6 Ways To Use Google Analytics To Find “Golden Opportunities” To Improve Your Website

    May 12, 2011

Most websites have a few “golden opportunities” lurking just below the surface – simple strategies or changes you can implement to improve revenue. Identifying and taking advantage of these opportunities can result in significant improvements in traffic and conversions for your website.

Here are 6 ways I use Google Analytics to help identify these golden opportunities for improvement.

Find 2nd page organic rankings to boost

In most cases, the easiest way to increase your organic search traffic is to focus on increasing your rankings for keywords you are already ranked for. Moving a ranking from the second page to the first page can result in a noticeable increase in traffic, because roughly 90% of searchers click on results on the first page.

The easiest way to pinpoint which keywords you want to focus on improving is as follows:

  • In Google Analytics, go to Traffic Sources > Incoming Sources > Search > Organic
  • Click to export the data in CSV
  • Use your favorite rank checking method to check your website’s ranking for each keyword
  • Look for keywords that are sending you traffic even though your site is ranked on the second page (or even bottom of the first page)
  • Organic Search Traffic

    Find and fix the primary sticking point in your conversion funnel

    If your website’s goal is ecommerce sales or lead generation, focusing on increasing conversions is an extremely effective way to boost revenues. Ensure that you have setup a funnel for your goal(s) in Google Analytics, then use the funnel visualization to pinpoint steps in the process where purchasers drop out.

    Go to Conversion > Goals > Funnel Visualization to view the report. This example shows a site with a checkout page that is a “weak link”in the conversion funnel, since 70% of visitors abandon the checkout process at that point:

    Organic Search Traffic

    Boost traffic to your highest converting landing pages

    Working to improve your website’s weaknesses can boost revenues, but maximizing your website’s strengths is oftentimes even more effective. Identify the highest converting landing pages on your website then work to increase traffic to these pages using tactics such as:

  • Increasing keyword bids for ads pointing to those pages
  • Allocating more time or budget to link building to those pages
  • Directing existing traffic streams toward those pages
  • To view goal conversions by landing page, you will need to create a custom report in Google Analytics. Alternatively, you can just copy the custom report I created, which shows total goal conversions and goal conversion rate by landing page: “Total Conversions By Landing Page”. This screenshot shows the report:

    Organic Search Traffic

    Get organic rankings for your best performing paid keywords

    The best keywords to focus your search engine optimization efforts on are those which have already proven to be profitable through paid search marketing. Use Google Analytics to export a list of your top performing (i.e. most conversions and/or highest conversion rate) paid search keywords. Any keywords in the list that you don’t have strong organic rankings for should be added to your top priority list for SEO.

    Go to Traffic Sources > Incoming Sources > Search > Paid, then click on the Goal Set 1 or Ecommerce tab to view conversion data.

    Boost traffic from your highest converting keywords

    Go to Traffic Sources > Incoming Sources > Search > Paid, then click on the Goal Set 1 or Ecommerce tab to determine your highest converting keywords. (You’ll notice that Google Analytics no longer shows visitor counts on these tabs – you can create a custom report if you want to see the number of visitors each keyword sent.) Once you have determined your top converting keywords, use these 5 tactics to increase traffic from each keyword:

    1. If you are getting mostly paid traffic for a keyword, focus on SEO in addition

    2. If you are getting mostly organic traffic for a keyword, start running PPC ads in addition

    3. Launch PPC ads on additional search engines (MSN AdCenter, second-tier engines, etc.) for that keyword

    4. Increase your PPC bids for the keyword

    5. Launch contextually targeted ads for the keyword

    I have created a custom report “Conversions By Keyword” you are welcome to use. Here is what it looks like:

    Organic Search Traffic

    Make your top converting products more prominent

    If you run an ecommerce store, this is an easy tweak you can make to boost conversions – maximize traffic to your highest converting products by increasing their visibility across your site. How to identify your highest converting pages will vary based on your site structure and traffic patterns – you may be able to just use the “Total Conversions By Landing Page”report or you may need to create a different report. Once you have determined which your highest converting products are, use these strategies to make them more prominent:

    1. Make them featured products on your homepage and/or sidebar

    2. Make them ranked at the top of each category they are in

    3. Make them more likely to appear in related product displays

    4. Make them more likely to appear in upsell/cross-sell displays

    5. Link to them from email newsletters

    6. Write reviews of them and feature them on your blog


    Most sites will be able to implement one or more of these strategies quickly, resulting in a fast, easy win. How have you or will you use these tactics? What are some of your favorite “quick wins” you look for in Google Analytics?