People mostly skip audience analysis, when in reality, it’s a crucial element to a focused marketing campaign. Every time somebody visits your website, Google pulls data from those visits which you can use to analyze your audience and make smarter marketing plans.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are instrumental to every kind of business, online. Among others, it provides a valuable view of who is visiting your website, which can help you optimize for conversion.
You don’t even have to be an “expert”, nor would you have to attend SEO training classes just to get these data. More importantly, you can save a valuable amount of money by knowing your audience. There is a subset of the market who are already looking for you and you need to start focusing your efforts on them instead of throwing out ads from the dark.
Who Visits Your Website?
Google Analytics (GA) is a powerful tool that acts like a surveillance camera for your website. How old are your visitors? GA knows it. How long do they stay in your product pages? GA knows the answer, too.
With a tremendous amount of data, GA can be a little intimidating and confusing to use. You may find it difficult to decide where to look to get the most important data. You can start with these three major metrics, and you’re on your way to getting to know your audience better.
Say, you own a hip Italian restaurant. Since opening, you’ve been targeting college students and young professionals in your area through social media efforts. You’re getting tons of likes and comments. But these social media interactions don’t translate to reservation calls or foot traffic in your restaurant. Look at your GA and go to the Audience tab. This section can provide you with data that tells you who your audience really is by using the following metrics:
Age and Gender
You might think that the average of the people you’re speaking to is young men and women aged 16 to 25, only to look at your analytics and discover that 30 to 45-year-old female is the most dominant group. This could be the reason you’re not getting the booking calls or walk-ins you want.
While the majority of your visits will likely come from the Philippines, you might find out that 15 percent of your audience comes from the US and another 10 percent from Europe. Don’t ignore these percentages.
Find out why you’re attracting visitors from these regions. Perhaps, you were mentioned by a foreign travel magazine article as one of the “best restaurants to try in the Philippines.” With data about your audience’s locations, you can write blogs or copies that are specifically geared towards them.
Most importantly, determine if you really want those traffic coming from places you did not intend to reach or you’re just wasting money on marketing campaigns by targeting the wrong people at the wrong locations.
Insights about the device used will give you more idea about your audience.
If the majority of your website visitors use mobile phones, it’s highly possible that you have an audience who value mobility or being able to get information they need as quick as possible.
You may also see what operating system the phone uses—is it an Android Device or from an iOS?
You can dive deeper by checking the browsers used. For instance, if many visitors use the old version of Internet Explorer, this could mean your audience is not that “techy.”
They may feel overwhelmed and exit your website if it’s too complicated to navigate.
While the audience overview tells you about who’s visiting your website, the GA’s behavior tab can tell you how they interact with your website content.
This tab will give you an idea which pages are the most popular and how long visitors stay in those pages. In other words, it tells you which content works and which doesn’t. With such information, you can optimize your website better.
Another interesting thing from this section is the Behavior Flow report. It tells you how visitors traverse your site: the page they first land on, the page they browse next, and the last page they go to before exiting. These data can help you see how engaged users are with your content and to identify potential content gaps. The Behavior Flow can answer questions like:
● Which product page sends the most users to exit to cart?
● Are there transactional pages that have high drop off rates?
● Is there a specific page that triggers users to bounce out?
Knowing exactly how your audience behaves on your website puts you at a great position when optimizing your site and boosting your campaign. Like public speaking, you don’t have to fear rejection, or in this case, a high bounce rate or low conversion rate, when you know how to connect with your visitors.
When you know how users land on your website, you can create strategies that are suitable for them.
Say, majority of your audience get directed to your website because they typed “which insurance to buy for my children,” your website should contain information relevant to those keywords, so they stay longer on your site and eventually convert from visitors into customers.
This is where Google Analytics’ Acquisition tab comes in.
Explore this tab, and you’ll find out more about your audience’s “trip” to your website: whether they discovered it through an external link, a paid ad, social media post, or organic search engine results.
If, for instance, most of your visitors come from Google, your digital marketing campaign may get more effective if you double your SEO efforts or PPC ads. The data from the Acquisition tab can also help you better understand what your audience is looking for, be it information, a product, or something else.
Want more data on how your users found your website via Google? You can support or affirm your findings from GA’s Acquisition tab with data from another FREE tool, the Google Search Console (GSC).
How Did Your Audience Discover You?
Ever wonder what keywords people exactly use to find your website? Google Search Console especially for your SEO efforts will be quite useful.
This tool retroactively pulls information from the behavior of users who found your site via Google, including the keywords they typed in the search box.
