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Google Analytics™ Third Edition

Book Description

With 2 billion sites on the Web, who's looking at yours?

Google Analytics can tell you. With great new features including advanced customization and segmentation capabilities, Analytics supplies information about your site visitors that helps you ramp up the value of your site. And like its two previous editions, this guide shows you what's new in Google Analytics, how to get the most from the program, and what to do with what you learn.

  • Understand the concepts, set up your Google Analytics program, use the right goals and filters, and read the reports

  • Learn to interpret and apply Analytics results, even if you're not a Web pro

  • See how other companies use Analytics data

  • Explore new features such as AdSense integration, cost data settings, motion charts, custom reports, and event tracking

  • Apply the information you'll get from reports on traffic, visitors, content, site searches, and more

  • Drill down deeper with advanced techniques, tips, and hacks

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Authors
  3. About the Tech Editor
  4. Credits
  5. Acknowledgments
  6. Introduction
    1. Overview of the Book and Technology
    2. How This Book Is Organized
    3. Who Should Read this Book
    4. Tools You Will Need
    5. Moving On
  7. I. Getting Started with Google Analytics
    1. 1. What's New in Google Analytics
      1. 1.1. Two Years Equals Lots of Changes
      2. 1.2. Betas Galore
        1. 1.2.1. Custom Reporting
        2. 1.2.2. Advanced Segmenting
        3. 1.2.3. Motion Charts
    2. 2. Why Analytics?
      1. 2.1. What Are Analytics?
        1. 2.1.1. Collecting Raw Data
          1. 2.1.1.1. Client-Side Data Collection
          2. 2.1.1.2. Server-Side Data Collection
        2. 2.1.2. Measurement Techniques
        3. 2.1.3. How Did Google Analytics Come to Be?
        4. 2.1.4. What Can Google Analytics Do for Me?
      2. 2.2. What Google Analytics Is Not
    3. 3. Creating Your Analytics Account
      1. 3.1. First, You Need a Google Account
      2. 3.2. Signing Up for Google Analytics
      3. 3.3. Adding Tracking Code to Your Pages
      4. 3.4. Google Analytics on Secure Pages (https)
        1. 3.4.1. The Easy Way
        2. 3.4.2. The Hard Way
        3. 3.4.3. Understanding the Tracking Code
        4. 3.4.4. Checking Tracking Status
      5. 3.5. Navigating Analytics
    4. 4. The Settings Dashboard
      1. 4.1. Analytics Settings
      2. 4.2. Web-Site Profiles
        1. 4.2.1. Adding a Profile
        2. 4.2.2. Checking Status
        3. 4.2.3. Editing a Profile Name
        4. 4.2.4. Starring and Sorting Web-Site Profiles
        5. 4.2.5. Editing Profile Settings
        6. 4.2.6. Deleting a Profile
      3. 4.3. User Management
        1. 4.3.1. Adding a User
        2. 4.3.2. Setting User Permissions
        3. 4.3.3. Deleting a User
    5. 5. Account Dashboard Basics
      1. 5.1. Navigating from the Dashboard
      2. 5.2. Standard Dashboard Modules
        1. 5.2.1. Interacting with the Site Usage Report
        2. 5.2.2. Adding Reports
        3. 5.2.3. Deleting Reports
      3. 5.3. Sorting Data with Segmentation
        1. 5.3.1. Enabling Segmentation
        2. 5.3.2. Creating Custom Segments
      4. 5.4. Working with Date Ranges
