The foundation of good optimization is data. That’s where it starts. Once you find the right insights in Google Analytics and locate the pain points in your funnel, you can make better optimization decisions.
It all comes down to knowing where to look, what tools to use and how to turn those insights into an actionable optimization plan.
Here to teach us everything we need is Google Analytics Advocate and Expert, Krista Seiden. Krista is a keynote speaker, author and digital marketing expert who teaches marketers all over the world how to use Google Analytics to grow their business.
In this Google Analytics Training, Krista walked us through the 10 biggest mistakes you may be making with your Google Analytics tracking and explains how to fix it action-by-action. Moments before the biggest season of the year, don’t miss this action-packed webinar.
Transcription and screenshots:
Talia: As you know, today we are talking about Google Analytics. I don’t think I could have bought on a better expert than Krista, whom I met in Amsterdam at a conference where we both spoke and I was blown away by her.
Krista: Awesome. So, when Talia first asked me to come, she wanted me to talk about Google Analytics and using analytics to drive insights. That is a topic that is very near and dear to me. I talk often about optimization and how you can use analytics for optimization. And so, today, I’m gonna talk to you about how to turn insights into action.
So, a little bit about me. I have two roles at Google right now. I am the analytics advocate for Google which means that I do a lot of speaking, and teaching, and training on Google Analytics and Google Optimize and all of the different products in our measurement work. And I’m also a product manager for Google Analytics. It’s really cool, kind of, the dual role where I actually get to talk to all the customers, learn from them, you hear what’s going right, going wrong, where we could do better. And then I get to take all that feedback and come right back and actually build features that I’m hearing from the market.
Prior to this role, which I’ve been in for a few years, I actually, worked as an internal practitioner of analytics and optimization. In general, I have been in the analytics and optimization space for about a decade. And I spend time here at Google, running internal teams and at a few other companies. I’m also really involved in the Digital Analytics Association. And I care passionately about women in tech and women in analytics. I’m a huge advocate for those movements. You can follow me on twitter @kristaseiden. And as Talia mentioned, if you want to tweet along with GetUplift hashtag, also mention me. I’d love to follow along and read about that after, and retweet a lot of this really great content. And I also blog at kristaseiden.com.
As I mentioned, I am talking about how to turn insights into action but since the holidays are coming up and I was feeling a little bit extra cheerful this week, I decided to actually name this presentation, “The 10 ways to move from the naughty to the nice list.” And I love this little cartoon at the bottom. In case you can’t see what the text at the bottom says, the naughty list is totally empty, and it said, “They have their names removed using the right to be forgotten.” So, a little Christmas humor to kick us off in the analytic space there.
Naughty #1: Untagged Emails, Social Media or Ads
Okay. So, naughty number one, you have untagged email, social media, or online advertising. How can you fix this? So, to move from naughty to nice in this category, you wanna be sure that you are using campaign tagging to distinguish between all of the different variations of your social media posts, your emails, all of the different marketing efforts that you have online. So, how can we do that?
- Well, for email testing, you can tag the different CTAs in your emails, the links that are going out from your emails to your websites for different headline copy, or email copy, or different CTAs. So, for example, let’s say that you have an email where you are testing out two different offers. And in one email, you give a 50% off code. And in another, you give a $10 off code. And you wanna know which offer guides more people to your website, in your CTA or your link out to your website. You wanna make sure that your campaign tagging is about which offer they received in the email. That way, when they come to your site and they go down your conversion funnel and actually convert, you know which one of those offers actually did better from email all the way to conversion.
Similarly, with ad testing, you wanna use the UTM content slot. So, UTM fields campaign tagging, there are a number of fields, their source medium campaign and content. In this case, you wanna use that content slot which is kind of like a little extra bonus field to denote the ad variation. So similarly, if you had been testing two different offers through that ad, use that content field to denote which ad version they saw. And this can actually be in addition to auto timing. So, we would definitely recommend that you’re using auto tagging with any type of ad campaigns that you have out in the market but you can override your fields in your Google Analytics settings, specifically, for the content slot and use that to denote the variation.
And then finally, there is social media. So, you wanna tag each post with unique campaign tagging parameters so that you can ensure that you actually know which post, at which time of day, on which social media network was driving the most value for you. So here, you can see in the screenshot, this is an example of my personal blog. And here you can see that I have posts for both Twitter and Google+. My source and my medium is social. And in my content spot, I actually used the title of the article. Additionally, you can also, in the content slot, add a date, and a timestamp, or whatever other information you want in there. But for me personally, this is really useful because I can start to analyze which types of articles get the most traction on which types of social networks.
