Don't Get Lost in Google Analytics: How to Organize Your Metrics with the Right Views

It's easy to get overwhelmed by Google Analytics. Even the first page gives you a lot of data at a glance. Once you start clicking deeper and deeper into the various categories and elements, it's hard to dig yourself back out. More data is almost always better than not enough data. But if you always leave Google Analytics feeling frustrating, confused, or you didn't get the answer you were looking for, you're not getting what you need to run your business.

The best way to use any analytics tool is to step back and make a plan. Before your next visit to the portal, think about what answers you're looking for and how the information will help your business grow. Give yourself a solid foundation and make sure all of your reports, searches, and glances are starting off with data that makes sense. Then you can start searching for specific, detailed answers that drive your future campaigns. When it comes to Google Analytics, a solid foundation starts with the right views.

Create a basic collection of different views.

Once you have your analytics ID added to every webpage, data will start rushing into your portal. You'll start seeing visitor stats, the number of different interactions, and everywhere your traffic is coming from. But that torrential flood of information isn't always helpful, and you need to know which metrics matter. Instead of going straight to reports and spreadsheets, make sure you filter the data through the right view first.

What are views?

Views give you data through different filters, or lenses. Rather than seeing all of your data all the time, a view gives you a specific subsection of the data. Views can be inclusive, such as if you want to only see information about Chrome users, or exclusive, such as when you want to ignore internal employees' visits.

However, views don't just act like filters. The type of data in every view you create is permanently limited, and the excluded data isn't saved. This helps keep your standard stats and analytics easy to read. It also helps reduce the amount of manual clicking and filtering you have to do to find answers in your data. But because that data is gone once you remove it from your collection of views, it's important to build the right ones from the beginning. Here are four views your account needs to have:

Keep a raw view of your data.

You probably won't use raw data very often. But having a comprehensive, completely unfiltered pool of data is a great resource. Not only can you use the view for archival data, but you can also compare the other views against it as you start to experiment.

Create a view without confounding data.

Not all traffic is traffic that you want to measure. If your web designer is repeatedly refreshing a page to test out new designs, that can skew your statistics. If your IT department set your business's website as everyone's homepage, that can inflate your daily numbers. Even bots and web-crawling algorithms can interfere with your analysis. 

So create a second view that excludes the visitors and interactions none of your marketing and sales departments need to measure.

Give yourself a sandbox view for testing new ideas.

Once you become more familiar with Google Analytics, you are going to have more and more complex analyses. That means your views will also become more complicated as you investigate specific areas of the data. But, like any settings change or online edit, you want to test it first.

Create a third view that's identical to the view without confounding data. But label it as your test view instead. Then you can test and modify this view until you get what you're looking for. Once it's just right, rename it to describe the view settings. Then create a new copy of the view without confounding data and label it as a test view. That way, you're all set up for the next time inspiration or a new market strikes.

Start building views for different teams.

Your marketing and sales directors will need a holistic glance into all of your external traffic. It will help them reallocate focus and see the big picture. But if your departments are split into smaller teams that handle different regions, you can give them specific views that help them understand their region without any unwanted "noise" from the rest of the data.

One of the best ways to create views is through geographic markers. Make a view for your North American, EMEA, and other teams. Depending on your business, interactions from consumers in the United States of America might drown out activity from visitors in other countries. 

If you have separate marketing teams for mobile and desktop users, you can also create views for their use. Even customers that fall under the same customer persona can start to interact with your site very differently depending on the device they're using at the moment. Using separate views from the start helps you get to the bottom of skewed or unexpected patterns.

You can also create reciprocal views that answer the other side of the equation. For example, you can build views that filter out different ages, regions, and sources to focus on a core group. Then you can build a reciprocal view that either brings them back in or focuses on the excluded groups. This improves focus on the bigger picture. It's also a great way to make sure your first view doesn't accidentally exclude too much information.

Once you're comfortable creating views, make them part of your active strategies, too. If your company plans on expanding outside of your tri-state area or you have campaigns designed to reach a new market in a specific, create a view so a dedicated employee can focus solely on the new development. The number of views you can have per account has a cap, but temporary views for new projects are a great tool to use until the expansion stabilizes and you can cut back to a more generalized regional view.


