Perhaps it’s true that Google Analytics is a Hail Mary come true for marketers.

Why? Because marketing is more than promoting products or services to a specific audience. It involves identifying a customer’s pain points and creating campaigns that seek to solve the identified problems.

The only way to do that is by knowing them intimately through acquired data.

It is safe to say that data-driven marketing was pioneered by Google analytics. Think of all the useful information you get from the dashboard; it has impacted your marketing efficiencies, hasn’t it?

The truth is that sometimes trying to make sense of the data on your dashboard can be overwhelming. Using the default settings, on the other hand, is not as effective, which is why you need a checklist.

The Ultimate Checklist for Using Google Analytics in 2020

  1. Google Analytics Audit

This is applicable to those that already have a google analytics account. A google analytics audit1 is an assessment of your current account to identify any gaps that may be available. It helps to make sure that the data being collected is accurate, trustworthy, and actionable.

If the tracking of your account is wrong, then you’ll spend lots of money on marketing campaigns that will end up yielding low results. You don’t want to use the data on your google analytics if it’s compromised.

There are 3 main reasons why you should conduct an audit…

Quality of data

The whole essence of data collection is so that you can gain invaluable insights into your audience on a more granular level. These insights are then used to create effective and efficient marketing strategies. An audit helps to establish whether the quality of the data being collected is correct.

Data integrity

Are you certain that your data hasn’t been compromised? The only way to find out whether your google analytics data is being properly tracked is by running an audit.

Data Relevance

Is the data being collected really useful to your business? It’s important that the data be a reflection of your organizational goals.

  1. Data Integration

Google Analytics is a data goldmine, and you’ll get all the information you need from demographics, traffic sources to user behavior. Sometimes that’s all the data you need, but as a digital marketer, there’s a high chance you already have other sources of data.

It would be unwise to completely ignore the extra data, and the best thing to do would be to integrate them with your google analytics account so that it can be consolidated. Have you integrated google analytics with google search console?2

What about your AdWords and AdSense account?

Before using your google analytics data, make sure that you have integrated all data sources and that the integrations are functional.

  1. Tag Manager Migration

The core value of google analytics is to report, measure, and track website activity. To get this data, a code has to be embedded on your site, in the right spot, and in the right way. This is where the Google tag manager3 comes into play.

Navigating the tag manager can be difficult, and any small mistake can interfere with the integrity of the data or halt the tracking.

Great tagging = Great data= great decision making.

Here’s how you can ensure your tracking plan is on point

  • Use an updated Google analytics tag
    Check for the latest analytics tracking code in your admin dashboard. Using an updated tracking code ensures that all data being collected is in tandem with the latest features of google analytics.
  • Use a valid tracking code
    Use a tag assistant to review all the tags on your site.
  • Make sure all pages of your site are properly tagged
  • Use real-time reports to test your tags

Fix all broken tracking tags and update the outdated tags to the latest versions. Conduct a tag review periodically to ensure your website is properly tagged.

  1. Data Quality Assessment

At the core of a data-driven marketing strategy is high-quality data insights that are then turned into valuable information. Now, if your data has been corrupted, then your analysis will be the same.

 Think of a scenario where your google analytics data indicates that a certain page on your site is getting high traffic, so you decide to run ads on the same. On closer scrutiny, you realize that most of the traffic is from internal IP hits.

A data quality assessment ensures that only quality data makes its way into your google analytics account. Restrict traffic from spam-reefers and self-referrals. Depending on the quantity of the google analytics data, you can either do a qualitative or quantitative assessment.

  1. Campaign Tracking

Have you set up your GA account to track all campaigns?

Assuming you are running multiple campaigns on multiple platforms, the only way to see the individual results is by tracking each campaign.

How much traffic is coming from email marketing? Are your google ads bringing in relevant traffic to your site? Are you getting any traffic from your socials?

To measure the impact of your campaigns and the ROI, you need to configure campaign tracking. You will be able to find out the traffic brought by the campaign, the number of conversions and the revenue generated.

Get the Most Out of Your Google Analytics Data With the Above Checklist

With google analytics data, you are able to segment your web visitors into different segments for easy targeting. The data also makes it easy to identify the most visited pages on your site and to fine-tune the pages with the highest bounce rate.

Simply put, it opens up a whole world of data that could prove beneficial to your business. Best part? It is absolutely free!

Whether you’re a DIY digital marketer or you’re a pro working at an SEO agency, we hope that this guide was able to add some value and expand your knowledge of GA.

Links to sources used

  1. Google Analytics Audit: Enhance Your Data Quality and Insights – https://online-metrics.com/services/google-analytics-audit/
  2. Configuring Search Console data in Analytics – Google Support – https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1308621?hl=en
  3. Google Tag Manager – https://tagmanager.google.com/