7 tips for making better use of Google Analytics

Analysis is everything in social media and digital marketing, and it can also tell you if your website is working properly.

However, it’s not necessarily about gathering as much data as you can – it’s more about understanding and utilising the stats and metrics you do have. So many brands collect mountains of data, but they’re interpreting it in the wrong way.

Here are 7 tips to help you optimise use of one of the best digital marketing tools, Google Analytics:

  1. Identify your goals. In order to know which parts of the masses of information Analytics provides to focus on, you need to define your goals. For example, where your customers are coming from, how long they stay on your website, how many visitors actually buy something, how many visitors a month you are receiving.
  2. Review KPIs using Analytics data. Once you’ve identified your goals and you know which information to look at, ensure you review it regularly. The only way to make Analytics data work for you is to constantly measure your key performance indicators (KPIs).
  3. Look at long-term stats to define trends. So many brands look at the last 30 days, but extend your search to 3-6 months and larger trends will start to reveal themselves.
  4. Link social media and e-commerce to your Analytics. E-commerce data can be essential to help you maximise sales on your website, but many brands don’t have it linked to their Analytics for some reason. The same goes for social media data – Social Media Examiner has a handy guide for measuring social media traffic using Google Analytics.
  5. Enable demographics. This is a useful tool which can provide you with information about your target audience, looking at the age, gender and location of your website’s visitors. This information could help you to realise that you’ve been targeting the wrong type of customer.
  6. Take the time to understand custom reporting. With so much information available, using Google Analytics can be a real time drain. It can take ages to find the metrics you’re looking for, so take the time to learn how to set up custom reporting. This will give you quick, easy access to summaries of the essential information you need to know, potentially saving you hours of valuable time.
  7. Understand the customer journey with goal flow reports. This very useful feature enables you to visualise each user’s experience on your website. You’ll first need to set up a few things – Business2Community has some great advice on doing this – creating goals and funnel steps, which will all help you to gently nudge the customer towards a firm sale.

Making use of some of these Google Analytics features may result in an extra cost, but it could be a sound investment if it helps your website to perform better and converts a greater percentage of visits into sales.

What features of Google Analytics do you find the most helpful for your digital marketing strategy? Perhaps you use a different analytics tool – which would you recommend to other brands and why? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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