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Google Analytics: How to define a measurement plan

Measurement is a vital part of digital marketing and this post provides the steps to define a great digital marketing measurement plan. Besides measurement, if you want to upgrade your inbound marketing strategy, read my ten tricks for establishing a great digital marketing strategy too.

Click on the image to directly jump to the measurement plan video tutorial from Google Academy

How to Build A Great Analytics Measurement Plan

Your analytics strategy is documented through three main elements:
  1. The validated business goals,
  2. The KPIs to measure the progress towards these goals,
  3. The dimensions you are going to use to deep dive in the KPIs (segmentation) and identify how to increase your business performance.
Now let's go to the details. To build a measurement plan that kicks ass, follow the steps below.
  • STEP 1: Define your business goals. I have seen too many projects fail because business goals were not properly defined in the early stages of the project. 
    • Typical business goals are for instance: 
      • (1) sell products, or (2) gather leads' contact details, or (3) display ads and affiliate content to visitors to generate revenue, or the fuzziest one (4) bring supportive content to a targeted audience to create awareness and brand loyalty by increasing your audience and engaging with your customers.
    • After the business goals have been documented and validated by the business team, you can define which channels are most appropriate to reach the business goals. 
      • STEP 2: When defining your digital marketing analytics strategy for a specific channel you should start by defining your macro conversions
        • Usually, the number of macro conversions is the key performance indicator (KPI) you want to track. You should document the KPIs you want to track. Google analytics calls your KPIs the metrics
        • You will want to analyze your metrics under various dimensions: geography, browser language, device type.,, After defining (1) the business goals, (2) the conversions and call to actions, (3) the KPIs and metrics, you should identify which (4) dimensions you need in your measurement plan.
      • STEP 3: To define a digital marketing and measurement plan, you need to secure following resources:
        1. someone from business to define the business goals, 
        2. someone from digital marketing to define the digital strategy, and 
        3. someone from IT to implement the analytics part.
        • Defining a measurement plan is an iterative process: a continuous improvement approach is recommended to ensure your reports address the business needs and permit your company to reach its business goals.
      • STEP 4: Then you will need to document the technical infrastructure and plan the implementation:
        • You will need to ask IT or your agency to document the servers they will use, the domain names and technologies for the website, the process and project management methodology they want to follow for the implementation, etc. You will also rely on them to proceed with the actual implementation.

      How do I Integrate Google Analytics to my Website?

      Until now we have had a lot of bla bla about the planning of your analytics implementation. Now let's see how we actually implement this analytics plan.
      • STEP 1: Configure an account for Google Analytics. 
        • During the account setup process, you can use your own email address, not necessarily a address, by choosing "I prefer to use my current address".
        • The structure of Google analytics permits an account (an account = an email address, to simplify), can view multiple properties, such as your blog, website, and app (a property = a google analytics tracking code, such as UA-50926240-7). 

      • STEP 2: Integrate google analytics basic features into your website.  For websites, it involves installing a small piece of javascript code into your website source code. For apps, it relies on different integration mechanisms. Once google analytics is integrated into the website, it sends a hit for all the events tracked. Google has great tutorials to proceed to this step.
      Javascript code snippets for integrating various trackers on this blog.
      • STEP 3: Define appropriate analytics views. 
        • You have configured your accounts - high-level groups of properties associated with a Google Analytics user, 
        • You have created properties - on which digital assets data is tracked, and 
        • Now you need to create views - what analytics users will see.
          • You can analyze each property through multiple views. For instance, it is a good practice to create an unfiltered view, a master view - for instance excluding the visits of your agency and colleagues, and a test view as a playground for any changes. To create a view, follow the instructions here.
          • Processed data cannot be reprocessed; so, be careful how you configure and modify your views. Views will include data only from the day they were created; so, it is a good idea to define them from the beginning to have the full data history.

      • STEP 4: Define Google Analytics goals that correspond to the target values of the tracked KPIs to measure the progress towards your business goals.

      • The micro-conversions you have defined earlier can be identified as steps towards a goal or as goals into Google Analytics: they represent stages of your sales funnel
      • The conversion rate metrics are the most important in your analytics views because they directly link to your original business goals.
      • Two events are commonly used to the track the conversions: 
        • The display of a destination goal page, such as a sign-up confirmation page for instance,
        • click on a specific element of your website, such a link to your e-commerce store from your blog, for instance. Tracking these events requires the inclusion of a specific tracking code by your agency or IT team.
      • If your site is an e-commerce boutique, enable Google Analytics e-commerce tracking features. It will require your agency or IT team to add special tracking codes into your website source code. 
        • There is a big difference between normal conversions and e-commerce conversions. Conversions are normally counted once per visit only. However, in the case of e-commerce websites, the goals are counted as many times as the user completes them during a visit.
      If you feel like an analytics pro, read the Top-3 Tips for Advanced Google Analytics Use!


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