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Ah, analytics. There’s no better way to see how your store is performing. After all, it’s cold hard data that shows you how visitors (and hopefully customers) are interacting with your store.
Shopify has some great analytics tools, like how the ‘Home’ screen of your dashboard shows you things like your sales, sessions, top product breakdowns, top pages, and more.
On top of that, we installed Google Analytics, which gives you some pretty amazing details.
[highlight]Google Analytics is incredibly in-depth. I couldn’t possibly cover all the features – that’s another week in itself. I’ll go over the key points to know, but I strongly encourage you to poke around on your own and explore all the awesome things you can find. Making the most of this tool will be a learning process that won’t happen overnight.[/highlight]
Today, we’re going to:
- Learn the basics of Google Analytics and the data that it can offer
- Look at the Home, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions tabs
- Explore how we can apply these insights to your efforts
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On the ‘Home’ dashboard, you’ll find an overview of the selected timeframe that shows information including:
- How many visitors you had
- Total revenue you’ve earned from sales
- Conversion rate, or the number of people who did an action you set
- Number of user sessions, which includes people who visited more than once
- The time of day that the most users were on your site
[highlight]The time of day feature is pretty neat… you can keep track of when certain marketing efforts ‘went live’ – like an email sent or an influencer’s shoutout post published – and see what time of day the most people came to your site afterward. This can help you optimize the best time of day to launch certain efforts and campaigns.[/highlight]
Scrolling ‘below the fold,’ you can see:
- The major sources of traffic to your website, like social media platforms and other websites
- The geographic location of your users by country, to get a better idea of which countries you should be targeting in your advertising
- The top website pages that your users have visited
- The top devices, so you can optimize for mobile if most people are shopping that way
Just like all the tabs, when you go to ‘Overview,’ you’ll see a summary of all the options in that category. To drill down and get more details for certain topics, click the different options in the sub-menus below each category.
When you go to the ‘Audience’ tab and select ‘Overview,’ you’ll see:
- Users: how many users you had on each day
- New users: how many people were new users (versus returning)
- Sessions: how many total sessions, including new and returning visitors
- # of sessions per user: the average number of sessions each user had
- Pageviews: how many times anyone clicked any page
- Pages/session: the average number of pages that each person went to during one session
- Avg session duration: the average amount of time that each user spent on your website in a single session
- Bounce rate: percentage of people who only visited only one page during their session before they left the site
It’s worth noting that Amanda’s 72% bounce rate is pretty high. Bounce rates could be for a number of reasons, but she had some issues that caused broken links and 404 errors – this definitely contributed.
When you go ‘below the fold,’ you’ll be able to look at the number/percentage of users based on:
- Demographics: the language, country, or city they visited your site with/from
- System: the desktop browser, mobile operating system, or internet service provider they visited from
- Mobile: the operating system, service provider, and screen resolution that mobile users used when viewing your site
Amanda saw that most of her visits came from the US and UK.
[highlight]Note: She shared her website on her Facebook, so she was able to deduce that the visits from countries like Indonesia, India, Turkey, and Vietnam were likely from her friends who live in those areas. If you have outliers like this, keep them in mind as you read your analytics so they don’t interfere with your marketing plan.[/highlight]
This data can be incredibly helpful depending on your niche. For example, if you’re selling mobile phone accessories, it could be massively helpful to learn that most of your website’s visitors have iPhones.
Even better if you see the exact type of iPhone, which you can find if you go to ‘Audience’ ➜ ‘Mobile’ ➜ ‘Devices.’
This tab shows you your website’s traffic sources, or the websites they were on before they clicked your website’s link.
The top channels are:
- Social: social media like Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Direct: when people went directly to your site
- Organic search: when they typed a search into Google or Bing (or some other search engine), and your website showed up as one of the search results that they clicked
- Referral: when users came to your site through other websites that weren’t social media platforms
- Other: these aren’t specified
You can drill down into these options to compare different types of campaigns and how they fit into the bigger picture.
For example, if you’ve been giving away lots of free products to get Instagram shoutouts, but barely getting any activity in comparison to other, cheaper methods, you know that it might be time to ditch the shoutouts technique and focus on the more fruitful ones.
The behavior tab shows you what people did on your site, like:
- The pages they viewed the most
- Average time spent on those pages
- How many people bounced, or left your site, after visiting one specific page
- How many people left your website from a specific page (‘exit’)
You can see which pages perform better than others, and try to analyze why that is. If there’s a page that’s very often the last page that visitors click before they leave your website, you can try to see if there’s something about that page that’s turning users off.
This tab is magic. It can get pretty complex though, so I’ll just show you the basics for now.
Go to ‘Conversions’ ➜ ‘Ecommerce’ ➜ ‘Overview.’
Here, you’ll find a breakdown of transactions and revenue that’s similar to your Shopify dashboard: total revenue, conversion rate, number of sales, average order value, etc.
“How can I learn more about the people who are abandoning their carts?”
My answer: If you go to ‘Conversions’ ➜ ‘Ecommerce’ ➜ ‘Shopping Behavior,’ you can see a breakdown of the checkout funnel, including where people are dropping off.
It looks at all sessions, then shows you how many of those involved viewing product pages. Then out of those, how many people added an item to their cart. Then how many proceeded to the checkout page. Then how many actually completed the purchase.
You can look at how many people are dropping off at different stages of the purchase funnel. Certain clues will give you big insights.
For example, if you have a huge number of people abandoning at checkout, it could be some sort of technical issue or inconvenience with the checkout process.
The important thing is to approach all this with curiosity and critical thinking – there are loads of things you can learn if you dig into all this beautiful data.
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Day 18 Recap
✓ Learned how to navigate the dashboard of Google Analytics
✓ Got a crash course to all the awesome capabilities of the Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions datasets
✓ Got some tips on how you can apply this data to your own performance
Excellent. See you tomorrow.