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Analytics Tune Up! Google Analytics workshop for beginners, intermediates


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Workshop presented 6/14/2016 to digital practitioners at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Workshop includes:
- Web Analytics Process
- GA Basics
- Exercise: “Solutions Gallery”
- Exercise: Segments
- Exercise: Custom Reports
- Demo: Goals
- Exercise: Dashboards
- New(ish) features
- Universal Analytics
- A few best practices
- A few ‘real world’ questions

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Analytics Tune Up! Google Analytics workshop for beginners, intermediates

  1. 1. #musedata Insights and methods for a manageable approach to Google Analytics Workshop for Smithsonian Institution digital practitioners, 6/14/2016 Analytics Tune Up!
  2. 2. #musedata Our Workshop Today  Analytics process  GA Basics / Exercises  Exercise: “Solutions Gallery”  Exercise: Segments  Exercise: Custom Reports  Demo: Goals  Exercise: Dashboards  New(ish) features  Universal Analytics  A few best practices  A few ‘real world’ questions 2
  3. 3. #musedata 3 What web analytics is often about
  4. 4. #musedata 4 Web analytics is often about: “So What?”
  5. 5. #musedata 5 What web analytics is really about:
  6. 6. #musedata Your goal: use data to tell a story  What was happening.  What it meant.  What you did.  What’s happening now. 6
  7. 7. #musedata There is a systematic, step-by-step process  Articulate your program’s goals.  Decide strategies to achieve those goals.  Decide tactics to pursue the strategies.  Decide what and how to measure to validate the tactics.  Benchmark to get a sense of what’s normal. 7
  8. 8. #musedata Articulate specific goals  Express what you’re trying to accomplish.  Make high-level goals more specific:  “Increase influence” - too broad.  “Become the definitive source on Smithsonian history” - more specific.  Specificity makes it easier to identify strategies and tactics.  Not too many! 8 It’s a Wonderful Life Start the conversation! Articulate goals & next steps on your own; work with management to finalize.
  9. 9. #musedata Determine strategies & tactics  Strategies – the plans you make to achieve the goals.  Employing social media is a strategy.  Tactics – the things you do to advance the strategy.  Producing a specific type of content is a tactic.  Individual channels (facebook, twitter) are tactics.  Per the example:  Goal: “Become the definitive source on Smithsonian history.”  Strategy: Increase engagement with history of the Smithsonian content.  Tactic: Make SI-history content more findable and measureable. 9
  10. 10. #musedata Decide how to measure your tactics  Choose measurements to learn if your tactics are succeeding.  Choose a few measurements.  Trend them over time.  Per the example:  Strategy: increase engagement with SI history website content.  Tactic: make website history content more findable / measureable.  Make a “history-content” segment and measure for engagement:  Visit frequency  Visit depth  Bounce rate 10 History- related visits All visits “Deep history visits” were 94% higher!
  11. 11. #musedata 11 You can’t set targets w/o benchmarks  You need at least six months of data.  Data is seasonal.  Depends on your traffic.  Balance targets with factors beyond your control:  Are the improvements you’re seeking difficult to achieve?  How much resources will you have to implement tactics? Drinks Enthusiast
  12. 12. #musedata 12 Keep it simple!  Don’t do too much!  Minimize the number of measurements.  If they turn-out to be inconclusive, change up.  It’s an ongoing process!
  13. 13. #musedata 13 Army Times GOOGLE ANALYTICS Basics
  14. 14. #musedata 14 GA Basics  The most basic thing  Navigating Google Analytics  GA in your world Army Times
  15. 15. #musedata  Dimensions describe the data, or an attribute of the user (“what”):  Traffic source  City  Page  Metrics measure the data (“how many”, “how long”):  Sessions  Bounce rate  Time on page  Lunametrics  Optimizesmart  Dimensions & Metrics Explorer (Google) 15 Optimizesmart Dimensions Metrics GA’s familiar color-coding helps you keep track of Dimensions and Metrics. The most basic thing Dimensions and Metrics
  16. 16. #musedata 16 Navigating Google Analytics How GA is organized Home Searchable list of all GA accounts associated with your Google Account.
