Hiring a Google Analytics consultant can help you get control of your data and become data-driven. From troubleshooting any issues to ensuring you implement Google Analytics 4 correctly, getting a specialist can be the perfect way to resolve web analytics issues and bring new optimisation ideas to your team.
However, finding the right consultant for your business can be a challenge. Every consultant has their own processes, and it’s important to find a framework that matches well with your culture and how you operate.
I’ve worked both in-house and as an external analytics expert for many years. I’ve become aware of what makes the difference between an average and a great web analyst.
Make sure you make the right decisions the first time round by considering the five things I mention in this article. In this blog post, I’ll cover everything from what a Google Analytics consultant does, why you may or may not need one, and what to look out for.
In this post…
What is a Google Analytics consultant?
A Google Analytics consultant is a professional that is responsible for configuring Google Analytics so that the data is accurate and supports business goals.
Companies hire web analysts for various reasons, these include:
- Troubleshooting. Some consultants are hired on an ad-hoc basis to troubleshoot and fix data issues, like duplicate transactions, unexplained traffic spikes or sudden drops in conversions that don’t match with your other data platforms.
- Configuration. Brand new configuration alongside website redesign or when deploying Google Analytics from scratch.
- Auditing. Auditing data on a regular basis to maintain your data infrastructure.
- Data visualisation. Creating and editing dashboards and transforming data sets into compelling visuals. It can also involve linking your Google Analytics data with other data sources, like CRM, advertising data or social insights.
- Analysis. Investigating data and coming up with prioritised actions that the marketing and development team can use to optimise the user experience. This can be a one-off report, but more often it’s based around an ongoing relationship.
- Training. Training and educating teams on Google Analytics and data analysis frameworks and processes. Training can range from teaching beginners to intermediate users.
- Migrating Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. Google will discontinue support of Universal Analytics in July 2022. A Google Analytics consultant should be able to help you migrate to the new analytics platform. If you’re interested to learn more, I’ve shared 15 recommendations for a smooth transition recently.
- Implementing Google Analytics governance. Experienced consultants will be able to put together a Google Analytics governance document which is a reference of what is being tracked, and how to use the data for analysis. A governance document can help your organisation improve their data-driven decision making.
Does my business need a Google Analytics consultant?
There are different reasons why your company might need a consultant. Here are common problems that your business might be facing:
- Inaccurate and untrustworthy Google Analytics data
- Not knowing how much value different marketing tactics provide
- No processes for using data effectively for decision making
- Not knowing what to focus on when planning website improvements
- Not understanding how advertising campaigns impact your sales
It’s not uncommon for a company to invest money in redesigning its website or to launch advertising campaigns, without truly understanding how these activities impact sales.
The result? Making it difficult to demonstrate the true value of your marketing efforts.
This is where a consultant can help. They do this by making sure your data is trustworthy. Good consultants will also show you how to use the infrastructure they architect so you can be confident in making future decisions based on data.
If it sounds like your business may benefit from having a Google Analytics specialist, keep reading to find out the specific ways in which they can help.
How will a Google Analytics consultant benefit your business?
How a web analytics expert will be advantageous to your business will depend on the problem your business needs solving. Some of these benefits include:
- Helping you demonstrate the true value of your marketing efforts. Confidently calculate the ROI of your marketing campaigns by using trustworthy and accurate data from Google Analytics.
- Discovering where to invest marketing budget. By helping you analyse and track user traffic patterns and trends on your website you’ll be able to focus your efforts. You’ll know which channels to invest in and which high-value pages to optimise.
- Making your website reporting more accessible. A consultant will make your data more accessible to multiple departments in your company. It could be by creating useful dashboards or by developing documentation on how to access information.
Weekly Web Analytics Strategies for Product and Marketing Managers
What should you look out for when hiring a Google Analytics consultant?
When it comes to hiring a specialist it’s important to understand their way of working and their track record. Here are my five things you should always consider.
