Google Analytics: Not flashy, just vitally important
We know that data and Google Analytics are far from the most gripping topics to be writing about. We could blog about headline grabbing ad campaigns or the latest influencer controversy but we’re not here for headlines and controversy (at the moment).
We’re here to help marketers like you feel smarter and lend a hand in growing your brand.
What data and GA lack in head-turning appeal they more than make up for in importance. The data you have access to is the lifeblood of your brand, and the platform you use to source that data needs to do its job properly.
As a marketer your job is all about making decisions based on the data and information you have available to you.
If you’ve got great data that should mean you’re better equipped to make great decisions. But if you’ve got poor data that will likely mean you make poor decisions.
But do you know how great or poor your data is?
Great data / poor data?
From start-ups, to household names, to multi-channel retailers who have implemented Analytics 360 – we’ve looked at their data and found, regardless of profile, there are several common issues that occur with data and GA set up time and time again.
Across all of the GA Health Checks we’ve carried out, we’ve found that 3 out of 4 brands are less than 50% compliant with best practice. The average score is a rather poor 39% and the worst score we’ve found is a scarily low 9%.
Even if you hit the average score, it still questions whether 61% of your data can be trusted to make decisions from.
Do you know how compliant you are with best practice when it comes to your Google Analytics set up? When was the last time you checked? Have you ever checked?
When it comes to your Google Analytics set up there are some fundamentals you must get right otherwise you’ll be left with an ineffective tool that pulls through incomplete or irrelevant data, which is not a great source of information for making decisions.
The 4 fundamentals
There are four key areas you need to be on top of: Configuration, Acquisition, Behaviour and Conversions. All of which have different best practices, so you can be sure your GA is doing what you need it to.
Here’s what you need to know about each of them and why you need to make sure they’re working as they should be.
Configuration is all about how your Google Analytics account is actually set up. Things like whether you’ve got the right tracking code implemented and if you have the right integrations and filters in place are key to a proper GA configuration.
Without the right configuration of your account you’ll be on a shaky foundation for capturing data and may find you have unstructured data spread across your account in a variety of locations – not great for analysis.
Acquisition looks at how you’re driving visitors to your site and whether you’re using things like UTM tracking and channel grouping properly so you can effectively measure campaign performance. This is crucial for proving which activities are driving acquisition.
Without proper acquisition processes in place you won’t be able to see where site traffic is really being driven from, which in turn will mean you won’t be able to properly prove the ROI of campaign activity.
Behaviour is concerned with things like your site’s bounce rates, page views and demographic data to see if your site is doing what you need it to do.
Without a full view on how your site and its individual elements are performing, you won’t know what’s working well or not-so-well for you. Meaning you’re flying blind when it comes to understanding what you need to do to improve your site.
Conversions enable you to understand how and why customers convert throughout their journey with your brand. They look at things like ecommerce tracking, transactions and goals.
Without a proper view on conversions you’ll have no sight of performance across your pipeline, so you won’t know what’s working well and also what needs improvement to stop any leaks you may have.
The right guidance
With the right guidance it’s easy to become 100% compliant and ensure your GA is set up per best practice, but knowing where to start is the trick.
But if you’d like some expert guidance from a team that works in GA day-in-day-out (and who are also ALL qualified in Google Analytics by Google – yes, the entire agency!) we can offer our GA Health Check completely free of charge.
Our health check covers 14 best-practices across the 4 areas we’ve discussed above and gives you step-by-step instructions to fix what you need to. Just head here, complete the short form and we’ll take care of the rest.
Happy decision making.