Imagine this. You launch a landing page and see that it’s generating hundreds of page views, but people are leaving the page after a few seconds. Why is that?
In the same scenario, you have published a series of blog posts that are generating contact form fills but you can’t tell which post is driving the most conversions. Or, which post is providing very little traffic, and why that is?
To truly understand your website users and how well it performs, you need data. And that’s why reviewing your website analytics through platforms such as Google Analytics is so important.
In this guide, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about using Google Analytics to start establishing data-driven marketing strategies that boost your bottom line.
Article contents – jump to:
- What are website analytics?
- Benefits of using analytics on your website
- Popular website analytic reporting tools
- How to add Google Analytics to a website
- Important website engagement metrics to measure
- Benefits of hiring a Google Analytics consultant
- Website analytics reporting example
- Cost of website analytics consulting services
- How often to analyze website performance
Web analytics is the process of collecting and analyzing the behavior of website traffic with the objective of enhancing user experience. It’s a process that’s beneficial for optimizing web pages, apps, and other online products.
Common types of website analytics include:
- Traffic sources
- Referring sites
- Page views and other engagement metrics
- Demographics of website users
- Conversion rates
These high-quality metrics are a marketer’s greatest tool. The analytics don’t only help organizations improve their website, but also assist in making trustworthy, data-driven decisions to drive business growth.
For many people, a company’s website marks the first step of their customer journey. In fact, 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase or requesting a quote from a business.
That’s why the analytics you collect on visitors to your website is so important. It can tell you a lot about their behaviors, interests, and expectations.
Here are more ways a business benefits from using analytics on its website.
Perfect your marketing strategy
By paying attention to website analytics, you can better refine your marketing campaigns. It clearly identifies which campaign elements are generating the most engagement and business, while also highlighting which are seeing little return.
For example, let’s say your marketing strategy currently consists of email campaigns, paid Facebook ads, and pay-per-click (PPC) ads. The call-to-action of each campaign is a landing page that offers users a free product trial.
The data analytics of the landing page can tell you…
- Which source is generating the most traffic?
- Which source is generating the most conversions?
- Which source is generating the most business?
You find out that your PPC ads are not converting nearly as much as Facebook. This insight can lead you down many different paths, such as moving your budget from Google AdWords to Facebook.
Or, taking a closer look at what keywords are generating the best results and which ones are bringing in the garbage. The next step would be to add the poor-performing keywords to your negative keyword list so that your budget is only being spent on keywords more likely to convert.
Additionally, website analytics provide demographic information such as age, gender, and geography of your users.
Perhaps, males aged 25-45 are the audience that converts the most. Therefore, you should focus your advertising messaging and spend on this group to maximize your marketing ROI.
While there are endless uses for blending website analytics with marketing campaigns, understanding and optimizing referral sources might be the most powerful.
Learn more about your website visitors
The first step in creating a data-driven website is understanding your visitors. Web analytics tools can help reveal their story – where they came from, what pages they interacted with, how long they were on each page, and plenty more.
With this information, you’ll learn more about what pages draw in the most traffic and what products or services users are most interested in.
For example, let’s say you have a product that is available across the world. Website analytics reporting tools might show that although 65% of your visitors are landing on your Indian site, it is not producing nearly the amount of sales as your UK site.
What this tells you is that you need to focus attention on the Indian version of your website to make sure it’s well translated and meets user expectations.
Analyze website conversions
A conversion could signify many different things, depending on your business and website resources. It could mean filling out a contact form, downloading a white paper, signing up for a webinar, or making a purchase.
Web analytics can tell you a lot about these converting interactions, such as:
- Total number of conversions
- Number of conversions compared to total pageviews
- The pages users looked at before converting (and after)
- Abandonment rate
Brands can use this information to achieve higher quality AND quantity sales or leads.
For example, your services page has the highest conversion rate compared to any other page on your website. However, your services page isn’t getting nearly as much traffic as the others.
In this scenario, it would be a good idea to make this page a more accessible part of your website. Whether that be adding it in your navigation bar or utilizing SEO best practices and getting higher search rankings.
