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21/04/2015 | Webreality

Lessons from BrightonSEO - part 1


This is my first blog post! Here I’ll be sharing my experience of the recent BrightonSEO event I attended with my marketing colleagues at Webreality. 

On day one I took the ‘Google Analytics Advanced’ training course. The day passed quickly and was highlighted by many positive moments when it became clear that Webreality are very much up to speed with the ever changing digital world, which is great to know! 

It was an enlightening day and the majority of my freshly acquired knowledge I will share with you now.

Google Analytics is not flawless

I’ll begin by stating that Google Analytics is not perfect and it takes work to be shaped for each individual site. So you may not find all the answers you need, but you will definitely find the right questions to ask! 

As in ‘Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’, we all need to uncover the ultimate questions, however in analytics the answer is highly unlikely to be ‘42’… 

Know your website goals

To get the best out of analytics you must have a clear idea of what your website is supposed to do. So find some ways to track and measure if the user is behaving as you need them to. This is achievable by implementing a series of goals and/or ecommerce tracking, using the wonderful Google Tag Manager.

Data is your crystal ball

Google Analytics is a little bit like reading the tea leaves. Once you have collected the data it is easier to interpret the past and to predict the future! 

This digital clairvoyance can power you to make the right changes to your site, helping to fulfil its potential in the best possible way. 

For example, if you have an online store then the purpose of your website is to sell products. To do this your product information has to be clear, the checkout process has to be smooth and slick, and the payment system must be secure etc. The customer journey is essential and can be monitored and modified by understanding how users (potential customers) navigate your site. 

Be prepared for change

You have spent weeks setting up the perfect analytics account and probably feel very happy about it, but don’t think it will last forever.

A couple of months later you may realise that nothing lasts forever in analytics and that the fantastic setup you had in place isn’t as effective as you imagined. 

The site may have been modified or marketing strategies altered, and some of the useful events and stats you were tracking are not working anymore, or are no longer as useful. This is a common situation, and that’s why you should always allocate time to monitor your monitoring! 

Coming next...

I would happily have enjoyed a couple more hours learning about the interesting topics covered on the first day of the event, but the Brighton sunshine was an ample compensation for that! 

My next blog piece will explain more of the analytical magic tricks I learned from our kind and knowledgeable tutor, Al (find him on Twitter) and more in depth analysis of the topics discussed in this blog.