What Google Analytics Can Tell You About Your Leads
If you’ve used Google Analytics before, you already know the immense amount of information the platform provides on who is visiting your website and what they do. But did you know that Google Analytics can also tell you a lot about the leads generated through your website?
Google Analytics is the epitome of the phrase “easy to learn, hard to master.” You may know where to look for certain high-level information and reports, but extracting meaningful takeaways from the charts and graphs can be difficult without help.
Large businesses have in-house marketing teams that constantly monitor results on Google Analytics and other platforms. As a small business owner, however, you likely don’t have the time, money, or manpower to check Google Analytics regularly and make sense of the reporting.
What you need is a conversion optimization specialist. Keep reading for a basic overview of how Google Analytics reports on leads, or contact Twelve Three Media today to learn how our experienced team can help you.
What Reports Do You Need in Google Analytics?
Data-driven individuals find it easy to get lost in Google Analytics. If you are just looking for straightforward insights, however, you can find them by perusing the data in a few basic reports generated by Analytics in real time.
Cary Haun, Technical SEO Specialist at Twelve Three Media, recently described the metrics he uses in Google Analytics as a “generalized overview report of a site’s monthly traffic and activity.” He elaborates:
- “Under Audience, I’ll report User, Sessions, and Pageview totals – including also the Average Session Duration.
- “Under Acquisition, for each of the major channels, I include Users and overall percentages of each.
- “Under Conversions, I will report the All Goal Completion total and the Conversion rate (then parse out each Goal’s individual conversion amounts as well).”
This combination of reports enables our team to assess the effectiveness of a client’s SEO strategy. However, the Conversions report also has the very important benefit of giving us a snapshot of a client’s website lead generation.
What Are Conversions in Google Analytics?
Google itself defines a conversion as a “completed activity, online or offline, that is important to the success of your business.” Depending on your business goals and the types of marketing campaigns you run, many different activities on your website could constitute a conversion. These include:
- An online purchase of a product
- Completion of a lead generation form
- Newsletter signups
- And more
Conversions can align with a variety of different goals, from boosting the visibility of your business among prospective customers (via signups to your email list, downloads of premium digital content, etc.) to actual sales and appointments. Ultimately, conversions represent leads for your business in a macro (i.e., a purchase) or micro (i.e., building awareness) sense.
How Are Goals Tracked in Google Analytics?
You need to set up goals in Google Analytics to track conversions. Analytics gives you the option to choose from a list of template goals, create a custom goal, or set up smart goals (if you meet certain prerequisites).
The type of goal you need to create will depend on the action you want users to take when they visit your website. Goals from a template fall under categories related to standard business objectives (such as Revenue, Engagement, etc.) while custom goals require you to specify the desired action (such as visiting a particular page or certain behaviors while on the website).
Once your goals are set up, Google Analytics will report on key metrics such as:
- Goal conversion rate: The number of website visitors who complete one of your goals.
- Goal URLs: The pages on your website corresponding to the goals you create.
- Reverse goal path: The web pages visitors access before landing on the goal URL.
- Total abandonment rate: The percentage of users who abandoned the funnel before converting.
If your website has an ecommerce component (and it’s set up correctly), the Conversions report in Google Analytics will display data on shopping and checkout behavior, the performance of your products and sales, and marketing promotions such as coupons and affiliate codes. You can also use Multi-Channel Funnels reports to see how various marketing and advertising strategies (such as search engine optimization, referral from other websites, direct traffic, etc.) work together to drive conversions.
Setting up goals in Google Analytics (especially custom goals requiring you to create new web pages) can be challenging for the uninitiated. It may be worth hiring a professional website developer to assist with the technical aspects of this process.
What Information Does Google Analytics Provide About Leads?
Conversions reporting in Google Analytics collects a wide variety of data about the leads generated by your website. The platform also tracks user behaviors before they convert, including:
- What page(s) visitors access as well as the flow of traffic
- How long visitors stay on your website (represented by metrics such as average time on page and average session duration).
- Where users first access your website (represented by entrance rate)
- When and where users leave the site (represented by exit rate and, if a user accesses only one page, bounce rate)
- The channels that bring visitors to your website (i.e., organic search results, social media, links from external websites, etc.)
Analytics also provides audience information collected from users who are signed into a Google account when they access your website. Data can range from demographic characteristics such as age and gender to geographical location to the type of computer or device they use.
These insights can help you identify broad trends in the audience who finds you online and, in some cases, become new customers. However, attaining this knowledge often requires accessing multiple Google Analytics reports and filling in the gaps with your business and industry knowledge (as well as educated guesses).
Is Google Analytics the Only Lead Tracking Tool I Need?
One of the greatest benefits of Google Analytics is that the platform is free. Business owners and their employees can access a wealth of data without spending a fortune.
Although Google Analytics provides extensive reporting on conversions, it is likely not the only tool you need to get a full picture of the leads your business generates. For one thing, call tracking is usually reported through dedicated software. If you do a lot of business with customers by phone, Google Analytics will likely not show a significant portion of these leads (unless your call tracking software or an event action triggers a goal).
Furthermore, though Google Analytics may track the volume of conversions on your website, it offers basically no information on who each individual customer is. X number of customers may make a purchase or complete your online contact form, but the specifics of their order or request will remain a mystery if you rely on Google Analytics alone to track conversions.
The setup and investment for more sophisticated lead tracking will depend on your exact business operations and goals for conversions. For example, your company email needs to be set up correctly to receive incoming form completions from the website, while detailed ecommerce reports can be generated via ecommerce website builders and third-party analytics.
Learn More About Lead Tracking and Conversion Optimization
Contrary to the wisdom in Field of Dreams, simply building a website for your business will not make people come to it. A comprehensive marketing and advertising strategy is essential for getting noticed online and driving customers to buy.
Google Analytics can provide a number of important insights on leads generated through your website, but many business owners find the platform more overwhelming than enlightening. When you partner with Twelve Three Media, our team takes a multifaceted approach to boosting your business. In addition to optimizing conversions from each marketing channel, we report the results in an accessible and transparent fashion.
Through our experience, insider knowledge, and obsession with helping our clients succeed, we give your business the unfair marketing advantage. Talk to us today to learn how we can help you get more leads and generate more revenue!