You likely understand the importance of ecommerce analysis to businesses, through tracking sales, web visitor behaviour, and campaign results. In fact, Google Analytics (GA) is used by 59.48% of the top 10k websites and, overall, the number of websites using GA exceeds 14 million.
However, the amount of data on GA is overwhelming. The number of hits alone (pageview or an event) can be up to 10 million per account. Therefore, acquiring relevant insights tends to take a lot of work, especially for non-technical users. Since aggregate numbers are not much help, the concept of segmentation clarifies the situation.
In this post, we will tell you about the 9 most important Google Analytics reports that answer questions essential to any business.
How Businesses Benefit from Tracking Google Analytics Metrics
Google Analytics provides tools to understand what your audience prefers and how to improve website performance. Namely, GA helps businesses achieve the following improvements:
- Effective targeting of segments – you get informed on your current audience. This includes your demographics, user interests, and their progress through the shopping funnel. As a result, you will be able to design campaigns around not only their actions but also how you want them to act.
- Productive time management – the analytics reports are compelled by data rather than opinions. With no guesswork, you can be sure to invest your time efficiently. Simple, intuitive reporting leaves no room for hesitation so you have more time to devote to other areas of business.
- Better channel strategies – GA showcases all channels that drive traffic to the site. Having the data laid out in an approachable way, you can see what channels are not performing as well as others. For instance, you can use the Google Analytics ecommerce metrics to maximise traffic from social media through content that does well on other channels.
- Broadening the user base – GA performs a device overview, which increases your chance to attract more mobile users. Mobile devices account for 47.96% of web page interactions; with the mobile-first rankings feature, GA indicates how mobile-friendly your website is. It evaluates page load times, display resolution, visitors from different platforms and service providers, etc.
- All-around effective website – ecommerce reporting tools assess the performance of specific pages. It determines which pages need to be improved according to a wide range of indicators (from the highest bounce rate to qualitative content analysis). Tuned website navigation and home page and other essential pages are taken care of, opening the website to more leads.
Essential Google Analytics Reports
Now that you recognise the versatility and the great potential of Google Analytics, how do you know which reports are worth your attention?
Traffic Sources and Mediums
Learn how users find your website. Generally, we can distinguish three mediums that indicate the success of different advertising campaigns:
- Direct traffic. This shows users who (a) specifically typed your URL, (b) clicked on a bookmark, or (c) clicked on a link sent by another user, including your email marketing manager. Substantial direct traffic is a measure of successful offline actions or “word of mouth”.
- Referring traffic. This denotes traffic from users coming from other websites. You can view it as an indication of an effective online strategy.
- Search engine traffic. This shows the number of people arriving at the website through search engine listing results. Quality of content and SEO optimisation have an impact on this characteristic.
You can also check the amount of traffic received from a specific source, such as Google or YouTube.
The GA ecommerce reports show a valuable engagement index for businesses. When you divide page views by the number of sessions, you determine how many pages a typical visitor viewed during each visit in its entirety.
The metric makes it easy to monitor how different website modifications correlate to how your audience is engaging with the content. You can observe what specific pages or redirection tricks made visitors stay on the page longer. Moreover, you can find out the number of pages per session among a certain segment of users, for example, those who made a purchase.
It’s important to remember that a successful session can occur despite a low page-per-session. Therefore, there is no reason to raise it artificially.
New and Returning Visitors Report
There are three essential components that make up this characteristic:
- The number of visits by new and returning users. Depending on the type of business, you may want different ratios of these two groups. For instance, most ecommerce sites rely on new visitors.
- User behaviour. You can identify the percentage of new/returning visitors that exit the page quickly, how much time they spend on it, see the pages-per-session indicator, etc.
- Target objectives completion. See which group completes your goals more successfully; for example, leaving contact information.
This report also allows comparing the indicators within different segments, which may help you track the dynamics and estimate your marketing efforts.
