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Google Analytics: What it is and where to start

In short: Google Analytics is a powerful tools that gives you the opportunity to analyse your website traffic/visitors and best of all, it’s free!

Be Prepared – Create a Measurement plan
Many businesses ‘install’ Google Analytics and then never view it again! And so many companies never realise the full potential of Google Analytics. Yet, Google Analytics can make a huge difference; used effectively it can help with future decision making across your business.

“Good data provides the foundation for making smart decisions,” says Justin Cutroni, Digital Analytics Evangelist at Google

To get the most benefit from Google Analytics you need to create a measurement plan, you need to view the relevant data tailored to your needs in order to implement and drive the changes that matter. This will help you to understand your business and ensure that you have the technical infrastructure in place before you start.

  • Firstly, ensure that your business objectives are clearly documented.
  • Why does your company exist and what is the website intended for?
  • Apply strategies and tactics to support these objectives.
  • If you sell products, you would have an online ecommerce site, or contact details to drive store visits.
  • If you provide services, you may create blog posts to create interest and engagement or you may have online information to download and generate leads.
  • Choose the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Drive/increase revenue? Social shares? Lead generations?
  • Choose the Segments; the key points of data that you will report on based on your KPIs
  • Marketing channels: Search, Display, Email & Social
  • Customer Type: New v’s Returning
  • Geography: Location of your visitors

And finally, choose your targets to add content to your data and drive your business forward.
Remember, once you achieve your targets, it’s time to start at the beginning again and revisit your business objectives to continually measure and grow.

Settings Your Goals

Once you have your measurement plan in place it is great to see how much traffic you are getting, but what it vital is to ensure that your website actually helps you to grow your business.

To ensure you get the most out of Analytics it is vital that you set up your goals. These are actions that meet your business objectives and help you reach the targets you have set.

The goal categories are Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry and Engagement, and they can all be used depending on what your objectives are. You also have the option of Custom which we use quite often. Google even provides you with some templates to get you started:


If you aren’t already using Google Analytics you shouldn’t be asking ‘why not?’, you should be asking ‘When do we start?’.

If you are already using Google Analytics, do you have a measurement plan in place and are you reviewing against your targets regularly? You should be.

In the next blog, we’ll show you just how easy it is to set up Goals in Analytics so you can start to measure your websites effectiveness.

By Terri Foster

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