Achieving online business success requires clear goals and metrics to measure by. Harness the power of Google Analytics and find all the power you need.
7th Grade Mistakes
In 7th Grade my English class read the Newberry Medal winning book “Sounder,” by William H. Armstrong. It was a big deal, with several weeks spent reading the book and studying the topics therein. The grand finale was a huge writing assignment.
As usual, on the day the assignment was due, I was hurting. English was my second class of the day, and since I hadn’t started working on the writing assignment, I needed to start and finish it during my first class of the day.
After rushing through my work hoping my Social Studies teacher wouldn’t catch me, with a feeling of dread and fear, I handed in my assignment…already scheming about how I would explain away the progress report that would inevitably be sent to my parents in the near future.
I will never forget the moment my English teacher handed back our graded assignments.
She stood in front of the class with a smile on her face, and said that while the class did a great job overall, there was one student who did an amazing job. She said my name, and handed back my assignment first. With everyone’s eyes upon me (including friends who knew what I had done) I looked at my grade – 145/150, an A.
Now imagine you are getting ready to share web-based project updates at an executive leadership team meeting. In order for the meeting to be successful you need to know the goals, current state, and future direction of each project – and you need data to back up your details.
The problem is you don’t know where to look, you are running out of time to figure it out,, and your stress level is growing exponentially. Like me, you find yourself in Social Studies class, cramming to put something together.
Enter the Dragon
Er, let me rephrase that—Enter Google Analytics.
Google Analytics provides the opportunity to find everything you need, including the information you’d need for your executive leadership team. The obstacle is that engaging with the platform can often feel like drinking from a fire hose of reports and data.
Yet Google Analytics can be mastered – and doing so will empower you and your team to make wise decisions that lead to online business success. Google Analytics will put you in a position to know exactly what to share with your executive leadership team.
And the place to start is in creating a clear measurement model. You can’t just dive in and start with the data. You need to start with building a model for understanding what online business success looks like.
Start by asking questions like:
- Why does my website exist?
- Who is my site for?
- What are the goals of the site?
- How do you measure each goal?
- What is a conversion?
- What is my most important metric?
Only when you have answers to these questions, and a clear understanding of what success looks like, can you start looking at metrics. Everything you do in Google Analytics must flow from your measurement model. And when this is the case, and you start tracking against your goals, Google Analytics is a highly strategic, must-have tool.
More than just knowing numbers related to site traffic, your goals can drive you towards knowing where traffic is coming from geographically, and how long site visitors are spending time on a specific page on your site.
So here’s the reality about my “Sounder” story. It carries some good theatrics, and is fun to tell – mainly for its ego stroking potential. But the reality is this experience set me on the wrong pathway for life. Unfortunately I’ve spent too much of my life waiting until the last second to get things done. And as an Account Manger, even though I still contend with the “Last Second” demon, like Milo in the Mountains of Ignorance (please read “The Phantom Tollbooth”), this approach does not work. I have found much more success in staying ahead of the game.
My recommendation is you learn to use Google Analytics so you can do the same. It’s a great tool to have at your disposal, and a great tool to ensure you are prepared at any time. The data is powerful, and its true power is when it is driven by clear goals and objectives. If you understand what is most important for your business, you’ll take heed.