Blueprint for Google Analytics Implementation

If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.
– W. Edwards Deming

If you believe in this quote, you are moving in the right direction and this article is for you.

What I am going to share with you, is the process I follow for any Google Analytics Implementation project.

You can use the following blueprint to implement any type of Google Analytics implementation whether it is: event tracking, ecommerce tracking, scroll tracking, enhanced ecommerce trackingcustom dimensions or hyper advanced ‘out of this world’ GA implementation:

blue print

Stage #1: Planning

At this stage you plan out exactly:

#1 What data you will collect (tracking requirements)

#2 What is required to get the desired data (implementation setup requirements) and whether getting the desired data is technically feasible (technical feasibility study)

#3 How you will collect the data (functional and technical designs)

#4 How the tags would be deployed (tag deployment planning)

#5 How the data should be processed

#6 How the data should be reported.

#7 Risk assessments – risk associated with tag deployment and the project in general (include tag auditing).

Many marketers/analyst skip the planning stage and jump straight into the implementation phase which could result in lot of: rework, missed deadlines, additional cost, disappointment, disagreement, conflicts, lawsuit and war, esp. if the implementation project is big and lot of money is at stake.

Get the E-book (52 Pages)

Get the E-Book (37 Pages)

 

I would suggest creating a project scope document at this stage which clearly outlines:

#1 Project Plan – how you will carry out the project.

For example, if you are going to setup call tracking then outline all the steps you will take to implement it. You don’t need to go into minute details, a simple overview would be enough.

There are two advantages of creating a project plan:

a) you will demonstrate your ability to successfully carry out the project.

b) your client would get an idea of what to expect during the course of the project.

 

#2 Project deliverables – what results your project will produce.

For example:

” Our goal would be to assist you with the customization of your site’s user experience until the objectives you outlined in the document you shared are no longer issues.”

 

#3 Project Exclusions – what results your project will not produce.

This is important to mention.

Otherwise you can implement ‘N’ things in Google Analytics and your project can practically run forever.

For example:

” The project will not include any functionality or modifications that are not explicitly stated in the document provided (revisions to the document prior to starting are acceptable but not after) and will also not include an indefinite number of revisions.

 

A single time period will be provided for reviewing and testing our work, after which we will address all issues identified and close the project. New ideas and changes to original ideas will necessitate a followup project. “

#4 Project milestones – what will be the key milestones and estimated time-frame for each milestone.

For example:

” Our earliest project start date at this point would be three weeks from the date an agreement was reached.

Based on my understanding of the requirements and factoring in time for a single revision period I’d estimate the project to be completed in ~one month. “

 

#5 Project Requirement – what is required in order to carry out this project. Outline all the tools, permissions and support you would need in order to carry out this project.

For example:

” To complete this project we will need you to grant us administrative access to your staging for two users, SFTP access to your server, create an organization on Github and add two members of our team as managers, ensure that the latest versions of all plugins and your theme are installed and valid license keys are included where applicable, and that you will be reasonably available for questions and discussions about the project while it is in development. “

 

#6 Project Assumptions – what are the assumptions under which this project will be carried out.

For example:

” The assumptions relating to this project are that the included document contains all of the desired modifications needed on the site, that any changes to those requirements during the project will be included in a follow up project, that our workflow and process will be respected and that all communications and payments will be on schedule. “

 

#7 Project Constraints/risk – outline all the risks which could derail your project or stop you from completing a particular project deliverable.

For example:

” As with any project, there are risks that you, the site owner, will change your mind regarding some aspects of the project, discover new ideas that you would like to implement, or that you have communicated the project requirements in such a way that we are likely to deliver something different from your expectations. “

#8 Project cost and terms of work – mention both fixed and variable cost, if the project scope is not crystal clear.
For example:

” Minimum project cost: £2,500.
Estimated maximum cost: £4,000.
Reason for variance: lack of information about the rest of the website’s configuration, unfamiliarity with extensibility of your custom CMS and shopping cart. “

You are less likely to disappoint your client/boss if you create and send project scope document each time, before you start an implementation project.

Otherwise best of luck with managing expectations, resources and deadlines.

Stage #2: Configuration

At this stage you may configure your Google Analytics Property/View’s settings and/or configure the Google Tag Manager container tag settings (like setting up custom dimension scope).

You may also need to configure your: CMS, shopping cart, staging website, CRM, call tracking software or any other tool(s), if they are also a part of the implementation set up.

Stage #3: Collection

At this stage you create the functionality (on the basis of your technical and functional design) to collect the required data and then send the collected data to Google Analytics server for processing.

Following tasks are frequently carried out during this stage:

#1 Hard coding data layers (wrapped with server side code) on web pages.

#2 Creating and adding codes (event tracking code, scroll tracking script, phone call tracking script etc) to various web page elements.

#3 Tag deployment and testing

You would most likely need the help of a web developer (who is also familiar with Google Analytics development environment) at this stage.