        1. 5.4.1. Using the Calendar
        2. 5.4.2. Comparing Ranges
        3. 5.4.3. Using the Timeline
  8. II. Analytics and Site Statistics: Concepts and Methods
    1. 6. E-commerce Concepts and Methods
      1. 6.1. What Works in E-commerce
      2. 6.2. Understanding Your Customers
      3. 6.3. What Measurements Matter
    2. 7. Basic Metrics and Concepts
      1. 7.1. Identifying People and Not-People
      2. 7.2. Visits and Visitor Metrics
        1. 7.2.1. Hits vs. Pages
        2. 7.2.2. Visits, Unique Visits, and New Visits
        3. 7.2.3. New, Returning, and Repeat Visits
      3. 7.3. Visit Duration
      4. 7.4. Bounces and Single-Page Visits
      5. 7.5. Traffic Metrics
        1. 7.5.1. Direct Traffic, Referrers, and Referring URLs
        2. 7.5.2. Keywords and Phrases
    3. 8. Setting Up E-commerce
      1. 8.1. Enabling E-commerce within Your Profile(s)
      2. 8.2. The Google Analytics E-commerce Code
      3. 8.3. General E-commerce Coding Guidelines
      4. 8.4. E-commerce Tracking on Subdomains and Separate (Third-Party) Domains
        1. 8.4.1. Tracking E-commerce on Subdomains
        2. 8.4.2. Tracking E-commerce on Separate/Third-Party Domains
        3. 8.4.3. A Few Important Notes about Tracking E-commerce on Third-Party Domains
      5. 8.5. E-commerce Tracking with Google Checkout; Other E-commerce Platforms
      6. 8.6. Tracking Other E-commerce Platforms
  9. III. Advanced Implementation
    1. 9. Advanced Dashboard Features
      1. 9.1. Creating Special-Purpose Dashboards
        1. 9.1.1. User Access to Dashboards
        2. 9.1.2. Sharing Your Dashboard Information
      2. 9.2. Suggested Dashboards for Specific Roles
        1. 9.2.1. Executive
        2. 9.2.2. Marketing
        3. 9.2.3. Webmaster
        4. 9.2.4. Small Business
        5. 9.2.5. Content Site
        6. 9.2.6. E-commerce Site
        7. 9.2.7. Local Business Only
      3. 9.3. Creating Custom Reports
        1. 9.3.1. How the Report Is Created
        2. 9.3.2. Editing and Managing Custom Reports
    2. 10. Filtering Analytics Data
      1. 10.1. Using Filters to Further Segment Visitors
      2. 10.2. A Short Lesson in Regular Expressions
      3. 10.3. A Slightly Longer Lesson on Regular Expressions
        1. 10.3.1. Matching an IP Address
        2. 10.3.2. Matching a Directory Name
        3. 10.3.3. Matching a Variable Name/Value Pair
      4. 10.4. Managing Filters
        1. 10.4.1. Creating New Filters
        2. 10.4.2. Custom Filters
          1. 10.4.2.1. Include and Exclude Filters
          2. 10.4.2.2. Search-and-Replace Filters
          3. 10.4.2.3. Lookup Table Filters
      5. 10.5. Advanced Filters
        1. 10.5.1. Creating Advanced Filters
        2. 10.5.2. Improve Your SEO/CPC Reporting with Filters
        3. 10.5.3. Organic Traffic Only
        4. 10.5.4. Editing and Deleting Filters
        5. 10.5.5. The Power of Filters
    3. 11. Setting Goals
      1. 11.1. Understanding Goal-Setting
        1. 11.1.1. Why Set Goals?
        2. 11.1.2. Choosing Which Goals To Set
      2. 11.2. Monetizing Goals
        1. 11.2.1. Content-Site Goals
          1. 11.2.1.1. Goal Value of a Sales Lead
          2. 11.2.1.2. Goal Value of a New Subscriber
          3. 11.2.1.3. Goal Value of a Content Page
        2. 11.2.2. Tracking Dynamic Pages
      3. 11.3. Setting Up Goals
