Published on October 2, 2014
Thank you for coming to this presentation – A Beginners Guide to Google Analytics on WordPress. What we are going to talk about is how to configure and use Google Analytics so the data is more useful for decision making. 1
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In order to be able to identify these kinds of problems and understand what to fix you need to do two things with Google Analytics: First you have to configure it so it presents the data you need…. So you can rely on the information you are getting. Second, you have to set goals – tell Google Analytics what on your website matters. By the end of this presentation I want you to be able to go back to your GA and configure it for your needs and set up three goals. 4 View slide
Goals are what you want people to do on your website – complete a subscription form, engage with the website, etc. Think about why you have a website – to sell products, collect charitable donations, generate sales leads, give people something to read, show off pictures. It can be any reason at all. My website is there to help me generate leads. I want people to fill in a lead form and when they hit the submit button they are sent to a “Thank you” page. That Thank you Page is a goal in my GA A friend of mine is a photographer and his goal is to have people look at more than five pictures on a visit. You may want people to read multiple pages so your goal might be to read more than three pages. Perhaps you want people to comment on your blog. You can have up to 20 goals. But when you are starting out, I recommend no more than three goals. That gets you using goals and reading your data with the goals. Goals Are Not Retroactive Goals only apply on a go forward basis from the date a goal is created. So a goal set- up today will only have data from today and going forward, no data from earlier days will be collected. 7
At the beginning I told you about my first experience with GA… A VP who made a compelling business case to invest in a new website. A few years later I was working for a much bigger company, managing a marketing budget. When the recession hit, I was told to reduce my budget by $10K. So I spoke to a lot of people about where to cut and have the least impact. I also looked at my Google Analytics and it seemed the best things to cut were some advertising and email lists we were buying. Everyone agreed these were good cuts to make and the plan was approved by senior management. Then Eddie our Web Master came to see about the cuts. He said I was making a mistake. He showed me his GA which had goals. If I made those cuts we risked losing half our leads. Eddie showed me that cutting our social media and banner advertising would save the same amount of money and not risk nearly as many leads. 8
Goal Values Tell you How Valuable Each Web Page is to Each Goal: Goal values were originally established for eCommerce websites where monetary transactions are taking place. However, even when there is no monetary value to the goal, such as completing a form or viewing a number of pages, a goal value nonetheless shows the value of pages relative goal completions. When there is a monetary value on a goal, Universal Analytics calculates the contribution of each website pages toward completing a goal / conversion. The result is a page value for each goal (as seen in page view reports). The calculation is based on the number of goal completions relative to the pages website users passed through on the way to completing the goal. For example, if one page was used by all visitors completing the goal, that page would have a very high value relative to other pages. For example if a goal has a $100 value; a very compelling page might be worth $50 and some supporting pages worth less. 9
So once you have your GA configured how you want it….. It’s time to start looking at reports. We’re going to look at the three main reporting areas of Google Analytics. 11
These are all found down the right hand side of your GA menu. 12
Acquisition tell you where your website users came from. This report uses Channels to group how users found this website. It identifies how the MOST visitors were acquired. 14
Sometimes the default reports are hard to read, especially when you just want a couple of pieces of information, like which traffic sources brought the most sessions (popular) and which traffic sources brought the most goal converting traffic. In the top left above the table (highlighted and circled) you can change the report format. In this case we clicked the pie chart. 15
This is the same report as the previous slide, but notice how the report has a lot less information and is much easier to read. The circled item is where you can choose (drop down arrow) which one of your goals to apply to the report. 16
Since Google Analytics knows our goals, it can sort traffic sources according to what we want to happen. In this case, the company has been investing a lot of time in gaining referral traffic – guest posting, and linking from other sites. However, all this effort was bringing traffic to the site, but zero goal conversions. Based on this report the company was able to reallocate the resources being applied to referral campaigns to more productive activities that achieved goals. 17
