August 27, 2020

How to Monitor Your Restaurant Website: 7 Google Analytics Reports to Get You Started

By Chris Kizer

If your restaurant offers online ordering, then keeping a pulse on your website analytics is a must. Even if you only offer dine-in service, understanding how users find and interact with your website can help you make better decisions that move your business forward. That’s why we’ve put together this list of reports that provide critical information about your restaurant’s website.

Google Analytics Checklist for Getting Started

We’re making a few assumptions for the purpose of this article:

– Google Analytics is installed

– Google Analytics is recording accurate data

– Advertising Features are enabled

– All relevant Goals & Events are defined

If you need help setting up your Google Analytics account or auditing it for accuracy, let us know. Otherwise, let’s dive in to some common questions that Google Analytics can answer about your restaurant’s website, and your customers.

Most of these reports can be found by using the left menu in Google Analytics, pictured below.

GA Left Menu

Where does our website traffic come from?

Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

The Source/Medium report might be the single most important report in Google Analytics. It breaks down traffic, behavior and conversions in a way that lets you quickly identify your most valuable traffic sources, and it shines a light on channels that are driving irrelevant, low-value traffic and wasting your media budget.

Other questions this report can answer:

  • Are people who click our links on Yelp continuing to make an online order, or call our location?
  • Which media tactics are driving the most traffic and online orders?

Source Medium Report

Are our customers visiting our website frequently?

Audience > Behavior > Frequency & Recency > Days Since Last Session Page

By looking at the Days Since Last Sessions page of the Frequency & Recency report, we can get an idea of how often our users return to the site. Keep in mind that this report includes all traffic, even users who didn’t place an order.

To get the most out of this report:

  • Add the “Made a Purchase” segment by clicking the “+ Add Segment” button at the top of the page.
  • Add a comparison date range by using the dropdown in the top-right of the page.

This report is a great way to measure the impact of any promotion designed to drive frequent online orders for your restaurant.

Days Since Last Session Report

Is our digital advertising working?

Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns

The All Campaigns report is similar to the Source/Medium report, but instead of breaking down all traffic by source & medium combinations, it organizes reporting on the campaign level instead. If you click the “Secondary dimension” dropdown, you can select Source, Medium, Ad Content, or Term to take an even more detailed look at each campaign’s performance.

If you’re looking to understand the impact your restaurant’s digital marketing has on your total sales, this is the best place to start. Just keep in mind that unless you also upload campaign data for each source to Google Analytics on a regular basis, then these reports will not include the total cost, impressions, clicks, or any other ad performance metrics – only the site traffic driven by each campaign. This report becomes even more useful when combined with a well-thought-out campaign naming convention, so that you can evaluate the success of sales-focused advertising (like LTO promotions or personalized discount emails) separately from the success of brand awareness tactics.

Other questions this report can answer:

  • Which campaigns drove the most traffic to our website?
  • Which digital promotion drove the most ROI
  • Are we wasting money on digital advertising?
  • How can we optimize our current marketing budget?

Campaign Report

Are there any product trends we should know about?

Conversions > eCommerce > Product Performance > Shopping Behavior

You’ve probably already reviewed transaction records to understand which menu items your customers are ordering online, and in your restaurants. The Shopping Behavior page of the Product Performance report gives you even more detailed information about how users interact with your menu online.

This report breaks down how many times each menu item was displayed on the list, how many times each item was clicked to view its details, and the conversion rate for each item. If you notice any menu items that have a low conversion rate online, consider reviewing and/or replacing the photo and description on your online menu. Of course, fried appetizers and other foods that don’t travel well will almost always sell better in-person. Your familiarity with your business is key to leveraging this report.

The secondary dimension dropdown is particularly useful for this report, allowing you to drill down further and analyze product performance by gender, location, and more. If you have multiple locations, consider adding a custom dimension named “Restaurant Number” to identify any location-specific trends.

Other questions this report can answer:

  • Which menu items should we feature in digital advertising?
  • How should we segment our product-focused advertising audiences?
  • Are some menu items going unseen on our current online menu?

Is our website too slow?

Behavior > Site Speed > Overview

Many of your customers would let you know about slow table service, but they are far less likely to let you know if they have a frustrating experience because your website loaded too slowly. And why would they? In the time it would take them to write you a quick email, they could just as quickly place an online order with your competition.

A recent study by Google showed that as load times increase from 1 to 5 seconds, bounce rates increase by 90%. With such high stakes, it only makes sense to keep this report bookmarked. In addition to keeping an eye on your website’s overall speed, make sure to also monitor pages that have a high impact on conversion rates, such as your menu and checkout pages.

Other questions this report can answer:

  • Does our website perform differently on Safari vs. Chrome? iPhone vs. Android? Desktop vs. Mobile?
  • What can we do to speed up our website? (Click Speed Suggestions on the left menu for advice)

 

When should we schedule our marketing and advertising?

This report is not included with Google Analytics by default, but we’ve done the legwork for you! Check out the Littlefield Agency Restaurant Report Template for access to an hour-by-hour breakdown of when users are visiting your website, and more importantly, when they’re placing online orders.

Daypart Report Setup

You might think that this report won’t tell you much that you don’t already know. A spike in traffic and orders at lunchtime, and a bigger spike at dinnertime is to be expected, right? However, by using the secondary dimension dropdown to segment by such as Age, Gender or Device Category, you may uncover insights and opportunities to optimize your digital media timing and targeting throughout the day.

Daypart Report

While this report uses the Hour dimension, a custom dimension for Daypart is preferred. Instead of splitting up your data across 24 rows, grouping it into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and After Hours will make it easier to read, and easier to use. Setting up this custom dimension is pretty simple if you’re comfortable using Google Tag Manager, if your in-house web development team owes you a favor, or if you partner with a digital marketing agency who puts data first (you know, like us).

How profitable was our recent Facebook campaign?

Facebook.com > Ads Manager

Ok, so this is actually a question that you should not be asking Google Analytics. We included it anyway, because we often get asked about the differences in Facebook and Google Analytics reporting.

As long as you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your site, Facebook can measure click-through conversions, as well as view-through impressions (users who saw your ad, didn’t click it, but later visited your site and made an order). Facebook can also measure Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), and optimize future campaign delivery based on machine learning, so the pixel is a must.

You can still view total revenue from social media sources in Google Analytics, but prepare to see some low numbers relative to other sources. Users are much more likely to place future orders after seeing an ad on social media than they are to click and place an actual order at the time they are served the ad. Unless that user returns by typing your URL into the address bar (instead of via organic search or paid search), then Google Analytics won’t give any credit to the social platform for that transaction.

Ensuring Your Restaurant is Getting the Most Out of Google Analytics

By keeping an eye on these reports, you’ll gain insight around how your digital marketing and website are impacting your restaurant’s bottom line.

In order to get the most out of Google Analytics, you should also consider setting up:

  • Custom Dimensions & Metrics
  • Data Cleanliness Filters
  • Custom Channel Groupings
  • Goals and Events that are tailored to your restaurant’s marketing and operations

After answering several of the questions mentioned above, you’ll probably find yourself asking even more questions about how your customers are finding and using your website, and about the impact of your digital marketing. That’s perfectly normal (we love that feeling). If you have a question about your website and can’t find the answer, we’d love to hear it.

TLDR

  • If Google Analytics is already installed on your website, you probably have several valuable insights hiding in your data.
  • Many of these insights shouldn’t require any further customization or configuration to uncover.
  • By tailoring Google Analytics to your restaurant’s marketing & operations, it can become an invaluable part of your decision-making process.