  17. 17. #musedata 17 Navigating Google Analytics How GA is organized Reporting Where GA’s reports are located.
  18. 18. #musedata 18 Navigating Google Analytics How GA is organized Customization Where Custom Reports are located.
  19. 19. #musedata 19 Navigating Google Analytics How GA is organized Admin Settings for your: 1. Account 2. Property (individual websites) 3. View (setup different “views” – with custom filters, etc.) Account Property View(s)
  20. 20. #musedata 20 Navigating Google Analytics How GA is organized: Views  Having multiple Views is an important facet of managing your GA Property.  Views are filtered subsets of traffic, created for specific purposes:  “All Web Site Data” is the default View – your primary view  Unfiltered ‘Backup’ View (no filters – this is a best practice)  “No internal traffic” view  Specific directories or subdomains  Mobile traffic only (maybe only from within the SI Wi-Fi)  Traffic from search engines
  21. 21. #musedata 21 LunaMetrics Navigating Google Analytics How GA is organized: Reports  These four sections under “Reporting” house most of the reports. Audience Acquisition Behavior Conversions
  22. 22. #musedata 22  Improve your program?  Yes! Good for you!  Satisfy your boss with monthly Big Numbers?  Sure. It is what it is.  Validate (or not) something you’ve already done.  Um, maybe. Wikipedia GA in your world How can Google Analytics HELP?
  23. 23. #musedata  Under Audience >> Behavior  Frequency  Recency  Page Depth (“Engagement”)  “New vs. Returning” (e-nor post)  Use with segments:  Traffic from search  Traffic from mobile  Etc.  ‘Time on site’ is great, but do not rely solely on it.  Due to technical issues 23 Improve your program! Metrics as proxies for user engagement
  24. 24. #musedata 24 Exercise: ‘Solutions Gallery’ import  Import expert-made:  Segments  Custom Reports  Dashboards  Goals  Sign-in to Google  Go to ‘Solutions Gallery’  Google: “google analytics solutions gallery”   Under “Most Popular” click #1  Occam's Razor Awesomeness  Click (top left)
  25. 25. #musedata 25  Select one of your GA “Views”  Click  Voila! These will now appear within the View you selected.  (They can always be deleted, btw.)
  26. 26. #musedata 26 Improve your program! Segmentation: GA’s most powerful feature?  Analyze subsets of traffic.  Search engine traffic  Social media traffic  Demographics  Google Blog  Kissmetrics Overview  Examples (Cutroni)  Examples (Kaushik) Segments are accessed by clicking “Add Segment”. “Organic Traffic” is shown. All Users Organic (Search Engine) Traffic
  27. 27. #musedata All Visits data tells a nice story... 27 Minimal frequency group (purple) downward trend indicates improving content engagement High frequency group (blue) upward trend indicates same Impact of this Data on the Site or Program • This good-looking chart may indicate high content engagement and/or perceived value • This data may correlate to increasing conversion behaviors Acting on this Data • Identify moderate and high loyalty pages as a means of duplicating, or improving others • Examining conversion behaviors of these segments may yield add'l insights • Correlating high bounce rate pages to one-time visits may yield add'l insights • Test different content types in an attempt to move 'minimal' visitors into 'moderate' group Key Trends and Insights
  28. 28. #musedata 28 This Impact of this Data on the Site or Program • Organic search listings are driving poorly-targeted traffic • Will result in decreased organic search performance over time Acting on this Data • Refocus title tags, meta-description tags and page content for important pages • Perform link analysis to see where other SEO improvements can be made Minimal frequency group upward trend indicates organic listings are not appropriately targeted Moderate frequency group downward trend indicates same High frequency group trending slightly downward, in contrast to previous chart’s upward slope Key Trends and Insights …But applying segmentation tells a different story
  29. 29. #musedata 29 Exercise: dissect a segment  Let’s look at Avinash’s segment, Non-Flirts, Potential Lovers  “We all obsess with our bounced traffic (“Flirts”)... Why not analyze people who DO engage with us?”  Engagement / Page Depth shows the distribution of the # of pages people see on your site.  “The "tipping point," the point at which a core group of people decide to stick with your site after overcoming their initial "fears" (and your perhaps sub optimal pages!).  Go to:  Audience >> Overview  Click ‘+Add segment’ (top-middle)  Find “AK: Non-Flirts, Potential Lovers” (hint: search for “Flirts)  Click the segment to add it  Click ‘Apply’  Dissect the segment:  Click the segment’s top-right pull-down  Click the ‘edit’ (pencil) icon. Segments can be copied and shared.
