Shortened URL services like bit.ly are incredibly convenient, right? They allow you to take an unwieldy, lengthy (and let’s face it – ugly) URL and transform it into a short, manageable URL with just the click of a button. You can even view quick stats to learn how many clicks your shortened URL received.
Sweet, right? Not really.
What many marketers and social media experts don’t realize is that major problems can occur from mindlessly shortening URLs to share on social media. You’re impacting the central data for your website in Google Analytics, which is much more important (and telling) than any one-off analytics data you’ll receive from that URL shortener.
You know the importance of data for making good business decisions. But, even the best analysis of the best data can only help your organization if the decision makers are using it. Good data left untouched is worse than collecting no data at all. Unfortunately, this is often the case when the people in your organization who need data the most aren’t getting it. They might not even be aware it exists.
Since we know our decision makers likely aren’t logging into Google Analytics regularly to check on website performance metrics, it is our job to package that data and deliver it to them in a useful and easily-accessible format.
In this post, we look at some of the features Google Analytics provides for sharing reports with your organization, as well as additional tools for reporting.
As data-driven professionals, we want to use actionable data to guide the marketing decisions we make every day. We understand that making decisions based on insight, not gut feeling, helps us better align our sites with the needs and wants of our customers.
However, this is only true when the data used to guide these decisions has been collected correctly. Acting on faulty data can be worse than acting on no data at all, as it allows us to make assumptions about user activity and website performance that are not true.
While Google Analytics provides a fairly simple setup process for basic sites, there are a number of backend settings that need to be tweaked to properly track more complex setups. One of the most common problems encountered in Google Analytics is not properly tracking across different domains or subdomains.
When people think of analytics reporting, many immediately think of the Web. They think about tracking users, measuring online promotions and quantifying reader engagement with their site. And that makes sense! After all Google Analytics was built to show you what happened on your website. But online advertising isn’t the only way users find your site, and Google Analytics can help you track all user activity, whether it originated via an email campaign or a direct mail piece.
Mobile visitors account for an increasingly large component of the traffic to most websites, making them an important segment for marketers to focus on. We must understand where these users come from, how they behave, what their goals are and how these goals may differ from more traditional visitors. This is important not only because mobile users represent a growing influential audience, but also because mobile users are often less forgiving of poor load times and web experiences than traditional users.
This post looks at how you can use Google Analytics to gain that understanding and to create the best user experience possible for mobile users.