Monday, April 18, 2022

Work Smarter, Not Harder with Google Analytics

Knowing your audience is key to creating buzz-worthy content but getting to know your audience can feel like a guessing game. Luckily Google Analytics (GA) can take all the guesswork out and arm you with real actionable data. 

Understanding what makes your audience tick provides you with ammunition to make decisions grounded in facts that will better serve your customer and your brand. GA compiles all of the important information you need into one spot enabling quick and easy access to beef up your brand. 

When building anything, it is important to start by asking yourself questions. Asking questions with the customer in mind will get you to your bright idea fastest. We all want to serve our customers better and the key is to get to know them. GA provides the tools to actually get to know them, understand who they are, and investigate their behaviors so you stop making assumptions and start using real data. 

Recently, I took two courses with Google Analytics Academy, Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Google Analytics. Combined, these two courses taught me how to personalize and navigate my GA data so I can make the most of it. 

I’ve spent hours pouring over customer data in GA and often come back to these seven questions:

  • Who is my customer (really though?)
  • Where is my customer when they are viewing my content?
  • When are they viewing my content?
  • How are they viewing my content?
  • How long are they viewing my content?
  • Where do they leave my content?
  • Are they coming back to my content?

Don’t stop by simply asking these questions, find the answers. GA will give you the tools to find these answers or at least start making educated guesses. After creating a GA account, key data points, like Pageviews, Activation Rates, Audience Demographic information, and Bounce Rates will begin being tracked and compiled. 

The Acadamy classes will teach you what goes into compiling this data, how it is measured, collected, and how you can set up specific reports and views to access it. The courses are broken up into sections making them easy to fit into your busy schedule. They are easy-to-digest videos or guided tours of the platform followed up with an end-of-session test. The tests are only about 10 questions long and you need an 80 percent or higher to move on to the next section. Don’t worry you can take the test more than once, I had to a few times. Because GA is a Google product, they have a great help center. 

Now that you have the data flowing into GA, it is time to put it to work. Just having it won’t do the trick. It is important to look at it regularly and use it to inform key decisions. Here at Lumavate, we set up a GA account for all of our paid customers and track the data. We meet with our customers to set goals and plans to achieve them. We set up personalized dashboards and reports so the information our customers want isn’t buried under a long click path but readily available and easy to access. Our team keeps an eye on pageviews, new vs returning users, page sessions, and more so we can verify our customers are making the most out of our platform. We partner with our customers to review the data and develop strategies to help improve the results because when our customers win, we win. 

When we know a customer is releasing a big marketing push centered around one of their progressive web apps (PWAs) we take extra time to review the numbers and celebrate their success. Sometimes we see a spike in the data, we ask our customers what they did differently in that time period because it really paid off and we want to help them continue on this momentum and success. 

Just like us, GA believes in constant iteration. Universal Analytics, the section my class was centered around, will be sunsetting in 2023. Make way for Google Analytics 4 and an even better more interactive GA experience. This version of GA will dive even deeper into your content than ever before. 

It really is simple, stop making shot-in-the-dark assumptions about your audience and what they want. Start using GA to gather real customer data to build exactly what your customers want and need.