Top 5 Google Analytics Features every site must enable

Google Analytics is one of the best analytical tools ever made to track your site usability and measure your marketing performance. However, most of the people have little idea of how to set it up to track your desired goal.

Google Anaytics (GA) can be confusing at times as it has lots of feature which can be used based on your portal or website requirements. One of the simplest features is to create custom dashboard based on your weekly analysis tasks.

I’ll quickly list some of the best features of GA which will help you analyze your data in a meaningful manner or this will at least add value to your raw data.

Creating Web Profile

Do you know, when you set up a GA property, it has one profile view automatically. This profile consists of raw data collected by GA. If any of your filters or settings is incorrect, the raw profile will not collect correct data and hence the entire purpose of GA tracking will be lost.

Therefore, it is advisable to create a new web profile view which can contain all your filters and settings based on your requirements. Like excluding personal ISP, excluding referral traffic from your own domains, etc.
This way, your raw profile will collect the complete data set and the web profile will collect data based on your filters.

Remember, GA cannot apply account filters on past data. So, if you want to exclude ISP data in your new profile it can only exclude from the day you have implemented it.

How to create web profile:

  1. Go to your Google Analytics standard reports
  2. Click on the “Admin” button in the top right
  3. Click on “New Profile” on the right
  4. Name your profile, then select your country and time zone
  5. You’re done, apply any settings you want

GA-New-Profile

Using Site Search Feature

Have you ever thought what is possibly missing on your site which people are looking for? It’s simple. You just need to activate site search and it will connect your Google Analytics to your internal site search. Now, whenever a user search for any product or service on your site it will be recorded by GA.

GA-Site-Search-View

To set up site search, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Google Analytics standard reports
  2. Click on the “Admin” button in the top right
  3. Click on “View Settings”
  4. Go to the bottom where you’ll find “Site Search Settings”
  5. Select “Do Track site Search”

GA-Site-Search-settings

Setting up Campaigns

Measuring the ROI of your marketing campaigns a paramount requirement of any analytical tool. Setting up campaigns will help you exactly with this tracking. Google Analytics can track and categorize almost all your marketing campaigns.

May it be Email, Facebook, Twitter, Banner or Paid advertising; Google Analytics will track and categorize it all, so that you can analyze the impact of each campaign and the best part is; it is really simple. There is not much you have to do except, start building you URL using Google URL Builder Tool.

Note: You can build URL for mobile app tracking campaign too using Mobile Google URL Builder Tool.

Google_URL_Builder_screenshot

This tool will only ask you basic info related to your campaign and then you are good to go.

  1. Website URL: The URL which is your marketing center point. The main URL which will be promoted using a campaign. For instance, if you’re selling a pen, using an email blast, then this will be the URL of the product pen or it can be your contact page URL if you are expecting an enquiry form fill-ups.
  2. Source – It is broadly the source of your marketing campaign. For instance, if you are using social media to promote a product, you can keep source as “Social”
  3. Medium – This is used to identify medium such as banner, cpc, affiliate, email etc.
  4. Term – This is for paid keywords but in general, you won’t use this because there’s a better way to connect Google Analytics to AdWords.
  5. Content – Use this to separate different versions of the same ad.
  6. Name – This is how you’ll differentiate groups of ads in your reports. Google group’s campaign links by name so this is the first item you’ll see in your reports. Make sure you can tell what the ink is from here without having to look at any of the other info. Example: Summer_Sale

Filters that Exclude Internal Traffic

Google Analytics, by default, collects data of every visitor to your site and it includes you too. So, if you’re on your website tweaking your code or even fiddling with your site sections, it is recorded by GA. It is possible that a sizeable traffic of your site is due to you or your team working on it.

This internal traffic will skew every metric of your profile. For any successful campaign, exact statistics are required. These types of data discrepancies will not help you gauge your customer behavior to its best.

GA allows you to use filters called as “Account Filters” to exclude internal traffic from main reporting. This will help you gather exact and accurate data.

I recommend, you apply this filter first on your new profile and if it works then apply the same filter on your raw profile.

  1. Login to your Google Analytics account
  2. Click on Admin
  3. Select Account and Profile in which you want to apply filter
  4. Under the view section, click “Filters”
  5. Click “New Filter”
  6. Name the filter and click on predefined and select exclude
    traffic from the IP addresses
  7. Enter the IP addresses you want to exclude from your report
    and click save

If you’re unsure about your IP address, search “What is my IP Address” on Google, it will give you your IP address.

filters-exclusion

Setting up Goals

The ultimate reason to install Google Analytics is to see if you’re performing well to achieve your marketing goals. GA allows you to set up almost every as a Goal. It can be newsletter subscription, video or audio player, sales page, enquiry form submission, contact us form submission, etc.

Goals are so effective and handy that once set up correctly with your business requirement, you just need to sit back and watch the GA do the miracle.

To set up a Goal in GA, you’ll first need to decide what kind of goal you want to setup:

URL Destination:
Tracks when people visit a specific URL. It can be your contact us page or service page or it can be a series of URL you think you’re visitor will visit before reaching you. Ex: A visitor clicking on Get Quote button from a specific service page. This can be marked as a Goal. Also, you can define different goal for different services.

Visit Duration:
Tick off a goal every time someone spends a certain amount of time on your site. This is mostly used by news or info sites.

Pages/Visit:
Set a threshold for a number of page views that will set off a goal
during a visit.

Event:
You’ll need to define an event by adding a snippet of code to your site. Once Google Analytics is tracking the event, then you can set it as a goal. See Google’s Event Guide for more info.

GA-Goal

You can even create funnel of steps before you’re final goal is achieved. I’ve demonstrated one such example where the goal will be triggered with thank you page. However, the visitors must go through SEO page and contact us page from where he will redirected to thank you page once he fills up the form.

Remember, Goal value is optional. You can assign a value to each goal conversion based on the quality of goal. However, do not keep any goal value if you’re site is an e-commerce site. You need to setup ecommerce tracking
to do so.

The reason is: For a specific user, if he/she buys a product twice the goal conversion will be track it once as repeated conversion from same user is not tracked by GA. So, if the product value is $10, the total goal value becomes only $10. But in reality, the user has bought it twice, therefore, the actual value has to be $20.

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