KristaKrista Seiden

All articles by Krista

 

2016 Travel By The Numbers

2016 was QUITE the travel year! It was, by far, the most time I’ve ever spent on the road. Mileage-wise, it actually (surprisingly) doesn’t top 2014, and barely tops 2015, however, # of flights, days away, hotel nights, etc all do. I was blessed to spend 3.5 months straight in Asia this summer (if you missed the blog series about this, check it out here) where I combined an epic work trip with a lot of vacation to equal the trip of a lifetime. So the 2016 snapshot: Total miles flown: 107,920 miles via 67 flights on 20 different airlines visiting 20 different countries (outside of the airport). 7 of those 20 countries were net new for me, increasing my total number of countries visited to 54. Of that, I’d estimate that 60% was for business, 40% for
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China

After 2 weeks in Japan, I flew from Osaka to Shanghai for a whirlwind 2 weeks in China. That time would be spent as follows: 3 days in Shanghai, 4 in Beijing, 1 in Shanghai, and then 2 in Hong Kong. My team had me on a busy schedule! This will be a short post as I won’t go into too many boring details about work (check the other pages of this blog for work related content 😉 ). I arrived in Shanghai Monday morning and headed straight to the office to meet up with my local team, do a few prep meetings for the next 2 weeks, and meet with a client. It was a busy but productive first day. The best part, however, was the end of the day
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Step-by-Step: QA Your GTM Container with Preview and Debug Mode

Previously, I’ve showed you how to implement a basic Google Analytics page view tag, event tags, and outbound link tracking using Google Tag Manager. An important step prior to publishing any tag in GTM is to QA the tag prior to publishing. You can do this with the ‘Preview and Debug’ mode in GTM. This functionality can help ensure that your tags are firing correctly, as well as highlight any potential discrepancies in the tag setup prior to publishing to your production environment. This is a quick process that you can accomplish in just a few steps: Step 1: Setup your tag. In this case, I’m testing a new pageview tag called ‘gaPageview Test’ on this blog, kristaseiden.com. You can see the tag and trigger setup here: Step 2: Once you’ve completed the tag you’re working on, you’ll want to go into the ‘Preview and Debug’ mode via the button in the upper left hand corner of the
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Women in Tech: Working in a World of Unconscious Bias (and what you can do about it)

As #womenintech, #ILooklLikeAnEngineer, and prominent voices such as Anne-Marie Slaughter and Susan Wojcicki become more and more mainstream in everyday conversation, and the topic of equality in the workplace gains traction, I have to pause and reflect on how this growing movement of support for women’s equality has impacted me and those around me. As women, we have made huge strides since gaining the right to vote via the 19th amendment in 1920. I can’t sit down and write an article like this without a hat tip (or a bonnet tip) to the likes of Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and many other brave women who paved the way for women’s equality, dating as far back at the 1840’s. Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s with three older sisters and two
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Custom Funnels Joins the Periodic Table of Google Analytics!

A couple weeks ago I was in Australia for the Loves Data Analytics Conference and had a chance to chat with Jeff Sauer, better known as @Jeffalytics, about some of my favorite Google Analytics 360 reports. You may be familiar with Jeff’s Periodic Table of Google Analytics. I’m excited to say that I’ve added a new element, Custom Funnels. I’ve written about Custom Funnels before, and am always excited to share more about them, because they can be so powerful, especially for remarketing based on fallout from a determined path, such as a checkout funnel. Check out some of my thoughts in this video:   Watch @kristaseiden explain how to 📈🚀💪 make your #business #data speak volumes with @googleanalytics 3️⃣6️⃣0️⃣ feature – Custom Funnels! pic.twitter.com/BoNkUPxEX4 — Jeffalytics (@jeffalytics) November 11,
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Japan

