For a long time, I considered standard Google Analytics reports to be the best way to get useful insights. From time to time, I struggled with sampling, limitations, and weird results, but I didn’t see a way around it—until I discovered Google Analytics 360 and raw data exports into Google BigQuery.
After a few hours playing around with SQL, I was already able to deliver insights I never could have with aggregated Google Analytics reports. Since that day, I’ve been exploring how raw data can be a web analyst’s best friend.
Subscriptions are an increasingly common way to buy products online, whether consumables like coffee and energy supplements, or personalized lifestyle boxes and fashion.
Google Analytics shows 104 conversions. Your CRM shows 123 new leads. Heap reports 97. And so on.
It’s easy to get frustrated by data discrepancies. Which source do you trust? How much variance is okay? (Dan McGaw suggests 5%.)
For most companies, Google Analytics is a—often the—primary source of analytics data. Getting its numbers aligned with other tools in your martech stack keeps results credible and blood pressure manageable.
Traffic attribution identifies which sources drive visitors to a web property. And it’s impossible to credit a conversion to the correct source without first knowing how a visitor got to a website.
In other words, the foundation of conversion attribution is traffic attribution. Simple as it may sound, attributing a session to its traffic source can be tricky, even impossible.
For companies that build their analytics on Google products, purchasing Google Analytics 360 is a symbol of maturity.
As a business grows, it inevitably runs up against limitations of analytics tools. For example, while the data aggregation process in Google Analytics seems like a “normal” feature, it might be a hurdle if your business needs to process data at the hit level instead of by sessions or campaigns.
It’s one of many potential business needs that could affect your decision to upgrade to a Google Analytics 360 license. But is it worth the serious investment?
Set up the measurement tool. Clean and process the data. Turn it into information. Analyze it. Extract insights.
That’s hard work. But to have value, there’s still another step—the work must also be well communicated. You want data to form a straight line from KPIs to influencing business decisions.
There are hundreds of services for site tracking, advertising, customization, and, in general, souping up your ability to measure, reach, and convert your visitors.
Google Analytics helps us identify conversion uplift opportunities. Traffic is precious, and we don’t want to waste it on tests that don’t result in learning or uplifts.
That’s why we want good data for:
- Which pages have uplift opportunities;
- Specific page issues.
How do you coordinate the analytics setup of a web shop that sells their products all over the world—if you have to handle 10+ languages and currencies in over 80 countries?
Google Analytics is widely used. But most marketers only scratch the surface when it comes to reports.
You can find insights for conversion optimization from tons of reports—and the juicier reports are lesser known.
I asked some of my friends in the industry to share underutilized reports that they often turn to when looking for insights.