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Google Analytics, 3rd Edition

Google Analytics, 3rd Edition

Jerri L. Ledford, Joe Teixeira, Mary E. Tyler

ISBN: 978-1-118-08159-4

Feb 2011

432 pages



Get the most out of the free Google Analytics service—and get more customers

Google Analytics allows you to discover vital information about how end users interact with their Web sites by collecting vital data and providing tools to analyze it, with the intention of improving the end-user experience and, ultimately converting users into customers. This indispensible guide delves into the latest updates to the newest version of Google Analytics—3.0—and explains the concepts behind this amazing free tool.

You'll discover what information to track, how to choose the right goals and filters, techniques for reading Google Analytics reports and graphs, and, most importantly, how to compile this data and use it to improve your Web site and attract more potential customers.

  • Takes an in-depth look at Google Analytics 3.0 and walks you through the possibilities it offers
  • Explains how to read Google Analytics reports and graphs so that you can compile this data and use it to improve your Web site and attract more users
  • Shares techniques for converting end users into customers
  • Features tips and suggestions for getting the information you need from Google Analytics reports and then converting that information into actionable tasks you can use

With Google Analytics, Third Edition, you&'ll be well on your way to retrieving the information you need to convert visitors to your site into customers!

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

Introduction xxiii

Part I Getting Started with Google Analytics 1

Chapter 1 What’s New in Google Analytics 3

Two Years Equals Lots of Changes 3

Betas Galore 5

Custom Reporting 5

Advanced Segmenting 5

Motion Charts 6

Chapter 2 Why Analytics? 9

What Are Analytics? 10

Collecting Raw Data 10

Measurement Techniques 13

How Did Google Analytics Come to Be? 14

What Can Google Analytics Do for Me? 15

What Google Analytics Is Not 16

Chapter 3 Creating Your Analytics Account 17

First, You Need a Google Account 17

Signing Up for Google Analytics 19

Adding Tracking Code to Your Pages 22

Google Analytics on Secure Pages (https) 24

The Easy Way 24

The Hard Way 25

Understanding the Tracking Code 26

Checking Tracking Status 27

Navigating Analytics 30

Chapter 4 The Settings Dashboard 35

Analytics Settings 35

Web-Site Profiles 37

Adding a Profile 38

Checking Status 40

Editing a Profile Name 41

Starring and Sorting Web-Site Profiles 42

Editing Profile Settings 43

Deleting a Profile 45

User Management 46

Adding a User 47

Setting User Permissions 48

Deleting a User 49

Chapter 5 Account Dashboard Basics 51

Navigating from the Dashboard 51

Standard Dashboard Modules 52

Interacting with the Site Usage Report 55

Adding Reports 58

Deleting Reports 60

Sorting Data with Segmentation 61

Enabling Segmentation 62

Creating Custom Segments 62

Working with Date Ranges 66

Using the Calendar 67

Comparing Ranges 68

Using the Timeline 69

Part II Analytics and Site Statistics: Concepts and Methods 71

Chapter 6 E-commerce Concepts and Methods 73

What Works in E-commerce 73

Understanding Your Customers 75

What Measurements Matter 76

Chapter 7 Basic Metrics and Concepts 79

Identifying People and Not-People 79

Visits and Visitor Metrics 81

Hits vs. Pages 81

Visits, Unique Visits, and New Visits 82

New, Returning, and Repeat Visits 83

Visit Duration 85

Bounces and Single-Page Visits 86

Traffic Metrics 87

Direct Traffic, Referrers, and Referring URLs 87

Keywords and Phrases 88

Chapter 8 Setting Up E-commerce 91

Enabling E-commerce within Your Profile(s) 92

The Google Analytics E-commerce Code 93

General E-commerce Coding Guidelines 94

