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Data-Driven Marketing During Uncertain Times: Using Google Analytics to Evaluate Visitor Trends

Have you adjusted your business and marketing efforts during COVID-19? Learn more about how you can leverage Google Analytics and Google Search Console in our 10 Minute TECHTalk on Data-Driven Marketing: Google Analytics with SEO and Analytics Manager, Mike Farney.

Mike brings over 14 years of digital marketing experience and 25 years of sales and marketing experience. His main priority is to help businesses achieve their objectives by providing analysis of their digital marketing efforts. He is also a Google Analytics Subject Matter Expert and Certified and trained in Analytics, SEO, Google Tag Manager, and HubSpot.

Check out the video and the full transcript below!

DATA DRIVEN MARKETING | 10 MINUTE TECHTALK

Pre-Intro

Hi Everyone! This is Mike Farney SEO and Analytics Manager with EagleDream Technologies. Are you interested in learning more about how your customers are using your website during COVID-19? Stay tuned and I’ll show you some tips and tricks on how to help you get that information out of your Google Analytics account.

Intro

Hi Everyone! This is Mike Farney SEO and analytics manager with EagleDream Technologies. I want to talk today a little bit about data-driven marketing during COVID-19, maybe give you a few pointers on how to gather some data and information about your customers during this remarkable period we’re living through. Some of the things I want to cover today want to kind of set the stage for you tell you a little bit about how we got here. I want to show you some examples of how we can gather some data about your customers and Google Analytics and Google search console and I also want to point out you know what to look for and then what we should be looking for next so let’s set the stage.

Background

It all started with the World Health Organization making an announcement on March 11th this year about COVID-19 being a global pandemic. That really set off a series of events that infected a lot of businesses so shortly after that the President created a travel ban or started a travel brand with European countries then I think ultimately some other countries. Then shortly after that New York State and other state governors made announcement to close all non-essential businesses and required people to work from home if possible. These events just change everything for a lot of businesses out there. Some very positive and some negative so some of the things that we see here in search behavior.

Search Behavior

On the left, what we see is a chart that represents activity on Google My Business listings so these are if you have a business online in you do a search on that business, Google my business will have a box with information about your business on the right-hand side of the search results page and from there you can make a phone call, you can click to the website, you can do a lot of different things, get directions to that location, so this graph is measuring that level of activity after the announcement on March 11th. So you can see there are industries that are up quite a bit—groceries, alcohol, of course financial.

Impact

It all started with the World Health Organization making an announcement on March 11th this year about COVID-19 being a global pandemic. That really set off a series of events that infected a lot of businesses so shortly after that the President created a travel ban or started a travel brand with European countries then I think ultimately some other countries. Then shortly after that New York State and other state governors made announcement to close all non-essential businesses and required people to work from home if possible. These events just change everything for a lot of businesses out there. Some very positive and some negative so some of the things that we see here in search behavior.

COVID Search Behavior

Some of the things I want to talk about are website pageviews. These are really easy to look at in Google Analytics. It gives us an idea of what pages people are looking at on your website. Site searches, I’ll tell you a little bit more about that a minute, but this is when people come to do searches on your website and it gives us a little bit of information, and then of course Google Searches— what are people searching for on Google with respect to your website?

So these are three good areas to really look at when you’re trying to get some customer intelligence. Let’s talk about the first one.

Google Analytics Pageviews

This one is paid Google Analytics Pageviews, so if you come over to the left-hand side here, you can see that under Google Analytics if you go into behavior and then site content, and then all pages, you’ll get to this section where all the traffic for the different pages on your site are represented.  

 Over onto your right here, you’ll see this date range where we’ve put in, in this case, I put in March 10th. We should probably put in March 11th, but March 10th to today, and then compare it to either month over month the same period previously or year over year the same time period the previous year. Then when we get that information you come down here, you can see there are different comparisons by page and gate range, and then what we’re looking for are variations plus or minus 30%.  

 So if we’re going up above 30% year of year, or a month over month, or below it’s something we want to probably pay attention to and look at and say “Hm, why are these pages getting more traffic or less traffic after the March 11th announcement,” and that will give us some clues as to what’s going on with our website, how people, visitors, customers, prospects are reacting to our website and our business in the new environment.  

