After a long winter, everyone looks forward to spring and the warm weather it brings. People clean their house, dust off the patio furniture and ready their gardens to grow. For everyone with a website and Google Analytics, it is time to do the same – clean out the old, get rid of the dirty data and get ready to grow.
Clean Out the Old
Goals – are they up to date? Are the goals converting? Do they measure the right metrics for your business? For goals that are not converting, find out why they are not converting. Sometimes, when a goal is no longer converting the answer is simply updating a goal URL that changed. Such as a contact form which has a new thank you page or now there are multiple forms and the old thank you page no longer exists. Update the goal with the new URL or create new goals for the new forms to fix the problem.
Another common issue with goals that are not converting is that the page is no longer easily accessible. For example, a landing page put in place for a paid campaign that is no longer running. If there are unnecessary goals, remove them. Removing old goals, cleaning up the non-converting goals cleans your data so that you get a good view of what is really happening on your site.
Get Rid of Dirty Data
After reviewing the goals, look at some of the basics to make certain they are in place. Link your Analytics to Google Webmaster. Link AdWords and Analytics to gather valuable paid data. Check your campaigns – are you using Google URL Builder to tag external campaign such as emails or non-AdWords paid efforts? When you review your campaigns, is there a consistent naming convention so you can review all email campaigns, all off site ads and any other tracked campaigns you have? If these items are not in place, get rid of the dirty data like referrals from emails or untagged paid campaigns and start tagging!
Get Ready to Grow
Dive a little deeper into Analytics, extend the date range to the past 12 months. Look at your content, what pages are your top content? What pages are at the bottom of the list? Make a plan – use your top content for ideas on new content. Review the top pages of your site for strong calls to action. Make sure the top pages are pages with up to date, relevant information. Now, look at those bottom pages. Are they getting the quality of visitors you want? Are the pages no longer relevant? Are they in need of a refresh or rewriting of the content? Do the pages need a call to action?
Review your site for new goals. As business grows, content on the site grows, as do the goals. Make sure that you are tracking everything on your site that helps you make business decisions. For example, are you tracking your whitepaper downloads? Whitepapers are informational for visitors and build visitors’ trust in a company as a thought leader. Tracking these downloads can help you identify popular whitepapers and present ideas for new content.
Everything you want to know about your website is in Analytics, keeping it clean, reviewing regularly and making sure it is all up to date is vital to using the data to make good decisions and keep moving forward.