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What I'd Do
Now’s the Time to Become Fluent in Google Analytics-ese

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
   

I sometimes feel I do too much critiquing and too little suggesting. Like, somehow, I’m the 400 pound, mullet-sporting guy on his 3rd beer at the baseball game yelling at the 2nd baseman to hustle. So, every once in a while on a Wednesday I’ll try to balance the scales a bit and put my own ideas up for display, analysis, and critique. (view all ‘WID’ posts).

My marketing philosophy has slowly evolved over time. Half learning from talented marketers I worked with, half from the school of hard knocks, I’ve slowly developed a marketing method that works pretty dang well. But no matter how much it’s evolved, been tweaked, or expands, there is always one thing at the center: data gathering and data analysis.

Those two things (and they are two very different things) are a huge part of marketing. Intuition is awesome, principles are priceless, but you’ll never know if anything is working without numbers.

The New Age
More and more of your budgets, efforts, and work is online. There are plenty of principles, lots of intuition, but the data is still seems to be in a pre-internet state. It’s never been easier, or cheaper to have such a solid grasp on the performance of your initiatives and that is in part because of Google Analytics.

One of my personal goals this summer is to become more fluent in Google Analytics. Google gives anyone and everyone incredibly powerful analytical tools for no cost. However, most of us, myself included, frequently only scratch the surface of what this data gold-mine can provide.

What I’d Do
If I were you, I’d dedicate some consistent, weekly or daily time during the warmer months to dig deeper and deeper into Google Analytics. Learn more about Events, learn more about Advanced Segments, learn more about Goals, eCommerce, and social settings and refining reports so you can see all your major indicators and numbers together to save time.

Start checking your campaigns for integration and asking simple questions. Are you using campaign/source/medium tags on all inbound links? Are you using event code to track outbound links to see where visitors are leaving your site? Are you tagging social links so you can evaluate Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / YouTube / Google+ campaigns so you can compare the traffic they generate side-by-side with other sources?

Multiple Sources
There are lots of ways to get better at analytics without going to a $2,500 conference for a week. In fact, I’d recommend using 2-3 sources to increase your skills so you get a few perspectives on the ways to approach and configure your system. A few I’ve found include:

There is so much data being created on your website every day and most of you probably already have Google Analytics in place. What I’d do is make sure I am taking full advantage of the analytics platform I am using to get as many insights as possible out of that data.

That’s what I AM doing.


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