Growth engineering 101: Google Analytics Essentials
Growth Engineering 101:
Google Analytics Essentials
Smashing Boxes | September 2014
Google Analytics (GA)
As a business owner, you have probably questioned how to
use the data that you collect from your web analytics tools to
grow your business.
Gaining insights about your website users can be as simple as changing the
setup of your analytics account or implementing a few additional tools.
The majority of people and businesses use Google Analytics as their primary
web analytics tool. It is a robust, free tool that has quite a lot to offer.
Here are some guidelines to set your GA account up for successful data
GA Reports (1)
Data is compiled into different reports:
● Audience Reports- Reports that specify who is looking at your site and where they are viewing
○ Device Type
○ Browser Type
○ New or Returning
● Behavior Reports - Reports that indicate the frequency of views, how long the viewer stays on
the page and what they look for
○ Behavior Flows
○ Site Content
○ Site Speed
GA Reports (2)
● Acquisitions Reports - Reports that tell the product owner where site visitors are coming from
and what actions they take while on the site
○ All Traffic
○ All Referrals
● Real Time Reports - Reports that allow you to monitor activity as it happens.
○ Traffic Sources
GA Tips: Account Setup
What you need:
● Admin access to a Google Analytics account
● Check your account access level in User Management
in the Admin panel
GA Tips: #1 Tracking Code Installation
Check that the tracking code is in the head
tag of your website:
● Simple check - visit the Real Time
report tab in Google Analytics
Reporting while you are on the site to
see if it shows that you are an active
GA Tips: #2 Account Structure (1)
Our recommended Google Analytics account structure for Views is to have
an 1) All Website Data view, 2) a Filtered view, and 3) a Test view.
● To create a view, navigate to Admin and “Create new view” under View:
GA Tips: #2 Account Structure (2)
Name these views clearly:
● For example: “[Company
Name] Filtered View”
● Your newly-created views will
now be visible in the View
When you make a new view, you won’t see any data that
was collected prior to when you created the view.
Don’t be alarmed.
Unfortunately, that is how it works if you didn’t create the
views when you first installed GA.
GA Tips: #3 Filter Your IP Address (1)
Make sure you DO NOT add a filter
to your All Website Data view.
This filter should be added to your
Filtered view or Test view
● To create a filter, navigate to
your Filtered view in the View
GA Tips: #3 Filter Your IP Address (2)
Once you select your Filtered view, navigate to Filters and
click the “+ New Filter” button:
GA Tips: #3 Filter Your IP Address (3)
This opens the “Add Filter” page where you can name your
filter and select the filter parameters:
Filters do not apply to historical data, but from now on
you won’t be tracked and luckily, you still have your
untouched All Website Data view.
A best practice is to first add the filter to your Test view
first to check if it is filtering as expected. If so, then you
can add the filter to your Filtered view.
GA Tips: #4 Track User’s Searches (1)
If you have a search bar on your site, make sure you are tracking what people
are searching for.
● This is NOT Keyword tracking
● Tracking users’ searches gives you insights into what your users are
coming to your site for and what they expect to find
● The tracking can aid your content strategy to improve your site’s SEO
GA Tips: #4 Track User’s Searches (2)
To set up Site Search Tracking:
● Navigate to View Settings in your
● Scroll down and switch “on” site
● In the Query Parameter field, you
must enter the word or character that
defines the internal search term
○ For example, smashingboxes.
the query parameter is the “s”
GA Tips: #4 Track User’s Searches (3)
● Click save and remember that this only turns on site search tracking for the
● Once you check that it is working for the Test view, feel free to add it to
your other views
Contact us with questions!
Check out the corresponding blog post here
Written by Alicia Midland and Ross Ozburn