So in this case, through this analysis, what I’ve actually seen over time is that…and you know, this is maybe a little bit dated because we’re not using Google+ quite as much these days but in general, Google+ actually has a very large Google tag manager community. They’re very active in there even though a lot of other areas of the platform have kind of calmed down in the past couple of years. But my content on Google+ for tag manager type posts actually gets shared quite often. And I get a lot of visitors coming from Google+ on content that is related to Google Tag Manager whereas Twitter, for the most part, sends the rest of my social media traffic to my blog based on, you know, a number of other types of articles that I post. So, this is a cool insight that I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t use the source medium and ad content fields here to distinguish which networks sending which type of traffic to my site.
Naughty #2: You have a poorly organized site structure.
Okay, naughty number two. You have a poorly organized site structure. You can fix this using the dataLayer to collect custom information. Now, the dataLayer is a part of Google Tag Manager or some other tag management systems and it’s a way to collect additional information along with what you’re clicking through your tag manager snippet and send that information to a number of different places. So, the dataLayer here, this is an example, and this is what we want to use, this is a hard coded on your pages. And in this case, I’m gonna walk you through an example of how this could be useful to you.
So… I live in San Francisco and sometimes, I have a craving for different types of food to be delivered. And in this case, I’m really interested in Italian food in San Francisco. And my fiancé works at Postmates so he would probably kill me if I ordered it from any other food delivery service, Postmates is a local one here in the Area.
So, I add that to my Google search. And in this case, the first one that comes up is Tommaso’s restaurant in San Francisco, it’s Italian, it looks good, I’d click through to that and I get to their page on Postmates site. And it’s great, that lasagna looks wonderful, I see their menu is listed below. I’m gonna probably order through here.
But now I’ll shift my mindset to the mindset of an analyst. Now as an analyst, when I’m analyzing this data set, I need to be able to do things like understand which types of food are most popular in which cities, I rely heavily on the organization of my site structure. And in this case, the organization URL structure. So we focus in here, the URL for this page is Tommaso’s restaurant San Francisco. There’s no other sub directories there, it doesn’t give me any information or any drill down within that page architecture for a city or a type of food. So as a analyst, this poses a real problem. And if you were to go through a lot of their other URLs, I think we would find a lot of similar things where they don’t have this type of directory structure.
So, I wouldn’t be able to do the type of analysis I need to do to inform my stakeholders about these key pieces of insight that we want to gather and potentially use for promoting certain types of food to certain cities. But that’s where the dataLayer comes in. So in this case, I’ve actually added a couple things to my dataLayer. I’m collecting something for city and its populated for San Francisco in this case. And my page subcategory here is Italian and this is the type of food that I’m interested in.
And now, I can send that information to Google Analytics through a custom dimension and then use that information to slice and dice my page’s report and get a whole lot more information about the types of food that are most interesting to different types of customers in different cities. And then I can go ahead and use that information to actually drive those actions that I was looking for.
Naughty #3 You have untagged A/B testing variations
All right, Naughty number three, we have untagged A/B testing variations. So, this is really bad. You obviously want to know which variations are driving the most impact for your site, above and beyond, just the actual conversion of the goal you’re looking at on that test variation. So in this case, we are gonna use the dataLayer again to collect our test IDs. So, here we have our dataLayer. And in this case, I’ve added something called an eID. And that stands for “experiment ID.” And here, this is index.html, this is just my home page or my control but in any of my test variations, I would actually replace index.html with a experiment ID.
So, this is a customer report in Google Analytics. And in this case, I’m showing you a customer report of a bunch of tests that I ran during my time in the Google For Work, now actually called, the G-suite org, optimizing their websites. And you can see here on the left-hand side, I’ve just blend it up, we have a letter and a number combination. And this is actually two different dataLayer elements that I’ve concatenated into a single custom dimension. So, I had one to collect and experiment name. And in this case, the experiment name was contact us versus talk to an expert as well as an eID to collect the experiment number.