After a week of vacation in Vietnam, I packed up all my things from the apartment I’d come to know and love in Singapore to live out of a suitcase in hotel rooms for the rest of my trip (6 more weeks). I left one Typhoon in North Vietnam to fly straight into another in Tokyo (literally, plane into Tokyo was re-routed due to Typhoon and what was supposed to be a 7 hour flight turned into a 13+ hour ordeal + 5 hours to get through immigration and to the hotel after Narita reopened). Off to a good start! Due to plane re-routing, I lost half a day of work in Tokyo, which meant that the remaining 4 days of my first week there were packed. Tuesday was spent
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How to Improve Engagement Tracking with Event Tracking

Better data enables better decision making, and it begins with how you track it – to provide more context to what’s already out there. Because by knowing more about the context, you’ll be better equipped and informed. When I’m interviewing prospective interns or senior roles for our marketing team and we get to questions about their knowledge of Google Analytics, I always ask them two questions to get a sense of their proficiency level: Have you worked with Advanced Segments Do you know how to use Event Tracking and can you explain how it works? To me, both are essential for getting a better sense of the data and the users on your site. With this post I’d like to explain the importance of Event Tracking and how we use
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Vietnam

This was a return to Vietnam for me. I’d been for ~9 days in December 2014 and visited Ho Chi Mihn City, the Mekong Delta and floating markets of Cai Bai, Phu Quoc Island, Hanoi, and Halong Bay. I knew when I left the last time that I’d be back – there was still so much to see and do and I had loved my time in Vietnam, so of course, when I had an opportunity to take a week off and go travel, I spent another ~9 days (2 weekends and a full week) there soaking up what I’d missed before. This time though, I was accompanied by my parents. They’d flown over from California to visit me in Singapore for a couple days, and then, per Dad’s request,
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Laos

Laos was a quick trip: only 3.5 days over a long weekend. Given the short timeline, I picked just one location, Luang Prabang (hereafter, LP), to settle down for a few days to do some exploring and soak in the Laotian culture. LP is a very cute, quaint little SE Asian town that feels nothing like other ‘big’ cities in Asia (I’d compare it to Chiang Mai in Thailand but it’s really nothing like it). Getting off the plane in LP (coming from a couple days of work in Bangkok), it felt like a breath of fresh air. LP has none of the hustle and bustle of other cities, but all of the charm. I didn’t have a place booked when I got to LP, and figured I’d walk around
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Reflecting on 4 Years at Google

Reflection is part of growth. Looking back and examining what has gone by, what has been accomplished, where I’ve fallen short, and where I still need to improve is an important exercise to move forward. This morning, I read back through my blog post reflecting on my first year at Google, and I was surprised to remember how much happened in that first year. It made me think about all that’s happened since, and most recently, this past year at the Goog. I’m writing this post while on vacation in the Philippines, at the tail end of a quarter long assignment to work in Asia. If that one sentence doesn’t sum up the adventure that the past 4 years has brought me, I don’t know what can. To hear more
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Indonesia

Over the course of the 5 weeks I lived in Singapore, I spent collective almost 2 weeks of that time in Indonesia via weekend trips and work in Jakarta. One of the cool things about living in Singapore is that you can say things like “I’m going to Bali for the weekend”. I did spend a weekend in Bali, as well as weekends in Mt. Bromo, Yogyakarta, and Lombok. What an adventure! Indonesia is perhaps my favorite place outside of Singapore that I’ve had the pleasure to spend time in while abroad (at least so far). It’s incredibly varied, with each location looking and feeling different from the next. Each different destination offered something unique and incredible, and I’m excited to share all of the wonderful and fun things I
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Using GA Attribution Reports to Optimize Ad Spend

Over the past couple of months, I have spoken several times to a variety of audiences about Attribution, specifically about using the Attribution reports in Google Analytics. It’s a topic that doesn’t get a lot of spotlight even though the insights and findings can help you to significantly influence Return on Ad Spend (ROAS hereafter) for integrated ad campaigns from DoubleClick and AdWords. You might be questioning me when I say this topic ‘doesn’t get a lot of spotlight’, because yes, Attribution is a major buzzword and if you’ve been at any analytics conference in the past 5 years you’re sure to have had your fill of hearing it. What I mean though, is that we don’t often hear much about actually using these reports, from an analyst’s perspective. So
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Singapore