E-commerce Tracking on Subdomains and Separate (Third-Party) Domains 98

Tracking E-commerce on Subdomains 99

Tracking E-commerce on Separate/Third-Party Domains 99

A Few Important Notes about Tracking E-commerce on Third-Party Domains 101

E-commerce Tracking with Google Checkout; Other E-commerce Platforms 102

Tracking Other E-commerce Platforms 104

Part III Advanced Implementation 107

Chapter 9 Advanced Dashboard Features 109

Creating Special-Purpose Dashboards 110

User Access to Dashboards 111

Sharing Your Dashboard Information 111

Suggested Dashboards for Specific Roles 111

Executive 112

Marketing 114

Webmaster 114

Small Business 117

Content Site 117

E-commerce Site 120

Local Business Only 120

Creating Custom Reports 123

How the Report Is Created 123

Editing and Managing Custom Reports 127

Chapter 10 Filtering Analytics Data 129

Using Filters to Further Segment Visitors 129

A Short Lesson in Regular Expressions 132

A Slightly Longer Lesson on Regular Expressions 134

Matching an IP Address 135

Matching a Directory Name 135

Matching a Variable Name/Value Pair 137

Managing Filters 140

Creating New Filters 140

Custom Filters 144

Advanced Filters 149

Creating Advanced Filters 149

Improve Your SEO/CPC Reporting with Filters 155

Organic Traffic Only 155

Editing and Deleting Filters 157

The Power of Filters 158

Chapter 11 Setting Goals 159

Understanding Goal-Setting 160

Why Set Goals? 161

Choosing Which Goals To Set 162

Monetizing Goals 163

Content-Site Goals 164

Tracking Dynamic Pages 170

Setting Up Goals 173

Choosing the Right Goal Information 175

Editing and Inactivating Goals 176

Measuring Goals That Result in Conversions 177

Goals Overview 178

Total Conversions 180

Conversion Rate 181

Goal Verification 183

Reverse Goal Path 183

Goal Value 185

And a Couple More… 186

Chapter 12 Funneling Visitors to Their Destination 187

What’s a Funnel and Why Is It Important? 188

Establishing Funnels 190

Creating Standard Funnels 190

Creating Nonstandard Funnels 195

Funnel Quirks 196

Tracking Funnel Results 197

Goal Abandoned Funnels 197

Funnel Visualization 199

Chapter 13 Google AdWords Integration 201

Why Sync in the First Place? 201

Syncing Your Google AdWords and Analytics Accounts 202

You Have Neither an AdWords Nor an Analytics Account 203

You Have an AdWords Account, but Not an Analytics Account 204

You Have an Analytics Account, but Not an AdWords Account 205

You Have Both an AdWords and an Analytics Account 205

Special Cases and the GCLID 205

Tracking E-mail, Banner, and Other Non-AdWords Marketing 206

Putting It All Together 207

Notes and Tips about URL Tagging 208

The Google Analytics URL Builder 209

The AdWords Report Section 210

The AdWords Campaigns Report 210

The Difference between a Visit and a Click 213

The Keyword Positions Report 213

The TV Campaigns Report 214

Other Reports Displaying AdWords and Non-AdWords Data 216

Chapter 14 Hacking Google Analytics 219

A Review of Subdomain/Cross-Domain Tracking 219

Tracking Subdomains 220

Tracking Multiple Domains 220

Tracking Multiple Subdomains and Multiple Domains 221

Setting up Duplicate Profiles 222

Why Create Duplicate Profiles? 224

Filtering Out Internal Traffic 225

Excluding a Single IP Address 225

Excluding Two (or More) IP Addresses 225

Excluding a Range of IP Addresses 226

Excluding Internal Traffic That Uses Dynamic IP Addresses 227

Other Neat (Advanced) Filters 228

Writing the Hostname in Front of the Request URI 228

Appending the Source after the Campaign 229

Three-Step Filter: Adding Campaign Source,

Visitor Country, and Campaign Term to the Transaction ID 230

Tracking Google Search Engine Rankings 231

Tracking PDF (and Other) File Downloads 232

Tracking PDF/Downloadable Files as Content 233

Setting Up Goals for Your Downloadable Files 233

