer those kind of questions.
Phil Pearce: Just a quick fun fact or fun tip. So, I've got an identical twin brother called Steve. And that's him from his wedding. I recently got married as well. So, but the fun fact is he's a tennis coach, rather than a digital analyst. He doesn't know anything digital analytics, but he's great with bounce rate. So, there you go. I'm still trying to teach him and turn him into my clone, but still kind of a work in progress.
Phil Pearce: I've done lots of, kind of, talks and involved in this kind of area for too long, basically. So, if you've got any questions at the end, please try and ask me a question I don't know. I'll challenge you that. If you do ask something that I don't know, I'll buy you a drink afterwards.
Phil Pearce: Those are the brands I've worked on over the years. And with this particular session, it actually says on here, write down bookmarks. But the bookmarks is just that link at the front. So, it's kind of, this one's a little bit designed as a sort of, workshop session. But we'll walk through it with demos so you kind of, see what you get at the end. And not everyone's got kind of, laptops here. So, we'll kind of, walk through it with visual examples. But like, tomorrow, you can the same set of slides and use it to build an inside report for your clients or your site.
Phil Pearce: So, the aim of this particular presentation, how do you save money or make money using Google Analytics? So, that's going to focus on three areas. It's either going to be reducing the amount you'll spend on marketing media, like AdWords or Display. But not reducing the number of conversions or not reducing revenue. Or it's going to be increasing your revenue. So, making more money from what you're currently getting or improving your conversion rate, etc. Or it's going to be automating or improving the above two.
Phil Pearce: So, that's the aim of this particular presentation. It's kind of like, the obvious thing that you want to do as analysts is make more money and spend less, to be able to achieve it and then automate it to faster, quicker better.
Phil Pearce: So, a really quick one. This is actually not a Google Analytics kind of thing, but it's an AdWords thing so it does relate to kind of, cost. This is a tool by a company called Word Stream and it automatically analyzes an AdWords account. The great thing about it is, it gives you this metric down here where it says wasted spend. So, this example here, it says thirty thousand pounds wasted over twelve months on AdWords. That's like, ouch. The problem with this tool though is, they want access to your AdWords data. And if it's a banking website or you may not necessarily grant them access to your data. So, the link here is actually, Excel version of their tool. So, this is really handy for like, in answer to an AdWords account. They basically built the Excel version before they built the online version. So, it means that you don't have to grant them access to your AdWords account to get access to things like Account Level Quality School or to kind of, infer a wasted spend.
Phil Pearce: The wasted spend is calculated by the number changes within that AdWords account and where it thinks it should be. So, it'd be interesting to see what number pops up in here.
Phil Pearce: Another kind of obvious one. So, the amount of conversions you're going to get, and the amount of revenue and money you're going to make, is correlated with the speed that the site loads in. IE, the faster it loads, the more money you're going to make, the more conversions you're going to get. Because customers are impatient. So, on here you can see speed versus conversions. Unsurprisingly, faster is better. So, in summary, if you went to this URL and searched for Google site speed tool and entered your homepage or a highly trafficked page. And here, the tool would actually say how quick it is and also some links to mini versions of images to speed uploading on the site. So, this is a really quick way of finding problems and speeding up things, which would improve revenue.
Phil Pearce: Another really quick one. This is an SEO kind of one. But you see the lower red numbers on right side where it says W3C compliance, spelling, images etc. So, this one's called Nibbler. Now, I only test five pages but it's really good for a quick sanity check. As in, could I get more traffic without spending more? And it's just quick kind of litmus test. Really handy. You know, is it good, what could be improved, what's broken, what's fixed, sort of thing.
Phil Pearce: Another really good one. If you're thinking of paying for a session recording tool, don't. There's loads of free ones out there that are really good. Yandex Metrica is awesome. It's like the Russian version of Google Analytics. And the ... this is a link to the kind of, demo version of it there. It's free. It actually says a thousand sessions recorded per day but it's like, a ridiculous number. It's something like, a hundred thousand free sessions. It's like, bonkers. And it's totally free. So, again, you're saving money, as in your not paying for a session recording tool. So, that's a good thing. And this one does interaction rate and e-maps and loads of other cool stuff.
