Data’s used to inform future plans, measure campaign and marketing performance, and shape strategies. For digital marketers, there are few tools as important as Google Analytics. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of data means that sometimes its usefulness gets lost.  

This topic’s pretty complex, so we’re breaking it up into a three-part series. Our first installment: taking inventory.

Explore All Channels

Get to know your page traffic and make sure to take note of what channel it comes from too. If your team puts a lot of effort into improving day-to-day page traffic, the following are useful for checking organic performance:

  • Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  • Behavior > Site Content > Content Drilldown
  • Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
  • Acquisition > All Traffic > Sources/Medium

Though the first three options provide perspective on page performance, the Sources/Medium section provides data on your channels. When taking inventory of your channel data, look for anomalies — if you see information missing, take the time to figure out why. Without session or new user data, the reports listed above are useless. It can sometimes be as easy as ensuring your tracking code is operating correctly.  

Measure Content Performance

Data is most useful when you can effectively benchmark it for comparison. That lets you quickly identify high performers and replicate successes.

A benchmark or baseline report is also a great way to get a snapshot of “weak” content. For instance, bounce rate and exit rate metrics tell you a lot about value. Extremely high numbers means you’ve got an opportunity to improve your content’s relevance, effectiveness or clarity. Consider design quality and technical accuracy in addition to copy. Monitor what you refine, and if performance improves, apply those updates broadly.

You don’t have to be an analytics expert to be an excellent marketer. Knowing what information is usable and accessible is the first step to success. In our next article, we’ll review how to implement your data-driven insights into your digital marketing tactics and strategy.

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