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Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact




Google Analytics Breakthrough: From Zero to Business Impact

Feras Alhlou, Shiraz Asif, Eric Fettman

ISBN: 978-1-119-23169-1 August 2016 624 Pages

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A complete, start-to-finish guide to Google Analytics instrumentation and reporting

Google Analytics Breakthrough is a much-needed comprehensive resource for the world's most widely adopted analytics tool. Designed to provide a complete, best-practices foundation in measurement strategy, implementation, reporting, and optimization, this book systematically demystifies the broad range of Google Analytics features and configurations. Throughout the end-to-end learning experience, you'll sharpen your core competencies, discover hidden functionality, learn to avoid common pitfalls, and develop next-generation tracking and analysis strategies so you can understand what is helping or hindering your digital performance and begin driving more success.

Google Analytics Breakthrough offers practical instruction and expert perspectives on the full range of implementation and reporting skills:

  • Learn how to campaign-tag inbound links to uncover the email, social, PPC, and banner/remarketing traffic hiding as other traffic sources and to confidently measure the ROI of each marketing channel
  • Add event tracking to capture the many important user interactions that Google Analytics does not record by default, such as video plays, PDF downloads, scrolling, and AJAX updates
  • Master Google Tag Manager for greater flexibility and process control in implementation
  • Set up goals and Enhanced Ecommerce tracking to measure performance against organizational KPIs and configure conversion funnels to isolate drop-off
  • Create audience segments that map to your audience constituencies, amplify trends, and help identify optimization opportunities
  • Populate custom dimensions that reflect your organization, your content, and your visitors so Google Analytics can speak your language
  • Gain a more complete view of customer behavior with mobile app and cross-device tracking
  • Incorporate related tools and techniques: third-party data visualization, CRM integration for long-term value and lead qualification, marketing automation, phone conversion tracking, usability, and A/B testing
  • Improve data storytelling and foster analytics adoption in the enterprise

Millions of organizations have installed Google Analytics, including an estimated 67 percent of Fortune 500 companies, but deficiencies plague most implementations, and inadequate reporting practices continue to hinder meaningful analysis. By following the strategies and techniques in Google Analytics Breakthrough, you can address the gaps in your own still set, transcend the common limitations, and begin using Google Analytics for real competitive advantage.

Critical contributions from industry luminaries such as Brian Clifton, Tim Ash, Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, and Jim Sterne – and a foreword by Avinash Kaushik – enhance the learning experience and empower you to drive consistent, real-world improvement through analytics.

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Author(s) xv

About the Contributors xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Why This Book? 1

Who Should Read This Book? 4

Chapter Summary 4

Get Started 7

Chapter 2 Google Analytics Reporting Overview: User Characteristics and Behavior 9

Google Analytics Reporting: User Characteristics and Behavior 10

Dimensions and Metrics 30

Real-Time Reports 43

Key Takeaways 45

Actions and Exercises 46

Chapter 3 Measurement Strategy 47

Objective: Business Impact 47

Measurement Plan 51

Six Steps for Analytics Effectiveness 53

Key Takeaways 58

Actions and Exercises 58

Chapter 4 Account Creation and Tracking Code Installation 59

Creating a Google Analytics Account 59

Google Analytics Account Structure 64

Installing the Tracking Code 66

Key Takeaways 88

Actions and Exercises 89

Chapter 5 Google Tag Manager Concepts 91

Google Tag Manager Concepts 92

Benefits of Google Tag Manager 95

Creating a Google Tag Manager Account and Container 98

Deploying Google Analytics through Google Tag Manager 100

Access Rights 105

Migrating to Google Tag Manager from Native Tracking 108

GTM Environments 109

Key Takeaways 122

Actions and Exercises 122

Chapter 6 Events, Virtual Pageviews, Social Actions, and Errors 125

The Need for Event Tracking 126

Event Tracking in GTM 134

Virtual Pageviews 147

Tracking Google Analytics Events through the Google Tag Manager Data Layer and Custom Event Trigger 155

Tracking Social Interactions 164

Error Tracking 173

Key Takeaways 180

Actions and Exercises 182

Chapter 7 Acquisition Reports 183

Acquisition Terminology and Concepts 183

Campaign Tracking: Google Analytics Needs Your Help for Attribution 188

Channel Customizations 202

Tracking Organic Traffic 208

Key Takeaways 219

Actions and Exercises 220

Chapter 8 Goal and Ecommerce Tracking 221

Goal Tracking 221

Ecommerce Tracking 243

Multi-Channel Funnel Reports 270

Integrating with Third-Party Shopping Carts 279

Key Takeaways 281

Actions and Exercises 283

Chapter 9 View Settings, View Filters, and Access Rights 285

Why Do We Need Multiple Views? 285

Best Practice: Working, Test, and Unfiltered Views 287

View Settings 287

View Filters 294

Access Rights 305

Change History 309

Trash Can 310

Key Takeaways 310

Actions and Exercises 311

Chapter 10 Segments 313

Segment to Focus and Amplify 313

Mapping Customer Constituencies as Custom Segments 325

Sampling 332

Segments versus Filtered Views 334

Key Takeaways 335

Actions and Exercises 336

Chapter 11 Dashboards, Custom Reports, and Intelligence Alerts 339

Dashboards 339

Custom Reports 342

Shortcuts 347

Intelligence Alerts 348

Annotations 352

Key Takeaways 353

Actions and Exercises 354

Chapter 12 Implementation Customizations 355

Custom Dimensions 355

Content Grouping 366

Custom Metrics 369

Calculated Metrics 371

Demographics and Interests 373

Enhanced Link Attribution 374

Tracking Info Customizations 375

Cross-Domain and Roll-Up Reporting 378

Cross-Device Tracking with User ID 386

Key Takeaways 397

Actions and Exercises 397

Chapter 13 Mobile App Measurement 399

Tracking Mobile Apps 399

Why Is Mobile Important 399

Mobile Strategies 400

What to Measure 401

Mobile Configuration in Google Analytics 403

Setting Up Google Analytics in Your App 404

Account Structure Best Practices in Mobile Properties 407

Real-time App Reporting 408

Integrations 410

Mobile Campaign Tracking 415

Mobile Privacy 421

Key Takeaways 427

Actions and Exercises 428

Chapter 14 Google Analytics Integrations—The Power of Together 429

AdWords 430

AdSense 444

YouTube in GA 447

Analytics 360 Integrations 448

Additional Integrations 448

Key Takeaways 451

Actions and Exercises 451

Chapter 15 Integrating Google Analytics with CRM Data 453

Long-Term Perspective 453

Calculating Cost per Qualified Lead 454

Joining Google Analytics and CRM Data with Visitor ID 463

Key Takeaways 475

Actions and Exercises 476

Chapter 16 Advanced Reporting and Visualization with Third-Party Tools 477

Framing the Issue: How to Get Data Out of GA 478

ETLV–The Full Reporting Automation Cycle 485

Advanced Use Cases for BigQuery/Tableau 488

Key Takeaways 501

Actions and Exercises 501

Chapter 17 Data Import and Measurement Protocol 503

Data Import 503

Measurement Protocol 520

Key Takeaways 528

Actions and Exercises 529

Chapter 18 Analytics 360 531

Why Analytics 360? 531

Increased Capacity 532

Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) 535

Analytics 360 Resources 547

Where to Buy—Resellers or Google Direct? 548

Key Takeaways 550

Actions and Exercises 550


Appendix A: Broadening Your Optimization Program 551

Qualitative Inputs 551

Overlay Reporting 558

Testing 559

Marketing Automation and Personalization 575

Appendix B: Resources 581

Index 585