Why do you need to plan for Google Analytics Strategy?
In today’s world, whatever we do, we want the maximum return on our investment. The investment could be money, time, resources, etc. Similarly, when you launch your website or app, you may have implemented Google Analytics on your website. While you implemented it, did you think about why do you need it? One size doesn’t fit all and that’s true with Google Analytics too. It’s a wonderful tool to set you for success if you use it correctly. Google Analytics can give you every single piece of data that you can imagine, as well as the one you can’t imagine. Data makes a lot of noise and enables us to take the most analytical and logical decisions. One needs to strategize what he needs from Google Analytics, i.e. what are the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicator) for his business that you want to positively influence. Once the KPI’s are established, you need to make sure that you have defined your goals in Google Analytics. Apart from goals, you should think through the review and tracking mechanism, i.e. how you perform overtime against your goals, and a reporting system to track, measure, analyze, different data points and actions thereafter.
Now that we understand, why do we need a Google Analytics strategy, let’s go over how to define it?
Defining a Google Analytics Goal Strategy
Google Analytics is a robust tool and very few people leverage its potential. Most of the people leave the default settings, rarely analyze the data, or spend most of their time focusing on metrics that don’t really matter. Google Analytics can help you make timely and important data-driven business decisions. You will only be able to do that if you set up the right goals.
If you want your web or apps analytics data understandable and actionable, you have to map it to your business objectives. It’s not sufficient to know how many pages views your site got. It’s important that you know whether those page views have monetary value or made a meaningful contribution to meet your business goals. Google Analytics is only able to provide that connection when the right goals are set up, tracked, and measured.
Set Your Business Goals in Google Analytics
Ask yourself, what is the objective of my website?
Most of the objectives of the website fall into one of three categories:
Product/Services aren’t purchased on the site, but qualified leads are captured. Leads can be passed to the sales department or encouraged to visit a business location.
- Objective: Get high-quality leads that convert into sales.
- Example Goal: User directed to a thank you page after completing a form submission.
E-Commerce Product Sales
Product sales are done directly on the website where visitors can view and purchase products or services.
- Objective: Generate sales and revenue.
- Example Goal: User directed to a purchase confirmation thank you page.
The objective of a content site is to drive traffic and engage users to make return visits.
- Objective: Grow the subscriber list and/or Advertising revenue
- Example Goal: The user gets an email signup confirmation page to receive updates.
Note: Most of the Content Sites Are Lead Generation sites. If you decide that your site is a Content Site, ask yourself whether the Objective of your website really should be to generate qualified leads for your business.
Define your ultimate website objective and goal. Confirm that the website goal clearly stands with your business goals. Once you’ve done that, get your goal reflected as a Google Analytics goal. Otherwise, your data will never be meaningful.
Here’s how we can start.
Best Practices for Setting up Analytics Goals
Once you identify the best goals for your specific business, set up them is fairly straightforward.
Before begin, there are some important things to consider when creating your goals.
Rule #1: Use Clear Names for Analytics Goals
If your goal name is very generic like “Contact Thank You”, it will get confusing to manage which goal is for which thing?
Clear names and standardized nomenclature conventions make everything simpler or easier.
When naming your Analytics Goal and planning your ongoing naming strategy, consider the following checklist:
- Add action word or specific description—what action does this goal represent?
2. Include context – how is this goal different than similar goals?
- Signup – newsletter vs. Signup – product pre-sell
- Engaged – 5+ pages vs. Engaged – 10+ minutes (these are visitor engagement goals)
3. Be consistent – decide a naming strategy for your business and stick with it throughout
4. Use numbers to organize – group goals by type to simple analysis
Rule #2: Use Goal Sets
Google analytics gives each view up to 20 goals and it splits them into four groups of five. So each Goal includes an ID like “Goal ID 1 / Goal Set 1”. Many industries ignore goal sets. We love to use them because they help with organization and tend to make it simpler or easier to pull data in for reporting.
Here’s how we normally like setting them up:
1. Goal Set 1: Primary Goal
- This should reflect the objective of your site
- If your goal follows steps (multi-stage form or checkout process) then you should set up supportive goals
It will make you able to see information about your conversion goal, while also being able to evaluate where users might be abandoning the form.
2. Goal Set 2: Secondary Goals
- This should reflect the secondary objective of the business.
- For example, a “Request Quote” form submission may be your ultimate goal, but you also offer a newsletter registration. That will be captured as a Secondary Goal.
3. Goal Set 3: Site Action Goals
- Occasionally some critical site actions you’d like to track as goals.
- For example, your visitors must watch a sales video. That kind of goal can be set up here.
4. Goal Set 4: Engagement Goals or more Site Duration Goals
- Engagement Goals define visitor behavior.
- “Visited 5 or more pages” or “User on the site for more than 5 minutes” could both be goals you want to work out.
Note: If you’ve already Goals set up, don’t redo them to match this business strategy. Once a Goal is set up, it must stay until you’re ready to replace it.
Rule #3: A few Good Goals are highly recommended than many Mediocre Goals
- Having multiple goals can make it harder to evaluate your business
- For example, if you have 12 different opt-in forms that a person could sign up for, set up one goal for them all rather than setting up 12 different goals
- Remember, we can only have 20 possible goals. Be stingy.
Execute Your Google Analytics Goal Strategy
You won’t improve your performance if you don’t track your goal performance over time. You also won’t be able to leverage the most powerful performance optimization strategies. For example, by using methods like A/B testing you can build a series of ongoing experiments to discover what works and what doesn’t. Then you can prioritize on more of what works and less of what doesn’t you’ll be able to optimize your website for the best possible ROI. None of them will be effective without the correct goals established first.
Mapping your website performance to your organization’s ultimate business goals is critical. Working to improve that performance over time is very essential.
The process mentioned above is necessary to gain the clarity and data that you may need to justify website and marketing budgets, to prioritize promotional initiatives, and inform what pages or features you should improve.
Don’t let Google Analytics complications prevent you from using its power to improve your business.
Not sure where to start or need assistance with strategizing Google Analytics for your website or app?
Just call us or fill the form and our Google Data Scientist will be in touch shortly.