But data is only the start. You also need great marketing materials and digital strategies to get the stats you're looking for. Go to the BOLD Worldwide for content tips, omnichannel marketing ideas, and social media campaign strategies that can drive new leads to your website.

2019 Marketing Assessment Tool

Topics: marketing analytics data & analytics in marketing google analytics

Drive Higher Marketing ROI With An Established Plan

Have you ever been told that you have to "fake it till you make it"? Well, no one can simply do this all the time, right? Benjamin Franklin once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." This great quote can be applied to so many aspects of our lives and in business, and is extremely applicable in the marketing domain.

Topics: marketing analytics marketing results marketing roi marketing goals

How Data Tiers Can Help You Prioritize Your Marketing Analytics

Even advanced marketers can get confused by the complex world of marketing analytics. In today's big data environment, it's easy to gather data - but difficult to prioritize that information in a way that makes effective analysis possible. Before you know it, you suffer from data overload, effectively rendering the concept useless for your business.

That hypothetical is the worst-case scenario. Analytics are absolutely crucial to your marketing success; without them, you simply don't know what works and what doesn't, and cannot effectively build your strategy. As a result, you move away from the goal of results marketing. At best, you're guessing at potentially successful tactics and messages. At worst, you lose budget because what you're doing is not working, and you cannot prove that allocating funds to marketing is actually money well spent for your business.

Of course, neither is a scenario any business of any size wants to be in. Fortunately, you don't have to be. In fact, simple prioritization can do wonders in helping you turn your analytics from confusing to actionable. To get to that point, it pays to understand a simple concept: data tiers.

The Core Concept of Data Tiers in Marketing Analytics

First things first: none of the below makes sense if you don't understand what we mean by data tiers. The concept is based on a simple fact: not all data is created equal. Some, in fact, has little to do with your actual marketing success.

Organizing your data helps you prioritize your efforts. All of the below metrics have a purpose within a larger context; however, some of them matter more than others. Would you rather know how many people a given social media post reached, or how much it actually contributed to your ROI?

If you know the answer to that question, you understand the core concept of and need for marketing tiers.

Tier 1: Reach and Awareness Metrics

The first tier of marketing metrics also doubles as its more basic. These analytics can help you determine the success of goals related to your brand awareness, but little more. They also happen to be the most visual; from Google Analytics to Facebook Insights, you can easily find reach and impression as a success metric.

How much of a metric is it though, in reality? That's the core question you have to answer for yourself. Sure, you can measure your brand awareness, and in the most basic sense, how much your marketing dollars got you. But that's where it ends; this first tier tells you little about user intent, action, or other metrics more relevant to actual brand success. 

Tier 2: Action and Conversion Metrics

The next tier is more closely related to your actual goal. This is the one that goes beyond the mere fact of your ad showing up, and it's also where digital marketing starts to show its advantage over non-digital alternatives. Measuring the actions users take helps you determine how convincing your ad actually was in driving your audience into and down the sales funnel.

The most basic metric in this tier is link clicks, which every type of digital platform measures. But it doesn't end there. In this tier, you will also find metrics related to conversions on your website and elsewhere. Some of these numbers may be found on your ad platform's internal analytics suite. For others, you may have to use a third-party platform, such as Google Analytics.

Tier 3: Cost Metrics

Of course, conversion metrics matter little if you don't consider the cost of getting there. Digital ads tend to be pay per click (PPC), which means you only get charged when a member of your target audience actually takes an action. That, in turn, means you have to pay special attention of how much you actually spend per click, and whether that spend is paying off.

A variety of metrics fit into this grouping. We already mentioned cost per click, but it's not the only option. Cost per conversion is calculated similar, but can differ depending on how you define a conversion. Put simply: every number that is directly related to your budget is a part of this tier.

Tier 4: Return on Investment Metrics

Most marketers stop at the first three tiers. In fact, if you do so, you might already consider yourself pretty successful. But you're also missing a major opportunity. That's because in the fourth tier, they all come together.

In a way, ROI metrics are not metrics at all. Instead, they're a combination of metrics. If, for example, you're tracking your conversions, and know the approximate value of each conversion, you can compare that number to your cost to get an accurate ROI measure. This article walks you through calculating your digital ROI.

Are You Ready to Maximize Your Analytics Potential?

