Humanlytics Google Analytics Video Series Episode 2:
Welcome to the second episode of our Google Analytics Video series, where publish short videos (around 10 min) about one area of Google Analytics every two week to make Google Analytics easier for you.
In this video, we are going to cover two simple questions:
- What is a framework and why is it important?
- What is the simple analyze-act-monitor framework we use at Humanltyics to help you rock Google Analytics?
We apologize for the video quality this week, I am on a consulting trip to China this month, and the quality is the best quality we can record the video at uninterrupted.
If you have any questions about anything covered in this video, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am more than happy to setup a call with you to answer any questions, no strings attached!
Please give us any feedbacks in the comment section, your comments will help us greatly in improving those short-videos and making them truly valuable to you.
What is a Google Analytics framework, and why is it important?
Simply put, a framework is a step-by-step action plan for you to tackle complex problems or challenges in both digital marketing or life in general. Just like the instruction you get when you are assembling IKEA desks, a framework can help you with breaking down complex tasks (like assembling a desk, or digital analytics), into manageable bites to both reduce uncertainty and ensure you to get most out of the analytical experience.
As for Google Analytics, coming up with a great and simple framework is absolute crucial because it is one of the most useful, yet complex tool Google has to offer.
You can do so much in Google Analytics including understanding your core audiences, optimizing your campaigns on Google Adwords, Facebook, and choosing which web page to optimize on your website.
However, most business owners we talked to cannot go beyond reading simple web metrics in Google Analytics because they don’t have concrete frameworks to fully leverage all features in Google Analytics.
For this reason, a simple framework in Google Analytics can go a long way in helping you get the most out of your Google Analytics account.
What is a simple Google Analytics framework business owners can use?
At Humanlytics we suggest business owners to use a simple analyze->action->monitor framework when approaching Google Analytics or digital analytics in general. I am only going to give a general introduction of the framework here in this video, but you can read more details notes about this framework in our medium publication.
This analyze->action->monitor framework borrow heavily from the existing framework used by digital marketing agencies all over the world, but with more emphasis on understanding and take action to provide the best experiences for your “core audiences”.
Let’s dig into each of the stages.
The first stage of the framework is “analyze”, which can take up to a week depending on how much time you spend on Google Analytics each day.
During the “analyze” stage, your goal is to identify the “core audiences” of your website.
There are primarily two “core audiences” groups. The user group your company wants to target, and the user group that is already engaged with your website.
You need to understand the behaviors of both groups of users since usually, you need to create great experiences for both of them.
In order to accomplish that, you need to use Google Analytics to analyze the behavior of both users who you are intending to target for your brand (we call this group of users your aspirational core audiences), and those users who are already visiting and engaging well with your website.
During those analyses, you need to identify the part of their experiences that are sub-optimal and could be easily improved, and now we have come to the “act” stage, in which we need to come up with concrete plans to both improve those sub-optimal elements, and key metrics (both long term and short term) to keep track of those elements.
After coming up with both the plan and the metric to track, you will perform various actions based on the plan to resolve those sub-optimal user experiences.
The time of your “action” stage may vary based on the actions you choose. For example, advertising on Facebook or Google Adwords will probably take 2–3 weeks to setup and execute, and A/B testing will only take around 1 week.
Then its time to “monitor”. The “monitor” stage begin as soon as you implement your actions during the “action” stage and might overlap with the “action stage”. During the “monitor” stage, you refer to both short-term and long-term metrics you came up with during the “analyze” stage, and use them to track both the short-term effectiveness, and long-term effectiveness of the campaign.
Let’s use an example here. Short-term metrics might be the click through rate of your Adwords campaign, and you can use it to improve and maximize performance of your Adwords keywords and adcopies. Long-term metrics might be the 3-month traffic increase as a result of the entrie Adwords campaign, which will help you understand whether Adwords is working in the first place as a viable action to solve your acquisition problem.
It is important to keep in mind here that all solutions take time to become effective, so balancing between long-term and short-term tracking is crucial for the success of your digital optimization efforts.
This will wrap it up for our Google Analytics Fundamental Series this week. Hope this framework can provide you with some clarity on how to use Google Analytics to optimize your digital user experience.
In the next few sessions, we are going to focus on the “Analyze” portion of the framework and show you how to identify your core audiences, understand where they are coming from, and understand how specific they interact with your website.