Google Analytics remains the king for measuring website engagement for financial firms. Given its importance, we’re still surprised when we come across financial websites which are not using it.
Yet even those who have taken time to place Google Analytics code on their website are not always using it to its full potential. That’s why we’re offering this guide – to help financial firms get the most out of this fantastic tool.
Check that you’re using Google Tag Manager
First of all, Google Analytics is no longer best used by simply sticking the code directly onto your financial website (i.e. in the header). Rather, you should consider placing it on there “indirectly” using Google Tag Manager.
This might sound like needless extra work. Yet integrating Google Analytics in this way can save time later and allows you to use a greater range of features. For instance:
Suppose you want to place Google Analytics code, Google Ads remarketing code and a Facebook Ads pixel on your website for your marketing campaigns. Doing this directly in your WordPress website is likely to get cluttered and confusing – even for ver experienced website developers.
However, managing all of these within Google Tag Manager allows you to integrate and customise them far more easily without risking the integrity of your website code (which, in the worst-case scenario, could break if you tinker with it too much).
Check that your Google Ads account is joined up
If you have a Google Ads account and are running campaigns, wouldn’t it be useful to see how these are performing within your Google Analytics account? After all, logging into Google Ads provides you with some information (e.g. clicks and impressions) but it will not tell you other crucial data – such as how long users are spending on your pages when clicking from an ad.
Fortunately, there is a way to join up Google Ads and Google Analytics so that you can start to get wider picture of how users are engaging with your digital marketing. It can be a bit complicated to set up, but here are some simple steps:
- Log into your Google Analytics account then go to Admin, then the relevant property.
- Click on Google Ads Linking and then + New link group.
- Choose the Google Ads account you want to integrate and name the group.
- Click Link accounts.
Set up some goals
How many people are making enquiries via your website? If so, can you tell from Google Analytics which campaigns or traffic sources these are coming from (e.g. organic or paid traffic)?
You might expect Google Analytics to simply tell you this kind of information. Yet even this smart tool cannot tell which user actions on your website you expect to be classed as “goal completions.” Instead, you need to define these yourself.
Many financial advisers and planners overlook this valuable step. However, it’s not too late to put this right. Simply navigate to Admin, go to VIEW and then Goals. From here, press + NEW GOAL.
There are different types of goals. The type you choose will depend on the user action in question and also how your website is set up. For instance, suppose you have a “Thank You” page which people arrive at only after filling out your contact form.
In this case, you might choose “Destination” from the list of Custom Goals. Here, enter the URL of your Thank You page and save the goal. You can then check it works by clicking the “Verify” function.
Of course, you’ll also need to set up the goal in Google Tag Manager too – and join them up!
Exclude internal traffic
You may look at your number of monthly website visitors, the time they spend there and the number of pages they click through to – feeling pretty happy with the results. Yet how much of this traffic represents your clients and prospects versus your staff?
Naturally, one of the groups most likely to visit your website is your team. Yet their activity can obscure the data which would otherwise show how your target audience is behaving.
Fortunately, correcting this does not require that you banish employees from looking at your website. Instead, you can simply exclude the IP addresses of your office locations within your Google Analytics account.
Set up Intelligence Events
If something strange started happening on your financial website would you take notice? Perhaps it suddenly gets flooded by spammy traffic, as a cyberattack tries to perform a DDoS attack. Even if this fails, wouldn’t you like to know it happened?
This is where Intelligence Events in Google Analytics can be so helpful. In essence, this allows you to set up a notification system so that you are informed if there is any unusual activity on your financial website:
- Log into Google Analytics.
- Go to your view and to Reports.
- Press CUSTOMIZATION > Custom Alerts.
- Press Manage custom alerts.
- Press + NEW ALERT and give it a name.
- Set the conditions and then save.