8 Things You Can Do With Google Analytics
Adding analytics to a website is standard practice these days, and while many business owners log in regularly to check their website traffic, they have no idea of the full extent of the platform and all of the things that you can do with Google Analytics. From tracking conversions and ROI, to see how people are using and viewing your page content through to the different keywords that people are typing in Google to find your site – Google Analytics provides you with a wealth of data that you can strategically use to help grow your business.
1. Track Campaigns:
You can track the success of your marketing campaigns by feeding data into your account using special tracking URLs. The URLs can be made using Google’s Campaign URL Builder which allows you to add tracking parameters to your URLs (such as the campaign name, the source, the medium and any other differentiators like creative).
You can set up a new tracking URL for each touchpoint within your campaign, such as email marketing, Facebook ads, Google Ads, remarketing, display ads and referral/outreach activities.
When people click on the different links, the data will feed through nicely into your Google Analytics account where you can view which channel is sending you the most traffic, their time on site, conversion rate and more.
To access your campaign data, go to Acquistion >> Campaigns >> All Campaigns using the left hand navigation menu. This will bring up a list of all of your current campaigns; click into the specific campaign to see the breakdown of your different channels.
2. Tracking Conversions and ROI:
You may need a bit of help from your website developer to set this up correctly, but you can use Google Analytic’s tracking codes to record conversions such as a sale on an e-commerce website, completion of a booking form on a restaurant or accommodation site, or a contact form / lead on a standard website. You can also set up event tracking and goals, to monitor things like pdf downloads, video views or newsletter signups.
Once you have your conversions, events and goals setup, you can then assign them a monetary value – for e-commerce websites, analytics can pull this data straight from your checkout and for lead and booking sites, you can tell Google Analytics how much a lead is worth to you.
Once you have all of this data set-up, you can easily see how many conversions your website receives, the individual marketing channels that are responsible for the conversions and the amount of revenue that those conversions have resulted in, all of which will help you determine your ROI and where to invest more marketing dollars for the best results.
Once you have all of this data set-up, you can easily see how many conversions your website receives.
3. Tracking Events:
We mentioned this briefly above, but you set up event tracking and goals for almost every single activity that someone might perform on your website. You can then target your remarketing efforts towards the people who have completed those goals or activities.
For example, if you know that people who have watched the video on your homepage are more likely to convert, then you can set up a goal to track that event and then you can set up a remarketing advertisement to target the people who have completed that event. Or if you know that people who browse your product catalogue for more than 5 minutes are more likely to return at a later date and purchase something then you could retarget them with a free shipping promotion or a prompt to sign up to your email newsletter to receive sales and promotions straight to their inbox.
The possibilities are pretty limitless 🙂
4. Monitoring the Success of Your Digital Marketing Campaigns:
You can see the breakdown of the different marketing channels that your website traffic is coming from such as organic, paid search, email marketing and social media. To access this data go to Acquisition >> Channels >> Overview.
You can then click into each major channel to see further breakdown of the data (eg. Social shows you the breakdown of the different platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram etc).
Pro Tip: ‘Direct’ traffic, along with branded Google searches, can be a good indication of how your brand awareness campaigns and offline marketing channels (such as print, radio etc) are performing.
5. Looking at Attribution Modeling
We could write a dozen different blog articles covering attribution modelling and its importance to calculating ROI. A very basic explanation is that attribution modelling looks at the different touchpoints a customer has with your brand before making a purchase from you.
For example, if a customer finds your website via a Google ad, reads some of your blog articles and subscribes to your email marketing and then you use their email address to serve them remarketing advertisements which they then click on and purchase something from you then their customer journey will look like this:
Google AdWords -> Blog Content -> Email Marketing -> Remarketing
Attribution modelling determines which touch point is credited with the conversion – is it the AdWords ad that triggered their initial contact with your brand? Or is it the remarketing ad that finalised the sale? Or does each touch point deserve a percentage of the conversion?
This is an important question to consider when looking at calculating ROI – there is no right or wrong answer, it is more about recognising patterns in the customer journey and understanding that while a particular channel might not be directly responsible for any conversions, it still plays an important role in the funnel.
Google Analytics has some conversion attribution modelling tools built in that allow you to play around with the different model options and view the patterns. You can compare different models and select the one that you want to use as standard within Google Analytics.
To access the Attribution Comparison Tool go to Conversions >> Attribution in the left hand navigation panel.
6. Tracking Your Sales Funnel
This pulls in a few of the different points that we have already spoken about, but if you have your conversions and events set up correctly, then you can use the tools under the ‘behaviour’ tab in Google Analytics to watch how people interact with your content and how they progress through your sales funnels. You can determine which part of the funnel people start dropping off at, and you can look at the information on those pages and see how you can tweak or optimise them to address people’s pain points or concerns.
This is a really important capability for any website that is receiving a lot of website traffic but not many conversions or sales because it provides you with insight into why. Rather than focusing on increasing your website traffic, you can focus on converting the traffic that you are already receiving.
7. Reviewing Your Organic Website Traffic:
There is a good chance that you are already using Google Analytics to track how much organic traffic you are receiving, but are you diving deeper to see the specific keywords that people are typing into Google to find you?
Knowing what people are typing into Google will help you understand what information they are looking for so that you can tailor your pages, resulting in higher conversion rates. You may also find that you are ranking unexpectedly well for a particular term or theme, which you can leverage in your content marketing activities.
To locate this data you need to connect your Google Webmaster Tools account with your Analytics account – this is very simple, especially if you are using the same username and email to log into both accounts.
Once you have connected the accounts, you will navigate to Acquisition >> Search Console >> Landing Pages, where you will see a list of your different website landing pages that are currently ranking in Google. Click into one of the landing pages to see a list of the search terms that it has ranked in Google for.
8. Creating Custom Dashboards and Reports:
Now that you know how to access all of this cool data, the next thing is to create a custom dashboard that gives you a quick view of all of the metrics that are most important to you.
Setting up a custom dashboard takes a bit of time, but it is totally worth it – you’ll save yourself time in the long run by having a quick all-in-one view of all the important stuff, and you can easily export the dashboard into a pdf document to send to clients, managers or other relevant stakeholders.
To create a custom dashboard, click on the customisation tab in the left navigation menu and select the ‘dashboard’ option. You can create multiple dashboards, so make sure you name your new dashboard clearly.
You can then set about adding modules to the dashboard using different metrics and visual tools like tables, pie graphs and more. This part is a bit fiddly and may take some trial and error for first time users.
Conclusion: A powerful platform with a lot of potential!
Google Analytics is a powerful and very underrated platform – the eight things you can do with Google Analytics that we’ve listed in this article are just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic comes when you start combining some of these things – for example, you can set up your conversion and event tracking to calculate the ROI of your campaigns. You can then use attribution modelling to view how certain events – such as watching a video or downloading your whitepaper – effected your campaign conversions and ROI, and determine if creating video and whitepaper content is a worthwhile marketing activity. You can then setup a custom dashboard that feeds the data through nicely so that you can present it to your managers and get additional marketing budget approved.
The eight things you can do with Google Analytics that we’ve listed in this article are just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic comes when you start combining some of these things.
We’d love to hear your thoughts – what are some of the cool things that you use Google Analytics for, and do you think there is anything important that we left out? Let us know in the comments below!