How to Track User Behavior with Google Analytics
Where Do I Start?
Ask yourself – “What’s the goal of your website?” Are you looking to increase revenue, traffic, conversions to customers, offer a free trial, or something else? Do you want to inform people about your business? Do you just want to simply have someone sign up for a newsletter? Whatever the reason you have for your website, there’s always one common denominator that makes or breaks a website’s success – keeping your users engaged! Learning how to track user behavior with Google Analytics can significantly improve the ROI of your website!
What is User Experience?
The term user experience (UX) refers to how users interact with a website: what they do based on what they see, how they feel during their interaction, and how they view the experience afterward. Is your website easy to use AND easy to navigate? Is it appealing to the eye without being over-flashy or confusing? Are your users finishing their journey through your website, or are they abandoning it too soon? Does it look like it was built in the early 90s? And finally, how can you tell what your users think about your website?
You can find ALL of these answers by reviewing your website’s analytics (check out the link for some great tutorials for learning how to track user behavior with Google Analytics)! Web analytics are often exclusively used to measure traffic to your website. However, Google Analytics is well more in-depth than that! Using a combination of web analytics tools, you can track numerous amount of data regarding your users’ experiences on your website. You can track simple details, like your users’ geographic location and where they click on your website to more precise details, like what they add to their online shopping cart and at what point they abandon your online form. You can even take full recordings of your users’ journeys through your website, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave.
Once you have some user statistics to work with and compare, you can use them to make informed decisions regarding what changes would help improve your website’s user engagement. If a lot of your users are clicking on a spot that has no function, like a static image or an icon, then they’re most likely thinking that there’s some sort of a button there. So, try adding an actual button there, and see what happens. If your users aren’t scrolling down far enough on your page to see an important link, try placing it farther up on the page, so they may see it more easily. If users get to your home page and leave without reading your blog, try posting engaging blog snippets for them to see when they first arrive. And, if users are abandoning their shopping carts before completing the checkout process, try to understand what’s making them do so— maybe they need an extra incentive to finish their purchase. Sometimes, the smallest change has the greatest effect on your website’s flow and user experience.
So, what kinds of web analytics tools can you use to make these awesome informed decisions? Today, we’ll be going over four different tools: Google Analytics, visual aids like heat mapping and session recording, and Google Tag Manager.
So What’s Next? GOOGLE ANALYTICS!
Chances are that you’ve already heard of Google Analytics, which makes sense, as their tool shows you an EXTREME amount of your website’s traffic data, and it’s completely free. As soon as you create an account and begin tracking your website, you can see statistics reporting the following:
- How many visits you had to your website today. You can set a specific date range to see the data from whatever dates you choose, like this week, month, quarter, or any custom range.
- Your users’ average time per visit and your average bounce rate (those visitors who come to your website and just leave).
- Your users’ geographic data, like what countries and cities they were in while they browsed your website, as well as what language they were viewing it in.
- The device that they were using at the time, as well as what browser they were using and what operating system.
These reports are incredible for conducting market research and understanding what type of person your website’s target audience is. Based on your website traffic, Google predicts:
- Your users’ ages.
- Their genders.
- Their affinities and interests (Movies, Technology, Shopping, Etc)
You can also see a ton of other helpful comparisons, like how many new visitors you had compared to returning ones, what pages were viewed most, least, and in between, and what your page’s load time was for certain visits during certain times. You can also view your Google Adwords’ analytics in your Google Analytics dashboard.
Ready to get Google Analytics Setup?
Want to learn more about how to track user behavior with Google Analytics? Contact Phuel Strategies today at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online contact form! We’re both a technology and marketing company that can help point you in the right direction with making sure you have the right website design and the right power behind it (website hosting) to keep your customers engaged and on your site!