Who will be monitoring your business’s Google Analytics?
Are you sure they have what it takes?
Whether you depend on an analytics department, a marketer, or yourself, look to see that they possess the following qualities.
- They understand business goals and strategies.
- They comprehend what analytics are and their potential.
- They have technical skills.
Now that you’re sure you have the right people, let’s get started with the right plan. Follow these 5 steps to create a Google Analytics plan customized to your unique business.
STEP 1: Outline your measurements.
Determine your business objectives.
Since measurement may in fact be the most important aspect of Google Analytics planning, it only makes sense that it contains the most layers. The steps within this step look like the following.
- Document goals.
- Pinpoint strategies.
- Select key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Decide how to segment data.
- Choose targets for your KPIs.
Here’s an example of how this would look for a real company.
Rachel owns her own florist shop. She sells her flower arrangements both online and in a brick and mortar location. Rachel maintains a blog with tips on how to care for flowers and use them for displays.
Business objective: Strengthen relationships and bring joy to people with colorful flowers.
Strategy 1: Sell flowers.
Tactics: Sell online and encourage store visits (add map on website, in-store coupons, etc.).
Online purchase KPIs: Revenue and average purchase amount.
In-store purchase KPIs: When store locator is used and coupons printed
Strategy 2: Increase user interaction.
Tactics: Targeted, consistent blog posts.
User interaction KPIs: Frequency metrics and social shares.
Google Analytics segments for both selling flowers and increasing interaction would be marketing channel, new vs. returning customers, and geography.
Depending on your website and business, your strategy will most likely fall into one of these common goal categories.
- eCommerce ⇒ Selling products
- Support/online information ⇒ Answer questions
- Branding ⇒ Awareness and interaction
- Bloggers/content writers ⇒ Increasing visitation and interaction
- Lead generation ⇒ Attracting and compiling leads
Your objectives all depend on your unique business! Determine what targets you have for your KPIs.
STEP 2: Determine technical environment.
Gain a better understanding of your technical situation.
Now that you know what you want to measure, you need to if you have the ability to measure it.
In this step, your business will be discussing questions like, “Do we have a responsive design? What are our server technologies? Do we have the ability to track what we need to?”
You will need to enlist the help of your web developer to determine which parts of your measurement plan are do-able and how to do them.
Pay special attention to the following for your website:
- Server redirects
- Responsive web design
- Flash and AJAX events
- Query string parameters
STEP 3: Decide how you will implement.
Defining code snippets and product features you’ll need to track.
Again, we advise you speak to your web developer. Google also has some great resources for beginners on this developer page.
STEP 4: Begin implementing.
Have your web developer implement tracking suggestions you made.
To collect any data, you’ll need to implement the standard Google Analytics page tag. This will give you the majority of the data you’ll need.
After this, you’ll need to establish a way to track KPIs. Goal tracking or the eCommerce module (if you have an eCommerce website) is helpful for this.
You’ll want to also utilize filters and settings for accurate data that’s easier to read.
In order to properly track marketing channels, you should use AdWords linking and campaign tracking.
Last but not least, custom reports and dashboards can be a huge help when it’s time to analyze data. These can be easily exported and shared with decision makers and other members of your business.
STEP 5: Continuous improvement.
The web is consistently changing and your digital analytics strategy needs to adapt accordingly.
As technology advances, so should you tracking strategy. Keep improving with a commitment to progress.
Mastering Google Analytics is far from a cake walk, but with these 5 steps your business will have mapped out a plan. Thanks for reading!