3 Google Analytics Rules to Live By
Google Analytics is an incredibly important piece of your product puzzle — make sure you are getting the most out of it!
Analytics tracking is a crucial piece of software development — understanding how and when your users are interacting with your product is key to measuring the success of your product. Without tracking user behavior on your site, you can miss gaining insight to key success metrics such as bounce rate, page visits, new users, new sign ups, conversions, and more. Having insight to these analytics also allows you to track the success of your marketing strategies and campaigns, understand in-depth user behavior, and identify when there may be a functionality issue with your site.
In this article, we’ll walk through 3 rules to follow when getting up and running with Google Analytics (our go-to option for analytics tracking).
First, a few quick reasons why we prefer starting with Google Analytics:
- It’s free! — Google Analytics doesn’t require a payment or subscription to use
- Data Visualization — Google Analytics offers easy-to-read charts and graphs, making analysis easy on the fly
- Real-Time Data — See stats about your site in real-time, and use this data to build reports down to the hour
- User Interface — the browser-based UI may be overwhelming at first, but you can quickly become accustomed to all of the toggles and levers within GA
- Reporting — Easily build, analyze, and export customizable reports
Having the right mindset about analytics is key
When setting up Google Analytics, it’s important to have the right mindset. Below are the two most common — can you guess which one is the right mindset?
- ‘Implementation is just dropping in the files and calling it a day. I’ve checked GA off the list, time to move on!’
- ‘Woo hoo, time to set up GA, an incredibly important step in my product’s success! What do I want to know about my product to help me make better decisions in the future?’
If you guessed the second mindset, you’d be correct!
This mindset may seem daunting, especially if you’re a Google Analytics newb — but fret not! We are here to guide you through the setup in just a few steps, so you can achieve success.
First, let’s go over how you can turn a simple Google Analytics setup into a powerhouse of data that guides your product features and roadmap.
Rule 1: Integrate Google Analytics into your company, not just your software
When you create a GA account, or if you already have one, give everyone in your company access. Encourage developers, product owners, and marketers to get familiar with the platform. GA should be a source for everyone to go to and view the product’s success — marketing should know how their campaigns are affecting website traffic, product owners should know where users are dropping off, developers should know how many people are using the product and where scaling is necessary, and so on. Having buy-in from multiple stakeholders on multiple teams will increase the relevance of important data across your organization.
In addition to granting out access, have everyone download the mobile app. This is a great tool to have on hand in case of emergency or needing to quickly view a statistic.
None of this will work, however, if no one invests time into learning GA. Set aside time for your company to learn GA — walk through the dashboards, reporting, etc. Make sure they know it’s ok to spend time learning this tool, as it is an important piece of your company’s backbone. When it comes to product performance, don’t opt for an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality. Become familiar with your trends and embrace them, using them to guide you through your decisions on what comes next. Using user-driven data allows your teams to produce more useful products and features.
Rule 2: Create Custom Events
The custom events feature in GA is super useful. Not every website or app is built the same and luckily, GA gives you the power to make your analytics platform work for you. GA gives you a good foundation, but it’s up to you to fill in the rest!
GA will track some events by default, including:
- Page Visits
- Bounce Rate
- Session Duration and more
However, there are likely other metrics you are concerned with and need to track. Custom events can be made easily using the SDK.
With custom events, you can track the following and many, many more:
- Low frequency conversions (for example, a completed sign up or purchase)
- High frequency conversions (for example, an add to cart or a sign up initiation)
- Form Errors
- Engagement on a CTA
Rule 3: It’s Never Too Late to Collect More Data
Collecting data should be prioritized, whether you are starting with a new product or beefing up an existing product. It’s never too late to add in a new metric if you forgot it the first, second, or tenth time! You may release updates that need additional tracking, or find that you could make better decisions if you started tracking a metric on an existing function. Too much data is never a problem.
These 3 rules will ensure your product is more successful. Why? Because data is power. With the right data in hand, product discussions can be led by analysis and fact rather than idea and opinion. Marketing campaigns can be driven by what converts best. Developers can understand where the highest load is on their site, and work to optimize the experience for all. Approaching your product from an analytical and data-driven point of view will ensure your success in the long run.
At Dark Matter Digital, we get super pumped up about a great Google Analytics setup. We look to it as a backbone of every product we build. If you’d like to learn more about GA, or need help getting setup — give us a shout!
Dark Matter Digital is a product studio based out of Seattle, WA.
We build products smarter, better, faster, AND stronger.
Need help getting a project off the ground? Email email@example.com.