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Google Analytics Simplified

Emily Stark | December 11, 2014 Comments

How often do you review or monitor your Google Analytic stats? 
Not very often?  

That’s okay…but you should be doing this on a regular basis! It’s especially important before commencing a broadcast email campaign or other online marketing initiative, making any business decisions that affect your online operations, or any other major online projects are undertaken.  

If you’re not familiar how to get started, here is some basic information to get your feet wet:  

Google Analytics (GA) is a free service that monitors and tracks your user’s behavior while on your website. As a web provider, we can implement this for you if you don’t have it already.

First and foremost, it is essential to gather your key stakeholders together and establish a few important details:

•    What is your business objective?

•    What are the strategies and tactics to support these objectives?

•    What metrics will be chosen to illustrate success?

If you already know this information, you are one step in the right direction. You can then gather it and have the stakeholders review it to contribute additional feedback. This piece does not involve Google Analytics. From this information you will be able to compile what your key performance indicators (KPIs), and what your micro and macro conversions are.

What is a KPI?

A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurement of how your business is performing. You can establish metrics based off two criteria:

1)    data from previous years statistics
2)    what you’d like to achieve as a business in the coming year  

For example, a KPI for an ecommerce website could be total revenue each year or average order value from each transaction. Other simpler KPIs could be how many times the store locator was visited, frequency of visitors on your site, or whether visitors share information in social media.  

What is the difference between a micro and macro conversion?

A micro conversion is a smaller activity your users will participate in that can ideally lead up to your macro conversion. An example of a micro conversion could be downloading a PDF, signing up for an email newsletter or perusing your site for a specific length of time. The macro conversion is most likely the one thing you want your users to perform on your site. For different sites these items can mean different things. For ecommerce sites, a macro conversion can be a successful transaction. For lead generation sites, it could be collecting user information for sales personnel to contact as a potential lead.  

Once this has been established, you are now ready to get started in Google Analytics.  


It is sometimes helpful to have one unfiltered view in GA that has no settings or configurations applied. Additionally, you should have one master view to apply all your settings and configurations to. Finally you’ll need a test view to play around with. You only have data starting from when you create a view so it is critical to utilize your test view before applying a setting so it doesn’t populate your master view with bad data.  


Goals are found in the admin section of GA. Tread carefully here; you are limited to 20 goals per reporting view. If you need more than 20 you’ll have to use different reporting views. Each of the items you established in your stakeholder meeting could be a potential goal. The four goal types you can add consist of the following:

1) Destination - a specific path or location a user travels to

2) Duration – user sessions that last a specific amount of time

3) Pages/screens per session – a user views a specific number of pages or screens

4) Event – an action previously defined has been triggered  

You want to stay on top of what your users are doing, set metrics, and achieve them to illustrate success to your key stakeholders.

If you ever need help with analyzing your Google Analytics statistics, we have an experienced strategy team to help you with whatever level of support your business requires

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