Improve the website user experience
It takes less than one second for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they'll stay or leave.
Furthermore, 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on an organization’s credibility based on the company’s website design.
That’s why reviewing page analytics and using the data to improve the user experience for your website is so important.
Reporting tools like Google Analytics can highlight key improvements areas by looking at metrics such as:
- Bounce rate. This metric measures how many users entered your website and left without interacting. A high bounce rate matched with low session duration indicates the content or design did not meet the users' expectations.
- Exit pages. These are the pages your site visitors view last and leave from. See what pages generate the highest percentage and find ways to improve them.
- Track events. Measure the user experience of your links with the event tracking tool. For example, if your “Contact Us” button isn’t being clicked, it might not be large or noticeable enough.
- Site section. Here you can track the flow of how users are interacting with your website. In other words, where are visitors going or not going? Where are they spending their time?
- Recency/ frequency. How many times do people come back to the site each month? How many visit just once and leave? These are often indicators of areas of improvement, whether it's the site itself, or SEO/ SEM issues
Increase your search engine ranking
Google Search Console (GSC) can help measure your site’s search performance and traffic. Its tools and reports will show you what keywords or phrases are used in Google’s search engine to find your website.
Imagine the plethora of content ideas this could give you.
For example, let’s say you are a local credit union. GSC shows that 25% of users entered your website after searching, ‘mortgage loans in Syracuse.’ This should lead you to publish content around Syracuse home loan rates, factors in choosing a mortgage lender in Syracuse, etc.
Here are more data-driven tips for choosing blog topics.
In order to make smart business decisions, it is critical to have quality, trustworthy, and actionable data. If you can’t trust it (or even understand it), you can’t use it.
And as a market research company, we know the importance of using quality insights to drive business strategy.
Luckily, there are several website analytic tools that provide organizations with in-depth data on how their website is performing. Here are a few of our favorites.
Perhaps one of the most known website reporting tools, Google Analytics is a free service that provides data and statistics that help improve search engine optimization.
It is an analytical tool included in the Google Marketing Platform alongside Google Ads, Google Tag Manager, and more.
Google Analytics is an extensive platform that allows you to track just about anything from website performance to site user insights. While it had originally grown in popularity through retail websites, it is now a tool that is applicable to all industries and business types.
That’s because using Google Analytics on your website allows organizations to:
- Identify top sources of visitor traffic (organic search, social media, email marketing, etc.)
- Measure the success of marketing and advertising campaigns
- Understand goal completions (making a purchase, filling out a contact form, etc.)
- Track patterns and trends in user experience and engagement
- Look at how site metrics have evolved over time by comparing time periods such as month over month
- Collect demographic information such as age, gender, and geography of website visitors
The data is powerful but seemingly endless. It’s why many organizations choose to partner with Google marketing companies to help analyze various customer behavior patterns through the platform. But more on that later!
Earning backlinks from websites with high domain ratings is one of the best ways to improve your search rankings. They are a signal to Google that your content is valuable and trustworthy.
Think of it as a recommendation. If popular media publications such as USA Today, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal link to content on your website, then the Google algorithm can feel confident ranking your content higher because its users will most likely also find value in it.
Here is where Ahrefs can be extremely useful. It is used to track a website’s backlink profile, SEO health, and keyword rankings.
The key metrics and tools to review in Ahrefs include:
- Domain rating. The strength of your website’s backlink profile on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the best.
- Ahrefs rank. A worldwide ranking of all websites and their link profile with rank #1 being the strongest.
- Referring domains. The number of websites that link to the website you’re looking at. The more referring domains, the better.
- Keyword explorer. Allows you to search and find thousands of useful keyword ideas and accurate search volume and keyword difficulty forecasts.
HubSpot offers its users an all-in-one customer lifecycle management platform. It combines tools needed for marketing, sales, and automation.
For instance, HubSpot can track how your audience interacts across several different channels and communication methods. This includes:
- Your website
- Landing pages
- Email campaigns
- Social media
- Paid ads
- Sales calls
- Lead nurturing
- Quotes and payments
The benefit of HubSpot is the idea that all of your marketing and sales efforts can be tracked in one place. However, the platform is more expensive than most other website reporting tools.
