Last Updated on March 12, 2015 by Nicholas Ho

analytics word cloud on digital tabletEssential Google Analytics goes beyond just measuring the number of visits, hits and bounce rates. A better use of analytics is to gain business-impacting insights to your website. If you want your business to leverage off your website, start with analytics first.

Your initial build of your website it is typically based on your ‘best judgement’, ‘your best guess’.  Analytics gives you insight on the corrections you need to make; what needs to be tweaked, what elements are missing from your website.

The whole point of measurement is to understand if you’re making good business decisions or bad business decisions, and then figuring out how to make changes moving forward.


Mission statements

All businesses should start with a mission statement, this is also the starting point to creating an analytics strategy. Here are some examples of some mission statements of companies that you might be familiar with:

Amazon: “To be the most customer-centric company in the world, where people can find and discover anything they want to buy online.”

Linkedin: “To connect the world’s professionals and make them more productive and successful.”

And here is an example that might be more relevant:

HomeProductsCo: “to help people enjoy xxx through homely products and expand their knowledge of xxx”

The mission statement will set the direction of strategies, tactics and marketing employed which will have a direct affect on your website – content, look and feel, function and so on.


Strategy and Tactics

Amazon’s mission has driven their business to deliver the world biggest online catalogue and review system

Linkedin’s mission has developed a sophisticated professional social network where professionals can promote themselves and discover information groups and information related their profession.

HomeProductsCo’s mission might be to create home based products that can be sold online and via home retail stores (sell products) which is complimented with a blog focussed on home lifestyle (used engage users and establish brand) .


Establishing Flow

Your website should be built with tactics in mind such as:

Engagement – direct the visitor to find out more information

  • so a flow might be reading a snippet of an article on the homepage, clicking through to the main article to find out some more product information and then finding another related article.

Lead Generation – direct the visitor to fill in a form with their contact information

  • so a flow might be to entice the visitor with a free quote or a download but they must fill out a form for this to be possible

Your flow is the “dynamic” aspect of your website which must be monitored and measured.

Your mission statement should determine your target market and to some extent how will you engage with your customer and what tactics need to be deployed.


Understanding the Website KPIs

Website Flow -Essential Google Analytics

A natural phenomenon of any website is flow (a similar concept to a “sales funnel”). The objective of most website is to have the user read more than 1 page (otherwise it is known as a bounce).  The homepage might be to establish “attention”  and “interest” and  subsequent pages might be to establish “engagement”.  At each level, the numbers will naturally decrease until the user leaves the website but at each stage we can set micro goals. the micro will measure the success of the website.


Example of micro goals:

  • downloading product information,
  • using an online calculation tool,
  • comparing products,
  • saving an item to a wishlist,
  • spending time on reading articles and so on.

Each micro goal is an important contributor to engaging the audience and should be valued because each goal can contribute to a macro goal.

Example of macro goals

  • signup to a newsletter
  • a product or service enquiry
  • an online sale.

The role of analytics is to measure the KPI (Key Performance Indicators) of each micro or macro goal to determine how the website is performing. With the relevant analytic data, we have empirical data on how to improve the website (not just a best guess).


If you are having problems relating to a digital example – let’s use interaction in a retail store as an example.

So a visitor comes to your retail clothing store

  • If the visitor walks through the door and turns around immediately – this is known as a “bounce” and the measure we use is called a “bounce rate” – a normal Bounce rate is normally 40-70%.
  • Next, the visitor starts browsing (this is a micro goal),
  • then picks up an item (2nd micro goal),
  • then tries it on (3rd micro goal)  and
  • finally walks to the counter with the purchase (macro goal).

this is a very typical flow for a physical store.


For a  website there are also some “natural flows”

Visitor lands on homepage

  • click on product or services section (micro goal)
  • clicks on a particular product (micro goal)
  • clicks on a 2nd product to make a comparison (micro goal)
  • clicks on About to see who you are (micro goal)
  • fills out a contact me form (macro goal)



Essential Google Analytics

So as you can see Essential Google Analytics goes way beyond just measuring how many hits or visits that we often hear of. The true heart of analytics is to determine how your website is performing in relation to the business objective, goals and activities (flow). As mentioned earlier, it is best to set it up correctly at the start before you lose valuable time and go in the wrong direction. The wrong path can cost you weeks/months/years. Analytics might reveal problems with your marketing message, problems with the products or services.


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