If you’re just getting started with HubSpot or preparing to launch an inbound marketing program, here’s some great news: you’re in an excellent position to make data-driven decisions about the work ahead.
It all starts with a review of your site’s Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties to learn about your website and the people who use it.
The insights you glean from GA4 allow you to go to work in HubSpot making targeted improvements — and then measuring and reporting on impact for transparency within your own organization.
Knowing where your site stands before starting with inbound helps everyone involved know which improvements to prioritize for the best outcome. From there, you and your team will have a baseline with points of reference for comparison once your inbound program gets up and running.
Whether you’re hosting your site on HubSpot or using a third party service, below we’ll walk through five key insights you should investigate first, using GA4’s analytics tools:
- Total number of users
- User acquisition by source (organic, direct, referral, etc.)
- User retention
- Audience data (demographics)
- Mobile versus desktop users
Choose Your KPIs and Hammer Out Your SMART Goals
By now, you’ve probably migrated to GA4, and you know how it differs from Google’s previous Universal Analytics. (If you haven’t yet, you’ll want to catch up here.)
RELATED: Before you start creating your new site,
review our checklist and make sure you include these
10 Key Elements of an Inbound Website.
Understanding your baseline is your first step toward developing a set of SMART marketing goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound). While you can look forward to learning a lot as you start working with an inbound approach, you can also expect to learn that data can definitely help you drive your marketing and sales forward.
Consider these data points to get started.
1. Total Number of Users
This is one of the most important measures to begin with: how much traffic is your website currently receiving?
When you know the total number of unique website users, you understand how many individuals will be affected by any changes you make to your site.
It can also help you see and understand the effectiveness of your current content. Note whether your user number is growing, and get an idea of any trends, for a clearer understanding of what you’re setting out to achieve.
2. User Acquisition by Source
Do you know how many people find your site through organic search, or whether any visitors type your URL directly into their browsers? What about other sources: links on industry sites, social media posts, email campaigns?
Understanding where your website traffic comes from can tell you which channels are performing most effectively at delivering visitors — especially new ones — to your pages. Conversely, it can also help you discover whether you’re investing time and money on channels that are underperforming. You may even be able to extrapolate and develop testable hypotheses based on your best and worst performing sources, to optimize what’s working and improve what’s not.
3. User Retention
Along with new visitors to your site, you need to know as much as you can about returning users. Retention illuminates your users’ engagement with your website’s content. How often do they return? How long do they stay?
Your returning-to-new user ratio can give you an idea about how well your site retains users. Retention can also tell you how long an average user spends on your site.
In GA4, returning users are now called “established” users, which is similar but different than the universal analytics term. Established users in GA4 means their first visit was over seven days ago; whereas a New user in GA4 means their first visit was less than seven days ago.
Measuring retained users becomes more meaningful as your website matures. For example, if their engagement measure — average length of time spent on your site — has been consistently trending downward, you’ll want to start asking questions about their experience to find out why they’re not staying as long as they once did. Retention can also help you understand which marketing efforts drive user engagement most effectively.
4. Audience Data (Demographics)
Google Analytics 4 allows you to dig into specific user attributes to view and analyze their behavior on your site. Customization options run the gamut, but within demographics, you can select for location, language, gender, age, and interests demonstrated by their browsing and online purchases.
This capability can help you visualize how well your website meets the needs and interests of your target audience personas.
5. Mobile Versus Desktop Users
GA4’s tech reporting can show you users by platform and device — for example, you’ll know if they used iOS and tablet, Android and a smartphone, or viewed your site on a desktop. The data helps you understand and deliver to your users better. You can also use it to gauge how well your site is delivering a good user experience across platforms and devices.
Don’t Wait to Get Started
Once you get a read on your current website’s performance and establish your first set of SMART goals, you’ll find a bevy of tools and resources in HubSpot and Google Analytics 4 to organize your inbound plan.
Need a little help deciding on your team’s first steps? You’ll want to start with our free guide. Just click below to get access right now.