Sandro goes over five things you may want to consider when setting up your Google Analytics account.
5 Google Analytics Tips for Beginners
Liz Hey there. Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We help companies and marketing departments control their business, control their brand and get the word out. Today Sandro is going to be covering five beginner tips for Google Analytics.
Sandro Thanks Liz. That’s right. You have a Google Analytics account hopefully and maybe you don’t know what to do with it. It can be a little daunting. It’s such a powerful program. There’s so much information in there. There’s a few little tweaks and things you can do when you set it up that you may want to check on and set up to make it more easy to navigate and make the data more precise.
Step One: Make Sure Google Analytics Is Installed Correctly
Sandro First of all, just make sure it’s working. Many of you probably haven’t been in your Google Analytics in a while. If you have it set up or if you’re setting it up just make sure it’s working. There’s a quick way to do that. There’s a ‘real time.’ And by the way we’re doing all of this through your computer. There is an app, generally check that only after you set it up properly. So we’re doing all this with the computer.
Liz Yeah I do everything, all the setup when I get in there to check something, I’m doing that all on the desktop. I don’t feel like my this, my phone screen would be big enough to look at what I need to look at.
Sandro There is an app and I did use it the other day. A client texted me frantically, “I don’t think it’s, we’re getting any data.” And I went on there really quick and I looked in the app and sure enough, it said ‘There are two users currently on your Web site.’ So there is a ‘real time’ part of Google Analytics and you can check to make sure that you are working and up and running just by going your Web site and checking the ‘real time’ and making sure there is an actual user on there.
Sandro So first of all, make sure it’s working. Second, I would create views. Some new views in your Google Analytics. If you go in the admin section and there’s three columns, the far right column is the ‘views’ section. And generally the only one there is going to be all Web site data.
Liz And that’s everything that Google Analytics is collecting. Which is a lot & overwhelming.
Create (at least) Three Views: Master, Raw & Test
Sandro It can be bots from Russia, China, it can be the crawlers from Yahoo or Bing coming to crawl your Web site. It will be every single little thing. And you want to keep one of those. So one of your data views should remain all your Web site data. We changed the name, we call it ‘raw data,’ ‘raw view.’ And you can name it whatever you want. Just so you know, just keep one collecting all the data just in case you need it in the future. But what you want to do is set up a new view. There’s a big blue button that says ‘Create View’ in that third column.
Sandro Create a new view and we call it ‘Master View.’ And that’s where, the one you’re gonna be going to the most. With that master view, you’re going to be setting up a few things to make your data more precise. And a third view. And we’ll talk about that in a second. The third view we’ll have is a test view and that’s just to test any tweaks you have. Try a new filter maybe, do it in the test view for a week. Make sure the data is still collecting. And then once it’s good to go on the test data view, bring it in over to the master view.
Liz Oh so you’re almost kind of testing tweaks in kind of like development type environment before you…
Sandro Bring it over to the main master view.
Liz Yeah. I like that.
Sandro So we have three views, a raw data with all the data, the master view with some filters we’re gonna talk about and the test view whenever you want to test a new filter or something out. So, a) make sure it’s working, b) create three views. Next up, create some filters for your master view. Three filters you want to create – one we do right away, exclude IP addresses. So in your office…
Liz Or home or the IP address of your marketing agency or any employee. Yeah.
Sandro Any work from home employees.
Liz Yes, thank you.
Sandro All you gotta do, go to Google and type in ‘what is my IP address?’ And just copy and paste that in over to a filter in your filters. It’ll just click the big red button saying ‘add filter’ click ‘exclude’ and your source will be from this IP address. And throw in all the IP addresses from your, like Liz said, your office, your work from home office, your home, wherever you’re checking it. You want data from real visitors from your website not your employees.
Liz Or any other consultant that you have working on your site.
Filter Out Your IP Address
Sandro Ask them for their IP address and go with that. One little pro tip here, your IP address, usually it changes the last four digits, the last three or four digits. So I would say, ‘traffic from the IP address that begins with’ and then copy and paste it and then delete the final, the last four digits, yeah.
Liz Yes. Because static IP addresses are pretty expensive. Yeah.
Sandro Static means your IP address will never change. But my home address changes once a month, that’s fine whatever. So, a) exclude your IP addresses, b) I like this one, combine your Facebook. If you look in your Google Analytics for your acquisition you’re going to see m.facebook.com, lm.facebook.com. l.facebook.com, facebook.com. There’s gonna be so many different crazy Facebook.coms. I don’t know why. And actually I read why but it’s a long story. But there is a filter and I’m not going to get into it but Google ‘combine Facebook referral data.’
Liz So we’re still in the ‘views’ section.
Sandro We’re still in the ‘views’ section in the filters.
Liz In the filter. Got it. So filter one is IP address.