Phil Pearce: So, this a metered presentation. So, these are going to go through these ten reports. Now as I said, this would normally form the basis of an inside to audit document, where you would take these ten reports and ten bookmarks, stitch them all together to build in effect, a word audit for your customer or your client.
Phil Pearce: So, the way this works is the Bitly link goes to a text file. It's just a Dropbox page. And you click the download button on the Dropbox and just save that text file, either on your desktop or wherever you want to save it. If you open that text file, it's got the word, it'll say the word replace me with a Google Analytics account ID in it. And then there's a long ... and then you need to replace that with your own Google Analytics account ID. So, this is not the UA ID. So, it's UA dash 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, whatever. It's actually, ID that you'll see in the URL when you visit the Google Analytics report. There's a really long number like this. The great thing about that is it means you can jump to ten bookmarks, like instantly, by just choosing the URL based account ID.
Phil Pearce: So basically, open up that text file. Replace the word replace me with your ID and then you're going to have ten bookmarks that you can check out later. Does that make sense? Sweet. If you've got a laptop you can kind of try it and see ... but because it's the number of people using the internet here, it may or may not work. So, by all means try it tomorrow.
Phil Pearce: So, I'm going to give you an example of what, the sort of thing you get from that link. So, this is a website called Computer Aid. It's a non-profit. And the goals of this website are quite simple. They want to either get more donations of PC's. So, this is, for instance, you've got an old laptop or an old PC and you want to donate to charity. Or you're a school or a non-profit in South Africa, and you need computers for those kids to be able to learn.
Phil Pearce: For Computer Aid, these two goals are actually worth the same amount. So, this one happens to be worth fifty pounds. And the apply for computers is also worth fifty pounds in terms of goal value in Google Analytics.
Phil Pearce: So, and there's a really quick question for the audience. How many of you are using Google Analytics on your site? Okay, I kind of expect almost everyone because it's an analytics conference. How many have you have got goals enabled on your site? Great. How many have you have got goal values enabled for those goals? Okay. Part of this presentation is going to work best if you have goal values enabled. The reason for that, with Computer Aid as an example, it's necessary to blend both the amount of money you're making from the two primary goals together because then you're going to get a single metric, which is going to tell you how well campaigns are performing and how well pages are performing. So, if you haven't turned on goal values, you need to.
Phil Pearce: So, in this example, this is the first report. So, this is best and worst landing pages. So, here, I've got ... this is actually sorted via a magic button in Google Analytics which is the weighted sort feature. The cool thing about this, is instead of sorting via best and worst, because if you, for instance, go to the landing page report and sort via bounce rate, it then will show, it'll bubble with 100% bounce but it might be like, one person that's bounced with 100%. What you actually want to know is, show me everyone's that's bounced and not had a good experience, but account for volume. So, weighted sort does that and it shows you that thumbs up or thumbs down report for best and worst landing page.
Phil Pearce: So, in this example, Computer Aid had a Spanish landing page here which had, almost 90% rate. Rubbish in terms of performance. The reason it was under performing was they were buying as, in English and they were landing on a Spanish written page. Like, no wonder people are bouncing. It's like, the Spanish ... I don't read Spanish, so no wonder. On the flip side, there was also a page down here which was say, kind of a guide page, which ... actually, this is sorted by worst. So, and if you clicked that again, it will show you the pages of the best performance. We'll do questions at the end just because we're kind of, short on time. Also, there's a 404 page down here which unsurprisingly bad bounce rate experience.
