Using Google Analytics to Measure and Manage ROI
Measurement and Management with Google Analytics
A sales trainer many years ago used to use the maxim, ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it’ and that is still very true, though to be fair sometimes measurement can be tricky and do and not so easy to decipher as there are a lot of variables that aren’t necessarily with the marketing manager’s control. For instance, you could have a brilliant website but if when someone comes to try and buy something they get a slow or even no response to email, or perhaps a rather unhelpful, bored sounding respondent to a telephone call, or maybe having gone through the whole process of ordering via e-commerce, they then find the item isn’t actually in stock – all the amazing marketing and sales efforts will have been wasted and you may never know precisely why that customer didn’t buy, well unless you do some customer focused research of course. If you do decide on some customer focused research, that is face to face with real customers, be prepared to hear what they think warts and all – and if you can get some video clips of their thoughts produced to share with the whole of your team. It may be a sobering experience, or a really exciting experience depending on how you view honest feedback; one thing is for sure, it will help you grow you business if you let it!
However, some things can be measured and gaining knowledge about your audience and insight in to their behaviour and trends is key for a successful website: the best way to do this is by collating traffic data. There are a number of software packages that can do this for you, but Google Analytics are rated very highly by those that use it, so we’d thought we have a look at the reasons why it’s so popular.
1) Cost & Set Up
Google Analytics is free. This is clearly a key consideration in the current climate – how companies spend vital funds or justify spending cannot be overlooked. But with GA there is no outlay or monthly fee. Organisations have nothing to lose by giving it a go and seeing how they get on. In addition, set up is simple – their basic implementation is easy compared to many of its competitors.
2) The Reports GA Generates
GA gives you access to all the data it collates in custom reports – in the way that you want to see it, whenever you want to see it. You can create reports with an easy ‘drag and drop’ interface and add many different dimensions and metrics in one report. There are other costly packages which require a professional consultant to come and compile these reports for you – with GA there is no need for this extra expense.
3) Analytics API packages
With GA you can receive monthly reports that include graphs of how your campaigns are going. A programme that was built off the Analytics API allows these graphs to be create in just a minute or so. The API also allows you to access all the data and back it up so you have ownership of all your data.
4) Setting different profiles with ease
If you want a simple method for tracking just certain profiles, GA delivers yet again. If you just want to see traffic from certain countries or those that have just signed up for the newsletter, or blog traffic – it’s all easily done with no ‘set up’ component. You can monitor your mobile and tablet traffic with ease. You can also set up bespoke dashboards or use some of those already in the package to measure things like views on your video and links from other sites. So if you’ve sponsored an advertisement for a local charity you should be able to see how many people came to look at your site as a result, it’s not always possible but quite often is.
5) Customising Analytics to suit your needs
For the main, customising GA to meet your needs can be done without outside help and in addition, there are many resources online. Again, cost and time efficient. However, if you do require a consultant for GA they do exist – if you have particularly tricky needs. It’s such a popular global network that finding a consultant is no problem. If you do want some training, we recommend Business Consort who do some great programmes for those who are absolute beginners right through to those who need to nothing but GA all day! The courses are practical and interactive, plus their trainer is a real and current practitioner. We’ve done several Business Consort programmes now and they’ve always proved to be excellent value.