There's Nothing Wrong with Profiling
Setting up a profile or, better yet, profiles in Google Analytics can turn off minds that are not comfortable with figures, screenshots, and technical options. Yet, Google has made profiling one of the best features available in Analytics. It's like an unknown secret yet very informative if used to your advantage.
To clarify, a profile allows you to:
1. Track a single web property (or specific pages from an existing web property) 2. Track multiple independent web properties (www.domain1.com and domain2.com) owned by an individual or organization 3. Determine which data from your site appears in the reports.
But why would I want to set up another profile, you ask? Here are just some of the benefits of profiling:
Improve and control the flow of information about your website
Manage multiple web properties
Segment your visitors
Set up reporting access for a variety of users
Create custom reporting
Track various, specific outcomes with goals
Obtain information on internal search habits
Establish a back up for your main profile
Below is great overview provided by Google of how profiles can work with a personal Analytics account and a company account (ex. googleanalytics.com) shared with co-workers.
Adding a profile is the easy part. The more challenging task is configuring your profile so that it is pulling in the appropriate data. There are a variety of options to make your account run more efficiently so make sure you do the following:
Specify the Default Page option
Apply AdWords cost data
Consider adding the Site Search option
Set up at least one goal
Filter your results to set up different properties that will affect your reports
Add other users whom you want to have access to this profile only
Here's a few other important notes to keep in mind...
- When setting up an Analytics account, it is a best practice to make the first profile for a property the "master" profile. A master profile should have no filters so that it contains ALL historical data since tracking began. Once this is set up then leave this profile alone!
- Make a back up of the master profile. This should be common sense with no further explanation needed. Especially since it is very easy to accidentally hit the "delete" link by mistake. And once a profile is deleted, the profile data cannot be recovered.
- When you set up a new profile, tracking begins as soon as the tracking code is installed on the website and a visitor's browser loads a page.
- When you add an additional profile from an existing website with its own profile, then the additional profile will not contain the historical data that you see in the first profile.
Setting up profiles rewards your effort with great customer insight. You can then leverage that insight to your advantage by developing better content or redesigning your page flow. The end result will help you market your product/service to your prospect-turned customer.
So, in the end, for all the negativity that profiling in the "real world" receives, this is one area of your life where profiling actually does some good.