Build these tiers, and you can begin to make sense of your analytics efforts. All of them, of course, matter to some degree. But generally speaking, the lower tiers should receive more attention than their counterparts higher up the food chain. They're more closely connected to actual business investment and success, and thus can bring your marketing measurement beyond its bubble.

The goal of results marketing is to prioritize channels and messages that actually help your business grow and advance. But that's impossible to do if you don't know what metrics to focus on. A tiered approach like the above helps you solve that quandary, increasing your chances of successful marketing.

Of course, the end result can still be complex. You need to know how to connect individual metrics with your larger marketing and business goals, how to measure these metrics, and how to leverage them effectively to improve and build your marketing strategy. Only getting to that point can truly maximize your analytics potential.

We want to help you get there. In fact, marketing analytics, especially in the digital realm, are among our greatest strength. If you struggle with the concept, and with proving the actual success of your marketing efforts, let's work together. Contact us today to get started.

2019 Marketing Strategy Assessment

Topics: marketing analytics data & analytics in marketing

5 Simple Steps to Align Your Business and Marketing KPIs

When you start to really consider it, it's really not rocket science. We tend to treat marketing as a separate entity from most other business processes. It's the promotional side of the house, tasked with pushing a message that gets you customers. And yet, that relative isolation can mean death to an effective marketing strategy.

Sure, we could tell you about the various digital marketing strategies bound to help your business succeed. In fact, we've done just that on this blog. And we wouldn't be lying, either. Social media, content marketing, and effective lead nurturing can do wonders for your customer acquisition. But even then, they still need to connect to your larger business goals. If they don't, you might as well pack it up and go home.

Consider the importance of a potential connection. Even at its simplest, a social media ad that links to your website means little. It might generate some awareness, and even some leads. But it will not ultimately lead to new business and loyal customers if your overall message, product, and priorities don't all line up together.

That alignment, in turn, requires a close cooperation and integration of goals. That sounds complicated. It doesn't have to be. In fact, these 5 simple steps can help you align your marketing and business KPIs to achieve sustainable business success.

1) Find the Connections Between Business and Marketing

First things first: you have to get on the same page. In this context, that means making sure everyone in marketing is aware of, and embraces, the larger business priorities.

That step might be as simple as internalizing the mission and vision statement. But it also pays to get more specific than that. Which of your marketing efforts can be directly connected to the larger strategic plan of your business? Which aspects of that strategic plan should be, but are not covered from a marketing standpoint?

Each of these questions will be crucial to answer. The more closely you can relate your marketing priorities to those of the organization as a whole, the better. Consider your marketing plan the sub-plot of the movie that describes the journey of your business.

2) Leverage Integrated Analytics for Comprehensive Success

At their best, analytics are more than just a buzzword that helps you determine the reach and engagement of your social media strategy. They're the tools you can use to track progress in business growth and marketing success, ultimately aligning them in the process.

Closely review your business and marketing KPIs, and you might find something surprising: they're not always that different. Consider this article by the Harvard Business Review, which lists true measures of success for organizations across industries. Surprise: the process of finding them is exactly the same for both marketing and business leadership.

If the goals are the same, are you making sure the ways you are measuring them are as well? Integrated analytics are as much about the systems you use to track them as the KPIs themselves. Look for a solution that gives leadership across the organization insight into your progress toward goal, both in marketing and business as a whole.

3) Get Everyone Talking

No shocker here. For true alignment, marketing has to be integrated into the larger organizational conversation, both on a strategic level and on the execution side. That might seem obvious, but still requires significant collaboration on all sides.

Don't be confused by headlines at publications like Forbes, proclaiming collaborative marketing to the "the next big thing." It always has been that big. It's just that now, as marketing is incurring greater responsibility across the business, that collaboration has begun to enter the spotlight in a way that wasn't the case previously.

What does that look like in real life? For starters, regular check-ins between marketing and business leaderships make sense. These check-ins could also expand to related departments like sales. The key here is not to bang the drum of your promotional tactics, but to ensure that these tactics are aligned with efforts occurring across the organization.

4) Conduct Periodic Reviews of Alignment

Setting up the framework for successful alignment is not enough. In addition, you should also set up a mechanism that allows you to periodically review how well that alignment is actually working in practice. 

