There's no doubt that Google Analytics is a powerful program. And learning the ins and outs of it may take a while. Fortunately, you don't have to wait until you get your Google IQ (Individual Qualification) to start using the program.
If you want to get started, just open up the Reporting tab. That's all you have to do. You'll notice a box called Analytics Education that will pop up and give you the basics of whatever section you’re in. That's right; you can learn as you go. So don't feel discouraged. Go ahead and get your feet wet in the world of web analytics.
However, I wouldn't feel right leaving you without a few cool tips and tricks. Here are a couple very easy ways that you can get even more out of your Google Analytics account.
Add Other Users
The appeal of being known around the office as Grand Poobah of All Analytics is a strong one — at least to certain individuals. But share the wealth … and the data. (You’ll also be sharing some of the work, which is good.)
You can add users to your account (when you manage multiple sites) or to your website. It’s as easy as can be.
Click the Admin tab.
Select the appropriate area — account, property, or view.
Click the User Management option.
Add a Google email address that is associated with your Google Apps for Work account.
Select the new user’s permissions from the drop-down box. These permissions range from a conservative read-only to editing data to managing other users. Multiple permissions can be assigned to each user.
And done. Key members of your team can now access your web analytics precisely how you want them to.
Set Website Goals
Remember your marketing plan? When you wrote that, you probably included some things you expected your website to do — generate a certain number of sales or leads, for example.
You can configure the Goals section of Google Analytics to monitor this activity for you.
Google Analytics can track several types of goals: destination (user reaches a specific page on your site); engagement (user views a set number of pages or stays on your site for a set amount of time); and event (user performs a desired action, like filling in a contact form).
Let's suppose that your website goal is to generate leads. In this case, tracking the number of responses your contact form gets is a reasonable target. Here's how you go about setting it up:
Select the Admin tab.
Choose Goals under the View section.
Find and click the red New Goal button.
Select a predefined goal from the list of templates, or use the Customize option to create your own.
Select parameters for your goal from the series of options that appears. Save it, and you’re good to go.
Let’s look at one more thing Google Analytics can do: reports.
Fun With Google Analytics Reports
This is the simplest thing you can do to get more out of your Google Analytics account. Click on the Reports tab. Even if you do nothing else, you can’t help but notice important factors about your website as you look at the overview report.
But feel free to dig deeper. Here are just a few things you can learn about your website by looking at Google’s free standard reports:
Changes in website traffic at the daily, weekly, and monthly level. (Look under Intelligence Events.)
The geographic location, age, and language of your website visitors. (Look under the Audience / Demographics and Geo sections.)
How long people stay on your site, how frequently they visit, and how many are returning users. (Look under Audience / Behavior.)
We hope we’ve whetted your appetite to try out Google Analytics for yourself. Remember to join us next week, when Techsperts Talk tackles another interesting topic: social media.