15 Valuable Pieces Of Data Agencies Glean From Clients’

Some clients don’t have the information their agency partners need to develop strong, effective marketing and advertising strategies. In these instances, Google Analytics can provide a wealth of data that would otherwise remain obscured. Before diving into a deep analysis, however, it’s critical to understand exactly which data points you’re looking for and why.

Not sure where to begin? The members of Forbes Agency Council shared 15 of the most valuable pieces of data they’ve gleaned from their clients’ Google Analytics and explain why those metrics matter.

1. Traffic Cycle Start Times

The most valuable piece of data for us is top-level: new traffic driven by our product placement, brand integration and celebrity/influencer campaigns. Most of our clients have multiple campaigns running at any one time, and being able to dive into the specific time that the traffic cycle started allows us to showcase impact as we build brand reputation and awareness versus specific calls to action. – Stacy Jones, Hollywood Branded

2. Conversion Paths

Changing the flow of how someone finds a product to buy will affect the conversion rate considerably. Google Analytics shows you what pages people move to after landing on the site. Often, there are paths on the site that buyers take that are not that user-friendly. Think of these as the tip of the iceberg pointing to conversion rate gains if we made those paths more obvious. – Mark Hammersley, Smartebusiness

3. Results Of Other Vendors’ Campaigns

One of the most striking things we’ve gleaned from our clients’ Google Analytics data is the results of other vendors’ campaigns. As our company focuses only on analytics and data governance—ensuring our clients have complete, compliant and accurate data around which they can make confident decisions—we are often surfacing big wins or big failures that don’t match what their vendors are telling them. – Alex Yastrebenetsky, InfoTrust

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4. Demographics And Interests

The Audience report in Google Analytics has a segment called Demographics and Interests. It’s a marketing gold mine if you know how to use it. You can analyze the age, interests and gender of your website visitors. Additionally, you can view corresponding conversion rates and then devise an effective approach for paid traffic based on that data. – Don Dodds, M16 Marketing


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5. Organic Entrances

Though overall sessions tend to get more attention, don’t overlook Organic Entrances. It identifies the types of content and specific assets driving top-of-funnel search activity. It gives us insight into the topics and attributes necessary for top-performing, session-starting content. It also helps us plan more effectively and deliver a more substantial ROI for our clients with limited moving parts. – Bryan Scanlon, Look Left Marketing

6. Pairing Data With Google Trends

While the analytics provided by Google are extremely impressive and useful in a wide variety of ways, we have found that utilizing the data in tandem with Google Trends can be truly “next level.” For example, how is your client performing relative to their industry and/or category overall? A strong goal is to “decouple” a company’s peaks and valleys from the average or status quo of its industry. – Josh Yudin, The Academy of Marketing

7. Session Duration

Analyzing average session duration can help clients engage with their target audiences more effectively. If you see media placements are driving sessions less than two to three minutes, it could mean the backlink used was irrelevant to that particular audience. Using backlinks to impactful resources, rather than your homepage, can increase session duration and bring users into your marketing funnel. – Heather Kelly, Next PR

8. Correlation Of Mobile Users’ Time On-Site And Conversion

The correlation of time on-site and goal conversion rates from mobile users. With our client base, which is entirely comprised of law firms, we learned that mobile users were converting in less time than desktop users while consuming less content. We used this knowledge to create super simplified mobile landing pages, which yielded a 60% increase in mobile conversion rates for some pay-per-click campaigns. – Jason Bland, Custom Legal Marketing

9. Cost/Time Spent

Average session duration, or time spent, is more important for higher-funnel ads reaching new users, but it matters across the board. With user data availability declining, everyone needs to refocus on what really matters, and that’s brand engagement. Ads with more time spent are ads that attract the right consumer with the right message, who then engages more. Try this metric: cost/time spent. – Michael Parise, DENT Agency LLC

10. Traffic By Device

There is so much good data in Analytics that you can turn into information for your clients. One metric we keep a close eye on is traffic by device. How many website visitors are coming from smartphones versus computers? Your whole marketing strategy must adapt to these critical metrics, as the visitor experience is extremely different depending on the device by which they access your website. – T. Maxwell, eMaximize

11. Conversions Tracked With Code On ‘Thank You’ Pages

Goal conversion technology should be strategically placed on the “Thank You” pages of forms. Putting tracking code on those forms allows us to see if our campaigns are actually converting. At the end of the day, you want to know how many leads converted, rather than visitors to the site, page views or demographic data. – Christopher Carr, Farotech

12. Digital Performance Relative To Sales

The most valuable pieces of data that you can glean from analytics are those that marry sales information with digital performance. In other words, you don’t just want to look at impressions, clicks and so on. You want to look at which ad creative or web page performed and brought more sales into the organization. Then, you can understand the ROI and value of your online assets or campaign. – Megan Devine, d.trio marketing group

13. Conversion Rate By Channel

Conversion data is the most critical metric in Google Analytics for us. Understanding your conversion rate by channel helps determine where you’re losing potential customers in the sales funnel. If you cannot attribute marketing success to a source, you’re simply guessing and not basing your campaigns on data. Conversion rate by channel and buy flow analysis are key. – Jonathan Schwartz, Bullseye Strategy

14. User Flow And Drop Off

When we are reviewing our clients’ Google Analytics, we dig deep into the user flow to find how they are navigating the site and what pages have the highest drop off. If users are flowing through your site and then constantly dropping off when they visit page X, you need to find out why. Analyze the structure and content to find out. You’d be amazed what a simple tweak can do. – Randy Soderman, Soderman SEO

15. Reports With And Without High-Traffic Pages

We have a client with a tremendous amount of traffic to their website relative to their size. We dug through the analytics to find that one page generated 90% of their traffic, but less than 1% of those visitors actually became customers. By running reports with and without the high-traffic page, we are able to see different trends and make recommendations to improve the rest of the website. – Katie Schibler Conn, KSA Marketing

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