Phil Pearce: So, that's landing pages. So, those are pages that are not making Computer Aid money or there's traffic going to those that's kind of wasting spend. The other metric that's really helpful. So, with that kind of, goal value metric, that's going to blended into page value. So, here, you've got this number here for a fifty pounds, for instance, where someone has visited the thank you page. And they've probably visited the page before it. They've kind of ... they start to kind of donate your computer as well as the thank you for donating. So, this visit might have had fifty pounds divided by two pages. So, twenty-five pounds each. The great thing here though, is that these pages at the top are all making Computer Aid money. The inquire page, the thank you page unsurprisingly. So, these are awesome pages. And if there was an eke on the side, you'd see the check out funnel in these steps.
Phil Pearce: So, on the flip side, down here, these ones are not performing anywhere near as well. They're not generating virtual revenue for Computer Aid and maybe a little bit of work on these is needed. Now, it could be that if it's like, a page that's apply for jobs or volunteer for Computer Aid, it's not tied to one of our main goals. That may be a reason. Or if they don't have phone number tracking on a contact page, that could also explain it. But there's definitely less of this, more of that, that's needed. So, it's helpful to actually do this with your own data, to see what bubbles up and bubbles down in these reports.
Phil Pearce: So, along similar kind of lines. If it's an e-commerce website or a site where you have an internal site search, then you'd want to see where are people searching and then donating or making money. And on the flip side, where are they not? So, here we've got someone searching for a toner cartridge [inaudible 00:11:59] actually recycle toner cartridges as well. So, that can result in a donation of toner. And as I mentioned previously, there's one down here where someone has searched for a volunteer job and they didn't submit a computer or apply for a computer because it's a charity form with a different kind of objective.
Phil Pearce: The one that's a bit odd on here though, is someone searched for donate laptop, or laptop in general, and didn't do one of those two main actions. So, this definitely needs to be improved. Either the result of someone searching for the word laptop needs to be optimised, or content needs to be added for that. The sample size in this is a little bit small but you get the idea.
Phil Pearce: So, a similar sort of report. This is on number four. So, this is going to the report which shows traffic from people landing on broken pages. Now, this are referral lands. So, in this example we've got traffic coming from Wikipedia, where they've clicked on the link and then gone through to Computer Aid's website, but they've landed on a broken page. This page cannot be found. And the same with Get Safe online. So, a reasonable volume of traffic where you've thrown up a big stop button. You've said, what you're looking for is not here. You've got in the way of the journey. You've made it harder for them to donate. So, this is costing the company money in this instance. So, these definitely want to be fixed. And also, there's an SEO benefit from having links on Wikipedia and Get Safe Online, etc etc. It's definitely worth fixing those because you'd actually get more traffic if you got those links directly pointing to the most relevant pages on the site, etc.
Phil Pearce: What might happen though, is you might want to find out exactly where those pages are. So, you can actually drill down into that further and go into the referral part. So, with Get safe Online and Wikipedia, it's actually, that's the page you need to go to, to fix. Now, sometimes it's a bit hard to edit those pages. Wikipedia is probably the exception. So, you may need to add redirect links that look at the referral path, and then point them to the most relevant deep link page on the site.
Phil Pearce: So, this is a slightly different approach. This is one is more on, if you're trying to look at which traffic sources or channels are people using for discovering the site, this is the medium report showing new and returning. It's a bit like multi-channel funnels but looking at it from a like, how are they discovering the site? Which is the channel that's introducing? And also, which of the channel is closing?
Phil Pearce: This report, I put in the text link, this is just a note. It's using a thing called motion charts. And the only time motion charts are ever of any value is if you're doing a year on year comparison, and you're showing three metrics like, cost, conversions and CPA. And using campaign. This can be helpful in that one scenario because it will show you where brand versus non-brand is performing at very high level. And you'll see these kind of, bubbles move around. I'd suggest opening that link and seeing if it works. Sometimes it does use flash. So, you may or may not get that to work depending on if flash is blocked in the browser.
Phil Pearce: Another good one. This is more, if you don't know where to look, intelligent alerts are awesome for telling you, I was expecting it to be there, and suddenly it's gone like that. Or I was expecting it to be there, and suddenly it's gone down. So, it's like, magic buttons, hidden gems. Definitely worth checking out to see what's bubbling up and bubbling down. You can also install the mobile version of that to see those intelligent alerts.