  30. 30. #musedata 30  Avinash's example questions all hint at “What’s unique about them?”  Where did they come from? (Source/Medium)  What pages did they enter on? (Entrances)  What campaigns have a higher percentage of these people? (Campaign referrals)  What countries? (Geo >> Location report)  What is the delta between content they consume on your site compared to everyone else?  Do they all happen to use the (comparison chart) first?  Do they all read the (Sports) section? ‘Edit’ reveals the segment’s technical specs.
  31. 31. #musedata 31 Let’s duplicate this segment  Navigate back to the ‘Reports’ section  Click on a segment, or the plus-sign next to it ( )  Click  Click ‘Conditions’ (left menu, @ bottom)  Note that you can select between Sessions and Users – select Sessions
  32. 32. #musedata 32 Duplicate the segment (cont’d)  Click ‘Ad Content’  Type-in ‘Page Depth’  Select the green ‘Page Depth’ dimension.
  33. 33. #musedata 33 Duplicate the segment (cont’d)  Change ‘equals’ to ‘greater-than-or-equals’  Type ‘3’ in the box on the right  Give the segment a name and click ‘Save’
  34. 34. #musedata  Package entire datasets for deeper analysis.  Saves time  Shows just the data you need. 34 Create and access Custom Reports from the ‘Customization’ tab. Improve your program! Custom Reports can save you time & effort Custom Reports can be scheduled for delivery via email in a variety of formats.  Create and manage Custom Reports (Google)  12 Awesome Custom Reports Created by the Experts (Kissmetrics)  5 Google Analytics Custom Reports FTW! (Kaushik)
  35. 35. #musedata 35 Exercise: Kaushik’s ‘Visitor Acquisition Efficiency’  Go to the ‘Customization’ tab  Click on AK: Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis v2  Goal: one report to “review the efficiency and performance across all types of traffic:  Search engines  Referring sites etc.  Social Media  Paid media (PPC, Display etc),  You’ll see:  Users, Sessions, % New Sessions, Bounce Rate, Total Events, Goal Conversion Rate, Per Session Goal Value  …all organized by source and medium.
  36. 36. #musedata 36 Kaushik’s ‘Visitor Acquisition Efficiency’ (cont’d) Acquisition Source How many / What kind? Concerns Outcomes!
  37. 37. #musedata  A conversion is any measureable behavior with an implicitly (or explicitly) higher value.  Conversion rates are more informative than merely counting the number of times something has happened.  Typical conversion goals:  Destination (ex: thanks.html)  Duration (ex: 5 minutes or more)  Pages/Screens per session (ex: 3 pages)  Event (download PDF, play video)  REQUIRES CODE 37 Improve your program! Deeper understanding with Conversion Goals Studying conversion rates levels the playing field, versus merely counting!
