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Google Analytics: Adding Value to Your Site

In many cases, Google Analytics (GA) is being underutilized and undervalued. I touched on this in one of my recent posts, which detailed its importance when making business decisions as well as a few ways to get started in utilizing this data. 

Google Analytics is, in essence, a data dump of your site. It can quickly get overwhelming, intimidating, or confusing if you don’t know where to look. Hopefully the following will help you decipher this information!  

When to Use It

You should be using Google Analytics:

1. When you need to change a feature on your site. 
2. When enhancing a section of your site.
3. When launching a redesigned site.
It should be the foundation for making decisions in regards to any changes done on your site.

Apply Values to Your Goals

One of the first steps in setting up your site is to create goals. I have previously touched on the four types of goals: 1) Destination; 2) Duration; 3) Pages/Screens per session; 4) Event. Goals are a mixture of small and big tasks you’d like your users to perform on your site.  

The next step is to apply a value to these goals. You have the option of assigning a monetary value to each goal. When a user completes a goal, the values are added together which you can then see and analyze in reports.  

One way to determine what a goal value should be is to appraise how often the users who complete the goal become customers. For example, if your sales team can close 10% of people who sign up for a newsletter, and your average transaction is $500, you might assign $50 (i.e. 10% of $500) to your newsletter sign-up goal. A newsletter sign up goal is something that users complete when they reach the final sign-up page. On the other hand, if only 1% of signups result in a sale, you might only assign $5 to your newsletter sign-up goal.  

Although assigning a value to a goal is optional, you can use it to help monetize and measure as many interactions as possible. Google Analytics also uses goal value data to calculate other metrics like ROAS and Average Score.

Please note: Event goals and goals that involve e-commerce tracking require additional consideration during the set up process.

Upgrade to Universal Analytics  

Upgrading to this new version of Google Analytics is still optional but will eventually be required. They will soon retire Classic Analytics tracking codes - so it’s better to implement sooner than later. It is also important to note this new version includes features that change how the data is collected and organized.  

Some of the benefits include:
•    Connect all types of user data through a User ID
•    An enhanced ecommerce plugin  
•    Additional configuration options from the admin section
•    Ability to create custom dimensions and metrics

All of these changes are being done to improve and optimize your user experience with Google Analytics so that it is more intuitive to navigate and easier for you to understand your user’s behavior.

I want to encourage you to start small and stay motivated to keep learning more about your site and how it is being used. Adding goal values and the latest and greatest versions are a step in the right direction. Your site is a big investment and critical to your success.

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


Emily has been at the forefront of website design, development, and evolution for the last 10 years. She has driven dozens of projects from concept to completion of all different sizes in various different industries. She works to understand the clients better; always trying to find the appropriate solutions at the price to fit any budget.

She is Google Analytics certified and a Sitecore CMS 6.5 Certified Technology Specialist. Emily has been with since 2012.

Out of the office, she dabbles in aerial photography with her husband.

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