What is Growth Hacking? In the last blog piece, we discussed the importance using UTM Tracking Parameters. As we learned, if you or your team have put in the effort to build an experience for a viewer on the other side of a click, you owe it to yourself to understand the behavior of people once the get there - based upon the source from which they're coming.
Thus far, we've learned how to 1) Set up a funnel, 2) Fire conversions 3) Use tracking parameters, but where do we find the evidence and PROOF of all these aforementioned components?
Therefore, the aim of Part 4 of the Hacktics' Guide To Growth Hacking is to help you understand and locate conversion-based data in Google Analytics.
Furthermore, as stated in Part 1, at Hacktics we believe the Essential Skills of growth hacking to be:
- Funnel Architecture
- Conversion Mapping
- Data Feedback (Loops)
- Advanced Audience Segmentation.
- Report. Find patterns. Scale.
What is Growth Hacking? | Essential Skill 4: Data Feedback Loops
Let's be straight: What good is setting up funnel if you can’t analyze the data?
If Facebook Analytics is the only analytics tool you’re using then I want to let you in on a hint: Of all softwares in my marketing stack, I cannot think of too many more powerful than the raw data of Google Analytics.
Here’s the deal: In the world of a growth hacking, rapid data feedback is our best friend - but it’s also overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
The good news? You really don’t need to know Google Analytics like a pro; you just need to know where to look (at least to get started). So let’s break that down. Here are our most important data points in any funnel:
- Conversion Rate
Like anything in your marketing stack - you learn the essentials and build on top of them. Treat Google Analytics the same. Nonetheless, know that at its core, Google Analytics is your data gospel; if know where to look you can find little nuggets that will drastically improve your decision making.
What do I mean by Data Feedback Loops? Let me explain.
If I'm building out your funnel framework, I need three core components in place to provide you with proof you need to deem this funnel successful:
1) Conversions Events
2) UTM Tracking Parameters
3) Conversion Data
You see, conversions events and tracking alone will not provide us with the necessary insight if we don't know where to find the information.
Conversely, if you're an Analytics pro, but aren't using the UTM tracking needed in today's marketing efforts - you still won't have the entire picture.
We need all three components to close the loop: The Click. The Conversion. The Evidence.
Moreover, once we have that in place, these streams of data turn into feedback systems that allow us to scale what's working, shut down what's not and focus our energy on the campaigns that are actually moving the needle.
"We need all three components to close the loop: The Click. The Conversion. The Evidence."
Use Google Analytics Goals to Build and Analyze Your Conversions.
In Google Analytics we build these Conversions by creating Goals.
There are 4 ways to trigger your Conversion/Goals
- URL Destination - This goal fires when a PageView occurs on a specific page. Normally one would use a thank-you page.
- Duration (time on site) - This goal fires based upon the time on your site (e.g. If you want to segment visitors who’ve only stayed 2 minutes or longer.)
- Pages/Screens per Session - Same idea here. This goal fires based upon the number of pages a visitor has per website visit
- Events - Firing goals from events is a hidden gem in the Growth Hacking world. Learn how to utilize this (with Google Tag Manager events) and you’re own your way to pro-level.
What Goal Should I Use?
90% of the time, you will use set these Goals to fire a conversion only when someone visits a specific URL (Goal # 1, above).
For example, if someone wants to book a demo, request a quote or make a purchase, AFTER that event has taken place, you will set up your automation to redirect that person to a thank-you page.
It's on these thank-you pages where we deploy code, trigger Events, and tell Google Analytics to fire a Goal (your conversion).
Why on a thank-you page? Because a viewer should not be able to navigate to these pages without having 'opted-in' to your offer.
Therefore, if you are building goals and conversions in Google Analytics, start your thinking at the thank-you page, and ask yourself how someone is going to have to get there.
In summary, this is how to best utilize your Goals starting out - and, as mentioned, this is the primary way you'll want to fire them. That being said, there are a few more ways we can fire Goals in Google Analytics; and they all have their benefit - especially when segmenting audiences (we'll discuss this in Essential Skill 5).
"If you are building goals and conversions in Google Analytics, start your thinking at the thank-you page, and ask yourself how someone is going to have to get there."
