Monday, January 14, 2013

Kaushik's Top 10 Google Analytics Tips



For this assignment, I decided to summarize the newest post by Avinash Kaushik on his blog Occam’s Razor.  The post is titled “Google Analytics Tips: 10 Data Analysis Strategies That Pay Off Big!” and is pretty self-explanatory.  In it, Kaushik outlines his 10 favorite tools within Google Analytics, emphasizing the facts that they are all standard and can be used by novice analytics professionals.

He prefaces his list by pointing out the importance of researching the context about the company’s business before even thinking about Google Analytics.  This simple mindset separates the big winners from everyone else, in Kaushik’s opinion.

Tip #1 – Sources Overview report

Start with the pie chart, and look for balance.  An overabundance in any one particular category (especially Search) is a bad thing.  Similarly, a complete lack of distribution in any category (especially Campaign) is also a bad thing.

Traffic Source > Sources > Campaigns helps you see any other campaigns the company is using.

Traffic Source > Sources > Search > Overview helps you to understand the balances between Organic and Paid searches.

The custom report “All Search Performance” provides further and deeper analysis on search keyword performance.

Tip #2 – Landing Pages report

Look at the top 20 landing pages with Content > Site Content > Landing Pages.  Find those with high bounce rates, visit them and study them.

Then apply the top traffic segments from Tip #1.  Analyze the segments with low bounce rates, and apply those concepts to the segments with high bounce rates.

Tip #3 – Goals report

Implement the concept of economic value to your goals, with a focus on Macro and Micro Conversions.  Use Conversions > Goals > Overview to study your goals.  You should see at least six micro conversions identified, and each goal should have identified values.

Tip #4 – Conversion Funnels report

This tip actually encourages using a report other than the one offered with Google Analytics: Paditrack.  Study your abandonment rate, and look for small details that can refine and improve the checkout process: presence of ads, error tracking, coupon entry, number of text fields, etc.

Tip #5 - MCF Assisted Conversions report

Multi-channel attribution is the hype and the buzz right now.  I don’t know what it means or how to use it, but this report helps you identify the information you need.

First, make sure all your campaigns (all of them) always include campaign tracking parameters (always).  Use Conversions > Multi-Channel Funnels > Assisted Conversions to determine how modifying certain channels in certain ways can improve your site and benefit your business.

Tip #6 – Mobile Devices report

Start here: Audience > Mobile > Devices.  Then improve it by going to the top of the graph and clicking on Select A Metric and Goal Conversion Rate, which displays Visits and Conversions.  On the table, click the Pivot icon and choose Pivot By, then Source.

This shows you major mobile platforms, main sources of mobile traffic, and the gray numbers underneath the graph show your overall performance vs. site performance.

Tip #7 – In-Page Analytics report

This report, Traffic Sources > Content > In-Page Analytics, shows you how many people click on which links on your site, using a percentage.  This is an easy way to see which links are most popular.

Change the metric at the top of the page to Goal Values to see the monetary value of each link.

Tip #8 – Location Report

We may have misconceptions about where our website traffic comes from.  To gain a clearer picture, use Audience > Demographics > Location and change the top of the graph from Visits to Goal Conversion Rate.  This helps you cater your pages and campaigns to better suit your audience.

Tip #9 – Site Search Terms report

Step 1: Make sure your website has a search engine.  Step 2: Use Content > Site Search > Search Terms and switch to Goal Set 1.  This shows you the most searched for terms in your search engine, and how many of them are unfulfilled because the content is not on your site.  Step 3: Fix those things that are not converting and therefore not making you money.

Tip #10 – E2E Paid Search report

This is another custom report (like Tip #4) that combines site performance data with AdWords data.  Drill down further to determine which campaigns are delivering value, and how you can improve or optimize them.