FebAre You Getting the Most Out of Google Analytics?
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Search engine marketers would appear like travelers without maps, compasses or any other navigational devices without Google Analytics. Google Analytics still remains as the single most powerful tool, providing SEO practitioners with rich data that serve as success metrics as well as indicators of what needs to be improved.
Due to its central role, it is safe to say that Google Analytics is a search engine marketing staple. Because of this “commonness,” there are a number of marketers who overlook crucial factors including the need to create a solid implementation model and a failsafe mechanism to ensure quality, accuracy and completeness of data. If you have this mentality, you might not be utilizing Google Analytics to its fullest.
To help you maximize Google Analytics to its full potential, here are a few tips.
Make a Filter-Free Profile to Extract Raw Data
As you progress with your SEO campaigns, more and more filters are added to your Google Analytics profile and it is not rare for marketers to make mistakes in the configuration of these filters. This is where a raw data profile becomes handy.
It is recommended that you use copy and paste the same goal from your primary profile to your raw data or filter-free profile. To do this conveniently, utilize the Google Analytics Copy and Paste Chrome extension.
Taking Advantage of Real Time Reports
In October of last year, a feature was added in Google Analytics that allows marketers to view real time reports that are profile-specific which conform to any filter set-up for this profile. This is great because it will generate data that is specific to smaller segments of your search marketing campaign allowing you to identify segment-specific opportunities.
To take advantage of this Real Time report feature, you need to set up a new Google Analytics profile and indicate a filter with your IP address and modify the filter from “exclude” to “include.”
Document All Configuration Changes
Enterprise level SEO usually means that there are several individuals that have access to Google Analytics and they also have the capacity to make modifications. Problems arise when these changes are not documented properly which creates confusion why the information or data being collected are skewed differently.
Taking note of changes is necessary and this can be streamlined by either using Google Docs or utilizing the Google Analytics Annotations feature. Using Google Docs is quite simple and it is essentially requiring all those who have access to your Google Analytics account to document all changes they made in a Google spreadsheet for everyone to see. In the meantime, the GA Annotations feature allows marketers to create contextual annotations within the graphs themselves that opens the door for deeper data interpretation. Use GA Annotations when there are significant changes to goals and filters, tracking mechanisms as well as modification to the site’s design or structure and even your offline marketing executions.
Leverage on Google Analytics Debugger Chrome Extension
Another clever and convenient way to make sure you are using GA seamlessly is by leveraging on Google Analytics Debugger Chrome extension.
Ensure that GA E-commerce Tracking is Working Properly
E-commerce sites should pay closely attention to this tool as this will serve as the primary source of information on what and who is propelling online sales.
That being said, it is important to note that data from Google Analytics’ E-commerce Tracking should not be taken at face value. This should be benchmarked against your company’s online sales database and the data should match. Some of the pertinent details that you should look into include:
- GA should prompt _addItem multiple times if a customer purchases several quantities of the same item
- You should not use Google Analytics for products that use apostrophe (‘) in their names as this may cause distortion in your _addItem code
- Is there a difference between how GA logs sales with promotional codes or coupons and how your sales database does the same?
Google Analytics is one of the most important tools in a search engine marketer’s arsenal and when maximized to its full potential, Google Analytics will help you improve your search engine marketing campaigns.
Related posts of interest:
- How to Use Google Analytics Intelligence
- Mobile SEO and Analytics Tools
- Google Analytics for Mobile Sites
Tags: Google Analytics