[Guest post by John Stevens]
It has been decades since eCommerce has invaded the Internet. According to a current study, 40% of users worldwide have purchased products or goods through the Internet. On that scale, that amounts to more than a billion online buyers globally ¾ and it will continue to grow in the coming years.
With all that data to gather, perhaps one of the most effective tools in the industry of data analytics is Google’s very own Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a great tool that can give you the data you need to optimize your eCommerce strategy, and its features are yet to be explored by those who truly value data available at their fingertips.
To cut to the chase, here are tips you can use to optimize your efforts and strategies within your eCommerce site:
Block Out Referral Spam
Last 2015, we have seen a tremendous increase in referral spam, also known as ghost traffic or spam crawlers. Carlos Escalera has explained how spam crawlers terrorize and fool your Analytics, and he did suggest a workaround on how to stop those ghosts from spamming your data.
However, I suggest a different method, a stress-free tool called Referrer Spam Blocker developed by Stijlbreuk, a digital agency from the Netherlands. You simply have to log in your Google Analytics account, visit their site, follow the instructions on the site, and voila! Just sit back and relax as it automatically filters all the spam. You can also import their own segment that filters these spam from your historical data.
Why do you need to block referral spam? Blocking these spam data can clean your Analytics and you can determine if a campaign is truly working or not. Referral spam only adds to your bounce rate, so if you’re experiencing a high bound rate these past few months, you should start installing filters on your Master View to filter spam in the future.
This is a perfect example of segmented data. Note that this was applied to an Unfiltered view, so whatever comes knocking on GA’s tracker, it records it and leaves it as it is. Applying the segment [RSB All Sessions] and Bounced Sessions gives us the data above.
This data is from May 2015 to March 2016. Since we can conclude that ghost spam sessions are bounced sessions, we can compare the data we have. However, there were reports of declining referral spam traffic early this year, that’s why there was a decline in bounced sessions in the report. Using the segment and the filters can help you determine the true state of your audience; are you gaining potential customers or just fluff traffic?
Install eCommerce Tracking to Unlock Ecommerce Conversions
Installing eCommerce tracking is more complicated than your “paste before the </head> tag”, but it will reap benefits that can help you dig deeper with Google Analytics. We recommend that you get this done by a trusted web developer. Moreover, you can use Google Tag Manager to make it easier for you to implement eCommerce Tracking.
Observe Audience Demographics and Interests
Know your audience better with demographic and interest data. This way, you know what age group, gender, and interest category to target. This can be a guide in coming up with promotions, content marketing, and more. This website is an eCommerce site for plastic travel cases; judging from the data above, majority of the buyers are male adults in their 25 to 34 years of age. Most of them are Technophiles or Automotive enthusiasts, with more emphasis on TV and Video. We can focus more on producing content that matches the interests of the audience to capture their attention, whether they may be new users or returning customers.
Determine Mobile Audience
In this website, it is apparent that they do gain more traffic through desktop, but if you compare it from the previous period, you will notice a shift of acquisition between desktop, mobile, and tablet. While desktop reigns supreme, this gives you an idea to push for mobile site optimization.
See How You Fare Against the Competition: Benchmarking
Allowing your account to send anonymous data to Google’s servers gives you this opportunity to see how you fare against the competition. This data was checked within the Travel Industry and in all regions of the United States; our statistics for this website was tested against 444 web properties who also contributed to Google. It’s a quick reflection of our status against competitors online, as well as a guide on where we should be focusing on next.
Set Up Site Search
Before you check out this feature at Google Analytics, you have to set up site search first.
This features gives you insights on how your users use the search box in your site. The true beef of this feature is the Search Terms where you can see what terms your users typed in the search box. You can infer the most searched term and optimize the landing page where the keyword is primarily targeted.
Take a Peek on your eCommerce Overview
After installing eCommerce Tracking on your site, you should expect to see this on your reports. Here you check your Top Revenue Sources by Product, Product SKU, Category, and even Source/Medium. Here we sorted it by Source / Medium. Surprisingly, this site was gaining more revenue through Yahoo!’s organic traffic, despite efforts to comply for Google’s guidelines.
Determine Product Performance
With Google Analytics, you can automatically check the top performing product in your store. If you’re strategizing on what product to improve on, you can always refer back to this list. It is also possible to sort the list by Product Category.
Analyze Multi-Channel Funnels
We all know that a customer will come from different channels, and there will be times that conversions will be assisted channel per channel. Looking at the Multi-Channel Funnel Overview will give you an idea on where most of your conversions are happening. You can now target the channels that work best for your client!
Install Custom Reports
Finally, you can use Google Analytics to come up with your own customized reports! This is a Custom Report, generated to determine what day of the week the site has the most visits. You can import Custom Reports from the Google Analytics Gallery itself. Now you can plan your efforts on the day (even at a specific hour) that your campaign will be most effective!
Google Analytics is the best tool you can have if you’re short on budget for more advanced analytics tools. All you need is patience to install and configure your Analytics dashboard, and you’re ready to go!