Google analytics: it’s a powerful machine for companies. Used by 51% of Fortune 500 companies, it’s the best way to track your metrics and identify opportunities. As with any tool, though, you get out what you put in. With that in mind, here are eight power moves to make within your Google Analytics (GA) dashboard:

1. Turn on Demographics and Advertising Tracking

This is a simple yet commonly overlooked tactic. When you enable this, it signals to Google that browser demographic and interest data matters to you, because, of course, it does!

2. Identify your Crucial Success Measures 

Success metrics are not one size fits all. Right now, most companies are tracking page views, new and returning users, bounce rate, and more. Those are all essential metrics, but what are the metrics that matter most to your business’s success? New sales? The movement of certain products at specific price points? Are you looking to increase traffic from a particular audience cohort? Newsletter sign-ups? Identifying these key success metrics allows you to improve or alter your forms to convert more leads and meet your goals. 

3. Confirm Your Implementation 

Over time, your site grows as you add content and pages. Often, however, companies overlook the tags for those new pages. To make your online presence as strong as possible, you’ve got to pay special attention to these. 

Take a look at your tags. We’re human, so a typo or an added space in your URL can cause a tag to misfire – the same goes for duplicate tags. Have you excluded your internal IPs, so your testing and browsing don’t throw your data off? A little due diligence here will go a long way. 

5. Take Advantage of Using Properties, if you Need Them

If you have separate sites or parts of your websites that warrant their own tracking and that you want unique views for, set them up as unique properties within the master account. This provides easier access and smoother tracking.

6. Set Conversion Goals 

Not everything is worth setting a conversion goal for, but some things are. This is why we talked about setting your crucial performance measures earlier.  Set conversion goals for the outcomes you want to attain. 

While some conversions might have a value attached to them as the results of purchase, you can also set values for “softer” conversions, as long as you know their downstream value. With goals in place, you can also build conversion funnels that help you visualize the customer journey and take targeted steps to optimize it. 

7. Use UTMs 

UTMs (or UTM parameters) are characters you add to your campaign destination URL. Once added, they identify the source (Google, Facebook, etc.), the medium (banner ad, search, email, etc.), and the campaign associated with each click to the page. 

Want to save yourself some time? Instead of creating unique landing pages, simply apply these elements to the destination and associate that URL with the corresponding component of your campaign. Google even offers a tool to make it easy.

8. Set Custom Alerts 

As we mentioned, Google Analytics is a tremendously powerful tool. And it’s especially useful for watching your performance and trends over time, which means you don’t necessarily have to be in it every single day. To keep you in the loop, Google Analytics offers custom alerts that you can customize and configure to your liking.

Set an alert to remind you to celebrate your wins (you’ve hit a goal or closed a big sale) or to raise a flag that something isn’t right (critical pages aren’t loading or are throwing up errors, or a usually predictable metric drops suddenly). This is a great way to automate your site intelligence and take a slightly more hands-off approach. 

Bonus: Design (or Borrow) a Custom Dashboard 

Sometimes, the data that GA serves up can be overwhelming. You love the tool, but you just want to see the most critical, prescriptive pieces of data. Don’t worry, though. You can narrow your focus by using Google’s dashboards to display only the data that matters most. 

In Google’s Solutions Gallery, you can choose from tons of dashboards that people have already created based on their needs. While the odds are good that you will find one that you can apply to your data, inThink is here to help if you need a more in-depth approach. Our team can help you customize your GA dashboard, define goals, and use UTMs and other elements to track your metrics and make your data work for you.

Find this information helpful? Download our comprehensive Google Analytics checklist to keep your dashboard optimized and organized!

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