855.62.TOAST [email protected]

If you’re not using Google Analytics to its fullest (or not at all) to track your website’s traffic, then you are missing out on crucial information when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.  The following are five important things you can learn with the right Google Analytics setup beyond how many visits your website receives.  

If you’re not using Google Analytics to its fullest (or not at all) to track your website’s traffic, then you are missing out on crucial information when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.  The following are five important things you can learn with the right Google Analytics setup beyond how many visits your website receives.  

1. What Referral Traffic Leads to Goal Completions

Sure, it’s interesting and informative to see what sites and search engines send traffic to your website.  But with Google Analytics, you can take it a step beyond that and see what traffic leads to conversions on your website by setting up goals.  For example, if you consider someone signing up for your mailing list a conversion, you can create the following goal based on the thank you page the subscriber goes to after submitting their email address.


You can also set up goals for clicks to external websites.  For example, if you sell a product of yours on another website or shopping cart system, you can use the following goal configuration.




Once you have set up your goals, you can look at your referring traffic in relationship to those completed goal types.  If you notice one site in particular sends the most converting traffic, then you can focus your online marketing strategy on to getting even more visitors from that site.




2. What Content is Well Received by Your Audience

Do you create a lot of great content for your website and wonder what your audience likes the best?  You can find out by visiting the content section of your Google Analytics account.  There, you can see not only which pages on your website are the most visited, but also how long people stay on those pages.




This is great for video content too.  If you have several videos on different pages that are 15 minutes long, and you notice the average time spent on page is a lot more for some than others, you’ll know which videos keep your audience interested for a longer period of time.

3. What Social Media Network Sends the Most Engaged Traffic

Speaking of how long people stay on your site, when it comes to social media marketing, your goal is to have your social media campaign sending traffic that stays on your site longer and completes goals.  To distinguish your social media traffic from the rest, you can create a custom segment that only shows the social media networks you are interested in.




Then you can look at your analytics data just for visitors from social media sites, including their average time on site, bounce rate (the percentage of people who view only one page and then leave), goal completions, and other information.




When you look at this data, you can determine which social networks generate the most interested traffic.  Then you can focus your efforts more on those networks and less on the ones whose visitors don’t stay as long.

4. What Visitors Want to Find When They Come to Your Website

Want to somewhat read the minds of your visitors?  With Google Analytics, you can.  First, look under your Organic search engine traffic in the Traffic Sources section.  There, you can see most of the keywords that people used when they performed a search and found your site.




You can also set up Site Search.  This will allow Google Analytics to track the searches people perform on the search box of your website so you can find out what people are looking for once they have arrived on your site.




You can also drill down to see what pages people are searching from.  This will give you an idea of whether or not you need to add additional information about a particular keyword on those pages.

5. What Areas of Your Website Need Improvement

Want to know what pages on your website need improvement?  Google Analytics can tell you that too.  Just look under the content section at the exit pages.  




While it’s normal for some pages (especially blog posts) to be the last thing a person looks at before they leave, you might find that other pages on your website also seem to encourage people to leave.  Find out what those pages are and check out the content to make sure there isn’t a specific reason people are leaving.

This is especially important for sites with a shopping cart.  Google Analytics lets you create goal funnels by simply entering each page for your shopping cart process as part of a URL destination goal.




Once set up, you can see a visualization of your shopping cart and how visitors flow through it.  If you notice a high abandonment rate on a particular part of the process, see what you can do to fix it so you can increase conversions.




At the end of the day understanding which marketing activities are driving bottom line results is important to every organization. Google Analytics gives you more insight into what is driving results as well as what isn’t. This type of information can transform your content marketing strategy to include more of what IS working and less of what ISN’T. With Google’s recent release of Social Reports we are going to be able to see more data than ever, including where social media “assisted” the conversion even if it wasn’t the last campaign before the conversion happened.

Related articles:
Google Announces New Social Reports
Find Out Which Status Update Drives Conversions – How to Integrate HootSuite and Google Analytics