Sounds odd right? But it’s a challenge in today’s information overload and with all the metrics we track some basic questions are likely overlooked. I think we all easily know how many people visited our site, most of us have Google Analytics set up, we should all have Google Search Console as well. (More on that in another post … often people don’t know that both are essential pieces to SEO). But here are some basic questions I’d ask anyone with a website…
Your Web Sites Data Should Answer
- Which page on your site gets the most hits, other than your homepage?
- Which page is the most likely page for a visitor to leave your site?
- What did a person type into Google search to get your site as a result?
- What percentage of searches are you getting when someone searches a keyword you’ve targeted?
- How many pages on your site are indexed in Google and how many are indexed in Google Mobile?
- What’s your average visitor like? Are they into News And Politics? Do they have children? How old are they? Are they urban or suburban people?
You might say who cares…but then you would be someone who doesn’t Know What You Already Know. All of these answers are already available to you if you are using Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Each one is important to know to ensure you’re successful. If 85% of your visitors leave your site on one page then you likely need to review what about that particular page makes people leave your site. If no one visits this section on your site is there any reason to expand it? Knowing your audience is the second rule of almost any endeavor. I’ve always operated with the idea that the first rule is to get your story out first, then second know your audience.
“If only HP knew what HP knows, we would be three times more productive.” Lew Platt, CEO, Hewlett-Packard.Mar 12, 2013 …. fun fact Lew Platt died in 2005, so how he said this in 2013 I’m not totally sure.
A suburban mother in her 50s, who likes cooking shows is likely to be receptive to a different message than a city living single 25yr old male who’s into books and reading groups. If your site is using the same tactics with both you’re likely missing the attention of at least one but often both. Just think of their days and how different they are…one likely wakes up early and has to get the kids off to school, drives a larger car farther every morning and maybe listens to the radio in on her commute. The other wakes up just in time to shower and catch a train to the office. You already know these things, you just don’t know it.
Google Data Studio
Google Data Studio makes graphs and graphs on graphs but beyond that it connects to repositories such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Adwords and much more. Heres a pdf report I recently made that connects all of those and I export Bing data to a CSV file and it accesses Bing through that CSV. So I can mash up all that and make something that tells a story.
Pretty cool right? Some of the terms and labels are removed to keep the report semi-anonymous but its easier to understand the whole picture when its all together. Highlighted tour..
- Sixth page shows us that 12 to 1pm are the highest hours our site was searched. We came up just under 2nd in these searches.
- Page seven shows us that our average page loads in 8 seconds which is pretty horrible, but before we go fixing the site…not all pages load the same. Three pages represent 95% of our wait times…so we should be focused on what is wrong with just those three pages….(which if we thought 8 seconds was bad, the worst page is closer to 11 seconds) . Not surprising that page is also the number one page that people leave our site.
- Page five shows that 64% of our clicks were from the “hybrid cloud” ad group, but it only made up 19% of the ads we showed on Google Adwords. Is there something wrong with the other ad groups, or is this a service that we should focus and expand on?
- Page four deals with Search Console … organic SEM or pure SEO stuff. Of the 1183 times our site was in the results of a person’s search…we were clicked 8 times. That’s about 25% of the clicks we should be shooting for so whats wrong? Likely position or the metadata from our site isn’t compelling.
- Page Three we see in the center our average position in search results. Notice that tablet users see us much higher up than desktop or mobile users. Should we change that or should we own it and focus on tablet users?
- Page Two we can see that our bounce rate is highest among Bing Ads users. Overall the site’s bounce rate is 4.7% which is astounding but in our average page views we see SEOProfiler is our number one source of page views…thats not real users its a tool crawling our site that I use, its likely causing the bounce rate to artificially seem great and it is alarming that our biggest source of traffic is a diagnostics tool.
- Finally Page One, the one most people would have started with…this is the first week I’ve been running this client’s Adwords account, so it’s not performing to the level yet that we will need, the CTR of .7% is low, our goal is 2%. But we’re just starting out and it is promising that our impressions are up 128% from the week prior and thats largely revenue neutral right now.
Thats a lot of info. We discussed hardly any of it too. I like Google Data Studio, and most of my clients do too.