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Painting by Numbers: Google Analytics



A Google Analytics presentation for new users.

A Google Analytics presentation for new users.



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  • Refer to Activity Question #1.
  • When developing your KPIs, ask yourself – so what? Is this metric really important to your website objectives? The main thing to remember is what are you going to do with this data? Example – everyone loves to look at the geo-segmentation report – where do your users come from? Is this data that you need to know for your site? Look at your objective – if it doesn’t matter – ignore it!
  • That’s why trending is important. Which of these two campaigns to do you think was more effective? You can’t tell from just this data.
  • That’s why trending is important. Which of these two campaigns to do you think was more effective? You can’t tell from just this data.
  • Hard numbers bring context.
  • Quantitative = What? / Qualitative=Why?
  • Something we always do and is essential to looking at this data is segment it. Activity Question #2.
  • As defined by Google Analytics. *See Web Analytics Association for their standards: http://www.webanalyticsassociation.org/attachments/committees/5/WAA_Web_Analytics_Definitions_20080922_For_Public_Comment.pdf As we talk about these, do Activity #3.
  • See http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/eventTrackerGuide.html
  • * What is the type of page? Do you want them to find what they want & move from it quickly?
  • Direct traffic. Keywords are external not internal for public until new version of CMS goes live. Beta possible for Spring semester.
  • These are your storefronts or anchors stores for your site.
  • Before moving on, Activity #4.

Painting by Numbers: Google Analytics Painting by Numbers: Google Analytics Presentation Transcript

  • Shelby Thayer & Nikki Massaro Kauffman
  • What are your website objectives?
  • How do you know if you’re meeting those objectives?
  • So What?
  • Data Limitations
    • Data quality sucks – get over it.
      • Web data will never be perfect.
        • Different browsers
        • Blocking cookies
        • Forgot to tag a page?
    • Why bother if the data isn’t accurate?
  • Data Limitations
    • Accurate vs. Precise
      • Being precise is predictable and reproducible.
      • Use trending
    Accurate Precise
  • Look for Trends
    • Trends vs. Hard Numbers
      • Web analytics will never be exact. You’re numbers will never tie out. So many things can skew numbers (visitors using different browsers, clearing cookies, etc.).
      • Look at trends (what’s changed?)
  • Look for Trends
    • Hard numbers bring context.
      • Which campaign performed better?
        • You can’t tell from this data – why?
    Campaign #1 17% Bounce Rate Campaign #2 38% Bounce Rate
  • Look for Trends
    • Hard numbers bring context.
      • When you bring in the hard numbers you can give it some context.
    Campaign #1 17% Bounce Rate 12 Click-throughs Campaign #2 38% Bounce Rate 1,243 Click-throughs
  • Don’t Forget Qualitative Data!
    • Must know visitors and pages to interpret analytics data (quantitative).
    • Use surveys, focus groups, or informal chats with visitors to find out about how they use the site (qualitative).
  • Filter & Segment
    • Make sense of the data by looking at a segment:
      • new vs. returning
      • mobile vs. computer
      • referring keywords
      • Etc.
  • What Do All These Numbers Mean?
    • Visits
    • %New Visits
    • Pageviews
    • Pages/Visit
    • Bounce Rate
    • Avg. Time on Site
    • Traffic Sources
    • Content
  • Google Analytics Dashboard
  • Google Analytics Dashboard
  • Visits & % New Visits
    • Measured by cookies.
    • From the time a site is accessed until browser is closed or user is inactive for 30 minutes.
    • Measured by cookies.
    What about visitors who don’t allow cookies or who remove them?
  • Visits & % New Visits
  • Pageviews & Pages/Visit
    • An instance of a page being loaded by a browser.
    • Relies on changing URL.
    • Average number of pages accessed in a visit.
    • “ Visit” as defined previously.
    Activity on rich media (Flash, etc.) sites will not show up as pageviews without special code.
  • Pageviews & Pages/Visit
  • Pageviews & Pages/Visit
  • Bounce Rate
    • Percentage of visits that left your site after a single page
    What if the purpose of your site is for visitors to find what they want and get out after just one page?
  • Bounce Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Avg. Time on Site
    • Calculated by timestamps for each page.
    • No way to tell how much time was spent on last page.
    Did they find what they want or just give up? What can you really do with this information?
  • Avg. Time on Site
  • Avg. Time on Site
  • Traffic Sources
    • URL where visitor originated before arriving at your site
    • Search terms that led visitors to your site.
    • “ So what?”
    • Try sorting these to find out which give you higher Bounce Rates, fewer Pages/Visit, etc.
    • Create a segment and look at these areas.
  • Traffic Sources Bookmarks, Typing, Etc. psu.edu, HelpDesks, Twitter, Etc. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Etc.
  • Traffic Sources
  • Content
    • why people come to your site & what they are looking for
    • Try viewing as Content by Title
    • core entry points for visitors (not just your home page)
    Try sorting Top Content or Landing Pages on Unique Pageviews, Bounce Rate, Etc.
  • Content
  • Content
  • Site Overlay
    • Visual representation of what links are being visited on site
    • Puts the data in the context of the site.
    Use it to decide which links can or should be changed.
  • Google Analytics Resources
    • Google Analytics Blog: http://analytics.blogspot.com
    • Google Analytics Help:
      • Getting Started
      • Analytics IQ
      • Analytics Help Forum
    • ITS Technology Training Community: http://technologytraining.psu.edu
  • Google Analytics Resources
    • Kyle James’ Presentations: http://www.slideshare.net/jameskm03
    • Avanish Kaushik's Blog : http://www.kaushik.net
    • Avanish Kaushik’s Web Analytics an Hour a Day
    • Shelby Thayer's Blog: http://www.trendingupward.net
    • Web Analytics Association: http://www.webanalyticsassociation.org