I often wonder how the life of an SEO consultant would have been if there was no Google Analytics. I mean, sure in that case a lot of paid tools like Omniture, Webtrends etc. would have dominated the analytics segment of the online world, but then, that would also mean that business owners around the world would have had to pump in those extra bucks into their online marketing campaigns.
Google Analytics has become such an integral part of our data analysis and still quite often we land up criticizing it for some of its smallest flaws. But in all of this love and hate game, we always forget the most important feature of this wonderful tool i.e. its absolutely FREE and there are a lot of features that a lot of other paid tools do not offer.
On a personal note, I have always believed that Custom Reports, Custom Variables and User Defined Variables are some of the most underrated features of Google Analytics and many internet marketing firms do not use these amazing features to their fullest potential. In fact, if used intelligently, Google Analytics more than often can help you come out of tricky situations, especially when you are dealing with high end and high profile, demanding clients.
Imagine a client whose SEO, PPC and Social media campaigns are doing really well and yet he comes to you and states that he wants his website to generate more revenue. Keeping this situation in mind, I decided to analyse one of my client’s website from usability point of view and as usual I turned to Google Analytics for some help.
Now before the word “usability” misleads you I would like to clarify that by usability I meant understanding and analysing the performance of my website across different browsers in terms of the metrics provided by Google Analytics. I created a simple custom report with “Browser” as my key dimension. The whole idea was to find loopholes in the website from a browser point of view using some of the key user metrics like bounce rate and %exit. Once I have the data for the under-performing pages the next step would have been to identify any browser compatibility issues like page not loading properly or improper screen resolution etc.
Before we discuss the findings of the report let’s just have a look at how to go about making this report.
We are generating a simple custom report with some of the key basic metrics like Revenue, Bounce Rate, %Exit, and Unique Purchases. And the dimensions selected are Browser, Page and Keyword. Now that we are done with the report let’s start with some analysis. For your information, only a few combination of metrics and dimensions are allowed. You can check the complete list here.
As I mentioned earlier, the whole idea was to generate a report that would help me in understanding the performance of the website in terms of its usability. But on creation of the report what I found was pretty startling.
For any internet marketer it’s a dreaded sight to see large number of visits in conjunction with negligible revenue and I was well aware of the fact that it’s only a matter of time before my client found out about it. It is clearly visible that Opera and Opera Mini browsers are driving almost same number of visits to our website but the difference in revenue is pretty huge. Obviously, this called for an investigation. The question hounded me for 10 whole minutes ( I mean sure 10 minutes sounds very less but trust me for those 10 minutes I was going crazy).
Anyway, while I was scratching my head over it, something else caught my attention.
I found that I was getting almost 5200% more (yeah you are seeing the right numbers!) revenue from Android browsers when compared against same number of visits from Opera Mini. I was nervous and happy at the same time and I knew that I had to get to the bottom of this. I immediately opened my website on Opera mini, Opera and Android browsers to understand what was stopping Opera Mini users from buying products from my site.
Well simply put, Opera and Opera Mini users were taken to the desktop version of the website. As you must be aware, Opera Mini is a mobile browser and as any SEO consultant would know, the obvious recommendation here would be to take the user to the mobile version of the website. But how do we convince the client?? The answer lies in the report itself.
That’s when I showed the android numbers to the client. Turns out that Android users were taken to the mobile version of the website. (That’s when we hit our Eureka moment). This is nothing but hardcore evidence that shows that by simply taking the mobile users to the mobile version of the website the revenue will definitely improve. The above data when presented resulted into our recommendations getting implemented without any doubts or concerns at the client’s end.
Once again Google Analytics made me a hero. I would be sharing more such reports with all you amazing SEOs and would love to hear back from you.
Original Source – https://moz.com/blog/how-google-analytics-custom-reports-helped-my-client-to-increase-his-revenue