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Google Analytics Crash Course

Peter O'Neill
Peter O'Neill
Peter O'NeillDigital Analytics at Ayima

25 Google Analytics tips, tricks and hacks that were presented as part of the ObservePoint Analytics Summit conference.

Google Analytics Crash Course

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Download to read offline
Google Analytics Crash Course
25 Tips/Tricks/Hacks in 30 minutes
@peter_oneill
Quick introduction to me
• Australian living in London
• Worked in Digital Analytics for over 10 years
• Founder of L3 Analytics in 2010
• London based Digital Analytics Consultancy
• GA & GTM Certified Partner
• Merging with AEP Convert to form LeapThree
• Support with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics
• Services from Set-up to CRO, Personalisation and Data Strategy
• Work with clients of all sizes and across all sectors
• Founder of MeasureCamp
• Co-founder of MeasureBowling
@peter_oneill
Quick explanation of this session
• I originally was going to give 10 Google Analytics tips/tricks/hacks but
decided that wasn’t enough
• Now targeting 25 within what is left of my 30 minutes
• Some are basic, some are advanced
• They cover business principles, Google Analytics set-up, reporting and
analysis
• If one is boring or not relevant – give it a minute…
@peter_oneill
Before you open
Google Analytics
@peter_oneill
Understand the purpose of Digital Analytics1
@peter_oneill
 To provide intelligence that informs
business actions leading to an
improvement in performance for
online organisations
Photo Credit:
HikingArtist.com via
Compfight cc
Create a Google Analytics solution for non analysts
• Do not create a Google Analytics set-
up for yourself
• That only you understand
• Ensure that everyone can understand
the reports
• They are the people who have to use
the information
• No abbreviations or only being able
to access information by combining
multiple custom dimensions
2
@peter_oneill
Ad

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Google Analytics Crash Course

