January 29, 2013Do You Know These 3 Critical Things to Optimize Your Google Analytics?
Using an analytics program on your website is extremely important when you are thinking about the optimization and development process of your website. Here is the good news; you don’t need to go any further then Google Analytics, Google’s free program. All you need is an account with Google, and you can merge it easily with an analytics account. It is easy to install, offers hundreds of useful reports, and when used in a practical way, can be invaluable. We will discuss the most overlooked, but possibly most important things that people need to utilize in analytics: setting up goals, funnels, and filters.
Once you have confirmed that the analytics code is installed on your website correctly, what comes next? This is where most people think, “Ok, now I can just sit back and wait for the data to start coming in.” Big mistake! Without setting up goals, funnels, and filters, the data that you will be receiving is not as useful as it can be.
Filters- What is a filter?
You create a filter to eliminate certain traffic from your analytics reports. Filters are very important because you want the data that you are collecting to be as clean as possible. This means, you only want real traffic to show up in your reports.
You should be setting up filters for: yourself (home and work), your Webmaster, employees working from home, or any individual that is doing work on your website. Basically, you want to eliminate any internal traffic that is coming from your business. The simplest way to do this is to use an IP filter.
Click the ‘Filters’ tab, then click the + New Filters button.
Name your filter accurately, based on the location of the IP you are filtering (e.g. home, business name, name of employee, etc.).
Use the ‘Predefined Filter’ radio button, then select ‘exclude traffic from the IP address’, then enter the numbers for the IP address.
You can create an unlimited amount of filters depending on how much traffic you need to eliminate.
Goals and Funnels- What are goals and funnels?
Goals are conversions that happen on your website. A lead generation website’s goal or conversion would be a filled out form, newsletter signup, downloadable document, or anything else that takes you to a thank you page. A merchant site’s goal would be a customer purchase, most likely from a shopping cart.
Goals should always be set up in Google Analytics, even if you are using conversion tracking for your advertising. The goals that you set up in analytics will give you much greater detail than just recording a conversion. You will be able to see which pages on your website people like, and more importantly, which ones they don’t.
To create a new URL destination goal, login to your analytics account, click on the ‘Admin tab’ located on the top right of any page. Click on the ‘Goals’ tab, and then click on the +Goal button. Name your goal accurately based on the lead type, product, etc., that you would like to track. Select the ‘URL destination’ radio button, and start setting up your goal.
Goal URL is your conversion (thank you) page that your visitor sees after completing a web form, making a purchase, etc. You will only use the end part of your URL, e.g. /thank-you.html (refer to the example analytics gives to you while setting up).
Match type is a little tricky, depending on how your website is programmed. On the majority of sites, head match will work.
Check the box ‘Use Funnel’ to set up your funnel for the goal. Your funnel will be the path that your visitor takes in order to complete a conversion. Use the end part of each URL as described above, and enter each page to be added to your funnel.
Create as many goals as you wish to track, depending on how many different lead types, or product lines that you may have.
After you have your goals and funnels set up, and have some data and conversions, you should check the ‘Funnel Visualization’ report. To find this report, click on ‘Conversions’ located on the left side of your Analytics account. Under ‘Goals’ select ‘Funnel Visualization’. This report will give you excellent information on which pages people are leaving your website, which will help your efforts when optimizing your website for maximum conversions.
To summarize, installing Google Analytics on your website alone is not enough. Set up goals, funnels, and filters, and you will enjoy some fantastic data that you can actually use, and understand.
About Troy Van Leer
Troy Van Leer runs Targeted Leads, Inc., an internet advertising company based in Burnsville, Minnesota. Targeted Leads generates new, hot leads for businesses via paid advertising on the internet. With over 8 years of Adwords experience in house, they have generated thousands of leads for businesses of all types.
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