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Google Analytics is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. Used properly, it generates important information that will help you make valuable business decisions about your online marketing or SEO efforts.
This week on Whiteboard, guest host Alex Ratynski walks through five important steps local businesses can take to effectively configure Google Analytics. See it below!
Hey, Mozzers. My name is Alex and I am the founder of Ratynski Digital. We are a local SEO consulting company for small and medium businesses. Today I want to talk about how to configure Google Analytics for local businesses.
Google Analytics is now a powerful and powerful tool when used correctly and configured correctly. It gives us important information about the performance of our website, the visitors, which pages, and perhaps even what search queries we come across, especially when it comes to the Google Search Console. Lots of important information to help us make valuable business decisions for web marketing or SEO purposes.
1. Exclude robots and spiders
Here are five important steps we can take today to help you configure your Google Analytics account in the most efficient way. The first is the exclusion of robots and spiders. Now this is important because some studies have found that bot traffic accounts for 25% of all traffic. For each of us who has really received a high-precision detail for their Google Analytics account, I’m sure we’ve really seen some of these obvious examples of bot traffic.
The way we can actually do this is that Google is actually a great little tool for Google Analytics. You go to Administrator> Display> Display Settings and there is a nice little box that says Bot Boting. It pulls it from the IAB, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and actually ensures that it pulls from the list of known spiders and robots and ensures that we filter against it.
2. Filter out spam and personal traffic
The next step we want to filter out spam and personal traffic. Now the reason for this is inaccurate data, which is worthless data, right? When we don’t have accurate information, we do make an effort to make accurate business decisions about our SEO efforts or our web marketing. I cannot tell you how often I come across business owners who have wildly inaccurate figures and who try to make decisions based on that.
It is therefore vital that we have as accurate information as possible. There is always some room for error, but all we can do to minimize it is better. The way to filter your own traffic is to go to admin> view> view filters and then add filters. What we want to do is definitely filter out our own IP address, maybe our team’s IP address, home office, physical headquarters location, things like that.
The way we can do this is to search Google for “What is my IP”. You can actually find your IP address and then you can actually exclude it from there.
3. Set goals
Number three, goal setting. Goals are crucial, because setting goals actually helps us monitor our progress, right? This is tracking progress. This way, you can set up goals by going to Administrator> View> Goals and then New Goal.
Destination – specific objectives
There are many types of goals we can set and it really depends on the company and what you are looking for. But one of the most popular is a thank you page or destination-based goal.
For example, imagine that you are an HVAC company trying to gain new customers and you want to see how your website works, which pages drive traffic, and which URL path or destination path you want.
So we can track this using a targeted goal. We want to make sure that after someone fills in the form, they are actually sent to that thank you page, and every time someone interacts with that thank you page, they can actually count it as a goal. It’s really helpful to see the success you’re looking for, no matter what our business goals we’re trying to achieve this month or quarter, so we can track it closely.
Event – based objectives
There are now other types of goals, there are more than two of them, but today we are just talking about two things – goal-oriented goals versus event-based goals. Event-based goals are a little more advanced to set, not too complicated, but a little more than goal-based goals. Event-based goals have nothing to do with a specific page or URL, but in fact, as you might expect, the actual event that happened.
So, for example, when a user fills out a form or clicks on a specific button, these are examples that can be tracked to an event-based goal. Now everyone has some pros and cons. Target goal If you have specific parameters in the URL and it doesn’t exactly match, you may not be able to count for that goal.
This way, you can change it from “equals” to “starts”. Another option, which is probably a slightly better option, is to learn regular expressions. This can help us filter out these different options and get more detailed information. For event-based goals, there is another small caveat that we want to take care of to make sure we have proper validation set up.
For example, if a user starts filling out a form but doesn’t actually fill it out, the first time they click that button, they may be tracked as a goal, even though they didn’t actually fill out that goal. So there are a few more times we want to make sure we can figure it out and leave it before it is released. That way we get accurate information.
4. Connect the GA to the GSC
Number four, connect Google Analytics to the Google Search Console. We now have these two powerful reporting and information resources, and we want to make sure they can talk to each other effectively. As we all know, the Google Search Console contains a lot of valuable information about our organic search, what specific search queries, specific pages, how they work, average position, and a lot of that information.
We want to make sure it’s connected to our Google Analytics account. We can now do this by going to Administrator> Attribute> Attribute Settings and there is a small selection for the Search Console. Before we do this, always make sure your Google Search Console account is set up. This is always the first step. So if we can set it up, it’s much easier to connect the two.
In fact, you can’t do this until you’ve set up your Google Search Console. So make sure it’s set up, and then make sure you can connect them.
5. Use UTM tracking codes
Then use the UTM tracking codes last. For us, UTM tracking codes are a truly powerful way to track the effectiveness of specific campaigns, where our users came from, visitors to our website, and what specific sources, media, or campaigns were effective in that regard.
An example of this is that you can add the UTM tracking code to your Google My Business link profile so that all Google My Business users can see exactly this category of website visitors in their Google Analytics account. specifically from Google My Business. Now it needs to be done on a regular basis, not in the sense of Google for my business, but it needs to be done regularly for every campaign.
So if you’re a smaller local business that may have a limited time or budget for who is doing this, it may be better to focus on just a few larger campaigns, anything that is a little more permanent, or any particular big campaign. You may be running a local event or running a special campaign a few times a year. These can be events we really want to track with the effectiveness of these campaigns and UTM tracking codes.
We can actually configure it. For anyone interested in setting up their UTM tracking code, you can use the Google Campaign URL Builder. Be sure to link to this exact page in the notes below. However, the UTM tracking code has a few different components. Now, let’s focus today on just three, the medium they came from, the source, and then the name of the campaign.
For example, this could be an email from a specific newsletter that was sent out, and then the name of the campaign would be what you actually want to display in Google Analytics, how you want to categorize the campaign. So these are three different sections that can be included in your UTM tracking code. You can enter it into the Google Campaign URL Builder. There are many other URL compilers. But Google offers something that makes it fun and easy for us.
Pro Tip: Learn Google Tag Manager
One last professional tip. Check out Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s definitely possible. I guarantee you can handle it. As you learn Google Tag Manager, it makes many other things much easier, especially setting up event-based goals and linking some of our different accounts, such as the Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
Google Tag Manager is a powerful tool. That’s all we have today on this week’s board. Feel free to contact us, ask more questions on Twitter at @alexratynski. You can also contact me at ratynskidigital.com. Feel free to email me. I’m more than happy to talk to the Mos community. I love everyone here.
Appreciate your boys’ time. That’s all for this week and until next week, when there’s another Friday edition of the board.