In this post I’ll cover a couple of basic Google Analytics features every single founder should be using. They’re all part of the basic feature set of GA (Google Analytics) and don’t require deep technical skills or hours to set up.
Personally I stayed away from using Google Analytics over the years. It seemed so overwhelming to really get value from it, I simply kept making excuses for why I didn’t need any of those fancy features. More recently, becoming serious regarding my marketing efforts, I could no longer do without properly measuring the fruits of my labour. Here are some the features I am currently using.
For me personally, conversion goals are the most relevant metric for measuring marketing efforts. At the end of the day, it does not matter how many visitors end up on my site. What matters is how many of those visitors turn into leads, and how many leads turn eventually into customers.
Google Analytics allows you to configure so-called “conversion goals”, which are essentially events getting fired when a certain goal is reached. For example, for SB Pro we currently have a conversion goal configured for when a visitor to our site submits his/her email address to access the live demo.
One easy way of doing this is telling GA that a conversion goal is reached when a visitor ends up on a certain page. In our SB Pro example, this is the page displayed after the visitor submits the form asking for their email address.
Once configured, the conversion rates are displayed by default in most reports making it super easy to see how visitors are converting on your site.
Campaign URLs with UTM parameters
Campaign URLs allow Google Analytics to track how people ended up on your site. By adding so-called UTM parameters to URLs used for ads leading to your site, you can easily track how effective ads and other links to your site are.
Google offers a handy campaign URL builder over at https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/. I am currently using custom campaign URLs to track clicks from advertisements, shared blog posts, Tweets, Facebook shares, etc. Additionally, I am using UTM parameters to split test banners on a number of static sites; allowing me to see which banners result in more clicks.
Fortunately, Google now has a new tool named “Search Console” which allows you to track traffic driving keywords amongst other data. Recently, Google decided to integrate Search Console into GA, making it possible to track keywords from GA again.
To achieve this, you will need to link Search Console for your site to your Google Analytics account from the admin panel. Once linked, Search Console becomes available under Acquisition in the main menu.