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3 of the most important Google Analytics reports

4 min read

With the rise of content in b2b marketing there’s surprisingly little attention being paid to its measurability. So it’s no wonder some b2b marketers are scratching their heads when it comes to showing ROI from content marketing activities.

Google Analytics is a godsend for anyone wanting to understand the impact their online activity has on customer behaviour. It’s also free, which is a bonus. On the other hand, getting started and knowing what to look for can be a bit of a mission.

We sent our Account Director Darnelle to Google Analytics Academy to help us - and our clients - understand what to look for.

Ultimately you are the only person who can decide what metrics and reports are important to your business, but there are three main reporting areas that we like to keep an eye on. Check them out below:

Acquisition

In Google speak “Acquisition” refers to how your site attracts visitors. The Acquisition reports are fantastic for marketers who want to attribute site traffic to particular marketing activities.

Google’s Acquisition reports provide a window on your visitors’ Acquisition-Behaviour-Conversion (ABC) cycle: how you acquire users, their behaviour on your site, and their conversion patterns.

The reports let you see:

  • Acquisition by channel (e.g. organic search), campaign (e.g. AdWords or DM), keyword (ie search term), and source (e.g. eDM or Facebook).
  • On-site behaviour, eg pages visited, visit duration, and pageviews.
  • Conversion patterns by transactions, revenue, ecommerce conversion rate, goal completions, goal values, and goal conversion rate. Remember: conversions vary between businesses objectives. For example a software reseller’s objective might be to drive registrations for a free trial while an ecommerce store’s focus will be online sales.

These insights are particularly useful when doing content and social marketing for the first time as you get a real window into how users are accessing your site’s content, where they came from and ultimately where they end up.

Audience

Google’s Audience reports are designed to provide insight into:

  • Who makes up your audience (demographics, interests, location, language, custom variables)
  • How that audience reaches and consumes your site (technology, mobile)
  • Loyalty and engagement (behaviour)

This area is so juicy it hurts. Our favourite is digging deep into loyalty and engagement through the audience behaviour reports. Drill down to see how many visitors are new vs. returning, the frequency and recency of each visit and how engaged your visitors are on the site. These reports can support loads of marketing activity from new marketing campaigns to customer loyalty and advocacy programs.

Behaviour

Google’s Behaviour reports are designed to help you improve the content of your site to meet the needs and expectations of visitors.

The Site Content > Pages report shows how frequently each page on your site has been viewed. Look for high bounce rates on the Landing Pages report to identify landing pages that need to be rewritten or redesigned to be more effective.

If you provide a search box on your site, use the Site Search reports to find out how successful your visitors are when they search your site.

If you incorporate Flash, Ajax, or other kinds of interactive elements on your site, you may wish to understand how your visitors use them. The Events reports provide a non-pageview-based approach to tracking interactivity.

Looking at behaviour reports helps marketers drill down and asses the success of each piece of content published on the site, which can then inform the direction of future content marketing activities.

What next?

Thanks to the latest updates in September last year, Google reporting has really come of age. There’s no doubt the reports are a great step beyond the simple traffic and source reporting of 2012. Once you familiarise yourself with the reporting abilities of Google you then need to customise them to your business. Click here to take a lesson is customising standard reports and here to learn how to build your own reports from scratch (warning: this is for the more experienced Google Analytics user!).

As a marketer sometimes it can feel as though we've got metrics coming out of our ears. And sometimes, what we may think is relevant to the boss is actually not. We created our free guide "The 6 Marketing Metrics Your Boss Actually Cares About," to help marketers see the woods from the trees. Download it today to learn more.

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