Site Search People will tell you exactly what they’re looking for on your site if you let them. Go into Google Analytics and enable site search under the Admin section (under View Settings > Site Search). Above is the Starting Page where each traffic source enters your site. So first, start by helping people get from one page to the next by including more internal links or CTA’s along each step. Goal Reports Traffic and pageviews are good. Start by creating a basic Goal inside Google Analytics. Then you can go back to your Conversions report and look at Goal Completions by Source / Medium to determine which channels are sending you the most conversions. So most people know they get a lot of mobile traffic to their websites right now. Mobile conversions are only 2 at a 2% conversion rate. Top Converting Pages Different pages on your site are good at different things.
Google Analytics provides hundreds of different metrics.
But that’s also part of the problem: There’s too many!
You’d need days or weeks to completely digest what’s inside. Most business owners I know can’t afford that kind of time.
There’s good news, though.
First, you can check out this video I made to maximize on-page SEO and a couple other important Google ranking factors.
Second, you don’t need to look at every single metric inside Google Analytics. In fact, you can ignore most of them.
The trick is to know what type of data you’re looking for and which report can give you that information the fastest.
Below, you’ll find eight of my favorite reports that I use all the time to find ‘hidden profit’ on my sites. Browsing each for a few minutes can help you spot easy revenue opportunities that you’re missing.
Here’s how to use each of them to find new ideas that make you look like a hero while also boosting your bottom line.
1. Site Search
People will tell you exactly what they’re looking for on your site if you let them.
Take a look over at my sidebar right now. What do you see about halfway down?
A little search box like this:
Having site search like this on your website kills two birds with one stone. Here’s why:
- To help people find more information about a topic they’re interested in.
- To see what topics people are interested in so I can create more about it!
You’ll first need to enable this function.
Go into Google Analytics and enable site search under the Admin section (under View Settings > Site Search).
Then, you’ll be able to log in and ‘spy’ on what customers are looking for so that you can create more blog posts, webinars, lead magnets, or even products and services that target the same topics.
Once enabled, head over to the Behavior tab in the right-hand sidebar. Then look for Site Search and Search Terms.
One final caveat, though.
Notice anything about that example above?
You often see the same word multiple times (like “sunglasses” and “Sunglasses”). These results are case sensitive, which means you’ll need to apply a lowercase filter to consolidate your results. Otherwise, your data will be misleading.
For example, “haircut” is the second most popular search term listed above with 123 searches. But if you had a lowercase filter applied, you’d actually discover that “sunglasses” should be sitting firmly in the number two position with 195 combined searches.
2. Behavior Flow Report
Most people don’t convert from the homepage. Instead, it’s commonly a jumping off point to other places on your website.
We should then turn our attention to how people are already navigating through our website to improve results (rather than obsess over jamming every single item onto the homepage).
Step #1. You can do this with the Behavior Flow report, under the Behavior tab in the left-hand sidebar.
Look at the first column (marked Step #2) in the image above.
Here, you can toggle between ways to segment traffic. The view you’re looking at now segments by Source / Medium, so you can see how each unique traffic source behaves.
Step #3. Above is the Starting Page where each traffic source enters your site. The first forward slash result (“/”) is the homepage. The ones underneath are different page or post paths shown with the corresponding URL.
Each column after that (like Step #4.) shows the ‘next step’ someone takes on your site before either leaving or converting.
Viewing this report will show you that many times people might even bypass the homepage entirely, going from landing page to offer to confirmation page without clicking back to Home.
So first, start by helping people get from one page to the next by including more internal links or CTA’s along each step. You can also see where people are dropping off in chunks and improve those pages to keep people on course.
Try breaking your site down into these paths, tied back to the original traffic source or channel, with inbound funnel segmentation.
It takes a little extra work on the frontend, but you’ll be able to create a better experience for each user coming through the path because you know exactly where they came from and where they’re trying to go next.
3. Goal Reports
Traffic and pageviews are good. You need a growing site with engaged users to give yourself a fighting chance.
But at the end of the day, you need cold, hard conversions.
Setting up new Goals in Google Analytics can help you track conversions to see which marketing activities result in the newest leads, sales inquiries, or product sales.
Just looking at your website’s overall conversion rate isn’t that helpful. You don’t know what’s contributing to it and whether it’s hitting the potential or not.
Start by creating a basic Goal inside Google Analytics. For example, if someone was signing up for a new free trial on your site, you could create a Destination goal with the URL of your Thank You page to record all new successful opt-ins.
Then you can go back to your Conversions report and look at Goal Completions by Source / Medium to determine which channels are sending you the most conversions. (And in turn, which of your marketing activities are contributing the best ROI.)
One tricky pitfall to watch out for is the conversions coming from (direct) / (none).
Technically, Direct traffic is when people type your website URL directly into their address bar. But in reality, ‘dark traffic’ is taking over your other sources of tracking and lumping them under Direct instead.
For example, Google is now forcing all webmasters to start adding secure search with an SSL certificate to their websites. In general, this is a good thing! It helps ‘lock down’ websites from someone maliciously snooping on your web session.
However, most analytics packages have trouble properly attributing redirected traffic (like if you’re…