Phil Pearce: And another one, in terms of taking action, is its helpful to get a, go to the report that will text you if your conversions from either eke on the site have suddenly stopped working or if you've got a big reduction in average order value. So, it's like, an action that you need to work on otherwise you're not going to be making as much money.
Phil Pearce: So, here's another one in terms of the automation. So, if you're not using the plug in for Google Sheets, for automatically running reports, definitely do. It's super awesome and totally free as well. If you wanted to blend in your data, you can do this either in Google Sheets or Data Studio. But this is a good starting point. And also, a quick, win when it's worth just checking out the Google Analytics dashboard library to say, has anybody built a report that does this already? So, you can use a picture that's pre painted, rather than start from a blank sheet. So, here's an example of that.
Phil Pearce: Some other really good dashboards that are worth checking out, are in the Data Studio dashboard libraries. And kind of, awesome, kind of, Mona Lisa's painted in there. And if you haven't already looked at those, definitely have a look. I mean, there's great examples of data story telling within that list.
Phil Pearce: So, to summarise, I would suggest using these free tools because they're free. And these will help save money. Definitely reduce the cost of tools as you'll save on wasted spend on AdWords. You'll get ESO tips from Nibbler and you'll get some site improvements in terms of conversions and speed from the speed testing tool. You'll get better insight from the index and you'll get these intelligent alerts using the Google Analytics app. So, definitely use those ones. And then if you want to kind of, then summarise those reports and put them all together, these are the reports that I've just mentioned. So, best and worst landing page by weighted bounce rate, pages by revenue contribution, best and worst internal site search, broken pages and the adwords report pivoted by sessions and conversion rate or CPA.
Phil Pearce: So, that's it. I've probably ... I can take a couple of questions now. This works best in the kind of, workshop environment where you can play with your own data to see what's bubbling up and bubbling down. But go check out those links and then see how you get on. And yeah, questions. There was a guy at the back that had a question.
Speaker 2: Yeah. For the weighted reports, from your experience, don't you like to just put in a filter where you see pages which have at least a hundred or a thousand pages? Which is like, better?
Phil Pearce: Great question. So, on pages where you have ... so, it's a weighted sort feature. It doesn't always work. It's only on certain metrics where you can use it. So, landing pages and bounce rate, it does allow you to enable it. If it's another report, like say you were doing, you want to do weighting for page value, then it won't let you see weighted sort for that. So, thus you need to say, show me pages where there's been more than, I don't know, a hundred unique page views or a hundred sessions. And then sort by best to worst. So, it's a really good point, actually. Thanks for that. Yep.
Speaker 3: Using Yandex Merica on your website affect page speed?
Phil Pearce: Yeah. There is asynchronous. I mean, version one of it, I found, is pretty good in terms of site speed. The version two is not quite cached as much across the internet. So, it's a lot faster than Hot Jar and some other tools, in terms of when I've been comparing the two. So, it's a case of like, which one do you pick? I'd still go for Yandex in terms of site speed. You can adjust the sample rate. So, in Google tag manager, you can use a random number like, one out of ten, for instance. So, you could do client site sampling. So, you only account ... so, you do a client site sampling number, drop a cookie, and if that client site sample is present, then you deploy Yandex. Otherwise, you don't. So, there are ways of conditionally loading it that would improve site speed. Go on.
Speaker 2: On your last slide, you mentioned just the automation of dashboard library that data through your metric reporting. Can you just show about how you automate that and what you mean by it? The last points, the very last points on the slide with the automation. This one.
Phil Pearce: So, these were some of the previous slides. So, when I say automatic insight, I mean the intelligent alerts. It's like something's bubbled. A customer alert's whether you manually said, alert me if this happens under these conditions. Google Sheets, in terms of physically setting up and emailing you, so automating and saving time. And dashboard library by crowdsourcing other people's work and again, saving time and saving cost.
