5 tips for getting the most out of Google Analytics

I have been writing a '101 tips for using Google Analytics' article since late last year and it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my priority list. Rather than letting them go stale in Google Docs I have decided to share a couple of tips with you - let's put them to work! If you have a tip you would like to share or have a pressing Google Analytics question that might become a tip, then send an email to info@lovesdata.com

  1. Setup website goals. A website goal is a high value action that you would like your website visitors to perform. On a content or lead generation site, this could include subscribing to an email newsletter or completing a contact form. On a e-commerce site this could be the completion of a checkout process. You can access goal data across numerous reports within Google Analytics, plus you will have access to goal specific reports under the 'Goals' tab.
  • Setup e-commerce tracking. If you have an e-commerce website make sure you enable e-commerce tracking within your Google Analytics website profile and add appropriate e-commerce tags to your website. If you don't have an e-commerce website you can still use e-commerce reports to associate a dollar value to particular website visitors.
  • Link your Google AdWords account to your Google Analytics account. Once your accounts are linked you will have access to AdWords visitor data within Google Analytics.
  • Track your marketing campaigns. Campaign tracking is a crucial element in understanding how your marketing campaigns are performing. By tagging online and offline campaigns you can begin to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. Tag everything!
  • Manually tag your CPC (Cost Per Click) campaigns. If you use a CPC system other than Google AdWords, you will need to manually tag your campaign URLs. CPC campaigns that are not tagged will be logged as "organic" (or unpaid) searches within Google Analytics.