Using Google Analytics to measure the performance of your website can reveal so many useful insights and give you some really good actionable outcomes. At Pauley Creative, prior to doing any form of online marketing we carry out an extensive website technical audit which includes a full Google Analytics audit & analysis so that we can recommend actions, activities and projects based on data, and data which actually means something and can be benchmarked and measured against. It’s all well and good saying “Visits to our website increased by 130%” but what if I told you that 90% of those visitors stayed on your website between 1 second and 10 seconds? Not so successful now huh?
This is where Advanced Segments in Google Analytics can really help you understand and breakdown those larger numbers into more smaller, more meaningful numbers. Firstly, Google Analytics already comes with some pre-defined advanced segments for you to choose from. These are great but they are basic segments such as ‘search traffic’ which will display all the stats only for those who came to your website from a search engine or ‘mobile visits’ or ‘non-bounce visits’. However, Google Analytics does allow you to create your own segments based on the type of website you have and the information you want to extract from the analytics software.
One particular advanced segment I love using for all clients is the ‘Brand vs Non-Brand Keywords’ segment for measuring brand awareness and SEO efforts (search acquisition). It makes sense as most construction companies success is all based on brand awareness.
BRAND = Those who come to your website having searched for your company name/product brand
NON-BRAND = Those who come to your website not having searched for you, your company or your product brands
This particular segment basically segments the visitors who come to your website from a search engine having typed in your company name into Google and those who did not. This can also be done for all your product brands too to see if you have increased awareness of your products over a period of time. Note: Search engines will be the top referrer for all, if not most, construction product manufacturer websites so treat it seriously.
What do Brand and Non-Brand search segments look like?
Those of you who are aware of how to set up an advanced segments in Google Analytics then it should look something like this for brand (if you don’t then I’d advise you to come on one of the Pauley Creative workshops throughout 2012):
As you can see from the above image, this website received 81,811 visits of which 8642 visits were from a branded search term. This is the equivalent of 10.56%. Now you can go away and ask yourself “Has this increased over the last 12 months?” or “Has it increased since our £50,000 brand awareness campaign?”
The non-brand segment looks something like this:
Note that the condition ‘excludes’ the keyword company name unlike the ‘Brand’ segment which ‘includes’ the keyword. As you can see from the above image a large percentage, 61.15%, of visitors to this website came from a search engine without entering the company name or product name into a search engine. Now, this is where your SEO efforts come into play. This is about getting your products and its content in front of those who are not aware of your products, services or brand.
What does analysing branded search terms actually tell you?
If you take all the visits from your website generated from a search engine which includes your company name or product brand then it’s a good indicator for measuring any increase in brand or product awareness. If you see a slow, but gradual increase, in the number of visits generated from people searching Google with your company name then you are doing something effective offline or online for them to have wanted to Google you.
For example, after an exhibition such as Ecobuild, people may leave the show and a few days later start Googling for your company name or products or if you have just finished a 12 months brand awareness campaign then look to see if this had any impact on people Googling your company name or products. Do you see an increase that look similar to this?
Or does it look something like this? Oh dear!
The above chart may indicate a couple of things. The first, your competitors may have ramped up their marketing efforts and whilst lots of people used to talk about you and search for you and your products, they no longer do or starting not to. The second reason could be that you may have had your website pages demoted as a result of poor content, lack of freshness or using spam techniques to game Google, thus rankings have dropped and traffic has had an impact as a result.
An increase in traffic from non-branded search terms indicates that your SEO campaigns are working but are they generating enquiries? Read on.
Enquiries generated from Brand search terms and Non-Brand search terms
So now you have set up your segments you should now start to dig a bit deeper into the search reports and see overall visitor information and sport any trends in content consumption and also which particular keywords are converting visitors into enquiries.
By viewing these numbers in segments you can quickly see how many of the total visits to your website from a search engine came from those who know of your brand and those who were looking for a company or product without a reference to brand.
Monitor the bounce rate for the non-brand segment. A high bounce rate percentage could indicate low value content or poor website design. You can make tweaks to your website or landing pages to try and lower the bounce rate and keep non-brand visitors on your website to consume more of your sticky content. If you are trying to increase product awareness then make sure your product landing pages are performing well and keeping visitors on your website.
Now, if you have goals set up in Analytics to measure downloads, requests, sign ups, registrations, enquiries etc then you can start to see how many enquiries came from each segment. It’s amazing how many construction websites I’ve come across that don’t have conversions set up in Google Analytics. If you want to know how to set up goals in Google Analytics to measure enquiry submissions, registrations or sign ups then view this episode of MDiTV.
As you can see from the above image that it is very important to make sure your website is visible within search engines in order to drive traffic and then generate enquiries from search engines. By doing this you can also benchmark now and after a particular campaign and work out some form of return or the value of the sales opportunity. If you notice a big jump in traffic over a period of a few months from the brand visitors segment then you know your marketing is having some sort of positive effect. Remember that sometimes negative PR can also impact this. If a negative press story has just been published then people will Google for you to find out more.
So, without segmenting you can’t really see what’s working at a deeper level and which types of visitors are interacting with your website. One KPI which you can use to monitor your website is the conversion rates of brand and non-brand visitors. You may only decide to use conversion rate of non-brand visitors to asses the performance of your search engine optimisation strategy. Quality over quantity as they say.
So there you have it, a detailed look into ‘Brand’ and ‘Non-brand’ traffic from search engines and how to segment this traffic in Google Analytics. There are many more advanced segments so stay tuned over the next few weeks as I write about a few more. If you would like to know more about segmentation or having any other questions regarding the use of Google Analytics then please do leave a comment below or give us a call on 01908 671 707.