Download Our FREE Google Analytics Setup Checklist

From setting up goals and conversions to tracking events, setting up Google Analytics for maximum performance is a crucial step that many of today’s marketers aren’t doing correctly. Skipping setup steps can lead to misinterpreted or incomplete data; wasted time; and will leave you perhaps making misinformed data-driven decisions down the road. But with tons of customizable features and tools, how can you make sure you’re covering your bases? At Creative Analytics, we believe a strong set of tools, a few insider tips, and a comprehensive checklist are the keys to success. Here are 5 must-have Google Analytics tools that will boost productivity and get you the insights you need.

Download our free Google Analytics setup checklist

1. Chrome Extension: Google Analytics URL Builder

Google Chrome users will love the Google Analytics URL Builder extension for easy URL tagging and campaign tracking. It generates a unique trackable URL that you can copy and paste into email marketing and social media campaigns, or anywhere else you may need them, to better determine how users are getting to your site. Tracking results will appear in your Google Analytics Campaign reports. The chrome extension also automatically tags the URL of whatever page you’re on and integrates with Bit.ly or Google URL shortener accounts to auto-shorten generated URLs based on your common usage and settings.

When it comes to monitoring website traffic with Google Analytics, it’s difficult to determine where your visitors are coming from and which campaigns are generating results without a Google Analytics URL Builder. The insights this tool provides can identify which sources are driving the most traffic and which are falling short. This will help you better understand your target audience and focus your attention on the most effective strategies. For example, if you are running two Facebook Ads, you can use trackable URLs to determine which ad is sending more customers to your website and cancel or improve the ad that is underperforming.

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2. Google Analytics URL Builder

If you’re not a Google Chrome user or you simply don’t want to add another Chrome Extension, Raven Tools has a form-based URL Builder for Google Analytics that produces the same results. Simply fill out the form with your campaign variables and the site will provide a unique URL that you can copy paste with just one click.

Like the Chrome Extension version above, this URL builder will help you measure the success of specific campaigns and determine your most productive strategies.

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Source: Raven Tools

3. Event Tracking Code for Google Analytics

If you have an on-click event on your site that doesn’t open a new page view, like a video, file download, newsletter signup, or contact form, you may want to look into Raven Tools’ Event Tracking Code for Google Analytics. This form-based generator will let you track event click conversions anywhere on your site that Google Analytics otherwise doesn’t have access to. Simply select your event type and then fill out a short form to generate a tracking code that you can add to your event link. The URL will be able to count clicks in Google Analytics so you can easily measure the success of your events.

When you’ve spent valuable time and energy filling your website with interactive buttons, compelling videos, and beautiful image links, you’ll want this dynamic tool to make the most of your efforts. Clicks on these events are not clearly recorded in Google Analytics, yet there’s a lot you can learn from this kind of data. Using event tracking code will show exactly how visitors navigate through your site, which events are attracting the most attention, and which are simply getting in the way.

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4. Google Analytics for WordPress

With a 3.9 star rating and more than 11 million downloads, this powerful plugin by MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics WordPress plugin there is. It brings visitor metric dashboards directly into WordPress and offers additional demographics and interest reports and outbound link and downloads tracking. The plugin uses the asynchronous Google Analytics tracking code – meaning it’s fast and reliable while putting minimal pressure on your server.

Installing a WordPress plugin to run Google Analytics is all about convenience. By bringing your dashboards into WordPress you can check analytics and track your objectives as you edit your content. Easy installation and an incredibly simple user interface makes this tool a must have for WordPress users with minimal data analysis experience.

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Source: WordPress.org

5. Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Dashboards are a group of widgets within Google Analytics that come together to display your data in different visual representations. Dashboards allow you to better understand and visualize results and customize your interface based on the kind of information you’re collecting. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can design your own dashboard, but there are also thousands of free, easily downloadable options to choose from across the web.

If you’d prefer a visual presentation of your analytics data instead of an exported spreadsheet or tabular format in-app, dashboards are for you. Customizing your dashboard allows you to locate key metrics in seconds and analyze only the data you care about. Each Google analytics user has unique goals, and hand picking the metrics in your dashboard will make it much easier to interpret your organization’s progress.

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Source: Dashboard Junkie

This dashboard comes from Dashboard Junkie, a free dashboard download site that allows you to browse dashboards based on your site’s needs.

Other awesome shared dashboard resources include…

Wrap-Up: Download Our FREE Google Analytics Universal Setup Checklist to Get Started

You’ve heard about the tools, now it’s time to set-up Google Analytics and get going. Download our comprehensive free Google Analytics Setup checklist to audit your current configuration or properly setup a new Google Analytics account.