Analytics setup, now what?

  • Daniel Bensason

You just set up your analytics account with a basic configuration. Nice! Now what? I am here to tell you that this is just the beginning…

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There are many different additions you can make to your analytics setup in order to improve the insights you receive, the ease with which you can access and view your data as well as improving the safety of your account and the compliance of your data collection. Depending on your setup and your requirements, additions can be more or less relevant for you, that being said, this is a list of five activities I would strongly recommend no matter the complexity and scale of your setup.

Define Goals
Defining goals is the best way to evaluate the success of your website. Goals (also known as conversions) are simply events tracked on the website that are linked to company goals. Knowing how successful your website is can provide invaluable insight when evaluating future feature developments, campaigns and future tracking.
A good tip when defining your analytics goals, is to think about the ideal user journey on your website. What do you define as a successful visit - and which events are relevant to that understanding of success? Use this question to define a few goals and voilà you will be able to start evaluating the success of your website!

Create a custom report
Even the best analytics tools will not know which data is beneficial for you and your team to have. Based on your defined goals, you should be able to distinguish how you want it to be visualised. Whether in a bar graph, table, pie chart, heatmap etc. there are many ways to visualise the data, a tip here is to keep it simple and clean. Use only a few metrics and potentially limit the amount of dimensions in order to increase understanding and save time. In a further step, you can start creating reports with a specific role in mind; one for the sales manager, one for the marketing team, one for the campaign manager. Talk to each team to see what they need most to understand from the website and build their tailored report!

Ensure the data collected is safe
The data you collect from your website should only be accessible to those that truly need it. Limiting and restricting access is a precautionary measure to ensure that the data does not end up in the wrong hands. Start by inspecting who has access to your analytics tools, tag managers, dashboards, etc. and for each user decide whether they need access and what type of access: editing, publishing, viewing…different tools have different user management structures - utilise these settings to secure your analytics data.

Consider data privacy implications
You might have been quick to setup your analytics tool for a relaunch and not considered the implications of user data and consent. Well I am here to tell you that it's not too late! There are a few key very important questions to ask yourself: Are we collecting personal data, like cookies, IP addresses, emails, usernames etc..? Are users aware of the fact that we are collecting this information? Can users opt-out of the data collection?
Answering those three questions is a great starting point for making your analytics setup more compliant to data privacy laws and more considerate to your users.

Start optimising content
Last but not least, another way of improving your analytics insights is by starting to optimise your existing and especially your new content. A good place to start is by looking at the most viewed pages of your website. Where are users spending most of their time? How are users arriving to this page? How are they leaving the page? Is there any interaction you could track on that page to understand more about the users intent? Asking yourself these questions can lead to improvements on the page, on your understanding of users and in turn a happier visitor.
If you really want to dive deep, A/B testing could be a good idea to test different variants for the best performing one. For example, if you select a destination page you want your users to visit, say a blogpost, then you can experiment with links, on different pages, in a different color, with a different tag line and see which one delivers the most amount of traffic. A tip here is to ensure that you run the experiment for long enough, until you have enough data points to make an informed decision. In my experience, 4-6months should be sufficient to see some trends.

I hope these activities have motivated you to keep working on and improving your analytics setup. If you have any questions or need some support on taking those next steps and leveling up your setup, please feel free to connect with me and my team. We will be happy to help!

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