We have reached the fifth and final part of our conversion rate optimization (CRO) series. So far we have discussed in detail what exactly CRO is, why it is important, how to create target buyer personas and how to reach out to those personas, including the use of conversion funnels. Today we bring home the discussion with a look at some of the most important analytics you can use to track the success of your company’s CRO.
Google Analytics is perhaps the easiest and most effective tool to use to track these analytics. It provides you with most of the key information you need to truly measure the success of your CRO. Here are some of those metrics you should be analyzing to determine what sort of adjustments you need to make to get the most out of your digital marketing:
- Bounce rate: The bounce rate of your site tells you how long people are staying on the site before they navigate elsewhere. You can get bounce rate for specific pages, or for your overall domain. You can even categorize pages, and get specific bounce rates for product page categories versus your home page or about page. Bounce rate has a very strong correlation with the next metric on our list.
- Time on site: Time on site is the average length of time your users spend on each session on your website. Combined with other metrics, such as bounce rate, time on site can give you some important information about the performance of your site. For example, depending on what other metrics tell you, a large amount of time on your site could either indicate people find your content really interesting, or that there are navigational issues that make it difficult for people to find their way to the correct section of the site. What’s really beneficial about the time on site metric is that you can split it into different categories. For example, you could look at the average amount of time spent on the site by a person who came in through organic search, rather than paid search.
- Pages per visit: Again, this metric goes hand-in-hand with bounce rate and time on site. A high bounce rate would probably indicate a low pages per session. More pages per session means customers are taking the time to look through your site, which means they are clearly interested and therefore more likely to result in a conversion.
- Devices: Ever wonder about how the habits of your users vary across their different devices? These analytics provide you with that information. You can look at key analytic information such as session time, bounce rate, pages per session and new users across platforms such as desktop, mobile and tablet. If your analytics vary drastically across these platforms, you will probably need to make some adjustments to ensure that people across all devices are getting a good browsing experience.
- Exit percentage: Exit rate refers to the people who visit multiple pages then left the page on the last site visited. Therefore, the exit percentage for each page is the amount of people who left the site after visiting that page. Bounce rate only refers to people coming to a single landing page and leaving immediately, while exit percentage refers to people visiting multiple parts of the site. A high exit percentage could mean a couple things: either that you need to better optimize your area of the site, or, if it’s a sales page, that you succeeded in creating a conversion.
- Site speed: The slower the site speed, the fewer conversions you are likely to have. Site speed can be affected by a number of different factors, including overuse of media, heavy server strain, poor functionality and more. Any page taking more than a few seconds to load should be better optimized to enhance the user experience.
- Path length: You have the ability to track the journey your users take from entering your site to making a sale. Ideally this path would be as short as possible, though any conversion is good.
- Acquisition: Acquisition information allows you to analyze how people are coming into your site, and which sources of traffic are most likely to lead to conversions. So, for example, you could compare users coming from organic search, direct links, paid search, social media, email, referrals and other sources and see how their behaviors differ.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment: Shoppers usually leave merchandise in their shopping cart when they experience an unexpected costs, have second thoughts or they found a better offer elsewhere. By tracking your checkout funnel, we can find out at what stage your shoppers are abandoning you and see if it corresponds with one of the above reasons. Google Analytics uses Intelligence Events. Knowing how many orders were placed versus the number of shopping carts created. To do so you will inform GA what page is your cart and what page is the checkout.
These are just a few of the many metrics available for your use in Google Analytics, which will help you get a better idea of your conversion rate optimization performance. By tracking these metrics and using the information available to you, you can change various elements of your website to create a better user experience.
We hope you have enjoyed this series on conversion rate optimization. For more information about CRO and how you can apply these principles to your company, we encourage you to reach out to our team at Viral Solutions.
Thomas von Ahn
Chief Elephant Slayer for Viral Solutions LLC
“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful
men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they
don’t quit.” — Conrad Hilton