How to Use Google Analytics to Increase Conversions

Aug12
By Amy Stillman, Web Strategist

Recently a client wanted an in-depth analysis of why their website conversions were declining. Just looking at high level metrics like Goal Completions and Sessions wasn't enough to pinpoint the reason why conversions were dropping. Here's a look at three more advanced segments I applied (and you can too!) in Google Analytics to help paint the picture.

  1. Channel or Source - The first step is to understand where your conversions are coming from. Is organic search the big driver or do your email or CPC campaigns do the hard work for you?

    It’s always helpful to do a year-over-year or month over month comparison as well. Compare the first quarter of this year to the first quarter of last year. And look at the big picture to so you can see the trends over time.

    Comparison reports help you immediately identify where the big drop offs are. In the case of this client, CPC and direct traffic conversions were seeing the biggest drop offs.

  2. Mobile - The next step is to click into the source that’s seeing the largest drop off and segment by Mobile. This gives you information on whether or not users are accessing your website from desktops or mobile devices. If you’re seeing the largest drop offs on mobile, that’s an indicator that your conversion form or website as a whole may not be mobile friendly, causing users to leave before they convert.

    This client saw a 54% decrease in mobile conversions from CPC campaigns. So we dig deeper.

  3. Landing Page - Segment now by landing page. Here I discovered that CPC clicks from mobile devices that went straight to the homepage had experienced an 87% decline year-over-year.

While this area of conversion decline turned out to not be the only explanation for the overall trend, it provided valuable insight into what action items needed to be taken to fix the problem. Potential fixes included making the homepage more mobile friendly, pointing CPC ads to more relevant content pages than the homepage, adding a visible (on mobile) conversion form on the homepage, etc.

Once you implement the changes, you watch the traffic. I always recommend making one change at a time so you can monitor the impact it has on your conversions. If you make too many changes at once, it becomes impossible to know which change had the biggest impact or no impact at all.

Understanding where your conversions are coming from, what device they’re using to get there, and what pages they’re landing on goes a long way to help you reverse a trend of declining conversions. You have to first identify the source so you know how to fix the problem.

Here’s a link to a custom Google Analytics report I created that helped organize the data in the way I needed. Click the link and you can add it to your own collection of Google Analytics reports. https://www.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=jomSy5KbR3yUQE8xQSqNvg


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