And when I concatenate them, I can actually start to do a lot of analysis here. So, I have the tests that it all rolls up into. So, in this case, all four of these variations are from the contact us versus talk to an expert test. And I have the different number. So, there is number 2, 3, 9 and 8 here in order. And now, I can look at all of my different site goals and the things that I’m measuring are across all of these variations in a custom report. It makes my analysis much easier here, and much better to see all of this side-by-side, and organized by test number and test name.
And as a little bonus, if you are using Google Optimize, which is our A/B testing platform that’s integrated with Google Analytics, you actually don’t need to use the dataLayer to do this because we are sending this information out of the box from an optimized test to Google Analytics already for you. So in the screenshot, you can see that we are sending an experiment ID and an experiment name under behavior. And we also have a variant ID on the bottom right where you can add a secondary dimension of variant, and organize your different tests by which variant you had. Zero, being the control, and any numbers above that being the number of the variation. So, it’s a pretty cool little addition to that platform that’s been built in.
Naughty #4 You have little idea of your site engagement
To fix this, you are gonna use the brand new scroll tracking and element visibility Triggers that have just been released in Google Tag Manager. So, a little backstory on these Triggers. We’ve been working on these for quite some time, here on the Tag Manager and the Analytics team.
And I literally could not be more excited for these. If anybody on this webinar has ever implemented Scroll Tracking for Google Analytics, you will know that prior to this, it has been quite a complicated process. There’s a lot of code involved. You basically have to Google, like, Google Analytics Scroll Tracking, and find a couple of blog posts. LunaMetrics has one, Justin Cutroni has one, there’s a few different blog posts out there with, kind of, best practices of how you could do this but it’s complicated. And if your site structure changes, names change, different things, like, you could totally mess this up.
So, the new scroll tracking triggers are very exciting because they work very, very simply. So, here I have a screen-shot. In the background, we have the Google Tag Manager tag that’s being setup to track this. And you can see that I have just chosen a tag type of Google Analytics, Universal analytics, as I would do for any type of tag, I’m setting up for Google Analytics. My track type is an event, I’m gonna send all of my scroll tracking information as an event to Google Analytics.
I’ve named my event category, School Tracking, so everything rolls up into scroll tracking. My action is going to be the scroll depth threshold. And this is a new variable that has been built into Google Tag Manager along with this new trigger. And with this variable, you can actually set the threshold for each time you want this event to fire. So in my case, I set it for 25%, 50%, 75% and a 100% of the page scrolled up. But if you have a really long site, or you really care about much more granular depths, you can set it to anything you want, 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and it will fire every single time it’s reached one of those specials.
And then finally, my label for this event is the Page Path. So basically, I wanna know where this event is being fired. And then, in the foreground, you can see that I actually tested this out. I sent an event where I went to my website and I started scrolling down my page. You can see there’s one person on the website. And we have our event category that’s actually being fired in real time, this is the real-time analytics. I was able to actually test this out. And you can see I had my 25%, 50%, 75% and a 100% events that were all sent.
Super exciting and the best part about this trigger is that, I actually setup all of this up, including testing, in about five minutes. And it probably would have taken me less time but I kept stopping to take screenshots so that I could write a blog post about it. So, I think this is a huge, huge benefit for marketers, and for websites out there, all over, to really understand how far people are making it down your page and what they’re engaging in. And it just makes scroll tracking so much more accessible.
The other really cool trigger that Google Tag Manager has just released is the new Element Visibility Trigger. So, this is similar to scroll tracking, the way you set it up is very similar. In the background screenshot, you can see, we have our tag type of Universal Analytics, our track type of events, again, sending this as an event to Google Analytics.
In this case, I decided that I wanted to know… I wanted to send an event to Google Analytics. Every time on my website, the newsletter subscribe box was visible for more than two seconds, is what I set that threshold at. Basically, I want to know if people have the opportunity [inaudible 00:19:41] they’ve seen this newsletter subscribe box so that I can start to get an idea of the percentage rate at which I’m converting people to be subscribers to my website. Pretty cool use case here, I think, for me personally. This is something that I definitely want to know on my website.
So, I’ve titled the action of this newsletter, Subscribe, Visible. And then my label is just where this happened. I have allotted from pages of my site, my newsletter subscribe boxes aren’t a lot of them. And so, I want to know which page on the site this happens on. And then, really, how this comes to fruition is through the element visibility trigger which you can see at the bottom of that. That is just something that you set up based on an element ID or a CSS selector.
