One of the most powerful tools for finding new insights about their audience that marketers have at their disposal is Google Analytics. This versatile platform highlights the way people find your website as well as the way they use it once they are there, providing you with valuable information that you can use to hone your approach to digital marketing.

However, many times Google Analytics is both misunderstood and underutilized by marketers. In this article, we'll take a look at five powerful ways that you can start taking advantage of all that Google Analytics has to offer.

Utilize the Channel Acquisition Report

The channel acquisition report available on Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about where the traffic on your website is coming from. In addition to this, it allows you to break the data down further in order to see which channels are resulting in the most conversions and revenue. After all, the channel that sends the most traffic isn't always inherently the channel that leads to the most profit.

Google Analytics Acquisition Report

Using this information, you will be able to identify which channels are performing the best and which ones are not leading to a profitable amount of traffic and revenue. Once you know which channels are bringing in the most traffic and revenue, you can better target your advertising efforts and budget to focus on high-performing channels.

In addition to this, the channel acquisition report is also able to highlight channels that may not bring a lot of traffic but do have a high conversion rate. Channels such as this present a great opportunity for increased marketing focus if you have a way to affordably boost the traffic that comes from them.

Review the Bounce Rates of Your Landing Pages

Along with telling you where your traffic is coming from and what pages that users are visiting, Google Analytics will also tell you the bounce rate for each of your landing pages. This information can be used to determine how well the content on your landing pages is working to keep visitors engaged.

Google Analytics Bounce Rate

If you make use of multiple landing pages, you can use the bounce rate of each one to figure out which landing page is most effective. From there, you can dive into why the content on a particular page is or isn't working and begin to optimize your landing pages to reduce your bounce rate.

Having an optimized landing page that keeps visitors engaged and encourages them to further explore your website is an incredibly effective tool, and by knowing the bounce rate of your landing pages you will have a big chunk of the data needed to optimize them.

Optimize Your Sales Funnels

If you run an E-commerce website, having a great checkout funnel is essential for guiding visitors towards a conversion, and with Google Analytics, you can analyze every step of your sales funnel to determine how well it is performing.

For example, you may find that there is a page in your sales funnel where a large percentage of your traffic is dropping off, enabling you to edit the offending page and optimize your funnel. Knowing what visitors do at each step of your sales funnel also allows you to identify areas where your funnel could be streamlined as well as high-performing areas that you may want to put more emphasis on or emulate elsewhere in your website.

Google Analytics Sales Funnels Reports

Building an exceptional sales funnel is often a trial and error process, however, when you have quality data to base this process on it becomes much easier to optimize your sales funnel in order to turn a higher percentage of visitors into paying customers.

Separate Mobile Versus Desktop Traffic

In spite of the fact that mobile traffic has now exceeded desktop traffic, one Adobe study has shown that 80% of companies still do not have a mobile marketing strategy in place. The trick to knowing how much emphasis you should put on mobile marketing as well as how much emphasis you should place on optimizing your website for mobile users lies in knowing what percentage of your traffic comes from mobile users versus the percentage that comes from desktop users, and Google Analytics is able to show you this information.

Google Analytics Device Reports

Once you know where the majority of your traffic on your website is coming from, you can better decide how much emphasis your company should put on targeting mobile users.

Just like your digital marketing channels, you may not always see a direct correlation between traffic and conversions. With more and more people using mobile devices on the go, you could likely see your mobile visitors growing at a faster rate than desktop but are your conversions growing as well? This analysis could help further emphasize the need for a mobile marketing strategy.

Get the Big Picture of Your Marketing Efforts With Multi-Channel Attribution Reports

By default, Google Analytics will show you the last link a visitor clicked before they made a purchase or completed another desired action on your website. For example, if a visitor clicked on a Facebook ad and then purchased a product on your website, Facebook will be credited with the conversion. This information is extremely useful for finding out the last action that a user took before completing the desired action on your website, however, you can get an even broader picture of what led to the conversion by looking at Google Analytics' multi-channel attribution report.

Google Analytics Multi-Channel Attribution Reports

The multi-channel attribution report lets you know what actions assisted in the conversion by showing you the content that the visitor saw before they ultimately clicked the link that leads to their conversion. This data enables you to quantify and analyze the effectiveness of your "soft marketing" tactics such as building brand awareness and content marketing. This top conversion paths report will show you an aggregated view of the top paths a user takes before they convert. This alternate view of the assisted conversions report displays each of the channels the user interacted with before completing a conversion.

Understanding the user journey allows you to understand, for example, that while your email marketing efforts may not lead to direct conversions, it could have re-ignited old customers to come back to the website in which they later came back via an organic search and converted. Google's default last-click attribution would never show you this and you may be making inaccurate marketing decisions not understand the big picture. 

Conclusion

Google Analytics is a powerful platform with a wealth of information for marketers to take advantage of. If you are looking for a way to discover new marketing opportunities, analyze the effectiveness of your current marketing strategy, and optimize every aspect of your website from your landing pages to your sales funnel, we strongly encourage you to give Google Analytics a try.