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04 September 2015

5 Effective Google Analytics Features You Might Not Be Using

5 Effective Google Analytics Features You Might Not Be Using
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By Amit Kothiyal

Google Analytics Features

Google Analytics is the most important online tool that you can use to make important online marketing and business decisions. The freemium online service offered by Google gives you insightful information about your website. More specifically, with Google Analytics, you can track how many visitors visited your website during a particular period, where they came from, and how much time they spent on average browsing your website.

With Google Analytics, you can track online traffic of your website and monitor effectiveness of various online marketing campaigns. You can use the information and insights obtained from the online analytic tool to know most popular and relevant keywords for your website. The best thing about Google Analytics tool is that it lets you drill down various metrics in detail and provide information what will prove invaluable in improving your website’s traffic.

Here, we will share with you five important Google Analytics features that you might be missing that will provide you with the complete picture about your website.

1. Annotation

Annotation is a great feature in Google Analytics that helps in recording key events on particular dates directly in the interface. Using the annotation features users can leave private or shared notes on the Google Analytics graphs. This will help in recalling important events and reduce time spent on analyzing past online traffic data.

You can create an annotation through either the Admin or the Report interface. To create annotations through the Admin interface, you must click on the Admin tab in Google Analytics, and select Annotations under the View column. Enter the data and description of the annotation that you want to record.

Annotation

For creating annotations through the Report interface, you must open any analytics report and click the little arrow just beneath the graph. Next, click on “Create New Annotation” to enter and save an annotation. You can also make the annotation shared or private in Google Analytics.

2. In-Page Analytics

In-Page Analytics is an invaluable option in Google Analytics that provides detailed information about your website traffic. The feature provides key statistics about each page of your website. Using the In-Page Analytics option, you can find out links that get the most attention from online visitors on each page and the way they interact with the website.

The feature allows you to get insightful information about various important website metrics such as page views, bounce rate, average time spent on page, conversion rates, and many other important information. You can use this information to improve overall user experience of your website and attract greater number of online visitors.

In-Page Analytics

However, note that there are also certain shortcomings with this Google Analytics feature. For instance, you cannot know which links the users clicked on the page. If a webpage has lot of content and you have used anchor text on the page for improved view-ability, you will not know which anchor text is clicked by the users. Also, you cannot monitor ‘submit’ buttons on the forms. Other than that, this is certainly a useful feature in Google Analytics that you should use to gain deep insights about your website.

3. Multi-Channel Funnels

Google Analytics can provide insights into how your online visitors convert i.e. purchase your products or services offered on the website.

Your online visitors don’t always view the ad, visit the website, and make a purchase. It’s rarely works this way. In reality, the online visitors that come to your website and make a purchase come through various online channels (as opposed to just AdWords marketing channel).

They may arrive at your site through an organic search that leads to a blog posted in your website, and then clicking on the purchase link. The online visitors may also visit your website by clicking on an ad posted on a social media site or an affiliate website.

Understanding the conversion paths will help you to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy, and increase conversion rates. You can gain this valuable information by clicking on Conversions, then Multi-Channel Funnels, and Top Conversion Paths.

Multi-Channel Funnels

4. Custom Audience Segments

Visitor segmentation is a great feature in Google Analytics. You are missing out on a wealth of information about your online visitors if you are not using this feature. With visitor segmentation, you can classify or group your visitors according to different characteristics such as age, location, affinity, gender, and others.

In order to view visitor segmentation data, select the Audience, then click on Demographics or Interests. You can also create a custom segmentation report by clicking on the Audience tab, then select the small arrow next to “All Sessions.”

You can now create a custom segment report to gain information about a specific group of people. You can refine your custom segment by adding the date, the visitors visited your site and the source of the traffic. You can also compare different custom segmentation to gain better insights about your online visitors.

Custom Audience Segments

The insights about visitor segmentation will help you in improving your AdWords and social media marketing campaigns. You can use the information to better target your audience and increase the effectiveness of the online campaign. For instance, if you find out that most of your visitors are young adults (ages 25-34), you can fine tune your marketing strategies to focus on that group to increase conversion rate of your website.

5. Tracking Site Speed

Speed is a major factor in conversion rate optimization of a website. With Google Analytics, you can also track average load speed of your website. You can access the site speed metrics by clicking on Behavior -> Site Speed -> Overview.

Tracking Site Speed

The default site speed settings in Google Analytics do not display accurate data. In order to properly implement site speed tracking, you must enter the following code in Google Universal Analytics (analytics.js library).

ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-1′, ‘auto’, {‘siteSpeedSampleRate’: 50});

If you are using ga.js async library you should enter the following code for more accurate site speed.

_gaq.push([‘_setSiteSpeedSampleRate’, 100]);

At the end of the day, Google Analytics will be your most valuable resource to critically analyze online traffic and improve the performance of your website based on effective keywords. The easy-to-use interface of the online tool makes it easy for you to monitor the performance of your website by analyzing, comparing, and reporting various metrics.

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