Site Search

The next one is site search so on your website, and in this case it’s our EagleDream site, most sites have a search function where you can go. There’s a little hourglass on our site you can click on that and then you get this box here and you can put in a search. And this is important for marketers because you can really learn about what people are looking for if they can’t find what they’re looking for right away on your homepage or through the navigation. This gives you some clues as to what people are interested in, so in Google Analytics, if you integrate Google Analytics with your site search on your website, you can get some really valuable information. In this case, what I’ve done is I’ve shown you a report. It’s under behavior site search in search terms, and in this case, I’m showing some results where people put in Corona on a website and got no results, so this is important because this shows that people are interested in getting information about your business regarding COVID. 

For instance, what’s your policy on COVID? Are you open for business? You know, they’re trying to find out what’s happening, but we’re serving up zero search results, so that’s a problem we need to address that we need to make sure that people who are doing that search get a result and they’re learning about how we’re dealing with COVID as a business, so it doesn’t always have to be COVID. It can be something else in the finance industries. People are looking more anmore for mortgage rates or trying to skip a payment or something like that. These are examples of increases that you may see after March 11th that maybe weren’t there before, but now they’ve become very important, and these are things you need to pay attention to in your own business in your own site Search, and hopefully this this report will give you some clues as to what’s going on. 

Google Search Console

And then lastly, we have Google Search Console. Google search console is provided by Google, and if you claim your site and Google Search Console, you can get Google search query data. It tells you how often your site is appearing isearches. They call that impressions, and how many times people are clicking through. When you get into your Google Search Console, if you go into performance and then you look at a date compare, we compare the date range from before March 11th and then after, you can start to get some comparisons on how often you were getting impressions for particular queries, and how many clicks you were getting for those impressions.  

 So there’s some real good search intelligence you can get about your customers or prospects that tell you what they’re really interested in, so it’s a really good tool to kind of get an idea of what’s happening.  

What To Look For

Some of the things we want to look for are increases and decreases in pageviews, like I said plus or minus 30 percent, you want to take notice to that. You want to look for very specific site searches so around COVID or COVID-related issues. Pay attention to that. Site searches can give you some real insight into how people are interacting with your website. And then lastly, COVID-19 related Google Searches– go on Google search console, really take a look at what kind of queries or searches people are doing and how that relates and is different for your business in the new COVID-19 world that we’re living in.

What’s Next?

So what’s next? I mean right now we’re just coming out of I think the initial shock of what’s happened with COVID-19. I think there were a lot of folks out there who almost kind of panicked and said “Okay. I gotta a shut down all my marketing or sales activity here and save money,” and you know it’s understandable, but we still have customers, we still have people that need our help. They may be changing their attitudes and how they see the world, but there’s still an opportunity to sell and market to those folks 

 So how are we going to transition into whatever this new normal is? There are going to be lots of changes at each stage here, but we need to listen to our customers, gather as much data intelligence as we can about the customers. I hit on three very small ways, but there are many different ways 

 Engage your web analytics. Also spend some time with business intelligence. If you’re a large larger organization, you probably have Salesforce data, you probably have logistics data financials data, even some manufacturing data. These are often in many different systems in larger organizations in building data lakes or data warehouses and reporting on that data can give you some really insights into customer’s buying habits and what their attitudes are in this new world that we live in.  

 So these are all things that EagleDream can help you with and we’re happy to take any questions or help you out with any issues that you might have, but we want everybody to keep thinking about their customers, keep gathering information, and stay safe, be healthy and we’ll make it through all this together and make it into whatever this new normal is.  

 Thanks for listening today and hopefully we’ll hear from you soon! 

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How it works: 

  • Use the link below to schedule a conversation with our EagleDream Analytics Expert
  • We will conduct a current vs future state of your website
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  We’re here to help you prepare your business for a successful future. Let’s talk! 

AUTHOR

Mike Farney

Manager SEO and Analytics

Mike brings over 14 years of digital marketing experience and 25 years of sales and marketing experience. His main priority is to help businesses achieve their objectives by providing analysis of their digital marketing efforts. He is also a Google Analytics Subject Matter Expert and Certified and trained in Analytics, SEO, Google Tag Manager, and HubSpot. 

 

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