Phil Pearce: Okay, and as I said, the links for these slides will be available later. Would be great to get feedback on them and if there's anything I missed, or you've got your own suggestions for the best reports to use, please let me know, all right? Thank you very much.
People often feel that Google Analytics is for the digital world. It’s something for IT pros to worry about and doesn’t impact the business side of your business. It’s an easy trap to fall into.
After 18 years of working online, I can tell you there is a clear link between Google Analytics and your profit margins. Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool for improving a firm’s bottom line. Used well, it can help you to reduce costs and increase conversions and revenue. Moreover, with automation in place, Google Analytics can consistently provide you with actionable insights into your business that will achieve both those ends.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my top 10 Google Analytics tips for saving you money. They include reports you can generate to provide useful, actionable data. I’ll also show you how to access those reports and explain how and why they can save you money.
Please also check out my recent article on the top 39 Google Analytics tools.
Quick Jump To:
The landing pages report in Google Analytics is a good place to start. To find it, follow these simple steps:
Having followed the above instructions, you’ll see the landing pages report similar to the one below. The table of data lists all of your site’s landing pages. It also provides a wealth of useful information about each of them.
That information includes things like ‘sessions’, ‘bounce rate’ and ‘conversion rate’. These are invaluable when it comes to finding ways to increase revenue and reduce costs. Those figures, after all, let you keep track of the performance of your landing pages. The data also tells you which pages visitors land on.
Combined, this information provides you with insights on what is working well so you can apply those best practices to your other pages. Improve those conversion rates and you’ll see a corresponding jump in your profit margins.
Analysing your site’s pages by revenue contribution is another of our handy Google Analytics tips. To view this report, you can follow the same pathway outlined above. That’s until you reach the ‘Site Content’ dropdown. You’ll then want to choose ‘All Pages’ rather than ‘Landing Pages’.
This report presents you with a lot of the same data you will find on Landing Pages. The most useful information for reducing costs or increasing revenue is that on ‘page value’. ‘Page value’ provides you with the average value of each page of your site.
The metric is designed to give you a snapshot of how much a page contributes to overall site revenue. For instance, imagine a page’s ‘page value’ is zero. That means it’s never been visited in a session which has resulted in a transaction on your site.
Viewing your pages by revenue contribution helps you assess the performance of different areas of your site. You can ID pages that aren’t pulling their weight. You can also better judge the ROI of marketing campaigns which funnel visitors through a particular page.
Most websites – and almost all e-commerce sites – have an internal search feature. That’s a search bar that visitors can use to find specific products or pages on particular topics. Google Analytics allows you to keep track of how visitors are using this feature. You can find the relevant report by following the steps outlined below:
When you do this you will be presented with a table showing all of the terms searched for by visitors to your site. It will display how many unique searches there have been for each term, along with other handy information. They include things like ‘exit rate’ and ‘search refinement’.
Knowing what terms visitors search for can be really handy. It shows you what your customers are interested in. It also suggests what’s possibly missing from or not easily found on your website.
‘Exit rate’ and ‘search refinement’ are two of the most important metrics on this page. If the percentage for either of these metrics is high it shows that visitors are either leaving your site or performing a new search after viewing initial search results. This implies that they haven’t found what they’re looking for from the first search.
You can use the insights you gain here to improve the user experience for visitors. For example, the queries can provide you with ideas for new content focused around the things your audience is interested in. Perhaps more importantly, these insights can be used to help improve the navigation on the site so that information people are consistently searching for is easier to access.
Creating a report showing broken pages by referral is another way to use Google Analytics to help save money. The report is a little more difficult to generate than those covered previously. Follow the steps below to create this report:
Your report will now display the different referral sources that are directing traffic to broken pages on your site. The number of page views and entrances will be displayed for each referral source. To get more detail, you can then add ‘Referral Path’ as a secondary dimension to your table.
This data shows you where you have broken links and related problems that are diverting traffic to deleted or non-existent pages. If you find those links and fix them, you will provide a better user experience to site visitors. Making these improvements can also result in an uplift in traffic and a reduction in bounce rate.
