Google Analytics is one of the most accessible measurement tools out there, due in large part to the fact that it’s free to use for anyone with a website and a Google account. But chances are you’re not using it as efficiently as possible to glean important insights about your communications efforts.
Paul Headley, director of digital strategy and analytics at ZOG Digital, says that Google Analytics is more customizable than many people understand, and, if used properly, it can show you the insights you need without the noise of unimportant data to distract you..
Headley breaks down the route to effective reporting from GA into three phases that focus on cleaning up your data, determining who your audiences are and segmenting your reports to focus on each buyer persona type for insights that can help shape your communications strategy.
Phase 1-Creating a Foundation for Reliable Insights
Take an audit of your analytics dashboard as it currently stands. How can you set up the reports in GA to make sure it consistently gives you the information you need? Play with filters, tags and alerts to dispel irrelevant traffic, show you who your target audiences are and how they are interacting with your site.
Phase 2-Building User-Specific Measurement
During this phase, you should set up channels within GA to highlight user behavior. What content is getting the most traffic? Is there a specific path that seems to lead to the most conversions and sales? Track performance by determining your goals and focusing on the metrics that will lead you to achieve them.
Phase 3-Isolating Site Performance and Interactions to Specific Persona Types
Now comes the reporting phase. According to Headley, it is best to build segments within your GA account based on identified user personas. You may have multiple audiences who will each interact differently with your site, but segmenting user personas will allow you to have a clear view of how specific audiences are behaving based on user-specific KPIs.
Follow Paul: @PaulHeadley2
Follow Hayley: @that_hayley