Measure what matters with Google Analytics

In this digital world we are overwhelmed with large amounts of data, some of it useful and some not so much. The big problem with data is that many people do not know what to look for. Insights can only be developed when data is properly analysed against business goals and objectives. Why are you wasting time looking at reports if you have nothing to compare them to or benchmark them against? How will you know if you are succeeding? Reporting just website views or page clicks doesn’t tell you anything about how it’s helping to grow the business and increase profits. Marketers need to work harder at reporting outcomes not just observations.

Below is a presentation compiled by Nick Pauley followed by a detailed article explaining the key points from the presentation.

Measure what Matters – Outcomes

To find out how effective your website is, you have to install a measurement tool such as Google Analytics (GA). It is the most commonly used tool and is free and easy to install. But this tool is not going to do all the work for you.

GA provides an overwhelming amount of data such as number of visitors, click through rates, graphs etc. But it does not interpret this data to find valuable insights – that is your job as the marketer.

You have to weed out the rubbish to find the gold.

Too many marketers report the fluffy metrics such as visits and page views which doesn’t tell you anything. ‘Our website visits have increased by 75%’ you might say but the real question is SO WHAT?

“Your director doesn’t care how many people visited the site, instead he/she cares how the increase in visitors to the website have impacted the number of leads generated.”

When reporting, do not just list the ‘nice to knows’ because they sound better, but instead report the ‘must-knows’ such as what impact is your marketing having on the business;

  • If you saw an increase in website visits, what did you do during that peak that generated so many more visitors?
  • Where are your leads coming from that are getting you a high percentage of leads?
  • Are you putting all your efforts into that source?

Find these things out, continue doing the successful stuff and improve on the results. Marketers should report results and outcomes, not observations.

Identify business objectives & goals

Every business has objectives and goals against which they measure performance. The same applies to your website. It needs to have at least one goal, one aim. If not, why does it exist?

Outcomes are goals such as downloads, subscribers, CPD bookings, registrations etc.

Outcomes are actions that you want visitors to take on your website which result in data capture (lead generation). Here’s a video where we take you through the steps in order to create goals on your website.

Your website is at the heart of your digital marketing strategy, so ask yourself:

  • Why does your business have a website?
  • What is its purpose or what problem does it solve for the business?

Every company has slightly different business goals and objectives so the answers may vary. However, you need to know its purpose before you can measure its performance!

Define an objective and then set some goals related to that objective.

  • For example, if you have a specification tool on your website, you may want to look at
  • The increase the number of specifications carried out on your website.
  • Therefore, your objective will be to increase online product specifications.
  • Then your KPI’s are going to be conversion rate for sign ups/registrations for this online tool;
  • How many people complete the specification and
  • how many keep coming back to use the tool (visitor loyalty).

If loyalty decreases it could be that your online tool is not as easy to use or some technical fault is causing people to not return. It may also be simply that they have forgotten the tool exists so start an email campaign to reignite those lost registered users.

“All your marketing activities should be geared towards these outcomes and measurement helps determine whether you are achieving these goals or not.”

Product manufacturers and other construction companies usually have 3 main business objectives for their websites, shown below:


To increase lead generation, offer visitors something of value such as a downloadable brochure or a monthly newsletter that they can sign up to.

This captures their email address and pushed them further down the lead conversion funnel. For brand awareness, advertise in the most effective places, know where your target audience is and make sure that you are there too.

Targeted landing pages and SEO will also improve company visibility. To improve customer satisfaction, start a company blog that addresses industry issues and demonstrates product features and installation tips.

An FAQ link on your site where visitors can easily find answers to their questions is also recommended.

Confirmation and thank you pages

To effectively measure your outcomes in Google Analytics, create and implement sign up confirmation pages and thank you pages. Creating and implementing these pages allows the marketer to track and measure the number of visitors to those pages because they can only be viewed by visitors if they have filled out your enquiry form, subscribed to your newsletter or registered for your online specification tool.

Valuable data such as e-mail addresses are captured which can be useful for lead nurturing campaigns and to get each contact ‘sales-ready’.

Confirmation and thank you pages give construction marketers a clear indication of how many leads subscribed to the newsletter or downloaded a product brochure.

Maybe one brochure or product guide is more popular than another. Find out what information your target audience is looking for and provide it. You will soon see improvements in your marketing results if you are providing valuable content.

Here is a simple model of how to organise your website and where to set up the pages:

How to Measure Outcomes

Measure Conversions

Websites play a huge part in converting online visitors into leads – think of it as a conversion funnel.

“You are spending large sums of money on marketing and advertising campaigns to drive traffic to your website or landing page, but what happens when they get there? Is your website/landing page optimised for lead conversion or does it chase prospects away? Does your website do what it is meant to do?

Your website’s purpose is to capture leads and convert them. This is not an easy task and generating quality traffic through targeted campaigns is crucial. At the top of the funnel you find the majority of visitors who quickly leave your site because it wasn’t what they were looking for and those that are simply browsing.

It’s important to identify this bad traffic and report how much of it you are getting. Then try to eliminate the sources of bad traffic because they are wasting your money.

As you get further down the funnel, the percentage gets less and less so you need to ask yourself how you can and move these suspects onto the next stage. How do you get them interested in your brochure, newsletter or blog?

Near the bottom of the funnel are the most valuable visitors – the prospects and leads. What value are you offering convert them into a lead? What is the percentage of leads generated by your website?

You need to focus your measurement on the conversions. Not the top. You need to know how many leads your website is currently generating in order to fix the top of the funnel.

Conversion Funnel
Bounce Rates

A key metric that construction marketers should focus on is Bounce Rate. It measures the number of visits to your website with only one page view. This quickly tells you which pages are working for you and which are not.

The higher your bounce rate, the higher the amount of visits with only one page view (Blogs are an exception as most people only read one post and then leave).

If you have multiple product pages or lots of content on your website with appropriate call to actions then your bounce rate will want to be around the 35-40% mark. Average is 40%-60%.

Anything higher than 60% requires immediate attention

High bounce rates could indicate that your website is poorly designed (looks unprofessional) and/or your content is not straightforward or relevant to visitors.

If your landing pages have high bounce rates then it could be an indication that your banner or PPC ads are not relevant or the key messages visitors are looking for are not present.

Visitors scan (not read) pages so make it easy for them to find relevant content – use bullet points and bold keywords.

You could also have a high bounce rate because your traffic source is sending poor traffic so investigate this. It could be resolved by advertising in a different source, or at a specific time or changing the advertising channel/medium altogether.

Cost per lead

You advertise and market your business using different channels and sources. So how do you know which ones are the most effective if you don’t track them? As the saying goes ‘if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.’

Tracking and measuring campaigns with multiple sources can be a complex process, but a necessary one. We have written a guide to tagging and measuring marketing campaign performance which will take you through the steps on GA.

When you have set up all your campaign tags you can then generate a ‘conversions by source’ report showing you exactly how many visitors and leads each channel produced.

This is a crucial metric because a source that may not have generated a large amount of visitors may have a 90% conversion rate making it more effective than a source that generated a lot of traffic however only had a conversion rate of 25%.

Calculating the cost per lead for all of your advertising sources helps identify the most effective source. Now you can shift your marketing budgets from those sources that are costing more than they are making and put your efforts into those sources that are generating valuable leads. Low cost > High Conversions.

* Cost per lead = cost of campaign / leads generated

Below is an example of how to calculate it:

  • Specification tool email campaign
  • Cost = £500 to design and broadcast email to database
  • 556 visits to the landing page from the email campaign
  • 153 signed up for the specification tool
  • 27.5% conversion rate
  • £3.26 per lead

Test & Refine

Measurement is part of an ongoing process. You have to first identify and define your business objectives including what you want your website to achieve.

Set up an analytics tool, like GA, that measures the success of those objectives using the goals and outcomes you have defined. A high rate of goal conversions mean that your website is successfully converting visitors into leads.

Analyse the data available in your Google Analytics reports to find out what’s working and what isn’t. Look at peaks and dips in goal conversion to give you a clearer picture of how your marketing activities are performing.

For those that are not working, put some actions in place to either improve on them or eliminate them completely. This will save you a lot of money and improve the overall performance of your website because your marketing is more targeted and your website content is tailored towards the needs and requirements of your target audience.

Test and Refine

  • What measurement tools and metrics are you using?
  • Have you focused your marketing activities on outcomes and achieving business goals and objectives?
  • What problems or difficulties have you encountered?
  • And the most important question: are you measuring what matters?

If you would like any help implementing, tracking and measuring your digital marketing strategies then give us a call on 01908 671 707.

About Stuart Dinnie

Stuart has worked in the world of digital marketing for over 15 years. With his measured and planned approach, he has delivered robust digital strategies for construction companies to achieve real business growth. He now heads up the team at Pauley Creative as Managing Director and is leading his team & clients towards digital marketing excellence. He’s worked with over 100 construction clients; helping them on their digital transformation journey, providing sustainable strategies that return year on year incremental growth, delivering award-winning websites and adding value from board level to marketing assistant.

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