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How to Master Google Analytics

How to Master Google Analytics

by kobura02
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1 – Start Here

From The Author

russI’ve been in the digital marketing space since 2004 and I’m thrilled to be your guide throughout this Execution Plan.

I’ve run digital marketing strategy and tactics for multi-billion dollar companies like Salesforce.com and a small SAAS company called CrazyEgg.com.

I’ve built and managed digital strategies for dozens of B2B and B2C businesses – large and small.

I got my start in Digital Marketing in SEO and PPC marketing and quickly realized that measurement and analytics was a critical.

Use what you learn in this Execution Plan to drive your decision making.  Analytics are worthless without action.

Ready?

Let’s get started!

Russ Henneberry
Director of Editorial
Digital Marketer

Why Google Analytics is Wrong

Your analytics are not accurate.

If you’re interested in learning the multitude of reasons analytics data is inaccurate, read these two articles:

Why is Google Analytics Inaccurate? by Russ Henneberry (that’s me)

Google Analytics: 21 Inaccurate Traffic Sources, Set Up Mistakes and Fixes by Andy Crestodina

Here’s the boiled down version:

  • There are two types of inaccuracies in your data
    • Stuff you can control
    • Stuff you can’t control
  • Generally the inaccuracies you CAN’T control are consistent inaccuracies.  In other words, they’re approximately the same amount of wrong from day to day and month to month.
    • e.g.  It’s not ideal to build a house with a tape measure that measures a foot at 10 inches.  But at least the inaccuracy is consistent.
  • Generally the inaccuracies you CAN control lead to inconsistent inaccuracies.
    • Example:  You fail to put the Google Analytics code on a new section of your website.  So, you get no data on those pages. Or, you place the same Google Analytics code on the page twice — creating a double reporting issue.

We don’t use Google Analytics (or any analytics solution for that matter) to gather precise data.  We use analytics to see trends.

Keep that in mind as we move forward.

Install Google Analytics

To install Google Analytics, you’ll need to insert a snippet of Javascript code provided by Google when you sign up for the service.

If you’re using WordPress you can use this handy plug-in: Google Analyticator

And Google’s thorough instructions are here:  Set Up Google Analytics Web Tracking Code

2 – Using the Google Analytics Interface

How to Use This Section

Note:  These videos are best viewed in the Firefox browser.

Learn the 5 Report Suites

Understand Standard Reports

Emailing, Exporting & Adding to Dashboard

Creating Segments

3 – Google Analytics Reports Explained

How to Use This Section

In this section we will walk through four of the 5 report suites available in Google Analytics.

  • Real Time Reports
  • Audience Reports
  • Acquisition Reports
  • Behavior Reports

In Section 4 we will cover the 5th report suite — the Conversion Reports.

Let’s go!

Report Suite: Real Time Reports

Report Suite: Audience Reports

Report Suite: Acquisition Reports

Set up Google Webmaster Tools here.

Report Suite: Behavior Reports

4 – Google Analytics Conversion Reports Explained

How to Use This Section

In this step we dive into the conversion reports and learn about…

  • Goals
  • Attribution
  • UTM Parameters

If you’re building more complex multi-step funnels (learn more about this here) you’ll definitely want to check out the full funnel calculator spreadsheet in the last step of this section.

Meet the

Set Up Google Analytics Goals

Understanding Attribution

Understanding Campaigns

Understand Goal Reports

ADVANCED: Full Funnel Measurement

Download the Full Funnel Calculator

If you’re unfamiliar with the Customer Value Optimization process discussed in this step, read this.

5 – Using Google Analytics To Take Action

How to Use This Section

Now that you’re familiar with the interface and the various reports — it’s time to start training your mind to know where to look for information that solves real business problems.

Let’s get started!

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