Explaining Google Analytics to Your Boss in 5 Easy Steps
LAST UPDATED: TOPIC: Analytics and CRO
Google Analytics is great. You know it, we know it. Sadly, your boss isn’t quite convinced. Either he or she hasn’t heard of it yet, or they don’t know much about it, or they’ve been too busy to listen as you try to explain the basics to them. Whatever the case, you need to get the point across that you should be using Google Analytics. Here’s how to do it in 5 easy steps.
1. Start with the Dream
Let’s face it, not many people are interested in Google Analytics just for the joy of crunching numbers. Analytics serve a purpose, and that’s what you need to communicate to your boss. But before they’ll listen to the everyday benefits, you want to hook them in with something juicy. Not just the goal of using Analytics, but the Dream.
What’s the Dream? It’s what you imagine Analytics doing for you on a perfect day. It’s what your boss wants to hear.
- Analytics can measure the statistics of our conversion funnel, so that we can increase customer retention and conversion rate
- We can integrate Analytics with our AdWords campaign, tracking customer use of the site after they’ve clicked on one of our paid ads
- We can see which pages perform better, so we know what our customers are interested in and increase our focus and conversion rates for those options
- We can measure a specific page’s performance and even A/B test pages to see which performs better
- We get to know our visitor behaviour better, so that we can offer them the service they’re looking for
What’s the best use of Analytics for your business? Improving retention for your conversion funnel? Blowing people away with an amazing landing page? Improving your ROI from paid advertising? Start with the end goal in mind and let your boss know it’s possible with Google Analytics (as long as it actually is, of course).
Don’t start with the ‘what’, start with the ‘why’. Your boss wants to know why they should be using Google Analytics, not just what it can do.
2. Explain the Extra Benefits
Once you’ve drawn them in, it’s time to start talking about all the benefits Google Analytics provides. This is where you go in with the ‘what’.
You’ve set up the idea of a main goal, but there are plenty of other uses for the information you’ll get along the way. Analytics offers you an immense amount of data to play with, and there’s a lot you can do with it to improve your website and business beyond your primary purpose.
- Track long-term site performance
- See upwards and downwards trends on a daily, weekly and seasonal basis
- Easily measure conversion rates, site usage and set your own goals
- Detailed information about customers including location, devices and behaviour
- Find where traffic comes from and how different visitors behave
All of this is the icing on the cake, of course, a side event for the main show. Use that to make it more appealing. Not only will Analytics help you achieve a specific purpose, it has multiple features you can use for all sorts of other things, doing plenty of extra work along the way.
3. Show off the Basics
Alright, you’ve convinced your boss (we hope!) now it’s time to show off what Analytics can actually do. There’s a lot to cover, so it’s best to start with the basics.
It’s best to have Analytics running for about a week or more before you start showing it off, to allow it time to gather data. Google Analytics looks less impressive when it doesn’t have anything to show. Once you’ve got the go-ahead to put the tracking code on the site, arrange a time a week in advance to sit down and show your boss what Google Analytics can do.
Start small, with the easy stuff such as Unique Visitors, Bounce Rate etc. All the stats that Google Analytics serves up easily make for good first-time viewing. Take time to explain a little bit about each statistic, and how it helps with your goals.
- Sessions: The total number of times people have used the website, including the same person multiple times.
- Users: The total number of unique people who have used the website, no matter how many different times.
- Pages, Session: The average number of pages accessed each session, including the same page viewed multiple times. Compare this to how many pages you think people should be viewing.
- Session Duration: The average time each session takes. Compare this to how long you think people should be spending on your website.
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of sessions that end without the user interacting with the site at all. This means they don’t click links or visit more than one page, but they might still read the contents of a page. Bounces don’t record time spent on the site. High bounce rate is generally bad.
4. Drill Down
As useful as the basics are, Google Analytics is capable of so much more. To make your case truly compelling, you’ll want to drill down on some of the data and show your boss just how much is going on under the hood.
This is your chance to show off the data that’s most applicable to your end goal. If you’re focusing on your conversion funnel, show off its ability to track people’s path through your website. If you’re trying to boost a PPC campaign, look at the Campaigns section of Acquisition, and how you can link AdWords to Analytics.
- Take a look at Users Flow under Audience
- Show off Campaigns and AdWords under Acquisition
- Explain the ability to set your own goals and measure goal completions
- If you run an ecommerce site, look at the options in the Conversions tab
Whatever you’ve convince your boss they should be using Analytics for, this is your opportunity to show it off in all its glory. Of course, explain that the longer Analytics runs, the more data you’ll have and the better job it can do. For now, it’s just proof of concept.
5. End with the Dream
Once you’ve shown what Analytics can do, you’ll need to come full circle and get back to the original point. You’ve proved that Google Analytics is capable of presenting plenty of useful data, so reiterate what you can do with it.
As ever, Google Analytics is a means to an end, a tool to help you fulfill a purpose. Convince your boss that it serves a vital role in improving your website and your business, and let them know how you’ll go about using it.
If needs be, come up with a strategy for how Analytics will fit into your wider goals. Consider things such as:
- How often will you check your data?
- Which data specifically will you be using?
- How will the final information be presented?
- How will you use your information to tie in with your strategy?
- In a larger company, who needs access to what information?
Once your boss buys into Google Analytics, you can begin to unleash its power and enjoy the results.