The one thing you should be doing in Google Analytics - Part Three

This is the last post of this blog series and today we are going to be looking at the reporting in Google Analytics that helps you take data based decisions. If you missed them, here are the initial posts on how to figure out your 'golden click' and setting it up in Google Analytics.

Out of this whole process, I think deciding a valuable 'golden click' is the hardest part. After that, the initial tool set up takes less than 5 minutes. Then, depending on how much traffic you have going to your site, you should wait at least a couple weeks to before analyzing the data.

You can integrate this part of the process in your monthly business review, every 6 months, or when you are looking at revamping your services or website.

Reporting analysis and interpretation doesn't have to be a long and tedious process. I recommend sitting down and writing what strategy you've been using related to your "golden click" before looking at Google Analytics. 

For example, for my newsletter subscription, I would review what content I created for my blog, my call to actions, where I've been sharing it, and where I feel I've been most successful. All this before even opening up the tool.

Once you have a clear idea of the strategy you used, go to the report in Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. It might look something like this:


Let me break out the information (don't freak out just yet). This report tells us where users are coming to your site from in the following channels:

  • Social -> social networks like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

  • Direct -> users loading your site by directly typing it into the browser or using a bookmark

  • Referral -> other sites that have your site linked

  • Organic Search -> Google/Yahoo/Bing searches, unpaid

  • Email -> email! this could be a personal email or newsletter

If you don't see all of these options in your report that's okay! Not all might be relevant to your site.


Now what? Take a look at the last column in the report, Conversions:


This is where things get interesting. Which of these top acquisition channels led to more of your "golden click" completions? For me, it's Direct but I'm more interested in Social and so, to get a little more information, I can click on "Social" to see the break out per platform.


Again, here I can take a step further in my analysis, and start to understand if my marketing efforts lead to real results.


Taking the time offline to document your strategy can make your analysis so much easier, since you will be able to relate where you put in time/energy and where you are getting conversions.


For example, if you spend tons of time in Twitter but are getting more "golden clicks" from LinkedIn, maybe it's time to shift your strategy. It is important not just to analyze the "cold numbers" but first relate it to your strategy. Then, you can start creating hypothesis on what is working and what isn't.

Also, I highly recommend documenting your hypothesis so that over time, you can see where you've been successful and where you haven't. You can do this in a Google doc, that you update on an ongoing basis.

And that is it! I hope you found this guide helpful. If any questions come up, please make sure to leave a comment in the section below.

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