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Google Analytics Basics for NCSU Libraries' Staff
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Google Analytics Basics for NCSU Libraries' Staff


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  • 1. Google Analytics Basics for NCSU Libraries Staff with Charlie Morris on November 7 and November 8, 2012
  • 2. Agenda1.  What Google Analytics is and isn’t2.  Getting access3.  The reporting interface4.  Dimensions and metrics5.  Filtering6.  Saving7.  Sample reports8.  Actionable Questions
  • 3. Learning Objectives•  Know what the software is capable of and how it works•  Know how you might be able to make efficient use of the software•  Know where you can go to get help with it
  • 4. What is Google Analytics?•  Free software weve installed on all of our web pages that tracks the usage of our site and reports it back to us.
  • 5. <script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([_setAccount, UA-17138302-1]); _gaq.push([_setDomainName,]); _gaq.push([_trackPageview]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(script); ga.type = text/javascript; ga.async =true; ga.src = (https: == document.location.protocol ? https://ssl : http://www); var s = document.getElementsByTagName(script)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga,s); })();</script>
  • 6. What Google Analytics isn’t•  A 100% complete picture of web traffic –  Only tracks if JavaScript is enabled –  JavaScript needs to communicate with server –  Anonymizes IP addresses –  Protects Google searchers privacy –  Not quite “unique” –  Doesn’t track every click out of the box
  • 7. How data should be interpreted •  trend data •  in context
  • 8. Access•  In order to view what Google Analytics is reporting, you will need to be given access: –  send your non-NCSU GMail account in an email to –  go to (see Confluence)
  • 9. The Interface
  • 10. Photo%credit:%MICHAEL%&%PATRICIA%FOGDEN%
  • 11. Main MenuMenu%Item% Sub%menu% What%it%is%Home% Intelligence%events,% Think%of%as%“My% Dashboards,% Google%AnalyJcs”% Shortcuts%Standard%ReporJng% Audience,% The%default%set%of% AdverJsing,%Traffic% reports% Sources,%Content,% Conversions%Custom%ReporJng% Custom%Reports% Place%to%design%your% own%reports%
  • 12. Fundamentals of Reports Dimensions and Metrics
  • 13. Dimensions and Metrics•  Dimensions: The item that you’re measuring•  Metrics: The measurement that you’ll apply to the thing you are measuring
  • 14. Very Basic Example•  Metric: Pageviews•  Dimension: Pages 1.1 M
  • 15. Dates•  Every report must have a specified window of dates•  Example: September 2012
  • 16. Example•  Metric: Pageviews•  Dimension: Pages•  Dates: The month of September 2012 1.1 M
  • 17. Text Filters•  Narrow your Dimension for the report you’re viewing.•  Example: “/search/” /search/%
  • 18. Filtering Example•  Metric: Pageviews•  Dimension: Pages•  Dates: The month of September 2012•  Text Filter: Pages contain “/search/” 116k
  • 19. Filtering Example•  Metric: Pageviews•  Dimension: Pages•  Dates: The month of September 2012•  Text Filter: Pages begin with “/search/” 113k
  • 20. Advanced Segments•  To add a condition based on a where your user came from or what they did during a visit•  “User Filters”•  Example: “Returning Visitors”
  • 21. Filtering Example•  Metric: Pageviews•  Dimension: Pages•  Dates: The month of September 2012•  Text Filter: Pages start with “/search/”•  Segment: Visits during the midnight hour 3k
  • 22. Other ones•  Metrics: •  Dimensions –  Pageview –  Page •  Entrance –  Landing Page •  Exit –  Start Page •  Bounce –  Source –  Visit –  Referral Path –  Pages/Visit –  Browser, OS –  Unique Visit (or other) –  Domain (user’s ISP) –  Durations: Time on Page, Time for Visit, –  Visitor Type Averages –  Month of Year, Week of –  Load Time year, Day of week, Hour –  Hour of day
  • 23. Review •  Generate a report by applying a dimension to a metric over a span of days •  Narrow by: –  Filter –  Advanced SegmentsImage%source:%hPp://
  • 24. Save/Export/BookmarkMenu%item% Ac2on%Email% Generate%a%oneSJme%or%recurring%email%of% the%report%Export% Save%the%report%as%a%PDF%or%other%file% format%Add%to%Dashboard% Save%the%report%in%your%custom%dashboard% (in%the%Home%secJon)%Shortcut% Save%a%link%shortcut%to%the%report%in%your% shortcuts%page%(in%the%Home%secJon)%
  • 25. Sample Reports Overview ReportsMonitoring a Set of PagesExamining Traffic Spikes Keywords
  • 26. Standard ReportsWhy: Easy pre-baked reports for vital statisticsand general understanding.Highlights:1.  Visitors Overview (Audience > Overview)2.  Traffic Sources Overview (Traffic Sources > Overview)3.  Content Overview (Content > Overview)
  • 27. Monitoring a Set of PagesWhy: Pay attention to the part of the site youare responsible forContent > Site Content > All Pages•  Filter by name of page.•  Advanced Filtering
  • 28. Examining Traffic SpikesWhy: Learn what resonates with users, what’sworking?•  Hover over spike to find the day•  Change time to that day (start and end)•  Choose Secondary Dimension: Source
  • 29. KeywordsWhy: Understand what your users are looking forin their own words1.  Traffic Sources > Sources > Search > Organic2.  Secondary dimension: Landing Page3.  Advanced Filter: 1.  exclude Keywords: (not provided) and (not set) 2.  Include Landing Page: “page/area of interest here”4.  Apply and Export as CSV
  • 30. Some recommendations
  • 31. Explore% Act% *QuesJon%Analyze% Configure% Monitor%
  • 32. An “Actionable” Question 1.  Have a specific question that can be definitively answered by GA 2.  Determine your action based on the answer to the question before monitoring 3.  Setup a recurring report/alert
  • 33. ExampleQuestion: Are Visitors viewing the NamingOpportunities page on the Hunt Librarywebsite?Decision:•  Yes (Pagviews increase by 10% or more) Do nothing.•  No (Pageviews decrease by 10% or more) advertise on Twitter/Facebook or Artbox.Monitor, Analyze, Act... Refine question asneeded.
  • 34. Stuff I didn’t mention•  Intelligence Alerts•  “Trendalyzer” Visualizations (Gapminder) –  Another one if there’s time•  Events•  Campaigns•  Experiments (“A/B Testing”)•  Webmaster Tools•  Annotations•  Profile Filters
  • 35. Questions?Charlie MorrisNCSU Librariescharlie_morris@ncsu.edulibwebteam@ncsu.edu you to Cory Lown and Mike Nutt forfeedback and support.