Understanding analytics: Measuring your marketing with Google Analytics

It’s all very well undertaking marketing activity to promote your business, but understanding analytics is important if you’re to know where your marketing budget should be spent in future. Before you begin any campaign, it’s important to think about what you’d like to achieve, so that when you come to analyse your results, you can understand if your choice of medium, targeting or budget may have affected the campaign’s performance.

Google Analytics can appear daunting if you’re not familiar with it, but understanding analytics is crucial to any successful marketing activity. In this blog, our digital marketing experts discuss their tips for making analytics work for you…

  • Work out which metrics mean the most to your business – This is where deciding on your objective will help you out. Do you want to generate brand awareness? Perhaps you want to get people to fill in an enquiry form? If it’s the former, you may want to consider page views and your bounce rate to see how many people viewed pages on your website and how long they stayed for once they were there. If it’s the latter, you’ll need to ensure you have goals set up for better insights.
  • Track all digital campaigns – Understanding analytics using Google Analytics will be made easier if you track all digital campaigns. While social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook offer insights in to paid campaigns, it’s worth using tracking links so you can assess your results further in analytics. This will enable you to easily compare campaign results to see which area of spend has offered the best return on investment.
  • Ensure you switch on relevant reports – Not all of the available statistics in your Google Analytics account will be automatically enabled. In many cases it’s simply a case of exploring the tabs and using admin access to enable statistics to be viewed.
  • Utilise Google Tag Manager – For the uninitiated, Google Tag Manager is a tool which allows users to track things not currently trackable via Google Analytics alone such as pdf downloads and forms without a ‘thank you’ page. Installation involves adding codes to your website, so it’s always best to seek advice from a professional web developer if you’re unsure.
  • Drill down in to your audience demographics – Many people simply use Google Analytics to find out about their audience’s behaviour, but don’t overlook the audience demographics too. Understanding analytics includes understanding who your audience are and what devices they use, all of which is available to users.
  • Read the definition of each metric – It can be easy to assume what each metric means from the name. For the most part, they’re self-explanatory, but be sure to look out for differences – for example, some metrics will include returning visitors and others will include only unique / new users.
  • Download reports directly from Google Analytics – Unless you have a specific template you want to stick to, don’t ignore the reports you can download directly from analytics. These allow you to download graphs and charts as pdfs, meaning you can save valuable time. They’ll also allow you to understand the data in a more visually pleasing way.
  • Run tests – If you’re unsure if a form on your website is working properly or you simply want to see your statistics right now, the real time section of Google Analytics is your best friend. If you’re new to Google Analytics, using this tab can help you with understanding analytics; giving you more information about the metrics and when things are counted.
  • Utilise Google Analytics pre campaign – Many people only think about checking Google Analytics post – campaign to ascertain results, however, checking on previous campaigns and deciding what worked and what didn’t pre campaign is useful too. Providing you have the option enabled, Google Analytics will also offer insight in to keywords and search terms, meaning if you’re planning a content strategy the information is invaluable. 
  • Compare data – Understanding analytics, and therefore understanding your audience is easier when you compare data. If you don’t have similar campaigns to compare, simply comparing data from a few months or even a year ago to your most recent website performance is a good way to see if there are any patterns or trends in your marketing success. This should help you to identify ways to either capitalise on success or prevent recurring issues.

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