July 25, 2013

5 tips to get great data from Google Analytics for your event website

Following our recent blog on using your event data we thought it would be a good idea to further explore one of the tools that can help you get great data – Google Analytics.

Firstly and most importantly, if you operate a website and don’t use analytics, you need to start. It can seem quite confusing but there are some simple ways to get some really useful information. It’s important to gain access to this data so that you can sharpen your marketing efforts, grow your fanbase, and ultimately sell more tickets.

Make sure you’ve integrated Google analytics into your site – and let’s get cracking:

1. Your audience

Google makes it easy for you by including some great standard reports. Your first step should be to check out the ‘Audience’ report. You’ll be able to drill down and see who your audience is, what they do, what they use to do it, and where they go on your site.

Using the ‘Audience’ sub-menu you can identify:

  • Where people get stuck on your site – with ‘Visitors Flow’
  • What device they are using – use ‘Mobile’
  • What path they take when using your site – use ‘Visitors Flow’ and ‘Behaviour’

2. Your traffic

Wouldn’t it be useful to know where people came from when visiting your site? Well, look no further. In the ‘Traffic Sources’ report you’ll be able to see where your traffic came from (your referrers), how you’re doing in search and which social media has helped drive people to your site.

Start by looking at:

  • Who are your major traffic referrers? – use ‘Sources’, then ‘Referrals’
  • What keywords are people using to find you? – use ‘Search Engine Optimisation’
  • What pages are appearing in Google search results? – use ‘Search Engine Optimisation’
  • What social networks helped drive traffic? – use ‘Social’, then ‘Overview’

3. Your content

You’ve worked hard crafting a site that’s full of great content for your ticket buyers. You can check to see how people are responding to this content, and how they’re interacting with your site. Check out the ‘Content’ report.

Things to look for:

  • What pages are receiving the most traffic? – use ‘Site Content’, then ‘All Pages’
  • Which pages do people start their visit on, and which do they finish on? use ‘Site Content’, then ‘Landing Pages’, or ‘Exit Pages’.
  • How fast does your site load? Are there pages slowing it down? – use ‘Site Speed’
  • Where are people clicking when they’re on a page? – use ‘In-Page Analytics’

4. Measuring success

What do you want people to do on your site? What does a successful visit look like? Google lets you track this by giving you the ability to set up ‘Goals’. These are easy to set up as they just reference part, or all, of the URL for given pages. You can even set up a string of pages that need to visited to activate the goal. This means that you can record very specific actions on your site.

Think about measuring:

  • A specific page on your website
  • The amount of time someone spends on your site
  • The number of pages that people visit
  • A specific event, like completing a form

You can create these goals by going to ‘Admin’, selecting your profile, navigate to ‘goals’, and then click on ‘create a goal’ at the top of the page.

5. Viewing your data

It’s great that these reports are all available in analytics, but you can create an easy to read dashboard, which gives you all your data in one easy hit.

Google has an easy to use, simple, dashboard builder. In the reporting interface, go to ‘Dashboards’ and select ‘New Dashboard’. You’ll have to select a template. There are some great default ones available, and once you’re confident you’ll be able to build your own.

Select ‘+Add Widget’ and you’ll be taken through a simple process that will present the data you’re looking for. Why not create a dashboard covering everything above? Quickly this will become a daily visit enabling you to make the most of your site traffic.

Important things to remember

As with any reporting tool there are a few things to bear in mind. The data you get is only as good as your site and its traffic. If you don’t get any traffic, analytics can’t tell you much. On the other hand if you receive a lot of traffic, Google Analytics will only analyse segments. This means it’s good for identifying trends, but may not always match other sources.

Google Analytics works best with one website. Any content that links to a different site, such as iframes, will require a more advanced Google Analytics set up. If this is something you need it’s best to contact one of Google’s certified partners.

By Shane Mansfield