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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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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Creating Adwords Remarketing Lists with GA Custom Dimensions

“Ultimately, data collection boils down to a simple thing: gathering meaningful data. What meaningful means is something that must be negotiated uniquely for each business case, each project, each product, each organization, and each platform.”   Whenever I think about this quote by my friend Simo Ahava (who has a blog chock full of wonderful content), my thoughts immediately drift to Custom Dimensions. What are Custom Dimensions? Custom Dimensions, as you may have guessed based upon the name, are simply custom ways to collect data for use in Google Analytics. By analyzing meaningful data stored in Custom Dimensions we are able to understand more about user behavior on our sites, which will guide business actions. The more we know about the user and their behavior, the more informed our decisions will be. One
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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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