  38. 38. #musedata 38 Demo: making a Conversion Goal  Ability to do this depends on your permissions  Go to ‘Admin’ tab  Select a View to add the goal to  Select Goals (third from top)  Select  Give the goal a name, like “Long Sessions”  Select the ‘Duration’ radio button  Click
  39. 39. #musedata 39 Demo: making a Conversion Goal (cont’d)  Assign the desired length of time in minutes (4?)  Click
  40. 40. #musedata 40 Conversion Goals in the GA U-I
  41. 41. #musedata  More sophisticated Goals typically involve creating “Events”:  External links  Sign-ups, form submissions  Downloads  Many types of conversion goals  To use Events:  Define and categorize events.  Configure and add the javascript code, usually right in the link (not always).  Many social-share widgets automatically add Events.  Google Analytics Event Organizer (Smithsonian’s Michelle Herman)  The Complete Google Analytics Event Tracking Guide Plus 10 Amazing Examples (old code, good examples) 41 Improve your program! ‘Event Tracking’ is super-important
  42. 42. #musedata 42 Events in the GA U-I
  43. 43. #musedata  Display multiple reports at once.  “My Dashboard” (default) included.  Import from the Solutions Gallery.  Share as PDFs.  Schedule for distribution by email.  About Dashboards (Google)  10 useful Google Analytics custom dashboards (Econsultancy)  How Google Analytics Dashboards Can Make Your Life Easier (Kissmetrics) 43 Satisfy your boss! Dashboards are useful, and easy to make Customize Dashboards by adding / deleting / manipulating widgets (up to 12 per dashboard) Google
  44. 44. #musedata Exercise: make a dashboard 1) ‘Dashboards’ menu 2) Select ‘+New Dashboard’ 3) Select ‘Blank Canvas’ 4) Give the dashboard a title 5) Select ‘Create Dashboard’
  45. 45. #musedata Next: adding widgets
  46. 46. #musedata You can add widgets directly from GA reports
  47. 47. #musedata  No actionable data  Sessions (previously Visits)  Users (previously Visitors)  Pages (a.k.a. Pageviews)  Establish scope / context.  Measure growth / acquisition.  You can’t improve your site by measuring these.  Reporting them out of context can be misleading. 47 Satisfy your boss! The inevitability of “Quantity of Stuff” Occam's Razor “All data in aggregate is crap.”
  48. 48. #musedata 48  AAA wanted to make their content more accessible to younger students.  They worked with Wikipedia to expand their offerings.  We compared segments of Wikipedia visitors to other visitors.  Wiki-referred visitors were increasingly less likely to (need to) visit the AAA site many times.  This contrasts with the stable trend of all visits. All visits, high frequency Wikipedia visits, high frequency Validation! Archives ofAmericanArt Wikipedia Case Study
  49. 49. #musedata Here is the bottom line!  Your measurements validate your tactics (or not).  To work the process and improve your site, you need meaningful data:  Engagement metrics  Segments  Goal completion / Conversion rates  A-B tests  Qualitative data (surveys)  If your goal is purely audience acquisition, you can use “quantity-of- stuff” metrics to tell your story. 49 NY Daily News
  50. 50. #musedata 50 New(ish), Game-Changing Features Source: Keith Srakocic, AP
  51. 51. #musedata 51 Demographics and Interests Reports  Demographics  Age (traffic by age ranges)  Gender (traffic by gender)  Interests – behavior by  Affinity Categories  In-Market Categories  Other Categories  No PII is tracked!  You have to turn the reports on in the U-I, and add a line of code to your pages.    You have to modify your privacy policy. 
  52. 52. #musedata 52 Insights from Demographics and Interests Reports  Cyclic Defrost is an online magazine that covers independent electronic music, avant-rock, experimental sound art, leftfield hip hop and everything in between.  The largest visitor segment is 25-34 year-olds.  But… older visitors (45-54) engage the content at a higher rate. Avg. Visit DurationVisits
  53. 53. #musedata Benchmarking Reports! 53  Compare your site to others in the same category (or across categories).  Compare by:  Channels (traffic sources)  Location  Devices  How to find it:  Search box, or:  Audience  Benchmarking  Use top left pull-down; click ‘Reference’  Scroll down to ‘Libraries & Museums’  Benchmarking Reports (Google)
  54. 54. #mwmetrics 54 Universal Analytics means all new code  We are (still…) in phase three of a four- phased, multi-year rollout.  All GA accounts have been migrated to Universal, but many website pages still carry the old code.  Phase 4: legacy code will be deprecated (date TBD – “in the near future”).  “Data received from deprecated libraries will... be processed for a minimum of two years…”  You should upgrade your code SOON!  You also need to upgrade custom code, e.g., events, virtual pageviews, etc.  Universal Analytics Upgrade Center Vampyre Fangs
  55. 55. #musedata Out with the Old, in with the New! 55  What code are you using?  It’s easy to tell!  If your site is newer than mid-2014, you have the new code.  If your site is older, do View Source  Search for:  gaq  old code  ga.js  old code  analytics.js  new code Scrap for Joy
  56. 56. #musedata Old code versus new code 56 <script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-X']); _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> <script> (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBe fore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXX-XX', ''); ga('require', 'displayfeatures'); ga('send', 'pageview'); </script>  Old code  New code  Red = code for Demographics reports
  57. 57. #musedata How do I upgrade? 57  For a basic set-up (no custom code) upgrading is EASY.  Just replace your old code with the new code, substituting the same “UA” number (e.g., “UA-1234567-8”).  If you have advanced features such as Events or Virtual Pageviews, they must be converted to new formats.  If you are tracking multiple subdomains within a single property (using filters) you have a little more to do (see me)!  If your code is being applied via CMS (Drupal, Wordpress), it should be up-to-date, but you/we should confirm. (It’s possible you still have the old code.)