After 3 weeks of backpacking across Myanmar and Thailand, it was time to settle into Singapore to kick off working in Asia-Pacific (APAC). I must admit, arriving in Singapore was a bit of a burst of fresh air (????) after living the backpacker life and traveling from one place to the next every couple of days. I had a beautiful furnished apartment at One Shenton, an awesome high rise apartment building in the middle of the Downtown Core, and conveniently, right across the street from my office which was located in Asia Square. Singapore is a magical little place, because it is at the epicenter of business in Asia, it’s English speaking, it has so many different cultures leading to a very wide variety of food & entertainment, and a
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Thailand

So far I’ve been pretty awful at blogging as I go along on my travels. It’s been several weeks (well, several since I started writing this post, several more since finishing) since I spent 2 weeks exploring Thailand, though I was just back in Bangkok a few weeks ago for a couple of days of work, so here goes my best recollections of those wonderful 2 weeks exploring northern Thailand and the Andaman coast. I flew from Yangon, Myanmar, to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where I thought I was going to settle in for ~4 days before heading to Pai for another 2 days, but things didn’t work out quite as intended, so I spent just one day in Chiang Mai to start. I arrived in Chiang Mai on a Sunday,
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Myanmar

When I decided to start my 3.5 month Asia trip in Myanmar, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Myanmar was a country I knew very little about, and it wasn’t until talking to a friend from home who had recently been that I got a vague sense of what I might see or do there. Big thanks to Marshall for helping me figure out where to go, what not to miss, and providing his travel guide for my use so I could have a solid grounding to begin my trip. Myanmar is very different than any other Asian country I’ve been to (previously Indonesia (Bali only), Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, and now writing this from Thailand). It has none of the built up tourist infrastructure of these other destinations, and
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A/B Testing Dried Mangoes for Fun and Learning

Recently, a coworker brought back a bag of dried mangoes from the Philippines as a gift for me, telling me that they are the best dried mangoes in Southeast Asia (hereafter, SEA). This coworker happened to be from the Philippines and was for sure a bit biased in her opinion here… Another coworker sitting next to me overheard the convo and piped in, saying that everyone wants to claim that mangoes from their country are the best. Apparently, this was an ongoing and playfully heated convo in the office. I’ve been known to host data-driven social tasting events in Mountain View for the Google Analytics team, such as a Scotch tasting, Craft Beer and Guac-off, and Whiskey and baked goods. These events are always fun, get people talking and interacting,
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New Default Position for Widgets Added to a GA Dashboards!

Some time ago, a few analyst friends tweeted about wishing new widgets in Google Analytics dashboards could be added to the bottom by default rather than the top. As an analyst who has made and maintained MANY GA dashboards, I couldn’t agree more. By adding the widget to the top, the analyst is forced to immediately re-organize their dashboard widgets as they likely already had a particular setup they liked and the new widget disrupts that. Adding it to the bottom of the dashboard instead allows for easier customization and less user frustration. <— this was the justification I used when I submitted this feature request/change. Well, I’m SO excited to report that after a short wait (ok, a decent wait, but hey, we were busy building the Google Analytics
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Mixing Google Analytics Dimensions and Metrics

Following Krista’s excellent post on using secondary dimensions in Google Analytics, this post will explain the GA represents your data using its internal data model and why it’s important to understand this. You’ll see that certain combinations of metrics and dimensions don’t mean what you might think, and that some are actually completely invalid. We’ll cover examples of secondary dimensions and custom reports where seemingly sensible reports are invalid and how to spot and avoid these mistakes. Introduction We see the world through our eyes, we smell the world through our nose, we taste it in our mouths and we feel it in our finger-tips. We perceive the world using the same senses but, philosophically we have unique, individual perspectives when we think about the world and what it means
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Testing with a Rapid Optimization Plan

