Encouraged by an increase in the number of visits to your site? Looking at the jump in referrals to your site and sitting pretty? Does your Google Analytics report suggest that a stampede of new clients is on its way?
And yet, you sit by the phone and refresh your email, but those 1,000 site visits aren’t translating into new clients!
Has this happened to you?
Never confuse motion with action.
Never confuse site visits on Google Analytics with success.
—Katriel Reichman, Google Analytics Guru at TherapyEverywhere
For most of us, a high-level view of Google Analytics data is misleading, leading to costly business mistakes. The good news is that by understanding Google Analytics, you can avoid common errors, and make much smarter decisions to grow your practice. Learn how to drill down to the most important data to connect with new clients. With just a little bit of effort you can gain meaningful insights and real understanding of your Google Analytics.
When high traffic for your site ≠ potential clients
Google Analytics measures every visit to your website, registering each visit and its source.
Unfortunately, not every site visit is a quality lead. In fact, not every site visit is a visit by a human. With a bit of effort, you can usually identify which site visits are quality leads and which are the work of spam search engine robots (bots) , artificially inflating the number of your site visits and leading you to bad business decisions.
Here is a real-life example from one of our clients:
The Analytics Report for the first three months of the year shows 1,061 sessions (about 354 sessions per month) with robust growth of almost 38% compared to the same three months in the previous year. Better yet, all the effort put into networking has paid off. Referrals to the site are way up! Sounds great. Except that it’s not. In fact, the numbers are misleading.
Here is the real story. Referrals are up – but they are almost all “spam” referrals. At least 551 (or, at least 52% of the total) sessions on the site were referrals from spam sites.
♦ 242 of the visits were from “socialbuttons” – a spam site – with a 100% bounce rate.
♦ 155 of the visits were from “semalt” – a spam site – with a 100% bounce rate.
♦ 137 of the visits were from “buttons-forwebsite” – a spam site – with a 100% bounce rate.
♦ 17 of the visits were from “best-seo-solution” – a spam site – with a 100% bounce rate.
Once we removed the spam referrals, the client got a better picture of what was really happening on the site and what needed to be done to get new clients. Following up on these insights, new client bookings have improved significantly.
Are visitors likely to become clients?
If your business or practice caters to clientele in your city or state, visitors from outside your catchment area can be a compliment, but they can also be a distraction when understanding Google Analytics.
Are visitors from overseas or out-of-town unlikely to become your clients? If the answer is yes, then those visits are a distraction to Google Analytics.
Tip: If you see a high number of site visitors from Russia, Brazil, or Hungary – your website is probably being targeted by spam search engine robots.
Check the referrals – the websites sending traffic to your site. When referrals from a website have a 100% bounce rate or a 0% new visitor rate, this is a sign that the visits may be robot visits, and not quality human leads. Another way to identify a junk referral is to check the website sending traffic to your site. Is it relevant to your business? If you are a mental health professional, a referral from Psychology Today is likely to be a great referral, but traffic coming from sites you never heard of are likely to be skewing the real picture. Checking the referrals to your site is key to understanding Google Analytics.
Sites like semalt.com are known to send hundreds of hits to a website, artificially inflating the number of visitors and bounce rate, without contributing any new clients to a business.
Identify quality leads
You can use filters and advanced segments to block spam from inflating your numbers. Click here for an introduction to using filters on Google Analytics.
Once your account is cleared from misleading data, you can use the analytics data from the remaining quality visitors to create data driven improvements to your website, bringing you closer to your clients.
Go big and go strong
Need help understanding your Google Analytics data? We can help you use your data to improve your website and connect to new clients. Call us to learn more, or click Schedule Now to set up a free 15 minute consult. If you need more help, you can ask about our surprisingly affordable Analytics Audit. Of course, analysis and filtering are built into the Google Analytics reports that all TherapyEverywhere clients on a monthly subscription package enjoy.Please share this post!