Google Analytics in Only Three Numbers
Financial advisors and other professionals can decipher a lot of information from Google Analytics with three simple categories.
Most advisors and service professionals have a strong aversion to Google Analytics. Why is this, when we know advisors tend to be numbers-driven and analytical in nature? Our best guess is because Google Analytics is jargon-rich, confusing and overwhelming. In an effort to provide users with all the data they’ll ever need, the analytics platform can be difficult to sift through or find anything meaningful.
However, advisors and service professionals may be more inclined to use Google Analytics if they realize that they really only need to know three things about their website when getting started:
1. How much traffic is coming to my site?
2. Who is that traffic made up of?
3. What are those visitors doing?
Getting these three pieces of information is really simple; just follow these easy steps!
How much traffic is coming to the advisor’s site?
To get started answering this question, follow these steps:
1. Login to Google Analytics
2. Select the website you want to evaluate and click on “All Website Data”
3. In the top right drop down menu, select a date range (try the last 30 days)
4. Go to Audience, then Overview to view “Users”
This answers the question “How much traffic is coming to the advisor’s site?” In this example, 158 users have visited the site in the past month. That’s not terrible, considering this is an example of an old FMG Suite site that has not been optimized for SEO and has no integrated marketing. However, in the next step we will quickly learn that the total traffic does not tell the whole story.
Who is that traffic made up of?
This is where it starts to get interesting, or disheartening, in this example. To learn who this traffic is made up of, stay on the “Audience” tab.
To find out where in the world the site visitors are from, go to “Audience,” then “Geo,” then “Location.” You can see from the data here that a vast majority of our site visitors are from outside the United States. A full 41% are from Russia!
Of the folks visiting the site from the United States, about half are from California, which is great, since this is where this professional business. Unfortunately, this means that of his total 158 site visitors, only 26 were from his target state.
What are those visitors doing?
To find out more about the site visitors’ behavior, navigate to “Behavior” then “Overview.” This section gives a nice summary of which pages are most popular with site visitors. In this example, this is where bigger problems start to take shape.
The website URL directs to a landing page, where folks have to click on “Enter Site” to get to the home page. As is common with this type of site design, there is a very high bounce rate from this page. Only 16% of folks make it past that page to the home page. From there, a meager 3% visit the “Bio” page, the next most popular page.
This is great information to be aware of and particularly concerning for this site because the home page does not actually contain any content, just a photo and navigation items. This means that of the site’s 158 visitors, only 19 of them ever got to a page with any content about the advisor or his services. Of those 19, a few were from Russia and only 7 were from where the advisor does business in California.
Google Analytics can tell a powerful story with simple information. While this advisor thought he had a successful marketing website, in reality we can see that only 7 site visitors from his target market in the past month actually consumed any relevant content on his website. Now that he understands this information, he can adjust his marketing strategy and visit his Google Analytics again in a month or so to see if his new strategy is working.
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