Business processes are becoming more consumer-centered with commerce making an online shift in the recent past. Companies are also facing stiff competition, making it necessary for them to understand the customer’s needs. This has made Google Analytics the go-to tool for most businesses when it comes to the pooling and analysis of consumer data for marketing decisions.

E-commerce thrives on data, and it is difficult for any modern online business to operate without it. Analyzing consumer data enables marketers to come up with strategies that can turn market leads to paying customers, increasing the company’s revenues and profits.

Since the launch of Google Analytics in 2005, Google has periodically provided updates to the platform to provide smarter insights into the consumer’s behavior. The latest round of updates was released in November 2020 built on a foundation of App + Web property and focused on machine learning.1

These updates have improved the analytics’ ability to track and monitor key customer data trends and help marketers see and exploit new opportunities.

How New Google Analytics Updates Improve Your Marketing Returns in 2021

  1. New Insights Improve Marketing Decisions

The new updates on Google Analytics help improve your marketing in the following ways;

  • You can now be automatically alerted to significant data trends. For example, the platform notifies you when there is a rise or fall in demand due to the customer’s changing needs.
  • It helps you anticipate future customer actions through their online activities eg. it can estimate a customer’s churn probability, helping to improve your customer retention percentage.
  • The platform allows you to create audiences, helping you reach high-quality customers cheaply and effectively. You can also evaluate the reasons certain customers are responding better to your marketing strategy than others, so you can develop strategies to improve.
  • The updates enable the measurement of app and web activity together, giving you a better insight into the marketing strategy’s success.

Making better marketing decisions ensures you convert more leads. This translates to increased revenue, which together with the efficient use of your marketing resources, leads to improved company performance.

  1. Understanding How Your Customers Interact With Your Business

Customer data before the updates were fragmented by factors such as devices used to access your site or the platform the client used. Since the implementation of the new analytics, however, measurement is based on identity spaces including user IDs and other google signals.

This works to provide a better and wholesome picture of individual customers and how they interact with your business.

For example, a consumer may watch an advertisement for your product on YouTube, do more research on their desktop, download your app on their phone and purchase your product from the application. Getting to know and understand the whole customer journey gives you a better insight into their behavior, making it easier to retain them and attract similar clients.

The new Google Analytics updates have also reorganized and simplified reporting enabling you to find customer insights easily in the part of the lifecycle they are in. This can be extremely helpful in finding the part of the funnel consumers are stuck in and help you finish the conversion process.

The clients’ needs are continuously changing, and in the competitive world, you need to make fast and accurate decisions in order to find new and keep existing customers.

Another problem that has been solved with the new updates is the incorporation of internal user and developer data in the data, skewing the results. Internal Traffic Filters and Developer Traffic Filters tools have been incorporated to ensure your data represents the correct information.

A business that understands how the customers interact with it is able to effectively judge the client’s present and future actions, giving it an edge over its competitors.

  1. Dealing With Arising Issues

These smarter analytics are able to deal more effectively with arising issues like regulatory controls, changing customer expectations, and new technological standards. Machine learning programming present in the new outlook enables the platform to teach itself to deal with issues, even when it has not faced them before.

You are also able to manage the collection, use, and retention of analytics data with the new approach. Controls on the platform let you choose how to use the information obtained, with a choice either to use it for ad optimization or to measure consumer behavior. This makes it easy for you to use the data according to your strategy and restrictions.

Cookies and identifiers have also been phased out in the new updates. Google Analytics now relies on more flexible and future-based methods to model the information. This should improve how data is measured, improving marketing results, and helping predict customer needs.

While the new updates cannot predict the future, they are modeled to adapt to new changes in your business, so that you don’t need to. Google Analytics makes it easy to predict customer behavior changes beforehand, improving your response time to them.

Strategies You Can Use To Improve Marketing Returns Using Google Analytics in 2021

The effective use of Google Analytics is one of the most important marketing topics for businesses today.

Implementing the right strategies on the platform can have a large positive effect on your customer acquisition and retention, which in turn affect your revenue and profit generation.

Some strategies you can adapt to successfully implement and use Google Analytics in your e-commerce store include;

  1. Set Your Goals

You need to start by setting goals to help you track your marketing results to get the most out of Google Analytics tools. The set targets act as a yardstick for your efforts and will give you a realistic view of how the work you are putting in is affecting your customer engagement.

There are four types of goals you can set on Google Analytics:

  • Destination – Analytics counts a conversion when a visitor gets to a page that you had specified. A common example is when the goal is set when the user gets to the ‘Thank You Page’ on the website. The page can be set to appear after the client performs an action on the website eg. completes an order form.
  • Duration – This goal tracks the amount of time site visitors spend on your website. It gives you an idea of which clients leave your site quickly and those that stick around for a while. The time site viewers will spend in it can translate to different achievements for various sites. You should then set a site goal that means something to your marketing metrics.
  • Pages/Screens per Session – How many pages did the user visit during their session on the website? When a visitor sees a set number of pages, Google Analytics counts it as a conversion.
  • Event – This is the most complicated to set up, but is the most valuable of the four. The events do not happen in Google Analytics, so a code has to be written to be fired when the event happens.

