Google Analytics and other analytics services are great tools. The level of information available to digital advertisers is somewhat mind-boggling, so understanding what data is important to you and setting up tracking in a way that captures information relevant to your business needs is important, otherwise you could get lost in a sea of data.
A concept we find extremely important is the idea of ‘actionable insight’. This is not just knowing what is happening, but more importantly knowing what it means to the business.
Let’s take this scenario: Mario is a plumber in Kent. He receives 100 visits to his site each day. To some, 100 visits might be good, to others that is less than they would expect in an hour. The question here is, what is important to Mario’s business?
Something that is a great help when trying to understand what good performance looks like is to set goals. These goals can be used to benchmark performance. Let’s take the above example again. Mario is aiming to get 150 visits a day, so 100 visits is only two thirds of the way there. So, from this Mario now knows that he needs to get more traffic to the site and can consider his options (paid advertising, affiliates, email, maybe even radio).
So how can you go about setting good goals for your business? Well, follow the below steps and you will be on your way. This particular method is known as the measurement plan. This is something that should be done on a regular basis and will underpin the aim of the project.
The measurement plan
The measurement plan is a simple process of identifying objectives and the tactics likely to be employed to achieve this. This is then used to identify goals, and finally the metrics and segments.*
* Segments are ways to splice the data, so we could look at traffic by source (which search engine is driving me more traffic – Google or Bing, for example).
Here we will look at a simple version of the measurement plan. This can be done for the business as a whole or for business units. The business should be the first objective set up, and any business unit’s objectives should be geared toward achieving this. That way you are always working towards the same goal and reducing the risk of working against each other.
- Start with your business objective. What is the main objective for your business as a whole?This will give you the aim for any tactics.
- What are the strategies and tactics you intend to use? And how will you segment that data?This will help identify what your goals are.
- Define goals from these as well as objectives/tactics.This will identify what needs to be tracked and looked at on a regular basis.
All of this benchmarks what good performance looks like.
Essentially this gives you:
- What is my aim?
- How am I going to get there?
- What are the milestones along the way (so I know if I am going in the right direction or not!)?
Here at Sleeping Giant Media we offer training sessions to help you get more out of your Google Analytics. These are in a range of areas, from how to put a measurement plan together to how to set up custom reports/dashboards and using Google Tag Manager.
If you would like to know more about how to use analytics please contact [email protected] or call the office on 01303 240715.