Another website analytics audit tool is HotJar. It uses interactive heat maps of where visitors are taking action on your site, what pages are getting the most engagement, and what pages are getting little attention.
The different types of heat maps included on HotJar include:
- Click heatmaps. Where users are frequently clicking on components such as products, search bar, call-to-action buttons, and more. The parts of the page that are red are the sections that get the most attention.
- Move heatmaps. Where users are hovering their mouse, but aren’t clicking.
- Scroll maps. How far down users are scrolling on a certain page. Sections of the page that are red indicate it was seen by all site visitors.
The website checker will also tell you statistics about website interactions. For example, 47% of homepage visitors clicked on the “About Us” section of your navigation.
HotJar is beneficial for your website analytics because it helps provide more context about what’s happening on your site and why people interact the way they do. While Google Analytics can tell you how many people are visiting your website, HotJar tells you where on the page users are engaging with the most.
As we discussed in the previous section, there are many website analytics tools to help fuel your marketing and business strategy. Google Analytics tracking code, however, is what we recommend adding to your website the most.
Here’s how to connect Google Analytics to your website.
Get your tracking ID
- Head to the Google Analytics home page and click ‘Sign up.’
- Select ‘Website’ and name your account. Most organizations use their business name or website URL.
- Add the rest of your account details such as website name, website URL, industry category, etc.
- Check the data-sharing options that you are comfortable with.
- Click ‘Get Tracking ID’
Adding Google Analytics to WordPress
Download the Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. It helps you easily link your Google Analytics tracking features without writing code or working with a developer.
- Sign into your website’s WordPress
- Navigate to ‘Plugins’ and click ‘Add New’
- Search ‘Google Analytics Dashboard for WP’ and select ‘Install Now’
- After the plugin is installed, click ‘Activate’
- Go to your list of installed plugins and find the GA dashboard
- Click ‘Settings’ and then click ‘Authorize Plugin’
- Click ‘Get Access Code’
- Sign into the same Google account you used to sign up for Google Analytics. A notification will appear asking to grant the plugin access. Click ‘Allow’
- Copy the code and paste it into the Access Code box on WordPress
- Click ‘Save Access Code’
Additionally, the plugin adds a Google Analytics dashboard to the back end of your website so you can see website metrics without leaving WordPress.
Adding Google Analytics to Wix, HubSpot, Squarespace, and Shopify
If your website is built on Wix, HubSpot, or Squarespace then Google Analytics is a built-in tracking feature of the platform. Find the tracking ID you got when you set up your Google Analytics account.
- Follow these steps to connect GA tracking in Wix
- Follow these steps to connect GA tracking in HubSpot
- Follow these steps to connect GA tracking in Squarespace
- Follow these steps to connect GA tracking in Shopify
Adding Google Analytics to a Custom Site
After creating your Google Analytics account, scroll to the Global Site Tag section. Copy and send the code to the developer(s) who manage your website.
If you are the person that manages your website, copy and paste the global code somewhere between the <head> and </head> tags. This will assure the code is on every page of your website.
Now that you’ve added your Google Analytics tracking code to your website, you’ll have access to hundreds of different metrics.
Some are more relevant than others depending on your industry, type of business, and ideal customers. A Google Analytics consulting team can work with you to identify what metrics are important to measure and track based on select criteria.
In the meantime, here are some important Google website analytics that will provide you with the data needed to improve website performance.
Google defines page views as “The total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.”
In other words, this metric identifies the number of times a page on your website is looked at by a visitor. It happens any time a page is loaded on your website. Therefore, if someone visits your homepage, then refreshes it, this interaction would count as two page views.
How to use GA to track website traffic?
- Log into your Google Analytics account
- Navigate to Behavior
- Click Site Content > All Pages
Here you can see all page views since launching, a specific date range, or of an individual page on your website.
Why are page views important to track?
Page analytics are the most common metric marketers use to track their website performance. It is specifically useful when looking at traffic to an individual page. Higher pageviews are often correlated with higher conversion rates. Therefore it’s important to make sure they are improving year-over-year.