What those reviews look like depend on your organizational structure. You might hold regular presentations in which you show your progress toward organizational and marketing goals. It might occur in electronic forms, through dashboards and email communications. Either way, information sharing will be the core underlying principle of this step.

Let's be honest for a second here: no one particularly likes reviews. But that doesn't make them any less important. Simply put, communication is the key to ensuring successful alignment not just of data metrics, but organizational priorities and qualitative efforts. The more structured that communication, the more likely you will be to stick to it over time.

5) Work With a Partner Who Agrees With Your Marketing POV

Finally, don't underestimate the power of a potential partnership. Aligning your marketing and business KPIs might sound easy in theory, especially considering the natural fit of the above steps. Often, though, it is not.

All of the above require a comprehensive strategy. They require clear statements of priorities, and analytics that can clearly outline and track progress toward these priorities. They also require significant credibility on behalf of marketing from experts who know about its importance to the success of the business as a whole.

The right partner can help to provide all of that. Not just that, they can act as consultants that ultimately improve not just marketing, but business operations as a whole. That's the nature of true alignment.

We can be that partner for you. In fact, BOLD Worldwide has partnered with countless businesses on a sustainable marketing strategy that doesn't just seek to achieve its own KPIs, but expands those efforts to the entire business. Contact us to learn more about our process, and start the conversation to partner with us today.

Topics: marketing strategies marketing analytics marketing results Marketing POV

Marketing Analytics: How to Set up Goals In Google Analytics In 3 Easy Steps

Google Analytics is incredible in its ability to catch raw consumer data and give businesses true insights as to whether their digital marketing efforts are really as successful. However, many businesses often become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data that Google Analytics is able to capture and become too intimidated to actually use it effectively.

Though it may seem unwieldy in the beginning, Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool in crafting long-term digital marketing strategies. To use it successfully, it is essential that you set realistic and measurable goals within the tools to ascertain how well your efforts are working. Here are some instructions on how to set up goals in Google Analytics. The best way to maximize the results of your marketing is by using data, data science, and analytics tools at your disposal to gain valuable and actionable insight into what is working in your marketing campaign, and where improvements must be made.

1) Do you need a template, custom, or Smart Goals?

One of the first steps in setting up these goals is understanding which one is right for you and the information you are trying to gain. Google has pre-made templates that will help meet standard business goals. These include revenue, acquisition, inquiry and engagement and are meant to be larger measures to help you clarify what you are looking for.

Custom goals allow you to create specific objectives tailored to your business and will vary according to what your specific strategy is. According to Google, Smart Goals "uses machine learning to examine dozens of signals about your website sessions to determine which of those are most likely to result in a conversion." However, to use this, accounts must have certain prerequisites such as a linked AdWords account. The latter must also have sent a minimum of 500 clicks for the Analytic in question.

2) Options for goals: URLs, Time, Pages/Visit, Event

After you have become a little more familiar with the actual set-up of the goals within Google Analytics, it is time to dive in. The first and foremost thing when setting this up? What exactly are you trying to measure, and what are the best ways to achieve this. 

The four core measures for this include URLs, Time, Pages/Visit, and Event. URLs can be set up as destination goals to see how well specific URLs are doing with users. This basically means that anytime someone clicks on a URL, Google Analytics can track that. Use this for confirmation pages, linked PDFs and other integral pages that users may land on after clicking important URLs.

Time and Pages/Visit tend to go hand-in-hand. This is useful if you are trying to ascertain:

a) How much time people are actually spending on your site

b) What pages are they visiting

c) How much time they are spending on each page

These three dictate the longevity of your business, so it is important to get these goals established. If people are spending less time on a certain page versus another - why is that? Use goals to set up time spans of visits, page sessions and set thresholds for this. This will be extremely helpful in understanding buyer journey, and generally how successful your website is in capturing user interest.

Event goals are there to help you understand how users are engaging with external elements of your site. This include external links, downloads, social media buttons - basically anything that a user is clicking that might take it away from your site. These goals should be in place to understand what elements users are engaging with. This might be helpful in understanding social media in relation to the website (i.e. are users clicking on to Twitter when they see the widget or icon for it?) or if they are truly engaging with your content enough to click on to external links.

