How to Spot Goldmines with Google Analytics

Narek Vardanyan
3 min readAug 2, 2020

Although we have a dedicated team of advertisers at TCF, who handle all our advertising activities, I still love doing advertising myself.

Before creating any ads, the first thing I do is open up Google Analytics and start researching to gather insights and spot the goldmines.

There are many advanced ways to get the most out of GA.

But today I wanted to share 3 places I primarily look at in Google Analytics to get a better understanding of who our audience is and how/where to find them.

1. Bounce Rate

I carefully check the bounce rates for all the sources both at the Source/Medium level as well as the Campaign level.

When I find ads that have a higher bounce than average, I stop them.

And vice versa.

When I spot a source which doesn’t yet have results — but has a lower bounce rate than average — I give it a chance for a few more days. And sometimes even increase the budget!

2. Interests

One of my favorite areas to dig deeper is to go over the Interests section of Google Analytics. I open up the Affinity and Other Interests categories and go over the results.

I sort out all the sources according to Transactions and carefully check out which source has the highest ecommerce conversion rate.

The above table shows that the best performing interests were News, Business and Finance, Cooking, and Astronomy — yes, I’m as surprised as you about the last one.

So I went ahead and created ads on Facebook targeting people with those interests.

3. Location

I really love to explore locations, and filter down them to the country and city levels.

This is important, because people share your product in real life — with their friends, neighbors, and their local network.

Here we see that Oakland, Irvine and Pasadena have higher ecommerce conversion rates for this project than others.

With that information, what I do next — actually I did this already — is to start targeting these cities specifically. And not only with ads. I amplify their exposure by enlisting local media, bloggers, and influencers as well.

Bonus Tip

Another advanced tip using locations is that if you start targeting one location specifically, you can check what proportion is tracked as ads, and what is shown as non-tracked/direct in Google Analytics.

This is a much more accurate representation than the worldwide ratio of tracked/direct.

With this new ratio, you can get a deeper overall understanding about what proportion of your efforts are not tracked. And a much better estimate of your worldwide effect and your average return on ad spend.