Does your analytics involve looking at your social media and counting the number of “likes” you have? While helpful to know (and sometimes fun), this is just a scratch in the surface of the information available to you in understanding and better meeting the needs of your customers.

So I Know This Thing You Might Like

Where do your most profitable customers come from? Is your website worth the effort? How do you protect yourself from corrupted data? How do you evaluate your marketing efforts? If you don’t have the answers to these questions, you need them. There is this really cool tool you can use, and it even has a free version that you will soon find indispensable. Heard of Google Analytics?

Greatest Potential

Of course I’ve heard of it, you say. But are you using it? And are you using it to it’s greatest capabilities? Well, this information is set to help you “get every possible insight out of Google Analytics.” (Lars Lofgren of Kissmetrics)


“Google Analytics lets you do more than measure sales and conversions. It also gives insights into how visitors find and use your site, and how to keep them coming back,” shows the informative Google Analytics Standard page.

Check out this video on some Google Analytics basics:


Thank You For The Information, Dear Google

“Google Analytics helps you analyze visitor traffic and paint a complete picture of your audience and their needs. Track the routes people take to reach you and the devices they use to get there with reporting tools like Traffic Sources. Learn what people are looking for and what they like with In-Page Analytics. Then tailor your marketing and site content for maximum impact.” – (Google Analytics Standard page)

Here Are Critical Points (from Lofgren)


  1. Go to your Google Analytics standard reports
  2. Click on the “Admin” button in the top right
  3. Click on “Profile Settings”
  4. Go to “Ecommerce Settings” and change the drop down to “Yes, an Ecommerce Site”
  5. Click the “Apply” button at the bottom.



  1. Go to your Google Analytics standard reports
  2. Click on the “Admin” button in the top right
  3. Click on “Goals”
  4. From one of the Goal sets, click “+ Goal” (goal sets are just a way for you to easily group goals)

You’ll first need to decide what kind of goal you want Google Analytics to track.

  • URL Destination: Tracks a goal when people visit a specific URL.
  • Visit Duration: Tick off a goal every time someone spends a certain amount of time on your site.
  • 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 the lowdown.



First, Enable Auto-Tagging in Google Adwords

  1. Log in to AdWords
  2. Click on the “My Account” Tab, then “Preference”
  3. Make sure Auto-tagging is set to yes. If not, click “edit” and check “Destination URL Auto-tagging”

Then, Link Google Adwords and Google Analytics

  1. Log in to Google Analytics, click “New version” at the top if you’re not already there
  2. Click “Admin” in the top right
  3. Select your Google Analytics account
  4. From the list of tabs at the top, click “Data Sources”


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



Measuring the ROI of search traffic is great. But it’s even more important to measure the ROI of all your marketing campaigns. After all, you’re spending money and time on them. We need to know if it’s worth it, elaborates Lofgren. Google Analytics will track any URL that you can edit. Emails, Facebook, banner ads, you can track it all.


  • Source – What domain are you placing the link on? Which email list?
  • Medium – Use things like banner ad, PPC, affiliate, email etc.
  • 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.
  • Content – Use this to separate different versions of the same ad.
  • Name – This is how you’ll easily differentiate groups of ads in your reports. Google groups campaign links by name so this is the first item you’ll see in your reports, make sure you can tell what the link is from here without having to look at any of the other info.


What happens if you have a typo in one of your filters? Or you set up your goals incorrectly and don’t catch it until 3 weeks later? That mistake will corrupt your Google Analytics data as long as it’s in use. So what can you do to make sure you always have a backup plan?

  1. Raw Data Profile

The purpose is exactly what it sounds like. You set up a new profile, then name it “Raw Data”, and that’s it. No filters, goals of changed settings at all.

  1. Test Profile

Before rolling out new settings on your main profile, test them on a junk profile that you never use for analysis. This way, you’ll be able to experiment with settings as much as you want and you’ll never have to worry about corrupting your data.

  1. Create a New 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



Be aware that Google takes all data from every visitor, and that includes you and everyone inside your business. If you are making lots of checks, updating content, etc., then a chunk of the content could be from you. This is not good for evaluating your customers. What do you do? Exclude internal traffic. Here is a great step-by-step tutorial for how to set up filters that exclude internal traffic.


  • Which keywords give us the most impressions
  • What our click through rates are
  • How we rank for individual keywords (and our average position)
  • Click through data for our top landing pages

Bottom Line

If you want to make the most of Google Analytics (and learn how to grow your business), you need to set up these features:

  1. Ecommerce tracking
  2. Goals
  3. Connect to AdWords
  4. Site Search
  5. Campaigns
  6. Safety net profiles
  7. Filter out your internal traffic
  8. Connect to Google Webmaster Tools

And There’s More!

You can use Google Analytics for more than your website, too. Why not track all your social media accounts and their effectiveness?
Juntae DeLane, Digital Marketing Strategist, writes about using Google Analytics with your Intagram account:
Typical Instagram metrics include:

  • Follower growth (measuring the impact of the campaign on the Total followers for the official account)
  • Total likes
  • Total comments
  • Total hashtag mentions
  • Total engagements in competitions e.g. entries
  • Unique participants in competitions
  • Visitors to a website or campaign site – traffic and referrals being generated from social media and other sites to help you evaluate your visitors.
  • Sales linked to Instagram through Google Multi-Channel Conversion Reports to measure this.

What To Do, What To Do

“Tip: Use attribution reports in Google Analytics to review Instagram contribution. They are the easiest way to find the impact of Instagram on leads and sales. You can review ‘last click’ conversions and also ‘assisted conversions’ where a visitor is referred from Instagram initially, but generates a lead or a sale on a later visit referred from other media such as search,” explains DeLane. “To get an even more accurate view of Instagram conversions, the Google URL builder tool can help you tag your links before posting them in your Facebook or Twitter updates.”

Side Note

Check out Google’s Analytics information pages. You’ll notice more on Tag manager there too. If you want to know more about tags, see this previous post of mine.

Brim Full

If this stuff is interesting but overwhelming, you are not alone. As a business person you have more than your plate full. You can’t do everything yourself. Finding good support people/teams is important. Click here if you’d like to get advice or more information on this.


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