When software products reach mass adoption, there are a number of audiences and use-cases that get prioritized.
Not all features are for everyone.
To keep the interface clean, new functionality gets buried. It’s why Word hasn’t changed in 20 years.
Why do you think the save button is still the floppy disk icon?
Google Analytics is no different. Out of the box it’s a powerful tool for measuring website activity, but with a little digging, you can uncover information to help improve on-page engagement.
This post explains 3 Google Analytics reports you may have overlooked. They're incredibly helpful for helping you optimize conversion rates and discover critical areas for website improvements.
Find 404 Error Pages In Google Analytics Reports
“Not found” page errors result when a specific page cannot be returned at the requested URL. This means either the URL was incorrect (e.g. typo) or the page has moved and the web owner did not redirect the old URL (e.g. /product -> /products).
We just launched a new site, so naturally there were a number of links that needed to be changed. Did we catch them all? Are there any external links we need to ask webmasters to update?
Shown below is what the 404 error pages report template looks like in GA.
Once installed you’ll be able to quickly identify bad inbound and bad internal links. You can even take this a step further and create an automatic notification if it ever spikes, just in case.
Get Around “Not Provided” In Google Analytics Reports
The SEO community freaked out when Google transitioned to https and removed the ability to easily understand the organic keywords sending traffic to sites. It’s caused some headaches, but Google Analytics still holds a ton of value, if you know how to look.
A common problem in SEO is knowing where to focus your efforts and how your SEO decision are working. You can easily accomplish this, to some degree at least, with a "not provided" + landing page report.
To set this up, go to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels.
Click on "Organic Search" then on "Not Provided.” Click on the "Secondary Dimension" dropdown and select "Landing Page." There you have it!
From here you’ll be able to see which pages create the most SEO value and know where to focus your SEO keyword research.
Once optimization changes are implemented to a specific page, switch the primary dimension to “Landing Page” then type the URL in the search box as seen below.
With this you get a nice pretty view into organic search trends for a specific page. It shows which of your pages are providing long-term SEO value.
Measure Content Marketing Engagement In Google Analytics Reports
If you want to measure the engagement of content, stock Google Analytics limits you to pageview metrics such as "Time On Page" or "Pages/Session."
Lame! This doesn’t actually tell you how engaging your content marketing is.
To answer the questions, “Are people actually reading the content?” you need to implement scroll based events.
To put it simply, specific events are fired at 0%, 50%, and 75% scroll depth. This tells you how far visitor scroll down on your page reading your content. You now know how engaging your content marketing is on a per page basis.
Luckily, there’s pre-existing scroll depth code and it’s easy to implement. We just launched this on our blog and will apply across other key pages of our site.
Bonus: Measure B2B Marketing By Integrating Google Analytics In Salesforce
While not a Google Analytics report, if you’re using Salesforce then you can run web analytics reports against customer segments and profiles. These reports provide an accurate model for understanding which content is attributed to the visitors who become customers.
With Bizible’s B2B marketing attribution product, you’ll see Google Analytics-like data directly in Salesforce, such as all source channels, UTM parameters and etc. You can easily do accurate account-based attribution and ROI calculations of paid channels.
That’s All Folks
With these reports you’ll uncover analytics that are actionable. Diving deeper into Google Analytics reports will provide the kind of information that will improve your website engagement and conversion rates.
Photograph by Nur Hussein on Flickr.