One of best things about digital marketing is it allows you to track and analyze your marketing efforts. This gives you an understanding which tactics work best and which are a waste of your valuable resources. Leveraging Google Analytics features you can gather data about your digital campaigns and make informed decisions about how to move forward. And, you can take a Along with the channels to improve or altogether stop employing in order to reach and exceed your digital marketing goals.

With PPC campaigns, we leverage Google Analytics to gather data and get a real sense of how that cohort of users is interacting with client websites. This means we are leveraging all underutilized and overlooked options and features of Google Analytics’ standard and Google Analytics 360 suite, whenever possible.

Core Google Analytics Configurations

When set to fit your exact needs, even the core settings can be very helpful in cleaning up your data, making reports easier to use, and with that, help you make data-backed decisions. Here are some of the areas in your account(s) where you can take closer look:

  •  Organizing the account using the hierarchy of properties and views
  •  Using data filter configurations to clean up data or focus on specific sets of data
  •  Using URL parameter exclusions to avoid messy reports and duplication of page data
  •  Using annotations to document key changes made in the data and the context for the reports you’re looking at
  •  Putting in place custom alerts in order to monitor data quality or see anomalies right away
  •  Scheduling emails to automate sending the right data to the right people
  •  Setting up goals and funnels so you know what you’re analyzing and optimizing everything else against
  •  If you run an e-commerce business, and still haven’t, set up Enhanced Ecommerce to get insights into your product lists, cart/ checkout functionality, and numerous additional features
  •  Using and exploring Cohort Analysis reports to see how long does it takes visitors to convert, and when is the best time to engage them with optimal messaging
  •  Tagging all of your campaigns and channels so you can see exactly what’s driving visitors and their behaviors within those visits
  •  Using MultiChannel Funnel, Model Comparison and Data Driven Attribution – available only to GA360 – reports to understand how your different campaigns impact the final conversions along the purchase process

Integrations

The marketing technology landscape consists of more than just Google. That’s why you can integrate Google Analytics with other tools and platforms and merge data from two or more sources for more efficient decision making.

Integration with other Google products If you use multiple Google products, you can easily link Google Analytics with them and share data across the linked accounts. You can integrate Google Analytics with:

  • AdWords
  • DoubleClick (DCM, DBM, DFP) – available only to GA360
  • Google Search Console
  • BigQuery Export – available only to GA360
  • Google Play
  • Postbacks

That way you can use your website data to find new and high-value customers, then automatically remarket to them; send deep-link conversions to non-Google ad networks, and get a complete overview of your marketing activity.

Integrations with third-party platforms and tools Marketing software is not limited to Google products, and many companies use other tools and platforms to gather customer and purchase data into a CRM. Integrating Google Analytics with third-party CRM platforms allows you to get a holistic picture of your customers’ online and offline behavior and pivot points of their conversion.

A great example is an integration between Google Analytics and Salesforce.com. It allows you to understand the connection between purchase behavior and website influence, and how each action and brand interaction influence and translate into conversions.

Custom dimensions and metrics

Each business is different, and that is why it is important to have an analytics tool that can be customized to meet specific business needs. Google Analytics comes with pre-set implementation dimensions and metrics, but you can make it work harder for you by taking advantage of its customization capabilities and capture more data, and more importantly, meaningful data.

For example, you can use the third-party tools integration along with custom dimensions, to understand where your visitors are coming from, based on their IP address. Without actually identifying the customer, you can easily determine whether the visit represents a new prospect or an existing client. Tracking behavior and attaching rich data to the specific actions can help your marketing team understand high-value vs medium-value targets, then test, optimize and personalize the website or landing page based on the relationship the visitor has with the brand.

By using custom dimensions and metrics in your analytics that will give you the ability to understand prospects and customers better, give you the option to market to them more effectively and eventually, grow sales.

Segments, audience and activation

The flexible, intuitive segmentation available in Google Analytics allows you to quickly and easily pick a combination or sequence of behaviors and attributes to define very specific customer segments. This is very valuable from analytical standpoint, and in the Google environment you can activate these specific audiences in just a few clicks.

Segmented audiences have additional value: if you found a segment that is more likely to convert on an offer, export the audience to AdWords and launch a campaign to (re)target them and convert them faster.

Use the potential of all integrations you can. If you apply machine learning, data science techniques and traditional statistical methods, you can tap into the numerous opportunities you have in your customer data by combining your CRM, Google Analytics and even third-party data.

Mobile tracking

Many businesses also have mobile apps as well as websites. And, Google Analytics can track them too. If your brand has apps as part of the digital strategy, then take advantage of the Google Analytics mobile software development kits and properly track marketing campaigns or installs from the Google Play or iTunes App Store with the app-specific reports and features. That way you will get complete analytics that make sense, and can help you improve the value of mobile-focused campaigns.

One way to use mobile analytics together with your web analytics is identifying the same user that logs in or interacts with your brand across different devices and leverage the User ID feature that opens Cross Device reports. That way you will better understand how users navigate information about your brand and interact with it online.

Connecting offline with online data

The reality is that the majority of businesses live in both, the online and offline world. Even those businesses can use Google Analytics through digitally created metrics and use of proxies for success offline.

With use of integrations, custom dimensions and custom metrics you can create a multi-sourced engagement scoring model. And with the help of statistical and data science techniques you can then correlate the scoring model with offline data for quantifying the impact of online actions to the offline world.

Another way to bridge the online/offline gap is to use Google Analytics data to inform purchase intent data models that can be useful for in-store sales predictions specific to online actions segmented by product groups, geolocation and more.

The real value of analytics lies in helping you improve and optimize your marketing performance, on channel-by-channel basis, as well as the overall cross-channel strategy. It helps identify how each marketing activity stacks up against one another, determine the true ROI of these activities and understand whether you are achieving your business goals.

When we set up and track our customers’ campaigns, we make sure to use all Google Analytics core features, integration options, custom dimensions and metrics, segmenting, and where necessary, mobile tracking and connecting offline and online data, with one thing in mind – make the most of your marketing campaigns to help you grow your business.

ReDone: Get the Most Out of Google Analytics by Leveraging All its Features

One of best things about digital marketing is that it allows you to track and analyze your efforts, therefore understand which tactics work best and which are a waste of your valuable resources. With the help of a measurement platform like Google Analytics you can gather all necessary data about your digital campaigns and make informed decisions about which actions and activities to keep, and which to improve or altogether stop employing in order to reach and exceed your digital marketing goals.

Here at Visible Factors, when we create our customers’ PPC or SEO campaigns, we also help them extract the most value they possibly can using Google Analytics to gather data. And that means leveraging all underutilized and overlooked options and features of Google Analytics’ standard and Google Analytics 360 suite.

While most digital marketing agencies utilize only basic Google Analytics’ features to measure their efforts, we make sure to incorporate even the most powerful and obscure bells and whistles.

Here’s a list of all the value-adding features we use and we recommend you use them too.

  1. Features in your account

optimize your account using the hierarchy of properties and views

enlarge the screen by closing the left sidebar to get a bigger working space and avoid distractions. This is very helpful when working with large reports because it gives you enough space to analyze the data

use basic keyboard shortcuts to quickly find and select desired data

save report shortcuts and complex views to have your favorite settings and reports available at any time

use motion charts and plotted rows to visualize data better and derive insights easily

  1. Goals and goal values

use annotations to document key changes made in the data and the context for the reports you’re looking at, you can set them for: weather extremes, competitor promotions, offline campaign that might have impact, important industry developments, and/or tracking issues

create custom alerts to monitor data quality or see anomalies right away

create custom segments based on a combination or sequence of specific customer behaviors and attributes to create a custom audience and get better insights

set goals and funnels to know what you’re analyzing and optimizing everything else against, additionally you can even see how data and segments evolved over time

  1. Campaign tracking and reporting

tag and track all campaigns and channels to add meaning to the data you’re analyzing, and help and direct website optimization efforts

define custom channels to organize the traffic clutter

use custom dimensions and create your own custom “calculated metrics” to meet specific business needs and which you will be able to use when creating custom reports or dashboards

create custom reports (using custom metrics) to combine information from different reports already available in Google Analytics

control the number of sessions that Google Analytics uses when sampling high-volume data to calculate your reports

make URL parameter exclusions to avoid messy reports and duplication of page data

track mobile app activity and use that data along with your website analytics data to identify the same users that logs and interacts with your brands across different devices and platforms

use MultiChannel Funnel, Model Comparison and Data Driven Attribution – available only to GA360 – reports to understand how your different campaigns impact the final conversions along the purchase process

use and explore Cohort Analysis reports to see how long does it takes visitors to convert, and when is the best time to engage them with optimal messaging

if you run an e-commerce business, and still haven’t, set up Enhanced Ecommerce to get insights into your product lists, cart/ checkout functionality, and numerous additional features

  1. Integrations

integrate Google Analytics with other Google products, such as AdWords, DoubleClick, (DCM, DBM, DFP) – available only to GA360, Google Seach Console, BigQuery Export – available only to GA360, Google Play, and Postbacks, to share data across the linked accounts, and find new high-volume customers

integrate Google Analytics with third-party platforms, such as CRM software, to get a holistic picture of your customers’ online and offline behavior and pivot points of their conversion

  1. Connect online and offline data

use digitally created metrics and proxies and create a multi-sourced engagement scoring model. With the help of statistical and data science techniques you can then correlate the scoring model with offline data for quantifying the impact of online actions to the offline world

bridge the online/offline gap by using Google Analytics data to inform purchase intent data models that can be useful for in-store sales predictions specific to online actions segmented by product groups, geolocation and more

The real value of analytics lies in helping you improve and optimize your marketing performance, on channel-by-channel basis, as well as the overall cross-channel strategy. It helps identify how each marketing activity stacks up against one another, determine the true ROI of these activities and understand whether you are achieving your business goals.

When we set up and track our customers’ campaigns, we make sure to use all Google Analytics core features, integration options, custom dimensions and metrics, segmenting, and where necessary, mobile tracking and connecting offline and online data, with one thing in mind – make the most of your marketing campaigns to help you grow your business.

Published On: October 29th, 2021 / Categories: Analytics / Tags: , /

About the Author: Tony Adam

Tony Adam is a serial technology entrepreneur, investor, and Fractional CMO. He is currently the Founder & CEO of Visible Factors a Digital Marketing Agency providing Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) brands, startups and large organizations services around growth and online marketing principles like SEO, Google Ads, Meta Ads, and Email/Lifecycle Marketing. Prior to Visible Factors, Tony founded Eventup, an Event Venue Marketplace and grew to 12 cities and over $1MM top line revenue in under one year. Throughout his career, he has worked with early stage startups, SMBs, Fortune 500 companies and high-profile brands including Yahoo!, PayPal and Myspace.
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