If you’ve ever set out to A/B test a whole site redesign, you must have come across the question of ‘What do we do if the new site, that we’ve spent so much time and money on, doesn’t win?’ That’s a fair question. A very fair one. In fact, if you are not asking yourself that question before starting down the road of testing a site redesign, you should reevaluate your testing plan, because it’s a very real possibility that the new site will not, in fact, perform better than the old one. That could happen for many reasons: users are used to your old site, and seeing a new one may be a jarring or disorienting experience to them you may have optimized the heck out of the old
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Segments – An Analyst’s Best Friend! Part 2: Secondary Dimensions

In part 1, I wrote about the details of Advanced Segments. They are incredibly powerful and will help you take your analysis to the next level. But as I mentioned in that article, when I think about segmentation, it comes in two forms in Google Analytics: 1. Advanced segments      a. Out of the box segments such as New vs Returning Users, Device Type, and traffic types      b. Custom Segments that you create 2. Secondary Dimensions In part 2, I’ll be going into details on Secondary Dimensions. So – the Who, What (for), When, Where, and How of Secondary Dimensions. Who: Anyone can use them, and you don’t need anything beyond user level permissions (basic permissions) to take full advantage of Secondary Dimensions. What: Similar to Advanced
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Segments – An Analyst’s Best Friend! Part 1

Advanced Segments are quite possibly the most powerful slice-and-dice tool available in Google Analytics. Recently, however, it came to my attention that even some of our biggest and most advanced users are not using/under-utilizing advanced segments! When I think about segmentation, it comes in two forms in Google Analytics: 1. Advanced segments Out of the box segments such as New vs Returning Users, Device Type, and traffic types Custom Segments that you create 2.Secondary Dimensions Because these are both large topics in and of themselves, I’ll be splitting this post into 2 parts. In part 1 I’ll talk about Advanced Segments, and part 2 will cover Secondary Dimensions. So – the Who, What (for), When, Where, and How of Advanced Segments: Who: Anyone can create them! Segments are created at
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2015 Travel by the Numbers

Happy New Years! Looking back on this past year, 2015 was another big year in travel. Once again, I’ve taken a look back at my 2015 travel numbers and with the help of TripIt have pulled together the stats to paint a story of my year. If you missed last years, you can see my 2014 Travel by the Numbers recap here. So the 2015 snapshot: Total miles flown: 104,740 miles via 62 flights flown through 34 airports on 11 different airlines visiting 7 different countries (outside of the airport). 4 of those 7 countries were net new for me, increasing my total number of countries visited to 47. Of that, I’d estimate that 70% was for business, 30% for pleasure – blurry due to a mix of both on some trips (but a slightly
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Data Driven Design

Designing a new website is a big task. You must take many things into consideration: ease of use & functionality, mobile responsiveness, content, flow, graphics, etc. On top of that, you need to ensure that all of the analytics tracking is properly setup and collecting the necessary data for you to report on success. With so many considerations, it’s important to look at what your users are already telling you about it’s ease of use and helpfulness before you begin to make decisions about how to redesign and change it. Key metrics to consider when thinking about a website redesign: – number of unique users & sessions in a given time period – top content by pageviews/events/goal conversions/etc – funnel success (newsletter signups, contact form submits, checkouts, etc) – device
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Podcast Guest: Jumpstart with Jeffalytics

A few weeks ago I had the chance to sit down (virtually) with an industry friend, Jeff Sauer, who is an expert in all things Google Analytics & AdWords and who has recently kicked off a podcast series he’s calling ‘Jumpstart with Jeffalytics’. I had the distinct honor of being guest #2 (after the Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin) for Jeff’s new podcast and now that it’s live I wanted to share Jeff’s recap of the episode as well as a link to where you can find the podcast. I had a great time chatting with Jeff and recording this session, and am humbled by his kind words of support throughout. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and friendship of industry peers such as Jeff and
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Three Google Analytics Features You Should Be Using Today

