Blog > 6 Free Ways To Make Google Analytics Work For Your Business
Posted By Create
Google Analytics is a really powerful tool, which can be highly valuable to all types of online businesess. With a wealth of information available online, and countless help guides to trawl through, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Read on to learn about how you can get started and how your business can benefit from Google Anayltics.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to attend an interesting talk organised by our local chamber of commerce on “Getting started with Google Analytics”, from Jon Hibbitt - SiteVisibility's technical SEO analyst. Here I learnt some really useful tips to ensure Analytics reports are being utilised to benefit businesses. Use these 6 helpful pointers and you'll have greater insight into your online business' performance, and really understand the benefits of Google Analytics reports.
1. Add structure to the future of your business & set up an Analytics Measurement Plan
A measurement plan enables you to document your business objectives, and identify what tactics and strategies you are going to use. Using Key Performance Indicators you can measure and analyse your business targets and how to achieve them.
See here for more information on how to set up a Analytics Measurement Plan.
2. Use "Acquisition" to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your website traffic.
Do you know where most of your website traffic is coming from? If so, are you using this to your advantage? Taking a look at Acquisition Reports will allow you to make the most of such information.
Within "Acquisition", you are able to look at reports such as, what social channels are more successful, the visitors global location, visitor age, new vs returning customers and more. All of these reports can be located from within the "Channel Performance" area of your Analytics account.
Looking at "Acquisition" is a great way to determine what channels and campaigns are more effective in driving your business goals. Once you have identified these you can then focus your time and money on the channels and angles that prove most successful.
For example, when looking at your reports, is most of your traffic coming from your Facebook page? Is this something you wish to invest some more money in while it is driving most of your website traffic?
See here for more information on Acquisition and how to use these reports to your business' advantage.
3. Leave the "All Website Data View" untouched to ensure you always have an overall view of your statistics.
You will automatically have the "All Website Data View" set up in your account. From here it is recommended you set up a further "Test" and "Master View" within the "Admin" area. Then if you wish to trial any experiments set these up first within "Test". When you are happy with the settings and that it is doing what you would like it to, you can then add this to your "Master View".
Leaving your "All Website Data" untouched means you will always have a general overview of your website reports, and a baseline against which to compare.
Learn how to set up "Views" in your Analytics account here.
4. Don’t skew your reports and make sure you remove relevant IP addresses from your reports.
Make sure you exclude your IP and any web designer's IP addresses from your “View”. Not excluding these IP addresses from your statistics will skew your reporting; you don’t want the visits you and/or your web designers make on your website to be included in your reporting as it will not reflect a true representation and may be detrimental to your business. These excluded IP addresses should be reviewed around 4 times a year, as IP addresses do have a knack of changing over time.
You can find out how to exclude internal IP addresses here.
5. Set up Intelligence Events to ensure you are informed of any big changes that may occur on your website.
Monitor significant changes in traffic and usage with "Intelligence Events". These are great for letting you know if a large traffic or usage change occurs within your website. This feature includes automatic alerts, however it also enables you to set up customisable alerts triggered by a loss or increase in traffic/usage.
For example, you can set up an Intelligence Event for if your traffic decreases by 50% compared to that same day last week, and when/if this does occur, you will receive an email alert. This feature will ensure you are always aware of any problems as soon as they happen.
You can set up your own Intelligence Reports following these steps.
6. Become an Analytics Pro and take the Analytics exam!
Google provide an online course in to “Digital Analytics Fundamentals”. It is a free course (yes, free!) with an exam at the end. Any free education is a massive WIN in my book, and within a matter of hours, you can be a Google Analytics pro! I am currently working through this myself, and can honestly vouch for how useful this really is. (All tips in this blog are covered within the online course).
If you are not yet using Google Analytics with your Create website, I'd recommend our help guide, which talks you through how to get set up.