Find Website Data Treasure with Google Analytics

Learn what Google Analytics can tell you about your website.I guess it was probably at least 1-2 years ago my youngest son and I were introduced to the world of geocaching. If you’re now scratching your head and wondering what I’m talking about let me give you a good definition by way of

Geocaching is a free, real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online.

Alright, I’ll admit, it does sound a little nerdy doesn’t it.

Geocaching has actually been around for a number of years and seems to have a niche following that is pretty diverse. I remember watching a PBS special about it not long ago and it was pretty amazing just how different and eclectic its’ participants are – young, old, affluent, not so affluent, in shape, out of shape and everywhere in between.

And so we jumped in feet first into this world. We first bought the official geocaching app for my phone that provided us a list of nearby geocaches or treasures as my son liked to call them, did a little research & kind of figured out how things worked and thus embarked on our first few big hunts. I will say we were both pretty enamored with this new-found activity. For one it allowed father and son something they could do together outdoors and it also tapped into something us guys seem to have innate within us, the desire for exploration and boy you should’ve seen the look on our faces after we found our first geocache. You might could say we were like kids in a candy store and it only fed that manly fire of curiosity within us to go in search of more.

So what does this little story have to do with you who operate a website for your business?

Did you know there is loads of unfound treasure in the way of data about your website’s overall performance waiting to be tapped by you?

Are you curious to know in what ways your business’ website is underperforming or not performing at all?

For the geocacher his/her tools are a GPS. For the website owner that tool is called Google Analytics.

Let me in pretty short fashion extol just one of its’ virtues and what treasure I unearthed this week & how learning this new information may put my client’s website in a much better position to generate more business.

So earlier this past week I was reviewing some of the data that Google Analytics has been churning out for a client of mine’s site. Granted I did not spend an inordinate amount of time but certainly could’ve camped out there for quite a while. There’s just a lot of very good intelligence that gets mined over the course of time with a website running this tool. While I was browsing the dashboard there I ran across, what I found to be some very, very valuable data as it relates to some keywords/phrases that my client’s site ranked OK for but was not performing all that well in terms of keeping that traffic on their site which means opportunities for converting those potential leads diminishes greatly.

The report that my eyes landed on is found in the ‘Search Engine Optimization‘ section under ‘Queries‘. You learn more about what this report will tell you here.

Here’s essentially what was taking place:

A user enters a search phrase and my client’s website shows up pretty well in Google’ natural listings for that search. A couple of things happen from there:

  1. That user clicks on my client’s search listing which takes them to their website and the user ends up exiting pretty quickly because the page they land on isn’t optimized all that well based on the search phrase they used. It’s like them saying ‘I am not seeing good answers to questions I have based on my search and so I am going to look elsewhere.‘ It might be something akin to a user looking specifically for information about where a certain car was made and instead all that page talks about is the actual car. Make sense? or…
  2. That user doesn’t click on my client’s search listing at all and that might be because the meta description isn’t optimized well based on their search phrase.

To explain it even further this particular report gives you insight as to what searches are being done by users that typically generate some good visibility for different pages on your site. In addition to that and equally as important it reveals what those website URL’s are that are showing up well in search listings but are lacking in CTR’s (clickthrough rates). What this client’s site is doing is leaking potential leads and a prime solution is to deliver much more relevant content that will capture these users attention (give them the info they are desiring based on their search) to where my client stands a much better chance of getting contacted by these users.

With regards to helping increase their ranking position on these words/phrases, we’ve already made some on page changes here and there throughout their site and as a result of have seen some nice movement upward in Google’s organic listings.

Ranking well and getting traffic to your site is half the battle. Spending time understanding how to keep that traffic on your site for longer and longer periods of time and eventually using best practices to try and convert that traffic is the other half. If you’re subscribed to my newsletter you’ll know we’ve discussed some of those things you can employ to better assist with increasing your conversion rates on your website.

With a valuable tool like Google Analytics working 24/7 behind the scenes you’re very likely to find yourself some good treasure in the way of ‘leaks’ and ‘holes’ like I discovered that, if given their due attention, will result in increased leads and sales for my client’s business.

Want to learn more about using Google Analytics?

Here are some excellent resources to check out:

If this post has been of any benefit to you would you mind sharing with someone who might could benefit as well.

As always if I can be of any help to you please feel free to reach out to me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

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