Using Google Analytics Correctly – Part 2
January 8, 2015, by Sebastian Maier
In the first part of my feature article on Google Analytics, I showed how this tool can be used to efficiently analyze website content.
One feature that is used much less often, and yet is nonetheless very effective, is the option for measuring online marketing activities performance using Google Analytics. For this purpose, the campaign tracking, AdWords analysis, and conversion tracking functions are used. In this article, I would like to now share the basics of these functions with you.
Using the campaign tracking feature, you can find out information about which marketing activities are driving visitors to your website – this might be an advertisement or a newsletter, for example. You add parameters to the URLs that have been distributed through various channels. These parameters are used to measure the number of visitors that have reached the website because of this URL.
Google calls this function a “Custom Campaign.” You will find more detailed information and tools for creating URL campaigns on Google Help.
As an example, if you would like to create a campaign to track a blog article that has been distributed through social media channels, you would choose the website URL creation tool. Once there, you can enter all the relevant data for this campaign.
At a later point in time, Google Analytics can then be used to analyze how many visitors have arrived at the website because of this specific campaign.
You can find this information under “Acquisition -> Campaigns.”
As previously mentioned, campaign tracking is also very helpful in measuring the effectiveness or success of online advertisements or further online marketing activities.
In Google Analytics, there is the additional option of analyzing AdWords campaigns. For this purpose, the AdWords and Google Analytics accounts must first be linked. You can read up on exactly how that works here.
Afterwards, typical Google Analytics analyses can now be viewed for specific AdWords campaigns under “AdWords -> Campaigns”.
In this filtered view, you can see how many sessions, new users, et cetera, were generated on your site through a particular advertising campaign.
You can also asses further, interesting values. For example, the search queries that a visitor entered which led them to the Google Advertisement, bid adjustments or the visitors of particular destination URLs. If it has been configured, video and shopping campaigns can also be analyzed in this menu.
Using the conversion tracking feature, you can specify what type of event on your site can be counted as a success, that is to say, a conversion. For example, this could be the subscription to your newsletter or a transaction on your online shop. This way, you can see at a glance, how effectively your website is working to boost your online marketing.
In order to analyze conversions, performance indicators and thus, the goals, must be set beforehand in Google Analytics. This is done in the data view level, which can be accessed via the navigation bar at the top of the page. Once there, you can find the goals for a particular Property under “Manage.”
Under “Goals,” you can create a “New Goal” with just one click. A detailed Guide for Setting up, Editing, and Sharing Goals can be found in Google Help.
The success of goals that are set up in this manner can afterwards be evaluated by clicking on “Conversions -> Goals -> Overview”.
As you can see, Google Analytics offers the possibility of analyzing your online marketing in a truly effective way and to optimize it based on that. How have your experiences with the tool been? Do you use it? If so, to what extent?
(All pictures Ⓒ Google Analytics)