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What do businesses need to do to gain more insights and value from Google Analytics?

You know the way it is with using Google Analytics... nearly all businesses have it installed, but far fewer have customised it correctly for their business AND have a structured approach for using it to improve their online marketing. I think many business owners and marketers know that because of this and the lack of skills to interpret the data, the obvious potential of using Google Analytics to review and improve online marketing is missed by many organisations. The reason for this missed opportunity is not a technology problem. As Avinash Kaushik has pointed out, in his 10/90 rule of managing analytics, that's because this is largely a People issue, i.e. how to provide People with the right processes, tools and KPIs to drive performance. Those most aware…

Brian Clifton and Avinash Kaushik on Customising Google Analytics to improve Digital Marketing

Successful Analytics is the title of a new book by Brian Clifton who you may know as the author of the Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics. Brian wrote this after his time as the first Head of Web Analytics at Google EMEA. I'm keen to help businesses better manage their use of analytics to improve Digital Marketing. since I have found when training and consulting that many are missing the opportunity make the most of the insights available from their analytics. Although most businesses now use Google Analytics, or an equivalent to tag their sites to measure their online marketing, it's often not the customised for their business to get the most from reviewing the analytics. Brian's books focus on how to customise Google Analytics for a business, from a technical point-of-view (in the first book) and from a process and team standpoint (in…

Compare your traffic sources and mobile vs desktop audience split to others in your sector to make the business case for investment in digital marketing

Value: [rating=3] Recommended link: Google Analytics Benchmarking announcement Do you remember Google Analytics Benchmarking? You’ll need quite a good memory since Google withdrew it in late 2011 I recall - we lamented its passing in this post on using Google Analytics to Benchmark engagement with a site recommending how to use measures like bounce rate, pages per visit and visit duration to compare engagement with your site. Well, now it’s back with a bang including a new interface and new types of reports. Here’s how to check it out:

How do I set up Benchmarking?

This is easy and you may well have it set up before. Head to Admin and check the second box shown. Data is shared anonymously,…

A tutorial showing you the options to set up this new GA feature

When Google Analytics launched in 2005 it democratised web analytics with its feature rich offering, since then Google has worked hard to add new features to a product that is now considered a viable alternative to most enterprise level web analytics tools. But until recently GA lacked a key feature that many of it’s competitors have had since the first half of the last decade, that is the ability to group content at the session level. Grouping content has lot's of applications, for retail sites grouping categories and products is important, for media sites, different types of stories and today all businesses need to know which types and formats of content are supporting their content marketing. Other tools around the time of Google Analytics’ launch, such as HBX, dealt with this very well but Google, with its URL based content reports…

Your Google Analytics Post-launch checklist

In my last post on using Google Webmaster Tools to audit a site post-launch I showed how after the creation of a new or redesigned website, there are many other issues to consider before a new website can be considered to be fully functional. Another key post-launch activity is to check that the effectiveness of the site will be measurable using Google Analytics. Here it’s important to make sure to have a Google Analytics checklist in place to review how to best customise Google Analytics to report on your business success. [Editor's note: we agree that setting Google Analytics up is often missed on new sites. In particular we see that many don't have goals setup, so thanks to Vagelis for his detailed review and recommendations in this post.  In fact we'd advise considering goal setup and tracking at an early stage in site development rather than post launch. Smart Insights Expert members can…

Google introduces 3 options to review content effectiveness in Google Analytics

Value/Importance: [rating=4] Recommended link: Google Analytics announcement The lack of options for content grouping in Google Analytics has been surprising given that it has been a core feature of established analytics systems like Webtrends and Site Catalyst since as long as I can remember. It’s true that you can use the Content Drilldown to review the effectiveness of different content types in driving visits leads and sales as we recommend in our guide to Google Analytics, but this only works if you have a site structured with a clear hierarchy of folders. In the real-world, many sites particularly Ecommerce sites, or other sites pulling products from a database don’t have this. In these cases your best option was to create a custom filter for grouping content as Peter O’Neill outlines. Google has introduced 3 options for setting up content grouping and reporting.…

Track what turns your visitors on (or off) with Event Tracking in Google Analytics

Events Goals (Google help page) are a relatively unheralded feature which I thought would be useful to "flag up", since it can helps marketers report on key marketing outcomes related to conversion and campaign tracking which are often missed in my experience. I hope some of the 17 examples I cover in this post will help you report better on which features and messages site visitors are interacting with. These interactions are measured using Event tracking (Google Help Page) that can then be connected to the Goals features in Google Analytics (read my post on Setting Goals in Google Analytics if you're unfamiliar with this). Event Goals are a relatively new feature (introduced in April 2011). Judging by many analytics setups I review where Event tracking or Event Goals aren't used, the technique isn't so well known by non analytics specialists.…

A custom report for summarising goal performance

The conversion report in Google Analytics is probably the most important report in the entire service. The conversion report shows you the percentage and absolute numbers of visits which converted into a set of defined goals for a website. Goals can be any marketing outcome related to lead generation and sales from enquiries through to video views. Here is example of the goals in a typical conversion overview report:

This particular website converted 3.65% of traffic (conversion rate) into performing some sort of action which I have determined as a goal for the website. A total of 147 goals (absolute number) were completed in this particular month and this is one of many metrics used to measure the performance of the website…

Google Analytics 'Share Assets' for sharing report customisations within or between companies

I’m not sure if many people have discovered the ‘Share Assets’ option/button within the Profile menu of Google Analytics yet, but I only spotted it at the end of last year. With the launch of Google's New Analytics Solution Gallery which Dave has introduced we thought a reminder about this 'hidden feature' would be useful.

What is Share Assets?

Share Assets gives you a quick way to It’s a handy way of viewing and sharing all segments, custom reports and dashboards from one place. Select the configurations you want to share and then share the URL. The data relevant to each site in the profile isn't shared, it's only the customisation. How long has that been there? I'm not sure, but I'm a regular user, so not long. It certainly makes sharing configurations so quick and easy now. Really handy if you have…

The new Google Analytics Solutions Gallery tools

Value: [rating=3] Recommended link: Google Analytics Solutions Gallery Google Analytics offers many features to customise its reports to a business, which is great for a free tool. But I know from running Google Analytics training courses that many of the customisation tools aren’t used, so reports aren't really tailored to a business and different users in the business. I think this is mainly down to the time and specialist input needed for customisation. Google are obviously aware of this issue since they have created a new set of tools within their Solutions Gallery to help users with customisation. I think this is a great initiative and will be useful both to marketers at companies and consultants and agencies improving reporting for their clients.

What type of customisations are available?

Customisation are available for three different types of assets…