Model and Measurement Musts for Google Analytics

Kuashik and web analytics

When it comes to all things web-analytical there is nobody like Avinash Kaushik. Widely known as an evangelist for Google Analytics (and web analytics in general), his books are considered by many to be the leading authority on web analytics. His tutorials on YouTube and at his web site – – are followed and enjoyed by people all over the world. (Just check out the number of languages in which comments are posted on these sites). Continue reading for some helpful insights  into Model and Measurement Musts for Google Analytics.

His book “Web Analytics 2.0”  has so much information on so many levels that anyone who is serious about learning Google Analytics or any other web analytics platform  would do well to have his or her own copy of this classic.

Kaushik is no respecter of persons, when it comes to evaluating the status quo of commercial web analytics. His constant reminder that big is not necessarily better drives home a very important point for web analytics users:fancy analytics reports are worthless unless action is taken to do something with the data they contain!

Do something with your data

His advice to newbies is don’t be afraid to act on the little data you may have. Google Analytics is too rich and complicated a tool to wait until you have mastered it before you go ahead and apply report data to your website.

Like all those who truly know what they’re talking about, Avinash Kaushik seeks to simplify, clarify, and take joy in sharing what he knows with those who are less knowlegable.

The following tutorial on digital metrics and modeling can also be read in its entirety at

Digital Marketing and Measurement Model

There is one difference between winners and losers when it comes to web analytics. Winners, well before they think data or tool, have a well structured Digital Marketing & Measurement Model. Losers don’t.

This article guides you in understanding the value of the Digital Marketing & Measurement Model (notice the repeated emphasis on Marketing, not just Measurement), and how to create one for yourself. At the end you’ll also find some additional examples to inspire you.

Let’s go…

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The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It is not even (often) the people involved. It is quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.

I’ve developed the Digital Marketing & Measurement Model as a simple, structured, five step process to infuse this much needed thinking. Here is what each step in the process helps accomplish:

Step one

    • is to force us to identify the business objectives upfront and set the broadest parameters for the work we are doing. Sr. Executives play a key role in this step.

Step two is to identify crisp goals for each business objective. Executives lead the discussion, you’ll play a contributing role.

Step three is to write down the key performance indicators. You’ll lead the work in this step, in partnership with a “data person” if you have one.

Step four is to set the parameters for success upfront by identifying targets for each KPI. Organization leaders play a key role here, with input from Marketing and Finance.

Step five, finally, is to identify the segments of people / behavior / outcomes that we’ll analyze to understand why we succeed or failed.

Simple, right? It is harder than you might think, “soft” work always is. Before we go into each step in detail I want to share something extremely critical. The scope/breadth the model has to cover.

A complete, and competent, Digital Marketing & Measurement Model will focus on three key areas of your marketing, and in each answer the cluster of questions provided:

1. Acquisition.

      • How are you anticipating acquiring traffic for your website / YT video / whatever else you are creating? Did you cover all three components of successful acquisition: Earned, Owned, Paid media? How would you prioritize each? Where are you spending most of your efforts?

2. Behavior.

      • What is the behavior you are expecting when people arrive? What pages should they see? What videos should they watch? Should they visit repeatedly? Are there certain actions they should take? What is unique about your effort that ties to an optimal experience for a customer?
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3. Outcomes.

      • What outcomes signify value delivered to the business bottom-line? A download? A phone call to your call center? A qualified online lead? Signing up for email promotions? People buying your product / services ? A 95% task completion rate? A 10 point lift in brand perception?

Simply put: Why are we undertaking this digital initiative?

My sincerest hope is that these questions will seed your discussions as you go through the five steps below. If your Digital Marketing & Measurement Model does not cover all three areas of your digital effort, then it is not complete. Please consider revisiting it. Don’t accept a mediocre model.

With that macro thought out of the way, let’s get going and look at a real example of the five step process to solidify this concept.

The business we are doing this for is a real estate company. I’ve picked a tough one because the main outcome is offline success. If they can create a good model then your job is much much easier!

Step 1: Identify the Business Objectives.

Ask this question: Why does your website/campaign exist? (Think of acquisition, behavior and outcomes.)

This is a difficult question to answer because it requires more thinking that you might anticipate. If you do it right at the end of step one you’ll have something that looks like this:

digital marketing measurement model step one

Identifying the business objectives mandates a discussion, multiple discussions, with the senior-most leaders in your company and working with them / sweet-talking their egos and hearts with gentle encouragement, to identify why the site / campaign / digital marketing invitiative exists.

Based on those discussions, in our case, we’ve identified three objectives: Create awareness, generate leads for the builders and highlight community events.

Here’s a great test. Your objectives should be DUMB:


      • oable.


      • nderstandable.


      • anageable.


      • eneficial.

If they are too out there, you’ll never get anywhere. If they are too vague, nothing will get done. If they are too lame, they’ll inspire no one. Go for real world, clear, executable and those that deliver value to the company (short term and long).

Are your objectives dumb?

Pro Tip: One way to ensure success is to forget that you are creating a set of videos or that you are building a site to host downloads of pdfs or that you are trying to mimic a campaign from Europe. Really, really, really think hard about why you are doing what you are doing. Get the answer from your executive/client.

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Step 2: Identify Goals for each Objective.

Drilling down to identify website/campaign Goals requires critical thinking from both the Management, Marketers, and the Analysts – with Management in the leadership role.

My definition: Goals are specific strategies you’ll leverage to accomplish the business objectives.

After going through some of the acquisition, behavior questions with stakeholders, here’s our model:

digital marketing measurement model step two

Clean. Has a clear direct line between Goal and each objective. Provides immense clarity.

To deliver on “Create Awareness,” in this case, the site needs to support all the offline efforts along with having a relevant online traffic acquisition strategy.

“Generating Leads” comprises the twin goals of providing all kinds of information that will help potential home buyers to make their decision and to collect e-newsletter registrations as well as e-requests for an onsite tour of the model home by the builder.

Finally, “Highlight Events” is for prospective home buyers (visitors to our site). By making them happy with delightful events, at the construction site hopefully in model homes for sale, they can be converted into Net Promoters (to others) and Buyers (themselves).

These goals provide clarity, but they also contain large chunks of specific marching orders for what the Marketers and Analysts need to get done.

Pro Tip: This is super key: Macro + Micro Conversions! If the goals identified don’t cover all the jobs the site/campaign is doing then you might need to revisit your work.

Step 3: Identify the Key Performance Indicators.

Finally we get to deal with data!! I know you’ve been dying to get here. You’ll be the ideas leader here.

My definition: A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that helps you understand how you are doing against your objectives.

For each goal, sweat, and find the most hyper relevant KPI. This is what it will look like:

digital marketing measurement model step three

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