3 Things I Learned from Taking a Google Analytics Course

On a Tuesday morning earlier in September, I, alongside a room full of eager professionals with varying levels of Google Analytics experience, stepped in to ClickInsight’s Toronto office to delve into GA. We each were there for our own specific reasons, but generally all wanted to learn more about the programs capabilities and enhance our own skills to help us make better, smarter decisions with our digital data.

Over the 2 day course, instructed by June Li, Managing Director at ClickInsight, we covered a wide variety of topics including web analytics fundamentals, standard and custom reports, sampling and UTM tagging.

I have been working regularly in Google Analytics for about 2 months, and am the first to admit that I still have a lot to learn about its capability and its interface, which is seemingly ever-changing.

Just over a week has passed since I took the course, and already I am finding my skills enhanced and my confidence growing as I put what I learned into practice and good use. So far I have:

  • Quickly maneuvered through standard reports with ease while preparing a marketing report for a client.
  • Created regular expressions to help drill down and extract specific data for a select campaigns I was analyzing.
  • Built new custom reports and dashboards for a key GA account, which now allows me to easily access data I review on a regular basis.
  • Used June’s advice on creating a measurement plan when kicking off a new project. Continue reading “3 Things I Learned from Taking a Google Analytics Course” »

Who has Access to Your Analytics Account?

Well… do you know?

More specifically, do you know:

  • Who is able to view and extract your organization’s data?
  • Who has the ability to permanently alter your data by adding, editing, or deleting views and filters?
  • Who is capable of adding or removing users and modifying their permissions?
  • Who can add, edit, or remove tracking through your tag management tool?

And most importantly, do you know if they should have access?

If you are responsible for the integrity, quality, and security of your organization’s data, you need to know the answers to these questions at all times. (And if you are not the one responsible, you should find the person who is and make sure that they know these answers).

User management is one of the most misunderstood and frequently overlooked areas within Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Both GA and GTM offer the ability to set varying degrees of permissions for each user, and at each level within the account hierarchy.

However, Google is not going to manage your users for you.

It is your responsibility to understand what each degree of user permissions allows for and to assign those permissions as appropriate.
Continue reading “Who has Access to Your Analytics Account?” »

The (Web)olution of Analytics

It should come as no surprise that the design and structure of web pages has become increasingly complex over the past two decades. What were once static pages of text are now filled with interactive sliders and graphics, dynamic forms and expansions, animations, video, and other rich media elements. That’s not to mention parallax scrolling, mosaic layouts, and responsive designs.

However, as much as websites have evolved over the years, web analytics tools have not progressed very far in their built-in ability to track any type of dynamic content or interaction. An “out-of-the-box” implementation of Google Analytics or another similar tool still views your site as simply a collection of static pages. For just about any website today, this is simply not good enough. How can you gain any meaningful understanding of your customers if the majority of their online activity is invisible to you?

It’s simple: If you have a website, you need analytics. And if you have analytics, you need to customize your implementation to suit your website and your business to ensure that you are measuring the things that matter.

Here are some tips to help you bring your analytics implementation out of the stone age:


Continue reading “The (Web)olution of Analytics” »

7 Myths & Misconceptions about GTM Busted

GTM MythsGoogle Tag Manager has evolved since it’s introduction on October 1, 2012.  With the 3 year anniversary just weeks away, many businesses have yet to leverage its capabilities for analytics and marketing.

While organizations are still trying to wrap their head around exactly what Google Tag Manager (GTM) is and why they should use it, there seems to be many myths and misunderstandings floating around, which are likely contributing to the hesitance of migrating to GTM and fully realizing the benefits.

In this post we will try to debunk some of the myths surrounding GTM, as well as provide some clarity around what GTM really is.

Continue reading “7 Myths & Misconceptions about GTM Busted” »

Tips for Keeping your Analytics Agency in Check

Earlier this month we shared with you tips for keeping your PPC agency in check. When it comes to analytics, it is just as important to carefully select and keep tabs on your agency partner. Working with the right agency can determine whether your investment in analytics merely produces a stream of meaningless reports or instead uncovers a treasure of actionable insights for your organization.

Most organizations hire an agency for digital analytics because:Tracking what Matters the Most to Your Business

  • They have a need for analytics expertise.
  • They do not have the time or resources to develop an analytics capability by themselves.

Hiring an analytics agency can be a huge undertaking, both in dollars and time, so it’s important that you check-in to make sure that your agency is doing their job.

We know what you are thinking—I hired an agency so that I wouldn’t have to worry about doing the work. They are the experts. I shouldn’t have to tell them what to do.

However, at the end of the day, you are still responsible for what the agency delivers. This doesn’t mean you need to have a hands-on role in every decision your agency makes, but you should ensure that they are consistently working for your best interests and that you are not missing out on opportunities for improvement.

Here are 4 questions to help you evaluate your agency’s performance:

Continue reading “Tips for Keeping your Analytics Agency in Check” »