3) Descriptions, details and other ways to measure user engagement

The best way to set up Google Analytics is to create ways to measure user engagement to its full potential. This will depend very much on how you decide to create your goals going forward, and how you set them up. The description part will detail what the goal is actually measuring, and the details part will address the specific user engagement measures.

This may include session duration, visited pages per session, average bounce rate and a variety of measures. You can even set up specific times for duration so that Google Analytics can categorize it even better, and give you a laser-focused view of how much user engagement is actually occurring. For example, you can set up a goal to have it track every time users spend more than two minutes on a certain page. This will give you clear insight on what content is successful, and which pages are lacking in traffic and could be improved.

Although it may seem time-consuming initially, having details and descriptions is incredibly important for long-term marketing, as well as short-term digital marketing strategies. It helps paint a broad picture of consumer behavior, while simultaneously allowing you to drill down to deeper details to understand your average user. This data will be an invaluable resource in developing ideal customer profiles, and developing targeted marketing for prime demographics.

This is just a brief overview of the sheer possibilities that can be achieved by setting goals on Google Analytics. Setting it up in the beginning carefully and thoroughly will yield rich results that will help drive strategy going forward, and will be powerful information to use for digital marketing campaigns.

Once these goals are set up, they will likely need to be updated and modified based on business goals and growth, but the essentials will still remain and thereby make it a less time-consuming process going forward.

To learn more about best practices when it comes to Google Analytics, and how data and analytics are the best way to maximize your marketing while driving long-term success for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

2019 Marketing Strategy Assessment

Topics: marketing strategies marketing analytics data science

How to Take Your Analytics From Annoying to Enlightening

Haven't you heard? Analytics are the key to success. In marketing, data is the name of the game. And in the analytics game, it's sink or swim.

Enough with the metaphors. Anyone even remotely invested in marketing probably knows at this point that analytics just might be a little bit important to what you do. Without measuring the right data, you can forget about understand how successful your promotional efforts are, let alone how well your marketing budget is spent. But understanding the general importance of analytics doesn't solve a core problem: at the bottom of our hearts, none of us want to do it.

Sure, there might be some data experts out there who just love to run reports for the sake of running reports. But much more frequently, the opposite is true. Analytics becomes an important but difficult step of your marketing process. It's annoying at best, and easily ignored at worst. And yet, when that happens, you've already lost.

Because the key to success in measuring your marketing success is not biting your tongue and plunging ahead. Neither is it ignoring the numbers you get based on your efforts completely. Instead, the truth is much simpler: you need to make your analytics matter. And once you do, you might be surprised just how much of an impact they make in maximizing the results of your marketing.

Analytics Does Not Equal Insights

Think about your definition for analytics. Naturally, you will land somewhere along the lines of numbers and data, which can be analyzed to detect patterns and trends. One thing you likely won't be thinking of: insights.

Your definition of insights, on the other hand, probably doesn't have much to do with analytics. Instead, it tends to revolve around an a-ha moment that gave you the direction you need to move forward. Analytics and insights, to be frank, are not connected.

But maybe they should be. We tend to think of marketing analytics not as decision aides, but a necessary step to analyze past success. And while that undoubtedly matters, analytics cannot drive your business forward if they don't come with the natural next step in mind.

You cannot just collect and analyze the data - you also have to use it. And once you do, the impact will be drastic. Once you've made a better marketing decision because of a piece of data you collected (such as a successful A/B test), you will be surprised just how much easier it is to embrace the same analytics technique in the future.

Insights Need to Face the Future

Analytics as decision aides is only the beginning. To be successful, your insights also need to be future-facing. Consider this the natural step alongside the larger analytics movement, which is gradually rolling away from descriptive analytics and toward predictive analytics. As Information Week explains,

Predictive analytics is the next step up in data reduction. It utilizes a variety of statistical, modeling, data mining, and machine learning techniques to study recent and historical data, thereby allowing analysts to make predictions about the future.

All of that sounds a bit high-level. But we have good news: much of it can be automated. The key here is to not get swept away by the words, and look at the concept from a strategic perspective.

At its simplest, predictive analytics simply means embracing the future. It's largely using the same data as its descriptive counterparts, but leveraging it for better, forward-facing insights. The result is actionable data that can help not just your day-to-day decision making process, but the strategic direction of your company as a whole.

