Think : If I have a perfect navigation through my website for my customer, what journey would that be?
Think : Have I avoided the obvious vanity metrics like Number of Visitors to My Website!? Because these mean nothing
Step 1 is simple. You login and have a general look around at the dashboards and click through the menu in the left hand column which acts as your main navigation through the service. Try clicking on Admin towards the top right hand corner of the page and see your account settings, views and importantly the various tools and widgets you’ll use later.
Step 2 is tricky. Take post-its, pens and some time to write out all the various questions you’d like answers for from your website. If your website could talk what would you ask it. Think of things that really matter to you and your business decisions. Think up everything you can for each of the stages of the customer journey. We should be able to work out the questions once you know the answers you need.
Step 3 is hard. Armed with the answers you need it’s time to work out what questions to ask of Google Analytics to turn the information inside into useful intelligence to aid your decision making. Try thinking of the following mantra: Sources (your audience or visitors) Behaviours (and customer journey) Conversion (to see if they did what you expected or wanted them to do) and create your dashboard and shortcuts to quickly return to the latest data and trends next time.
Sources- Google calls this Audience and Acquisition and it focuses on where your visitors came from, what search phrases they used, their location, if they came via a social network and whether they are on a mobile or computer.
Behaviours - Google includes pages per visit, time spent in the site, drop out rates and visitor flow, the pages they visited in step by step. For this you can use in-page analytics to see the % of click throughs on each link on every page. Follow the route your customers are taking to better understand their experience.
Conversion - Set goals in your Admin area that reflect what you need as a business and they will appear in your website reports and dashboard. You will easily see the % completion of each goal.
Two clever things about Google Analytics is that you can combine any of the above into a custom report so you can construct highly targeted performance analysis that reflect the detailed visitor profiles you wish to attract. This can, where data exists, include the different behaviours of visitors based on their age, location and gender. Simply click on the ‘Add to Dashboard’ or ‘Shortcut’ to favourite any custom report you create.
If you do not have the time to keep logging into Google Analytics you can easily create Custom Alerts in your Admin screen that will email you when your specified goals are reached. And working as a team? Each team member can create their own Private Dashboard using the ‘+ New Dashboard’ link at the top of the left navigation panel.
Total customisation and even real-time visitor analysis if you have a very busy website. Google Analytics remains the best in class website analysis tool.
More information from Google Analytics Help.