It’s Monday morning.

That feeling of existential dread sets in..

“I have to look at Google Analytics.”

That dread is typically caused by the fact that there is a MOUNTAIN of data in there.

Data geeks like me LOVE the fact that there is so much information in one place.

But, if you have other things going on and have to take a quick look before moving on to the next task, you can quickly find yourself in a state of overwhelm.

It’s estimated that there are 50,000+ data points that can be analyzed in Google Analytics.

I don’t know about you, but when I have too many options on a menu at a diner, I start sweating from the anxiety.

The purpose of today’s post is to share what I’ve found to be the most useful datapoints to utilize. In the end, the purpose of these is to make profitable decisions for your business.

First, determine what your comparison window is.

Every business is different. I have some clients that want Month over Month Data and I have some clients that want Year Over Year data.

Making this decision is a great way of ending “Analysis Paralysis” before you start.

Granted, this sounds incredibly basic, but I for one can attest to going through the “click game” of comparing, comparing, comparing.

It’s really not all necessary if you think about it.

A simple way of determining what your ideal comparison window is would be to think of the “seasons” in your business. Do you have a strong holiday season rush? Any kind of rush?

Or, does your business just kind of grow over the course of the year?

To view this particular comparison, (in case you’re not familiar with it) use this toggle and select the time period you want:

Second, Look at traffic by Source/Medium

I’ve long preferred this view because it looks at traffic channels and sources at a mid-range view.

It’s not so high level that it says “paid search” or “social” (etc.), but it also doesn’t get too in-depth in the weeds.

Using this in conjunction with your proper time period can allow you to see which traffic channels need the most attention at which times.

Think about how much of our mental resources are spent by focusing on the wrong things. This simple exercise can help bring profitability to your site by simply focusing on the right thing.

Finally, the metrics you look at matters

Once you open the right window and you know you’re generally going to get the information you want, now you’ll be sent down a rabbit hole of data possibilities.

Personally, I prefer to look at the following three data points when I am doing a high level peek:

  1. Bounce Rate: I am a bounce rate fan because I want to know how people are reacting to promotions, new artwork, layout changes, and etc. Most websites are consistently evolving, so we should be measuring how our audience responds.
  2. Users: Personally, I like the fact that this piece of data blends New Users with overall sessions. It’s useful to know that there is a measurable number for how many individual people are on the site. Then, we can compare vs. new users, and see how many visits it takes for a transaction to happen.
  3. Conversion Rate: The ultimate test is how many people out of 100 will pull out a credit card and buy something. By being selective with your comparison dates, you can identify what a winning page layout/ad message/etc. is.

At the end of the day, having the right information is so critical in our decision-making process.

Google Analytics, of course, provides this information, but it’s easy to find ourselves in a state of overwhelm. All that said, I hope you found this helpful in your decision making journey.

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