Since Google Analytics knows our goals, it can sort traffic sources according to what we want to happen. In this case, the company has been investing a lot of resources to gain referral traffic – guest posting, and linking from other sites. However, all this effort was bringing traffic to the site, but zero goal conversions. Based on this report the company was able to reallocate the resources being applied to referral campaigns to more productive activities that achieved goals. 18
So back to the A B C’s of Google Analytics Reporting: A is for Acquisition – how people get your website. B is for Behaviour – what people do once they get to your website. 19
Behaviour looks at what people do once they are on your website. What pages they viewed, what events they used This report shows the pages that were viewed the most. It is sorted by the number of page views. 20
This is the same report, but now it is sorted by page value. Notice that the pages are significantly different. These are the pages being used the most by visitors who convert, or achieve the goal we are looking at. We want visitors to get to these pages because they improve the likely of the visitor achieving our goal. Suggestions for using this information: 1. Navigation – since these are the pages most likely to trigger a conversion, how easy is it to find them in your navigation? Compare this report to your navigation. 2. Review messaging on valuable pages and see if that can be moved to pages that get more traffic 21
Back to the A B C’s of Google Analytics Reporting: A is for Acquisition B is for Behaviour And, C is for Conversion – did people do what you wanted them to do on your website? 22
The Top Conversion report shows us which traffic sources “assisted” in goal conversions. In this case, all of the goal conversions came from “Direct” traffic (people who typed in the website address, or booked marked the site). However, some of the visitors learned about the site from Paid Search and Organic search – those two traffic sources “assisted” in the conversions. 23
So there you have it; the ABCs of Google Analytics Reporting. A is for Acquisition – how people get to your website B is for Behaviour – What people do on your website C is for Conversion – did people do what you wanted them to do – meet your goals. 24
This is the goal set-up screen. The types of goals you can have are here. Let’s take a closer look at the goal types and how to use them: Destination goals: This measures how many of your visitors are getting to a webpage you want them to get to. For example; after making a purchase or a donation the user goes to a “Thank you” or, “Confirmation Page”. You will tell Google Analytics that these pages are important, so count every time a visitor get to this page. Duration and Pages per session goals measure engagement with your website; for example count the number of times visitors view more than 3 pages while on the website. Event Goals measure things that happen on your website when click does not change the page such as clicking a video, a form field, even a PDF. 27
Search in Universal Analytics provides valuable data on how Users are searching your website; the search terms they use, how often it is being used, etc. This data provides guidance to improve the user experience with your website. Establishing site search with Universal Analytics is usually a routine “follow the menu” task from the Administration > View menus. You simply input the site search query (usually a “q” or “s”). 31
GA tracks how website users use your site search: Terms users search for Number of times each term is searched 33
Plug-in make your life a lot easier. For those of us who are a bit “code phobic” using a plug-in is definitely the way to go. At a minimum a plug-in should load the code for you. Good Plug-ins will also help you configure your Google Analytics to capture what you need and present your information in a way that’s meaningful to you. 40
At a minimum the plug in should: 1.load the GA code 2.allow you to set the domains 3. Allow you to filter by user type 41
At a minimum the plug in should: 1.load the GA code 2.allow you to set the domains 3. Allow you to filter by user type 42
Here’s a summary of what plug-in functionality you should be looking for: At a minimum the plug in should load the GA code and allow you to set the domains (Red) 43
Joost is the number most downloaded GA plug-in because it is a really good product. In addition to tags and categories it lets you do all these things as well. 45
Speaking of Joost…. Google Analytics has a new version released in April 2014 – Universal Analytics which has a lot of valuable enhancements. Joost is not YET compatible with this version. For good reason – he wants to be able to use an API to manage custom dimensions. That will create a much better user experience and be easier for the novice and intermediate GA user. I think it’s worth waiting for this plug in. However, if you need to get onto the UA platform there are few out there. Do a plug-in search on “Google Universal Analytics”. 46
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