Google Analytics gives companies the ability to measure their digital marketing ROI. When properly implemented, you will see each channel or campaign’s exact revenue performance, allowing you to make smart investments in campaigns that are working, and divestments in marketing activities that are not.
Most companies are not getting enough value from the data in their Google Analytics account. This is due in large part to a lack of experience and training. There are specific features such as goals, events, segments, sales funnels, eCommerce tracking and more that provide 90% of what a marketing department needs to improve performance.
Without the ability to properly configure these items within your Google Analytics account, you are spending money in the dark.
What a Google Analytics Consultant Can Help Accomplish
On top of needing skills or training to use the platform to its fullest potential, people whose job it is to monitor their web data often fall into the trap of just reporting data, and not analyzing or finding insights from said data.
For example, a marketer might inform an executive that search traffic increased 22% month over month, and referral traffic also increased 25%. Email subscribes decreased by 18% and AdWords conversions were down 19%. The marketer probably exported this data into a nice PDF, with arrows, graphs or colorful pie charts. Sadly, it literally tells us nothing of use.
To get past basic reporting and into the area of actionable information, you have to find insights. Finding insights simply means asking “Why?” Why did search traffic improve 22%? Why did referral traffic improve 25%? Why are AdWords conversions down?
To answer these questions, you have to drill into your data. By doing so, you might find that 90% of the increase in SEO traffic was branded search phrases because you were in a tech magazine feature last month, which also explains why referral traffic went up because that magazine linked to you. Your AdWords conversions are down because you a/b tested new landing pages and they performed poorly – higher bounce rates, less time spent on page.
Using this information, you now have some actions you can take. Reach out to similar tech magazine sites, create a custom segment to see how those visitors performed, and replace your landing pages.
Google Analytics Expert Services: Identifying Problems and Opportunities
It is examples like these that run rampant across people’s data, and being able to drill down and answer why your numbers are the way they are is key to taking real marketing action.
Identifying problems and opportunities (bounce rates, landing pages, high performing content, high performing acquisition channels), applying segments to find high/low converting visitors – this is what data analysis is all about.
There are gems hidden in your data and these gems can come in the form of long-term, successful marketing strategies that keep you in business and give you a fresh supply of regular customers.
What Working with a Google Analytics Consultant Consists of
If you’re looking for a fast way to improve your marketing or website performance and don’t want to spend weeks Googling for answers, your best bet is a Google Analytics expert. Like hiring any contractor, you’ll want to have a phone/video or in-person meeting. During this meeting you’ll want to consider and talk about the following:
Count the number of questions they ask you about your data and what tracking you have in place – the less questions they ask, the more red flags that raises. All good consultants want every piece of information possible before working with a client. How will that consultant know they can do the job if they don’t know what the job is and what your goals are?
Get references – you’d be surprised how many people have hired me and not asked about past projects. I’ve started to just offer references after the first email exchange.
Have the consultant take a look at your data for 15-30 mins (this should be free). I’m super curious to see what exactly is going on in there since not everyone can explain their problems or needs accurately. The customer also may not know their problems or needs. After this 30 minute review, see if the Google Analytics expert has any good tips or info. They should have found 2-3 things that are helpful in just that short amount of time.
Get an NDA signed
Set very concrete deliverables – the project should be focused, and a good consultant will help you narrow the project down, if not define it altogether. Make sure this defined project will solve your data or tracking problems.
Talk about the communication process and frequency of meetings – neither you nor the consultant want to deal with radio silence, especially on a project with a deadline
Google Analytics Consultant: Hourly Cost and Pricing
Prices for Google Analytics consulting services range from $75-$200+ an hour. Obviously, at the enterprise level, a GA expert will charge lawyer type, hourly fees. I’d advise you to negotiate with the consultant – after all, they are just individuals who set their own prices. Unless they are booked 40 hours a week, they probably are OK with working within your budget. Don’t underestimate their need for steady work plus the fact that they may be excited with the project or opportunity you’ve presented. If a fun company with a cool product needed help, I’d probably quote lower than usual to make sure I get it.
Lastly, determine quickly if the “data expert” is just telling you things you already know. If that’s the case, move on to another consultant.
Google Analytics Training vs Consulting
Not everyone is a good communicator. An introvert who prefers to work alone, and prefers to immerse themselves in a project that only they can do and one that really challenges their skill set, is not the type of person who is going to walk into a conference room and put on an interactive training session for staff who aren’t very familiar with Google Analytics. There are certain personalities that just don’t translate into being a good teacher.
And there are also consultants who have no interest in teaching. It just doesn’t excite them.
I’ve taught SEO and web analytics in San Francisco and Sacramento for entrepreneurs, company employees, marketers and more for nearly 3 years. In 2015 I created my own Google Analytics class which I present at coworking spaces, summits or on-site at various companies. The key to training people in Google Analytics is narrowing down the curriculum to what’s most important. You can get 90% of what you need to be great at Google Analytics in a short amount of time. It’s the remaining 10% that can take forever to learn.
The type of Google Analytics training I do focuses on the following:
Accurate configuration of your account filters and web properties
Establishing tracking with goals, events or ecommerce tags
Analyzing conversion rates, bounce rates and exit rates
Creating visitor segments
Understanding the features within the audience tab
Understanding the features within the behavior tab
Learning the importance of multi-channel attribution and analyzing MCA data
Leveraging unusual data, whether its traffic sources, content performance or visitor segments
In-depth exploration of your channel data (SEO, AdWords, Social Media etc.)
You should have both training and consulting because you don’t want to continue to rely on expensive outside experts. The longterm additional cost of continually bringing someone in vs having those skill sets in house is huge. While the consultants initial report or work will be very helpful, your data will change over time and your need to measure and segment will return.
For more information and an initial review of your web data, contact me using the form below, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help with Google Analytics, don’t wait to contact a pro – after all, the first meeting is totally free. Thanks for reading!
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