How can I improve my website’s page views?
If you’re noticing a steady decline, it’s time to look into strategies to increase pageviews such as search engine optimization, paid ad campaigns, and social media.
Take our market research company blog for example.
We learned that pages that have been in Google’s index for a long time have a higher ranking power. At the same time, Google often tracks the frequency of updated web pages and rewards websites for refreshing stale content.
Therefore, we took a look at outdated blog posts with low page views. We refreshed the content and added more relevant keywords. The proof was in the pudding.
For example, from June to August of 2019, a blog on our website earned 576 page views. After updating the content, the same blog post earned 5,791 page views from June to August 2020. That is a 905% increase in website traffic from just one blog post.
Additionally, it’s important that your website is optimized for mobile users. Not only is it important for improving the number of page views, but in some cases, Google may actually deindex websites that don’t function properly on phones or tablets.
Average time on page
Google defines average time on page as, “The average amount of time users spent viewing a specific page or screen, or set of pages or screens.”
How can I track my average time on page in Google Analytics?
- Log into your Google Analytics account
- Navigate to Behavior
- Click Site Content > All Pages
Here you can see your average time on page for all pages or individual pages, whether that be since your website was launched or during a specific time period.
Why is time on page important to track?
This metric is a great indicator of how interactive and effective your website copy is. The more engaging your content is, the longer a site visitor stays on a webpage.
Longer time on page also means you are producing valuable content that meets or exceeds people’s expectations. In the same notion, a shorter time on page may suggest site users were less interested.
How can I improve how long site users are on my website?
When visiting a website, most people get in and get out. They want to find an answer to their query and get on with their day. So, while having a longer average time on page is good, keep in mind that attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. For context, the studies have shown the average time spent on a website is 15 seconds.
To keep users engaged and ultimately convert, here are a few components to consider adding to your website:
- Images and video. Visually engaging elements can stop users from scrolling through content. For example, a blog post that contains a two-minute video could make someone stop skimming through the post and click play. While they watch the video, their time on page becomes increasingly higher than if there was no video at all.
- Add more internal hyperlinks. Be conscious to add 2 to 3 relevant internal links to each page or blog post of your website. For example, if you’re writing a blog post on Facebook advertising best practices, then link to your social media services page or other relevant digital marketing advertising articles you’ve published.
- Use exit intent pop-us. Eventually, all users will leave your website. However, give them one last chance to convert with exit intent pop-ups. The pop-up appears when a user’s mouse hovers over the top of the screen and presents users with a special offer such as 10% off or a free whitepaper download.
In Google Analytics, a bounce is measured when someone opens a page on your website and then exits without triggering any other request (ie. scrolls on the page or clicks on an internal link). These single-page sessions have a time on page of 0 seconds since there is no action taken on the page.
Therefore, a bounce rate is calculated by single-page sessions divided by all page sessions.
How can I track bounce rates in Google Analytics?
- Log into your Google Analytics account
- Navigate to Behavior
- Click Site Content > All Pages
- Click the down arrow next to the ‘Page views’ button
- Search Bounce Rate and click
Similar to the previous metrics, you can see your website’s average bounce rate as well as the bounce rate for individual pages. You can also change the date to see how bounce rates have changed over time.
Why are bounce rates important to track?
Tracking your website’s bounce rate can let you know how people are – but more importantly, are not – interacting with your content.
For instance, a high bounce rate could signal that users aren’t finding what they need on your website.
It could also mean other technical issues are happening, such as a lack of good user experience, poor website design, or slow page load times. All factors which you’d want to fix ASAP.
How can I reduce bounce rates on my website?
While all industries are different, as a general rule, a bounce rate between 26 and 40 percent is considered best practice. Whereas, a 56 to 70+ percent bounce rate is a sign that your website needs updating.
Tips to reduce users bouncing from your website on desktop and mobile include:
- Improve page load times. If users have to wait more than 2 seconds for a page to load, they will likely exit the page before reading the content. To check your load time, go to Google Analytics → Behavior → Website Speed.
