How we make GA work for our clients.

Gosia Zelba
Aug 1, 2017 · 4 min read

Business owners are people with drive and vision. They want to see their vision actualized, so they set clear objectives and they expect measurable results. Better conversion. Higher ROIs. A boost to their KPIs. User experience improvement.

And how do they want to achieve these results? They make sure their sites contain valuable content to boost ogranic search traffic, they go for CPC campaigns, and, clearly, they collect Google Analytics data… But wait, do they collect the right data? And do they collect data right…?

In fact, the majority of our clients know that valuable GA data is key to understanding their user’s behaviors, needs and expectations. They know that not having this data inform their business decisions might mean future revenue loss. Because they know that a satisfied user means a successful business owner. What they may not know is how to set their GA accounts properly.

So, I want to tell you what we do to help our clients use GA data to their advantage.

1. Setting views

True—many of our clients don’t know all the ins and outs of Google Analitycs, and — also true — they don’t have to. We work with our own views to collect just the data we need. We start with a Raw view to prevent data loss, and then add the Main View, containing a variety of information our clients may be interested in: traffic sources, user data, site interaction, conversion goals and much, much more…

Fig 1. Separate TR Views: Raw, Master, Test, Blog and Mobile only.

After a view is set, it needs at least a few days to be populated with data. So, the sooner the clients have their GA straightened out, the sooner they can proceed to data-driven improvements and the sooner they are able to enjoy better user flow and higher conversion rates.

2. Adding filters

Sifting through raw data may be cumbersome, not to mention that raw data itself can be misleading! By adding filters to our views, we remove obstacles that skew our clients’ data. Internal traffic and internet bots are some examples… They are only the beginning, though!

Other filters we set up largely depend on our clients’ specific needs. For example, our SaaS clients usually have their services and their websites running under similar or the same web addresses, so we apply filters to monitor the site and app separately.

Fig. 2. Filters excluding application data from the Website View.

It’s important to note that once a filter is set, it can’t be altered to include more or different data from the past. So, if some valuable data has been lost due to incorrectly set filters, it has been lost forever.

3. Tracking events

Many aspects of the site performance, such as the number of users or average session duration, are tracked automatically in GA. But sometimes these general metrics are simply not enough. Thanks to event tracking, it’s possible to track specific actions that our clients want their users to perform, such as downloading free pdfs, viewing tutorial videos, signing up for a free trial or adding products to carts.

Fig. 3. Event tracking for two Sign-up buttons on a single page.

Very often, our clients have multiple CTAs that link to just one URL. For example, two Sign Up buttons placed at the top and at the bottom of the Home page both redirect to the same Sign Up page. If only the required parameters are set for tracking clicks on these buttons, only the total number of clicks will be counted. But we can set labels to track the number of onclicks for each button separately and immediately see which converts better than others.

4. Setting up funnels

Conversion tracking allows to trace the entire conversion process from page landing to order submission. Too bad that many of our clients-to-be don’t have their conversion goals set up in Analytics. Once we’ve done this for them, we can use the goal funnel reports to check if there are any obstacles preventing their users from moving towards these goals.

Fig. 4. Funnel Visualization report: Signing up for a trial.

One of our recent clients wanted to improve their micro- and macro-conversions: checking out product features and prices and signing up for
a trial. We defined the ideal goal flow and checked the bounce rates for each stage. The Pricing page had quite a number of drop-offs, so we agreed with the client it should be our priority. We made the page more streamlined, with its goal clearer, navigation easier, CTAs stronger, the overall experience more user-centric… And voila — up go the conversion rates!

Conclusion

Google Analytics is a truly powerful and multi-faceted tool. When set up right, it can work as a serious competitive advantage, supporting your business intuition with an invaluable asset — real data. With every passing day without this advantage, the risk of falling behind your competitors increases.

This is only a fraction of what we can do for your business…
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The Rectangles

Insights into UX design and research. Run by The Rectangles, UX design agency.

Thanks to Alina Prelicz-Zawadzka and Leszek Zawadzki

Gosia Zelba

Written by

UX Researcher at The Rectangles — UX Design Agency | PhD Student at the University of Wrocław | https://therectangles.com

The Rectangles

Insights into UX design and research. Run by The Rectangles, UX design agency.

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