It also allows you to monitor your website’s presence on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). With GSC’s user-friendly platform, you can even look into every page of your site to see its performance.
But first, you have to sign up for a Search Console account and add your website to it. Take note, however, that you must prove that you own the site before you can include it in your GSC account.
You may verify your ownership by uploading a special HTML file to your site, adding a DNS record in your domain name, or other verification methods permitted by Google (these all may sound technical, but we’re here to help).
Once everything is set up, here are some of the things you can do with GSC:
1. Learn common keywords people use to find you
GSC can show you the common keywords that bring users from organic SERPs to your website. This list of keywords also comes with other important metrics, including:
a. Impressions or the number of times your website shows up on SERPs for a certain keyword;
b. Clicks or the number of times someone has clicked on your link after searching a keyword;
c. Click-through rate (CTR) or the percentage of clicks your website receives divided by the impressions or the number of times it shows up on SERPs for a keyword; and
d. Position or the current Google ranking of your webpage for a certain keyword.
Explore this list, and you’ll have a better grasp on how your website performs for every keyword. This could help your campaign in a lot of ways.
For one, you can make your SEO campaigns more targeted based on the performance of these common keywords. you can also use these data to improve your content marketing efforts and make your PPC campaign more targeted and eventually, profitable.
2. Identify the most popular pages (and determine those with great potential to rank as well)
Based on the metrics above, as well as the number of backlinks and internal links, GSC can tell you which page or content on your website performs excellently. This gives you an insight into the kind of keywords and topics your target audience is most interested in. But you shouldn’t stop here.
It’s also a great idea to scour pages that don’t rank highly or don’t get a lot of clicks but get a lot of impressions. Perhaps, you can add content to these pages to make them more relevant and engaging.
Think of it this way: your website is like a restaurant. The storefront — signage, exterior design, and more — looks awesome.
People passing by couldn’t help but stop in front of the restaurant to check out the menu display stand. But after flipping through the pages of the menu, they walked away. Perhaps, they didn’t see anything interesting or weren’t impressed enough. The good news is you can enhance the menu, from its design to its actual content.
The same goes for your website, find out any page you can optimize to get more clicks, leads, or better yet, conversions.
3. See where your visitors are coming from
Similar to GA’s Acquisition tab, GSC can help you see where your visitors are coming from. The Search Traffic tab covers metrics for users’ location, the device used, and even external links.
These links, especially if they’re from reliable websites, can increase your site’s authority in the eyes of Google.
Also, under the Search Traffic tab, click the tab labeled “Links to Your Site” and then look for the “How your data is linked” section.
You will see here the anchor text or keywords that other websites often use when linking back to yours. Use this data to improve your keyword research further.
What to Do with All That Data?
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are a godsend to any digital marketer. You get to know your audience better — who they really are, how they behave online, how they discover you.
But all these valuable data are worth nothing unless you put them to good use. Here are a few actionable tips that can help you:
1. Redefine audience targeting.
Now that you know more about your audience, you’re well-equipped to redefine your audience targeting. Combine your GA reports with GSC data, and you can come up with more specific market segments.
Then, optimize your marketing efforts with these redefined segments in mind.
2. Determine any low-hanging fruit.
When collecting data, don’t only focus on pages/content that perform the best. But, also look out for any low-hanging fruit — keywords, topics, or pages that can bring immediate, positive results if you use the right strategy.
Remember, data about keywords often used, devices used, and behavior flow can help you determine which audience is at what stage of the buyer’s journey.
Analyze all of these before picking out a strategy, whether it’s boosting your paid media campaigns or implementing stronger local SEO efforts.
3. Refine Pay Per Click efforts using GA and GSC data.
Among various digital marketing campaigns, PPC ads bring instant results. Pick out the right keywords and bidding strategy, and set a suitable budget, and you can drive high-quality leads to your website.
Refine your PPC campaign with data insights you got from GA and GSC. Who knows, you might get more leads by spending less on your campaign.
Plus the great thing with PPC is that you can control your spending and monitor its performance in real-time. You can test your new strategies based on GA and GSC data on PPC. If they work, adopt these strategies for your SEO, social media, and other campaigns as well.
4. Continue to track the data to see whether recent efforts have paid off.
User data can show up on Google Analytics and Google Search Console in 24 to 48 hours. Whenever you implemented new strategies, make sure to monitor the results on these free Google tools.
The digital marketing industry is ever-changing. Don’t get left behind with a ‘set and forget it’ mindset. Test out strategies and make constant adjustments to keep your online stream of customers steady.
Remember these key basic metrics in Google Analytics and Google Search Console. They house valuable data which are useful to optimizing for conversion.