8 Advanced Google Analytics Features You Shouldn't Overlook

8 Advanced Google Analytics Features You Shouldn't Overlook

Written by Professional Academy Guest Blogger Rebecca Shipley

Google Analytics is an invaluable online tool that your business can not afford to pass up on. It offers your business the chance to gauge its online performance and to know how to best cater its digital content to be successful with its target market. On top of the simple branding and marketing steps of choosing the right domain name, creating original content, and catering to your target audience, your website needs to gather proper data in order to best engage users and to be overall successful.

Utilize the following features of Google Analytics to gain insight into how users are experiencing and interacting with your website.

1. User-ID

This particular feature is important in that it allows your business to see how its online presence is performing across the different methods of accessing it (desktop, mobile device, etc.).The User-ID feature of Google Analytics allows you to join all of your site’s visitors’ separate logins together in one group. That way, you can analyze how many times a user is visiting, how long they stay engaged, and through which devices they are accessing your site. This all helps to provide a more accurate count of how many views your site receives since the User-ID separates them into unique viewers.

2. Segments

More than just gathering data for the sake of gathering data, your business needs to use it to understand where and how it needs to take action for improvement. In order to really gain valuable insight into how your site is performing and what changes may need to be made, your business must understand who it is that is visiting your site.

Google Analytics allows you to define certain Segments of users based on the criteria of your choosing. From setting up groups of users for Google Analytics to recognize and track, you can see how certain users engaged with your site. For example, if you create a Segment for users who made a purchase from your site, you can see what specifically those people did on your site that led up to them making a purchase. By knowing where customers spent time on your site before buying something from it, your business can have a much better idea of which elements/pages are most important in leading to conversions.

3. Audiences

Similar to Segments, with Google Analytics you can also filter Audiences according to certain criteria. The Audiences though are who you actually market your content to, whereas Segments are the wider grouping of users from which the Audience can be drawn. You can use the preconfigured Audiences already developed by Google Analytics (listed here), Audiences your business creates itself, or use your Segments as the foundation for new Audiences.

4. Data Import

The Data Import feature of Google Analytics allows you to combine the data you have gathered from Google Analytics with data from outside sources. This serves the purpose of organizing all the online data relevant to your business together in one place. As Google itself puts it, “you can turn separate CRM data, ecommerce data, and Analytics data into a single comprehensive view of your business.”

5. Page groupings

To be able to streamline and simplify the process of tracking and analyzing your website’s pages, Google Analytics allows you to form them into groups. By creating page groupings of ones with related content and purposes, your business can more easily see a collective set of metrics for the group as a whole.

6. Customisable metrics

Google Analytics offers many metrics to its users, but you still have the option to implement your very own customized metrics for them to track on your site’s behalf as well. Examples of custom metrics include tracking transactions (to see what method of payment was used to make a purchase) or tracking those who login to your site (or have to otherwise identify themselves) to learn how many purchases they have altogether made on your site/how much they have spent.

7. Events

More than just the standard event-related metrics like your site’s number of page views, you can use Google Analytics to track activity unrelated to page views as well. Some common examples include form submissions, outbound clicks to other site, how long a user scrolls, and the engagement that is had with any video content. You can customize your Events feature to track whatever you so choose. These customizations will perform a javascript function that will send the necessary information to Google Analytics.

8. Enhanced Ecommerce

With an ecommerce site, it only makes sense that your primary focus would be on specific products within your site rather than page views alone. Use Google Analytics to get the information pertaining to your products that you want and need.

With the Enhanced Ecommerce tool, you can gather information pertaining to how many people have added/removed an item from their shopping cart, transactions, refunds, and more. This gives you the opportunity to see your sales funnel in action for different products and to assess whether it needs improvement.

Put Google Analytics to work on behalf of the online presence of your website. Be aware of the advanced features it has to offer and use them to their fullest in order to maximize your site’s potential.

Rebecca Shipley is a marketing analyst turned writer who loves covering small business marketing, sales, and branding topics. A self proclaimed "data nerd" Rebecca loves digging in and finding trends that can be used to improve marketing and sales strategies.

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