  58. 58. A Few Best Practices 58 Peter Erskine
  59. 59. #musedata  Create a view that has no filtering of any kind.  Leave it alone – it is protection against unintended consequences.  GA filters are powerful, but irrevocable – if your data is hosed by a bad or misapplied filter you are out of luck. 59 Marquette Educator An add’l ‘playground’ view is a good idea too, to test those new filters (and anything else) You need an unfiltered backup view
  60. 60. #musedata Filter-out internal-traffic  Admin >> Account or View >> Filters >> +New Filter 60
  61. 61. 61 Use Annotations  Super easy – a great way to know at-a-glance what happened historically, launches, promos, etc. Create new annotationPull-down all annotations Reveal annotation
  62. 62. #musedata Google’s “Analytics Academy”  Free video-based courses  Digital Analytics Fundamentals  Google Analytics Platform Principles  Ecommerce Analytics: From Data to Decisions  Mobile App Analytics Fundamentals  Google Tag Manager Fundamentals 62
  63. 63. A few real world questions, and how @sosarasays might answer them. 63
  64. 64. Question: “Is anybody using those resources my department created?” 64
  65. 65. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages > search for the web directories in question, e.g. /resources/guides/
  66. 66. Question: “How might we increase the use of these specific resources?” 66
  67. 67. New custom segment! Let’s benchmark all of those visitor sessions which include viewing at least one of the “guide” pages
  68. 68. To work on: 1) making the guides more visible in navigation, 2) getting more inbound links 3) optimizing our page metadata for search engine findability (SEO) Acquisition > Overview
  69. 69. Question: “What parts of our website are most frequently viewed on phones?” 69
  70. 70. Apply system segment: Mobile Traffic
  71. 71. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  72. 72. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages (con’t) 1. Homepage 2. WONDER exhibition page 3. Hours & Directions 4. Exhibitions Overview 5. WONDER online gallery/slideshow 6. Collections Search* 7. Irving Penn exhibition page 8. Highlights from the Collection 9. FAQs 10.Researching your art* *Not likely to be in-person visitors. Are people really doing research on their phones? Raises more questions that need further investigation!
  73. 73. Question: “How about those QR codes we put in the gallery last year? Did anybody scan them?” 73
  74. 74. Generate unique custom “campaigns” for each of your advertising or in-gallery URLs Google URL Builder
  75. 75. Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns > Castle Gallery/QR Code
  76. 76. Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns > Castle Gallery/QR Code 2,100+ is more QR Code sessions than we would have thought! Likely due to 1) appealing content (hidden drawings on the versos), and 2) a very straightforward call to action (“Scan this code to see the other side of this drawing.”)
  77. 77. #musedata Resources  Google Analytics Academy (Google)  Google Analytics Blog (Google)  Universal Analytics Upgrade Guide (Google)  Absolute Beginner's Guide to Google Analytics (  Occam’s Razor (Avinash Kaushik)  Analytics Talk (Google’s Justin Cutroni)  Jeffalytics (Jeff Saur)  Annielytics (Annie Cushing)  Analytics Edge (Mike Sullivan)  Kissmetrics blog  Lunametrics blog / Lunametrics Training  Cardinal Path Training  Discover the Google Analytics Platform (advanced tools) 77
  78. 78. #musedata 78 Questions?
  79. 79. #musedata 79 Thanks! @balpert