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Slide deck from my Google Analytics workshop, covers introduction to Google Analytics but the focus is on goal setting and measurement, a practical approach to reporting and of course measuring …

Slide deck from my Google Analytics workshop, covers introduction to Google Analytics but the focus is on goal setting and measurement, a practical approach to reporting and of course measuring traffic to your site from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites. I'll aim to update this deck each time I refresh it for another workshop.

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  • A bit about John: “Traditional” marketing since 1989 With the addition of online marketing since 1997 Both hands on and marketing management/strategic roles, progress from Marketing Assistant to PLC Marketing DirectorSpecialises in: Working out how to deliver your objectives (business, communications, revenue, support) when people visit your web site (interpreting briefs, functional specifications, analytics) Associated campaigns to attract those visitors (email, social networks, advertising, seo, sem, pr)Most often heard saying: Why? What do you really mean? Let’s work out how to do that online
  • For Google Analytics, we are happy to take all comers For search engine optimisation, the workshop is really designed for people running a Nemisys content management system, as we focus on how to get the most out of your system rather than too much theory Look out for other workshops on such as social networks, use of photography and video, copy writing for the web
  • Take a look at the “My account” page in your Google Account Previous delegates have been amazed to see that Google knows they have searched on “ice dancing”, “valentines day teddy bears” and “the meaning of itchy palms”! Of course, they all claimed they lend their account log in to colleagues ...  It’s a personal thing, but I’d make sure your “web history” is turned off in your Google account!
  • You can buy the Analytics ninja tee from Today will be very practical & hands on rather than a load of theory that you might not get around to doing when you get back to the office With your say-so, I’d like to produce a short action list for each of you to take awayDo you have any specific aims we should add to the agenda?
  • More to the point – do you know why 10 becomes 11 becomes 12 And if you don’t know, how can you manage the growth from 12 to 13, 14 and so on?
  • When you talk to your account manager about new functionality, make sure you talk to him about what elements should be measured as goals
  • Shows just a few minutes of activity on a fairly quiet site – for our busy sites each day’s log file will have tens of thousands of lines Actually, it’s not really history, in that you also have Urchin available to you to analyse your log files in tandem with Google analytics Just visit to access your Urchin account
  • The second (smaller) image shows that on 30th January at 1.29 am someone requested to see the home page of the web site that lives on this web server at this IP address This is the IP address of the person requesting the page, and they are using MS Internet Explorer 7 on Windows NT They came from a link on the Autism Society Canada site, and the request for the home page was successful
  • You can spot the home page (default.asp) referenced in the log file we just looked at As a Nemisys client, you have access to these reports So why are we moving people towards Google Analytics?
  • A visitor requests your web pageThat web page contains a snippet of code that the visitor’s web browser runsThat code runs off and picks up some information from Google’s serverWhile it’s picking up that information, it also leaves behind a load of other information about the visitorAnd then Google Analytics crunches through all of this information overnight to produce your reportsNote that this means that when you do things like set up profiles and goals, which we’ll do later, you need to come back to check that you’ve set them up correctly.
  • Further reading on comparisons:
  • Most importantly, Google Analytics gives you a better insight in to how different segments your visitors behave differently If you want to understand how spiders (Googlebot etc) use your site, you still need to look at your Urchin reports Explain key differences between Google Analytics vs the high ticket price systems
  • Day 1 – saved the computer I was looking for in my basketFew days later – receive email with an offer on that computer
  • YouTube videos of popular tasks Forums and article in GA help pop-up Context sensitive help on figures in table headers Content sensitive description of report on left hand side
  • Click analytics set up, top leftThen user managerAdd user’s Google Account email, then decide whether to give access to reports only (per profile) or make an administratorRemember to remove access if someone leaves the organisation Choose you administrators carefully – they have the power to delete all historic reports!
  • We advise that you come back to the dashboard after the workshop and add/delete reports as you see fit
  • Practical exercises Play with date ranges, try changing them Compare ranges Note the importance of matching days when you compare dates Discuss monthly vs 4 weekly reporting options Spark lines – all part of discoverability
  • Note the importance of matching days when you compare dates Discuss monthly vs 4 weekly reporting options Spark lines – all part of discoverability
  • “Discoverability” concept Google aims to be easier to use than other analytics tools, so it provides ways of drilling in to reports through overview pages But don’t be fooled – your goals will still be you most important metrics!
  • Most useful are “compare to site average” and bar charts.
