Defined as a ‘process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels for efficient growth’, growth hacking involves both mainstream and out-of-the-box tactics for building a strong user base.
The question is – how do you know if your tactics and campaigns are actually helping your business grow?
If you are observant enough, you would have noticed how obsessed our species is with numbers.
For a webmaster, it is important to know exactly how many people search for their website, the keywords and the number of ‘people’ who click on the results.
Thankfully for website owners, Google offers tools like the Analytics solutions suite to assess all of this and a lot more.
Google Analytics is one of the most powerful and widely used clickstream tools employed by web professionals all around the world to evaluate digital traffic and visitor behavior. Its easy-to-use interface, extensive metrics, and non-exhaustive data make it a gold mine of invaluable information for online businesses, ranging from startups to large enterprises.
It is a tool that has helped many major brands unlock the true potential of their marketing efforts and leverage their online presence to further extend their market reach and their business.
But the biggest snag with Google Analytics is the volume of data and metrics that can be overwhelming for many. Of course, you can get a firm grip of concepts like bounce rates and acquisition channels, but it can be a bit of a learning challenge if you truly aim to understand “how to hack your business growth” with Google Analytics.
Growth hacking is all about leveraging visitor behavior and data through rapid experimentation and revamping of your product/service in a way that befits user’s requirements.
When you harness the real power of Google Analytics, and couple your SEO efforts with the principles of growth hacking, you can devise a data-driven strategy for your website to grow your business.
So, without any further delay, let’s dig into the controls of the Analytics suite to power your current SEO campaign.
1. Combine Analytics with Search Console
By default, Google Analytics displays ‘not provided’ and ‘not set’ under SEO data. In order to enable this feature, you can sync Google Analytics with the Google Search Console account.
Google Webmaster Tools/Search Console, another solution by Google, offers maximum control and knowledge over a website’s visibility on Google Search.
The product linking option is available under the ADMIN tab in Google Analytics where Search Console can be found under All Products. Search console data is accessible under Acquisition › Search Console.
How This Helps?
When you combine Search Console with Google Analytics, it allows you to pull a report comprising of acquisition, behavior and conversion metrics for your organic search traffic. This information is regarding the favorable search terms and landing pages – CTR, impressions, clicks, and positions your website receives.
This data is useful in evaluating the success of your campaign for targeted locations and in hacking the optimal keywords for the website with Google’s Keyword Tool.
Also, landing page reports can be used to improve the current pages on the website and to drive more page views through proper audits.
2. Set Up Conversions and Goals
Finding out how your website helps your business is important. Leads, Account signups, Trial signups, Newsletter signups, Ebook downloads, and White paper downloads are important metrics you should be tracking.
Here’s how you can track them-
The events, conversions, and goal setup are essential parts of setting up Google Analytics for your website. Google offers a standard Analytics code that can be installed on to the completion page just after a conversion has happened to track conversion data; here Tag Manager can offer more flexibility to the overall tracking process.
Please Note: It is important to ensure that users cannot access the completion page by any other means.
To set up a new goal, you need to head to the ADMIN tab to find Goals under the All Website Data section. The overall interface is rather simple and self-explanatory and allows for complete control over the details of your ‘new goal’.
Destination goals are designed in a way that when a user, for example, makes a purchase on the website, it leads them to a completion page, which pushes the goal count by +1.
For E-commerce websites, Google Analytics also offers e-commerce tracking, which is optimized to allow you to track payments made on the website. The E-commerce setup is also available under All Website Data and can be customized with ease.
How This Helps?
By keeping track of sales and subscriptions on the website, you can identify your popular products and/or services. Conversion data can also be used to hack ‘call to action’ improvements to further drive these numbers in the right direction.
3. Filter Your Data
The ability to pinpoint (and filter) spam is yet another superpower offered by Google Analytics.
There are some predefined filters already present that can be applied on your data, but if you wish to chart out your own reports, you can always create new customized filters.
New filters can be set up to improve readability and quality of the Analytics report for custom tasks such as segregating user engagement data to enhance interpretation.
Naturally, you must not ruin the Analytics data through ‘test sessions’ on the website form. Hence, filters are necessary to increase the accuracy of data reports.
How This Helps?
Customizing acquisitions on the basis of source and filtering spam out allows for the recognition of genuine sources. These sources can be converted to leads and/or to add value to user base.
4. Use Custom Reports and Dashboards
Custom reports can be set up to improve the comprehension of Analytics data. The options to create custom reports is accessible under the Customization tab, where they can be created on all possible dimensions of engagement metrics according to the needs of the user. For example, a report can be created to classify the session times of users, based on whether they are new or returning users.
Personalizing the home screen can certainly enhance efficiency of the monitoring process. Google Analytics allows for custom dashboards and annotations for fluent communications between SEO experts and their clients.
Annotations are a great way to add clarity to Analytics data.
Custom dashboards make sharing progress reports with clients convenient with easy comprehension, highlighting updates on the website. The dashboard can be shared across accounts, where select data can be rendered accordingly.
How This Helps?
By customizing your Google Analytics dashboard, you can create visual shortcuts to the most important data within your Google Analytics account, and this helps you in viewing the bigger picture.
5. Comprehending Reports – Audience and Acquisition Data
Now that we are in complete control of our Analytics data, the next step is to use this information to improve results further.
1. The Audience data helps to identify information about the user. User agents, demographics, location and user behavior on the website can help optimize data to improve user experience and define a target audience. With information regarding user interests, age and gender, outlining suitable content for the targeted audience becomes easier.
2. Google Analytics provides data about users’ interactions with individual pages of the website. The Audience › Users Flow data informs us about the pages accessed in a particular session, which can be customized over different characteristics. Knowledge of the best and worst pages in terms of performance can greatly help with on-page SEO.
3. We have always stressed on the growing importance and popularity of mobile devices- on that note, Google too made it known recently that it wanted us to give more weight to mobile websites for search rankings. Under Audience › Mobile, we can access and compare data among mobile and desktop acquisitions and conversions, which can help deduce a website’s value on the portable form factor.
4. Site Speed Insights are another excellent stat that Google Analytics offers. Google has regularly emphasized on its preference for faster websites, and it goes without saying that a speedy site attracts more users. Speed insights are accessible under Behavior › Site Speed– it offers information based on user’s location, the browser used and the pages viewed.
5. The channels data under Acquisition is indicative of the main sources of traffic for the website. Having information about the most successful operations is key- whether it’s organic traffic, direct, social or referral. It also allows us to find and work on the weaker sections of a website’s campaign. The Acquisition › Campaigns data also allows us to review the performance of organic and/or paid keywords for the website.
Wrapping Things Up
SEO is one of most vital marketing tactics for any online business today. Every business out there wants to be on the Top of Google Page 1 as that’s how your target audience discovers you online.
Thus, along with being on the top of Google Page 1, your online business also needs a small dosage of growth hacking.
You can reach out to your target audience in unconventional ways and generate their interest in your product/services. This can be achieved by leveraging content marketing tactics and influencer marketing among others.
With Google Analytics, SEO experts and website owners have a solid tool to turn to when they want to fulfill the goal of gaining recognition, customers, and conversions. Therefore, it’s no surprise that we advise businesses and webmasters to get onto the platform to get a better grip on their work on the web.
The ability to track progress with consistency and accuracy is vital for a business’ growth.
A thorough evaluation of Google Analytics’ reports and corresponding audits on the website do help in preparing for a solid upgrade of an SEO campaign.
By preparing the ideal SEO campaign for our clients in this manner, achieving the target of generating conversions and building a user base becomes easier.