Once you've got Google Analytics installed on your restaurant website, where the heck do you start looking for useful insights to help your marketing efforts?
Don't have Google Analytics installed yet? Check out the first chapter in our 3-part guide to Google Analytics for Restaurants for steps to get started.
In this chapter, we'll walk you through some of the standard reports that are automatically available in Google Analytics, which can help you better understand who is visiting your website, and where they came from.
Google organizes its reports into 5 main categories, which you can access from the navigation menu at the left of the screen.
The Real-Time reports provide some basic (but useful!) details on users that are currently visiting your site, such as where they came from, what page they're visiting, and where in the world they're located.
We're not exploring the Real-Time reports in depth, but one of the main advantages is seeing the effect of your campaigns in real time. For example, let's say you are promoting a daily special on social media. You can see how effective that promotion is by viewing how much current traffic is coming from the social media posts, and whether they're contacting you or ordering online.
The Audience reports provide details about your website visitors that Google has learned from their Google user accounts or its DoubleClick cookies (pieces of code that collect data on user behavior throughout the web).
The other three categories - Acquisition > Behavior > Conversions - are conveniently laid out as the “ABC” steps of analysis. Their metrics describe aspects of your visitors’ journeys, such as where they came from, what they do on your site, and whether they completed certain goals you've defined.
We’ll explore at some key reports in each category where you can gain some useful knowledge about the users of your restaurant’s website, so that you can improve your marketing.
Let's take a quick look at a couple of features that are available for most of the reports in Google Analytics, so that you'll be able to hit the ground running.
At the top right of most reports, you'll see the date range for your data. Clicking on this box will reveal your options to adjust the date range.
You can also compare metrics with another date range by enabling the check mark next to "Compare to:". For example, you can see if your marketing efforts are effective when you measure whether your website received more or less visitors one month over the previous month.
Reports will generally include a table of data where the columns present the metrics, columns, and the rows sort those metrics into dimensions.
Using the table above as an example, the metrics are the quantitative measurements, such as how many Users visited your site, or the Bounce Rate percentage.
The metrics are affected by the attributes, or dimensions, of the report. In the table above, the metrics reflect traffic that came in from a "direct" source (we explore traffic sources later in this post). The numbers are further affected by the dimensions of time, where the direct traffic is broken into visits during October 2018 vs. November 2018.
Google is always collecting data on users signed into Google products, as a trade-off for providing free services. For example, when you’re logged into your account in YouTube, Chrome or Android mobile devices, Google’s keeping an eye on you. They also know a lot about web users because of the data that is available from its cookies, which are pieces of data that Google can add to a user’s computer to track the user’s web activity.
The user data that Google provides in its Analytics platform includes demographic data (age and gender), and interests (scientific guesses based on Google’s wealth of data).
The more you can learn about the type of people that are visiting your website who subsequently become customers, the more you can optimize your website and marketing strategy to attract this ideal client.
In order to view user demographics and learn about the interests of your website visitors, you’ll need to first enable the Advertising Reporting Features.
1. Visit the Admin area (the cog at the bottom left) and then, under the “Property” column, click “Property Settings”.
2. Then scroll down to find the “Advertising Features” section where you can enable the Demographics and Interests Reports.
3. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom to click the “Save” button.
Then, visit the Demographics Overview report in the Audience category of the main menu.
4. This is where you’ll see a button to “Enable” the reports.
Once you start getting data, you’ll be able to learn some interesting things about your website visitors.
This is a good time to illustrate how digging deeper into your data will give you more specific opportunities to improve your website or marketing.
The Demographics Overview report will show you the ranges of ages and the gender breakdown of your website visitors.
This does offer some valuable insight, as you get a general look at your website's visitors. Depending on how much marketing or website optimization you’ve done so far, do these demographic stats reflect what you consider to be your ideal customer? Do you know who your ideal customer is?
When interpreting the data, you can figure out the kind of people that you should attract by looking closer at the website activity of these segments of users. In the example above, 40% of visitors are 25-34 years old. But what age range represents the highest percentage of customers?
