Google Analytics 101 for Financial Advisors
Most advisors have a strong aversion to trying to understand their website’s metrics through Google Analytics. Why is this, when we know advisors tend to be numbers-driven and analytical in nature? Our best guess is because Google Analytics is jargon-rich, confusing and overwhelming. In an effort to provide users with all the data they’ll ever need, the analytics platform can be difficult to sift through or find anything meaningful.
However, advisors may be more inclined to use Google Analytics if they realize that they really only need to know three things about their website when getting started:
1. How much traffic is coming to the advisor’s site?
2. Who is that traffic made up of?
3. What are those visitors doing?
Getting these three pieces of information is really simple; just follow these easy steps! We’ll use our “Marketing Makeover” advisor’s site to show you the ropes.
How much traffic is coming to the advisor’s site?
To get started answering this question, follow these steps:
1. Login to Google Analytics
2. Select the website you want to evaluate and click on “All Website Data”
3. In the top right drop down menu, select a date range (try the last 30 days)
4. Go to Audience, then Overview to view “Users”
This answers the question “How much traffic is coming to the advisor’s site?” For our “Marketing Makeover” advisor, 158 users have visited the site in the past month. That’s not terrible, considering this is the advisor’s old site that has not been optimized for SEO and has no integrated marketing. However, in the next step we will quickly learn that the total traffic does not tell the whole story.
Who is that traffic made up of?
This is where it starts to get interesting, or disheartening, if you are our “Marketing Makeover” advisor. To learn who this traffic is made up of, stay on the “Audience” tab.
To find out where in the world the site visitors are from, go to “Audience,” then “Geo,” then “Location.” You can see from the data here that a vast majority of our site visitors are from outside the United States. A full 41% are from Russia! The advisor does not offer financial advice in Russia, he just happens to share a popular Russian last name.
Of the folks visiting the site from the United States, about half are from California, which is great, since this is where the advisor does business. Unfortunately, this means that of his total 158 site visitors, only 26 were from his target state.
What are those visitors doing?
To find out more about the site visitors’ behavior, navigate to “Behavior” then “Overview.” This section gives a nice summary of which pages are most popular with site visitors. For our advisor’s site, this is where bigger problems start to take shape.
The website URL directs to a landing page, where folks have to click on “Enter Site” to get to the home page. As is common with this type of site design, there is a very high bounce rate from this page. Only 16% of folks make it past that page to the home page. From there, a meager 3% visit the “Bio” page, the next most popular page.
This is great information to be aware of and particularly concerning for our “Marketing Makeover” site because the home page does not actually contain any content, just a photo and navigation items. This means that of the site’s 158 visitors, only 19 of them ever got to a page with any content about the advisor or his services. Of those 19, a few were from Russia and only 7 were from where the advisor does business in California.
Google Analytics can tell a powerful story with simple information. While this advisor thought he had a successful marketing website, in reality we can see that only 7 site visitors from his target market in the past month actually consumed any relevant content on his website. Now that he understands this information, he can adjust his marketing strategy and visit his Google Analytics again in a month or so to see if his new strategy is working.
Try out these tips to see the most important metrics for advisors’ websites and stay tuned for the next step of the “Marketing Makeover” project, the Website Copywriting process!
We love to share what we’ve learned from the thousands of financial advisors that we’ve partnered with, take a look at more marketing tips or check out our free online video courses on The Art of Digital Marketing.
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