Everything you need to know about Google Analytics - NanoWorkers
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Everything you need to know about Google Analytics

Posted February 13, 2019 0:11 AM

1.     In marketing, we have the concept of a purchase funnel. There are different stages within the funnel that describe customer interactions. A basic purchase funnel includes the following steps:

1.     Acquisition involves building awareness and acquiring user interest

2.     Behavior is when users engage with your business

3.     Conversion is when a user becomes a customer and transacts with your business

2.     Different kinds of businesses can benefit from digital analytics:

i)      Publishers can use it to create a loyal, highly-engaged audience and to better align on-site advertising with user interests.

ii)     Ecommerce businesses can use digital analytics to understand customers’ online purchasing behavior and better market their products and services.

iii)    Lead generation sites can collect user information for sales teams to connect with potential leads.

3.     While we’ve primarily talked about collecting data from a website, Google Analytics can also collect behavioral data from a variety of systems such as mobile applications, online point-of-sales systems, video game consoles, customer relationship management systems, or other internet-connected platforms.

4.     This data is compiled into Analytics reports, which you can use to perform in-depth analysis to better understand your customers and their purchase journey. Then you can test out new solutions to improve your business.

5.     To track a website, you first have to create a Google Analytics account. Then you need to add a small piece of Javascript tracking code to each page on your site. Every time a user visits a webpage, the tracking code will collect anonymous information about how that user interacted with the page.

6.     For the Google Store, the tracking code could show how many users visited a page that sells drinkware versus a page that sells houseware. Or it could tell us how many users bought an item like an Android doll by tracking whether they made it to the purchase confirmation page.

7.     But the tracking code will also collect information from the browser like the language the browser is set to, the type of browser (such as Chrome or Safari), and the device and operating system used to access the Google Store. It can even collect the “traffic source,” which is what brought users to the site in the first place. This might be a search engine, an advertisement they clicked on, or an email marketing campaign.

8.     Keep in mind that every time a page loads, the tracking code will collect and send updated information about the user’s activity. Google Analytics groups this activity into a period of time called a “session.” A session begins when a user navigates to a page that includes the Google Analytics tracking code. A session ends after 30 minutes of inactivity. If the user returns to a page after a session ends, a new session will begin.

9.     When the tracking code collects data, it packages that information up and sends it to Google Analytics to be processed into reports. When Analytics processes data, it aggregates and organizes the data based on particular criteria like whether a user’s device is mobile or desktop, or which browser they’re using.

10.  But there are also configuration settings that allow you to customize how that data is processed. For example, you might want to apply a filter to make sure your data doesn’t include any internal company traffic, or only includes data from a particular country or region that’s important to your business.

11.  *Once Analytics processes the data, it’s stored in a database where it can’t be changed*

12.  when you set up your configuration, don’t exclude any data you think you might want to analyze later. Once the data has been processed and stored in the database, it will appear in Google Analytics as reports. 

13.  Google Analytics accounts are set up hierarchically. Each account can have multiple properties and each property can have multiple views. This can help you organize your Analytics data to reflect your business. Accounts, properties, and views let you apply configuration settings at each level to determine what data you want to include, exclude, or modify when it’s collected and processed. It’s important to be thoughtful when setting up your account because you can’t change data once it’s been processed by Google Analytics.

14.  The Google Analytics “account” is a way for you to organize how data is collected from all of your websites and manage who can access that data. Typically, you would create separate accounts for distinct businesses or business units.

15.  Each Google Analytics account has at least one “property” that can independently collect data using a unique tracking ID that appears in your Javascript tracking code.

16.  Each account can have multiple properties, so you can collect data from the different websites, mobile applications, or other digital assets associated with the business. For example, you may want to have separate properties for different sales regions or different brands. This allows you to easily view the data for an individual part of your business, but keep in mind this won’t allow you to see the data from separate properties in aggregate.

17.  Just as each account can have multiple “properties,” each property can have multiple “views.” These views are where you can see reports for the Google Analytics data collected.

18.  You can use a feature called Filters in your configuration settings to determine what data you want to include, exclude, or modify in each view.

19.  At the View level, you can also set Google Analytics “Goals.” Goals are a simple way to track conversions (or business objectives) from your website. A goal could be how many users signed up for an email newsletter, or how many users purchased a product. We’ll discuss Goals and Conversions in a later lesson.

20.  Before we move on to user access permissions, there are a couple things to note about views that are really important. New views only include data from the date the view was created and onwards. When you create a new view, it will not include past data. You can only set up 25 views per property and if you delete a view, only administrators can recover that view within 35 days. Otherwise, the view will be permanently deleted.

21.  You can assign permissions to other users at the account, the property, or the view level. Each level inherits permissions from the level above it.

22.  For example, if you have access to an account, then you have the same access permissions to the properties and views underneath that account. But if you only have access permissions for a view, then you won’t have permission to modify the property or account associated with that view.

23.  By clicking the “Admin” tab, Google Analytics lets you set user permissions for “managing users,” “edit,” “collaborate,” or “read and analyze.” “Managing users” lets users add or remove user access to the account, property, or view. “Edit” lets users make changes to the configuration settings. “Collaborate” allows users to share things like dashboards or certain measurement settings. And finally, “Read and Analyze” lets users view data, analyze reports, and create dashboards, but restricts them from making changes to the settings or adding new users.

24.  How you configure your accounts, properties, and views can affect what data you collect and the quality of that data.

25. Account/Property/View switcher: If you have multiple accounts, properties, or views set up, you can easily switch between them by clicking on the pulldown menu with the title of your View in the upper-left corner.

26.  When you open up the account picker, you can select by account, property, or view. You can also search any of these by name. To close the Account picker, click anywhere on the screen outside of the picker.

27.  Clicking the bell icon shows you a list of all of your alerts. This may include data that is not collecting properly or a setting that needs optimizing. To close the Alerts menu, click anywhere on the screen outside of the alerts.

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