In my case, I set it up based on an element ID which means that I just went to my newsletter subscribe box, and I inspected the element to figure out what the ID of the form was. And I used that for my trigger. And basically, what it does is it says, when it sees this form, or this element ID visible on the page for more than two seconds, it’s gonna fire this event. So again, I think that this is another way to make things that typically would have taken a lot more code, and been much more fragile, that much more accessible to marketers, and to a lot of smaller businesses and websites out there. So, super excited about this one as well.
Naughty #5: People are dropping out of your forms but you don’t know where.
In this case, we are going to use event tracking for form field interaction. So, I’ve mentioned event tracking quite a bit already in this webinar but I just wanted to take a step back maybe, and explain event tracking a little bit more, in case, you’re not as familiar with it. So, event tracking comes with three fields that you can use, there’s the category. And this is the location of the event or some higher-level organization of it, it could be your home page or your About Us page.
In my example from scroll tracking, I actually used scroll tracking as the category because I wanted all of my different actions that are being sent through roll up into one single category that I could drill down through. Excuse me. The next level is the action. And this is the action that the users actually took on your website. So in this case or in this example here, I have video, or a white paper download, or starting trial in my scroll tracking example. The action was that they made it to 25%, or 50%, or 75% of that page.
So, the final level of this hierarchy is label. And this is specifics about the action. So, if your action had been that they watched a video, then the label should be something like the video name. So that you know which video is being interacted with, or the white paper name, or details about some some link that they might have clicked. In our scroll tracking example, the label was the page path or where this action actually took place.
Okay, now that we have a better understanding of the organization, of how the event tracking works, I wanna show you how you can actually use it for form field tracking. So, this is a real example from the Google Analytics Marketing website. I implemented this website with event tracking. And I have implemented it in the format that I just walked you through. So, my event category is the high level, how the site is organized. We have our home page, and our tag manager overview page.
Let’s focus on number eight, the contact form. So, if we drill in there, drilling in just means clicking on that line, we are gonna be taken to the next level of the hierarchy which is the action. So in this case, we have used the action to tell us which form or which product this person was on when they decided to contact our sales team. So, we’re sending, let’s say, the Analytics 360 Suite page, or the Data Studio page, or number four was that they actually clicked, that they were interested in all of our products.
So, if we drill into one of these, let’s drill into the first one, the Analytics 360 Suite, we’re gonna get to the label level which is the last level of our hierarchy. So in this case, I’m using the event label to actually notate the form field that the user is on. And I’m sending this when somebody has interacted with this field. So, not just tabbed into it but actually started to type. As soon as they start to type any character in this field, I’m sending this event to Google Analytics with that category action and label information with it.
And what I’ve done here is, tables in Google Analytics are typically sorted by the first column after the primary dimension. So, the primary dimension, in this case, is the event label. And the first column here would be total events. So, this report was initially sorted by total events. I’ve actually resorted it by unique events. You can see the drop down arrow to the right of unique events in that column. That just means that that is the column it’s being sorted on.
And what you can see is that, actually, the unique events for this report, correspond very nicely with going down through that form field. This is actually the order in which our form field is organized. First name, last name, job level, all of these different things. So, I find a couple of things very interesting about this report. So, the first thing that I find very interesting is line number nine, the submit label. Now, you can see that there are a lot more total events here than unique event. So, there’s 2900 total events, 2900 times that people were clicking the submit button but only 569 unique times that it was actually submitted.
So, what that tells me is that people were actually trying to submit this form several times but they were likely getting an error message, that the form wasn’t complete, so they couldn’t actually submit it. And what I knew, but the site didn’t necessarily portray, was that all of these fields were required with the exception of region which was an optional field. And that’s why it’s lower. Everything else is required though and we had small little abstracts, I think, next to each of these fields but they weren’t super prominent.
So, I actually took this information, this data back to my design team and I was like, “Hey, I think that we are maybe not making it clear enough that these fields are required. We should probably make it a bit more clear so that people don’t have this confusion, they’re not trying to submit this form multiple times.”
And so, we actually made that change based on this data. So, use the main tracking here to be able to tell where people might be falling out or if there’s something like, an error that is being thrown because of something, in this case, like, not being clear enough that something is required.
Naughty #6: No Key Performance Indicator tracking.
