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How to Use Analytics to Unlock a Treasure Trove of Information To achieve above average growth and sales this year, you will need to develop an intimate relationship with data. Here is how to do it.

By Eric Samson Edited by Dan Bova

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Some marketers get overwhelmed when they open up Google Analytics. The platform is more powerful than people can imagine and yet a majority of users only take advantage of its most basic offerings.

Within every Google Analytics account is a treasure trove of information about audience behavior and how those users impact a business' bottom line. Knowing how to uncover the right numbers will allow you to identify critical opportunities that are guaranteed to take your business to the next level.

To achieve above average growth and sales this year, you will need to develop an intimate relationship with data.

Related: 5 Keys to Unlocking the Power of Google Analytics

Here is how to do it.

Using advanced segmentation

While a glance at high-level metrics such as sessions, pageviews and conversion rate may satisfy your curiosity with regard to current marketing performance, you ought to analyze the data further. Break up those numbers into unique segments, including by device, geographic location or referral source. If that leads to any interesting discoveries, insist on digging deeper. Your work is not done yet.

Eventually, you will be able to find both high- and low-performance segments. Fortunately, each offers unique opportunities for growth but you must approach them differently. In some cases, the high-performance segments you unearth deliver far and few prospective customers while the low-performance audiences are available and plenty.

Pro tip: For marketers, Ginny Soskey of HubSpot shares a foolproof guide for creating custom audience segments within Google Analytics.

Related: 10 Innovative Ways to Analyze Google Analytics Data to Increase Sales

Amplify thin, high-performance audiences

After identifying audience segments that drive customers at impressive conversion rates, you should ask yourself, "How can I increase traffic here?"

Generally, there are two methods: organic marketing and paid advertisements.

For immediate results, you should pay to amplify traffic from high-value referral sources. To grow that audience organically, you need to invest significant resources into consistently engaging the communities in which your most valuable customers congregate. Of course, you do not have to choose one tactic exclusively; they work better hand-in-hand.

If your best customers come in through Google, strategically increase your Adwords spend. If Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn sends high-converting traffic, advertise on those platforms. Sometimes, niche blogs may be a valuable source of visitors for your business; partner with ones who would be willing to include you again in upcoming blog posts, email newsletters or social media updates.

When those wells dry up, spend time finding similar communities you have not yet targeted.

Optimize fat, low-performance groupings

In this instance, the issue is not traffic volume but rather conversion funnel quality. Many marketers might wrongly assume there is fault with the audience themselves. While that may be the case in a few situations, instinctively believing those visitors are unfit for your offerings is a poor way to look at a gold mine of opportunity.

Identify what the real problems are. The matter may be that your brand's positioning, sales copy, highlighted products or after-sales service does not fit the needs of this specific segment. Before discarding these customers entirely, it is worth thinking about ways to effectively cater to their unique demands. Unlike your typical client who prefers to purchase individual products to fulfill his immediate desires, your most prolific website visitor might actually be interested in bundled packages which include multiple products to help her solve all of her needs longer-term.

Understanding what makes this user tick gives you leverage when you prepare to exchange value for money. Soon enough, you may find that the consumers your website organically inbounds become your best customers when you, finally, make them personalized offers that empathize with their true goals.

The insights companies can extract from analytics help form powerful data-driven decisions. If you feel overwhelmed when exploring your data, recruit an expert who can dig through the numbers to make meaningful branding, marketing or web design recommendations and implement performance-focused solutions.

Related: 5 Powerful SEO Metrics and Data Points You Need to Watch

Eric Samson

Founder of Group8A

Eric Samson is the founder of Group8A, a boutique consulting firm focused on developing and executing integrated marketing and digital solutions for companies of all sizes.


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