How well is your website performing? How do people engage with your content and where do they drop off? If you’re unsure, worry not as you probably do have the data to answer these questions.
In this article, we share fundamentals around using Google Analytics (GA) and how it can help to boost your digital insights and inform business decisions.
Where to start?
When you first open up GA it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information in front of you. What’s important to your business and what’s cluttering your view? While it may take time and patience to find and decipher the information available, understanding these analytics can really empower you and your teams.
At Pixl8, we are working with our clients by providing regular reviews, identifying pain points and opportunities on GA, as well as developing recommendations to make the most of their digital platforms. We also provide training to teams so they can get started with their own analytics.
Making sure you got the basics right
Your insights are only as good as your data. Whilst GA is a relatively low-maintenance tool, there are a few things that we recommend considering to make sure that you’re collecting all the right data:
You want to get a view of your data that reflects your audience’s behaviour as accurately as possible. There will often be some level of bot traffic on your website, so it’s useful to enable GA’s filter to exclude known bots and spiders from the data you’re collecting. As an admin, this can be done in your view settings.
If your website is offering keyword search, we recommend setting up site search tracking on GA. This will allow you to analyse who the people that used your site search are, what terms they were looking for and how their session continued after their search request.
For membership organisations, we recommend setting up a custom dimension to identify members as a segment of your website traffic. This audience segmentation is a useful way to look at your traffic from different angles and gain a deeper understanding of your engagement metrics.
Being able to track and analyse the conversions is a major benefit of GA. Depending on your business model, you may want to set up goals for membership signups, event bookings or product purchases. As a start, we recommend defining 2-3 key goals for your website to help gaina more thorough understanding of how well it is performing.
So, how do you find the juicy insights?
It’s a bit like a treasure hunt - once you find a lead that’s worth following, you dig deeper.
There are lots of different ways to look at your data. When carrying out a top level review, we recommend using date range comparisons and audience segments to identify initial areas of interest. Based on those, you can be more incisive by adding secondary dimensions and filters to your reports.
It may seem obvious, but a number will always be more powerful if it’s put into context. Once you have found the stats that you’d like to share with others, packaging them into a story can help to get your point across. Why are these insights relevant? Make sure you’re delivering the full picture together with your data.
In a nutshell
Data is powerful. It provides you with confidence when making recommendations and it validates - or challenges - assumptions within your strategies. To make sure your insights are sound, you need to know how to correctly interpret GA metrics and optimise your setup if needed.
Monthly GA reviews are a great way to swiftly identify pain points and opportunities as they arise. In-depth assessments on a quarterly or biannual basis can help to identify more long-term trends.
As a Pixl8 client ...
… you can draw on our experience and expert team to take your use of Google Analytics to the next level.
We can support you by delivering regular GA reviews to provide an outside-in perspective and stretch the potential of your data. If you’d like to enhance your GA setup we can work with you to provide tailored assessments, recommendations and improvements based on your individual needs.
We can work with you to refine and define your goals and metrics prior to website build and development. We can also set up and monitor your website’s performance, to build your knowledge and support you to improve performance over time.