To fix this, we are going to use Goals to track your marketing website success. So, I love Goals. I speak often about what my favorite Google Analytics features are and we’ve already covered two of them, those were Campaign Tracking and Event Tracking. And my third favorite is actually Goals because I think they can be very, very useful in your analysis and in gaining insights to drive action for your businesses.
So, the first thing that you want to do is set up your Goals. This is pretty easy to do, you do it in the admin section of Google Analytics. And as you’re setting up a Goal, you can actually set it up to be a conversion funnel. So in this case, I have a conversion funnel for back when I was in the G Suite org, for our signup flow for Google Apps for Business.
And in this case, it was a three page signup flow. And then once they got to last page, they hit a submit button and that was the completion of that flow. So, I have all of those steps here in this funnel. And I can see that there are a lot of people who are on step one, almost five million people, but there’s a very significant drop-off between step one and step two and another pretty significant drop-off between step two and step three.
So, I don’t know exactly what is the problem here. And this is a case where I might wanna use Event Tracking on those different form fields to see if there’s one particular field that is making people exit on that page. But I do know that there is a problem. We seem to have a huge drop-off rate and there’s probably something that I can and should be doing to optimize that page. Maybe people don’t have enough information from the website before they get into the flow so they don’t proceed to the second step, or maybe when they get to that first page of the signup flow, what’s presented there doesn’t match their expectations or isn’t clear enough and so they’re not proceeding. And I can do further analysis through Event Tracking and through other means of digging in to figure out what exactly the problem is but this is that early indicator that something is wrong.
So, we’ve seen this screenshot before. This is that custom report that I talked about early on when we talked about using your experiment IDs in dataLayer. But what I wanted to show you here is, actually, that I have used Goals across the top as the different metrics that I am looking at. So, I actually am using Micro-Conversion Goals and all Goals are the same, in terms of setup, but I have deemed these to be Micro Conversions on my site. So, they made it from page one to page two and two to page three.
And then my Macro-Conversion, which in this case, is that they’ve signed up for a trial of my product. So, Goals can be really, really useful here to track a lot of things, in this case, across a lot of different test names, and variants, and across all of these different steps in one nice report.
So, this is the next one. They are an online publisher based out of the Netherlands. And they are using, they’re doing A/B testing very heavily. And they are using Google Analytics and Google optimize. And they are using Goals. So, I wanted to show you the goals that they have for their website, very typical publisher type goals. So, that somebody made it two pages deep or three pages deeper, they scrolled all the way to the bottom of an article, or they have clicked a related article, very publisher centric goals here.
But what’s important about this is that they are using these goals as their objectives in Google Optimize. So, one of the great things about Google Optimize is that it’s actually built on top of a lot of the same infrastructure as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. And your objectives in Google Optimize are the Goals that you have set up in Google Analytics. So, you can see they actually directly map because they are the same Goals. So, it’s nice to know that when you’re experimenting, you are driving towards the Key Performance Indicators or the goals that you are already tracking on your website.
Naughty #7: You’re not using analytics reports for optimization insights
The way we are gonna fix this is that we are gonna use a few standard reports to quickly find areas of optimization. Now, up until now, I’ve gone through a lot of more in-depth reports or custom reports or custom data collection tactics. But I wanted to remind you that there are also standard reports or easy things out of the box that you can use to really gain insights and drive action for your website and for your businesses.
So, our first one is the devices report. And in this case, the device report is looking at desktop, tablet and mobile. And it’s looking at across all of my different site actions here, my acquisition behavior and conversion type of metrics in this report. And one of the things I love about these types of reports is that the far right, the conversion one, actually allows you to change the Goals that you’re looking at. So in this case, I’m looking at my goal for trial signup but I could change that and look at my goal for anything else that I’m tracking through Goals in Google Analytics across my different devices or across a lot of other reports because the same infrastructure works across a lot of Google Analytics reports.
But in this case, I can see that my overall conversion rate is .90% but the majority of that is being driven by desktop at 1.02%, mobile and tablet are both significantly underperforming. And I happen to know that our mobile signup experience is not really optimized for mobile, it’s just the website on mobile. And that is not an ideal scenario for mobile customers. But now I have the data to actually prove to my superiors that I need to actually spend some time, and effort, and resources to try to build a much more mobile optimized flow because we have a significant amount of people coming to mobile but they are not able to sign up.
