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10 Disciplined Approaches to Google Analytics

February 01, 2017

By Today’s Industry Insider


We live in a world of digital data. We create it. We consume it. It’s everywhere. And it’s accumulating at an unprecedented pace. In fact, experts predict that we’ll be adding 50,000 gigabytes every single second by 2019.

That’s a whole lot of tweets, snaps, and posts.

But data goes beyond just social media, email, and YouTube videos. The successful businesses of tomorrow – and today for that matter – don’t just create and consume data. They use it to improve. For insight. To guide their decisions and goals.

Take Google Analytics, for example. It’s a fantastic product that provides a buffet of data about your website, your visitors, and your marketing. It’s the most widely used analytics solution on the internet (tens of millions and counting).

It’s so easy to collect data these days that everyone is doing it…from multinational corporations to the mom n’ pop store on the corner. But here’s the rub: having that data and using it efficiently are two very different things.

Analytics are only as good as your reaction to them. It’s what you do with that data deluge that separates the rock stars from the folks that plays bass in a garage band on Tuesday afternoon.

Setting up Google Analytics (with or without the enhanced ecommerce plugin) and then passively looking over the various overview reports while nodding and saying “Hmm, yes, I see” is worthless. Know that your bounce rate is 43%? Big whoop. What are you going to do about it?

You need to use it to get better, stronger, faster, and more able to deliver the experience your customers want. When you see X in the data, you need to respond with Y. You need to react to the data.

Or better yet, use the platform to answer your questions (i.e. be proactive rather than reactive). Orbit Media co-founder Andy Crestodina says Google Analytics is best used as a decision-support tool. He suggests a simple five-step process:

  1. Develop an idea or belief about your content and website
  2. Define a question that could define this belief
  3. Create a Google Analytics report to answer that question
  4. Take action based on the data
  5. Measure and manage the result

To help with both of those, here are ten suggested approaches to Google Analytics to get you started.

The Proactive Approach

Asking questions to either support or refute your ideas and beliefs is a surefire path to site success. Ask a question, then seek out the answer in the mountains of available data.

Approach #1 – What content/pages are resonating most with my audience?

All pages are not created equal, and despite your best efforts, sometimes your stuff will fall flat with your target. It’s in your best interest to know exactly which pages and what content is exceeding expectations, and which is lagging far behind.

Find out quickly under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Focus on those pages that visitors choose to view rather than those that they must view (like your homepage …read more

Source:: Kiss Metrics Blog