Google Analytics Test Lab: Finding New Test Subjects

By Kayla Kurtz | @one800kayla | Senior Digital Advisor at Hanapin Marketing

Day two in the Google Analytics Test Lab is all about deciding what to test on next. Determining the areas in Analytics to use to compare performance and metrics is one thing, but using the interface to find new opportunity for your paid search accounts is a completely different beast. So here’s a look at my favorite three places to find new opportunity in Analytics!

Beaker Muppet Experiments

  • Goals & Conversion Funnels

Setting up conversions as goals in Analytics isn’t rocket science, but it’s mandatory, if for no other reason than to find where you’re actually missing conversions. By viewing your conversion funnel for individual goals, you can see at what point in the funnel you lost customers and begin testing on that point to keep more customers in the funnel.

For example: You look at your contact us form submission goal funnel and see that you are losing 15% of your total clicks to the Contact Us form page to your FAQ’s page. This may mean your users are simply looking for some extra information before sending along their name/email/phone number. Consider putting a top 5 FAQ’s in a bulleted list on your form page to see if that helps your bounce rate.

  • Location Targeting

Many paid search clients or accounts request specific geotargeted campaigns, dependent on serviceable area, delivery zones, etc. What if your client approaches you for some ideas on new regions to target? Once again, Analytics to your aid!

Location Targeting in Analytics

Toggle down to the Location link from the Audience>Demographics tab along the Analytics menu bar.  A map will populate to the right with varying shades of green indicating areas of the world with the highest volume of visits to your website. Here you could find that your client can ship internationally, hasn’t been targeting Russia, but is seeing high visitor volume from the region. Perfect new opportunity for geotargeting a campaign.

  • Time to Purchase/Time Lag

This is one of my favorite opportunity finders, especially for new clients. I’ve had quite a few brand new clients that have never run any Analytics on their website to learn about the average time from first touch to conversion. Once the Analytics interface gathers some data, you will then be able to view how much time passes between customers first hit to your site to when they convert.

How is this data useful? Let’s say you assume your customers are taking some time to make a purchase on your website, and going at least a week between their first site visit to actual conversion. You may be basing this on in-store sales or industry averages, but then you look at your time to purchase or time lag data and realize your online customers are buying same-day over 85% of the time. You may have been missing out on even more conversion traffic by not making it clear that buying today is an option or not showing your benefits fast enough in an effort to allow the research phase to mature. Change course! Get those benefits out there now! Maybe pull in that other 15% a bit faster.

So go get started! I assure you, this list is not exhaustive by any means, so explore my favorites and keep looking to see what else you can find for new opportunity in your paid search accounts via Analytics! If you’ve used Analytics in this way before, what are some of your favorite opportunity finding features? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below! And be sure to check in tomorrow for Dave’s addition to the Google Analytics Test Lab!