How to develop a Google Analytics measurement plan

Nearly everyone has Google Analytics installed on their website, but knowing where to start with evaluating all that data can be overwhelming. Luckily, Avinash Kaushik has developed a Google Analytics Measurement Plan that can help!

The most important aspect of putting together an effective Analytics plan is to have key decision-makers of the business involved in its development. In other words, SEO isn’t just about nerds doing nerd things. Even if the very idea of the word “analytics” makes your skin crawl, you as a business owner are integral to the process.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Document your business’s objectives.

Any well-built brand should be able to glide right through this first step. But for others who haven’t gone through a formal branding process, it may be a bit more challenging.

Step 1 entails asking yourself as a company: Why do we exist? What is the Core Purpose and Vision of the brand itself?

Defining a Core Purpose / Vision is critical for so many aspects of your business, but as the first step of an Analytics plan, it is essential. It will be the pivot point around making the plan effective and worthwhile. It defines what you are measuring against and allows owners, managers, and other stakeholders to gauge if what has been implemented is working.

Step 2: Identify strategies and tactics.

Let’s say you’re an e-commerce business with a few brick & mortar shops. One Strategy you would adopt is to sell products. The tactics that support that strategy, then, might be to sell online through the website, sell items in stores, or sell via a mobile shopping app.

If there are brick & mortar stores, giving customers the ability to locate the stores via the website or mobile app will be critical to tracking how the strategy is rolling out.

Perhaps your site includes a blog. The Strategy here would be to engage users by employing the tactic of driving blog engagement. You want to cultivate what the audience loves and educate them.

Common Strategies by Business Type

  • E-commerce – Selling products and services
  • Lead generation – Collecting potential leads
  • Content publisher – Engagement & frequent visitation
  • Online information / support – Help customers find information
  • Branding – Awareness, engagement, loyalty

Step 3: Choose KPIs.

For an e-commerce site, the KPIs (measurements of strategies and tactics) might include monitoring how much revenue has been generated, and the average order value from online and mobile app sales.

To track how many times the brick & mortars have been visited, you can use Google Analytics to track the number of times the store locator was used or how many times a coupon is printed for in-store use.

To measure user engagement via your blog, you can track the recency and frequency of visits, as well as how often content is shared on social media.

Step 4: Choose segments.

It’s important to segment your data to drill down to its essence. Not all customers are the same, and it’s often helpful to segment your reporting to identify distinct market segments.

For instance, you can segment the data by marketing channel (e.g., search, display, email, social). You can then learn how much value you are ultimately getting from each channel. That can drive future marketing plan and budget decisions.

Another segment might be new v. returning to see how much business is driven by new visitors as opposed to repeat customers. This can help you determine whether or not more effort should be made to re-engage past customers or to build loyalty.

For those with multiple locations, geography might be a segment, allowing you to see how different storefronts perform based on people’s locations. 

With advanced settings, you can also use segments to track the number of people who fill out a form or use a tool on the website vs those who haven’t.

Step 5: Choose targets.

Circling back to the business leadership in this step, key decision-makers must then define the targets for each KPI. What indicates success? Where can you do better? Isn’t that what you want to find out, after all?

Setting targets allows everyone to track whether or not the tactics employed to meet the strategies are doing well or poorly. Targets might include comparing a site’s historical traffic with that of today, or citing specific industry standards as measurement against how your website is doing.

It’s important to note here, too, that no data is bad data.

If a tactic didn’t work after a given period of time, then try another. Strategy is an ever-evolving process—listen to the customer’s behaviors, pivot off that, and you will find your sweet spot!

Get it done.

Your IT or SEO specialist team must then translate your business needs into an implementation plan to determine what you can track. They ensure that goals are set, metrics are monitored, and reporting is accurate. 

Creating a Google Analytics measurement plan, however, doesn’t stop there. You should plan to work with your team of professionals to monitor and change goals and targets, to set new strategies, to meet your specific business goals. Refine, reassess, and pay attention!

No one said Analytics was easy—and it’s definitely an active process—but with the proper strategy in place, you gain peace of mind that your website is aligned with your business’s goals.

Management consultant and brand strategist for small teams. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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