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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...

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
Continue reading...