Sound too good to be true? You can absolutely change your site conversion rate (or any other important success metric) by simply optimizing…your web analytics reports! By default, Web analytics track anything and everything that happens on your site – from both quality and garbage traffic. What if you could exclude all of the garbage traffic from your report? You would get a clearer (and fresher smelling) picture of how your site is performing. The throw-away traffic would no longer be polluting your conversion rates or skewing your other key metrics like bounce rates. Cleaning up your analytics reportsThink of what types of site visitors are very unlikely to buy from you, such as:
- Visitors from countries you do not ship to or do not accept credit card payment from
- Visitors arriving from non-commercial referring sites
- Visitors from mobile devices (if you are not m-commerce enabled)
- Visitors from certain social networks
In Google Analytics, you can create a new Profile and add the appropriate Filters to exclude country, region, referring domain and operating system, to name a few. Creating Profiles:
Adding Filters to Profiles:
Advanced SegmentsIn Google Analytics, Profiles and Filters are great, but they don’t give you as much drill-down power as Advanced Segments (if you use a different web analytics tool, this feature, if you have it, may be named differently). In addition to weeding out the long-shots, you may wish to segment out visitors whose on-site behavior indicates their intent is not to purchase, but to use your site for a different purpose. For example, visitors who enter your site through your Company or Careers page, exit after viewing your Store Locator or Online Flyer, use your order tracking tool, or surf your online forum. Let’s put this all together by applying the above segmentation criteria, including the assumptions your online store sells only to North America, is not m-commerce enabled, and receives a lot of non-converting traffic from Wikipedia, Facebook and PR Web.
With segments that represent traffic with highest likelihood to purchase, your KPIs (key performance indicators, or metrics of success) are guaranteed to improve. You will have a better understanding of your “adjusted” KPIs, and can set much better goals for improvement. You’ll also have a better understanding of your customers, not just your site visitors. You can then further segment by campaigns, referral source, keywords and other attributes will truly uncover insights, not just metrics.