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September 2016

Google Analytics: Accessing data

So you’ve set up your GA account, what now? If you’ve already got to grips with the tools and interface then you’re good to go- if not then head over to my other post on them and have a read.

When you log in you’ll see the Audience Overview report, it’ll look like this:

audience-report

If you have more than one site you will have to select the report you want to view. There are over 50 different reports available, these can be selected through the reporting tab at the top. Report selected, you can change the dates via the top right drop down to change the date range of data you are viewing. You can also check the Compare box to compare your data from one date against another.

date-range

When in Audience Overview you can hoover over a line to get the data for that particular day, hoovering on the metrics beneath the graph will give you more info.

audience-2

It’s here that you can switch between reports to see the top ten languages, countries, cities, browsers, operating systems, services providers, and screen resolutions of your visitors. You can drill down a number of levels here, for instance in locations you can choose United States and see the breakdown of visitors according to states with more info there for each metric. Some easy access reports are:

reports-list

Audience reports
Outline specifications about your traffic, such as age, gender, demographics, frequency they visit the site, where they go on the site. It is possible then to map out their interests and behavior, location and so on.

Acquisition reports
The reports produce data on what drives traffic to the site and specific sources.

Behaviour reports
Will provide date on your content, what your pages are, landing pages, top exit pages etc. If you set up site search you will be able to see what terms were searched for and the pages that were search on. You can also see here how fast your website loads with suggestions from Google on how to make it faster.

Conversions
If you’ve set up Goals then you can see how many conversions you’ve has and URL paths your traffic took to reach them.  Conversions can also be seen in other reports such as location through-> Audience Overview.

For a full list of reports see here
For building in custom reports 
Some recommended custom reports

Your Google Analytics is as comprehensive as you want to make it, read through what is available first before setting off so you can get the most out of your account.

More on GA data soon!

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Google Analytics, what?

In this post I want to put some scope on Google Analytics, it’s a really useful tool for feedback on new digital products. It can help can shape future content directions in terms of commissioning, giving you key data on the behavior of your users. More often than not editors don’t use it as it sits outside the traditional editorial domain. GA can be used to track website and mobile apps, at a glance it might seem intimidating. The word analytics threatens a complex matrix to get to grips with but in reality it is a series of simple processes to follow.

The things GA can tell you are:

  • How much traffic is the website getting?
  • Where do my visitors live?
  • Do I need a mobile-friendly website?
  • What websites send traffic to my website?
  • What marketing tactics drive the most traffic to my website?
  • Which pages on my website are the most popular?
  • How many visitors have I converted into leads or customers?
  • Where did my converting visitors come from and go on my website?
  • What content are my users accessing and related content from side feeds

Lets tackle set-up first. There are a variety of ways to set up your account, for simplicity I’ll work off of the basis that we are tracking one site.

Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like when you’re setting up a GA account:5582cb90ebb6d9-18962362

The standard set-up for one site looks like this:

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Once you’ve set up your account you’ll be given a unique tracking code, which has to be entered into the back wall of every page on your website, for blogs this can be done via the header or footer scripts. If you have a WordPress on your own domain, you can use the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin to install your code, no matter what theme or framework you are using.

If you have a website built with HTML files, you will add the tracking code before the </head> tag on each of your pages. You can do this by using a text editor program (such as TextEdit for Mac or Notepad for Windows) and then uploading the file to your web host using an FTP program (such as FileZilla). Ecommerce sites and blogs like Tumblr have different entry points but most are easily to find/ look up.

The first thing you want to do once your account is set up is set your goals, go to admin->goals. This will set up your websites profile.

5582cccf4540f3-80076028

 

Your goals will tell you when something significant has happened, they can also create link pages for landing pages such as a thank you or confirmation after a purchase/ sign up etc. Name your goal and select the destination and custom link.

5582cd655a4307-77419953

Then you add the URL link and change the drop down to ‘begins with’.

goals-2

It’ll then look like this ^

You can add up to 20 goals, make sure they are the most important ones for retrieving data. More instructions on setting up different types of goals can be found here .

Lastly for a basic set up you’ll want to get data from you site search, this is for any website that has a search bar. Open your site and search for something, keep that tab open (as you’ll need the URL) and then go back to your GA admin-> View tab-> View Settings. Now scroll down until you see site settings:

site-settings-2

Change search site settings to ON. Now go back to your website search URL and put it in the parameter box that appears underneath this what is shown in the results (either a q or an s) and save. This will allow you to see what your traffic has searched for specifically on your website.

The anti-awesome list

I had to call upon a synonym for awesome out of the lexicon abyss today and thought it was a pretty splendiferous idea to make an anti-awesome list for moments like this in the future. Enjoy and re-blog at your leisure.

astonishing, awe-inspiring, awe-struck

beautiful, beyond the call, breathtaking, brilliant

clever, cool, chat-hop

dazzling

epic, excellent, exceptional, exciting

fabulous, fantastic

great, groovy

heart-stopping, humbling, highly, hat tip

impressive, incredible, ingenious

magnificent, majestic, marvelous, mind-blowing, momentous, moving, monumental, mic-drop

out of this world, outstanding, overwhelming, on-steriods

phenomenal, powerful,  phantasmagorical

remarkable, righteous

shazam, sick, simply divine, spectacular, staggering, striking, stunning, stupendous, superb, sweet, splendiferous

terrific, the bees’ knees, the bomb

un-freakin believable

wow, wonderful, wondrous, what’s not to like?

Feel free to comment with other suggestions!

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