So, the next standard report we want to look at is our browser report. So in this case, we’re looking at that same conversion rate, at 0.90%, but when I look across browsers, I see that Internet Explorer is significantly underperforming my other browsers. So, I click in and I get my browser version report. And now I can actually pinpoint the problem. So, I see there are a few versions that I know we are no longer supporting but, for example, version eight still has a significant number of people that are coming to our site using it but has a really low conversion rate because it’s not being supported and it’s not optimized for our content.
So, since we have so many people, there’s probably two things that I could or should do here as an analyst or as somebody who wants to fix this problem. I could go to my teams and say, “Hey, there’s probably still a significant case for why we should support Internet Explorer version eight.” Or I could maybe, if we are not gonna support it, instead when I noticed that somebody is coming from Internet Explorer version eight, put some kind of a message on their site saying,” Hey, we’re not supporting this version of your browser, you might wanna update or use another browser to have the best experience on our site.”
Either way, we are being proactive in either supporting or letting people know that this is not the best version of this experience so that they have the opportunity to use a different browser, or a different version, to get a better experience, and hopefully, convert for our product.
Okay, the next one is Site Search Conversion Rates. So, this is actually a custom report but Site Search is part of standard reports as well. And what I wanted to show you here was that, in this case, the search term reports is pulling in the different things that people are searching for on my website. This is something that’s very easy to set up, it’s not out-of-the-box per se. You actually have to set up the Site Search functionality in Google Analytics but you can do that through the admin settings. And it’s as simple as changing a toggle from off to on and inserting your query parameter.
And then we’ll get all of the different search terms that people are actually typing into the search bar on your website. So in this case, I can see for the G suite org, they were getting a lot of searches for Google Drive that led to the most signups in this case, but that content wasn’t first and foremost on their website. So perhaps, we should consider making Google Drive content more prominent because people are definitely searching for it and when they’re searching, they are converting.
Naughty #8: No visibility into your other Google tools
If you’re using Google Analytics, it’s highly likely that you’re using other Google tools as well. Hopefully, you’re using Google Tag Manager, we’ve talked about a lot of the benefits for that already, but there are many other things that you could be using.
So to fix this, we want to ensure that you have all of your integrations setup.
- So, the first integration that you want to set up is Search Console. So, Search Console, it used to be called Webmaster tools. It’s a way to submit a index or get Googlebot to index your page. And you can submit a sitemap and various things to Google. And it helps with your SEO efforts. But in this case, we wanna bring that Search Console data into Google Analytics. And why this is really important, more so now than ever, is that in Google Analytics…and it’s been true for some time and it’s actually true for all other analytics platforms as well. You don’t get your organic search keywords from Google or from most of the other major search providers because we now encrypt search. So, its HTTPS. And because of that, the organic keyword volume in Google Analytics has gone significantly down over time. And you don’t have the ability to make informed decisions based on that data and who’s coming to your website from which organic keywords. But with the Search Console integration, you can actually start to bring some of those search queries back into Google Analytics because this sort of queries are available in Search Console. So, definitely, set up this integration.
- The next, if you are advertising with AdWords, you definitely want to set up the integration between Adwords and Google Analytics because that brings your AdWords data into Google Analytics. And the benefit of this is that you can actually start to slice and dice your analytics data by your AdWords data and your AdWords data by your analytics data, giving you much more insight than you would get just through AdWords reporting into the overall behavior of your website and how these AdWords campaigns actually impacted that.
- Similarly, we have our DoubleClick integration. So, this is only available for Google Analytics 360 clients. So, a paying client of Google Analytics. But this allows you to bring your DCM, DBM, DS all of the different DoubleClick Suite tools into Google Analytics. And in this case, you can see that you have View-through and Click-through data brought into Google Analytics. And again, you can analyze your DCM or DBM data along with your Google Analytics data side-by-side to get more information about how people are interacting on your site based on the campaigns that brought them there.
- So, the last integration I have here is the Optimize 360 Integration. So, if you are using Google Analytics and you are using Optimize, the 360 version, again, the paid version of Optimize, you can actually use your Google Analytics audiences or the segments that you’ve built in Google Analytics as targeting options in Optimize. Now, this is awesome because you’ve already done a lot of effort, you already put in a lot of effort to analyze the different segments of customers that you find important on your website. For example, for a travel company, you might have platinum, gold and silver tiered rewards members. And you might want to serve each of those different tiers, different experiences on your website. So, using Optimize, you can build your different variations and run an A/B test but you can also target those different variations to your different audiences. So, you can serve platinum members a different experience than you serve gold members, and different experience than you serve silver members. I think that’s a really, really cool benefit and a way to drive more personalization with this platform.
