Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could go to one place, a single pane of glass, and in 10 minutes or less understand the health of your website? Marketing teams usually assemble this kind of information with more fancy tools, weapons, artillery and acronyms than those carried by Jim Carrey in The Mask.
As a managed IT services business owner, you just want the data displayed to you as simply as possible and have it NOT cost you an arm and a leg, am I right?
Remember my last post about tackling your MSP marketing in bite-sized chunks? Have you been keeping up with your 12-month workout regimen? It's not too late to start! If you recall, your first assignment was to install tracking on your website and dig into Google Analytics.
Whether you've done this or not, maybe your analytics resemble the left side of the image below...
Ready to move to the right?
How to Get Started:
I’ve built a dashboard template in Google Analytics (GA) that you can add to your instance of GA by simply clicking the link below.
If you’re JUST getting started, you can install Google Analytics here. Or if you’re on another platform, you should still be able to build a dashboard with these metrics.
Once you click and add it to your instance, the “MSP Marketing” Dashboard will be filled with all YOUR website’s metrics. Cool, huh?
Quick Tour of the Google Analytics MSP Marketing Dashboard:
Here's what's included:
Mobile Vs Desktop Pie Chart
How many times have you heard or read about how mobile is “taking over.” You can use this pie chart to see what percentage of your traffic is coming from Mobile, Tablet or Desktop devices. Then you’ll be armed with the knowledge about optimizing your site for mobile traffic, and if the time/spend would be worth it.
Page / Visit
How many pages is each visitor consuming before leaving your site? If you’re hovering around 1 page/visit, a good strategy is to look at the MOST visited page (likely your homepage), and make sure you’re giving them a proper call to action. In other words, give them somewhere else to go. A good goal on this metric is around 2-3 page per visit.
Average Visit Duration
This is very similar to the previous metric, but this will tell you if people are staying on your site LONG enough to convert to a lead. If you’re writing 2,000 word blog posts, and visitors are only staying on your site for a minute or less, they aren’t reading your entire blog posts. It might be a good action item to shorten your posts or break them up into multiple posts.
1-Page Visit Percentage (Bounce Rate)
Someone who visits one page or your site and leaves is considered a “Bounce.” Google sees these visits as a detractor to your overall domain authority, so having visitors navigate to your homepage and then elsewhere on the site (and hopefully convert), is important in the eyes of Google. If you improve this number, Google will reward you with a higher rank and more traffic.
Organic Traffic Timeline
Like any timeline, you want to see them going up and to the right, this is no different. In most cases, Organic traffic is your most valuable search traffic so attracting more organic visitors is paramount to growing any business. This timeline will show you how you’re trending. You can add another widget if you'd like to track another channel of traffic like Paid/PPC traffic.
This is the same traffic but in a tangible number. This is handy when comparing month over month or week over week traffic, which I’ll touch upon shortly.
A goal can be different for every site, but normally it is when a visitor converts to a lead via a lead form on your site, so this timeline is basically your “lead trends” over time. When you see spikes in this area, it’s a good time to dive-in to do some detective work on what happened that day. Then rinse/repeat as best you can.
Goal Conversion Rate
This metric is telling you what percentage of visitors to your goal conversion page actually converted. Shoot to be north of 10% on this metric. If you’re lower, have a look at your Contact Us page (or whatever the goal is for), and make sure it’s de-cluttered, visible and conveys trust to the visitor.
Traffic Sources Table
Simply put, how are people finding you? Are the majority of them finding your site via “google/organic” or “google/cpc” (if you’re doing some Google Adwords) or are visitors coming in via “bing/organic”? This is just a great place to learn where your “marketing levers” are. If you learn that a good portion of your visitors are coming from Bing, why not spin up a PPC Campaign in Bing to “pull the lever” so to say, especially if Google Adwords isn’t working for you.
3 SUPER-important, insightful, tips on how to use the dashboard!
1. Segment to Sessions with Conversions
The REAL magic for all these widgets happens when you filter on the Segment “Sessions with Conversions”, see check box below. Then, all the widgets will magically toggle to show only the visits that ended up in a Goal Conversion (aka Leads!). Now you can REALLY understand where your lead-generating traffic comes from and tailor future marketing actions accordingly.
2. Date ranges and comparisons
3. Send Yourself The Dashboard Via Email
The cool part is that you don’t have to rely on your Marketing Manager (or even yourself) to go into GA every week. You can set up the dashboard to be emailed to you and/or your team daily, weekly or monthly. I suggest setting it to go out at a time that you know you’ll have 15 minutes to review and act upon it.
GA is a pain to use, I’ll admit it. It’s the Home Depot of marketing metrics platforms. Everything you can imagine, but with no one to show you where they are or how to use them. But we’re here to help you out.
Hit me up on twitter @abarks99 or comment on this blog post if you have any questions!
By Carlos Borges
By Ray Vrabel