1. They have a proven track record
Ask for examples of their past projects and look at what impact their work had on sales and on the team.
It’s also important to understand how a consultant’s approach, interests, experience, and style align with your specific project and your wider team. It helps if they work with clients of a similar size to you and with a similar level of digital maturity to your business.
Every consultant will have different processes for building your data foundations, and for making improvements. You need to make sure they speak your team’s language and match your company’s culture.
2. They deliver insights and results, not just reports and hours
An in-depth report provides a lot of value. Above all, it should deliver insights and actionable recommendations and outcomes. Any good Google Analytics consultant should offer next steps and a clear plan of action. This could be in the form of ideas to test and the right testing methodology. It could also include fixes to implement straight away to improve your data and customer experience.
On top of this, check whether they offer a fixed or hourly rate. Each has its benefits.
An hourly rate could mean that the consultant would consider working on tasks that are outside of the original scope of work. There’s also some risk where they may take longer than expected to solve a problem.
With fixed rates, they may be more focused on results, instead of fulfilling hours. There can be extra peace of mind regarding exactly how much investment you’ll be making and what you’ll be getting at the end of the project or during the course of the relationship.
3. They don’t just get the job done, they educate your team
Part of becoming a data-driven organisation is upskilling your team in all things data analytics. A consultant shouldn’t just do the work required and hand it over in a report.
Instead, they’ll get involved with educating your team to ensure you’re able to read the report and take action. For example, they might host a workshop with your team to go through the process of finding the data they need in order to extract insights from web analytics. That way they’ll be more equipped to play around with data from Google Analytics.
Using Web Analytics is not a technical exercise. It’s an exercise in business, user experience, psychology, design and data science – all put together. Remember, web analytics shouldn’t be confusing. It’s meant to be understood and used by business people to make sound business decisions.
4. They are methodical
A good consultant uses a predefined and repeatable process for auditing, implementing and maintaining your data. This makes their work more efficient and more likely to produce the desired results.
These processes are usually the outcome of a lot of testing and learning from previous work. For example, I’ve worked with various independent specialists and big agencies which helped me evaluate different approaches to eventually create my own framework.
My process involves not only fixing and improving Google Analytics configuration and data, but also sharing additional tools and processes that help teams make the most out of this work in the long term. I work closely with clients to implement any fixes and changes, while educating them on how they can manage and analyse data in the future. I’m always focused on how to facilitate a more effective decision-making process to help achieve business results.
The core of my Data-Driven framework is the Google Analytics governance. If you’d like to learn more about how it helps to improve online profitability, start by reading this guide.
5. They are agile
The world of analytics is always changing and each project is unique. Therefore, it’s important that consultants are always learning and refining their processes.
Moreover, they are agile and adjust their methods to fit with your business goal. Every business has existing goals, best practices and a specific way of doing things. A Google Analytics consultant should find the balance between working with your existing processes, whilst introducing their own methods in order to achieve your goals as efficiently as possible.
Finally, a good consultant knows their limits. They should not be afraid or embarrassed to seek help from other experts and to collaborate with them when needed. In fact, experienced consultants often have a network of other professionals that they can work with to achieve the best possible outcome for your business.
Finding the right Google Analytics consultant for your business
A third of marketers don’t trust their own data when it comes to making informed decisions on campaigns. The need for web analytics consultants to fix this mistrust is growing every year.
However, finding the right fit isn’t easy. Every specialist operates in different ways. I believe that by considering the five points discussed above you can find a consultant who will truly benefit your business.
Are you at a stage where you’re looking to improve how you make decisions that impact your organisation’s growth?
In my experience, clients get the best results when your consultant follows a structured process for empowering your team to find insights in Google Analytics by themselves.
A great tool to support this process is a Google Analytics governance document. It’s a log of your configuration and a guide for how to find information that leads to insight. This is the core of my Data-Driven framework that I follow with my clients. If you’d like more of these data-driven strategies and tips, click the link below.