An almanac of analytics wisdom as used by the Click team
1. Use custom dashboards
Ben King, one of Click’s Client Managers, recommends that you “set up a custom dashboard so you can have quick and easy access to the stats you care about most”.
Econsultancy has curated a great list of ready-made custom Google Analytics (GA) dashboards, including ones specifically for mobile commerce, content marketing and social media.
2. Set up goals correctly
“Very basic,” says Senior Paid Search Exec Carmen, “But vitally important.”
Goals allow you to track the actions that are most important to your business, for example, conversion rates for ads, form completions, sales etc. Without them, you can’t accurately measure the effectiveness of your website and marketing activity. Whether you’re a GA newbie or just need to brush up on the basics, this excellent Kissmetrics blog gives you the lowdown.
3. Create 2 extra views
Firstly, a ‘raw data’ view that hasn’t been modified in any way by configuring the view settings or adding filters. This means you have a back-up of your data and reference to sense check your main view against.
Secondly, a ‘test’ view that mirrors your main view which you can use to experiment with settings to your heart’s content. Ecommerce blogger Tim Leighton-Boyce explains how to do it in this post.
4. Filter out spam
Dave Gossage, Organic Search Exec & GA egghead, says referral spam is on the increase: “It’s annoying as it can skew the figures and inflate the bounce rate.” This Moz post explains how to stop spam-bots in their tracks.
5. Monitor customer intent
Set up Site Search to track what visitors are typing into the search box on your website. This data gives you important insights into what your customers want, in their own words, so that you can tailor your approach to better meet their needs. For example, you may need to fine-tune your internal search function if a high proportion of people are leaving your site following their search rather than clicking on any of the results presented. Find out how to set it up.
6. Set up demographics tracking
This allows you to see a breakdown of gender and age groups to track whether you’re successfully reaching your target market, and also to ensure that the language and branding is appropriate for those visiting the site.
7. Exclude yourself from the data
Make sure your own activity on the site doesn’t appear in the results by setting up a filter to exclude by IP (your IP address can be obtained by Googling “my IP”). You can do the same to exclude admins, testers or anyone else who might skew the data.
8. Link your AdWords account
This will give you a complete, end-to-end picture of customer behaviour, from ad click to conversion. Linking your accounts also means you can use data from GA to optimise your PPC campaigns.
Dave says: “This is even more valuable in the days of [not provided] as you will have sight of which keywords are generating the most engagement.”