- Improve website navigation and site search functionality. If a user can’t almost instantly find what they’re looking for on your website, they’re going to bounce. Make sure important areas of your website are located in the main navigation. Also, adding a site search feature is a great tool to help visitors find what they need.
- Focus on a good website design. Be sure that your website design is both functional and pleasant to look at. If it comes off spammy or unprofessional, then users won’t trust your site.
Traffic sources are another great Google website analytic to explore. This metric will tell you how users are finding your website and where they are coming from.
The default traffic source dimensions GA reports for each website visitor include:
- Direct traffic. Users who come to your site by directly entering your website’s URL. For instance, someone typing in ‘www.driveresearch.com’ into their browser. Additionally, traffic within a website such as users going from page to page in one session counts as direct traffic.
- Organic search. Users who came to your website from a search engine such as Google or Bing. This can tell you how well your SEO is performing.
- Referral. Visitors that came to your website by clicking on a link from another website such as directories or social media.
- Paid search. This acquisition source shows the amount of traffic that came from one of your pay-per-click (PPC) search ads from Google, Bing, or other search networks.
- Social. Users that came to a page on your website through your brand’s social media posts such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and others.
- Email. Traffic that navigated to your website from a marketing email campaign, one-on-one email conversations, or an email signature.
How can I track traffic sources in Google Analytics?
- Login to your Google Analytics account
- Navigate to Acquisition → All Traffic → Channels
Here you will find a list of your traffic sources referenced above such as organic search, paid traffic, direct traffic, etc.
Why are traffic sources important to track?
By tracking your website’s acquisition source traffic, you can clearly identify what channels are bringing in the most traffic and the least traffic.
With this data, you can make more informed marketing decisions by allocating attention to the sources that offer the most return.
Each acquisition source offers a plethora of information to analyze and assess.
- How does your organic traffic compare to your paid search efforts? Analyze the ROI to determine where you should invest more time and money.
- Which social media channel is driving the most traffic? Focus your efforts on the channel that is driving the most attention.
- Which referral websites are bringing in the most traffic? Reach out to see if you can write a guest post on these sites to draw even more traffic.
- What channels are bringing in the lowest volume of traffic? Consider beefing up your efforts or scaling back spending on PPC ads that are not converting.
Tracking website analytics allows you to calculate conversion rates by taking the number of conversions and dividing that by the total number of website visits.
Every organization has a different idea of what they consider to be a conversion.
Here are a few examples:
- A B2B website would like to track ‘contact us’ form submissions
- An eCommerce site would like to track purchases
- A blogging website would like to track clicks to their affiliate online stores
Once you determine what a conversion is on your website, then it’s important to set up and track those goals.
Here is a great video on how to set up goals in Google Analytics.
How can I track my conversions in Google Analytics?
Once you’ve set up your goals, you can track your conversions over time.
- Login to Google Analytics
- On the left menu, click Conversions
- Goals → Overview
There is also helpful information on this page that can help you further analyze conversions and traffic. You can learn the page where visitors converted and what pages they looked at before converting (known as the reverse goal path).
Why are conversion rates important to track?
Tracking conversions on your website allows organizations to understand the performance of all marketing efforts, even beyond their website. It shows what percent of visitors are completing a goal that drives sales and business – and where those visitors came from.
Pageviews are a good signal of top-performing web pages. And traffic sources are a good identifier of what channels bring in those pageviews.
But conversion rates are the final, and most important, piece of the puzzle.
For instance, say your email marketing campaigns bring in thousands of pageviews a month, but only convert 2% of that traffic.
Whereas, your blog posts bring in roughly the same number of pageviews a month, but convert 10% of that traffic. This would mean it is worth more of your brand’s time and effort to focus on mastering your SEO and blogging even more.
How can I improve conversions on my website?
- Write strong calls to action. CTAs such as “Start Your Free Trial” or “Download Now”, while common, can actually deter conversion rates. Test different CTA copy like “Yes, I want my discount!” or “Sign Up and Save” for a more positive twist.