Stage #4: Processing

At the stage, Google Analytics process the collected data according to your configuration settings (like ‘dimension scope’, tag rule) and designed funtionality.

You do not directly process any data at this stage.

All the processing is done by Google Analytics server.

However you can decide how the collected data should be processed by GA during the planning and configuration stages.

If you are not satisfied with, how the data is being processed then you need to go back to previous stage(s).

Stage #5: Reporting

At this stage the processed data is available in Google Analytics reports or in your custom app.

Again at this stage you don’t directly have any role in reporting the processed data.

All of the reporting is done via your implementation set up and GA server.

You however can decide how the data should be reported during the planning, configuration and/or collection stage(s).

If you are not satisfied with how the data is being reported then you need to go back to the previous stage(s).

Stage #6: Querying

At this stage you or the end user, query the data either via the reporting interface or via the API.

You query the data in order to test your implementation setup.

An end user may query the data to get the desired report.

Querying the data in a desired format can also become a project on its own and may require significant development resources.

So this is something you need to consider during the planning stage.

If you are wondering why these 6 stages, I created these stages based on the Google Analytics developers’ documentation.

That’s how Google expect developers to implement GA/GTM set up.

If you remember this simple 6 steps process, you will also remember how Google Analytics works.

Other article you will find useful: Baseline and Custom Attribution Models in Google Analytics

 

Do you know the difference between Digital Analytics and Google Analytics?


99.99% of course creators themselves don’t know the difference between Digital analytics, Google Analytics (GA) and Google Tag Manager (GTM).

So they are teaching GA and GTM in the name of teaching Digital analytics.

They just copy each other. Monkey see, monkey do.

But Digital analytics is not about GA, GTM.

It is about analyzing and interpreting data, setting up goals, strategies and KPIs.

It’s about creating strategic roadmap for your business.


Digital Analytics is the core skill. Google Analytics is just a tool used to implement ‘Digital Analytics’.

You can also implement ‘Digital analytics’ via other tools like ‘adobe analytics’, ‘kissmetrics’ etc.

Using Google Analytics without the good understanding of ‘Digital analytics’ is like driving around in a car, in a big city without understanding the traffic rules and road signs.

You are either likely to end up somewhere other than your destination or you get involved in an accident.


You learn data analysis and interpretation from Digital analytics and not from Google Analytics.

The direction in which your analysis will move, will determine the direction in which your marketing campaigns and eventually your company will move to get the highest possible return on investment.

You get that direction from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.


You learn to set up KPIs, strategies and measurement framework for your business from ‘Digital analytics’ and not from ‘Google Analytics’.

So if you are taking a course only on 'Google Analytics’, you are learning to use one of the tools of ‘Digital analytics’. You are not learning the ‘Digital analytics’ itself.

Since any person can learn to use Google Analytics in couple of weeks, you do no get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing GA.

You need to know lot more than GA in order to work in digital analytics and marketing field.


So what I have done, if you are interested, is I have put together a completely free training that will teach you exactly how I have been able to leverage digital analytics to generate floods of news sales and customers and how you can literally copy what I have done to get similar results.

Here what You'll Learn On This FREE Web Class!


1) The number 1 reason why most marketers and business owners are not able to scale their advertising and maximise sales.

2) Why you won’t get any competitive advantage in the marketplace just by knowing Google Analytics.

3) The number 1 reason why conversion optimization is not working for your business.

4) How to advertise on any marketing platform for FREE with an unlimited budget.

5) How to learn and master digital analytics in record time.

 
 

My best selling books on Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization

Maths and Stats for Web Analytics and Conversion Optimization
This expert guide will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of maths and statistics in order to accurately interpret data and take actions, which can quickly improve the bottom-line of your online business.

Master the Essentials of Email Marketing Analytics
This book focuses solely on the ‘analytics’ that power your email marketing optimization program and will help you dramatically reduce your cost per acquisition and increase marketing ROI by tracking the performance of the various KPIs and metrics used for email marketing.

Attribution Modelling in Google Analytics and Beyond
Attribution modelling is the process of determining the most effective marketing channels for investment. This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling. It will teach you how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to allocate marketing budget and understand buying behaviour.

Attribution Modelling in Google Ads and Facebook
This book has been written to help you implement attribution modelling in Google Ads (Google AdWords) and Facebook. It will teach you, how to leverage the knowledge of attribution modelling in order to understand the customer purchasing journey and determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

Himanshu Sharma

Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Optimizesmart.com

Himanshu helps business owners and marketing professionals in generating more sales and ROI by fixing their website tracking issues, helping them understand their true customers purchase journey and helping them determine the most effective marketing channels for investment.

He has over 12 years experience in digital analytics and digital marketing.

He was nominated for the Digital Analytics Association's Awards for Excellence.

The Digital Analytics Association is a world renowned not-for-profit association which helps organisations overcome the challenges of data acquisition and application.

He is the author of four best-selling books on analytics and conversion optimization:

error: Alert: Content is protected !!