25 July 2016

Google Analytics and your online store - duo that plays a key role - part 2: practical applications

Tools and data provided by Google Analytics make sense only if you, as a store owner, know which reports should be analyzed, how to access them and how to interpret the results. Most importantly, you should track where your customers visit your shop from, which sales channels are used the most and how your customers behave while browsing your store. However, before seeing any effects, you need to perform certain initial configuration. Getting the settings right will let you collect data and access those key reports. Below you can find 5 things you should consider implementing when starting off with Google Analytics.

1 - Filter out your own IP addresses

You and your employees will often visit your own store from home, office, etc. This kind of web traffic can negatively affect your statistics, that is why you should consider filtering it out. To define the filter, navigate to ADMIN, select the desired Account, Property and View, then click on Filters - Add Filter. Select the correct traffic exclusion predefined filter and enter the IP addresses you would like to filter out. From now on, your traffic will not be included in the reports.

2 - Enable the ecommerce module

Google Analytics can track the value of incoming traffic sources by recording conversions. With this kind of knowledge you can determine which sources should be invested in and which should be abandoned. In order to start tracking such information go to your account Administration, select the appropriate Account, Property and View then click on Ecommerce Settings, where you can enable the ecommerce module. Once enabled, Google Analytics will track the income of your online store.

3 - Define your goals

Ecommerce is not only about making sales, but also micro conversions such as filling in a product inquiry form, signing up for a newsletter or adding a product to the basket. Appropriately defined goals will let you track these and get access to additional reports, e.g. where potential customers, who signed up for the newsletter, come from. Such knowledge will let you plan for, and effectively increase traffic generated from such sources, for example by preparing targeted email marketing campaigns. In order to define goals, go to your account Administration, select the appropriate Account, Property and View then click on Goals - + New Goal. This is where you can, for example, create a goal related to a customer visiting a specific page in your store. In this example, if a customer signs ups for the newsletter and the goal's destination is set to the sign up thank you page, Google Analytics will treat it as a goal completion and you will be able to see the entire conversion history

4 - Integrate Google Analytics with Google AdWords and Google Search Console

In order to track the effectiveness of your Google SEO activities and ad campaigns, you can integrate Google Analytics with Google AdWords and Google Search Console. This will let you generate sales reports including ad campaign statistics, ad groups and key words from AdWords. Search Console statistics will show you which queries were used when finding your shop in the search engine and help you plan your future search engine positioning and management activities. In order to configure the integration, go to your account Administration, select the appropriate Account, Property then click on AdWords Linking and pick the desired AdWords account. It needs to be registered to a Google account you are authorized for. In order to integrate Search Console [click here and follow the instructions].

5 - Tag external links which lead to your online store

Running an online business means you most likely advertise on external services, e.g. with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. You may also distribute links to your shop inside newsletters, on YouTube, blogs, discussion boards, etc. By properly tagging such external links you can track each marketing activity. For example, let's say you cooperate with a blogger and embed banners or links on their site. If the links are not tagged, traffic they generate will be linked to the domain name of the blog site. However it might be the case that banners displayed in the left column on their site generate a lot more sales, whereas text links generate almost none. Without properly tagging such links you will not be able to differentiate between the two. That is why you should use UTM codes to tag your links, where you can provide information about the source of the links, the medium (i.e. to indicate it is a banner displayed on the left) and the name of the marketing campaign. Google already provides an URL builder, available here, where you can easily prepare such links.

Online traffic analysis is a proven way to increase sales

All IdoSell Shops are equipped to work with the above mentioned tools, which means configuring them and implementing effective strategies is easy. Measuring your sales statistics and reacting to the ever-changing ecommerce landscape lets you view your business in a completely different light. Consider using these tools to their full potential and increase your sales