Overwhelmed by Google Analytics? Don’t Be.

It’s been said that humans are born with only two innate fears – that of falling and that of sudden, loud noises. All of the other things we have come to fear – spiders, clowns, darkness, etc. – are learned fears, created from circumstances sometimes out of our control. Fears sometimes arise out of uncertainty; particularly if we feel overwhelmed by the information we do or don’t have.

Take, for example, mastering the huge ocean of data that Google Analytics can provide for your website.


As a part of our marketing efforts here at LT, we began to look more closely at this data for our website. Google Analytics does a great job of providing information that allows you to examine a website from nearly every angle. And that’s part of the problem. There are so many data points and so many angles that the whole exercise tends to be more overwhelming than helpful.

We had already established our general approach to gaining new customers with a relationship-based marketing funnel, and we knew that our website could work like a salesperson for us, but we weren’t always seeing consistent conversions happening with our website visitors.

Conversions Defined

We defined these conversions in a couple of different ways. If a visitor clicks on our Contact Us page, that’s a conversion. Or, if he or she clicks to subscribe to our blog, that’s a pretty clear sign that they find our content valuable, and we would consider it a conversion too. It’s an active decision to continue a conversation with us, and it could lead to us helping to provide a solution for his or her needs.

The only problem that second conversion was… it wasn’t happening. We would get thousands of visitors to our site each month, and no one was subscribing to our blog. People weren’t necessarily just bouncing, and leaving our site after just one page, but they weren’t doing those specific conversion actions that we were hoping for.

Hoping for something and seeing it come to fruition are two very different things. Hope helps to establish a goal, but the real work comes in bringing that goal into reality. Obviously, we couldn’t rely on hope alone to facilitate certain website visitor behaviors. We needed information that we could feel confident in acting on. We didn’t just need data, we needed the right data.

So once we knew what we wanted to happen on our website, we needed to identify the specific metrics that would allow us to measure those conversions. Before, we would just jump in to Google Analytics and stumble around until it seemed like we found the right information. Then, if we were feeling especially daring, we would look back for a couple of months and see if we could identify any trends.

The process was fruitful, but the fruit didn’t last. We would only dive in when we had a problem, or a curiosity. While the solution seems obvious now, it was not clear to us at the time. To keep up a fresh supply of fruit (so to speak), we needed a regular system of harvesting.

fruit basket

{photo credit: flickr}

Monthly measurement and analysis

We began to measure 10 different metrics that gave us specific, useful information about what our website was doing for us. Our measurement frequency is currently once per month, and we make sure that each metric is continuing to be useful and subordinate to our overall website goals. We’re not locked in to any one metric, and as soon as one stops being helpful, we look to replace it with a better one.

For Lieberman Technologies, this allows us to stay on top of our website’s performance, and gives us a way to measure the effectiveness of specific components of web design and user-friendliness. It took some time to get comfortable with the Google Analytics control panels, but we feel that it was well worth it. After all, why invest in having a website if you don’t know what it’s doing for you?

So the next time you feel that Google Analytics is staring you down and trying to intimidate you, go ahead and stare back. You can tame that beast. And if you need it, we can help.

Google Analytics Training Resources: