Google Analytics for SEO Beginners


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This presentation provides initial look into Google Analytics. I hope beginner SEO or PPC guys will find it useful.

Google Analytics is amazing Web Analytics tool. Whether you do SEO or PPC it helps you track visitor behavior on website and measure success of your online campaign.

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Google Analytics for SEO Beginners

  1. 1. Google Analytics for SEO Beginners By: Aditya Todawal
  2. 2. What is Web Analytics? • The analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition, to drive a continual improvement of the online experience that your customers, and potential customers have, which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline). - Avinash Kaushik • This definition encapsulates three main tasks every business must tackle when doing web analytics: – Measuring quantitative and qualitative data – Of our own website as well as competitor’s – Continuously improving your website – Aligning your measurement strategy with your business strategy
  3. 3. Creating an Implementation Plan 1. Gather and document business requirements. 2. Analyze and document website architecture. 3. Create a Google Analytics account and configure profiles. 4. Configure the Google Analytics tracking code and tag website pages. 5. Tag marketing campaigns. 6. Create additional user accounts and configure the following reporting features: • Report access • Automated email report delivery • Reporting customizations (Custom Reports, Advanced Segments) 7. Perform the following optional configuration steps: • Enable e-commerce transaction tracking • Implement event tracking • Implement custom variables
  4. 4. How Google Analytics Works • Google Analytics uses a common data collection technique called page tags. • A page tag is a small piece of JavaScript that you must place on all the website pages you want to track. • We affectionately call this code the Google Analytics Tracking Code, or GATC for short. • The data collection process begins when a visitor requests a page from the web server. • The server responds by sending the requested page back to the visitor’s browser (See next figure). As the browser processes the data, it contacts other servers that may host parts of the requested page, like images, videos, or script files. This is the case with the GATC.
  5. 5. Google Analytics processing flow
  6. 6. The Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) • The following is the GATC JavaScript snippet: <script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || [];❶ _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXXX-YY']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() {❷ var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '';❸ var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); </script>
  7. 7. The Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) ❶This part of the tracking code does all of the work. It starts by creating a queue (named _gaq), or list of Google Analytics commands. These commands are also called methods. When you want Google Analytics to do something, you add, or push, a command into the queue. The standard page tag adds the first two methods to the queue for you. • The first method is _setAccount(). • The second method, _trackPageview().
  8. 8. The Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) ❷Before any code can execute the ga.js file, which contains all of the Google Analytics logic, this code loads that logic into the browser and requests ga.js from a Google server. This file is geo-load-balanced across all of Google’s global data centers. This means the visitor’s browser will connect with the closest data center to reduce the time it takes to retrieve the file.
  9. 9. How to host ga.js on a local server • To host the ga.js locally, copy the contents of ga.js by viewing the file in your browser. Just enter in your browser, copy the resulting code, and place it in a file on your server. • Update the GATC to reference the new file location on your server.❸ • Periodically check for updates. Google publishes a ga.js change log at
  10. 10. Google Analytics Accounts and Profiles • Google Account is different from Google Analytics Account. • Once you have a Google account, Google attaches various services to your account. These services can include Gmail, Google Docs, AdWords, etc. • Google ties the data coming from your website to your Google Analytics account using a unique account number. E.g.: 'UA-XXXXXX-YY‘. • The XXXXXX is your account number. The YY part is the profile number. When combined in the format UA-XXXXXX-YY, it is called the profile ID. • You can access multiple Google Analytics accounts simply by adding your Google account to an existing Google Analytics account. • Within a Google Analytics account is a structure called a profile. Most people think of a profile as the data from a website. But in fact a profile is a collection of data and configuration settings. • It is possible, and actually recommended, to have multiple profiles for each of your websites. • You are allowed to create up to 25 Google Analytics Account and you can have up to 50 profiles in one Google Analytics account.
