I attended PM Forum's webinar: Beyond vanity metrics.
Ciaran ran through many useful tips to help gain the most insight from the data collected in Google Analytics. In particular, Ciaran explained the most powerful button in Google Analytics...
The Annotation Button
It is impossible to only rely on data in Google Analytics for insights as it is such a small slither of the overall picture. Real-world events are affecting what happens digitally all the time but it is really hard to measure this. This is where the Annotation Button in Google Analytics comes in handy. The button allows you to add notes to the data which help keep track of important events. These annotations help data to tell a story and you can begin correlating what happens in one channel compared to another. You can therefore focus on doing more of what works and less of what doesn't.
Creating an annotation in Google Analytics is really simple and is explained in detail in the following article by bloggers SEO: How to Create an Annotation in Google Analytics
In the above image, you can see that I created an annotation on 24 May where there is a spike in traffic across the Passle network. This was a result of the following Passle post being written by Doughty Street Chambers on Dominic Cummings lockdown debacle: Did Dominic Cummings act "Responsibly and Legally"?
Ciaran also ran through the following examples of significant offline and online events that you can annotate. I have also added a few of my own to help you get started.
Significant Offline Events
- Good or bad PR news/TV coverage
- An event you speak at/host
- Offline advertising (e.g. tube adverts)
- Seasonal events/holidays
- Significant Online Events
Significant Online Events
- Email campaigns/newsletter
- New marketing campaigns
- Major website changes
- Digital advertising campaigns
"Do more of what works and less of what doesn't"