If you run a business with a website, you need analytics. Knowing how people find and interact with your website is golden information to build on. Understanding which pages are resonating most and least with your audience and finding new potential customers can scale a business much faster than anecdotal evidence and trial and error.
Julian Juenemann knows Google Analytics, one of the most popular web analysis tools. He learned about digital marketing through various startups he co-founded and quickly became captivated by a data-driven world. With the launch of JJAnalytics in 2013, he helped other companies adopt his methods to take their businesses to new heights. He has since created the YouTube channel MeasureSchool to teach others this type of marketing. With over 150,000 subscribers, it’s the premier source for marketers to learn data-driven analytics.
Google Analytics’ new update, GA4, has created exciting potential for entrepreneurs to improve their website’s conversion rate and, in turn, their company’s profitability. Juenemann shares how the data can be used to grow your business.
1. Visualize your funnel with GA4
“A funnel is a series of pages or actions that your user takes to reach your goal,” explains Juenemann. “Not everyone is going to enter or even complete all the steps.” With GA4, it’s possible to visualize your funnel and gain insights to improve it. Having an understanding of how customers progress through your website and convert to sales is valuable information to see.
“In the Exploration section of GA4, choose to create a new funnel exploration report,” Juenemann instructed. He explained that a pre-configured report is displayed by default, but “the magic is in the customization”. Customize your report by changing the steps on the left. Select the pages you want users to go through to achieve the desired conversion. For example, download your e-book, visit a series of checkout pages, or peruse a product page before adding it to the cart.
Once you’ve picked your funnel’s steps, it’s time to study it.
2. Understand and reduce drop-offs to increase sales
Before figuring out how to improve your funnel, it’s important to understand waste. No website in the world has a 100% conversion rate because “not every user ends up buying your product or submitting your form”. With the funnel visualization you just created, you can now see the percentage of your website users who abandon at each step and understand which steps need improvement.
GA4 represents your funnel as a series of blue bars, each representing people who have visited that page. “Below each blue bar, you can see the percentage of users who abandoned at that step.” From here, you can understand your key drop-off pages. To do this, you should look at the page yourself and maybe get a second opinion from someone in your target group, then revise the page or make small adjustments. Edit the copy, add an explainer video, update the color palette, or add some images or diagrams that better explain a concept.
Improving the pages of your funnel will help drive more users to the sale. A tiny percentage improvement at each stage makes a dramatic difference to your overall conversion rate.
3. Retargeting abandoned users
By now, you’ve identified which user group hasn’t completed your funnel and figured out where they’re stopping. You have your plan to improve your conversions. Next, it’s time to retarget the users who have bounced to lure them back in.
“GA4 offers a great way to bring abandoned users back to your website, which is made possible by connecting to Google Ads.” Connect the dots as follows. “Right-click the breakup number and you’ll see an option to create a segment from these users.” A segment is a piece of people that you can group. “In the menu that opens, you can mark that segment of abandoners as an audience.” Next, connect your Google Ads account to GA4 (if you haven’t already) and upload this audience to your ad account.
You can now set up a remarketing campaign to show these people ads, which means you have another chance to win them back.
4. Find out where the users are coming from
In order to get into the minds of your website users, you need to understand where they are coming from. GA4 shares this information with you so you can figure out which traffic channels you should optimize or disable. For example, if you spend money to advertise on a particular website but don’t see the traffic, that budget may be spent elsewhere. If you’re seeing a high percentage of traffic from Instagram or TikTok, you’ll also want to make sure your site matches the visual, short layout of those platforms.
“In the Breakdown section of your Funnel Exploration report created in step one, add the user’s session medium.” Once you’ve done that, the table below will be populated with the traffic sources your users used to enter your funnel. “This data is broken down by the different steps they’ve taken, giving you insight into how different user groups are finding you.”
Knowing where users are coming from gives insight into what they expect to find when they arrive, so you can make sure they’re seeing what they want.
5. Improve your funnel
“Any kind of change to your funnel affects the data,” Juenemann said. “An improved website layout could result in more people jumping into step two of your funnel from step one.” Keeping a log of the changes you’ve made can help you see which ones were likely to be effective and which ones might have the opposite effect had.
“To see the impact of your changes in GA4, switch your funnel visualization to a ‘trend funnel’ to see the steps in a timeline chart.” GA4 presents the results of your tweaks and shows you the impact since you made the changes. You can then figure out which ones you should tweak further and which ones didn’t move the needle.
Keep making small changes until your drop-off rates go down and you’re making more money or getting more inquiries through your site.
Seeing and understanding data is a powerful tool that should not be dismissed by marketers and entrepreneurs. Knowing what’s going on means making small, incremental changes that can significantly impact a website’s popularity and success. Understand these groundbreaking features of GA4 to take control of your website and steer the ship accordingly.