Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for Conversion Optimization
Web Analytics contribute to the most important part of performing quantitative research in a Conversion Optimization process.
Google has free tools like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to perform the quantitative analysis. There are also other tools like Kissmetrics that can do a similar job. But in this article, I will be sharing about the Google tools only.
Google Analytics for Conversion Research
Google Analytics has an amazing amount of data and reports to analyze the page for conversion optimization. Some of the most important things to know and analyze are
This report gives information about the individual pages and the metrics to understand if the pages are performing the way they are intended to do. You can analyze the following metrics in this report.
- Pageviews & Unique Pageviews: Number of visits to a page and unique visits to these pages after filtering the page refreshes and multiple visits in a single session.
- Entrances: The number of times the page acted as a landing page i.e, how many times people entered into the website using this page.
- Bounce Rate: Percentage of the people who exit the website after viewing it without moving to other pages. A high bounce rate is not a good sign but not in all cases
- Exit %: Percentage of people who exit the website from the page. An exit page is a page from which the user exits the website, the last page is seen by the user in a session
- Page Value: This is the value of the pages based on the transaction value, goal values, and the unique number of visitors. You will be able to see this only when the E-Commerce or goals are set up. Pages with low page value are the low-hanging fruits in optimizing them for conversions.
Is a high Bounce Rate a bad sign?
Well, Depends on the page and the context. If your page goal is to get users to land and make a form submission, then you might have a high bounce rate at the same time you will also have a high conversion rate. In such cases, there is a way to count the form submission as an interaction and avoid counting it as a bounce, which you will find in the event tracking section after a few paragraphs.
You can get a great idea of the traffic quality based on the grouping that google determines based on your traffic. By default, Google has some channel groupings like Organic, Referral, Social, Direct, Paid Search, Display, and Affiliates.
- Source/medium — Source is about who sent the traffic to your site and the medium is how did they come to the website. For example, if Google is the source, the medium can be organic or CPC. You can analyze E-Commerce or Goal conversion rates from different sources of traffic.
Secondary Dimensions and Advanced Segments
Secondary dimensions and advanced segments are two options that are helpful in improving the conversion rate if the conversion rate is varying across the board between different dimensions.
Secondary Dimensions: You can identify opportunities by using secondary dimensions. They are the second dimension you can choose to analyse further. For example, If a page is your primary dimension in the site content report, you can source/medium as a secondary dimension so you can analyse each page based on the source and medium as well.
Advanced Segments: This feature is very helpful in slicing and dicing the data to find conversion opportunities. It usually answers the question of “this or that?”
Choosing segments purely depends on your goals, context, and the type of website you have. For example,
Converters vs bounce sessions
Mobile vs tablet and desktop traffic
Custom segments give you much more flexibility in analyzing your requirements. You can have your different target personas as custom segments and analyze how one performs in comparison with the other. For example, you want to know how many people of age 25–45 who are female are finding the site through organic search vs people of age 25–45 who are male.
The key points to keep in mind while analyzing are
- Where do the users come from?
- Where do they land on your site?
- Is the page they land working the way it should for them?
- Is each step along the sales funnel working properly?
For an E-Commerce funnel, you can make sure you have the following data in place.
- Category pages
- Product Pages
- Add to Cart
- View Cart
- Purchase Complete
If you find a major drop-off anywhere in the funnel, that’s your opportunity for conversion optimization.
For example, 90% of the people who visit the product go to the billing and shipping, but there is a major drop-off here, and only 30% complete the purchase. In this situation, it is a great idea to check the billing and shipping page for any issues that prevent the user from going to the next step.
Goals — Event Tracking
Although many important things are by default acquired in Google Analytics, there are a few important things to be tracked manually. You need to make sure that the goals that are tracked are useful to us and are tracked in the right way.
Event tracking is helpful to understand what actions users take inside a page like playing a video, making certain clicks, or submitting a form.
Every event can be chosen to be either an interactive or non-interactive event. Having an event as interactive will not contribute to any bounces although the user consumed only one page but has interacted with the event.
Every view allows you to set 20 goals, but keep in mind that you need to be tracking only the most important ones that align with your marketing goals. Additionally, unnecessary goals can inflate your conversion rates.
Here are some of the questions about metrics that a lot of people encounter while handling Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Audit
A GA Audit is the first and the most important thing to do when you take over a client’s google analytics account. It is about testing the data sources and checking the groupings within GA. Some of the important things that you must check are
- User interactions with the site through events and goals.
- Standard or Enhanced Ecommerce if applicable
- Interactions with the properties and views
- Filters: Make sure internal traffic including yours is blocked
It is always a good idea to keep a list of the things to be checked in a sheet and check each item list with the analytics account. You can also add how important the job is which will help you prioritize and allocate the time needed for the things.
Google Tag Manager Overview
Google Tag Manager is the widely used Tag Management System used to store and deploy tags to track important interactions of users with the website and send the same to Google Analytics. Introduced by Google in 2012, it integrates with a lot of third-party tools like Facebook, InfusionSoft, Paypal, etc.
You can use Google Tag Assistant, a chrome extension by Google to know the status of the tags.
Tags define what you want Google Tag Manager to do.
Triggers define when you want Google Tag Manager to do the tasks defined as tags i.e when you want the tags to be fired.
Variables are the information needed to make the tag work when the triggers are triggered or simply to make the Google Tag Manager perform its job. There are two kinds of variables built-in variables and user-defined variables.
This blog is to know the components of Google Analytics and the Google Tag Manager. If you are want to know these features in-depth, Google has a free course at Google Analytics Academy. CXL has also included a great GA beginner course in the CRO Mini Degree.
This is Kiruba Sekaran, a Marketer and Search Optimizer sharing my experience with the CXL’s CRO Mini Degree and looking forward to sharing more of my journey in the next weeks as well.