Customizations with the Google Analytics Tracking Code 234

Tracking Virtual Page Views 234

Tracking Two Accounts Simultaneously 235

Custom Segmentation (User-Defined) 236

Modifying the Session Timeout 236

Modifying the Campaign Conversion Timeout 237

Modifying Conversion Attribution (Last to First) 237

Using the Anchor (#) Symbol in Destination URLs 238

Recognizing ‘Nonstandard’ URL Query Parameters 238

Counting Keywords and Referring Sites as ‘Direct’ Traffic 239

Setting the Cookie Path to a Subdirectory 239

Controlling Data Collection Settings 240

Tracking a New Organic Search Engine 240

Tracking Coupons and Discounts (E-commerce) 241

Tracking Social Media 241

Part IV The Reports 243

Chapter 15 Analyzing Visitors 245

Visitors Overview 246

Visitors 247

Visitor Segmentation 249

Technical Profile 250

Benchmarking 251

What’s Collected and Why It’s Needed 252

How Accurate Is Benchmarking? 253

Enabling Benchmarking on Your Site 253

Map Overlay 255

New vs. Returning 257

Languages 258

Visitor Trending 259

Visits 260

Absolute Unique Visitors 260

Page Views 265

Average Page Views 266

Time on Site 268

Bounce Rate 269

Visitor Loyalty 271

Loyalty 271

Recency 272

Length of Visit 273

Depth of Visit 274

Browser Capabilities 275

Browser 276

Operating System 278

Browser and Operating System 279

Screen Colors 280

Screen Resolution 280

Flash Version 281

Java Support 282

Network Properties 284

Network Location 285

Hostnames 286

Connection Speeds 287

User Defined 288

Adding a Variable 289

What to Segment 290

Chapter 16 Traffic Sources 293

What Traffic Analysis Can Tell You 293

Traffic Sources Overview 294

Direct Traffic 296

Referring Sites 297

Search Engines 299

All Traffic Sources 300

AdWords 303

AdWords Campaigns 304

Keyword Positions 308

TV Campaigns 310

Keywords 311

Campaigns 314

Source 317

Medium 317

Ad Versions 318

A/B Testing 319

URL Builder 320

Chapter 17 Content Overview 323

Determining the Value of Web-Site Content 324

Content Overview 324

Navigation Analysis 325

Landing Page Optimization 329

Click Patterns 330

Additional Content Reports 331

Top Content 331

Content by Title 333

Content Drilldown 334

Top Landing Pages 335

Top Exit Pages 337

Site Overlay 338

And One More… 340

Chapter 18 Site Search 341

Configuring Your Profile(s) 341

What If I’m Not Using Google Site Search? 343

What If I’m Not Using Any Search Tool? 344

Site Search Overview (Metrics) 345

Site Search Reports 347

The Usage Report 347

The Search Terms Report 348

Start Pages and Destination Pages Reports 350

The Categories Report 351

The Trending Report 351

The Philosophy of Site Search 352

Why Are People Searching on My Web Site in the First Place? 354

Chapter 19 Event Tracking 357

Why Bother with Event Tracking? 357

Implementing Event Tracking 358

The Event Tracking Module 359

Implicit Count: What It Is and What You Need to Know 360

Does Event Tracking Affect Bounce Rate? 361

Are There Any Limitations on What I Can Track? 361

Tracking File Downloads as Events 362

Can Events Be Tracked as Goals? 363

Event Tracking Reports 363

The Event Tracking Overview Report 363

The Event Tracking Categories Report 364

The Event Tracking Actions Report 365

The Event Tracking Labels Report 366

The Event Tracking Trending Report 367

The Event Tracking Hostnames Report 367

Using Events in Advanced Segments 369

Chapter 20 E-Commerce Tracking 371

Ecommerce Overview 372

Total Revenue 373

Conversion Rate 375

Average Order Value 376

Product Performance 377

Product Overview 379

Product SKUs 380

Categories 382

Transactions 383

Visits to Purchase 385

Days to Purchase 386

Appendix A Where To Go from Here 389

Google Resources 389

Navigating Google Help Files 390

Conversion University 391

Searching Help Files 391

Google Analytics Forums 392

Google Analytics Blogs 392

Index 395