Think Beyond Tracking for Maximum Success

That, in turn, brings us to the third and final component of analytics that actually enlighten your marketing efforts. Yes, tracking matters. The reach, click-throughs, engagement, web conversions, and other social media metrics and digital marketing benchmarks are all important to understand exactly which of your marketing efforts work, and which don't. But they're just the beginning.

As mentioned above, what you do with these numbers to improve your future marketing matters more. And that's not all. In addition, it also makes sense to draw connections between them in order to get the maximum possible insights.

Most marketing firms, for instance, will tell you that reach and impression are largely vanity metrics with little impact on the actual business. In isolation, that might be true - there is little correlation between a Facebook user seeing your ad once and immediately buying your product. But what if that user has also seen other ads, clicked on a few, and is already a lead in your system? Now, that single view might have been the little push they needed to get out the door.

That's why you need to think beyond tracking, and move toward connections. The more you can approach your analytics from an audience perspective, the more you will see these connections appear. The result is an approach that treats your analytics not as a collection of tracked metrics, but an interconnected web of insights waiting to be uncovered.

Find a Partner Who Embraces Marketing Analytics

All of the above makes sense for a marketing firm like BOLD, which embraces analytics as a way to maximize digital marketing success. But the same might not be the case for your business, especially if you don't have the resources necessary for tracking, analysis, and decision-making based on the data you find.

When those resources don't exist, you risk becoming so disenchanted that your analytics never move beyond the annoying phase. Worse, you might abandon them altogether. In fact, that step would be a significant mistake. Look to find a partner instead that can jump into the niche and help you out exactly where you need it.

We can be that partner for you. We're proud in our ability to not just track and analyze relevant marketing data, but also leverage that data into insights that can lead to crucial decisions in the future. To learn more about a potential partnership, contact us.


Topics: marketing analytics results markting

March AdSanity Championship

Author: Rob Cressy, Founder of Bacon Sports | | Instagram: @Rob_Cressy

Topics: successful sports sponsorships Sports Social Media marketing analytics Marketing Automation

March AdSanity - Final Four

Author: Rob Cressy, Founder of Bacon Sports | | Instagram: @Rob_Cressy


Welcome to the Final Four breakdown of March AdSanity, where the Top 16 official NCAA tournament sponsors battle to see who can have the most social engagement and ultimately win marketing glory.




Through the first two rounds Wendy’s has been the brand to beat (Round 1, Round 2). They not only dropped a mixtape on Spotify with fresh beats, but had great social engagement surrounding their #TeamFresh campaign. Their formula for success was simple: create fun content and engaging activations.

Just like with the NCAA Tournament, it’s not what you have done, it’s what you do moving forward that matters. When it comes to engaging fans on social, there are no days off as every day is an opportunity to create positive brand interactions. 

Topics: successful sports sponsorships Sports Social Media marketing analytics Marketing Automation

March AdSanity - Elite 8 Breakdown

Author: Rob Cressy, Founder of Bacon Sports | | Instagram: @Rob_Cressy


Welcome to the breakdown of the Elite 8 of March AdSanity, where the Top 16 official NCAA tournament sponsors battle to see who can have the most social engagement and ultimately win marketing glory.


The theme of the opening round matchups was a matter of effort, or a lack there of, as the top two seeds got ousted by posting no content (you can check out the breakdown of the Sweet 16 HERE.) In the Elite 8 the complete opposite was the case as every brand except two (Google Cloud & Pizza Hut) saw a significant increase in their Social Engagement Score. Even with this increase in scoring it still wasn’t enough for some brands to claim victory as several brands (Lowe’s, Reese’s and Wendy’s) brought their A-game.

Topics: successful sports sponsorships Sports Social Media marketing analytics Marketing Automation

March AdSanity Sweet 16

Author: Rob Cressy, Founder of Bacon Sports | | Instagram: @Rob_Cressy

March AdSanity is a tournament challenge where the top 16 official NCAA sponsors battle to see who can have the most social engagement and ultimately win marketing glory. Just like with March Madness this tournament has big name brands and Cinderella stories. On any given day if a brand doesn’t bring their A-game there is an opportunity for them to get knocked off.

Topics: successful sports sponsorships Sports Social Media marketing analytics Marketing Automation