Most advisors consider their sites to be built for lead generation. That’s because they’re looking to drive traffic to their sites, build an audience and ultimately turn leads into future clients. While it’s tempting to sit back and relax after hitting “Publish” on your new site, this strategy won’t be doing you any favors. Instead, you need to remain vigilant with your Google Analytics (GA) metrics and adaptable with your site optimization. Below we’ll discuss the most important GA metrics to track and analyze for lead-generating sites like yours.
Analyze Your Data Regularly
When analyzing data in Google Analytics, you’ll always want to set a specific date range. Whatever range you choose, put thought and intent behind it by choosing the range that makes the most sense for your business: monthly, quarterly, or every six months. For smaller firms, we recommend sticking to longer periods of time to allow for enough traffic to accumulate and analyze.
Sticking to the same date range every time gives you a solid metric for comparing growth or decline year after year. If you make your ranges sporadic, it’ll be much harder to detect a pattern or compare one set of data to another.
Metric #1: Geolocation
This GA metric is an especially important one for businesses with physical locations, like your advising firm. Use this metric to understand what parts of the country people are visiting your site from. If your firm is located in Philadelphia, are you getting the most visitors from the greater Philly area? If not, you may need to incorporate more local SEO strategies into your site to target this specific area.
Geolocation metrics may not be as pertinent to advisor firms that exclusively offer virtual meetings. However, we recommend trying to focus your website on targeting specific areas throughout the country. This can be effective in lowering your search competition for people looking for financial advisors across the country.
Metric #2: Acquisition (Incoming Traffic)
An effective website needs traffic coming to it, plain and simple. For this reason, incoming traffic tops the list of metrics every advisor needs to analyze. Not only do you want traffic coming to your site, but it’s important to gain traffic from a variety of sources:
- Direct traffic: user visited your site by typing in your URL.
- Organic search: user selected your site after typing a search query into Google.
- Referrals: user was sent to your site from another website or blog that linked to you.
- Social Media: user found your site through a social media post that linked back to you.
The information gathered from each of these source types can provide useful insights on how users are finding your site. In fact, analyzing each source type separately can even help to highlight specific areas of improvement.
If you’re not getting enough direct traffic … your URL could be confusing, difficult to type or hard to remember. Consider creating a URL that mimics your business’s name or abbreviation.
If you’re not getting enough traffic through search … it’s time to reevaluate your site’s SEO strategy. As we all know, SEO is a moving target thanks to Google’s frequent algorithm updates. If you haven’t tinkered with your SEO strategy for a few months (or years), give it a good look over.
If you’re not getting enough traffic through referrals … Reach out to fellow bloggers, advisors or relevant publications to create connections and trade links. Not only will this increase your audience reach, but growing your backlinks can also help boost your SEO efforts.
If you’re not getting enough traffic from social media … create a consistent social media strategy. Branch out to popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to capture a wide array of followers.
With any of the sources above, you’ll want to look for patterns in traffic over time. The number of visitors coming to your site and the time they spend on it should steadily increase over time, especially if you analyze and adjust your strategies as needed.
Metric #3: Percentage of Returning Visitors
New visitors are great, returning visitors are better. Did you know a user will visit a financial adviser’s site 9 to 16 times before getting in touch with them? If visitors aren’t returning, it’s likely that they’re not converting.
Analyzing how many of your site visitors return to the site can help you understand how users are interpreting your content. If the majority are returning back to your site, that means you’re making a positive and impactful first impression. If the number is fairly low, you may need to amp up the content, visuals or resources being offered. The higher the percentage of visitors you get returning to your site, the greater the chance for lead generation.
Metric #4: Unique Page Views
Unique page views refers to the number of visitors successfully accessing a certain page on your site. What pages on your advisor site are seeing the most page views? Chances are it’s your home page, about page and contact page. If you’re posting blog updates regularly, use the page views feature in GA to find out which blog posts are performing the best. There could be certain aspects of the post that readers are responding well to, or they may be well-optimized for SEO. Find patterns and use these to update and enhance the other posts on your site.
Are High Page Views Problematic?
Especially or abnormally high page views on one or two pages on your site could be indicative of a problem. That page may be having technical errors that are causing viewers to have to refresh and reload the page. Doing so can create an inflated number of page views. Alternatively, the content or page format may not be providing clear or helpful information. This can cause viewers to dig around your site more to find what they’re looking for. While this is increasing page views, it’s creating a bad user experience for your viewers.
Metric #5: Average Session Duration
Just as it sounds, the average session duration is how much time visitors are spending on your site. The longer they spend, the more relevant your content is and the better the user experience you’re offering. Therefore, tracking the average session duration can give you important insight on how visitors feel about your site. If they’re in and out quickly, you may not be providing an adequate roadmap that leads them through the site (internal linking) or your content may be underwhelming or underperforming.
While it may sound short to some, our rule of thumb is: anything above 2 minutes is a good amount of time for someone to spend on a niche site like yours.
Metric #6: Bounce Rate
The lower the bounce rate, the better. A bounce rate indicates the percentage of visitors who make no interactions with your site before leaving the page. High bounce rates can hurt your SEO efforts, as they tell Google that your site may not be delivering on the expectations it has created for visitors. Additionally, specially targeted content, such as landing pages, can experience high bounce rates if they’re poorly optimized for conversion – since this is their sole purpose and only chance for visitor interaction.
Bounce Rates on Blogs
If you’re concerned over the high bounce rate of your articles or blog posts, rest assured this is normal. Why? Because most site visitors who land on a blog post are only interested in reading that particular piece of content. This means they’ll read the post and click out of the page when they’re done. But because they made no interactions, this counts as a bounce. If you’re concerned your blog posts’ bounce rates are still too high, take a look at your internal links. Are you providing plenty of opportunities for readers to click through to another relevant piece of content? If not, it’s time to beef up your internal linking strategy.
Metric #7: Landing Page Visits
As we mentioned earlier, landing pages are highly targeted site pages with a singular purpose: conversion. Because of this, it’s especially important to track the effectiveness of your landing pages in GA. If they aren’t receiving the site visits you’ve expected, then your CTAs and content used to direct visitors towards the pages are not doing their job.
Metric #8: Exit Pages
Understanding what page a visitor is on before leaving your site can be a great tool for effectively understanding “what went wrong” – if anything at all. Use the data gathered from this metric to better optimize the pages that may be sending visitors away. If that’s your homepage – Houston, we have a problem. Take this chance to create more compelling copy, promote bolder CTAs and update your internal linking. If visitors are leaving after viewing other pages like your services or fees, chances are they’re still window shopping or you may not have what they’re looking for. Instead of panicking over why visitors are leaving, take this opportunity to put yourselves in their shoes and adjust the pages as needed.
Alternatively, if you find an exit page to have external links on it, make sure the link opens in a new tab or window. This will allow visitors to stay on your site as they explore the third-party site in a separate space.
Important Google Analytics Metrics for Financial Advisors
Did you know there are around 10,000 metrics in Google Analytics?!? We’ve narrowed it down to the top eight that will be most beneficial to your advisor business’s website. Consistently tracking and monitoring these metrics can allow you to get the most out of your site as you drive traffic and convert new leads.