        1. 11.3.1. Choosing the Right Goal Information
        2. 11.3.2. Editing and Inactivating Goals
      4. 11.4. Measuring Goals That Result in Conversions
        1. 11.4.1. Goals Overview
        2. 11.4.2. Total Conversions
        3. 11.4.3. Conversion Rate
        4. 11.4.4. Goal Verification
        5. 11.4.5. Reverse Goal Path
        6. 11.4.6. Goal Value
      5. 11.5. And a Couple More...
    4. 12. Funneling Visitors to Their Destination
      1. 12.1. What's a Funnel and Why Is It Important?
      2. 12.2. Establishing Funnels
        1. 12.2.1. Creating Standard Funnels
          1. 12.2.1.1. Determining Funnel Steps
          2. 12.2.1.2. Setting Up a Standard Funnel
        2. 12.2.2. Creating Nonstandard Funnels
        3. 12.2.3. Funnel Quirks
      3. 12.3. Tracking Funnel Results
        1. 12.3.1. Goal Abandoned Funnels
        2. 12.3.2. Funnel Visualization
    5. 13. Google AdWords Integration
      1. 13.1. Why Sync in the First Place?
      2. 13.2. Syncing Your Google AdWords and Analytics Accounts
        1. 13.2.1. You Have Neither an AdWords Nor an Analytics Account
        2. 13.2.2. You Have an AdWords Account, but Not an Analytics Account
        3. 13.2.3. You Have an Analytics Account, but Not an AdWords Account
        4. 13.2.4. You Have Both an AdWords and an Analytics Account
      3. 13.3. Special Cases and the GCLID
      4. 13.4. Tracking E-mail, Banner, and Other Non-AdWords Marketing
        1. 13.4.1. Putting It All Together
        2. 13.4.2. Notes and Tips about URL Tagging
        3. 13.4.3. The Google Analytics URL Builder
      5. 13.5. The AdWords Report Section
        1. 13.5.1. The AdWords Campaigns Report
        2. 13.5.2. The Difference between a Visit and a Click
        3. 13.5.3. The Keyword Positions Report
        4. 13.5.4. The TV Campaigns Report
      6. 13.6. Other Reports Displaying AdWords and Non-AdWords Data
    6. 14. Hacking Google Analytics
      1. 14.1. A Review of Subdomain/Cross-Domain Tracking
        1. 14.1.1. Tracking Subdomains
        2. 14.1.2. Tracking Multiple Domains
        3. 14.1.3. Tracking Multiple Subdomains and Multiple Domains
      2. 14.2. Setting up Duplicate Profiles
      3. 14.3. Why Create Duplicate Profiles?
      4. 14.4. Filtering Out Internal Traffic
        1. 14.4.1. Excluding a Single IP Address
        2. 14.4.2. Excluding Two (or More) IP Addresses
        3. 14.4.3. Excluding a Range of IP Addresses
        4. 14.4.4. Excluding Internal Traffic That Uses Dynamic IP Addresses
      5. 14.5. Other Neat (Advanced) Filters
        1. 14.5.1. Writing the Hostname in Front of the Request URI
        2. 14.5.2. Appending the Source after the Campaign
        3. 14.5.3. Three-Step Filter: Adding Campaign Source, Visitor Country, and Campaign Term to the Transaction ID
        4. 14.5.4. Tracking Google Search Engine Rankings
      6. 14.6. Tracking PDF (and Other) File Downloads
        1. 14.6.1. Tracking PDF/Downloadable Files as Content
        2. 14.6.2. Setting Up Goals for Your Downloadable Files
      7. 14.7. Customizations with the Google Analytics Tracking Code
        1. 14.7.1. Tracking Virtual Page Views
        2. 14.7.2. Tracking Two Accounts Simultaneously
        3. 14.7.3. Custom Segmentation (User-Defined)
        4. 14.7.4. Modifying the Session Timeout
        5. 14.7.5. Modifying the Campaign Conversion Timeout