Naughty #9: You don’t listen to your customers quantitatively
I mentioned Site Search earlier but this is actually the standard Site Search report . And this is looking at data for my own blog. And what I like about this is, I’m looking at the top search terms for my blog. So, I can see here, a lot of people are actually searching for a Tag Manager, or Google Tag Manager, or GTI. This is something that I blog about often but clearly, it’s highly interesting content to my users. And so, perhaps I should consider blogging about this topic more often. And that insight is being driven by the data that I have here in my Search Terms report or by the information, that I know people are searching for, on my blog.
The next is actually not a Google Analytics product or tool. This is a tool called Crazy Egg. And I love this tool because it actually can give you a lot of insight into what people are interacting with on your website. So, before I joined Google, I actually ran a analytics and optimization program for a higher education company. And one of the things that I was responsible for there was this career portal. And we had spent a whole lot of time and effort building up this new career portal for our students. And there was three main calls to action at the top of the page or above the fold.
And they were something, like, a resume builder, and a job search, and I forget what the last one was, but these three main calls to action, this is what we wanted people to interact with on the site. So, we launched this page, we saw a whole lot of people come to this page through our data, we knew people were coming. They were getting there, which was awesome, but we weren’t seeing very many people actually go out to or interact with the resources that we cared so much about on this page, those three main calls to action.
And we were scratching our heads, we couldn’t figure out why. And so, our Google Analytics data wasn’t really pointing it out. It was just telling us the links that people were clicking out to and that they weren’t really clicking out there. But what we did was we put Crazy Egg on top of this page. And we actually tracked how many people or where people were clicking on the page.
What we saw was that people were clicking on these resources. These resources had a nice big image and then some text below but the problem was that they were clicking on the image and we had forgotten to make these images clickable. So, they weren’t finding the tiny little link in the text below to actually click out to the resource. That was a really valuable insight for us. And it was a quick insight to gain, and a very quick fix to make that actually then helped pick up the impact and reach of this site and of these main resources that we were driving.
The other thing I really like about Crazy Egg is that you can actually choose what these little dots, these confetti that you see on your page, this is specifically the confetti of your report which is my favorite report in there. But what they mean? So, you can see that it’s checked for refer but you can change this to all of these different things. And these dots will change based on what you are looking at. I really like the time to click one. So, you can actually sort out what people are clicking on within a couple of seconds versus much longer on your website.
So, if you haven’t checked out Crazy Egg, I’d recommend checking it out.
Naughty #9b: You don’t listen to your customers qualitatively.
For this, we are gonna use surveys to track our voice of customer. And this is really great, specifically, for testing tiebreakers. So, Google has a survey tool, a lot of other companies have them too. For surveys, ours is called Google Consumer Surveys or Google Surveys. And it’s very simple to setup. If you’re using Google Tag Manager, there’s a tag for Google Consumer Surveys. And all you have to do is enter your survey ID and it will pop up on your site based on the triggers that you’ve set it for. But you can ask things like, “How satisfied are you with this experience? Did you find what you’re looking for?”
So, I have actually ran multiple tests where the quantitative data has been fairly flat but the qualitative data told us that one experience was giving our users a much better overall user experience than the other. And that gave us the reasoning we needed to go ahead and launch that as the winner of the test.
Naughty #10: You don’t put it all together to drive real value for your business.
How we fix that is, we use our analytics data, our integrations, and testing to drive impact for your business. So, for example, this is LightInTheBox, it’s an online retailer, they sell a lot of different things on their site. And we’ve gone in, I’ve gone in and I’ve looked for digital cameras. And I’m really interested. I’m doing a lot of searching here, and reading, and reviewing. And I might have even added one to my cart but I haven’t purchased yet.
So, if we switch gears to the analyst side of this. As the analyst, I’m gonna analyze this flow. I see a lot of people are coming to my website, they are looking for digital cameras, some have even added to their cart but very, very few have checked out. This is called a Custom Funnel Report in Google Analytics, it’s part of analytics 360, it’s a very powerful report. So, if you have Analytics 360, I’d highly suggest using this.