  • You can export the report you are looking at to PDF or Excel immediately Or set up regular email distribution lists for your reports This is less useful than you’d think, but I’ve found a few decent uses Sending your referrer list to a PR agency so they can keep an eye on click-throughs and spot online coverage Sending your referrer list to external placing recruitment adverts so they can evaluate the value of the sites where they place adverts
  • Ideas for useful reports: Referrers Campaign metrics
  • Look at these example to show the power of working in segments: New vs returning, show bounce rates (& conversion rates if you have goals already set up) Goal conversions, add bounce rate Referrers – again, bounce rates
  • All “must have” figures, but not where the real value of analytics lies
  • How could geography be useful for you? Overseas offices? Overseas sales drives? UK-only traffic City=specific traffic?
  • The 3 values highlighted on the right have very different values – why might this be?
  • Use to identify problem pages Concentrate your efforts on high volume pages
  • Landing pages Successful keywords Track to conversions once goals set up
  • CPC traffic New visitors Return visitors United Kingdom visitors Traffic from a specific marketing campaign From a specific referrer Non-employee traffic
  • If not “best”, at least it’s “my” approach!
  • Look at: UK visitors Paid visitors
  • Note that even if you don’t want to spend time tracking all of your marketing activity, it’s worthwhile to tag your links within documents and emails, as that’s how you can reduce your number of “direct” visitors, just in case you are tempted to think that “direct” means people with favourites or having typed the URL straight in to their browser.
  • I only ever respond to “money off your next shop” emails from Tesco. Every now and then they try to tempt me with a different type of offer like free delivery, but I always ignore these.I think I’ve just about trained Tesco to send me money off vouchers – with others it can be a bit more hit & miss.


  • 1. Google Analytics Client Workshop
    How to use Google Analytics to improve your
    web site and online marketing
    John Duffy
    Marketing Director, Nemisys
    01189 122226
  • 2. Google Analytics - Agenda
    What is analytics?
    Page tagging vs log files
    User & administrator set up
    The dashboard
    Working with dates
    Spark lines
    Different views for different news
    Map overlay
    Landing pages & bounce rates
    Site search
    Traffic sources
    Clever functionality
    Report distribution
    Google Analytics help & support
    The really useful part
    Within reports
    Working with profiles
    Some useful profiles
    Working with filters
    Some useful filters
    Working with advanced segments
    Some useful advanced segments
    Choice: profiles vs advanced segments
    Truly measuring performance
    Campaign measurement
    Pulling it all together in to a report
    Action plan
    Further reading
  • 3. Nemisys Client Workshops
    • This is one of a series of workshops we run for our clients
    • 4. Workshops run either in-house or open access where we take up to 6 clients a day
    • 5. The purpose is simple – if your web site works better for you, you may win more budget to further develop it.
    We also want choosing to work with Nemisys to be a “career-enhancing” decision!
    • See for more information
    • 6. Or email
  • Before we start – your history
  • 7. Aims for today
    Learn the usefulness and limitations of analytics
    Learn your way around Google Analytics
    Learn how to set up and interpret reports and profiles
    Define online goals for your day to day activities
    Start to measure the effectiveness of your (online) marketing
    Build a “better” structure for your monthly reports
    Show you how to save money online shopping
  • 8. Over to you
    • Introductions and roles
    • 9. How do you use your web site?
  • Fundamental question
    Q. “Is 10 registrations a day on our site good or bad?”
  • 10. Correct answer
    • A. “I’ve no idea, but 10 on Monday, 11 on Tuesday, 12 on Wednesday etc is great!”
  • What is analytics?
    • Measuring what happens on your web site
    • 11. Measuring other promotional activity
    • 12. Setting and progressing towards goals
    • 13. And ideally, making sure you plan in at specification stage how what success looks like
  • Analytics ‘history’ - log files
  • 14. Analytics ‘history’ – log files
  • 15. Log file report - Urchin
  • 16. Analytics tools – page tagging
  • 17. Urchin vs Google Analytics
    • Numbers differ
    • 18. Not worth getting in to too much detail, but plenty you can read
    • 19. BUT, if you insist on comparing old with new:
    • 20. Work out a conversion factor in parallel sets of data and use that going forward (but be warned, it’s messy)
  • Why Google Analytics?
    • Level 1 – out of the box tagging/reporting
    • 21. Level 2 – bend the reports to better understand your web site
    • 22. Level 3 – bend your tagging to (eg) record on-page activities, Flash activity, ecommerce activity
    • 23. Remember - You have both – Urchin and Google Analytics
  • Use analytics to your advantage
  • 24. So let’s dive in
    Not got a Google Account yet?
    • 25. Use your work email address
    Or for today, if you do not have access to your work email address, use an email address you can access, then change it later – I’ll show you how
  • 26. Help & support
  • 27. Get stuck in, explore
    • Don’t be afraid to get stuck in
    • 28. Explore the reports – there are new reports added all the time
    • 29. I’d guestimate that there have been 20 fundamental improvements in the last 2 years, so do get used to using the online help to remind and steer you – I DO!
