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Google Analytics: Are you data happy?

One of the questions frequently asked by business owners / directors and decision makers is “How well is the site working for us?”

Well, that depends what you mean by ‘working’. It’s all about getting the right data to the right people – clear the clutter, refine the focus, get to the point – quickly. But whose point?

In any marketing team there will be a diverse skill set: copywriters, digital marketers, traditional marketers, email marketers, social media experts, ecommerce managers…

The list is endless and is continuing to grow as new technologies emerge into the digital market.

Everyone has their own KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). However, these mean little to Directors & Senior decision makers, who want to know how the site is performing in line with business goals.

Here’s the problem: if all outcomes are measured using goal completions within Google Analytics, all of the data will become inflated with goal completions and will lose focus on the commercial value.

How do you keep everyone “data happy”?

Start by defining the difference between a goal and a KPI.

A goal is the completion of an intended action by the user whereas a KPI is a measurement to track progress towards a specific goal. It is easy to try and track every KPI available within Google analytics as a goal. However, this is limited to 20 and will skew your data set, making it impossible for people to interpret.

The key to success is to track only three or four goals with a commercial gain and use custom reports and dashboards to track KPI’s.

Track with care – here’s some inspiration.

Different industries will have different requirements from the website. Defining the requirements before any goals are set up is essential.


Ecommerce websites are one of the easiest goals to define. Adding ecommerce tracking will allow you to define which channels are driving revenue increases. Adding tracking to email “subscribe” buttons and enquiries allows you to track data capture.


For brochure websites measuring the amount of enquiries and clicks on the phone number will give you an overview of site performance. Sign ups to the newsletter also allow you to gauge how the site aids in data capture.


News websites are often reliant on traffic improvements in order to sell advertising. Adding tracking onto “submit an advert” will help to gauge the organic impact of the sites performance.


Measuring the commercial benefit of an affiliate site or blog is difficult. Adding tracking on referral buttons will help gauge the efficiency of the site however as there is no direct enquiry you will not be able to visualise the impact of that referral once the visitor leaves the site.

Think Job Role

Start at the top: Management

Look at your business objectives and compare them with the Calls to Action that are currently on the site. The calls to action that fit with your commercial objectives are the goals that need to be tracked. For ecommerce sites this is easy, as the objective would be to sell more. For brochure websites, the goals are often more difficult to define and track. Think enquiry forms, click to call buttons and newspaper sign ups.

Baffled by Blogs: Content writers

Content creators need to see the commercial benefit of their efforts. Defining content groups allows reports to be created specifically on their efforts alone. KPI’s such as bounce rate, pages per session and goal completions from the landing page are not skewed by data from the rest of the site.

Trimming the fat: Techs

CRO/ UX expert will look at the more granular data such as pages per session, bounce rate, page load times, in page analytics. Creating a dashboard with this information will help these techs reach the information quickly without affecting other data.

In Short:

  • Keep your Analytics goals in line with commercial goals.
  • Create custom dashboards for job roles.
  • Group content for a top-level overview.