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Google Analytics Crash Course

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

Google Analytics Crash Course

  1. 1. Google Analytics Crash Course 25 Tips/Tricks/Hacks in 30 minutes @peter_oneill
  2. 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. 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. 4. Before you open Google Analytics @peter_oneill
  5. 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: via Compfight cc
  6. 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. 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. 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. 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
  10. 10. Useful information to capture @peter_oneill
  11. 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. 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. 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
  14. 14. Google Analytics campaign tracking @peter_oneill
  15. 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. 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. 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
  18. 18. Google Analytics configuration @peter_oneill
  19. 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. 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. 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. 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 • metrics/ 15 @peter_oneill
  23. 23. More useful information to capture @peter_oneill
  24. 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. 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. 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 • vs-customers/ • Can extend to different segments of customers e.g. loyal customers vs discount shoppers
  27. 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. 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
  29. 29. Useful reports @peter_oneill
  30. 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. 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 – 22 @peter_oneill
  32. 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. 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
  34. 34. One to go… @peter_oneill
  35. 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. 36. THANK YOU @peter_oneill I can be found at • • @peter_oneill • +44 7843 617 347 •
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25 Google Analytics tips, tricks and hacks that were presented as part of the ObservePoint Analytics Summit conference.


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