Google Analytics Academy – Creating an Analytics Strategy
Skills needed for implementation
For a successful Google Analytics implementation, the following skillsets are recommended. Of course, depending on the size of the organization, these skills may exist in one person or across a several person team:
- Someone who understands business objectives and strategies
- Someone who understands data analytics
- Someone with technical skills
Steps for Implementation
Ready to get started? Here are a few steps to provide the basic framework. Customize as needed.
- Define a Measurement Plan
- Document technical infrastructure
- Create implementation plan
- Implement tracking recommendations
- Maintain and refine
Define your Measurement Plan
This is the meat. Technical aspects aside, what is the organization hoping to accomplish? As discussed, this is directly related to business objectives. The sub-steps within this critical phase are:
Document business objectives
Cannot be overemphasized!
Identify strategies and tactics
It is important to understand that strategies and tactics are two separate concepts. In a somewhat over-simplified sense, strategy articulates how the organization plans to achieve its business objectives (ex. sell products or engage users). Tactics are the actual, tangible steps for implementation of that strategy (ex. sell online or increase blog engagement).
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a commonly-used, self-defining term to describe the primary metrics a business is watching for. As they are “key”, they should capture the organization’s business objectives, strategies, and tactics. Examples include sales in dollars for an eCommerce site or the number of contact forms filled out for a lead generation site.
Now that the organization knows its objectives, strategies, tactics, and KPIs, it needs to segment the channels it hopes to monitor. For example, is the firm exploring the impact of different marketing channels or trying to understand the influence of geographic location?
Now that the organization has a clearer plan, it is time to choose targets! For example, should the organization could target women from Russia (segments) that tend to download its whitepapers (KPIs) that usually lead to increased site visits (tactics) that lead to sales (strategy) that meet our overall business objective.
Here’s a screengrab of a handy visual from the course:
Document Your Technical Infrastructure
Google emphasizes the need to work with IT for a more comprehensive understanding of the technical landscape and eventual implementation methods. It is vital to know what data is currently being collected, the different platforms available, and how systems do, or do not, integrate.
Simply put: What can be measured?
A few items to plan ahead for:
- Query string parameters
- Server redirects
- Flash and AJAX events
- Multiple subdomains
- Responsive web design
Additional Resource: developer.google.com/analytics
Create Your Implementation Plan
Time to choose the tool, and the features of that tool. Google’s hope is that organizations all choose Google Analytics and considering the price-point ($FREE), it does become the obvious choice for most organizations. There are definitely more sophisticated tools ($NOTFREE) out there but those are only worth-while once the organization has a clear data analytics strategy and full organizational buy-in and integration.
The Google Analytics features selected should match the goals outlined so far. Examples from the course:
Implement tracking recommendations
This step involves the technical implementation. Tracking codes, campaigns, etc.
Maintain and refine
As with any process, a solid analytics strategy should be constantly reviewed and updated to keep pace with the changing needs of the business.
Disclaimer: This report is based upon the Google Analytics Academy. Much of the content and graphics are directly from the source. No ownership is implied.
Next: “Google Analytics Academy – How Google Analytics Works (Coming Soon)”