  11. 11. Creating a Google Analytics Account You can create Google Analytics Account using two methods: • You can create a Google Analytics account at • The recommended way to create a Google Analytics account is through AdWords, because it’s easier to link your AdWords account to your Analytics account. • To create one from AdWords log in to your AdWords account and choose Google Analytics in the Reporting menu. Next, enable the Create my Free Google Analytics Account option and click Continue. **You should not add your clients as profiles in your Google Analytics account. Create a separate Google Analytics account specifically for each of your clients.
  12. 12. Creating a Google Analytics Account Steps To create an Analytics account: • Visit • Enter your Google Account email and password and click Sign In. If you don't have a Google Account, click Sign up now to create one. • Click Sign Up. • Enter your Website's URL, making sure to select either http:// or https:// from the drop-down list. Enter a nickname for this account in the Account Name field, then click Continue. • Enter your contact information and click Continue. • Read the Google Analytics Terms of Service. If you agree to these terms, select the Yes checkbox and click Create New Account to continue. • The Tracking Instructions page that appears contains the tracking code that you'll need to paste into each page of your site.
  13. 13. Creating a Google Analytics Account Access Level • There are two types of users in Google Analytics: users and administrators. • Administrators have complete access to everything in a Google Analytics account. They can view all of the data and they can change any setting. • Users can only access data in profiles that they have been given access to. They cannot change any settings. • You can use the User Manager on the main account page to add users to your Analytics account.
  14. 14. Creating a Google Analytics Account Setting the Default Page • Setting the default page for a website is a simple configuration step that ensures the quality of your Google Analytics report data. • The default page for a website is the page shown to a visitor when they enter the website domain in the browser’s location bar. For example, if you type in your browser, the web server returns the index.php file located at that domain. Why does it matter • When the GATC executes, it creates pageviews using the page URL the visitor requested. • What if there is no page URL, as is the case with Google Analytics creates a pageview and names it /. • However, when the user types, Google Analytics creates a pageview for /index.php. • Although the visitor sees the same content, Google Analytics creates a pageview for / and a pageview for /index.php: two different pageviews for the same page. Pageviews for a page should be summarized as a single line item in Google Analytics, not two. ** To remedy this problem, enter the default page for your website in the Default page field in the main website Profile Information configuration section.
  15. 15. Exclude URL Query Parameters Use the Exclude URL Query Parameters text box to remove unwanted query-string Parameters eg: personal information about your visitors
  16. 16. Tracking On-Site Search On-site search data lets you measure what people search for on your website. To access the Search Terms report, select Content→Site Search→Search Terms.
  17. 17. Keeping Track of Your Configuration Changes
  18. 18. Basic Analytics Metrics • Event tracking adds another layer of data to the visitor data hierarchy. • We can really get a good idea of how visitors are engaging our interactive content. This will be vital as web technologies, like Ajax and Flash and mobile apps, continue to evolve.
  19. 19. What is Google Analytics Google Analytics (GA) is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales.
  20. 20. ANALYTICS METRICS • Visits A visit is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given timeframe.
  21. 21. ANALYTICS METRICS • Unique Visitors MORNING EVENING Unique visitors is the number of individual users who visit your website. If the same user visits your website in the morning and then again in the evening, they’re still just one unique visitor, but he would be two visits.
  22. 22. ANALYTICS METRICS • Pageviews A pageview is a view of a page on your site. Every time a user views a page, it is counted as an additional pageview. Keep in mind that if a user reloads a page or goes to another page on your website and then comes back to an already viewed page, each of those views is counted as a pageview.
  23. 23. ANALYTICS METRICS • Pages / Visit This is the number of pages on your website that a user viewed during their visit.
  24. 24. ANALYTICS METRICS • Avg. Visit Duration The average amount of time a user spends on your website. You can make the assumption that if users spend a lot of time on your website, they are good, qualified users.
  25. 25. ANALYTICS METRICS • Bounce Rate Bounce Rate is the percentage of visits where the user only viewed one page and then left your website. If a specific page of your website has a high bounce rate, you may want to evaluate the content of the page.
  26. 26. ANALYTICS METRICS New visits are classified as users who haven’t been to your website before. % New Visits is the percentage of users with this classification. • % New Visits
  27. 27. Traffic Sources • Direct • Referral • Search - Paid - Organic • Campaigns There are three basic traffic sources in GA: Direct, Referral, and Search. Direct traffic comes from people typing your URL in the navigation bar or from bookmarks. Referral traffic comes from links to your website that are on third- party websites like Facebook or Yelp. Search traffic is divided into two parts: organic and paid search.
  28. 28. SEARCH: PAID VS. ORGANIC Paid Listings Organic Listings