How to set up Google Analytics to boost your marketing

Digital Marketing & SEO
June 29, 2020

For many content marketers, data and reporting may come as an afterthought, but we're not sold on that approach! We like to get our hands on all kinds of data to support and drive our decisions - whether that be for new and improved digital assets or marketing campaigns.

While Google Analytics (GA) is normally thought of as just a website analytics tool, when set up correctly it can do so much more! Not only can you drill down on your website traffic and traffic sources as well as measure your conversions and sales, but you can also see how visitors are engaging with your site, which pages are intriguing them and even identify trends and patterns. Our marketers even utilise Google Analytics specifically to analyse what audiences are engaging with and then use this data to inform the content of future campaigns or to see which platforms and sources have previously performed best to maximise the chance of campaign success.

But to get the most out of your GA account, it needs to be set up correctly. Here are a few things to consider…

Setting up your Google Analytics account

Create Your Default Views

Creating a set of default views (yep, more than one!) is the first thing you should do when setting up a new GA account. A common set is to have a view for reporting, a view for testing any filters, and a 'raw' view which allows you to always have an unadulterated set of data.

Understand Filters

A reporting view will commonly have several filters set up to limit and manipulate the data Google stores as it comes in. Some important filters to include are; filtering out internal traffic by IP address (from your office or partner offices), and forcing certain values (e.g. page URLs, search terms) to lowercase so you don't get duplicate entries in your reporting. Google Analytics also has a setting to exclude traffic from known bots and spiders - and it's just a tick box to make your life easier!

Site Search

If your website includes search functionality then setting up Site Search in GA is another must. This will give you a valuable insight into what content users are searching for on your website and this can be a helpful guide when planning your marketing content or campaigns.

Make sure you also configure your default set of views such as the time zone you would like your reporting to reflect the currency you are attributing values to for any events or eCommerce conversion tracking.

Setting Up Google Analytics Goals

If you've invested money in having a website created or into a marketing campaign, then there must be some objectives you want to achieve - put simply, your goals.

Having a set of clearly defined goals from day one is crucial in allowing you to measure how well your campaign, marketing activities or website is performing. Goals can come in all shapes and sizes, but some common marketing ones may include:

  • Increased awareness of the business
  • eCommerce purchases
  • Customer loyalty
  • A reduction in manual business processes or enquiries
  • Prospective customers making contact

The first step to setting up your GA goals is to define them. From here, you can create a plan to measure them. The setup process involves determining whether your goals can be measured by a single event being triggered, a user landing on a specific destination page, or the amount of time a user spends on your site or a certain page.

Measuring your goals accurately can help you understand what return on investment you are getting on your media spend and gain a better understanding of where the drops off are and how you can improve your campaign or website.

We've set out a few pointers on how you can measure your goals.

Stay ahead in an increasingly competitive landscape!

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