Google Analytics for CRO to boost conversions: why your visitors don’t buy?

Google Analytics (GA) is a free digital marketing tool provided by Google for businesses, agencies, start-ups to help them optimize their website, increase conversion rate (CR) and ROI.

Business owners and digital marketers build the online marketing strategy and determine the site’s goals from the very beginning of designing the site.

After the business is launched, it is very important for the marketers to understand what is happening on the site in order to take proper decisions and implement savvy tactics and strategies.

And Google Analytics offers useful data such as: traffic channels, bounce rate, session duration, number of users and sessions in a given perioad, sessions by country and device, pages visited, goals completed, Google Ads data.

Marketers analyse data displayed in GA to innovate digital marketing strategy and convert visitors into buyers.

What is a conversion?

A conversion is a clear goal, objective you set in GA as a marketer or entrepreneur when you want to promote your company and sell your products. You can reach conversions (leads, sales) when you combine different online marketing strategies. Conversions are part of the sales process and are met when visitors enjoy spending time on your site and want to get in touch with your product.

More precisely, to attract viewers and gain conversions, digital marketing team build effective ‘call-to-action’ elements for the site that prompt users to respond quickly and show positive interest in the brand.

Conversions can be of many kinds, depending on the action you want the audience to take:

– sign up for newsletter;

– filling in contact / registration form;

– order a product;

– sign in / log in to account;

– click on a link within an mail.

There are 5 reports sections in Google Analytics that contain in-depth data: Real-Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behaviour, Conversions. This data is essential for analyzing digital campaigns and implementing digital ingredients professionaly which can take many forms: conversion rate optimization (CRO), search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, e-mail marketing.

To encourage visitors to take concrete action when accessing your site, CRO and SEO specialists should naturally communicate original messages and attract their attention by optimizing content on the page. Adding different elements (images, videos, call to actions, buttons, boxes with authentic information) on the page in strategic places can have an emotional impact on the audience and trigger their buying behavior.

Therefore, the emphasis must be on stimulating the visitors’ desire to connect with the brand and become engaged with the product. In order to turn users into customers, marketers need to use their creativity and competencies to develop an original website strategy for visitors and their journey on the site.  

Producing unique and authentic content for the site audience in the form of blog articles, videos or infographics is key to engage and convert users into customers. This strategy can be successful if content pages are monitored, improved and new posts built according to audience taste.

Using GA, marketers can identify what kind of experience users have on the site and test different hypotheses in order to find the right layout that match buyer personas profile.

The rate conversions achieve can be improved by optimizing your site first through technical and creative online strategies. One could be applying Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – on-site and off-site SEO – and PPC campaign in the same time. These campaigns can bring greater and long-term results if they work together as one cohesive campaign.

Once you know what channels (organic, direct, referral, social) bring in qualified traffic then you can start building better digital marketing campaigns and reach the right users that need your product. GA offers data about the number of conversions completed, their conversion rate, value and traffic sources.

Moreover, GA provides data about the rate at which goals were abandoned by users. If there is a high abandoned rate that means visitors are not satisfied with the experience they are having on the site so they leave it. Through CRO this aspect can be corrected if the issue (design, usability, content) that generated this unpleasant situation is identified.

Here are three useful Google Analytics reports to use when doing CRO work: 

  • Behavior Flow

What you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur or marketer determines your goals. And using Behaviour flow report you gain understanding about how users interact with your pages.

Landing pages (homepage or other pages) are the`first pages through which users enter your website.

This report shows you what are the next pages visitors enter and highlights their first and second interaction. There can be many interactions depending on how many pages are involved in the process.

behaviour flow ga example

You analyze the visitors’ journey in terms of pages they reach after they leave the landing page. You can detect drop-offs or exit pages so you can find out what the issue is in terms of user experience (UX) and correct it.

Here CRO comes into play because its job is to identify why users leave the website and find an efficient solution to boost goal’s conversion rate.

 If you want to see more pages you can click ’group details’ and GA gives you data about these different pages: number of sessions, traffic percent and drop-off rate. See example below:

behaviour flow group details ga example

If you want to know what sources brought people to your pages of your site, select Medium instead of Landing Pages. And if you want to go into more detail and understand the traffic source, click on it and select ’Highlight traffic through here’.

In our example, we have direct (none) traffic highlighted to discover in what other pages are users interested when it comes to navigate on our site:

behaviour flow highlight traffic through here ga example

When you hover your mouse over you can see different metrics as in the example above. There is a total of 815 sessions coming to the homepage: 161 sessions go to the other pages and has 654 drop-offs. It has a fairly high drop-off rate of 80% which means the site has an innapropiate homepage because it loses a lot of visitors. The homepage certainly needs immediate UX and CRO  improvements.

  • Funnel Visualization

Funnel visualization report allows you to see how many visitors enter the funnel (on the left) and how many visitors leave the funnel (on the right).

The pages users enter and exist the funnel are listed on the left and right as well. In the middle of the representation you can see the number of users that proceed through the funnel and continue on to each phase.

funnel vizualization GA example

In our example, we can observe that are 164 entrances at the top of the funnel and 30 white paper downloads at the bottom of the funnel.

Entrance shows the number of times the funnel page was a landing page. Underneath the entrance page are other pages through which visitors entered the funnel.

On the right, are listed the pages where the users went to when they left the Start Page. Exit means the visitor not only abandoned the funnel but also left your site.

Only 70 visitors proceeded to Registration Page and at the end of the funnel 30 conversions took place.

Using the conversion funnel report, the pages abandoned by visitors can be easily found. Having this data available, CR specialists can come up with smart ideas to build a user-friendly design for the start page and attractive call to action messages for the registration page.

  • Reverse goal path

Reverse goal path starts first with the page URL of the completed goal. Then are presented the three pages users enter before they complete the goal.

These pages are named Goal Previous Step 1, Goal Previous Step 2 and Goal Previous Step 3. These are the stages prior to the goal completion location. On the last column in the table are listed the total number of conversions.

example reverse path goal google analytics

In other words, in this table you have the pages URL of the goals that the customers complete (first column on the left). In the next three columns are the links accessed before the goal was completed by visitors. And on the last column we see the number of goals each page completes.

To sum up, Google Analytics gives you a clear image into your business that looks like an airplane view.

Now it depends on you as an entrepreneur or marketer how you process and transform the data from the Google Analytics reports mentioned in this article.THE KEY IS YOURS!

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