- Add testimonials and reviews. Social proof means everything these days. In fact, 89% of consumers check online reviews before making a purchase. Be sure to add testimonials and reviews as a stand-alone page as well as sprinkled throughout product and service pages.
- Reduce the length of your form. For those in the B2B space, a conversion is likely measured by users who complete a form. Therefore, you need to keep the form as short as possible. While it would be nice to know someone’s job title, budget, phone number, and where they heard about you, many people will abandon the form if it takes too long to complete. Our market research company suggests sticking to name, email, and organization name.
In addition to the wealth of information Google Analytics shares about how users interact with your website, it also tells you who is using it.
This website reporting tool categorizes users by different demographics such as age, gender, geography, and interests. Google is able to capture this information from those who are logged into a Google account and third-party cookie data.
How can I see my website user demographics in GA?
- Login to Google Analytics
- On the left menu, click Audience → Demographics
- You can select from an overview view or narrow it down to age or gender
Other types of demographics available in the audience section include geography, interests, device usage, and more.
Why is it important to know the demographics of my website visitors?
Understanding the demographics of your website visitors is great for advertising and content marketing purposes.
For example, say you are a clothing brand that sells to both men and women. After looking at the demographics section in Google Analytics, you notice most of your website traffic is Millennial women.
In this scenario, it might make sense to allocate your advertising budget to focus on this exact buyer (females in their mid-twenties to early forties) because you know they are more likely to make a purchase.
Or, this could signal that you need to create more specific and targeted campaigns to capture male buyers. Perhaps advertising a sale on men's shirts will help to move the needle.
This website metric is pretty self-explanatory. These are the pages where website visitors view last and leave from.
For example, let’s say a user’s path on your website looks like this.
Enters through a blog post → navigates to your home page → clicks on the ‘About Us’ page → exits your website.
The ‘About Us’ page is the exit page.
How can I see exit pages in Google Analytics?
- Login to Google Analytics
- On the left menu, click Behavior
- Site Content → Exit Pages
Here you can see the number of page views and the number of people exited from the page.
It will also give you your %Exit which is (number of exits) / (number of page views). Typically, a 41 to 55 percent exit rate is average. Anything below 41 percent is excellent.
Why are identifying exit pages important?
If you’re looking to boost your conversion rates, reviewing your exit pages can be a great place to start.
Perhaps these are the pages where you add exit intent pop-ups with a special offer to capture leads and grow your email list.
From there you can create an email nurture campaign to keep these contacts aware of your brand and move them down the funnel until they contact you or make a purchase.
Another option is to add a special offer or discount to the exit intent pop-ups so that they convert.
Additionally, our market research company often assesses bounce rates on exit pages to learn where on the website people are forced to leave. These pages are also great spots to focus on and add more components to keep people on the site.
As you can see, Google Analytics offers organizations seemingly endless data about their website, visitors, and customers.
While valuable, the amount of information to measure and track can be overwhelming. Plus, some companies might be making decisions based on inaccurate data because they’ve set up their Google Analytics wrong.
That’s why businesses rely on a Google Analytics consultant. They are responsible for configuring your account, keeping track of your most important website KPIs, and recommending what you need to fix in order to improve website performance.
Below we’ll discuss why organizations hire a website analytics service and the benefits of doing so.
Feel confident that your website data is accurate
Adding Google Analytics to your website is only the first step in measuring site performance. There are other configuration needs required to make sure what you see in the GA dashboard is trustworthy and accurate.
For example, not all website traffic comes from legitimate users. It’s likely some of it comes from bots and scrapers. In fact, bot traffic made up 42% of all internet activity in 2021.
As a result, Google added a setting to its analytics platform that allows users to filter out illegitimate users listed in IAB’s Interactional Spiders and Bots list. However, it is an obscure feature that many small businesses still aren’t aware of and therefore not utilizing.
There are many other low-key settings buried in Google Analytics that a web audit company deals with day in and day out. And Google will continue to add more and more. It’s the job of the website analytics company to be aware of it, so you don’t have to.
Receive ongoing third-party web auditing reports and recommendations
Up to 73 percent of a company’s analytics data goes unused. Why is this?
There are several different reasons.
