Data Points 2.0: 5 Must-Read Articles for Google Analytics for SMEs

5 Articles Full of Google Analytics Tips for SMEs

Victoria Apodaca
Aug 9, 2018 · 8 min read

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are one of our major audiences, so this week’s Data Points will focus specifically on them (and how Google Analytics can lend them a helping hand).

To SMEs, allocating precious time and resources to the most important marketing activities is one of the biggest obstacles in their path to growth.

The challenge does not stop there: doing marketing just for marketing’s sake isn’t enough — you need to balance marketing research, strategy and implementation all at once in order for your efforts to truly serve a business purpose.

One key to unlocking the mystery of efficient digital marketing is Google Analytics.

As a one-stop-shop for your customer data, Google Analytics can support you every step of the way, and provide beneficial insight into all aspects of your customer journey.

While the value of Google Analytics is evident, after interacting with over 200 SMEs in the past 2 years, we can confidently say that over 80% of SMEs either have their Google Analytics configured incorrectly, or lack a systematic approach to analytics in their company/organization.

Perhaps for this reason, being a master at Google Analytics is a daunting task for many SMEs. But don’t worry a bit, because making Google Analytics easy to understand is for one of our specialties at Analytics for Humans (its in the name, after all)!

This week’s Data Points will open that mysterious Google Analytics door for SMEs, regardless of your expertise level. We will primarily focus on the following topics:

  1. How to set-up your Google Analytics account
  2. The business value of Google Analytics
  3. Measurement framework methodologies
  4. An overall practical guide to Google Analytics
  5. The best place to get Google Analytics resources

So let’s dive right in.

Article 1: Main Street ROI, “Guide to Google Analytics

In the first leg of your Google Analytics journey, we are going to provide you with a comprehensive and thorough guide on how to setup Google Analytics and do basic analyses.

If that sounds complicated, don’t worry — even for an absolute rookie, you won’t feel lost after reading through this playbook.

See how clear they make each step?

This article breaks down each topic in separate, detailed steps, making it a process you can both follow and refer back to again and again.

In addition to basic information such as account configuration and standard dashboard, the article also provides you with an “Advanced Tips” section, which contains bit of information that’ll advance your GA setup even more.

Bill’s Thoughts:

This is a great article for anyone who is trying to get started using Google Analytics for their website.

I have one problem with this article — even though the “Google Analytics Configuration” part of the guide provides you with one way of setting up Google Analytics, we believe there is a better way — please see the article below for more details.

Article 2: Humanlytics, “4 Business Questions Google Analytics Can Answer About Your Website Visitors

Our second article comes from yours truly (well.. Bill, but you get the point). It is titled, “4 Business Questions Google Analytics Can Answer About Your Website Visitors.”

As mentioned in the introduction, to allocate your precious resources to only your key marketing activities, you will need helps from Google Analytics.

In this piece, we help you with that by connecting your key business needs (such as understanding who your users are) with concrete analyses you can perform in Google Analytics to fulfill those needs.

In order to simplify what you’ll get out of Google Analytics, we explained the entire article in the perspective of Patrick: a visitor of your website whose behavior that you can measure through Google Analytics.

Bill’s Thoughts:

Hey, one of my articles ❤!

To me, all analytics/marketing activities in your business should serve a singular purpose — to better understand and better serve your core audience.

The logic here is quite simple: the better you understand and serve your core audience, the more likely they are going to convert at your website. Therefore, the more revenue your business is going to make.

After reading this article, I encourage you to ponder on the following question: what is the single most important question for me to answer right now?

Then, go to Google Analytics and try to answer it.

Article 3: Avinash Kaushik, “Rethink Web Analytics: Introducing Web Analytics 2.0

Getting a grasp as to what data you should measure and why it matters can be a bit overwhelming. That’s why we chose Avinash Kaushik’s article, “Rethink Web Analytics: Introducing Web Analytics 2.0.”

Avinash breaks down the value of data and how to extract insights at different levels to understand different aspects of your business.

