Getting to Know Google Analytics

As you navigate the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which strategies are effective and which are missing the mark. Thankfully, Google Analytics is here to save the day. With its tracking superpowers and infinite insights, this online (and free!) tool can help you boost your ROI and take your digital marketing to the next level. 

If you’re new to Google Analytics, you might be wondering where to start. Michelle Ponti,’ Digital Marketing Team Lead, is here to help you gain a better understanding of the platform and explain how you can use it to improve your digital marketing efforts. 

Q: First things first: Can you provide a brief explanation of Google Analytics?
A: Google Analytics is a free, web-based tool offered by Google that provides valuable insights about your digital presence and performance. For example, Google Analytics allows you to track how users interact with your website, see which channels visitors used to land on your site and monitor which digital ads are driving people to your website. 

Those examples are really just the tip of the iceberg. I recommend checking out this page for a more thorough breakdown of Google Analytics’ features.  

Q: Can any organization set up a Google Analytics account? 

A: Yes! As long as an organization has a website and is able to add a tracking code to that website, they can use and benefit from Google Analytics. Google provides good instructions to help you set up an account.     

Q: What are some basic tools in Google Analytics that can help you understand your current digital presence? 
A: For those newer to Google Analytics, there are a couple high-level features I recommend exploring to help you get started. Setting up Dashboards is a great place to begin. Dashboards gives you a nice visual summary of your digital performance in certain areas, like social media, search ads and more. You can build out your own custom Dashboards, but there are also templated Dashboards available for your use, so you don’t need to start from scratch. These templated versions are a good starting point and are based on what other industry experts are using. 

Insights is another great tool that was added to Google Analytics a couple of years ago. You can use Insights to view key data and recommendations from Google. It’s a good way to see what Google is suggesting to help improve your site. 

Example of Dashboard View
 Example of Dashboard View
Q: How can you use Google Analytics to optimize your digital marketing efforts? 

A: Digital marketing is all about tracking, converting, improving and always analyzing what can be done better. Because Google Analytics has the power to provide you with so many valuable insights, it’s important to have your account set up correctly – to ensure the data you’re seeing accurately reflects your digital presence. For example, make sure you have views and filters set up to exclude bots and internal traffic. Also be sure your Google ads account is linked and pulling in the right data, so you can accurately see which ads are performing the best and reallocate budgeting to the most effective ads. You can even track the value of marketing components that aren’t exactly ads, like social media, and evaluate how those platforms are contributing to your website goals. 

Also, adding events and goals in Google Analytics will help track and keep an eye on specific objectives. Let’s say you want people to visit your site to schedule an appointment. Using event and goal triggers, you can track how many people visited your site, left right away, navigated to the scheduling page and completed your desired action. Knowing these measures can help you fine-tune your messaging across all digital platforms and focus your marketing dollars on the areas that are providing the most ROI.    

Q: How can assist clients when it comes to utilizing Google Analytics?  
A: As part of our digital marketing assessment, we take a look at clients’ Google Analytics accounts to help identify areas where setup could be improved to help ensure data is as accurate as possible. Quality data flowing in means better marketing going out. 

We can also point you to helpful resources to get your account up and running. I think this checklist is a great reference for those just getting started with Google Analytics. 

If you’d like to learn more about Google Analytics and how it can work together with your digital marketing efforts, reach out today! 

Posted by - February 10, 2021