Google Analytics Reports: 5 Metrics Event Marketers Should Pay Attention To (But Often Don’t)

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We all know it’s important to measure the performance of our event sites— but if you’re losing sight of why, you’re definitely not alone.

Somewhere along the way you set up your site tracking through Google Analytics, and every now and then you probably pull some traffic numbers up to prove to your boss that you’re like, doing your job or whatever.

But are you actually using that data to optimize your event marketing?

If the answer is no, no worries— most of us don’t. That being said, there are some awesome reports sitting in your Google Analytics account that could help you use all that measuring to make your site even better; and capture more attendees.

Here are five of the most helpful site tracking metrics, along with some insight into wtf to do with them.

#1 Google Analytics Mobile Report

I’m positive you already know this, but I’m going to say it anyway: for the first time ever mobile users (people who access websites from their phones) outnumber desktop users.

 
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In fact, Google will penalize your event website if it isn’t mobile-friendly. That means you get lower-to-nada traffic, so this is an important one to keep in mind.

It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on whether your website is actually performing on various devices and platforms. Luckily, Google Analytics reports make this super easy.

With GA, you can really easily see how many of your users are visiting your event website from a mobile device, desktop, or tablet.

The report will also tell you which and how many pages they’ve viewed, how long they stayed on each page and how many of those people convert (Important: You must set up Conversion Goals. If you don’t know how, check out our guide)

You can easily gain access to the report under:

Audience -> Mobile -> Overview / Devices

 
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Plus, you can see a lot more than the split between mobile & desktop— you can also drill down by mobile device and browser. Blackberry anyone?

 
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How to take action on these insights:

For starters, you’re going to want to make sure your event website is fully responsive and that you have control over the mobile layout. If not, consider moving to an event marketing software like Swoogo that gives you full insight into your mobile and tablet design while you build. Great tools will also provide you with conditional visibility settings so you can optimize for both desktop and mobile— not one or the other.

If you’re noticing traffic to some areas of your site skews further toward mobile, consider working with a mobile-first design on those pages. Pare down content and widgets to make it more mobile-user friendly, ensure buttons and links are big enough to easily tap with a finger, and consider making single, long scrolling pages instead of many points of navigation.

#2 Google Analytics Landing Page Report

Wouldn’t it be nice if people always went right on to register after landing on your beautifully optimized event website?

Unfortunately, that’s usually not quite how it works.

The first page your site users see is always going to vary— from speaker pages to agenda pages to travel information pages, their point of entry could be anything, as determined by how they found your event (or who shared it with them).

The Google Analytics landing page report will tell you which pages see the most traffic as points of entry— that is, which pages site visitors see first most often.

This data can give you a lot of information about how users interact with your site.

For instance, if you’re noticing that a lot of new users are landing on your speaker pages and then bouncing (leaving your site without taking any further action, like navigating to another page), it’s probably worth focusing your efforts on optimizing that page, or creating more engaging content.

To find your landing page report, go to:

Behavior -> Site Content -> Landing Pages

 
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How to take action on these insights

Start by looking for pages that have a ton of sessions, but also a really high bounce rate— this is your low hanging fruit. These are the pages you’re going to want to spend your time optimizing. Consider changing or improving the content, moving more engaging content to the top of the page, including clearer CTAs, or changing up your copy.

Bouncing means these new users to your site weren’t even interested enough to click and learn more; it’s important to focus on making them stick around, or at least incentivizing them to check out some other site pages.

#3 Google Analytics Search Console Report

The Google Analytics Search Console Report helps you understand which search terms are generating impressions of your website in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

But hold one for a sec.

Before you can see those reports in your Google Analytics dashboard, you need to add your event site to Google Search Console first.

Don’t be scared about this. It’s a fairly straightforward process. If you’re just a little uncertain about this, have a quick look at this fantastic Google Search Console guide by HubSpot.

With the report now available to you, you can actually see which search terms led to the most impressions and conversions.

You can access this report at:

Acquisition -> Search Console

 
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How to take action on these insights

  • Pick the search queries that are relevant to your event / business and have the highest number of impressions with a click-through rate of less than 7%. These are your low hanging fruit to optimize.

  • With some small tweaks (your meta description for example) you should be able to see big lifts in your search traffic.

#4 Google Analytics Site Speed Report

Site speed is crucial for SEO. The faster your site loads, the more likely people will stay, the less likely they will hit the back button in their browser.

Google Analytics offers fantastic reports on site speed and timings.

Not only that, though. They even give you free recommendations on how to further optimize your site.

 
 

For example, instead of using speaker profile images that are 5MB+ in size, you can use services like TinyPNG to make your images smaller (without justifying quality) and therefore reducing the overall page loading time.

You can access this Google Analytics report under:

Behavior -> Site Speed -> Speed Suggestions

 
 

How to take action on this metric:

  • Upload smaller images on those pages large in size

  • Make sure all the images & videos on your site are delivered through a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

#5 Google Analytics Conversion Report

Conversions, conversions, conversions - Often, it’s all about optimizing your event website to drive new registrations.

 
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And setting up goal tracking in Google Analytics help you analyze conversions and visualize the entire registration funnel.

You will be able to better understand where people are dropping off in the registration and what landing pages (entrances) are leading to conversions.

You can access the report under:

Conversions -> Goals

 
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Conclusion

Google Analytics provides you with a powerful set of reports that can help you optimize your event site to drive new registrations, track exactly who’s coming to your site, the pages they visit, the devices they’re using, and so much more.

There are a zillion reports to configure and to choose from. For the beginner, these reports can be a tad overwhelming. Ultimately, you can look at a million metrics, but only a few of those metrics provide actionable information.  

If you manage to focus on those metrics that can actually help create a better experience for the user, you might be doing yourself a favor in the long-run.

 
 
Carsten Pleiser