If you have time, I would recommend listening to the entire hour-long video, as it provides a full circle in establishing a measurement framework.

If you don’t quite have the time (as many SMEs do not), the video is summarized in his blog for a faster (albeit less comprehensive) viewing experience.

As a highlight, take a look at this graph to see Web Analytics explained in “plain English.”

Bill’s Thoughts:

Avinash is probably one of the THE lead thinkers in the field of web and digital analytics.

The impact of this web analytics 2.0 framework is extremely profound — it influenced a generation of web analysts and marketers, helping them make more data-driven decisions on how to improve the digital presence of their business.

While it was introduced over a decade ago, lots of the points in this framework still rings true for organization of all sizes.

I would recommend using this framework as a guiding principle to your entire analytics structure at your company, and explore technologies that can help you with each of the areas.

Article 4: Neil Patel, “How to Get Actionable Data from Google Analytics

Neil Patel does an excellent job at being relatable to SMEs by opening the blog with his journey to discovering Google Analytics.

As he says in this article, “I went to Google Analytics to get those numbers, but I quickly got overwhelmed. There was way too much information! I didn’t know where to start!”

“Find out how people are finding you (1 minute)”

Knowing that, he simplifies and breaks down how to get actionable insight with your GA data in just ten minutes! That’s right, ONLY TEN MINUTES (although it might take just a bit longer). And to make it even more concise, he guides you through the journey in time intervals (see pic on the left).

The best part of this article is that it’s very high-level.

You may tell yourself, “I know I need to have a Google Analytics account, but I don’t have the time to become an expert, so just tell me what I need to know.”

This article does just that.

Bill’s Thoughts:

Okay, let’s be honest, it is going to take you more than 10 minutes to accomplish those tasks. However, those tasks are well-worth accomplishing.

I would encourage you to use similar principles when approaching analytics at your company: If you only have 1 hour every day to look at your analytics, what should you look at?

Having those analytics plans will help you focus ONLY on the analyses that are important to your business, increasing your chance of extracting valuable, actionable insights from your data.

Article 5: Google, Google Analytics Academy

Our last article comes straight from the big enterprise themselves — Google. But we thought it was fitting since their Analytics Academy is incredibly useful (I’ve used it myself)!

If you do have the time, or simply want to make the time, you can learn about the Google Analytics platform inside and out through the Google Analytics Academy. What better place to learn about Google Analytics account than straight from the source?

Google offers free (yes, FREE!) online courses to make you proficient in GA. This place will be both your foundation and resource, and will ultimately show you to a whole world of useful information! You can also go at your own pace in finishing the course, so don’t feel pressured that it’s going to take all your time. The first step is getting started, so go for it!

Bill’s Thoughts:

The great thing about Google is that they actually dedicate a lot of resources in trying to make analytics easy to use and understandable for all marketers — and the analytics academy is one illustration of this commitment.

I would strongly encourage you to go through the process of getting the GA certification — the learning itself is extremely valuable, and the certification (which is free) can give you a great career boost.

To learn more:

That wraps it up for today’s Data Points 2.0. Stay tuned next week, where we’ll have a guest collaborator!


This article was produced by Humanlytics. Looking for more content just like this? Check us out on Twitter and Medium, and join our Analytics for Humans Facebook community to discuss more ideas and topics like this!

Analytics for Humans

We examine how technologies can work with humans to create a brighter future for everyone. To that end, we showcase augmented analytics tools we are building to bring us closer to that vision. Beta test our AI-powered marketing analytics tool for free: bit.ly/HMLbetatest

Victoria Apodaca

Written by

Data-driven Marketer @ Joust. Tech-lover. Music Geek. World Traveler. All about entrepreneurship, marketing, and anything that gives me culture shock.

Analytics for Humans

We examine how technologies can work with humans to create a brighter future for everyone. To that end, we showcase augmented analytics tools we are building to bring us closer to that vision. Beta test our AI-powered marketing analytics tool for free: bit.ly/HMLbetatest

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