  • Where you can look for help / tips
    • How to videos -
    • 30. GA support -
    • 31. GA blog -
    • 32. Webmaster tools -
    • 33. My blog, analytics posts & tips -
  • Basics 1 - user set up
  • 34. Basics 2 – dashboard
    Shows “most useful” reports – that’s subjective!
    Add up to 12 reports
    Reorder and delete reports
  • 35. Essential concepts - averages
    • Averages are your enemy
    • 36. EXCEPT within tightly defined segments or for specific pages
    • 37. BAD – bounce rate across a whole site
    • 38. GOOD – bounce rate for a specific page
  • Basics 3 – date ranges
    Defaults to last 31 days
    Change to view 1 month
    Change to view 1 week
    Change to compare 2 months
  • 39. Exercise – date ranges
    • View 1 month
    • 40. View 1 week
    • 41. Compare March and February
    • 42. Align start/end days when comparing date ranges
  • Basics 4 – comparing metrics
    • Get used to exploring the reports and comparing figures
  • Basics 5 – spark lines
    Watch spark lines to spot anomalies worth looking in to
  • 43. Exercise – spark lines
    • Can you spot any activity worth looking in to on your spark lines?
  • Basics 6 - views
    Cut data in different views to provide insight
  • 44. Basics 7 – report distribution
    Report distribution
    Top link to set up an email
    Left link to see all of the emails you’ve set up across the whole site
  • 45. Exercise – report distribution
    • Identify some useful scheduled reports for your site
    • 46. Set up some scheduled reports for your site to your colleagues
  • Basics 8 - segmentation
    • Metrics – basic counts of things that happen on your site, like visitors, page views etc
    • 47. Dimensions – attributes that the basic action create, like time on site, new vs returning visitors and keywords used to reach you
    • 48. That’s much easier with an example
    Top content & bounce rate
  • 49. Visitors – sessions & uniques
    Unique visitors
  • 50. Visitors - new & returning
    Absolute numbers are OK
    But differences between segments are much more interesting
    Bounce rates
  • 51. Map overlay
    Zoom from country to city level
    Use for targeting cost per click adverts
    Measure goals by campaign and geography?
  • 52. Exercise – map overlay
    • Is geography important to you
    • 53. Overseas offices?
    • 54. Overseas sales drives?
    • 55. UK-only traffic
    • 56. City-specific traffic?
    • 57. Landing pages per city maybe for local events?
  • Landing pages and bounce rate
    Spot best performers
    Improve problem pages
    There’s no “right” or “wrong” figure
    But don’t just look at rates – concentrate on high volume pages
  • 58. Landing pages and source
    Drill in to individual landing pages to see where the visitors came from
  • 59. Homework – landing pages
    • Identify 3 landing pages using the following criteria:
    High volume of entrants (so you don’t spend effort with insignificant rewards)
    Significant bounce rate
    • Over the next month, reduce the bounce rates for each page
  • Site search
    How many people searched?
    How often did they search?
    What for?
    Any problem content?
  • 60. Homework
    • Now search tagging is enabled, use it to:
    • 61. Identify problem areas on your site
    • 62. Identify the language your visitors use to check you’re “jargon free”
  • Traffic sources
    Referring sites
    Search engines
    Keywords used
    Campaign traffic
  • 63. Profiles
    • A profile is a report, created by filtering (ie discarding) some information as the analysis is done
    • 64. Useful profiles might be:
    Site sections
    UK visitors
    Paid search visitors
    • Profiles are also useful for controlling access when administering users
  • Creating a profile
    Overview page > add new profile
    Work through the wizard, probably choosing:
    Existing domain
    Then overview page > edit profile
    Default page = default.asp
    Exclude query string parameters = blank
    Currency displayed as = GBP
    Yes, an e-commerce site
    Do track site search, query parameter = searchexpression
    But do check the query parameter by doing a search on your site!
    Result = a new profile that will behave exactly like your main profile from this point forwards, unless we apply some filters to it
  • 65. Filters and profiles
    • Filters make your profiles useful, by allowing you to focus on a specific segment of visitors
    • 66. They cut out the “noise” created by visitors who you aren’t interested in for the specific piece of functionality you are looking at
    • 67. Examples of useful filters:
  • Applying filters to profiles
    Before we start:
    • NEVER apply filters to your base profile or you will discard information
    Stuff to understand
    • New profiles can’t look back in time – you start to record information from the day when you set the profile up
    Advanced segments can look backwards though
    • You need to reapply your “settings” (home page, site search etc) when you set up a new profile
    • 68. Then apply filters
  • Filter - subdirectory
    If you have a microsite, intranet or extranet running in a separate folder
    So here, we are isolating people who use our Ecards system at
  • 69. Filter – new visitors only
    Here, I just want new visitors as I already know I can “convert” returning visitors
  • 70. Filter – exclude other domains
    Because anyone can add your tag to their site, you might want to set up a filter that excludes all traffic from other sites
    This actually happened to Nemisys - a developer in India ripped our site and rebadged it for a client.
