Step-by-Step Guide for Google Analytics 2016

Google Analytics stands apart in a league of its own as the best tool for understanding your web traffic and conversions. Yet, as the best tool, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out. In this article, we first look at how you set up an account in Google Analytics, and then we look […]

Step-by-Step Guide for Google Analytics 2016

Google Analytics stands apart in a league of its own as the best tool for understanding your web traffic and conversions.

Yet, as the best tool, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out.

In this article, we first look at how you set up an account in Google Analytics, and then we look at some more advanced tips for making it work for you.

Here’s your step-by-step guide for Google Analytics:

Get Started

To make use of the wide reporting options, you first need to set up an account. Follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Visit Google Analytics.
  2. If you don’t have a Gmail address, you’ll need to create one.
  3. If you do have a Gmail address, simply sign in to your account.
  4. Once inside Google Analytics, name your account with your company name, website name and provide your website’s URL.
  5. Google will then provide you with tracking code. You’ll want to copy this code and insert it into all of the pages of your website. You can either add it yourself to your html code, or if you’re using WordPress, use a plugin to do it for you.
  6. Give it a few days before you start looking at reports.

Now that you’ve got the set up done, let’s dive into the advanced tips.

Set Up Goals

You want to track your conversions, so you will use conversion goals to measure them.

Setting up goals allows you to dig deep into the performance of your website. You’ll learn if your website visitors are actually doing what you want them to do.

To set up your goals, we recommend using the SMART method.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time based

You want to be extra sure that your goals are measurable.

So, the first thing you want to do is decide the action that defines a specific conversion on your website. Google Analytics then uses your goals to track the conversion. Once the goal is achieved, the conversion is logged.

Some examples of goals include:

  • Purchase
  • Newsletter sign up
  • Online registration
  • Information request
  • Download

Next, you want to either create or decide on a destination page. For example, if you want your user to sign up for your newsletter (this is the goal), then the destination page would be the thank you page they land on after completing the task.

This tells Google Analytics that your website visitor completed your form.

Once you’ve got your goal and your destination page, you can set up Goal Tracking.

  1. Visit the Admin tab.
  2. In the View column, click Goal.
  3. Click on +New Goal.
  4. Select a template that meets your needs. Choose from Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry and Engagement. These are shown to you based on your industry.
  5. Click continue to name your goal.
  6. Choose how you will track your goals. In most instances, you’ll use your destination page.
  7. Click continue and paste in the URL of your destination page.

Measure Conversions

Your Goals are set, and Google Analytics will get to work recording your conversions.

It’s now time to measure your website conversions. Deciphering your reports can be confusing. Here’s how to view them.

You’ll notice a Goal Conversion Rate. This shows the percentage of your page visits that resulted in the conversion you defined in your goal.

This is a key part of your reporting as this is perhaps the best indicator to gauge the effectiveness of your page.

For example, if your conversion rate is high, you’re obviously bringing in good website traffic. This means you’re doing something right.

Yet, if your conversion rate is low, you need to change something on your website. It could be the image, headline, text, call to action, colors, etc. A low conversion rate means you aren’t meeting the needs of your customers.

It’s ideal when you see your goal conversion rate continue to increase over time. This means you’ve refined your landing pages for the best conversion rates.

Next, take a look at your Goal Completions. This number shows you exactly how many website visitors converted. This is a tangible number you can use in your marketing reports.

Third, you want to look at the Goal Value. This is very simple – it’s the monetary value of your conversions.

Conversions are great, but the Goal Value number tells you what each of those conversions is worth to you monetarily.

Understand Your Audience

Now, we’re going to touch on how to evaluate your audience in Google Analytics. Why is this important?

It lets you know if you’re reaching the right people in the right way. You’ll learn things about your website visitors such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Browsers
  • Mobile Devices

On the left-hand side in Google Analytics, you’ll see the category for your Audience. Open each of these sections, paying special attention to Demographics and Geo.

Get familiar with your Acquisition report as well. This report shows you how your website visitors arrived on your site.

This helps you know if it was email, social media, organic or pay-per-click.

Discovering the data in these reports helps you learn what works best for driving traffic to your website to help you increase your goal conversions.

Your audience reports can also tell you how many page views your website had. For example, if a visitor landed on your site and visited five pages, you can see where he went.

You can also view the number of new and returning visitors.

Think about your website goals. Are you after new or returning visitors? This is where you’ll see if you’re meeting your goals.

Take a look at your visitor flow as well. This helps you see where people came from.

To Conclude

In this guide, we’ve touched on just a few of the many things Google Analytics has to offer.

Once you’ve set up Google Analytics on your website, you have access to an abundance of information.

You want to use that information to make changes and additions to your website so you can continue to improve your conversion rate.

You’ll find it relatively easy to set up Google Analytics and view your first set of simple reports.

We do encourage you to get started with Goals as they can really help you gauge your conversion rate. Use our advanced tips to get started and stick with it.