Visit the Age report to find out.
If you’ve set up goals in Analytics, you’ll be able to see whether users in each age range become customers.
Because of the volume of visitors that are 25-34 year old, the age segment also comprises the majority of people who placed an online order (35%). But when we look at conversion rates, we can see that the 25-34 year olds have the second lowest rate (28.78%).
Based on these numbers, one option where the restaurant could improve metrics would be to focus on conversion optimization for this age range. For example, would offering discounts at checkout appeal to this group that is potentially more financially concerned?
Another option would be devising a marketing strategy to attract a younger demographic that is known to convert better. For example, building a presence in social media, or advertising in colleges, could help a younger crowd discover your restaurant.
Here’s where you can see how users respond to your website when they are visiting on a desktop, smartphone or tablet.
When you have a decent amount of visitors coming from both mobile and desktop, then you can make some interesting comparisons.
First, you can take a look at the bounce rate, which shows the percentage of users who arrived at your website, and then left without visiting a second page. If the bounce rate on mobile is a lot higher than desktop, then you might have a design or user experience issue with the mobile version of your website.
Equally important is your checkout process on mobile. Is your online ordering optimized for mobile users? If not, expect to see more users drop off before completing their order.
Google is often able to determine the online source from which a user originates prior to visiting your website. For example, Google can tell you how many visitors you had from your Facebook page or Google Search.
When you know where you visitors are coming from, you can determine which sources are providing you with the most qualified traffic. Then you’ll know where to put more of your marketing and advertising efforts to attract these ideal customers.
All users who visit your website will be assigned a traffic source, which is either automatically determined by Google or user-defined by adding code to a link. The source is the origin of the traffic, like Google or Yelp.
The source will usually also have an associated medium, which is the category of the source, like ‘organic’ or ‘social’.
This is where Google breaks down your traffic sources into its default channels, which are mostly categorized by the user's traffic source medium. These include:
NOTE: While the (Other) channel includes users where Google doesn’t recognize the medium, the Direct channel will include users where Google can’t determine the source.
It’s possible to create custom channels, as well. For example, if you’re running Facebook ads, you might want a “Paid Social” channel, so your Facebook ad traffic doesn’t get lumped in with visitors from Paid Search or Social.
With this report, you can determine the quality of traffic from each channel, by reviewing metrics in the three main categories (acquisition, behavior, conversions).
If you’re working on SEO or doing social media marketing, are you getting results from organic and social traffic? You can compare metrics like your bounce rate or conversion rate, to see if one channel is performing much better or worse than the others.
In the example above, while there were only 9 users from social media, half of them only visited one website page (55% bounce rate), spent a minute on the site on average, and only 1 placed an order. This is where you’d review the effort you’re putting into social media, and the customer journey from your social accounts to your linked website landing pages. Do you have strong, consistent messaging?
To dig deeper into each channel’s traffic, click on the name of the channel for a more in-depth report. For example, the organic report will show you some of the keywords that brought visitors to your site, while the referral report will show you which websites sent you traffic.
Our guide to getting the most out of Google Analytics for your restaurant continues in the next chapter, where we look at what your website visitors are doing on your site, and whether they are reaching your goals.
Read the next post: Google Analytics for Restaurants Part 3
Besides giving you the incredible ability to take orders online, eHungry’s online ordering software allows you to simply add your Google Analytics ID to your settings, and we'll add the necessary code to all of the pages of your ordering site. One simple step, and you'll get all the juicy data from your ordering site's visitors!
Plus, you'll also get eCommerce data when your customers place orders, including the transaction amount and items ordered! That's right, we've already set this up for you, so you don't need to hire developers or to figure it out yourself!
The eCommerce data is super useful for understanding how your website and marketing efforts lead to sales of certain menu items, and the amount of transactions in general.
Learn more about all the amazing features of eHungry's affordable and easy-to-use software, and start growing your restaurant business today!
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