meetup May Digital Marketing MeetUp Top Ten Google Analytics Tips and Features for Sales and Marketing

Posted by jeff.ader May 28, 2009 at 3:33 pmarticles


For our May MeetUp, Digital Scientists covered the Top 10 Google Analytics Tips and Features.  Out of the thousands and thousands of available tools, features, and data available in Google Analytics, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the known, and not so well known features in Google Analtyics that we find the most beneficial.

The theme of the night? Don’t get lost in the analytics weeds. Focus on what’s important and use the tools that make this easy and insightful.

Below is our list, though please note they are not in any particular order…

1.  Google Analytics iPhone App (Analytics Pro or Analytics App)

The Analytics Pro and Analytics App iPhone app (also featured in our Top 10 iPhone Apps MeetUp ) can be purchased for under $6 and are worth every penny.  These apps give you easy access to all of your Google Analtyics accounts, letting you view all of the stats, charts, and reports the same way that you would normally do in your web-based account. It’s perfect for marketers, SEO professionals, or just about anyone who needs web analytics on demand.
•    Access your analytics account on the fly
•    View all the standard Google Analytics metrics and charts
•    Run over 50 reports by dates and filters

Why is it in the top 10?

This app gives you access to your marketing metrics wherever you are and ensures you are always prepared when your boss asks the question “how are we doing?”

2.  Custom Email Reports

Google Analytics lets you create and save your own custom reports, letting you pick and choose the metrics you want to track as well as the categories to keep drilling down for further analysis.  Once you’ve saved your report, you can have a PDF, XML, CSV, or TSV report emailed directly to you on a daily, monthly, weekly, or quarterly basis to give you a quick snapshot without having to login to your account.
•    Create custom reports that highlight YOUR key metrics
•    Drill down within a report to gain further insight into data
•    Save time by having reports emailed to you directly

Why is it in the top 10?

One could easily spend days digging through all of the data and charts in Google Analtyics, though most users do not have that sort of time.  At the end of the day, you’re really just focusing on a small set of key metrics.

3.  Site Overlay

With Site Overlay, you can view user activities and conversions as a visual layer on your site.  For every link,  Site Overlay shows you how many people clicked that link and where they went after that. This is a great way to test the conversion of your site on a very granular level.

•    View link clicks and conversion rates
•    Measure conversions based on page content
•    Watch changes in click locations over time

Why is it in the top 10?

Site Overlay provides a visual method for measuring conversion rate and click-through paths on your site.

4.  Advanced Segmentation

Advanced segmentation is a special feature of Google Analytics that allows you to isolate and analyze specific groups of visitors (segments). These segments can be defined by both quantitative metrics, such as “time spent on the site,” as well as other information, such as geographical location.

•    Create detailed reports based on custom segments
•    Integrate all custom reports into monthly or weekly reporting
•    Perform in depth research based on finding methods, popular content, user definitions, etc.

Why is it in the top 10?

You can quickly see where you should focus your marketing efforts through your web analytics software.

5.  Internal Search Analytics

Google Analytics internal site search feature gives webmasters a wealth of information.  As much research and planning as one could do when designing a site, the ultimate learnings come from when a visitor to their site performs a search (which is why ALL sites should have a search bar!). A user may have gotten frustrated looking for content, is simply lazy, or perhaps is looking for a very specific piece of content.  Analytics site search gives you insight into all of these issues in providing you with the search queries, pages where they searched from (i.e. the roadblock), and even the pages where they ended up navigating to.

•    Gain insight into navigational issues where may hit “roadblocks”
•    Further understand specific content that visitors are looking for
•    Compare paths of searchers and non-searchers on your site

Why is it in the top 10?

Easily identify content that you either don’t have, or that your visitors cannot find.

6.  Event Tracking

One of the most important aspects of marketing analytics is being able to monitor “conversions”.  While Google Analytics goal conversions are defined by a specific URL, event tracking lets you track and analyze specific actions that are triggered by clicks.  These actions can include everything from an outbound link, to a PDF download, and even a video play.

•    Track exactly where your events are coming from
•    Setup multiple different types of events (clicks, downloads, etc.)
•    Increase conversions by researching the visitors who perform events on your site

Why is it in the top 10?

Monitoring conversions is a major benefit of online analytics software.

7.  Mongoose Metrics

Mongoose Metrics allows you monitor phone call tracking through your web analytics program. Use a custom tracking phone number in a key piece of marketing material (post card, brochure, sign, ppc ad, web page etc.) and monitor the phone calls that advertising medium drives in one place with Google Analytics.

•    Measure phone calls online
•    Track calls across all of your marketing materials
•    Tie phone calls to PPC ads and keyword searches


Why is it in the top 10?

Mongoose Metrics monitors phone calls through Google Analytics to help drive more in-store traffic through PPC or offline advertising.

8.  3 Metrics To Focus On

While key metrics will be specific to your business or organization, we always recommend monitoring non-branded natural search volume, bounce rate, and conversion metrics (advanced segmentation).

•    Non-branded natural search gives you insight into how people are searching for your services
•    The bounce rate helps you gauge how targeted your marketing efforts and how effective your landing page/home page is
•    Conversion profiling allows you to determine who your ideal visitor is so you can better cater to their needs

Why is it in the top 10?

All of the major metrics to monitor for your website can be narrowed down to the top 3 most important metrics to help easily drive higher conversions.

9.  Goal & Funnel Visualization

Setting up a funnel in Google Analytics allows you to track how efficiently your pages are driving people to converting, whether that’s a purchase, a sign up, or even a download.  You can take this data one step further in actually visualizing the funnel using Google Analytics funnel visualization tool.  These easy to understand charts can often give you great insight into pages that can be improved upon from a usability or call to action standpoint.

•    Easily assess efficiency of pages in driving conversions
•    Identify low/high converting pages
•    Produce easy to understand charts

Why is it in the top 10?

The funnel chart captures your data in a way that people can easily (and quickly) understand and make critical site decisions.

10. DS SocialHistory Analytics Tool

Our team gave a sneak peak at the first version of the DS Analytics Tool that we are currently developing. The online tool lets you track specific sites that your visitors may be active on (far beyond simply “referring sites”), giving you great insight competitive intelligence as well as opportunities to market your goods or services on sites where your potential customers are already very active. Once you input all of the sites that you want to have tracked, the tool will output the customized Google Analytics code that you can then simply insert on your website. Unfortunately the Tool is still in development, though we will be sure to post updates Feed Growth!.

• Gain insight into where your consumers are active online for marketing purposes
• Further understand who your actual competitors are
• Easily set up Google Analytics Segments that are defined by specific sites

Digital Scientists

Digital Scientists

Why is it in the top 10?

Gives you valuable information regarding marketing opportunities and competitive intelligence.


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