7 Surprising Things Google Analytics Can Tell You

It’s hard to glance at the news these days without being reminded that a lot of information is being collected online. There may be changes on the way. But right now, you may have access to some very helpful information… that you aren’t aware of.

Google Analytics collects lots of information about your web visitors and shares it with you while respecting individuals’ privacy. Headlines are making it clear, though, that different people have different ideas about privacy. It’s quite possible that we might lose some of this data in the future. So we say it makes sense to inspect your analytics now for these seven useful pieces:

Who has been visiting?

You can’t see names, of course, but you can see networks. If your target audience includes organizations with their own networks, you can see a lot of information.

What specific visitors do

Once you’ve identified a specific population, you can use Secondary Dimensions to dig deeper into their behavior. Here, we are looking at our school visitors’ landing pages. There are so many possible combinations of networks and secondary dimensions that we can learn a lot about groups of visitors.

Even more specific behavior

The User Explorer report shows the behavior of one anonymous individual at a time. This information can give you an idea of the ways visitors use your website. For example, the visitor shown below has visited our lab site 11 times this month and has looked at the same page every time. We can also see whether the visitor is using a mobile or desktop device, how they found us, and more.

It’s often useful to get insights into the different ways individuals use your website. This report lets you do that with anonymous data.

Age and gender

Demographics may be less important than behavior now, but we’ve certainly seen surprises in the Demographics report. We are absolutely not surprised to see that our lab site is talking to young women. But it’s worth checking to make sure that your assumptions about your audience are correct.

What are your visitors interests?

Your visitors may come to you for specific reasons that have nothing to do with their interests. If you find that the visitors to your dental website are strongly family focused, though, you might want to put more marketing oomph into your services for kids. You can also make better decisions about your social media strategy if you know more about what piques your particular visitors’ interest.

In the example below, we are not at all surprised to see that the teachers who visit our lab site are into books and the arts. We didn’t predict that green living would have made it into the top ten, though.

How you compare with your competitors

The Benchmarking report is more useful for some websites than for others. It depends, for one thing, on how many people are willing to share their information.  The report below shows us that we’re doing well in SEO compared with our competitors, but we need to pull our socks up when it comes to social media and direct traffic.

See this report as a way to identify opportunities for improvement.

What your visitors are sharing

Follow Acquisitions> Social> Overview> Shared URL to see what your visitors are pinning, tweeting, and posting. You may find that your most sharable content isn’t your most popular. Analyzing that shareable content can help you learn how to encourage sharing.

If you need help finding the actionable information in your analytics reports, we’d love to help you. We’re Google Analytics certified, with years of experiences, and we love to dive into the data. We can provide Google Analytics reports once, quarterly, or on your preferred schedule, or we can find answers to your specific questions. Contact us to start the conversation.

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