When we work with a new client on marketing, the first thing that we do is to make sure that their website is set up correctly so that we can check out the data; making sure that their website is working as hard as it should be.
Quite often we find that people who have set up their analytics have just let them sit and not used them since they were installed. If they are used, they are just used for the most basic reporting; examining sessions, visitors, conversions and revenue. However, there’s much more to be gleaned from the reports than just the basics – if you have your analytics set up right.
Here’s a helpful guide to setting up your analytics to help you get the most from your site. Imagine there’s an e-commerce site at www.example.com.
Domains and Subdomains
Most sites can handle it when a user adds www. to a URL. They can send people to example.com or www.example.com where required.
However, sites sometimes use subdomains. You might find blog.example.com or offers.example.com as a landing page.
Another way that sites might have different domains is if they use a different one for video, for example. This could be shown as example.tv.
However, Google Analytics usually strips the domain info from the URL when recording a page view. www.example.com/contactus and blog.example.com/contactus are both recorded as simply /contactus.
To solve this issue, set up the different domains with separate property IDs so that Google can tell they are separate pages.
Best Practice for Using Properties in Google Analytics
When you set up Google Analytics using properties, you should name your different views accordingly.
So have one called 1-master-example.com, and another for 2-blog-example.com, and then 3-all subdomains-example.com. Use numbers to sort them into the most common and change the view names to make them easily searchable and identifiable.
Filters You Should Consider
There are a few filters you should consider for your analytics.
Include domains and subdomains – This filter will help you to see how visitors move through your site. You need to go to the filter setup, choose ‘advance’ type, with output to ‘field a required’ and ‘override output field’ selected.
Exclude internal traffic – Another one is to remove internal traffic so that you aren’t artificially inflating your numbers or travelling through the site in a way your customers won’t. Add your IP address to the filter to do this.
Lower case – If you use services like Mailchimp or Medium, they could show up in your sources as both Medium and medium and mailchimp and Mailchimp, meaning you have two entries for the same source. You can set up a filter to keep everything lower case to stop this. It’s one of the predefined settings in the filter setup.
There you have it. These are just a few changes that you can make to your analytics to help you understand you site visitors. If you’d like to know more about analytics, speak to us today.