8-MINUTE READ · By Kristin Savage
Building an eCommerce storefront in itself is a difficult process. However, the subsequent traffic and conversion rates matter more than anything you’ve done prior. Google Analytics represents a pivotal tool in the optimization process of your site as well as the tracking and monitoring of products and customers.
Increased traffic and conversions can provide you with more and more customer data to work with through Google Analytics. Google Analytics can also help you establish a much clearer customer experience, as well as optimize your site for much higher revenue margins. Using their optimization tools can help your odds of ranking high quite drastically. That way, people will see your links and landing page in their SERP much more often.
Similarly, Google also has a foothold on the mobile market, with 90% of search going through its engine. This makes using their marketing tools pivotal for growth and expansion. In that vein, let’s dive into several ways in which Google Analytics can help you increase your conversion rates.
5 ways to use Google Analytics in eCommerce
1. Identify the metrics that matter
The first thing to do is identify the metrics that matter to your business when it comes to increasing your conversion rate. To help, let’s take a look at several case studies and see if we can extrapolate which metrics would be best to follow in terms of raising the conversion rates.
Electronic Arts: EA is a prolific video game publisher with dozens of interactive media projects under their belts at all times. The launch of their flagship title SimCity was met with poor preorder numbers and a general lack of buzz in the media. What the company did was employ A/B testing to determine the best course of action in terms of their eCommerce landing page. It turned out that their customers didn’t appreciate large, dominant banner ads with preorder CTAs and opted for a more subtle approach instead. The resulting change raised the game’s conversion rates by 43%, followed by critical acclaim and 1+ million copies sold.
Metrics to track: Conversion, bounce rate, page views, interactions per visit.
Earnest: Mobile banking has become a large part of our everyday life as consumers. However, pushing new and innovative banking systems with access to high-quality services and features isn’t an easy task. Earnest had troubles in terms of mobile conversion of their visitors despite their claims to offer good value. What they did was to declutter their website and make short-form content with buttons and CTAs a priority. The result was a 15% increase in mobile conversions as well as a 70% conversion to the next funnel page. This demonstrates the importance of meeting the client halfway and reassessing the way you sell your product.
Metrics to track: Page views, session duration, conversion, interaction per visit.
The Guardian: The case study of The Guardian’s dating website goes to show how the customer’s journey impacts the overall conversion rates. As prolific as The Guardian is, they still need to monetize their online services in some fashion. Soul mates, their online dating platform is a subscription-based service where people can interact with one another. The challenge was to incentivize people to subscribe to their platform, thus adding to the overall revenue The Guardian has made. The website used A/B testing to see which types of people visit different parts of their website in order to define their wants and needs. Once they realized what the typical journey through their website’s interface was, they hired a UX designer to reshape their navigation from the ground up, using the A/B testing data. The result was a 46% increase in subscriptions which made the project more viable and sustainable.
Metrics to track: Interactions per visit, return visitor conversions, bounce rate, average session duration.
2. Keywords in the product description
In order to get enough data to measure conversion rates and performance, you need to drive the right audience to your site. This is where keywords come in. According to research, websites that use keyword SEO properly take up 60% of SERPs. Using these words in your product descriptions, blog posts and written content in general will help your search engine ranking and subsequent traffic and conversion rates.
Google Analytics supports full Google Adwords integration, meaning that it’s a no brainer to use both for your site’s benefit. Since eCommerce is typically a global matter, you should try to localize your content for regions other than your native one.
3. Identify high-performing pages
Google Analytics is fully capable of determining which pages on your eCommerce website are the most popular. All you have to do is go to the “Behavior” tab of Google Analytics and choose the filters to follow. In doing so, the tool will analyze your site and create a list of most performing pages on your domain.
This can be helpful in determining what categories on your site need more work to be up to par with other more popular ones. It can also help you shift your product and service lineup in another direction if you aren’t experiencing the expected conversion rates. Google Analytics features a robust product performance tracking system which can be set up according to your site’s needs and targets.
Pssst… want to increase your store’s conversion rate? Check out Supermetrics for Google Sheets to effortlessly report, monitor and analyze your marketing performance.
4. Monitor search patterns
eCommerce sites have a huge benefit over company sites or blogs in terms of search functionality. Given the sales-oriented nature of your website, your visitors will always use the internal search option to look for interesting products. It’s pivotal that you choose the right site search platform for your website among the numerous prolific choices on the market.
It’s very important that you keep a close eye on the search function’s history through “Search Terms” to determine what people want out of your website. In doing so, you will be able to curate your categories more closely and offer relevant products to your visitors. This is one of the best ways to maintain an ongoing sense of awareness about your customer base, as well as to raise conversion rates as much as possible.
5. Ongoing demographic monitoring
Opening your “Audience” tab in Google Analytics will net you access to detailed data about who your customers really are. It’s quite important to track what types of people visit your site, including their gender, age group, preferences, etc.
You should make it a habit to visit this page within Google Analytics at least once a week to stay in touch with the comings and goings across your website. Targeted marketing and product placement is a great way to incentivize visitors to make a purchase decision. This can give you additional ideas about upcoming campaigns, promotions, discounts and other sales forms which can elevate your conversion rates further.
Mistakes to avoid when optimizing eCommerce for conversions
Taking Data for Granted: Google Analytics is a very powerful tool that can transform the way you do business online. However, make sure to always question each metric and follow it up with additional research. Take this data and combine it with other metrics from other platforms and your own database in order to make more informed business decisions.
Lack of Planning: While the ongoing implementation of Google Analytics matters, so does content planning. It’s important to have monthly, quarterly and yearly plans and goals for your eCommerce site’s growth. Don’t rely solely on tracking platforms in order to make the next step ad hoc. Plan your moves in advance and carefully test the waters before implementing any new strategy.
Using all Metrics at Once: It goes without saying that you shouldn’t use all the metrics provided by Google Analytics at once. As an eCommerce storefront, your area of interest should be centered on conversion, sales and search engine ranking. Anything that doesn’t directly influence your site’s growth and placement on the web should be left on the backburner in order to avoid confusion or optimization errors.
When using Google Analytics to improve the conversion rate of your eCommerce store, It’s a good idea to start with the steps and guidelines we’ve mentioned in this article in order to make your transition into GA seamless. Once you receive the first bumps in conversion due to this platform, you will know that you have made the right choice by opting for it.
Remember to track the search queries from time to time in order to update on-page content, metadata, and image title attributes. Unfortunately, no SEO-optimization is infinite. Continuous work is the key to success.