Lesson 8 of 11. How to use Google Analytics to make data-driven decision and measure your startup growth
This Lesson is brought to You by:

Wole Ogunlade
Growth Hacker at HackgrowthNG, (LinkedIn or Twitter)

Wole Ogunlade is a growth strategist for early-stage startups; he is cofounder of ProbityFarms.com - a free farm investment management application. He writes about growth marketing topics on HackgrowthNG and also contributes to leading tech blogs in Nigeria and diaspora. He has mentored early stage businesses on platforms like Google LaunchPad and the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme for entrepreneurs.

Lesson 8 of 11. How to make data-driven decision to measure your startup growth (with Google Analytics)

Do you know the right metrics to measure?

If you do, you make smart and informed decisions about your business like identifying trends, problem areas, successes, and potential next steps for your startup.

One person that does this well around here is Jason Njoku of iROKOtv (hint: See point No.5 of this post and No. 2 of this post)

If you have challenge identifying what to measure for your startup, then you should read this post I published on my blog.

In that post I highlighted the need to document your objectives. Doing this will allow you to know the right metrics to measure.

Here are the key highlights of the article:

1. Identify your Business’ Objectives

2. Identify Goals for each Business’ Objectives

3. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for each Goals

4. Identify Target for each KPIs

5. Identify Segments / Cohorts of people for each Objectives

So, how do you measure your metrics?

There are several useful tools you can use, including paid tools like Kissmetrics, MixPanel, Customer.io etc. However, when you are just starting out, the most obvious tool to use is Google Analytics.


GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Google Analytics is the number one analytics tool that top marketers use to get all their insights. It’s what helps them to make proper, data-driven decisions when they’re creating their sales funnels and campaigns, and ultimately, what guides them into generating revenue and profit from replicable systems.

Unfortunately...

Most people grossly under-utilise the power of Google analytics.They simply install the Google Analytics code on their website and do nothing else other than occasionally checking their dashboard.

To put what you should track with GA in perspective, you can read Andrew Chen's example of a hypothetical photo sharing product.

Asking the right question from Google Analytics

There are many creative ways to use Google Analytics to measure your startup goals or objectives.

Smart marketers know there is gold hiding in their website analytics and know how to find it by asking the right questions.

1. Google Analytics helps you to answer data-driven questions like:

  1. Who are my visitors?
  2. Where do my visitors come from?
  3. What actions are my visitors taking?
  4. What are the results of my visitor’s actions?

(HINT: You'll find the premade template in Dashboard Junkie very useful)

2. Google Analytics can help you calculate the ROI of your campaigns by measuring impacts of paid traffic, SEO and other efforts on your key metrics.

3. Google Analytics can give you an “X-Ray Vision” of the conversion rates on your funnels. This is good for eCommerce tracking and measurement of event-based metrics. When you know where your traffic is leaking you will be able to take the appropriate action.

For example,

A report like the image below shows that majority of the traffic that visited the “product categories” page did not proceed to “shopping cart”.

Based on this data, you can proceed to analyze the “product categories” page to see what should be modified in order to improve conversion.

However, setting up Google analytics metrics can be a complex engineering job for new users. To reduce your learning curve, I have added additional resources to help you get started easily.

In 2014, Google launched another free tool called Google Tag Manager (GTM) that makes working with Google Analytics a lot easier.

How Does GTM Work?

GTM is a complementary product to GA that consolidates your website tags with a single snippet of code and lets you manage everything from a web interface. Chris from Simply Marketing wrote the complete guide to set up GTM to work with GA for measuring site metrics effectively.

With GTM, you can easily implement tracking of several applications on your website without the need of consulting with your IT team or developer. Here is a list of applications you can track, out-of-the-box with GTM.

Additional resources:

On Google Analytics:

  1. WPCurve – Startup metrics
  2. SEOBrien
  3. Seriously Simple Marketing - Over 15 Posts on Analytics
  4. DashBoard Junkie - Free Google Analytics Dashboard 
  5. Koozai - 13 free GA tools
  6. Appspot - GA Demo and tools

Google Tag Manager

  1. iPullRank – a complete guide
  2. SemRush
  3. DigitalFuel

Conversion Rate Optimization

  1. List of my favourite CRO blogs

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