Combine Facebook Referrals
Liz Filter two is combining all of the Facebook traffic.
Liz And I’m assuming that has something to do with the fact that there’s a mobile app, there’s a desktop version, right? Is that the 2-second answer?
Sandro That’s correct. Yeah. I deleted the Facebook app from my phone a year or six months ago but I occasionally have to go to it. So I bring it up on the web on Safari on my iPhone. And it’s m.facebook.com it’ll take me to. So…
Liz Got it.
Sandro There’s a lot there. So unify your Facebook referrals so that it’s nice and clean data in your acquisition folder, it’s all just one Facebook.
Liz Because otherwise, because I export a lot of data from Google Analytics and so then you probably have multiple lines of Facebook traffic and I’ve got to go in and combine them in Excel, yeah.
Exclude International Traffic (and their bots)
Sandro Dig through it. Yeah, it’s a pain in the butt. And the third one I love, if you’re based in the United States and you’re just a local mechanic say, on the corner, you don’t really care about international traffic. Most international traffic, a lot of it is spam, so we create a filter that blocks out all international traffic and just brings in the traffic from the United States. It’s a pretty easy filter, you’ll just click ‘custom’ in the filter field and include the country of the United States and that’s it.
Sandro And that way when we’re looking at our data it’s not any crazy Russian bots, any crazy bots from Yugoslavia or Ukraine. So three filters to add – exclude your IP addresses from people that work for you, combine your Facebook filters and exclude any international traffic if you’re a local little corner shop. Like, why would somebody from India be looking for a brake job from you over in your neighborhood? Probably no reason for that.
Set Up Goals
Sandro The next thing you want to do is set up your goals. So goals, I’m going to talk very broadly about this, goals are whatever you consider a conversion. Whether it’s somebody at your checkout page, somebody signing up for your email list, somebody signing up for a free consultation from you. Whatever the landing page is. Thank you, you know, your Web site slash thank you. Or whatever counts as a conversion, as a sale or as a sign up, you need to work with your web developer to figure out what that goal is and set it up again, under your views in Google Analytics so that you can see how many people are actually converting.
Sandro How many people are actually, what percentage of people are buying something? What percentage of people are signing up for your email list? What percentage of people are asking for the free consultation? Goals can be a little tricky. So work with your web developer but it’s something I would highly recommend. Because then what’s the point if you don’t have a goal for your Web site?
Link to Google Search Console
Sandro Next up, link up to your Google Search Console. So, a) set up your Google Search Console. Look that up, it’s not that difficult. I’m not going to get into it here. But once you do look it up, once you do create it, you can link it to your Google Analytics and you can under acquisition, you’ll be able to see search console and click ‘queries’ and see the keywords people use to find you. You’ll see if you’re a restaurant they’ll search ‘restaurants near me’ or what keywords.
Sandro If you’re looking for keywords to use for your blog or for your Google Ads. This is a great way to do it. Link up your Google Search Console to your Google Analytics and you’ll see how people are finding you. What keywords they use. And it’ll give you some ideas. And finally, the fifth thing. This is only if you have a search bar in your web site. Like if you go to themarketingpodcast.net we do have a little magnifying glass with the search bar at the top and you can search all of our podcasts.
Liz You wanted to find any episode about Twitter or SEO. Yeah.
Sandro Yeah. Well that is a setting in Analytics.
Liz You can tie Analytics to the search bar on your Web site.
Liz Which is really cool.
Sandro Yes. Yeah. So you can see what people are searching for the most. Maybe they’re searching for a word that you have no idea.
Liz That we never even thought of.
Double Check Everything
Sandro Correct. And you can link up your site search to your Google Analytics so that you can see what people are searching for on your Web site. So those are your five tips. Things to do for your Google Analytics account. A) be sure it’s working, b) create those views. Three, set up filters including excluding IP address, combining your Facebook and excluding international traffic if you’re a local shop. Four, connect your Google Search Console, and 5, connect your search bar if you’ve got one. Those are five tips I highly recommend you look for when you set up your Google Analytics.
Liz I love it. Yes, this is definitely basic stuff but I think it’s really, really important. Don’t make the mistake of just dropping the line of code into your Web site and assuming that it’s working. Double check everything.
Sandro Yeah. And most importantly, exclude those people that work for you. You want to see traffic grow. You want see real traffic grow, not just, how many times do I check my Web site? How many times am I editing my Web site? Exclude yourself.
Liz Right. Good stuff. Well thank you. That wraps up today’s episode. Thanks for tuning in. Don’t forget, you can find us on Google Podcast, Spotify and iTunes. Show us some love on iTunes, we’d greatly appreciate it. You can also check us out on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Send us your questions or show ideas. We’ll give you a shout out in the show and the show notes. And we will see you next time.