    The other site showed up in our numbers until a polite email suggesting they shouldn’t pay their developer found its way to them ... 
  • 71. Filter – visitors from organic search
    If you’re focussing on SEO, this is a useful profile to help measure your progress
    Remember – search rankings are old hat. This lets you monitor true success – visitors who convert
  • 72. Filter – exclude your staff
    If you know your IP company address(es), you can exclude traffic from staff
    Or flip the logic on its head and look at only traffic from staff if that’s useful to you
  • 73. Filter – UK visitors
    Useful if overseas visitors really are irrelevant to you
  • 74. Exercise – set up a new profile
    • Call it something you’ll recognise
  • Setting GoalsSegmentationTracking your marketing activity
  • 75. Fundamental question
    • So what?
    • 76. Or more constructively
    • 77. So what now?
  • Reporting your goals
    First, let’s define them!
    For our purposes, a goal is a meaningful outcome for your business
    Example goals:
    Submitted the contact form
    Made a donation
    Made a purchase
    Registered for an event
    Support log ins
    Split in to pairs and come up with a list of goals for your site
  • 78. Our goals
    • To complete – list of goals we’ll aim to add
  • Beyond goals to funnels
    Measure the progress from 1 page to another, finishing in a goal
    Can be simple – submitting a form
    Or more complex – a basket & checkout process
    Review your goals – are there any funnels that we should set up?
  • 79. Measuring your goals
    • Default measure is percentage, not absolutes
    • 80. But there’s a custom report to give you the absolute figures
  • Goals - getting to the numbers
    Default report gives %ages only
    This custom report gives absolute numbers
  • 81. After goals – segmentation
    Level 1 – within reports
    Level 2 – profiles
    Level 3 – advanced segments
  • 82. Segments – “best” approach
    • Drill in to and pivot the STANDARD REPORTS to identify interesting segments
    • 83. Use PROFILES and FILTERS to “clean” your data
    And to produce reports for segments you know you will be interested in long term
    • Use ADVANCED SEGMENTS to explore your profiles
  • Segments again - advanced
    • Simple exploration we’ve covered
    • 84. Beta service – advanced segments
    • 85. Portable across profiles AND accounts
    • 86. Retrospective analysis
  • Exercise – profiles & filters
    • Set up a new profile and apply a filter that will be useful for you in preparing your reports
  • Advanced segments
    • A great way to fish about in your reports
    • 87. Unlike profiles, can look backwards
    • 88. But don’t be tempted to use INSTEAD of profiles
    • 89. Use Google’s default segments
    • 90. And add your own
  • Suggested segments
    • Member activity (this should really be a profile too)
    • 91. UK visitors
    • 92. Specific sources
    • 93. What other segments are relevant to your organisation?
  • Campaign measurement
    • GA “automatically” measures your Adwords
    • 94. But can also measure your other marketing activity, such as:
    Banner adverts
    Exchanged/paid links
    Click-throughs from email
    Click-throughs from other documents
  • 95. Campaign measurement
    • 96.
  • Campaign measurement (or Google “Google URL builder”)
    Produce a coherent approach to record all campaigns in to a master report, and making it easy for people to choose new tracking URLs
  • 97. Pulling it all together
    • “Management” likes it all in 1 place – and in fact that’s a useful discipline
    • 98. Use MS Excel to bring together most important numbers
    • 99. Over a series of months and years
    • 100. To focus on trends and campaigns
  • Real world actions
    • Let’s make a 1 month action plan for improving your site’s performance
    Implement all of your goals so that you start to measure against objectives
    Identify 3 landing pages to tweak and reduce bounce rate / improve goal conversion
    Identify 2 current campaigns – how can we improve them?
  • 101. Cutting your shopping bill
    • Just browse before you buy
    Say you visit and purchase something in December
    Then revisit in Feb, but just browse without even signing in
    Top end analytics systems will tie the visits together via your cookies and don’t be surprised if you receive an email containing the products you browsed
    To really reel them in, add the product to your basket and then leave ...
    • And only respond to the type of offers you prefer
  • Further reading
    Blogs, hints & tips
    • But this book -
    • 102. Helpful if you have lots of time to devote to analytics, highly entertaining -
    • 103. My blog (analytics tag) -
    Online help
    How to videos -
    GA support -
    GA blog -
    Webmaster tools -