Beneath the Surface of Google Analytics

February 12th, 2016

GA Easy Ways

There are so many considerations to take into account when planning for the rollout of a new online campaign.

Deciding on the upfront strategy, identifying the proper channels for reaching your audience, managing the content creation – it all commands significant attention. So much that arguably the most important aspect of the process can be taken for granted: measuring your campaign’s success. If you’ve run ads through a banner network or social media platform, you are no doubt familiar with reports that show the number of impressions and clicks you are receiving. But how much do you know about what people are doing after they get  to your site?

GA Measuring Success

If you are monitoring your site’s traffic with Google Analytics, you’re off to a great start. The default reports provide great insight to how people are using your website as a whole. However, when you start asking questions like “which creative execution is producing the most traffic?” or “how many click-throughs from my Ad Words campaign filled out the form?” you might find yourself scratching your head about how to answer these. With just a little upfront planning, you can prepare yourself to answer these questions (and many more) all inside Google Analytics. Best of all, none of this requires any changes to the code on your website. As long as the default analytics tracking code is installed, you’re set!

All this insight is unlocked via one simple, yet very powerful feature of Google Analytics: Custom Campaigns. Custom Campaigns allow you to easily identify and differentiate the sources of visitors who visit your website, ultimately enabling you to determine the most effective way to entice visitors. When properly implemented, the level of insight granted is incredible. For example, it’s possible to compare traffic and engagement generated from your newsletter on an email-by-email basis. Another practical use is differentiating your organic social media traffic from your paid promotions.

Custom Campaigns are the keystone to our advanced analytics insights, but to get the most mileage out of them, we need to make use of another feature of Google Analytics: Segments. Segments are an incredibly powerful feature that enables you to identify and isolate your site’s visitors by using rule-based criteria. Simply put, this means we can see what specific audiences (as defined by our custom campaign) are doing on our site. And we can then easily compare them to other audiences (a segment of your visitors). “Who spends more time on my site – organic search or email marketing visitors?” “How do the click-throughs reported by the ad network compare with actual measurable traffic on my site?” The answers to these questions (and so much more) are just a few clicks – and a custom segment – away.

Measuring success and then reacting to your results is the most important part of any online campaign. We’ve seen, with a little upfront planning, the insight possibilities that we can unlock using our existing toolset with no additional development resources. So make sure you’re getting the most for your advertising dollars by using Custom Campaigns and Advanced Segments in your online marketing strategy.

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