- Businesses aren’t aware this type of data is available
- Organizations don’t understand the value of their data
- They don’t know how to analyze the data
- They don’t have the time to regularly do a Google Analytics health check
A Good Analytics consultant can help check all of these boxes.
Depending on how frequently you want to review your website data, they will create a mini reporting dashboard each week, month, or quarter. In those dashboards, you’ll be shown KPIs that are important to your specific organization.
It is presented in a way that is easier to digest than spending hours combing through GA.
Plus, you’ll receive actionable recommendations that your marketing or web development team can use to improve user experience.
Having this report on an ongoing basis will also allow you to troubleshoot any issues that could be causing a spike in bounce rates or a sudden decrease in conversions.
Take the next steps with your website analytics
Google Analytics can uncover a lot of opportunities with your website. Some will be simple like focusing on search engine optimization or improving time on page. Others will spark ideas for more primary market research.
For instance, our market research company often works with brands that want to make website improvements based on more detailed customer feedback.
While Google Analytics is great for giving you the ‘what’, but it doesn’t always give you the ‘why.’
Here are a few examples of how user experience market research companies can help amplify insights learned from website analytics.
❌ The challenge: I’m getting a lot of page views, but very few conversions
✅ The solution: moderated UX interviews
This type of market research recruits people who match your target audience. They are asked to participate in 30 to 60-minute interviews. During the interview, they are asked to share their screen with a moderator.
The moderator asks them to do several different tasks such as finding the ‘contact us’ page and filling out a form. As they complete the tasks, the moderator watches as they navigate through the site and asks them about their opinions.
- Was it easy to find the ‘contact us’ page?
- How was your experience filling out the form?
- What would cause you to not finish the form fill?
Perhaps you learn that the ‘contact us’ page is not easy to navigate and find. Or, you learn that your form asks too many questions and frustrates most users.
An eCommerce client of ours found themselves in a similar situation. After conducting a Google Analytics audit and UX market research with our team, their conversion rates and credit card sales increased by 65%. Read more about their story in our case study eCommerce User Experience: How to Increase Online Traffic & Sales.
❌ The challenge: My time on page is very low and my bounce rates are very high
✅ The solution: unmoderated UX surveys
Similar to moderated UX interviews, a market research firm will source survey respondents that match the demographics of your ideal buyer. They are given a series of tasks to complete.
As they navigate through your website, they record their screen and are asked to share their opinions and thoughts aloud. After they finish their tasks, they are required to take a short survey that asks additional questions about their experience.
Here you could learn that your website design comes off as spammy. Respondents might express that they would not trust purchasing from your website or contacting you further.
With this insight, you now know why users aren’t spending time on your website, or leaving immediately. It would then be wise to invest in a new, updated website design.
This insight gives you a clear path forward as to what improvements need to be made to the website instead of spending months A/B testing or doing a lot of trial and error.
❌ The challenge: I want to know how users perceive my website.
✅ The solution: website intercept surveys
Website intercept surveys are a great tool for collecting in-the-moment feedback directly from site visitors.
Typically they are shown as a pop-up message after a certain action on the website is taken or displayed on the website permanently. Additionally, you can choose to have the survey CTA be on individual pages that you want to focus on improving the most.
Of all user experience market research studies, website surveys are the only methodology that gathers feedback from actual users. You can ask questions such as:
- What brought you to our website?
- What’s the likelihood that you’ll return?
- How would you rate your experience?
- How would you rate your user interface satisfaction?
Respondents will provide the most accurate data because they have the freshest recollection of their experience on your website. Plus, you are able to make quick updates and changes to the site as issues arise because you are gathering feedback in real time.
Learn more about website intercept surveys in the video below.
Another added benefit of hiring a website analytics auditing company is the data visualization they add to reporting. For instance, Drive Research transforms data sets into easy-to-digest visuals that tell a story about your website users month-to-month.
For instance, Drive Research utilizes Google Data Studio for our clients. Here is an example report that showcases important website KPIs all on one page (rather than clicking all over Google Analytics).
