This post is the first of a 3-part series about how to find conversion opportunities. We will be using the Google Merchandise Store, so even if you didn’t have access to a client’s website or have no access to any website, you’ll be able to teach yourself how to think and apply the concepts.
For part 2 & 3 click here:
This lesson will cover how to approach the conversion rate metric and the kind of segmentation that will bring more accuracy to your conversion for each report. We’ll find quick conversion opportunities, how to evaluate the quality of your traffic, important and less important metrics, and what to look for to optimize your pages so they bring more revenue.
Introduction You Shouldn’t Skip…
You can approach conversion opportunities from different angles. Some approaches are more advanced and detailed than others. However, there are key areas that add more accuracy. They all boil down to segmentation. You want to segment your data using dimensions and metrics that are relevant to your goals. Make sure to consider the points below for everything we’re covering about conversion opportunities.
- Look at your date range (ex: your past 7 days of transactions or conversion rate even if positive may not reflect your usual business. Maybe your spikes occurred during a holiday week). Ideally, select a date range of 3 months so you can see patterns.
- Don’t focus only on your overall “All Goals”. Look at each goal individually and see what works and how to make it even better. Look at what is not working and see if it should be improved or dismissed.
- Segment your data by the locations that you’re targeting. Not the whole world.
- Don’t get crazy with conversion rate. Rather, focus on the hard metrics like revenue, number of transactions and goal completions. Following the steps above will bring more accuracy to your conversion rate regardless. That being said, the conversion is a ratio subject to the number of traffic which varies and the above features we’ve already pointed out. The conversion rate average does not take into account outliers. Don’t disregard conversion rate completely but have it segmented and reported along with metrics like revenue, transactions, and goal completions.
Remember to think about problems you find as sources of conversion opportunities either for improvement or dismissal.
Places where we will spend most of our time today :
1st we will look at our traffic sources which are found in the Acquisition report.
This report tells you the actions people took on your site. What did they do on your site? what pages did they visit?
The Conversion report
Here you can measure the actions you are expecting people to take on your website to achieve your goals. Your website exists so that people take actions that accomplish your desired goal (buy a product, get leads, etc). After setting up goals in google analytics we will look at the conversion report and answer the questions: Did people take the actions I wanted them to take?
A Quick-Step to Start Finding Opportunities
A good place to start with is the Behavior report.
Remember this is the Google Merchandise store, it’s eCommerce.
So the All Pages report shows us what pages did visitors looked when they are on our website.
You can begin to look at the top 10 pages. Then you want to look at the number of “entrances” and the “page value” for each (for each row).
Page value can be accurate (like for an online store where visitors buy a product for a specific price) or it can be an approximate or symbolic number. Page value helps to measure and evaluate the performance of pages.
So the lower the page value the less the page is contributing to your website’s purpose. Also, compare the pages with above or below average page value(in the yellow box).
When looking at these pages you should ask yourself:
- Are these pages doing what we want them to do?
- Are they helping to achieve the goal we have set?
Note: Don’t Focus Much on These Pages
Some pages aren’t much relevant to our analysis.
For example, it is common for most websites to have the home page and basket page (same as cart page) at the top 3. Home page for eCommerce for example might not have a lot of page value but bring a lot of visitors (sessions). The basket page because people may have a higher page value since people are getting ready to make purchases.
These 2 pages are by default expected to report these activities so you shouldn’t include them in this analysis.
However, what you could do is look at their bounce rate. High bounce rates indicate pages with possible problems.
In case the top ten pages are not where you’re sending a lot your conversion traffic to, you can filter your pages by using the search options, you can also exclude pages you don’t want with advanced filters or use and segments.
Checking Traffic Quality
This part will help us set the stage for what we will do next in the other parts of these series.
Note: traffic quality here refers to successful traffic. Traffic that brings you the most revenue, the number of goal completions, and goal conversion rate.
Go to Acquisition > All Traffic >> Source/Medium
The source/medium report shows you how traffic comes to your site.
Source is WHO sent you traffic (Google, facebook etc.)
Medium is HOW they sent traffic to you (CPC, mail etc.)
Money is the 1st thing to observe to know what is performing or not. Monetary values help you gauge the quality of your traffic.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are we selling?
- Are we having a lot of conversions?
- Are we making revenue through e-commerce?
Here you can see where the highest quality of traffic is coming from.
In our case you can see that although the googleplex mall sends lower amounts of traffic, it is also bringing us the most revenue.
You’ll see this report if you’ve enabled either eCommerce or goals in your GA account.
Importance of Your Quality Traffic to Your Overall Conversion
Checking for Successful & Unsuccessful Traffic Sources
Now we’re going to look at what percentage of our visits from each traffic source are successful or not by observing their amount of visits and compare it with their revenue and their goal conversion rate. I usually look at traffic and revenue.
Simply looking at this report helps to see where is the best quality traffic. Here we’re looking at eCommerce. If you don’t have eCommerce and only have goals you can select “All Goals“. This is to compare and measure the traffic sources that have the most or least impact to our site’s overall goal.
You want to ask yourself:
- Do we have a conversion problem that needs to be improved?
- Or do we have a retargeting problem?
- Should we continue investing in this channel?
- Should we stop working with this channel and look for other traffic sources?
For example, in our case here, we can see that mall.googleplex.com/referral is bringing somewhat of a good amount of traffic (compared to top channels) and has a high goal conversion rate and number of goal completions (remember conversion rate is not always reliable to make marketing decisions, number of completion, however, is straightforward. So have a look at both).
mall.googleplex.com/referral has less traffic than direct/none but has almost the same amount of goal completion.
In green you will notice that youtube’s creator academy has almost the same amount of users (4,945) as mall.googleplex.com/referral (5,361), yet is has a very low number of goal completions (and conversion rate too).
Here we can ask :
How can we serve our Youtube creator academy visitors better?
- should we give them something when they arrive on our site?
- is there anything we can do to increase the conversion rate?
- should we stop going after this channel because they are hard to convert and go after another traffic source?
By doing so you can see some of the big differences that can exist between traffic sources and know if you should improve certain website features, or have better targeting or even abandon the traffic source.
Important and Less Important Metrics
A very known metric is the bounce rate.
It is commonly assumed that a high bounce rate is bad.
Often it is and requires you to improve the page to match the intent of your visitors.
However, the bounce rate also can be very misleading and should always be put in context and be evaluated based on your strategy.
For example, you may have a sales page or squeeze page where there’s only a form to fill. No outbound links, no videos, etc. Such a page may have a high bounce rate but also high revenue or conversion rate.
This is an important metric. It shows helps you to figure out which pages are the most valuable. It answers how much value a page contributes to your website’s income?
For your report to be filled with page values you need to have goals set in place in GA.
So the Page Value tells you how much a page contributes to the overall revenue of your website based either on eCommerce which is a hard number (like the actual value from your shopping cart).
Or from the Goal value that you set which will be an approximate number.
Conversion Opportunities With Page Values
Actions you can take and that are successful with blogs:
- find pages with high page value and improve them.
- find pages with low page values and improve them. Compare them with successfull pages that have high page values.