How To Use Google Analytics To Predict Sales Success
Image: Screenshots taken of Google Analytics by Google, Inc.
"Google Analytics is a complex tool. However, using it to read your visitors' level of interest in your brand is easy if you know how to look."
Google Analytics is a "crystal ball" in the right hands. It can predict customer intentions based on their interactions with your website. And since interested visitors are more likely to convert into sales leads, it's worth learning how to spot these signals. Best of all, interpreting customer signals with Google Analytics is easy if you know how to use the tool.
Navigate to your Audience Overview screen. This is typically the default screen for Google Analytics. Once you're there, compare pageviews with unique visitors during your desired timeframe. Are there any dates when pageviews spike considerably higher than the number of unique visitors to your website? Focus on that date. It could be exactly the signal we want.
With your timeframe narrowed to the dates you identified, navigate to Behavior » Engagement, and select Page Depth. What do you see? Do you have 20 visitors who looked at 1 page and 2 visitors who looked at 30 pages? Our 2 visitors may represent the kind of traffic we want. Now, look at Visit Duration on this same screen. If your special guests stayed on your site for more than a couple minutes, things are looking very good.
3.) Advanced Segmentation.
We want to isolate for further analysis the 2 unique visitors in our example who each accrued 30 pageviews. Click on the Advanced Segments button and create a new segment where pageviews are greater than a particular number. In this example, we'll create a segment where pageviews are greater than 25. Apply your Custom Segment. We've now isolated our special guests. You can also create additional parameters for your Custom Segments that will refine your Google Analytics data however you desire.
4.) Visitors Flow.
Now, navigate to the Visitors Flow screen. Look at the page interactions. Note that Google Analytics counts a pageview every time a visitor loads one of your website pages. If a particular visitor meandered through your site then hit the browser's back button to return from where they came, the associated pageviews number will be artificially inflated. Visitors Flow is one way to check for this (and another way is to create additional filters in your Custom Segments.) Assuming these special visitors in our example are legitimate, look at how they navigate through your website. If they hit all your key pages and read more about your product, these are very strong signals that your segmented visitors are interested business prospects.
5.) Additional Analysis.
Once you get to this point, Google Analytics will have given you a strong idea how many unique visitors viewed your key pages and spent significant time on your website. From there, you can look at Google Analytics sections such as Traffic Sources to see from where and (possibly) why your interested visitors came to your website. This can be important for measuring the effectiveness of your marketing activity.
In our example 10% of our unique visitors showed strong interest in the brand. You can follow these same steps and plot this value over time to see your baseline potential sales leads. Your job as a marketer is make that number go up! Ideally, the higher the interested visitors percentage, the more sales you'll produce.
This Google Analytics example is very simple. However, the concepts will apply in a variety of situations. Having the Google Analytics crystal ball at your side is a good way to predict your sales through measuring your marketing success.
What web analytics methods or tools do you use with your website?