Goals on Google Analytics are able to show you the overall picture of your website and your business, but cannot tell you how much revenue the business is generating.

  1. Invest in a Mobile Strategy

82% of shoppers will consult their mobile phones before making a purchase in a store 2, so lacking a mobile strategy on your website guarantees the loss of a significant amount of customers.

Google has also incorporated mobile friendliness as a major factor considered in SEO. This gives a huge advantage to websites that are optimized for phones, increasing their SERP rankings.

Analytics allows you to set and evaluate mobile traffic and conversion goals, making it easy to identify when the strategy is not working. One of the best ways to test phone optimization is to compare conversions from it with similar data from other devices. Your site is not configured well for mobile if the computer version shows significantly higher traffic and conversion numbers.

You are also able to analyze a mobile report that shows your traffic and conversions on different devices. This lets you know whether your issue is across all phones or with one operating system.

  1. Personalizing Your Website Content

Creating personalized content helps you tap into your customer’s wants and needs, increasing your product’s demand. You can sell to a client by connecting their problem to the product as a solution instead of trying a generic sales strategy for all potential clients.

A personalized website uses previous interactions with site visitors to determine which content to display and the experiences to deliver. This helps establish a meaningful connection with the audience, increasing the chances for future visits and more time spent on your website per visit.

The process of personalizing your content begins with you defining your audience. Here you use behavioral, contextual, or demographic data to try and understand who your audience is and how you can influence their future behavior. An accurate definition of your website visitors makes it easy to create content and strategies for your ideal customer, increasing the possibility of conversions.

68% of businesses have already made personalization delivery a priority 3. Failing to incorporate this into your website decreases the chances of conversion and gives your competitors a selling edge.

Google Analytics’ affinity reports can help you with this. The data on these reports give you a picture of different audience groups based on their characteristics, bounce rates, and how well they convert.

  1. Optimize Your Page Loading Speeds

It takes about 15 seconds for an average mobile page to load, but 53% of site visitors leave after only 3 seconds if it doesn’t 4. Having a page that loads slowly only pushes away potential customers.

Your page loading speed is an important aspect of improving the audience’s website experience, which is why it is included as a ranking factor for the search engine’s optimization. If your site is slow, it will perform dismally in the rankings and impact your site’s marketing capabilities negatively.

Google Analytics questions and pinpoints the pages on your site that load slowly to help you diagnose and fix it. The Page Timings report will highlight pages on your site, ranking them in terms of their loading speeds. You can then work on the slowest site, increasing your site’s speed a page at a time.

The Speed Suggestions report can also help you find effective ways to solve the page speed problems. You can also use the free PageSpeed Insights tool in Analytics for more help with the optimization.

  1. Understand Your Traffic Sources

Your website traffic comes from various sources, e.g., direct searches, social media, search engines, or paid ads. The main goal of your site should be to generate traffic and leads, so understanding where your website traffic is coming from will help you optimize it.

Traffic sources can be categorized into:

  • Organic Traffic – Visits your site through search engine results. 70% of the SE clicks fall within this category, making it the most valuable marketing channel.5
  • Referrals – Backlinks from other sites directing their users to your website.
  • Direct Traffic – Traffic from when visitors type your web address into the search bar to access your site directly.
  • Paid Searches – Pay-per-click campaigns giving preferential search results.
  • Social Media – Traffic redirected to your site from your social media pages.
  • Email Marketing – Visits from email marketing campaigns with CTAs directing traffic to the website.

The Google Analytics Source/Medium report gives you a breakdown of the site sessions, the number of new users, and the bounce rate for each traffic source. This makes it easy to target sources driving the most traffic and ignore or optimize those not to get the most out of your effort efficiently.

Improving Your Marketing With Google Analytics In 2021

Incorporating Google Analytics to your online marketing strategy is an efficient and free way to use client data to optimize your website to increase its marketing ability. This tool offers data analysis points that if interpreted and used correctly will help you understand your traffic and give you ideas and opportunities to help you increase your online revenue generation.

Links To Sources Used

  1. Get to know your customers – https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/
  2. New Research Shows Growing Impact Of Online Research On In-Store Purchases – https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnellett/2018/02/08/new-research-shows-growing-impact-of-online-research-on-in-store-purchases/
  3. 50 Stats That Prove The Value Of Customer Experience – https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2019/09/24/50-stats-that-prove-the-value-of-customer-experience/
  4. How page speed affects Web User Experience – https://uxplanet.org/how-page-speed-affects-web-user-experience-83b6d6b1d7d7
  5. 60+ Mind-Blowing Search Engine Optimization Stats – https://www.searchenginejournal.com/se1o-101/seo-statistics