Analytics is more important than every, but many users understanding of analytics software hasn’t changed since the inception of Analytics over a decade ago. A lot has changed since Google first launched the program in 2005 and even if you’re familiar with its basic functions, it can be difficult to keep up!
“GA (Google Analytics) is the eyes on your digital ecosystem and on your customer,” says Caleb Whitmore, founder and principle consultant at Seattle-based Analytics Pros. “GA is a platform that lets you restore some of that gap that’s grown between businesses and their customers in the digital age. It measures all of those digital interactions in an aggregate, anonymized way, but in a way that still can paint a very real picture of who your customer is and what they need or want from you, and how you can better serve them.”
We are going to look at few steps you can take to make sure you have a strong understanding of Google Analytics in 2016!
Refresh Your Knowledge
The best way to understand the ins and outs of Google Analytics is to run through all the tutorials on Google’s Analytics Academy website and watching Google Analytics intro videos of how the platform works. Re-learn all the basics, such as how to install tracking tags on your webpages, setting goals and working with reports.
Update Your Objectives
Take a look at the objectives that you have set out, and look at whether or not they need to be updated. As multi-taskers it is easy to set and forget your objectives. If you are not tracking your end goals then you won’t have any data to analyze because you won’t know which portions of that data or which specific users are actually doing what you want them to do on your site, whether it be creating a lead, purchasing something form you, or just reading your content.
Link AdWords to Analytics
If you still haven’t linked your Google AdWords account to your Google Analytics account, do it now! Because in 2016 the two will automatically feed and inform each other. Make sure that you have an account that’s associated with both admin privileges as it gives you a deeper dive into campaign performance.
Consider checking your site on GAChecker.com, which will crawl your site and create a spreadsheet with all of the tags (bits of code) added to webpages that allow marketers to track webpage traffic. This way you can make sure that your account is set up successfully, and that you have UTM tagging set up on all important lead generation pages so that you can see exactly what drove that user to your website.
There is a wealth of reporting options available to you inside of Google Analytics, make 2016 the year that you dive in to your numbers and really understand the reporting options available to you!
- Source/medium report: This report tells you what types of traffic are visiting your website and their behavior in terms of how long they spend onsite and how many pages they view, but also whether or not those pieces of traffic are converting.
- Content Report: A content report gives you an overview of all the pages on your site and shows you the performance for both how long people stay on your pages and whether or not those pages are leading to conversions.
- Audience Acquisition Report: The audience acquisition reports where you can see what channels are bringing you traffic, and you can start to look at your source metrics, if you are running two different ads on Facebook, Google and Bing, instead of just looking at the total traffic, look at qualitative measures like time spent or bounce rate, so you can see both where the traffic is coming from and how it is performing.
- Goal Conversion Report: Goal reports are more specific and focus on the point of conversion, like viewing three or more pages, spending more than five minutes on a page, or filling out a contact form.
- Funnel Report: The funnel report, also known as the goal flow report, lets you look at how users flow through a process, such as how they view pages and in what order. This report allows you to see where on your site you are losing people. Combined with marketing insight about ROI, it lets you know where to fix the funnel before you go and start spending more money on marketing acquisition.
Still not sure how to get the most of your Google Analytics? Give us a call at 316-260-5391 for assistance, or if you prefer the hands off approach we can manage your Analytics and AdWords accounts for you!