It helps you to make informed decisions.
The world is filled with data. Lots of data. Data can be in the form of photos, videos, words, music, spreadsheet and it does not look like that it is going to slow down anytime soon.
For both multinationals and SMEs organisations, it is vital these days to be able to make use of data that they capture through different methods. For the organisations to be able to make perfect sense of data, they need to go through 4 steps which we call data life cycle.
The first step is to ingest the data which basically means capturing the data. The second step is to store the data, the third step is to process and analyse the data and the last step is to visualise the analysed data into an understandable format that is easy to draw insight from. In this article I am going to focus on how using Google Analytics which is part of the Google Marketing Platform (GMP) can help businesses capture, store, analyse and visualise the data from the website activities.
Being an analytics consultant for more than a year, I have been working with Google Analytics and other Google tools such as Google Tag Manager and data studio to empower our clients across the APAC enabling them to make data-driven decisions in regards to their marketing activities and now I am going to share my experience with you.
It is important for you to know that data in Google Analytics is represented in the form of a report that contain rows and columns and therefore it is good for the Google Analytics users to have a basic understanding of the data structure in a form of dimensions and metrics. In simpler terms, dimension is the attribute of your visitors and metric is the number that measures dimension.
To start with, Google Analytics will give you the number of users on your website, number of page views, most viewed pages and the channels that are driving the most traffic to your website. You may also identify pages which have high bounce rates and high exit rates.
In addition to the above, Google Analytics can give you insightful demographic data about your users such as gender, age, their interests, how frequent they visit your website, what device they use to visit your website and which country they are from.
If you are running ads campaigns through Google Ads, you can link them to Google Analytics and see how your campaigns are performing. Furthermore, you can have the data captured from your Facebook ads and YouTube activities on Google Analytics platform as well. This being said, you can take advantage of custom reporting and easily extract the data by specifying your dimensions and metrics.
Well, as I mentioned earlier the above are only the basic features of Google Analytics which you can make good use of. Now let’s dive deeper into Google Analytics more advanced features.
If you are an e-commerce website or a website with lots of sections to click on and view, you can define custom events for each activity that users perform on your website and track it on Google Analytics. This can be executed much easier using Google Tag Manager which is a tagging tool that significantly reduces your need to engage directly with developers. For instance, if you are a website with lots of content, you can set an event to track the scroll depth to analyze how far your readers will scroll to read the contents published on your website.
Defining goals is another important function of Google Analytics, as it enables you to keep track of activities such as form submission, subscription to the newsletter, videos watched, registration, purchase completed, and the likes.
Using Google Analytics is even more vital for e-commerce websites as there is a separate section in Google Analytics dedicated to e-commerce from which you can analyse the shopping behaviour of your visitors and see the visitor’s drop off rate in every step of his/her journey. In addition, you can get your hands on data such as total revenue, conversion, revenue that each product has produced, check out behaviour and product performance.
By now you must have understood the benefits of using Google Analytics which enables you to capture, store and analyse the data obtained from your website activities. However, if you are using the paid version of Google Analytics known as Google Analytics 360 which is suitable for companies dealing with a huge amount of data on a daily basis, you can link your Google Analytics to a tool called Google BigQuery and further analyse your data using SQL language.
Now it’s time to visualise the analysed data to present them to your colleagues or boss. To do this, you can utilise Google Data Studio and start your visualization using the provided templates and functions by simply linking the Google Analytics account which is your data source to Data Studio.
In a nutshell, systematically using Google analytics will significantly benefit your business as it helps you make more informed and data-driven decisions about your online and even offline marketing activities by better knowing your target audience and their interests, identifying your most and least popular website pages and contents, having the opportunity to dive deep into your e-commerce and ads campaign data and finally being able to track the activities such as clicks and scrolls across your website. So, now that you are aware of what Google Analytics can do for you, don’t waste time, start exploring it if you have not already.