I run Google Analytics training workshops that take users from ‘never seen it before’ through to ‘grown up GA practitioner’. A key success metric for me is how many people answer ‘Yes’ when I ask if a certain piece of functionality is new to them. If folks are learning new things, this is good! I have certain ‘favourites’ when it comes to the new functionality question. These are not new but they are seldom used so they appear to be new. They’re certainly exciting because they add power to the product and streamline how users use it. They’re golden! Take a look at these three examples. Are these new to you? They’re easy to learn and will add new super-powers to your GA skills.   1: Keyboard Shortcuts You can
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Three Google Analytics Views You Should Use Today

I often get asked for recommendations and best practices for setting up a new Google Analytics property. How many views should we have? What are the best practices for types of views? You can have as many views as you want (ok not really, the cap is 25 views per property unless you have a special exception) and organize them however you want. That’s one of the cool things about GA – it’s super flexible to user needs & design.  BUT, I do recommend that you always have at least 3 views per property, such as the below: 1. RAW view: This is a view that does not have any filters or modifications added to it. You can use the standard ‘All Website Data’ view for this, but I’d suggest
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Three Google Analytics Filters You Should Be Using Today

In Google Analytics, filters provide a flexible way of modifying the data within each view of your analytics account. You can use them to exclude data, include data, or actually change how the data looks in your reports. Filters help you transform the data so it’s better aligned with your business needs. Google Analytics applies the filters from each view to the raw data collected from your website or app at the time of processing. The filtered data is what we then see in the reporting UI for each view. There are three filters that every analytics account should set up right away: spambot filtering, excluding internal IP addresses, and forcing all pages/referral sources to lower case. 1. Spambot Filtering This one is super easy because it’s a simple checkbox
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Custom Funnels – New in Google Analytics Premium

Of all of the reporting features that Google Analytics has launched in the past few years, I think this is, quite possibly, my favorite. Not just because it’s new and pretty, but because it fills a big big need for analysts: Define steps based on any dimension criteria. This means you can build funnels on the fly based on events, page views, etc. You are no longer limited to just using a destination/page URL as a funnel step as you are in regular GA goals. My favorite use case is sending any kind of hit type from an offline system, such as a CRM, to GA via the Measurement Protocol and then adding those as steps into a Custom Funnel (see the below example) They are RETROACTIVE!!!! You can build
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GTM Analytics Academy Course Open Till July 24th!

I’m INCREDIBLY excited that we launched our newest Analytics Academy course last week (June 23rd). This course is all about Google Tag Manager and is aimed at helping marketers, analysts, and developers quickly get up to speed on GTM, tagging best practices, and using tag management to improve your analytics (and other tags) implementation. And I’m INCREDIBLY excited that I have the opportunity to be the instructor for our newest course! This opportunity allows me to bring my passion for teaching GTM to both a technical and a less technical audience and to help GTM education reach the masses. I couldn’t be more excited! If you’re not familiar with the Analytics Academy, here’s the quick history and relevant links: there are currently 5 courses: Digital Analytics Fundamentals, Platform Principles, Ecommerce
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I’m a Woman in Tech: How it Helps Me and Hurts my Gender

I’m an analytics professional. A teacher. An advocate. An advisor. I work in tech. I work with engineers, developers, marketers, sales, product, and ops. I work with all levels, from analysts to executives. And I am a woman. Until recently, I’ve hadn’t put much thought into what that really meant for me professionally. I attribute that to a couple of reasons: I’ve (almost) always had managers who have treated me with respect and pushed me, advocated for me, and promoted me based on the quality of work and the contribution to the business I’ve delivered. Not based on my gender. And also because I’ve never seen myself as a feminist (I’m not saying this is good or bad or that being a feminist would require me to think about what it
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Step by Step: Adding a Second GA Property via Google Tag Manager

Placing more than one analytics property ID on your website can be very beneficial. This gives you the ability to send analytics data to more than one property in Google Analytics and can be used to analyze different segments of traffic, control access for different groups of stakeholders, link additional features to a particular property, and many many more reasons. Each business will have their own reasoning for sending data to multiple properties – what’s yours? Leave your reasons in the comments section, I’d love to hear! The days of double tagging a website via code on your page are gone… Well, not really, you can still do it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. In fact, it’s never been a highly recommended practice for a many reasons, here are a couple: Multiple instances of
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Step by Step: Setting Up Advanced Google Analytics Goals & Funnel Visualizaitons