Mobile Performance Report
This report can show two aspects:
- Mobile devices. This shows if the website and all the pages are usable via any device. It reveals the percentage of visitors coming from mobile devices (and what kind of devices), whether users behave differently, pages with high/low bounce rates, traffic sources, landing pages with high/low conversion rates, etc. These metrics not only inform you of your customers but show whether the mobile version needs restructuring. It could mean limited dropdown menus, platform-independent functionality, optimized images, etc.
- Responsive design. It involves adaptive content that changes according to behaviour, a simplified navigation system, optimal margin/padding, image optimization, etc.
PRO TIP: Automated Google Analytics reports can be set to navigate to the dashboard you are interested in, including mobile performance.
Customer Behaviour Report: Landing/Exit Pages, Site Search, Site Speed
This assessment is rather complex and focuses on various aspects:
- Overview. This is a complex piece of data consisting of landing/exit pages, a total number of visited pages, unique page views, and time spent at a certain web page.
- Behaviour flow. This is a visual demonstration of what routes users take when entering your website.
- Website content. See the statistics on how each page performs.
- Site search. This part of the report shows what users fail to find easily and gives you additional ideas on what keywords to include.
- Site speed. Track how long web pages take to load by browser, location, and specific page.
Bounce Rate Report
Also, Google Analytics presents ecommerce reports on the bounce rate, i.e. the percentage of users who exit the website having visited one page.
Bounce rate = total number of one-page visits / total number of visits.
You may discover your website or a specific page features a lower bounce rate, in which case you should reevaluate the content and optimize the page(s). If there is a lack of consistency between the bounce rate of your website pages, examine what kind of advantage certain pages may have. It could be visuals, colour, call to action (CTA), or poor element visibility.
This feature analyzes the journey from a random site visitor to a known lead. The process is also referred to as a conversion path. The report identifies exact marketing channels and attributes conversion paths to certain content elements that draw customers in.
This information helps to assess your existing content, keywords or navigation instruments. Depending on how certain channels perform and its associated revenue, you can pinpoint whether they need improvements in the following areas:
- Content aimed at better performance. The website content should be the main vehicle converting visitors into leads.
- An appropriately designed landing page. It should further fuel the buying potential of visitors clicking on an ad.
- Strong and relevant CTAs. They should be attention-grabbing, incentivizing and in line with your company message.
Product & Sales Performance Report
Here you can gather information in the context of:
- Product-list views – how often users view the products in a logical grouping;
- Product-detail views – the number of visits to product details;
- Unique purchases – how many times it was sold as part of a transaction;
- Product adds and removes – a measure of activities taking place in a shopping cart;
- Cart-to-detail rate –cart ‘adds’ per product-detail views; and
- Buy-to-detail rate – purchases per product-detail views.
As an example, the Google Analytics ecommerce dashboard allows you to assess the efficiency of a product on the ecommerce website. As a result, you learn what products you need to offer more of.
SEO Insights and Keyword Analysis Report
Finally, an SEO and keyword report will show you what kind of traffic the website receives and allow you to form an organic traffic synopsis. Then you can compare whether your current SEO optimization results align not only with your SEO goals but also with your business objective.
The tool analyzes the keywords the website is currently ranked for, which may differ from the keywords that you intended to use. In that case, you will need to reevaluate your approach and either attempt to boost your predetermined keywords or decide on new ones.
Google Analytics is an invaluable instrument for any marketer and ecommerce business owner. These reports might reveal insights that you would have never guessed, which would greatly benefit any ecommerce.
There is no shortage of information when it comes to Google Analytics. The hardest part is learning how to extract necessary pieces of data and receive actionable recommendations. While any business could technically access this data, it would merely be the first step in a long journey to properly utilising it.
At Promodo, we apply extensive expertise to make digital marketing effective and easy for you. Instead of getting into the nuts and bolts on your own, choose our custom solutions in pursuit of a bigger online presence.
We can convert the results of ecommerce analytics from raw data to finessed decisions.