B2C Marketing Analytics for Beginners

Intro to Google Analytics for Marketers

Google Analytics is one of the most used platforms for web analytics. This lesson will provide a general overview of Google Analytics for marketing analysts.

What is Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that tracks and reports on traffic to a site and actions on that site. Google Analytics offers a very powerful free service and also has a paid version. In this course we’ll only be using functionality available in the free version.

One of the key uses of Google Analytics for marketers is understanding what marketing channels and campaigns drove traffic to the site. That level of tracking comes out-of-the box with Google Analytics, following UTM tracking conventions discussed in a previous lesson.

Besides knowing where traffic came from, marketers also want to know what that traffic did – how many conversions or how much revenue can be attributed to each marketing initiative. To track this level of engagement, Google Analytics lets users define goals, or conversions, which represent a completed activity (making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, watching a video, etc…). If you have an e-commerce site, Google Analytics also lets you use their Ecommerce tracking to define goals. This feature defines a goal as a purchase and associates its revenue.

Metric Categories in Google Analytics

Throughout Google Analytics, from the navigation bar to details in the reports themselves, you’ll see four basic categories of metrics.

Audience

As the name implies, audience metrics give information about the users that visit your site – their demographics, technology they’re using to access your site, the locations they’re visiting from, etc…

Acquisition

Acquisition metrics represent the traffic volume to your site. The key metrics are users, new users and sessions. A user refers to an individual who came to your site. If it’s the first time that individual came to your site, they’re considered a new user. That user can come to your site multiple times in the time frame you selected, each one of those visits is considered a session. For more details on the differences between users and sessions you can refer to this article.

Conversion

Conversion metrics refer to the completion defined goals: conversion rate, transactions and revenue for Ecommerce and conversion rate, conversions and conversion value for all other goals.

Behavior

Once a user comes to your site, they can take many actions. Any tracked action except conversion is described through behavior metrics. For example, how many pages a user saw on their visit (pageviews per session) and the duration of the visit (avg session duration) are considered behavior metrics.

Advanced Functionality in Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides many advanced functionalities we won’t get a chance to cover in this course. If you want to dig in further on your own, two of the more useful advanced topics for marketers are using segments in your reports, creating your own custom reports.

Google Analytics Demo Account

Throughout the course, we will be using the Google demo account for Google Analytics. It belongs to an actual online store, Google Merchandise Store, which sells Google-branded merchandise. If you want to follow along with the examples throughout the rest of course, sign up for the free demo account here.

Navigating Google Analytics

Navigation in Google Analytics is very straight forward:

  1. Go to https://analytics.google.com/
  2. If you have access to more than one account, make sure you select the correct one on the top left. In the video we selected the demo account, Google Merchandise Store
  3. Reports are organized in the categories we discussed on the menu bar on the left
  4. You can also search for a report using the search bar above the categories

Setting up GA Tracking for your Site

If you want to set up your own site on Google Analytics, you can follow this guide to set up tracking on your site or go directly to the Google Analytics documentation here.

To set up goals for your site you can follow this guide for Ecommerce tracking and this guide for other types of goals.

Conclusion

Google Analytics is a very powerful tool for marketers. In the next lesson we’ll cover the most important Google Analytics reports for marketing analysts.