Finding your Conversions (and Conversion Rates) in Google Analytics
I'd recommend you find the following in Google Analytics and create a bookmark:
1. Conversions (Set Your Goals: GA > Admin > Goals)
2. Conversion Rate (View Conversions & Rates: GA > Conversions > Goals > Overview)
Using UTMs to tie the Click to the Conversion
This is where all this growth hacking starts getting fun.
When we use UTMs (as discussed in the last blog) we can actually learn what sources of traffic are generating conversions (your GA Goals).
By utilizing UTMs, Google Analytics will allow you to break down those 5 layers of the UTM Parameter into extremely useful information. So much so, that you can actually see and understand the behavior of clicks coming from different campaigns.
Said simply, when you learn to use UTMs and Goals, you're able to track and identify which click(s) actually resulted in a conversion being fired.
Finding your UTM Traffic in Google Analytics
Here are a few more bookmarks to make in your Google Analytics when it comes to your web traffic:
- GA > Acquisition > Source/Medium
- GA > Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns
- GA > Acquisition > All Traffic > Campaigns > All Campaigns > Secondary Dimension: Source / Medium
Pro TIP > If you are using UTMs for split testing, you can find those split tests in these two Google Analytics dimensions.
- Ad Content: GA > Acquisition > All Traffic > Campaigns > All Campaigns > Primary Dimension: Acquisition > Ad Content
- Ad Keyword/Term: GA > Acquisition > All Traffic > Campaigns > All Campaigns > Primary Dimension: Acquisition > Keyword
What else can I find in Google Analytics?
To continue to find useful data in Google Analytics, do yourself a favor and spend 5-10 minutes each day looking for something new, overtime you'll begin to see different data segments and learn to think about your clicks with fresh insight.
For example, you can sort your campaign clicks according to operating system, device, browsers - you name it.
Moreover, if you’re SEO-minded like this guy, don’t forget to sync your Google Analytics with Google Search Console to step up your organic traffic game and website optimization.
Conclusion: Data Feedback
While Conversions and UTM Parameters provide us with incredibly powerful insight - it is the data (and knowing where to find that data) that provides us with the necessary information to scale our growth campaigns.
The three components needed close the feedback loop are: The Click. The Conversion. The Evidence.
Once we have these three components in place (and when we use our diligence and fidelity in reporting), this influx in data allows you to make decisions based upon evidence rather than hunches. Additionally, this allows your approach to then focus on increasing your conversions, spend into the campaigns that have the highest conversion rate and ultimately usher in growth.
What is Growth Hacking? | Essential Skill 5: Advanced Audience Segmentation
Here's a sneak peak at Part 5:
"What is Growth Hacking? It's knowing how to Segment Your Audiences.
If you’re running marketing traffic ads right now, I’d like you to be honest with this next question: How many of your current campaigns have an Exclusion audience?
You read that right.
I think one of the most important mindsets to have when building targeted audiences is, in fact, an understanding of exclusion audiences and keeping in mind who we are NOT targeting."
Coming Soon: What is Growth Hacking? | Essential Skill 5: Advanced Audience Segmentation
Hacktics Growth Hacking
What is Hacktics?
Hacktics exists to help entrepreneurs, digital marketers and marketing teams build and automate data-rich marketing funnels. Built with a bottom-of-the-funnel-up mentality, Hacktics provides a framework and foundation for both the Growth Hacker and the growth hacking skill set required for today’s digital marketing.
Our role here at Hacktics is to provide an understanding and step-by-step implementation of these ‘technical’ components - and to help our students build a foundation of tracking and systems. With this base layer and framework in place, we then help our students build ROI-driven marketing and automation.
The Hacktics' E-Course on Building, Tracking and PROVING Conversions
Hacktics has announced an offering for their first online E-Course for digital marketers, marketing teams and online entrepreneurs entitled, "How To Build a TRACKABLE, Sales Funnel...Without Having to Hire, Or Be Held Hostage by, A Tech Guru."
After completing this e-course, students will be able to setup Tracking & Conversion systems and know where to find the evidence in Google Analytics. This course provides a blueprint and framework for building a trackable sales funnel and covers Facebook Ads, Google Ads, YouTube Ads, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, UTM Generators and even a "Tracking, Optimization and Conversions" Deliverables Checklist.