If you’re a webmaster, developer or a digital marketer, Google Analytics (GA) is a valuable tool to measure your website’s performance. And for free, it provides an economical benefit.
Google continues to add new features and improvements to GA. Additionally, Google has created other tools and services that, when integrated with GA, can make your reporting, data and tracking much more efficient as well as attractive.
Google Data Studio (beta) (GDS) provides a user-friendly interface for creating dynamic data dashboards based on your website’s analytics. Not only are they easy to create, but they’re easy to share. GDS allows you to send a link to these dashboards to your clients so they can easily browse through their website’s analytic data with ease.
GDS connects to your GA account in a few simple steps. Once the two services are linked, GDS has access to all of the data available in GA. Then using the GDS tools, you can create ways to display your data users can interact with.
Raw GA reports can be confusing, overwhelming and, frankly, downright ugly. GDS helps you provide clean, easily digestible data to clients which can help them better understand how to use the valuable data.Additionally, GDS can also be used to display data from Google Sheets, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, YouTube Analytics or even a MySQL database!
Using GA with GTM is easy. Once you create a new GTM container and link it to your GA account. Then you simple add the GTM code to your website and you can manage various tracking features within GTM without having to touch the code.
One of the biggest benefit of using GTM is how easy it is to set up event tracking. Here are a few events that GTM makes it easy to track:
- File Downloads: Using trigger events you can track in Google Analytics how often users download or view documents like PDFs.
- Form Submissions: Using the form tracking features, you can send data to Google Analytics on how users are using the forms on your website. This includes which form selections they make and where the users that submitted the form come from.
- Outbound Links: GTM provides settings that allow you to more accurately track links to other websites. By pausing for a fraction of a second and allowing the data to be sent to Google analytics before the users is taken away from the site. You can accurately track any outbound link click.
Google Search Console (GSC) provides a number of tools that helps you optimize your site’s organic search performance. You can view data about search queries, impressions and help track down and eliminate 404s. The primary usage of GSC is to submit your site’s sitemap to Google. This will allow for quicker and more accurate indexing of your site.
Once you’ve setup your GSC account you can then link it to your site’s GA account. Then all of your search analytics are available to view within your GA account.
With your GSC data available within GA you can then generate reports that integrates your site analytics with your Google search analytics creating valuable insights into how users find and interact with your site.
GA is a great free tool that all organizations should use. When used in conjunction with Google’s other free tools like Data Studio and Search Console, you can create visually appealing and engaging data dashboards that tell stories about how people find and interact with your site. When you use these four Google services together you can supercharge your analytic reporting for clients and give them valuable insights. The best part of this tool? It’s all free!