I often get asked what my top few tips or must do’s for Google Analytics would be. The first two are always the same: setting up Campaign Tracking, and setting up Goals and Funnel Visualizations. Since I’ve previously written a Step by Step Guide for Campaign Tracking, I’m going to focus on setting up Goals in this post. Why are goals so important? Because they allow you to track specific actions against your traffic, revenue, and conversion data as well as setup experiments to optimize against them. Similarly, enabling a funnel visualization for a goal will allow you to track your users along the path to completing a goal if there are multiple steps so that you can see where there might be holes in your funnel or track the
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Test Design: The Official Doc

If you are running a testing program, then you’ve more than likely had to think about what should go into a test you are running. This could include the problem statement, your hypothesis, how many variants, how different these variants will be, what your measures of success will be, screen captures, and more. It’s important to create a doc or some sort of accessible page/application for your teams to be able to reference this information. This helps to foster and open and collaborative culture of optimization. It will also help you as you look back to understand what your test objectives were and how the test did compared to those objectives. I track all of this via a Google Doc for each test I run. I used the same template for
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Best Practice Solutions Guide: Implementing Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

Towards the end of last year, I heard feedback from a few of our clients that there wasn’t a lot of good documentation on how to implement Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager. I felt this pain because I’d been in their shoes. For the previous couple of years I’d been on the practitioner side implementing GA via GTM and I knew exactly what they meant. So I decided to write a guide on how to implement a lot of common GA features via GTM from a practitioner viewpoint. I wanted to be sure to call out the gotchas and best practices that I’ve learned from good, ol’ fashion experience of doing this stuff myself. So today I’m really excited to share with you what I’ve been working on. We just
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Digital Analytics is all About Context – Lessons from #TheDress

Over the past couple of weeks I have presented at a few conferences (SummitUp in Dayton, Ohio and UnSummit in Salt Lake City, Utah) on the topic of People, Process, and Platform. Now, before you roll your eyes because you’ve heard it all before, let me let you know that you won’t be getting my whole speech in this blog post. In fact, you won’t be getting any of the core parts. Instead, I want to remind you of the importance of the people you have looking at, analyzing, interpreting, and telling stories about your data, as I did to the audiences at these conferences. Most of you will have seen #TheDress, #DressGate, #WhiteAndGold, or #BlueAndBlack over the past couple of weeks. For those of you who haven’t, let me
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Business vs Marketing Analyst – Roles, Skillsets & Career Paths

I was recently chatting with a young women who happens to be a senior at Chapman University in Southern California and is an aspiring analyst. She mentioned she had just been to New York for a school trip where she had learned a lot about financial analytics, and she asked me my thoughts on financial analytics vs web analytics. Were they two different things? Were the skills transferrable? What were the main differences? After chatting with her about this for a good 15 minutes I thought it would useful write it all down in a blog post to share more broadly. What are the main differences between a Business Analyst and a Marketing Analyst? A business analyst is generally someone who sits in a business operations, finance, or marketing operations
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Step by Step: Outbound Link Tracking in Google Tag Manager

Following up on last week’s post on event tracking, I thought it would be a good idea to deep dive on outbound link tracking. Outbound link tracking is super easy to setup using Google Tag Manager and the insights you can gain by understanding the most common paths to leaving your website are definitely worth the minimal effort to implement. So, without further ado, here is a step by step guide to setting up outbound link tracking via Google Tag Manager. Before you being, be sure you’ve enabled the necessary pre-defined variables in Google Tag Manager. Step 1: Create a new tag in Google Tag Manger. – Select ‘Google Analytics’ as the tag and Universal Analytics as the tag type – Choose ‘Click’ for what triggers the tag to fire
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Events: Best Practices for Hierarchies and Naming Conventions

