Advanced Google Analytics Techniques


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Google Analytics is a great free tool for revealing basic information about the activity on your site. However, there are many advanced features such a Goal Tracking, Custom Reports, Custom Variables and Advanced Segments which can greatly increase your understanding of how visitors are interacting with your site. Come learn about these features and see how eXtension uses them on our sites.

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Advanced Google Analytics Techniques

  1. 1. Advanced Google Analytics Ben MacNeill
  2. 2. • Goals• Custom Reports• Custom Variables• Advanced Segments• Bonus: New GA UI
  3. 3. Goals• What do you want your site visitors to do? • Download a PDF? • Submit a form? • Click the "contact us" link? • Sign up for a newsletter?• How many visitors reach the goal?• Where do visitors abandon goals?
  4. 4. Example: Ask an Expert• How many visitors are "Asking an Expert"?• What happens when they use the Ask an Expert form?• Problem: the search results for the form create unique URLs
  5. 5. Solution: Virtual Pages• The solution is create a virtual page with the GATC method: _trackPageview()• Were going to overwrite the actual, dynamic URL with a made-up, virtual URL
  6. 6. Step 1. Define the Goal• "Question submitted" page• Problem: its not a hardcoded web page (there is no thankyou.html page)• (The "thank you" page URL is dynamic because the visitor is returned to their previous page)
  7. 7. Make Up a Descriptive URL Before: _gaq.push([_trackPageview]); After: _gaq.push([_trackPageview, /ask- an-expert-question-submitted]);In GA, this page view shows up
  8. 8. Goals in the New UI
  9. 9. Step 2. Set up a Goal
  10. 10. Step 3. Define the Funnel
  11. 11. Result: Visualization Funnel
  12. 12. Funnel Detail
  13. 13. Analyze• Are visitors doing what you expect?• Where are they dropping off?• Whats wrong with those pages? (focus redesign efforts there.)
  14. 14. Funnels in the New UI
  15. 15. Custom Reports
  16. 16. Why Custom Reports?• When you want more than the general GA reports: traffic sources, pageviews, search terms, visitor location, etc.• Only the metrics you want to see• Organized exactly how you want to see it• Create report combinations that dont exist by default
  17. 17. Create a New Report
  18. 18. Custom Report Builder
  19. 19. Metrics vs. Dimensions • Metrics: think Numbers (145 visitors, pages, or goals) • Dimensions: think Descriptions (145 visitors in NC who came from Organic Search)
  20. 20. Example: Where are AaEQuestions Coming From?• Want to measure AaE Submissions and total visitors (Visits and Goals - metric)• Where are Ask an Expert submissions coming from? (Geography - dimension)• How are these visitors finding the Ask an Expert form? (Traffic source - dimension)
  21. 21. Step 1. Select Metrics• We are choosing metrics related to AaE Goals• Drag and arrange in any order you prefer
  22. 22. Step 2. Select Dimensions • Pick a Primary dimension • Choose the order of drill-down dimensions
  23. 23. Step 3. Save and View
  24. 24. View Later
  25. 25. Custom Variables• Create additional, custom traffic segments • visitor types • which sections are most popular
  26. 26. Step 1. Whats the scope? • Visitor-level — the individual that visits the site, and everything about that person • Session-level — the visit itself and everything that takes place during that time • Page-level — individual pages that the visitors interacts with. Generally a pageview.
  27. 27. _setCustomVar(index, name, value, opt_scope)• Name-value pairs (section, horses)• index: the slot for the custom variable. limited number. 1-5.• opt_scope: 1 (visitor-level), 2 (session- level), or 3 (page-level, the default).
  28. 28. ExamplesCategory tracking? Use page-level scope (3).(rat = resource area tag)_gaq.push([_setCustomVar, 1, rat,horses, 3]);User-type tracking? Visitor-level scope (1)._gaq.push([_setCustomVar, 2, login,internal, 1]);
  29. 29. Custom Vars in the New UI
  30. 30. Drilling Down
  31. 31. Advanced Segments• Define the specific slice of traffic that you are interested in• Activate that segment and view any report in Google Analytics
  32. 32. Segments in the New UI
  33. 33. Another way
  34. 34. Step 1. Create a New Segment
  35. 35. Step 2. Define the Segment
  36. 36. Step 3. Apply Segment
  37. 37. Every report is nowlimited to "via Twitter"
  38. 38. New GA UI• Faster• Can switch between profiles and stay on the same report• Doesnt have PDF export or report emailing yet
  39. 39. Happy Analyzing!••• twitter: @chillnc
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