4 Tips To Get More Out Of Google Analytics

For those who don’t know, I have an obsession with data and analytics. Left to my own devices, I could spend hours upon hours “geeking” out to data, spotting trends and making connections.

One of my favorite free tools to do this is Google Analytics. Now, I’m no “expert” on analytics. I’ll leave that up to the likes of geniuses, such as Chuck Hemann and Chris Penn. I will however share a few easy tips to get more from Google Analytics.

1. Make Goals

Whether it’s a company site or a personal blog, it’s pretty hard to know what to measure if you don’t have some goals. You can write the goals down in a notebook, a Word doc or even in Google Analytics. The goals feature makes it super easy to track your progress.

2. It’s more than just pageviews and clicks

In 99% of cases, pageviews are a very superficial and not helpful way of looking at a site’s traffic. Pageviews just reflect every time a webpage has been opened. There isn’t a whole lot you can take away from the number of pageviews. Instead, think about looking at unique visitors, time on the page, bounce rate, loyalty, where they are coming from and not to mention why they are coming there in the first place.

3. Set Up Weekly or Monthly Custom Reports

One of the best features, in my opinion, is the ability to create and automate custom reports with your key measurables and objectives right in Google Analytics. Not only is it automatic, but you can also export the results in a clear, concise pdf, html or excel file for easy sharing.

4. Use The Advanced Segments Feature

This is another underrated featured in my opinion. The advanced segments tool is a great way to track traffic from a particular source. For instance, if you are interested in figuring out what social media sites generate the most traffic, you can set up individual advanced segments for each site (such as Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Linkedin, etc.). This lets you break down your analytics into small, very manageable sections.



All tips included in this post are very nice and helpful. Thanks for sharing this awesome post.

Chris McNamara
Chris McNamara

Completely agree with your post, especially using advanced segments. I've been able to parse social media and industry-related search pages which makes it even easier to see where we find the most value. Combine that with taking an in depth look at bounce rate, unique visitors, new visitors and pages/visit, I can really get a grasp as to how traffic from these sources interact on my company's website.

If I could add a number five, it would be to use the annotations feature and mark significant events within Google Analytics. Did your company acquire another one? Did you start an advertising campaign? Did you begin an e-mail campaign? Making these annotations will be helpful in analyzing the data even more.