  • 1. Google Analytics Crash Course 25 Tips/Tricks/Hacks in 30 minutes @peter_oneill
  • 2. Quick introduction to me • Australian living in London • Worked in Digital Analytics for over 10 years • Founder of L3 Analytics in 2010 • London based Digital Analytics Consultancy • GA & GTM Certified Partner • Merging with AEP Convert to form LeapThree • Support with Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics • Services from Set-up to CRO, Personalisation and Data Strategy • Work with clients of all sizes and across all sectors • Founder of MeasureCamp • Co-founder of MeasureBowling @peter_oneill
  • 3. Quick explanation of this session • I originally was going to give 10 Google Analytics tips/tricks/hacks but decided that wasn’t enough • Now targeting 25 within what is left of my 30 minutes • Some are basic, some are advanced • They cover business principles, Google Analytics set-up, reporting and analysis • If one is boring or not relevant – give it a minute… @peter_oneill
  • 4. Before you open Google Analytics @peter_oneill
  • 5. Understand the purpose of Digital Analytics1 @peter_oneill  To provide intelligence that informs business actions leading to an improvement in performance for online organisations Photo Credit: HikingArtist.com via Compfight cc
  • 6. Create a Google Analytics solution for non analysts • Do not create a Google Analytics set- up for yourself • That only you understand • Ensure that everyone can understand the reports • They are the people who have to use the information • No abbreviations or only being able to access information by combining multiple custom dimensions 2 @peter_oneill
  • 7. Invest time to understand information needs • Talk to people, talk to all the end users of Google Analytics data • Understand the decisions they are making and actions they are taking • Write down a plan for all the information you need to capture in Google Analytics 3 @peter_oneill Know what you need to know
  • 8. Track the most useful information first • Basic – basic page tags only • Core – macro conversion actions and critical information on visitors/content • Silver – micro conversion actions and directly usable information on visitors/content • Gold – tracking of non critical features and interesting information on visitors/content • Platinum – integrated data across multiple data sources 4 @peter_oneill 5 Platinum 4 Gold 3 Silver 2 Core 1 Basic
  • 9. Be creative within your Google Analytics solution • One of the biggest barriers to getting value from Google Analytics is Creativity • You need to think of the data to capture before it can be tracked • What information is needed to inform business questions/actions?? • You can capture • the weather • how many product sizes are in stock • how long until a subscription expires • whether the holiday booking people are looking for is during school holidays • This information is not out of the box 5 @peter_oneill
  • 11. Record the Page URL and the Page Referrer • Always record in a content grouping or hit based custom dimension 1. the full URL of the page being viewed 2. the referrer to this page • Key use is identifying the cause of 404 error pages • URL that generated error • referrer to that page • Create a custom report to display this information • Use to identify & fix broken links on your and 3rd party websites 6 @peter_oneill
  • 12. Record the number of search results returned • Record the number of search results in a custom dimension • Key use is to identify search terms with ZERO search results • Fix it so people can find what they were looking for • Or identify a new business opportunity 7 @peter_oneill
  • 13. Record Form Validation errors • Record the form name, field name and error message in hit scoped custom dimensions • Create a custom report to identify cause of form errors • Understand where users are having issues • Or where your developer needs to adjust their settings 8 @peter_oneill
  • 15. Use all 5 Google Analytics campaign parameters • There are five campaign parameters available to you – use them all • Ignore variable names, treat as a hierarchy • Capture the granularity of campaigns • Example – Email • type of email (promotional or operational) • email category OR distribution list • name of email • email campaign OR date email sent • link identifier • Bonus – if need more parameters, using session scoped custom dimensions and populate using View filters 9 @peter_oneill
  • 16. Tell your vendors to add GA campaign parameters • Many companies STILL don’t use campaign tracking • Especially crazy when paying for a service such as emails, display ads & affiliates • In nearly every case, the vendor can flick a switch to add Google Analytics campaign tracking • Tell them to do so • If they say they can’t or there is a fee, then their solution is not that advanced or they are trying to hide your data from you • I recommend switching to their competitor 10 @peter_oneill
  • 17. Don’t forget GA campaign tracking for Social Media • Companies don’t worry about tracking social media • Their comment “it appears as a referrer in Google Analytics” • My response “only if the visitor clicks through from the website and there is no redirect” • If visitors click through that the Facebook, Twitter, etc apps, no referrer is recorded • It appears to be Direct traffic • You don’t get full credit for your work • Please, invest the time & track social links 11 @peter_oneill
  • 19. Create GA goals for negative experiences • Goals can be about negative website experiences • Create a goal for viewing 404 Error pages • Create a goal for experiencing Form Validation errors • If “Goal Completion Rate” is above X%, take action • Set own limit but should be below 5% 12 @peter_oneill
  • 20. Create a GA goal for All Sessions • This is a method to get a Last Click sessions report • Create a goal for “All Sessions” – it is a destination goal which “begins with /” 13 @peter_oneill • Select the Assisted Conversion report within Multi-Channel Funnels • Select “All Sessions” Goal as the Conversion for the report • The “Last Click” metric now represents sessions • The report displays last click sessions by Channel (or medium or source or anything else)
  • 21. Create a goal for each funnel checkpoint • There appears to be a backlash against funnels but they are still very useful • Goal funnels can’t be segmented • Instead create a goal for each checkpoint • This generates a horizontal funnel • Can then view funnel for all dimensions values within any report • Use to identify differences in performance 14 @peter_oneill
  • 22. Create Calculated Metrics for each funnel stage • Better still, use Calculated Metrics to calculate completion rates for each funnel stage • Use the goals already created, create calculated metrics based on goalY / goalX • Create custom reports with these calculated metrics to show progress through the funnel at each stage, allowing you to compare across dimension values • http://www.l3analytics.com/2015/11/03/a-powerful-use-case-for-ga-calculated- metrics/ 15 @peter_oneill
  • 23. More useful information to capture @peter_oneill
  • 24. Rename your pages in Google Analytics16 @peter_oneill • Page names must be: 1. Unique 2. Hierarchical 3. Intuitive • Page names based on URLs often don’t meet these rules • They are default to the CMS or designed for SEO purposes • Rename all your pages in the tags you send to Google Analytics • Make them as useful and user friendly as possible
  • 25. Record the type of each page • While renaming pages, group them • Capture the “Page Type” as a Content Grouping in Google Analytics • This can be used to understand website Entry Points • Will come back to this point later • Or for understanding website navigation at an aggregated level • E.g. click from Product List A to ANY product page 17 @peter_oneill
  • 26. Record the type of visitor • The best possible segmentation is for different types of visitor • So capture if each visitor is a prospect or a customer in a session scoped custom dimension • Use to compare performance for known customers vs people discovering you 18 @peter_oneill • This is complicated to set up, full instructions in this blog post • http://www.l3analytics.com/2016/01/18/understanding-your-website-visitors-prospects- vs-customers/ • Can extend to different segments of customers e.g. loyal customers vs discount shoppers
  • 27. Record Product Availability • People can’t buy what is not available • Record the % of product variations that are in stock on a product page • E.g. • Product A has 7% availability (1 out of 14 sizes) • Product B has 29% availability • Product C has 75% availability • Product D has 100% availability • Product Availability is a common reason for product underperformance and lost sales 19 @peter_oneill Product A Product C Product D Product B
  • 28. Record the basket value in a Custom Metric • One frustrating aspect of Enhanced Ecommerce is it doesn’t expose basket value or any price data prior to purchase • Record in a product scoped custom metric • Value of products added to basket • Value of products removed from basket as a negative value • Value of products in a transaction as a negative value • This custom metric gives you the value of Abandoned Baskets • Share with senior management • Caveat that this value doesn’t calculate quite right for purchases across sessions 20 @peter_oneill Photo Credit: gabriella szekely
  • 30. My favourite report – pivot Entry Point vs Medium • Landing Page report, switch to Page Type content grouping as primary dimension, pivoted against Medium (would prefer Channel) with a quality metric such as Bounce Rate or Conversion Rate as a second pivot metric • If you can’t find insights here, you are not looking hard enough! 21 @peter_oneill
  • 31. Create a Performance Diagnostic report • Each row is a different metric, each column is a different segment • Look for the bugs and the opportunities using internal benchmarks • An online version of this is currently in beta – http://profitgrid.io/ 22 @peter_oneill
  • 32. Create a tactical report for Ecommerce A. Most popular product B. The money maker C. Something is wrong D. Another issue here E. Opportunity product, make more visible 23 @peter_oneill
  • 33. Create a tactical report for Publishers/Content • Article #2 • Popular • Not very effective • Access via other sites • Article #11 • Less popular • High reads, shares & comments • Access via internal links 24 @peter_oneill
  • 35. Hit based segmentation is possible!! • Hit based segmentation is a missing feature in Google Analytics but it is possible • This is for scenarios like • Category – video interaction • Event - <name of interaction e.g. play, pause, watch 50%, watch 75%, complete> • Label - <video name> • If create Segment A, it returns all sessions where the visitor saw 75% of a video AND had an interaction with “Product A Video” • Using Segment B, it returns all sessions where the visitor saw 75% of a video AND had an interaction with “Product A Video” in a single GA hit e.g. saw 75% of “Product A Video” 25 @peter_oneill Segment A Segment B
  • 36. THANK YOU @peter_oneill I can be found at • peter.oneill@leapthree.com • @peter_oneill • +44 7843 617 347 • www.linkedin.com/in/peteroneill