The more you use Google Analytics, the more comfortable with it you’ll become.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by tracking your conversions in Google Analytics? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Louis Llerna

Google Data Studio – Be a Data Rock Star

Have you heard of Google Data Studio? If not, we’re going to tell you what it is and how you can be a data rock star just by using it. If you have heard of it, you’ll enjoy our advanced tips that break it down into something that is easy for your business to use. […]

Google Data Studio - Be a Data Rock StarHave you heard of Google Data Studio?

If not, we’re going to tell you what it is and how you can be a data rock star just by using it. If you have heard of it, you’ll enjoy our advanced tips that break it down into something that is easy for your business to use.

What is Google Data Studio?

What if we told you that Google Data Studio could turn all of your very confusing Google Analytics and other data into beautiful, informative reports?

What if we took it a step further and told you that these reports would be easy to read, easy to share and easy to customize?

In Google’s (beta) Data Studio, you can create up to five custom reports that are always updated.

You can even choose how you want to deliver your data – line graphs, charts, bar graphs and more. And, you can even add your own branding.

Just like Google Drive, the reports update in real time and can enhance how you share and view your analytics.

Since the reports are dynamic, they update when the data source is updated. Any new info or changes you add show up on your reports.

You’ll find enhanced reporting as all of your data is easily accessible and instantly updated for everyone with whom you choose to share the reports.

While analytics have long been a challenge for most digital marketers, with Google Data Studio, you can create reports that everyone can understand.

It’s Not Just for Google Analytics

One of the coolest things about Google Data Studio is that you can pull in data from virtually any source as long as that information is housed in a Google Sheet.

So, yes, that means you can import your Facebook data or insights from any other social media platform that is housed in a Google Sheet.

If the item is Google-owned, such as Google Analytics, it doesn’t have to be on a Google Sheet.

Google Data Studio Outline

Now, let’s break Google Data Studio down a bit. The Data Studio helps you do three things really well.

  1. It allows you to connect different data points in one spreadsheet so all of your analytics are available in one place. So, the first thing you have to do before preparing your analysis is to make sure you have gathered all of your data. While you can pull Google data in naturally, any other data sources must be compiled on your Google Sheets.
  2. Next, you can visualize your data by pulling it all together. Think of it like your very own dot-to-dot. You bring all the pieces into your Google Data Studio, and the program creates a beautiful report.
  3. Finally, you can share your reports so you can collaborate with people all across the globe. It’s just like Google Docs and Google Sheets. Your co-workers or your boss don’t ever have to wait for you to send them a report because it updates in real time.

Google Data Studio is Free

Right now, for all of you data gatherers, Google Data Studio is free. You will find some restrictions, though, if you aren’t paying for Google 360.

You can currently only have five reports per account, or email address, associated with Data Studio. You can of course always add another email.

But, like Google Sheets, there is another solution. You can add additional pages on each of your reports thus increasing the amount of data you can represent.

Data Source Options

We told you that you can bring data from a myriad of other systems into Google Data Studio.

What we haven’t touched on is an advanced feature. You can use data sources in three different levels:

  1. At the report level, you’ll find this is the highest level component in the chain. When you attach data sources to a report, you can use it across all of your pages. You’ll even find that you can have multiple sources attached to a report. You do have to choose one as the default.
  2. At the page level, you’ll find this is a component of your report. When you set a data source to a page, you make it the default to that page even if another data source is set as the default in the report level.
  3. At the chart level, you see a beautiful, usable graphic representation of the data within your page. This is the lowest level in the chain. You’ll enjoy the fact that you can set data sources to specific charts at this level.

How to Make a Usable Report

Now that we’ve looked at Google Data Studio and defined it, let’s look at some advanced tips for you reporting.

First, filter controls give users power. You’ll find your analysis is more effective when you have chosen the right filters.

Consistency is key so your reports make more sense.

Next, when looking at the design element of your Google Data Studio report, pay attention to your headers and page dividers.

Use these elements for organization and to maintain the consistency of your report. Be clear in your headers so content is easily find-able.

Mix it up when designing your report. For example, don’t make everything into a bar graph. Use pie charts, line charts and tables.

Finally, tap in to your inner designer and add some color to your report. Color can help define sections and headers. Don’t overdo it, though, as too much color is off-putting.

Remember that the purpose of your report is visual in nature. You want co-workers, clients and bosses to be able to see at a glance how your digital marketing is working.

With improved data reporting and increased visualization, you’ll find that Google Data Studio has the ability to make a whole new generation of marketers more comfortable with digital marketing reports.

Final Thoughts

So, how do you know if Google Data Studio is right for you?

If you want to present beautiful, easily readable spreadsheets, but you find them cumbersome and confusing to create, it’s the program for you.

Google Data Studio helps your data make sense and look good. In an easily understandable format, you can hold your business accountable and see if your digital marketing efforts are panning out.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by analyzing your marketing metrics? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Sergio Alejandro Ortiz