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Using Google Analytics

Analytics for Dummies?

     
6:16 pm on Sep 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anyone suggest a good source for learning the basics of using Analytics?

Example, which pages on a site did someone visit, which link did they click to get there, etc.?

Or is type of information already addressed and available and I'm just not seeing it?


FarmBoy
11:48 pm on Sept 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't know what they're thinking at Big G - but I am completely and utterly lost as far as Analytics go.
1:50 pm on Sept 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One thing to look at is:
"Behavior
"In-Page Analytics"

If you use Firefox, after a delay, you'll get an error message, but just click "Load in Full View" to see statistics about all your links overlaid on our site(s) navigation.

Analytic's first page statistics are awful, but it can be improved with a few tweaks. For example "time on page", in some of the other stats for a page that is visited and then backed out of, is completely incorrect.

This thread below has some tips on how to make Analytics show accurate data for "bounce" pages which for many sites are the highest quality pages, even by Google's standards.

Unfortunately this type of information is simply not allowed to be mentioned in the Google SEO forum, even though it is critical to good SEO decisions.
There appear to be visitors to webmasterworld that actively complain about posts in the SEO forum, that even mention Google's premier analytical product, Analytics
[webmasterworld.com...]
2:39 pm on Sept 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Anyone suggest a good source for learning the basics of using Analytics?


For training, Have you tried the Google Analytics Academy?
[analyticsacademy.withgoogle.com...]
2:42 pm on Sept 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Example, which pages on a site did someone visit, which link did they click to get there, etc.?


One problem with Analytics, is that there are many ways to slice data - which does make it daunting at the start.

In GA (Google Analytics), left hand menu, go to:
Behavior | Site Content

And here's where your question starts to break down... :-)

[edited by: RhinoFish at 2:50 pm (utc) on Sep 22, 2014]

2:48 pm on Sept 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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which pages on a site did someone visit, which link did they click to get there?


We can look at all of the pages visited, under:
Behavior | Site Content | All Pages

This would includes pages they land on, and pages they subsequently navigated to while on the site.
I assume by "which link" you mean external traffic (though you can study either, or both).

If we want to look at "which link did they click to get there?", meaning when they arrived at our site, we need to inspect:
Behavior | Site Content | Landing Pages
And start adding data dimensions of interest, like Acquisition | Referral Path. This will raise more questions, because of the enormity of the data. :-) Suggest you start by studying a subset of pages, or maybe your home page.

[edited by: RhinoFish at 3:18 pm (utc) on Sep 22, 2014]

2:57 pm on Sept 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The next subject that comes up for me, is tagging traffic. A rule for you, everyone in your enterprise needs to understand that data drives decisions, and the only way to have good data, is to tag all incoming paid traffic and email traffic as well.

If your paid search folks, or your email folks, are not tagging ALL URLs, your data will be what my Miami friends call Arroz Con Mango (a real mess).

GA will try to identify traffic based on the referring info it receives, but for traffic you control (ALL paid traffic and ALL email traffic), don't leave it to chance, TAG it.

With that, let me introduce you to your new best friend, Mr. Earl Builder...

Google Analytics URL Builder:
[support.google.com...]
3:13 pm on Sept 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I don't know what they're thinking at Big G - but I am completely and utterly lost as far as Analytics go.


They are thinking that businesses today thrive on data, but it's different data for each biz. So they have built an incredibly complex set of tools, to meet the biz needs of an enormously diverse universe of data collection, aggregation, and analysis needs.

Unfortunately, this leaves newbies feeling overwhelmed. Find some comfort in this...

Webmasters build sites, they are also often clueless, I see them delete Analytics page code often.

Marketing people are used to using the data, but are often lost in the technicalities of how it is collected and aggregated.

C-level folks (CEO, CMO, etc) are often comical in their misunderstanding of the data they are reviewing.

Analytics is a new frontier for MANY, a newbie is nothing especially tragic (given what I've seen).

And remember, where these is much confusion, lies much opportunity. You'd be shocked to know what people pay my crew to peel this data onion.
:-)
4:09 pm on Sept 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the comments. It gives me some places to go and read, as soon as I'm brave enough.


FarmBoy
8:58 am on Sept 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I see them delete Analytics page code often.
I have a huge gap in my Analytics data from 2010 to 2012; wish I had that data, but there was one problem, I really wanted my visitors to enjoy surfing the sites rather than constantly seeing ... "waiting for googleanalytics.com" which as an internet user I was constantly seeing.
Google finally came out with an asynchronous interface, after many years, as they finally did with Adsense.

For me the visitor comes first ..., I'm not sure about Google anymore.