Last week Peep Laja, Ton Wesseling and Ben Labay took us through how to do Conversion research, how to avoid pitfalls, setting hypotheses, running A/B tests and interpreting the results.
At week 5 at CXL Growth Marketing Minidegree we dive into the world of Data and Analytics.
The sections of this week are Google Analytics for beginners, Intermediate Google Analytics, Google Tag manager for beginners, attribution and Excel Sheets for marketers.
I’d like to take my time and put my learnings into practice so I’ll take my time and divide this week into a couple parts.
Chris Mercer from Measurement marketing.io starts the chapter with explaining the differences of 3 Google Marketing Platform products.
Google Analytics collects information via the tracking code you install on your web pages, it stores these details and it presents them to you with reports.
Google Tag Manager on the other hand provides an event collecting mechanism that ideally works in sync with Google Analytics to tell stories about how users behave on websites.
Google Data Studio completes the picture by visualizing the data stored in GA and collected by both the GA and the GTM.
Chris then explains the hierarchy between an account, a property, and a view and how to set up GA. He gives important tips about using different views for production, testing, and backups.
Real-time reports show you who’s on your website, what pages they’re looking at, what traffic sources are they coming from and their locations.
The users view shows the people who were on your site within the last 5 minutes approximately. Pageviews extend that and show information on visitors for the last 30 minutes.
As you can see it’s not possible to see trends and make marketing decisions based on real-time reports. They’re useful to see if your changes are working properly.
Audience reports are there to answer one primary question: who are your users? Google differentiates users by setting cookies for new sessions from different devices. So if you have a cross device interaction with a website and you’re not browsing with Chrome(logged in with your Google account) you might be counted as multiple users.
You can slice and dice your all users into sub segments by gender, age, location, device used, browser type, language spoken, etc.
Acquisition reports answer another primary questions: where do my users come from? Source/ medium report under acquisition gives very complete picture as it tells us where do our users come from, how many of them are there, what kind of interactions do they get into and what are the results of their visit.
You’re also able to see how your campaigns performs whether they’re PPC or organic.
Behaviour reports show how your users interact with your webpage, what kind of actions to they take and what kind of flows do they follow.
Conversion report summarizes the results of the action your users take on your website. Goal URL report is especially useful as it tells you when a certain goal such as sign ups or completed forms are fired when a user completes them. This way you can understand which pages help you make certain conversions.
After going through several report types Mercer gets into the subject of account, property and view settings. You can see that the actionable data you can acquire will depend on how well you set up your account eventually. Better data is preferable to more data. So it might be best to take your time and double check all settings.,
Understanding Traffic: Types of Traffic
Default Measurement: There are two things to consider here. First you have the source of traffic which you can interpret as the brand and you have the medium of traffic which is the acquisition channel.
Organic traffic and referral mediums can bring really high quality traffic as people are searching for the keywords you’re targeting in organic and they’re being redirected to your website if the medium is referral.
Any traffic that doesn’t come from a search engine will be classified as none(direct) traffic. Chris says some of the none traffic can be customized to create more useful information. For example some of that traffic may be coming from e-mail marketing. And that would be really valuable and should be treated as a separate channel.
Creating UTM is an easy way to tag certain mediums and remove them from the larger medium they were otherwise would be a part of. This way you can know if people are coming to your website from a certain affiliate partner for example.
You can set certain goals to be met to see whether the whole interaction your users have with your website end with a meaningful conversion or not. This conversion doesn’t have to be a sales conversion such as purchase completed signal being fired when a user makes a transaction. It can be anything from a completed form to a newsletter sign up.
You can have different goals for different stages of your customer journey. Chris mentions the ACE goals.
Some of the goals you can create are: destination, duration, page per session, event and engagement goals.
Setting goals requires a holistic view at your website and how different users complete different steps.
There’s so much to take into consideration when setting a Google Analytics account and it might be best to apply all the learning with a real website if they’re applicable.
A big part of your marketing decisions will stem from what you see in these reports and its crucial to track what matters and ask the right questions. Making sense of all the data is another challenge but what thorough analysis can yield is super promising.
I’ll go back to the start of this chapter and play more with GA to discover new things. Going through this specific lesson will take determination and a lot of focus.