And the reason I love it so much is that if you actually click any one of those red drop-down arrows from any step, in this case, we’ll click from Add to Cart, it’ll say, “Hey, you’ve had 2,346 people who added to their cart but they did not check out. Do you want to create a new segment and remarket to them?” Well of course, we’re all good analysts, we’re marketers, we want to bring these people back, and we want them to check out and buy this digital camera.
So, I mentioned earlier that you could use your audiences in Optimize. So, not only, can you remarket to the users who added to cart but didn’t check out with ads, and perhaps, you wanna add some kind of a messaging like, “Get free shipping on your next order,” as an incentive to come back. But you can also use that exact same audience to target an experience to them when they land on your website so that they have similar content, similar messaging from ad, all the way back to website. So in this case, we could serve some kind of an experience that says, “Welcome back. Get free shipping on your next order,” when they come back.
So, I’ve talked about a lot of different things today. And I know it was pretty quick. So, we have some time to answer questions. I just wanted to remind you some of the naughties and some of the nices that we talked about here. And here’s a few more. And with that, I am going to say, “Thank you very much for having me and I would love to take your questions.”
Google Analytics Questions & Answers
Ross wants to know if there’s any advantage in page load speed in limiting the Scroll Events sent? He wants to know if there’s any advantage in actually limiting where the scroll ends
I can think of a few cases why that would be useful. Let’s say that you have a long scrolling page but maybe the bottom third of it is actually, just links out to other things, or ads, or different content that you don’t really care about from a content perspective. So, you could actually, determine which point is your 100% in your mind.
Joe says that he uses Hotjar for form interaction analysis. It provides time interacted with the field, could one also do that with GTM or Google Analytics? I also use Hotjar to do that by the way.
I’ve never used Hotjar so I’m not super familiar there. But I did talk about form field tracking with event tracking, and using Google Tag Manager to understand that form field interaction and send them events. I think that there’s probably a lot more that you could do, in terms of, when you’re triggering, and how long you want something to to be interacted with before you trigger that event. So, I think that there’s definitely things that you could do to get more insight there.
Scott says that he’d like to add an event tracking to a newsletter. That basically, many people can subscribe to their newsletter within different forms. So, they have a form in the footer, and they have a form in an article page, or in the middle of the page. So, should it be one of that with different categories or should they sign up differently?
I think that is a great question. And I would actually highly recommend it. I’ve done this multiple times myself, using the same category, and the same action because the action is that they are submitting this form, or whatever it is that they’re interacting with. But the label will be the distinguishing factor here. So, the label could be that it was in the top nav bar, or at the bottom of the page, or something like that. And that way, you can actually, when you’re analyzing, look at your form submits action mentioned in your report. And add a secondary dimension, to put that down by the labels, to see which of those actual form fields are getting the most interaction out of that total number.
Jen says she’s always wondering about tools or templates for creating easy-to-understand, weekly and monthly, website stats reports for her C-Level Suites. Any recommendations for tools, excels, templates, something of the sort?
Yeah, totally. Google actually has another product called Data Studio, it’s our data visualization platform. Data Studio is it has native integrations with Google Analytics but we know that’s where all your data leads. So, it has integrations with AdWords, and DoubleClick, and Google Spreadsheets.
And really cool, we recently just announced something called the Community Connectors Program which basically allows you to build a connector of your own or use one of many, I think there are about 600 that have apps developed to connect to pretty much any other type of data, that you can bring in your Facebook data, or Twitter data, your Salesforce data, all in one place to have this visual tool to build your reports on. And in that tool, there’s a lot of templates that come out of the box. So, there’s templates for things like, YouTube reporting, and for AdWords reporting, and various things. So, you can copy these templates and then make them your own. Maybe, there’s a few of those report widgets that you really like and some others that you wanna test. So, it’s a great starting ground.
Joey wants to know – How can we make sure that the data that we’re collecting is reliable?
I can’t stress this enough, “Google Analytics or any analytics platform is not set it and forget it.” You have to constantly make sure that your tags are set up correctly, that you’re collecting them. This means that sometimes you might have to do a site audit to understand if what you’re actually doing on your website is coming through in your data.
I can’t go into all the details about how you would do a site audit now because there are, you know, a lot of things there. I’ve certainly blogged about it, others have blogged about it. We have courses in our Analytics Academy about how you would do some of these types of things. But what I would stress is that you do need to constantly revisit this for any platform out there.
Talia: That’s the all the time we have today for questions. Thank you Krista!
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