In the Internet industry they say: “The more you learn, the more you earn”, and that is exactly right! Google Analytics is an excellent tool for internet marketers, or otherwise website owners. If you’d like to precisely track what happens on your website, keep reading to learn how to use this first-class tool.
Here we are again with Google Analytics (GA). If you are reading this article, it means you are on the right track to know everything about your website. I started a series of articles about GA earlier this month. Before you go ahead, read “Measure Your Success With Google Analytics” in order to have a good grasp of the basics.
In that previous article you learnt:
- How GA can bring your business to further level of success, and how to measure that level of success with goals.
- How to set up goals within GA.
- How to connect GA with Google AdWords, which is Google’s advertising program. This way you are able to track whether the money you are spending for advertising, through AdWords is worth it or not.
And today you are going to understand:
- How you can effectively measure you marketing campaigns.
- How you can analyze traffic sources, and improve results.
Track Your Marketing Efforts
GA helps you tracking traffic coming from your email marketing, display ads, countries and anyway the number of people coming from any type of marketing you might be doing. You have to always keep in mind that when you work on the internet it is essential to understand where your traffic comes from.
That is vital because:
- If you see the majority of people is coming, and engaging (meaning: conversions + micro-conversions), from a particular country you may want to even increase you marketing efforts over there.
- Or, if you see that people from another country are not very much engaging, but you are spending money for marketing over there, you may definitely stop advertising because it is not worth it.
In GA you can use a technology called link tagging. Link tagging is the method of adding marketing information to the URLs that is in your marketing materials. If you already linked your AdWords account to GA, you do not need link tagging to track your marketing campaigns; however, that is useful when you use other marketing channels, such as Bing, Facebook or emails.
In fact, a typical example is the email: when you set up an email you can add URLs into the email text. Within GA, you may use link tagging to change those URLs, or links, in the text. This way those links, when clicked, will include special information that GA can identify.
Link tagging lets you track the following type of information:
|Campaign||Name of your campaign.|
|Medium||You can specify the medium, therefore the channel you are using to target people. A channel might be email, or display ads.|
|Source||You can specify the source, ergo more information about the channel.|
|Keyword||You can track specific keywords.|
|Content||You can attach an ad content variation to your campaign, so to do some split-testing of different variations of the same ad.|
Those above are five pieces of information you can put into the URLs of your marketing campaigns.
An example of a custom URL may look like this:
In order to generate custom URLs, get into the help center within GA:
Then type “URL Builder” in the search box and click on the “URL Builder” result that you should get. As you can see below you can generate customized URLs from there.
You may use the following tags:
- utm_source: use this to designate a search engine, email marketing campaign, newsletter, or other source. Example: utm_source=newsletter.
- utm_medium: use it to determine the medium, which can be email or cost per click. Example: utm_medium=cpc.
- utm_term: use that for specific keywords. Example: utm_term=galaxy+nexus.
- utm_content: use this to differentiate among two or more links that point to the same URL. Example: utm_content=logolink.
- utm_campaign: you can give your campaign a name you will see in the report. Example: utm_campaign=promotion_galaxy_nexus.
Let’s Do Some Analysis
Whatever you do in your business, it is imperative to analyze your results. You need to get some good precise reports you can rely on, and:
- Look at the data.
- Segment the data.
- Learn something, even from mistakes.
- Repeat the process, again and again.
To do some analysis, open your GA and go to the “Traffic Sources” > “Sources” > “Campaigns”.
As you can see from the image above, you gather here some very good metrics regarding your campaign, such as:
- You have all you AdWords and non-AdWords campaigns, including the tagged campaigns you might have created through the link tagging system we saw earlier in this article.
- You are able to see more basic campaign metrics, such as “Visits”, “Page/Visits”, “Avg. Visit Duration”, “% New Visits”. With these stats you can see whether you met your business expectations or not, if you have to re-think your business goals because unrealistic etc.
- Also, you can see the “Bounce Rate”, which is extremely important when you do marketing. The bounce rate tells you what percentage of traffic, coming from a campaign, leaves immediately, after viewing one page. Bounce rate is essential to see whether your campaign sucks or not. If that is high, ask yourself why and tweak the campaign.
At Writeca.com we are not running any campaigns at the moment, ergo there is not much to see in the screenshot above. I know you understand the point though.
With the above mentioned “Visits”, “Page/Visits”, “Avg. Visit Duration”, “% New Visits”, you get a general idea of how your website and campaigns are doing. However, you may remember, from “Measure Your Success With Google Analytics“, that we set up some goals.
From the same “Campaigns” page, scroll up to the top and click on “Goal: Set 1”, as shown below.
From there you’ll get something that looks like the screenshot below.
At this point the data will precisely tell you how your doing in regards to specific goals you set up earlier. You will actually get conversion rates for all the goals you set up previously, plus other stats. As an example, I set up some social networks goals a while ago and the image above is the result.
Within GA you are also able to do some segmentation. To do that, as shown below, click on the campaign you are interested in.
From there you will get some Source/Medium data info. With that information you are able to drill down and understand how the little pieces of marketing (sources and mediums) are doing. Often you will find little things regarding you campaign that if tweaked, may change conversion rates, bounce rates, time people stay on the site/landing page etc.
Remember that GA can be used not only for monitoring conversions but also for micro-conversions, as we said in the previous article, and it is important to measure those as well. Social media may be good at helping arriving to money related conversions. With social media you may spread your brand, your marketing messages or explain your product to your followers. GA is great because is a multi-channel view of data that gives value to things that in the past you were not able to measure.