Killer Ways to Use Google Analytics

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Killer Ways to Use Google Analytics

With its customizable dashboard and its unmatched tracking capabilities, Google Analytics has long been the go-to tool for tracking website performance. While many people use this amazing tool to track traffic and page views, Google Analytics presents many uses you may not know about. Here are some killer Google Analytics hacks that will make it even awesome-er

Set Up Goals

There is a purpose for every page on your site, whether it’s to sell something, promote something else or engage your readers. That purpose is fulfilled when a visitor completes an action: making a purchase, staying your page for a given amount of time, clicking a link, etc. You can actually set up both micro and macro goals. Micro goals are mini goals; they are the ones that encourage visitors towards your big, or macro, goals. Identifying and then tracking these goals will help you know what’s converting and what’s not working so well.

Create Custom Campaigns

Campaigns can help you track your visitors and traffic sources. You can use them to track anything specific, helping you to determine what your audience likes most or where your traffic is coming from. Use Google’s URL Builder to help you set up your campaigns. You will need to enter:

  • Source, or where your viewer came from (Google search, Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Medium, or how your viewer found the link you are tracking (email, organic search, etc.)
  • Term, or specific keyword if you have one
  • Content, which can be used to differentiate ads in the same campaign
  • Name. Name your campaign so you can easily identify it

What should you use campaigns to track? Here are some examples:

  • Email newsletters. Use the campaign parameters to track emails and see which gets the most clicks. Track different days, formats, wording, etc.
  • Social media. Which networks your traffic comes from, or track which type of posts drive the most traffic back to your site.
  • Offsite advertising. If you advertise your site on other websites, you can use Google campaigns to track which sites, what type of ads and what banner sizes work the best.
  • Pages on your own site. There are many reasons why you may want to track which pages get the most traffic and convert it back. For example, if you are marketing your newest product on more than one page, you can track which page converts the best.

See Where Your Visitors are Located

Knowing where the majority of your visitors are located can really help you when advertising online. Many ad stepups will ask if you want to focus on a specific country or make your ad worldwide. While reaching a worldwide audience sounds like you are covering all your bases, having more targeted ads will give you much better results. In your Analytics dashboard, look under Audience, and then under Geo to find out exactly where the majority of your visitors are coming from. You utilize this information to target your ads for better results.

See How Your Day is Going

With the Real Time data, you can check how your newest post is doing and where your traffic came from today. Under Real Time - go to Content to see what pages your audience is viewing the most. You can also see how many page views your site is getting per minute or per second. If you want to see where your visitors are coming from right this second, go to Real Time and click Traffic Sources. In the course column, click on each one to see how many people are coming from each channel. This is great if you plan on marketing and interacting on social media; you will be able to find out exactly where your traffic is coming from at this very moment.

Learn About Your Audience

It’s been said time and time again how important it is to really know your audience. Knowing where your audience is coming from, how they act online and what type of content they like the most will help you continue to deliver the best for your audience. Under Audience, you can check stats such as New vs. Returning viewers, Frequency, Engagement, and even what browsers they are using to view your site to find out more about your loyal readers. Google Analytics has been the "grand poobah" of analytics for quite some time now. And for good reason. It offers awesome real-time tracking and other beneficial data. Are you using Google Analytics to track your traffic and performance? Leave a comment and share your favorite Google Analytic hack.  

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Josh Coffy

Josh has an exhaustive understanding of technology and a creative marketing approach that drives client results. In his free time, Josh does CrossFit and travels with his wife.