Apr 11, 2018

Getting Google Analytics Right

By: Jacob Smith


Google Analytics is the ubiquitous measurement tool of the modern internet. At the amazing price of free, it's become the defacto standard for website reporting.

Even if you don't think you use Google Analytics, you probably do. Some developer or agency probably added a property under their account and has a great view into your data.

It used to be that you couldn't transfer a property from account to account. So if your data was locked into another account you were out of luck. Fortunately that has changed. You can read more in Google's help documentation.

Having your data in an account you own is just the first step. From there, there are tag management, cross domain tracking, conversion tracking, and utm_parameter conventions to consider.

It's tempting to dive in and start adding tags and running exports, but first you need a plan. Your organization needs to come to consensus on what will be measured. If you don't have this up front there will be a meeting six months from now where someone wants a number you can't produce. That's not a happy feeling.

We like to base our measurements around the organizational goals and strategies. Roughly it looks like:

  • Goal #1 - Generate more leads
    • Strategy 1 - Have a highly efficient website
      • Metric 1 - Overall site conversion rate
      • Metric 2 - Landing page conversion rate
    • Strategy 2 - Attract new potential leads
      • Tactic 1 - LinkedIn Advertising
      • Metric 1 - Conversion rate
      • Metric 2 - First time visits

If you proceed through your organization's goals, you will end up with a dozen or more metrics. Many are just there out of the box. Some will require setup. And one or two won't even be available in Google Analytics.

This framework also gives you a clear testing checklist once you implement. You can look at each metric and make sure it's reporting properly.

Maybe you've done all that and you still aren't sure if your setup is up to snuff. Fear not, dear reader, we have a scorecard just for you. It will take less than five minutes and allow you to easily get a handle on how you are doing.

Get the scorecard now.

If you aren't happy with your score, we, of course, are here to help. You can book 15-minutes with me to talk things over. Usually there are 1-2 quick wins we can come to in that time.

What's measured is what's managed. We want you to be confident you are managing it well.


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