Keep in mind that these reports are 100% customizable. For instance, we can create custom reports in Data Studio that allow our clients to filter by site section, geography, device type, and more.
Before we conduct a site audit, we will ask what metrics you’re most interested in seeing evolve over time.
We can also give you our recommendations for what KPIs are best suited for your industry, customer demographics, and how users often interact with your site.
The benefit of receiving a website analytics report is that it showcases your must-know metrics all in one easy-to-interpret visual. The alternative would be remembering to sift through your GA data on a regular basis, on top of your day-to-day responsibilities.
Instead, these reports can be delivered straight to your inbox, in addition to expert recommendations for what actions to take with the website data that is collected for that month.
Lastly, these reports are more accessible to multiple departments in your company. You can easily save and attach these reports via email or upload them to a shared company folder.
This way several people can get a high-level view of the performance of your website, without needing to add and train a lot of users to your GA account.
So, now you see the value of using Google Analytics and hiring a third-party website consulting company, but how much is it going to cost you?
The answer can vary based on your choice of vendor, how frequently you need the vendor to assess your website, and other factors.
Costs of hiring a Google Analytics consultant will typically increase when more project management time is needed – however most of that time is spent in the beginning as you establish your goals and grant the auditor access to your account.
For a frame of reference, here is what Drive Research typically charges our clients.
- First month: $1,000 – This includes adding Google Analytics to your website, granting Drive Research access, and your first monthly report.
- Cost per month: $500 – This includes a dashboard of your must-have KPIs and recommendations for how to optimize your website.
Again, prices can vary if you need a report more or less frequently. We also offer discounts for clients that sign on for a long-term plan, such as 6 or 12 months.
After receiving an initial website analytics consultation, many brands are left to wonder how often they should run website performance reports. Speaking very generally, the best marketing practice is to assess your analytics once a month.
However, for some organizations, a monthly report is too frequent and unnecessary. For other websites, it’s not enough.
How often you review and analyze your website data depends on the size and sector of your business.
Weekly website reporting
Best for eCommerce sites
Online stores heavily depend on user traffic because it is a strong indicator of sales and profitability. Therefore, regularly measuring website visitors against revenue and then comparing the ROI of your marketing efforts is extremely beneficial.
Without it, brands can’t know what promotions are most enticing, what sources of traffic generate the most sales, who their top buyers are, and other important factors to running a successful eCommerce business.
Plus, if your entire organization is dependent on online sales, then it becomes even more necessary to assure your SEO and website are running optimally. Running weekly reports will alert you of any areas that need to be resolved immediately.
Monthly website reporting
Best for most B2B organizations
Monthly website performance tracking is the most common across several different business types. It is frequent enough to catch any red flags before it’s too late while also giving enough time to see the results from SEO and UX improvements.
As an added check-in, Google Search Console is a great tool to review each month. The platform monitors websites for varying technical factors such as server errors, site load issues, and hacking or malware attacks.
Quarterly website reporting
Best for brick-and-mortar stores
For brands that don’t generate business from form fills or online purchases, measuring your website performance each week or month may not be necessary. However, it is still important to stay up to date on your online reputation.
Recent studies have shown that 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store. For this reason, make sure your website is up-to-date with store hours, locations, contact information, and photos.
Also, be cognizant of online reviews. A majority of consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses with online reviews more than ever before. So while regular website performance monitoring isn’t needed, checking in and responding to Google My Business reviews is.
Drive Research is a full-service market research company serving organizations across the country. We help our clients extract insights from the data we collect to accelerate business strategy.
Although we specialize in custom-built qualitative and quantitative market research, our team also understands the value of in-depth website data made accessible through Google Analytics. So much so, Drive Research has several team members certified in Google Analytics.
Whether you’re interested in performing a website audit once a week or once a year, we can help. Not only does Drive Research provide findings and charts, but we also offer actionable recommendations for how to implement the data we collect to improve traffic, time on page, and conversions.
To learn more about our Google Analytics consulting services, contact us today.
- Message us on our website
- Email us at [email protected]
- Call us at 888-725-DATA
- Text us at 315-303-2040
A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.
Learn more about Emily, here.