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6 Essential Google Analytics Tips

Google Analytics (GA) is installed on over 10 million websites across the globe and is a powerful, free analytical tool. However, many webmasters simply use GA to track the traffic to their website or blog and don’t use it to its full potential. While measuring traffic is a great starting point, you may not realise the amount of in-depth and actionable information that can be gleaned by enabling and adjusting certain reports and settings. By spending a little time familiarizing yourself with the various features that GA has to offer, you can easily answer many questions you may have about your site’s performance, content, and how to attract more visitors In order to make these changes you’ll need access to your Google Analytics account, and you must have the correct permissions enabled. Here are six essential tips to help you get the most out of Google Analytics.

#1 Customize the dashboard

if_faculty_105093The section named My Dashboard displays your basic data as widgets, including the number of visitors to your site, their location and whether they are a new visitor. You have the ability to customize this dashboard so you see all the information that’s important to you. You can also create multiple dashboards, allowing you to see all your statistics with a couple of clicks. It’s worth spending some time setting these up and familiarizing yourself with all the dashboard features- it will save you time in the long run. To create and customize dashboards:

  • Within the Reporting section, click on Dashboards
  • Click on Create New Dashboard option
  • Select Blank Canvas from the list
  • Name your dashboard – something specific and memorable
  • Click on Create Dashboard
  • You can now add widgets to display your most relevant information and statistics
  • To change the way widgets are displayed click on Customize Dashboard and move the widgets by dragging and dropping them on the page

#2 Filter out internal traffic

if_vector_494_11_1331743To obtain a truly accurate picture of how visitors use your site you’ll need to filter out any internal IP addresses that may affect your Analytics results. To do this:

  • Find out what your IP address is – use Google to search “what is my IP address?”
  • Create a new filter by clicking on New Filter, then FiIters in the View column
  • Click + Filters and name the filter
  • Change filter type to predefined
  • Within the Select Filter Type menu, click on Exclude
  • Click the Select source or destination menu and select traffic from the IP addresses
  • Select the correct expression from the drop-down list
  • Enter the IP address and click Save Changes – if you wish to block more than one, additional filters can be added

#3 Enable event tracking

if_Tracking_Evaluation_Graph_Report_1326078An “event” within GA refers to clicks, downloads, video plays and other engagements with elements of your site. Tracking these events is useful to you as it helps you to understand which are the most popular and effective. To enable Event Tracking, you’ll need to have Basic Page Tracking installed; you then need to add Javascript to your site to record and report the events. For the snippets of code and full installation instructions, visit the Event Tracking Documentation section on the Google Developers website.

#4 Create multiple goals

if_Target_333097In GA a goal represents any completed activity (also called conversions) by a customer. This can include purchases, registrations, donations, completed contact forms and other similar objectives. To create a new goal:

  • On the Admin tab, click on the relevant property
  • Click Goals (in the view column)
  • Select +New Goal to create your new goal
  • Choose industry-specific templates, or design your own custom goals
  • If applicable, you can also add a specific dollar value to each goal
  • When you’re finished, click Save Changes

#5 Enable in-page analytics

if_profit_257545In-page analytics allows you to track what visitors do on your site, click by click. This gives you a complete overview of how customers navigate through the website and allows you to see which areas may need optimizing or reformatting. To enable in-page analytics for your website:

  • Navigate to the Behaviour section, and select site content
  • Click all pages – choose from the in-page tabs
  • The reports for the various pages will be displayed
  • Click on the date panel in the top right corner to change the report’s date range
  • To compare reports and analyze the differences, select Compare To

#6 Segment statistics

if_Pie_Chart_260519You have the ability to segment your data within GA which provides you with essential information about your customers. Segments can be used to break your data down into subsections, meaning you can analyse and interpret it more effectively. For example, by segmenting your data you can easily tell if a visitor is new or returning, what type of device and browser they’re using, and how they landed on your site. To segment your data:

  • Open the relevant view (which includes the reports you wish to use)
  • Select the Reporting tab and open your chosen report
  • Click +Segment (at the top of the report)
  • This will open a complete list of segments – check each applicable box
  • Click Apply-the report will be automatically updated

Using Google Analytics can give you effective insights into your website from your customer’s point of view. Your essential reports, statistics and metrics are displayed on a clear and easily customizable dashboard for maximum convenience, and can be easily rearranged. You can easily see what customers like about your site, the content they most engage with and how much time is spent on the various pages. You can create segmented reports to give you detailed information about your customers, and in-page analytics can show you how they navigate through your site. This means that every time you make a change to your site you can see whether it is welcomed by your visitors, ultimately increasing traffic, consumer satisfaction and revenue.

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