What to Do Before You Start With Google Analytics

analytics-circleBefore you sign up for or log into a Google Analytics account, think strategically about what you want to accomplish with your analytics efforts. Or as web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik suggests, ask yourself “Who cares?” To help boost your marketing efforts, here are four important things to remember as you set up and eventually use web analytics:

– Plan. Know what questions you want to answer when you’re reviewing your web analytics and make a checklist of your goals.

– Measure. Focus in on the metrics that matter to your business. Avoid analysis paralysis by establishing data priorities so you’re not sidetracked by otherwise interesting but ultimately trivial data. No matter what your organization’s mission is, know its key performance indicators (KPI). Look at the metrics that matter.

– Analyze. Ongoing review and analysis are key. You will also need to contextualize data against your current marketing activities. If you’re a visual person, presentation can help you monitor trends (think colorcoded spreadsheets and pie charts), and can help you view changes over time and know when you’ve hit targets that you’ve set.

– Take action. If your goal is to optimize your marketing efforts, you will need to be able to glean actionable insight from your data.

Whether you are looking at unique visitors, traffic sources, referring keywords, top content, web design feedback, conversions, or understanding your top content, be sure to ask yourself if and how these metrics are relevant (again, who cares?). The metrics that matter most will help you improve the customer experience as well as enable you to segment out characteristics of your most profitable users so you can drive more traffic and boost your sales.

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