Completely free and full of information, Google Analytics is a must-have for any website. However, setting it up isn’t always straightforward – especially in the new era of Google Analytics 4.
Today, I’ll show you how to use Google Analytics in 2022. And if you use Google Ads to grow your revenue, you’ll love section #4!
How to Set up Google Analytics
- Head to https://analytics.google.com/
- Adjust your data-sharing settings
- Add the first property (website or app)
- Select “Show advanced options”
- Toggle “Create a Universal Analytics Property” on (this is for Google Analytics 4 enhanced measurements)
- Select “Create stream”
Next, add the GA tag to your website so Google Analytics can keep track of your data. You’ll most likely need to copy a piece of code into your website header or use a plugin.
Don’t forget to check if your GA tag was installed correctly with Google’s Tag Assistant.
How to Use Google Analytics: Know Your Events
In Google Analytics, everything is centred around events – user interactions on your website. You can go quite granular by tracking how long a video has been played, whether users have scrolled down your page, and more.
Google will even recommend events it believes you should track based on your industry.
Define Your Google Analytics Goals
Which of these user actions represent a conversion to you?
Click on the left-hand side menu, and select “Configure.”
From there, you’ll reach a dashboard where you can manage your conversion events and mark the converting ones as conversion.
For example, if your main goal was to generate leads with a lead magnet, you could mark a file download as a conversion.
GA tracks most events and goals by default. However, if you want to install other goals like phone calls, you’ll need to use the Google Tag Manager.
A Quick Guide to Understanding Your Google Analytics Reports
The main benefit of Google Analytics is seeing the entire conversion journey. Since it tracks so many events, you can model your buyer’s journey.
Life Cycle Reports: Acquisition
Left-hand menu -> Reports -> Life cycle -> Acquisition
User and traffic acquisition reports show you how users come to your site. I recommend focusing on the user acquisition report. One user can perform multiple actions on your website, so the user acquisition report provides a better idea of how conversions happen.
If you’d like to build comparison reports to get a sense of different user journeys based on languages, devices, and custom parameters (e.g., special offers, specific traffic sources), select ‘Add comparison’ and choose a dimension in the right-hand menu.
Life Cycle Reports: Engagement
Left-hand menu -> Reports -> Life cycle -> Engagement
If you’ve defined conversion events, this is where you’ll find them. The engagement report shows you events taking place on your website, conversions, and page engagement.
Again, you can build comparison reports to filter by specific parameters.
For example, if you recently ran Google Ads and want to check if your conversion tracking is accurate (or simply want to get a sense of the leads’ journeys on your website), set up dimensions to reflect the traffic referral source.
Life Cycle Reports: Monetisation
Left-hand menu -> Reports -> Life cycle -> Monetisation
You’ll like the monetisation reports if you want to grow an eCommerce business.
Made specifically for eCommerce, apps, and ad revenue websites, the monetisation reports allow you to break down revenue by different dimensions, which means you could see:
- Revenue from specific campaigns
- Revenue from channels where you can’t directly track revenue (e.g., SEO, social media referrals, etc.)
Life Cycle Reports: Retention
Left-hand menu -> Reports -> Life cycle -> Retention
As a digital marketing coach, I frequently use retention reports to evaluate lead quality.
When I combine them with other reports and cohorts, I understand which marketing strategies drive top-quality leads that scale in value. Conversely, I know which strategies to deprioritise because they only attract time-wasters.
How to Use Google Analytics to Improve Your Marketing
Understand and Improve Your Organic Traffic
Which sources bring in the most traffic? How does that traffic convert? Which content do the users consume?
You only need to dive into the acquisition reports and filter by the right dimensions.
Strengthen Your Lead Generation
Your lead quantity doesn’t matter as much as your lead quality. I’ve seen many companies waste budgets on increasing their lead volume, only to earn very little.
Since Google Analytics shows you where your leads come from, how they behave on your website, and how they convert, you can spot common denominators between the most profitable leads and then double down on campaigns that attract them.
Assistance with Google Ads
In my fifteen years of experience as a Google Ads specialist, I’ve found that it often makes sense to import your Google Analytics conversion goals into Google Ads.
If you have a complex sales funnel, connect Google Analytics with Google Ads conversion tracking to see the big picture.
Google Analytics: Not Even the Sky Is the Limit!
Google Analytics is powerful.
Yes, there is a learning curve, but every minute you spend learning Google Analytics will pay off tenfold. The platform’s real power isn’t in isolated reports. It’s in the combination of multiple data points to build a visualised buyer’s journey.
Finally, we get the context we need to build phenomenal experiences.
If you need assistance with your marketing, get in touch with me. With over 15 years of experience in Google Ads and Google Search Engine Marketing, I’ve helped thousands of business owners sell smarter.
Ready to take the reins? Achieve rapid Google Ads success in 7 easy steps with your copy of my best-selling Google Ads book!