Analytics is one of the most valuable tools in your digital marketing arsenal. If you’re not using data to inform your decisions, you can’t know if those decisions are in the best interest of your business.
By analyzing the conversion rates of landing pages, traffic sources, and funnel steps, you can immediately identify huge opportunities to increase your website leads. The goal is to identify what’s working and build upon that success. We also want to identify what isn’t working so we can avoid those marketing budget sinkholes where your money seems to disappear.
If you implement the following tactics and strategies in your marketing endeavors, you will see results.
Creating Goals in Google Analytics
Before you can analyze anything, you must have some lead data to work with, which means you need to establish goals. If you don’t set these goals in the beginning, there won’t be any data for you to analyze.
This may seem like an obvious step, but it’s surprising the number of businesses who don’t have lead tracking goals set up in their analytics platform. You may measure leads in some other platform, typically customer relationship management (CRM) software, but that CRM won’t provide deeper, user engagement metrics that lead to more insightful analysis and action items.
The easiest way to measure leads in Google Analytics is to track page views on the form destination or thank you page. If 25 people viewed your form destination page in the last month, you have 25 leads because there should be no other way a user can view that thank you page other than submitting the form. But manually checking page views? That’s absurd, which is why Google has created destination goal functionality.
You can create goals in Google Analytics by navigating to the Goals section in the View settings area and following the instructions. Google’s documentation on goals goes into more specifics and is useful in setting up goals.
Also, make sure to setup a funnel for each goal you create. That will allow you to easily view the conversion rates of your landing pages to identify opportunities for conversion rate optimization.
If you just created your goals, you’ll have to wait some time for the data to start pouring into your analytics platform. If you already had goals set up, you can utilize the following tactics ASAP to pull insights and drive your action items.
Tactic #1: Conversion Rate by Landing Pages
This is my favorite tactic because it allows you to quickly identify the pages that are converting visitors into leads and conversely, the pages that aren’t. You might be surprised at what you find.
If you had a salesman who was great at closing deals and bringing in more business, wouldn’t you want to send them as many leads as you could? And vice versa, if you had a salesman who wasn’t doing well, wouldn’t you want to spend time with them and teach them better sales tactics to start closing the leads you’re sending them?
Your website should be treated as your best salesman. After all, what salesman can you find that will work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year?
You can find conversion rate data by landing page in Google Analytics by navigating to Behavior – Site Content – Landing Pages.
Select the appropriate goal from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side, sort by the goal conversion rate, and use the Weighted sort option to identify the pages with the best conversion rates that are getting traffic.
From this list, you can immediately identify a few opportunities that you should focus on ASAP:
Not all pages will be prime opportunities for improvement, but there will likely be at least a few pages that will surprise you in how well they are converting users. And for the pages that are getting a lot of traffic, but no conversions, figure out a way to make those pages work for your business in generating leads.
Tactic #2: Conversion Rate by Source/Medium
This next tactic is so simple and seemingly obvious, but I rarely see businesses actively analyzing and then developing action items based on conversion rate data by source or even channel. The goal here is to identify the sources sending you qualified traffic and then focus your effort and budget on those channels.
Don’t be afraid to let the conversion rate data help inform your larger digital marketing decisions. Anyone can (and probably will) argue with your opinion of where to spend your time and money, but it’s very difficult for someone to argue with the numbers.
You can find conversion rate by source data in Google Analytics by navigating to Acquisition – All Traffic – Source/Medium and select the appropriate goal from the drop-down menu on the right-hand side. Then sort by the conversion rate and select Weighted as the sort type. This will give you a list of all the sources that are sending the most qualified visitors to your site.
Are you surprised to see some sources with a high conversion rate? Is there a source where you’re investing thousands of dollars each month and seeing a relatively small conversion rate?
Here are the opportunities from that list of sources:
The goal is to spend your time, money, and energy where your most qualified users are hanging out. That is where you will get the most bang for your buck.
Tactic #3: Funnel Conversion Rate
This is another tactic and strategy that’s grossly underutilized by most businesses in their analytics. Simply put, the funnel is the process of steps that a user takes to make a conversion. The funnel conversion rate is the number of people who start the funnel divided by the number of people who successfully convert. If your funnel has multiple-steps, you can analyze the conversion rates of each step.
There are two types of funnels, single-step and multi-step. Most funnels have only 1 step, which is the landing page, but if you are an e-commerce business where a user must take 3-4 steps to complete the conversion, a funnel is extremely valuable in identifying where users are dropping off in the conversion process.
You will set up a funnel when you create the goals in Google Analytics. Google has another great documentation page on funnel setup that I highly recommend you read when implementing the funnel.
If your funnel has only 1 step (the landing page) then you want to identify the conversion rate of that page and A/B test to improve. Does the perfect landing page exist? Who knows. But what I do know, is that a landing page can always be improved.
To view the funnel in Google Analytics, navigate to Conversions – Goals – Funnel Visualization and select the appropriate goal from the drop-down menu above the graph. You will see a page very similar to the image below.
On the left-hand side is a list of the pages that sent traffic to the funnel page, in this case it is the Contact Us page. 427 users visited the Contact Us page and 51 made it from that page to the Contact Us Request step, which is the thank you page. The other 376 didn’t fill out the form. Our goal is to figure out why they didn’t convert and make changes to improve the landing page.
That conversion rate is 11.94%. Can that be improved? I’m a firm believer that there is always room for improvement and by having this baseline we can test and measure any changes to identify improvements, which is a very basic description of conversion rate optimization.
Some of the most common landing page issues that have a negative effect on conversion rates include:
If your conversion process has multiple steps, such as the checkout on an e-commerce site, then you want to set up funnel steps, so you can track a user’s progress through the conversion process and identify where they are leaving.
Whether you have a single step or multi-step funnel, the data will be located in the same location in Google Analytics at Conversions – Goals – Funnel Visualization. You can see what a multi-step funnel looks like to the right.
This is a pretty standard multi-step conversion funnel with a shopping cart, account login, order confirmation, and a thank you page.
The first item that really stands out as an opportunity is the Account Login/Setup step, which seems to be a bottleneck for prospective buyers. Only 47% of users move from the Account Login/Setup step to the Order Confirmation step.
The action item here would be to allow users to checkout as a guest, which is a feature that many eCommerce plugins contain. Enable guest checkout and measure any changes in the conversion rate of that step. The goal is to increase the conversion rate so more users make it to the next step and beyond in the conversion process.
If you’d like a more interactive experience of the funnel, use the graphic below for an example of a multi-step funnel conversion process:
With a funnel, you’ll be able to see how many people are exiting at each step and identify opportunities to keep those users in the conversion process.
The goal in analyzing the conversion funnel is to identify why your users aren’t converting and make the appropriate adjustments until you see higher conversion rates. The goal isn’t to develop the perfect landing page or funnel. The goal is to develop a better one than you had yesterday.
Using Analytics to Make Insightful Marketing Decisions
When making marketing decisions, analytics is your best friend. If you use data to inform your decisions, you will be making better decisions. Focusing on improving your lead generation via conversion rates will go a long way in improving your bottom line.
First, create the goals and collect the data. Next, identify the insights and corresponding action items. Finally, and most important, implement the action items.
Remember that digital marketing doesn’t stop at implementation. Using analytics to make improvements each day will yield huge results in the long-term. An insight and corresponding action item sitting on your to-do list is as good as them not being there at all.
My challenge for you after reading this post is to take 1 of the tactics above, find the insights and implement the action items. If you do that, you will start to see results. And if you don’t, you won’t see results, it’s as simple as that.
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