If you are looking to understand the actions that a user takes on your website, one of the best ways to do this is with event tracking. This can include (but not limited to): Link clicks (on site or outbound) Downloads (whitepaper, pdf, etc) Scrolling Load times In Google Analytics, event tracking is made up of 4 elements: Category, Action, Label, and Value. The awesome thing about this is that the hierarchy use cases are highly customizable so events are a very flexible way to report on user action. For larger websites/enterprises, I tend to track events in the following format, utilizing the category as a means of organizing actions based on site structure. Note that the ‘Value’ field is used to set a numerical value for an event, most
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2014 Travel By The Numbers

Happy New Year! Wow, I can’t believe 2014 is already behind us, it really did FLY by…  Ha.. see what I did there? 😉 2014 was a big year in travel for me, both professionally and personally. Given the data nerd that lives in my very core, I thought I’d throw together the numbers and stats for a quick analysis. Thankfully, this year TripIt made pulling all of my flight miles together really easy and they even presented it in some fun infographics (see below). So the 2014 snapshot: Total miles flown: 109,121 miles via 60 flights on 11 different airlines visiting 11 different countries (outside of the airport). Of that, I’d estimate that 75-80% was for business, 20-25% for pleasure – blurry due to a mix of both on some
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Definitions of Common Analytics Terms

If you’re just starting out in analytics, you may find that there are a lot of new, confusing terms to master. Here is a short (but certainly not exhaustive) guide to what many of these mean: Hit: a hit is any server call that corresponds to the javascript firing on a webpage or app and sent to an analytics tool. For example, you can have hits for page, event, ecommerce, and social interactions. Pageview:  the load/view of a page of your website or mobile app Session/Visit: a group of interactions (pageviews, events, etc) that take place on your website within a given time frame. Generally a session has a time-based expiration of 30 minutes of inactivity after the last action. A session also ends at midnight in some analytics tools
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Using a GTM Constant String Variable for GA Property ID

If you use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, you’ll know that with every new analytics tag you create, you need to enter in your Google Analytics property ID (what’s a property ID?). If you are creating multiple tags, this can be a pain and can also lead to possible typos/errors that will cause your tags to fail later on since you won’t be sending data to the right GA accounts. There is a very quick and easy way to make this better! And more importantly, scalable. To do so, I’m going to show you how to use a constant string user-defined variable for your Property ID. This is only 2 easy steps. First, you’ll need to create the new user-defined variable. To do so, select variables, new User-Defined Variable,
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Enabling Pre-defined Variables in the New GTM UI

In GTM 2.0, macros have gone away. These are now called ‘Variables’. There are many pre-defined variables in GTM 2.0 which make setting up tags & triggers easier than before, however, you must first enable them. This is just a quick post to hopefully save you some time and energy the first time you try to use the new UI to create a new tag or trigger. When you first create a new container, there will be a small subset of pre-defined variables already enabled. You can see them by navigating to the ‘Variables’ section via the left-hand nav. If you are creating any type of click or form event, you’ll want to enable these fields to have them show up as a selection when creating a new trigger. To
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Step by Step: Setting Up a Google Analytics Dashboard

Do you need to look at the same metrics or report on a regular basis? Do you want to share the same report across a broader group of stakeholders? Do you want to have the flexibility to change the date range for the whole report or segment it down to certain demographics or characteristics? Great – you can do all of that with a Google Analytics Dashboard! In this quick post I’ll walk you through the easy step-by-step process of creating a new Google Analytics Dashboard. Step 1: Creating a new dashboard canvas Decide whether you are going to create a new dashboard from scratch, or if you will add reports to a new dashboard from the regular reporting UI. For right now, let’s start from scratch. Later in the
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Update: Setting up GA via GTM’s new UX

