Introduction to Google Analytics


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An introduction to Google Analytics for marketing managers interested in learning how to analyze their web properties for actionable insights. The first half is a general overview of web analytics and the second half is an examination of the specific reports available.

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  • Business ObjectivesPurpose of your website in meeting those objectivesGoals – the defined actions users should take via your website to to accomplish your business objectivesKey Performance Indicators- the relevant web metrics used to measure the effectiveness of your website’s analytics goalsTargets – the benchmarks/milestones that will dictated success
  • In addition, this is always done with alignment to business goals in mind
  • Data is not perfectCookies are imperfectGoogle Analytics has bugs – for real! (and you might not realize it)Different number of days in a month (Feb vs. March), different number of weekdaysInaccuracies are not a reason to avoid analytics. Do things in a consistent manner and you can absolutely extrapolate information from trends.Even if data was perfect, what does 300,000 visitors mean? NOTHING. Time: Look at this month-to-month or year-to-year. Comparison Segments or Metrics – Where did those visitors come from? How many returned?
  • Help you to understand the demographics, behaviors, and technologies of your visitors.There’s a bunch of reports (left nav). This is to get you started. Can easily spend hours looking at data.Overview – at a glance metrics on visitors. Meh.Location – where do you best customers come from?Map OverlayPrimary DimensionSegmentation – BEE vs. UgradNew vs. ReturningGood spot to show difference between External Profile and MasterEngagement – How much time they spend on your site, page depthGood spot to show segmentation new vs. returning (two different types of audiences right?)Also good spot to show how averages on the Overview report are misleading – look at distributions with new visitors
  • How do people find your siteThere are 5 ways people can get to your site:Direct (typing into browser, bookmark, link from an email)Referrals (link from another site – could be regular link, or from social media, or blog post, etc…)Organic (unpaid) search – Google, Bing… not from an adPaid SearchCampaign – email newsletter, banner adImportant to not only look at where people are coming from, but how effective each channel is in terms of your goals. Is it quality traffic? How are your conversions? How is the bounce rate? Should you shift your efforts from one channel to another, or maybe try to improve a channel’s performance?
  • These reports help you evaluate your actual content… What pages people enter onWhat pages they exit onHow long they stay on a pageWhere they navigate toIf they search your site – what are they searching for and how successful they were at finding itActivity generated by your site special features (videos, downloads, Flash elements, Web 2.0 things)PagesTry changing primary dimension to Page TitleSwitch to comparison to bounce rate – what stands out?In some cases a high bounce rate makes sense – contact us, directions, define siteConversly low bounce rates makes sense for subsite home pagesWhere it’s not good is a landing pageGood spot to show filter – you can do anything, simple or advancedGet down to BEE landing pages (external profile) – and show bounce rate (compare generic landing to specific OE programs)Could also approach this from a completely different angle and start with a page in mind you are curious aboutNavigation summary of Shuttle Schedule - Good spot to show “advanced filter” (search for shuttle, then make sure it begins with www)Content Drilldown – Is a nice quick way to see how traffic is distributed between subsites. Easy to understand, very cut and dry.Quickly play around with WWW to BEE and then BlogsLanding Pages – Similar to pages but only includes pages that people enter the site with (their first page) whether it is a traditional landing page or something they came to from search or direct link.Good spot to show an advanced segment (Grad) to see what are the most popular entrance pagesSite Search (internal) - Provide information about:How many of your visitors use the search engine on your siteThe search terms your visitors useHow your visitors engaged with your site as a result of their searches (e.g., whether they refined their searches, viewed more pages, or exited)Play with it yourself with your advanced segment (quickly show how it is different for alumni vs. exec ed)Note how events give you the ability to track specific site features and interactions (videos, flash, downloads) BUT it is not enabled out of the box. Has to be done as a special request in conjunction with IT, which is why we haven’t done much with it yet.
  • After looking at a bunch of data, you can see how easy it is to spend a bunch of time in analytics, learn about your site, but really not be any farther along in terms of our ultimate goals. This is a good point to remind you that the point of these exercises is to help you evaluate how well your site serves the ends you have in mind, and make relevant adjustments.Start with your business goalsI assume a room full of marketers know what their calls to action are for a CollegeInquiries, requests for informationBeing engaged with our contentSharing a story with their friendsSubmitting an entrepreneurship definitionTranslate these activities into actions in Google AnalyticsMap a call to action to an activity, and then you can evaluate in Google Analytics how well your site serves these needs, and gain insight into what adjustments can be madeExamplesUgrad Inquiry – getting to the thank you page from an online formEgagement – Online viewbook – we see longer than average visit durations, or an increase in the number of pages/visitSubmitting/Sharing a definition, i.e. things that don’t have a URL, so you can use Javascript to record this eventImportant note: none of these things are captured automatically, so it has to be defined in advance of your evaluation period
  • Review best practicesDon't get hung up on data, looking for trendsContext is importantAverages hide the story, distributions are betterHow many pages viewed… time on site, frequencyAlways have a comparison metricBounce Rate is the one good metricDanger - can spend a lot of time looking at data and come away with nothing actionable
  • Next step: Think about your goals and audit your sites - See BEE Word Doc
  • Next step: Think about your goals and audit your sites - See BEE Word Doc
  • Introduction to Google Analytics

    1. 1. Introduction to AnalyticsGene Begin Dennis Lonigro@gbegin @DLoBoston
    2. 2. Agenda• Web Analytics Basics• Google Analytics• Real Data (reports)• Takeaways• Next Steps
    3. 3. “The analysis of qualitative and quantitativedata from your website and the competition, todrive a continual improvement of the onlineexperience that your customers, and potentialcustomers have, which translates into yourdesired outcomes (online and offline).” Avinash Kaushik
    4. 4. Analytics Business Objectives Website Analysis Purpose Analytics Measurement Goals Key Targets Performance Indicators
    5. 5. Effective Use Measure Change Analyze
    6. 6. Proceed with Caution• The data is not perfect• Look for trends• Context is king
    7. 7. Audience Reports• Overview• Location• Behavior – New vs. Returning – Engagement• Technology
    8. 8. Traffic Reports• Where are visitors coming from? – Direct • Type URL, bookmark, link from email client – Referrals – Organic Search – Paid Search – Campaigns • Banner ad, email newsletter
    9. 9. Content Reports• Evaluate your actual site content – Where do people enter – Where do people go – Where do people exit – How long do they stay – Did they search?
    10. 10. Goals• How well does your site help your business goals?• Goal Types – URL Destination – Visit Duration – Pages/Visit – Event
    11. 11. Takeaways• Don’t get hung up on data, look for trends• Context is king• Stay away from averages• Always have a comparison metric• Bounce rate is a good metric• Think: Actionable Insights
    12. 12. Next Steps1. Define business objectives (account manager or section owner)2. Define website goals (account manager/ dig mkt mgr)3. Define targets (account manager)4. Define segments (account manager)5. Configure Google Analytics reports (dig mkt mgr)6. GA training, if necessary (dig mkt mgr)Ongoing measurement and informed decisions
    13. 13. Questions?
    14. 14. Slide Design: Stephen ChisaImages courtesy of The Noun Project: