Ok, you’ve added Google Analytics to your website, so it’s time to sit back, relax and watch that useful web data roll in. After all, Google Analytics gives you everything a marketer needs straight out of the box, right?
Wrong! There’s still some configuration work to do to get your Google Analytics account to a minimum viable reporting tool! Here’s our handy checklist for your Google Analytics minimum configuration.
5 Steps To Cover the Google Analytic Bases
1. Set up your views (3 minimum – raw, test, filtered)
Views allow you to have multiple instances of your Google Analytics data. This is useful for many reasons, but as a basic set-up we use a minimum of 3 views:
Raw – this is the standard view with no filters applied. This is the one you get as default. Leave this alone, it’s there as a backup, in case your other views go ‘tits-up’. You’ll have raw, unfettered data here as a failsafe.
Test – this is the view you use to test filters, before you add them to your Live view. Don’t forget, once you filter data in Analytics, it’s filtered for good, there’s no going back. Hence why we test first, and have the Raw view as backup.
Live – once you’ve tested your filters, you can apply them to this Live view. This is now your default view, the one you go to for data.
2. Filter out unwanted data (own ip etc)
The first thing to know about filters are that they change your Analytics data. Once you’ve applied a filter, you can’t unfilter and restore the data to it’s original state. Once the data is filtered and processed for a view that is it. That’s why we have our Raw view.
But filters are incredibly useful. You can filter all sorts of stuff, you should start by filtering out ip addresses of users who you do not want to track. We always filter our own ip. You can also filter out those unwanted spam referrers too!
3. Set up your goals (and Ecommerce)
If there’s ever a set-up config for Google Analytics that will transform your understanding of your data, this is it! Every site is goal orientated, whether it’s a blog site or an ecommerce site, goals matter. And being able to track users who complete (or just as importantly don’t complete) them is fundamental to your understanding of your customer journey:
Click here for info on Goal set-up
Click here for info on Ecommerce set-up
4. Set up your funnels
Inbound Marketing is about getting your audience to the next step (attracting, converting to leads etc). Correctly set up funnels can help you to visualise this process so you can take action to become more effective.
5. Link your Adwords accounts
This one is a no-brainer but is often over-looked. Connect your Adwords account so that you can see your customer journey, end to end in both Analytics and Adwords reports.
That’s the end of our basic set up, we’ll go into more Advanced set-ups in another post. If you need help with Google Analytics set and/or reporting, just get in touch.