Big Data at Small Cost: Unlocking Google Analytics Fundamentals

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Big Data at Small Cost: Unlocking Google Analytics Fundamentals

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Google Analytics Fundamentals

This is a round-up of some of the items that we discussed during our recent discussion on Google Analytics Fundamentals.

Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics tool because, it’s:

  • Free
  • easy to implement
  • compatible
  • customisable

The tool is not just for marketing staff, insights from your website can be convenient to content owners, business development managers, designers as well as marketing and communications staff.

The Setup of Google Analytics

The importance of the setup of Google Analytics is key to getting the data that’s important to you. Setting up Google Analytics is not just adding the tracking code to your website and that’s it done! There are plenty of administration settings and filters to apply in order to make sure you’re getting the right data.

Filters your views, examples are:

• Set up a reporting view, which might have lower case as the default
• Excluding internal traffic by IP address
• Give specific view access to certain people
• Always keep a raw (unfiltered) view as a back-up!

At this workshop we discussed 7 key fundamentals for getting the most out of Google Analytics:

  1.  Use dashboards, shortcuts, alerts to help you get the important data quickly

Make use of the tools Google provides you with. Create dashboards and shortcuts to get the data you need easily and quickly. There are loads of dashboards available in the Google Gallery, examples of dashboard ideas:

• Real time overview dashboard
• Blog dashboard
• SEO dashboard
• Social media dashboard

There are many more dashboard options, essentially you can customise dashboard to report on what’s important to you.

Shortcuts are quick ways to access certain reports you have applied changes to so you don’t have to reconfigure these settings again.

You can use the alerts feature to react quickly to certain notifications that arise.

Example of alerts you can set up could be:
• a no data alert – if traffic is less than 1 visit per day you will get notified
• 10% decrease/increase in traffic/visitors/pageviews
• 20% decrease/increase in visit duration/% new visits

2.  Create a few useful segments (or use the library) that you can re-use

Create segments to further segregate your data so it is more altered to what you are looking for. Segments offer more clarity on the data, and allow you to drill-down in your reports, for example in the behaviour reports you can see information on content by all sessions by default but you could apply segments on this to look at how the content is consumed by a particular type of user e.g. females only, mobile users only, users who converted etc.

Examples of segments :

• Mobile Traffic
• Female/Male Traffic
• Users who made a purchase
• Organic Traffic

3.   Share your pre-set dashboards and segments

Dashboards and segments are automatically saved privately to your login account. Don’t forget to share these with everyone else who may need it with access to the Property so they can see these results. Schedule emails and reports out to your co workers who own the content so that they take ownership of the site’s performance.

4.   Annotate your graphs with times of big releases/campaigns

Annotations is a tool many people forget to make use of. The tool helps review statistics year-over-year. Mainly used if something noteworthy happens. It’s a great way to keep track of campaigns and peaks your reports graphs.

Arekibo - Annotate your graphs

Examples to use annotations:

• Website redesign launch
• Large promotional campaigns
• Reports of bugs

5.    Use Real Time for testing – test your goals and events

Real Time is a great tool that allows you to monitor activity seconds after it happens on your site. For example, you can see how many people are on your site right now, which pages or events they’re interacting with, and which goal conversions have occurred.

Examples for Real-Time would include:

• Tracking engagement with social platform posts such as promotional tweets
• Verify if tracking code is correctly working
• Test changes on your site
• Monitor daily promotions

6.    Carve out some time for interpreting and actioning this data

Google Analytics can give an overwhelming amount of data so give yourself the time to interpret and action on it. Use your customised dashboards and reports to focus in on the most important metrics, this will allow you to stay focused when it comes to actioning the data.

7.    Fill in the “why” through surveys, focus groups and user testing

Through Google’s basic reports you can figure out who is on your site, when they’re on your site, how they get to your site and what device they visit your site on. Fill out the why they’re on your site through surveys, focus groups and user testing.

Arekibo - Key Tips for GA Setup

The key takeaways

  1. Set-up

    Get your set up correct to make sure you are getting the right data.

  2. Configure

    Configure your reports by creating segments and dashboards to get the data important to you.

  3. Analyze

    Review your configured reports regularly, schedule emails every month to get the data sent out on a regular basis.

  4. Action

    Take action on the new insights you have gained through analytics. Improve your online engagement and thrive to gain more goal completions. Use your insights to create new content, make marketing and design decisions.

If you would like to talk to us in more detail about our range of Analytics Services call us on 01-9052040 or email us on