Getting Started with Google Analytics Guide

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Google Analytics is a way of life and provides a great amount of free resources. Question is, do you know how to properly add the correct reports to get the most out of the data provided? This quick guide will set you on the path to leveraging all that Google Analytics has to offer.

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    HomeHome | | Getting started with Google AnalyticsGetting started with Google Analytics

    Getting started with Google AnalyticsPaul | December 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

    Im certainly no expert at Google Analytics, but recognize that many people and businesses use it as their tool of choice for reporting. I also happen to be friends with one of the best keptsecrets of someone who really knows their stuff when it comes to all things GA.

    Recently, with so many clients choosing to commit fully to GA, I thought it would be a good move on my part to make sure I can stay on top of all the things I needed to know. I dropped Alexan email asking him four simple questions, but what I got back was a plethora of information that I feel is great stuff that everyone should know at a basic level.

    So here goes:

    QUESTION ONE: Are there any blogs/sites that I should read on a regular basis?

    Ours of course! Luna Metrics BlogOfficial blog: Google Analytics BlogTwo major thought leaders (who now work for Google):

    Avinash KaushikJustin Cutroni

    Big blogs in industry:

    Kiss MetricsCardinal PathAnalytics ProsSearch Engine Watch Analytics

    QUESTION TWO: Are there any pre-built reports that I should always have?

    There is now a whole new gallery of reports that other people have built for the Customization section of GA.Youll find this gallery here: GA Report Gallery

    I would go and create a bunch of custom Advanced Segments that you know youre always going to use. Always create a segment for your branded/non-branded Paid keywords. (Makesure that AdWords is connected properly between GA and AdWords.)Also, create segments for specific referrals that you care about, or specific host names if there are more than one website tracking into the same property.

    QUESTION THREE: Are there certain things I should always look for in GA?

    As mentioned, make sure that AdWords is connected and sharing the right data. Make sure that you have a view (profile) that is just for unfiltered data, and I always create a view for

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    testing. This way you can experiment with advanced filters without breaking anything in your historic data.

    Also, youll want to make sure that at least some Goals are turned on! So many people use GA without having Goals setup. And Goals can have values if you dont have an actual value,just make one up! It enables a few more metrics in the reports like Page Value, which can be a great comparison metric.

    Make sure site search is turned on for your website and that you dont have self-refferals going on.Make sure that if you have multiple domains tracking into the same property, that you prepend the host name to the page paths, using an advanced filter. Youll find plenty of information abouthow to do that if you Google prepend host name advanced filter GA, or something similar.

    You might not have to do it though, so ONLY do it if you have multiple page paths showing up as /, for example, when you have the host name secondary dimension applied in the pagepath report.

    Make sure that youre properly filtering out your internal traffic, and that you are lower casing all your page paths and (probably) campaign information.

    Test out your filters in the test view before you take the dive with the main view.

    QUESTION FOUR: Are there certain nuances about GA that I need to know about that only experience can tell?

    Sure there are! A big one is to understand the conceptual difference between the Audience/Acquisition reports, which are based on visits/sessions, and the Behavior reports, which arebased on page views. Also, understand that Advanced Segments are based on sessions, which means that when you create an advanced segment that says, traffic only to this page,youll actually be seeing visits that included traffic to that page. Its an important distinction a lot of people get wrong.

    Finally, you need to understand sampling, especially since youre dealing with large websites. Understand what it is, how it changes your data, and techniques to avoid seeing sampling inyour reports.

    Check here for more info: Solutions to Google Analytics Sampling Problems

    Thanks again to Alex for providing this great insight on how a someone can quickly ramp up, know where to go in order to stay current with what is going on in GA Land, and know what tolook for when creating a report GREAT STUFF!

    Related Posts:Googles Real Time Google Analytics, Um, Not Really.Ranking Is A DECISIONTransparent with my SEO Strategies? Bullshit!How Human Raters Affect Your Rankings in GoogleSometimes, Even a Number One Ranking in Google isnt Enough to Keep Your Client

    Tags: Google, Google Analytics

    Category: Google, SEO, Traffic

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    Getting started with Google AnalyticsIm certainly no expert at Google Analytics, but recognize that many people and businesses use it as their tool of choice for reporting. I also happen to be friends with one of the best keptsecrets of someone who really knows their stuff when it comes to all things GA. Recently, with so many clients []

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