I am a self-proclaimed nerd. Unlike many people I know, I love digging into data and discovering those nuggets of knowledge that can have an impact on the bottom line.
Recently, I was having lunch with a friend and the conversation took a unique twist. She talked about how she knows that she needs to update her website content, and she knows that social media is important. But at the end of the day, she only has so many hours and she doesn’t have time to get it all done. She asked for my advice on how to prioritize.
My response to her: “What does your Google Analytics data tell you?”
Analytics can provide a lot of great information about the traffic to your site. It can tell you the number of visitors, how much time they spend on the site, and how quickly they leave.
But the true value of Analytics comes from learning the online “body language” of your customers. Analytics can help tell you things that they don’t.
Body Language Signal #1 – Is Your Site Navigation Intuitive to Visitors?
Using Analytics, you can determine if visitors to your site can easily find the information they most want. A great way to determine this is to look at the visitor flow. Most customers will land on your home page. From there, they branch off to the interior pages of the site. If they return back to the home page several times, chances are they aren’t finding the information they are looking for.
In addition, are visitors using the site search tool? Taking a look at the keywords they use to find information on the site can give you insight into information that may be difficult to find or that is missing from the site.
Body Language Signal #2 – Are my Friends and Followers on Social Media Really Interacting with My Site?
When you take a look at referral traffic in Analytics, you are able to see the quality of traffic from social media sources. Which traffic provides the “best” visitors and, ultimately, do those visitors complete a pre-defined goal?
In the case of my friend, we took a look at her Analytics and noticed that traffic from Twitter was 37% more likely to complete an action on the site (i.e. complete a form, watch a video, etc.) when compared to Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. This provided my friend with some much-needed prioritization. Despite the fact that others in the industry were focused on Facebook, she decided that her first priority would be Twitter because that provided the traffic that was most likely to help her achieve her overall goals.
Body Language Signal #3 - What Content is the Most Valuable to the End User?
Analytics allows us to set up goal tracking. This will allow us to determine how many people watched a video, how much of a video they watched, and what links/buttons were clicked the most often.
This is where we can really see the “body language” online. It is no longer enough just to know that someone visited a particular page. If we know what they looked at on that page and how they interacted with that page, we are much better equipped to provide the content that they want. And, at the end of the day, that is what creates a win-win situation for both the visitor and the site owner.
Using Analytics, you can investigate the actions of your site visitors and determine their true online behavior. That data can help you not only organize information in the best way possible, but also to prioritize your time.
So, go ahead. Dig into your Analytics data and discover the things your customers aren’t telling you.