3 Great Tips For Getting Started With Google Analytics
June 19, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani
Google Analytics is an extremely important part of tracking visits to your company’s website. Once you’ve set it up, you will be able to use Google Analytics to gain insight which will help you to improve customer service and increase profitability for your company. Measuring data about your website is part of the future of digital marketing, but it’s also part of the present. If you’re not using Google Analytics, you need to.
Google Analytics can be extremely overwhelming to the novice user, however. When you first log in, the amount of data present seems to be almost useless because there’s so much. It is a struggle for beginner users to find the data that they want. Sometimes, searching for the specific piece of data you want seems to be more time-consuming than it should be.
In order to cut the clutter and focus on the data that matters to you, the three steps below outline a general plan for people who want to access the benefits of online marketing and understand how to use Google Analytics to their advantage.
Filter Irrelevant Traffic
A lot of the data presented in Google Analytics isn’t relevant to what you need to understand. This is why you need to make sure you are filtering out the irrelevant data. Setting up filters is a great way to get rid of the irrelevant data.
A couple of filters you might want to try are:
- Traffic from your company’s internal IP addresses (so you don’t get tricked into thinking you’re getting more site hits than you are)
- Remote employee IP addresses (they’re not important site hits either)
- External consultants or venders, such as outsourced web development or marketing teams (again, irrelevant site hits)
If you filter data, you cannot get it back later on. So make sure the data you are filtering is the data that matters. You can always set up two profiles and apply filters to only one of them. You can then use one as a safety net!
Track your Goals
You need to know what goals you have for your website as you are starting out. Goal setting is a very important part of planning your website. Your goals for your website should reflect your company’s overall goals, like selling product, or attracting customers, or getting visitors. You need to have goals so that you can measure whether or not your site is meeting them. This is an extremely important part of incorporating web analytics.
You may have specific goals, but a couple of general goals are having an increase in site hits and an increase in blog comments. Blog posts are a great way to increase traffic, though there are important things to keep in mind when blogging.
Create A Custom Dashboard
Creating a custom dashboard allows you to put the analytical data that is most important to you in front of anything else. This is harder to do than the other tips, but it is very important for getting you used to Google Analytics and for allowing you to access the data you want quickly. Try not to put too much information on your custom dashboard.
Additionally, you are allowed to create up to 20 custom dashboards per profile. Since you can do this, you shouldn’t worry about only having one dashboard to put all of your important data on. A couple of sample dashboards that may make your life easier are:
- Traffic: total, sources (organic, paid, referral), and top keywords.
- Goal tracking: sales, subscriptions, downloads, comments, etc.
- Visitor behavior: page views, bounce rate, new vs. returning, and time on site.
Google Analytics may be intimidating at first, but it is perfectly possible to start using and understanding it almost immediately. If it still seems intimidating, or you want some advice, you should contact the Marketing Zen Group today and they will be able to help you!