Pivot tables are a handy and underused tool available in Google Analytics. They let you take a unique view of data. This can aid in drawing specific conclusions. The following instructions will help you build a pivot table that you might find useful:
Your report will display data related to the traffic sources and the medium. For example, if the source was Google the medium would be Organic Search. This pivot table also shows you the number of sessions and the conversion rate related to each traffic source.
The data in this pivot table is also partitioned by if the traffic was a ‘New’ or ‘Returning’ visitor. That’s because we chose to pivot by ‘User Type’. This report enables you to analyse how new and returning visitors act on your site. From this, you can see which traffic sources deliver more new or more repeat visitors. You can also determine where your highest converting traffic in each category comes from.
Channel Pivoted by user type is another type of pivot table. To generate it, follow all but one of the earlier instructions. The only difference is that you need to choose ‘Channels’ from the ‘All Traffic’ drop down, rather than ‘Source/Medium’.
The data and insights you will receive are similar in a lot of ways to the previous pivot table. However, metrics are now displayed for marketing channels and not by source and medium. The important thing to note here is the difference between a channel and a source according to Google Analytics.
A channel, as per Analytics, is a grouping of several traffic sources from the same medium. For instance, Google Analytics refer to ‘Organic Search’ as a channel. That channel would include sources such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. All of those sources would be classed as coming from the same medium ‘Organic’.
This pivot table provides you with clear insights regarding how your audience acts, and what is the most valuable audience, by the medium. You can use this information to develop your digital marketing strategy.
It’s important to keep a close watch on your Google Analytics accounts. Many site owners and professionals simply don’t have hours to spend poring over Analytics data. That’s where Intelligence Insights can help.
Intelligence Insights are insights into what you data means, generated by Google Analytics. They explain trends, changes, and opportunities that can impact your business. That might be an increase or decrease in average revenue, conversion rate or other factors. You can view Intelligence Insights by clicking the ‘Insights’ button found at the top right of a report.
Clicking the button opens a drop down list of the current insights generated by Google Analytics. Selecting any of the insights on the list will give you a more detailed breakdown of the data it’s drawn from. You can then assess and act upon this information to improve your site’s performance.
You can also choose to set Custom Alerts in Google Analytics. These are similar to Intelligence Insights, except that they are created and managed by you. You can choose your custom alerts to be triggered when specific things occur. For instance, the image below shows two examples of Custom Alerts. One is an alert to show that there has been a daily increase in 404 traffic to a site. The other has been created to report when average daily revenue for a site exceeds $499.
Setting up Custom Alerts is very straightforward. All you need do is follow these simple steps:
Custom alerts are a useful way of gaining insights when things you’re interested in, either positive or negative, are occurring on your website.
You may already know that Google Sheets has a very useful Google Analytics Add-on. It lets you create, manage and compare custom reports via an easy and more familiar interface. Getting the Analytics add-on for Google Sheets couldn’t be simpler:
The add-on can do more than just help you better organise your Analytics data. You can also use it to save time by automating the generation of Analytics reports. That’s possible thanks to the ability to set an auto-run for your reports.
The auto-run will generate Analytics reports in Google Sheets based on the most up-to-date data, as and when you desire. You can set it by following these steps:
Google Analytics Reports will provide you with a clear overview of what is happening on your website. You can run these reports as regularly as every hour if you wish to, but unless you are dealing with a site that has millions of visitors you’re probably better off running these reports once a week, once a fortnight, or once a month.
There are plenty of resources out there designed to help you save money using Google Analytics. An easy way to find these is by heading to the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery. A good initial dashboard to setup is the ‘Small Business Owner Dashboard’.
This dashboard is designed for small e-commerce businesses. It prioritises and displays reports and data that can help you save money or increase revenue. As its own description states, it takes a ‘bottom line approach to a dashboard’.
Using the dashboard makes it provides you with a host of Google Analytics data at your fingertips. The information is provided in a way that makes it easier for you to get insights into your business. You can then develop a marketing strategy that benefits your bottom line.