This post is essentially an update to the one I posted about a month ago for setting up Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager for WordPress (using Thomas Geiger’s Duracelltomi Google Tag Manager plugin for WordPress). Now that the beautiful new GTM interface has launched, things may look and feel a tad different, so read on for an updated step-by-step. I’d also like to quickly thank my sister, Jilleen, who runs the awesome blog SoCal Field Trips, for unknowingly volunteering as an example for this post… did you think that blog help was free?! Love you sis! Ok, now onto the useful stuff… Step 1: Go to tagmanager.google.com (note that this link takes you directly to the new UX, whereas google.com/tagmanager will take you to the old interface) to create a GTM account.  You’ll get
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A Casual Conversation with Google’s Analytics Advocates

This morning I had the opportunity to do a fun little Hangout On Air for the Google Partners Network with my fellow Analytics Advocate Adam Singer. We chatted casually about some of our favorite analytics resources and tips and also answered several questions from the partner community. Check out the video of this conversation for some of our favorite tips!
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Join the DAA SF Symposium on Nov 13: Getting Data Right with Quant AND Qual!

Originally posted on the official Google Analytics Blog, reposting here: This year the annual Digital Analytics Association (DAA) San Francisco Symposium is taking place on Thursday November 13th and will be hosted at University of San Francisco. The theme is “optimizing performance using quantitative and qualitative practices”. The DAA SF chapter has lined up industry leaders who will be sharing their thoughts and experiences. We are expecting a great afternoon of discussion followed by a networking reception. Following are the event details: Our lineup of wonderful speakers is focused on presenting real-world solutions to the optimization challenges we all face everyday. They will be discussing the principles of qualitative data collection, optimization and the relation to quantitative data they’ve put into practice. This year we are piloting a new, more interactive
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Step by Step: Setting Up a Quick Onsite Survey

We all love hard data. The facts and figures please. BUT those who really love data know that the secret sauce is to combine ‘hard’ data (quantitative) with ‘soft’ data (qualitative) to really understand the whole picture. There are many qualitative survey tools on the market that can help you do just that. For this post, I’ll talk about Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) as it’s the tool I use most frequently, but there are many others that rank high in terms of ease of use, functionality, and data output (Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey, Foresee, and Opinion Lab, to name a few). A couple of use cases are top of mind for me as a practitioner working with teams that are constantly launching new websites and updating offerings: 1. Task completion (tip of
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Step-by-Step: Setting up a Google Content Experiment on Your Website

Setting up a Google Analytics Content Experiment is easy! Follow this four-step process and you’ll be on your way to running your first test. To start, first go to the ‘Experiments’ section of Google Analytics and click on ‘Create Experiment’. Step 1: Setup the test Advanced: if you are working with a high volume page and want to analyze more than one goal at a time, you can set up a ‘fake goal’ so that the test will not optimize towards a single winner. Use a ‘fake goal’ to run the test longer than 2 weeks: Multi-armed bandit: Content Experiments uses a traffic splitting method called Multi-armed bandit (MAB) which essentially weights the traffic towards the variation(s) that appear to be winning, away from losing variations. In theory, this could
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The Alphabet Soup of Common Business Terms – Demystified!

Confused by the alphabet soup of business metrics you hear around the office? Here are some of the many business metrics you may hear, defined: KPI: this stands for Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is the outcome of a business objective, i.e. what you measure an objective against. ROI: Return on Investment, or ROI, is a measure of the business value you get out of a particular investment. For example, if you were to invest $500 on a website redesign, and your new website brought in 3x the revenue, after you subtract the costs you could say that the ROI of the website redesign was 200%, or an additional $1000. ROAS: Return on Ad Spend. Similar to ROI, this measures the business value you get out of an advertising investment.
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Three Actionable Analytics Tips to Implement Today

I have the opportunity to speak to a lot of different audiences about analytics & optimization. Many times, I’m asked to leave the audience with a few actionable tips that they can implement in the next week. While there are many things I’d suggest (and it does change based on audience), I often recommend the same three things as I believe they are fundamental to moving past basic analytics and taking a more hands-on, informed approach. Tip #1: Use campaign tracking Campaign tracking is fundamental to getting more granular with your referring/incoming traffic sources. If you do it right, you can get smart about the types of ads/links/emails/social content that work best at driving qualified traffic to your website. And the best part about it – you don’t have to
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