        6. 14.7.6. Modifying Conversion Attribution (Last to First)
        7. 14.7.7. Using the Anchor (#) Symbol in Destination URLs
        8. 14.7.8. Recognizing 'Nonstandard' URL Query Parameters
        9. 14.7.9. Counting Keywords and Referring Sites as 'Direct' Traffic
        10. 14.7.10. Setting the Cookie Path to a Subdirectory
        11. 14.7.11. Controlling Data Collection Settings
        12. 14.7.12. Tracking a New Organic Search Engine
      8. 14.8. Tracking Coupons and Discounts (E-commerce)
      9. 14.9. Tracking Social Media
  10. IV. The Reports
    1. 15. Analyzing Visitors
      1. 15.1. Visitors Overview
        1. 15.1.1. Visitors
          1. 15.1.1.1. Absolute Unique Visitors, Visitors, and New Visitors
          2. 15.1.1.2. Deeper Insight with Graph Mode
        2. 15.1.2. Visitor Segmentation
        3. 15.1.3. Technical Profile
      2. 15.2. Benchmarking
        1. 15.2.1. What's Collected and Why It's Needed
        2. 15.2.2. How Accurate Is Benchmarking?
        3. 15.2.3. Enabling Benchmarking on Your Site
      3. 15.3. Map Overlay
      4. 15.4. New vs. Returning
      5. 15.5. Languages
      6. 15.6. Visitor Trending
        1. 15.6.1. Visits
        2. 15.6.2. Absolute Unique Visitors
        3. 15.6.3. Page Views
        4. 15.6.4. Average Page Views
        5. 15.6.5. Time on Site
        6. 15.6.6. Bounce Rate
      7. 15.7. Visitor Loyalty
        1. 15.7.1. Loyalty
        2. 15.7.2. Recency
        3. 15.7.3. Length of Visit
        4. 15.7.4. Depth of Visit
      8. 15.8. Browser Capabilities
        1. 15.8.1. Browser
        2. 15.8.2. Operating System
        3. 15.8.3. Browser and Operating System
        4. 15.8.4. Screen Colors
        5. 15.8.5. Screen Resolution
        6. 15.8.6. Flash Version
        7. 15.8.7. Java Support
      9. 15.9. Network Properties
        1. 15.9.1. Network Location
        2. 15.9.2. Hostnames
        3. 15.9.3. Connection Speeds
      10. 15.10. User Defined
        1. 15.10.1. Adding a Variable
        2. 15.10.2. What to Segment
    2. 16. Traffic Sources
      1. 16.1. What Traffic Analysis Can Tell You
      2. 16.2. Traffic Sources Overview
      3. 16.3. Direct Traffic
      4. 16.4. Referring Sites
      5. 16.5. Search Engines
      6. 16.6. All Traffic Sources
      7. 16.7. AdWords
        1. 16.7.1. AdWords Campaigns
        2. 16.7.2. Keyword Positions
        3. 16.7.3. TV Campaigns
      8. 16.8. Keywords
      9. 16.9. Campaigns
        1. 16.9.1. Source
        2. 16.9.2. Medium
      10. 16.10. Ad Versions
        1. 16.10.1. A/B Testing
        2. 16.10.2. URL Builder
    3. 17. Content Overview
      1. 17.1. Determining the Value of Web-Site Content
      2. 17.2. Content Overview
        1. 17.2.1. Navigation Analysis
          1. 17.2.1.1. Navigational Summary
          2. 17.2.1.2. Entrance Paths
        2. 17.2.2. Landing Page Optimization
          1. 17.2.2.1. Entrance Sources
          2. 17.2.2.2. Entrance Keywords
        3. 17.2.3. Click Patterns
      3. 17.3. Additional Content Reports
        1. 17.3.1. Top Content
        2. 17.3.2. Content by Title
        3. 17.3.3. Content Drilldown
        4. 17.3.4. Top Landing Pages
        5. 17.3.5. Top Exit Pages
        6. 17.3.6. Site Overlay
        7. 17.3.7. And One More...
    4. 18. Site Search
      1. 18.1. Configuring Your Profile(s)
        1. 18.1.1. What If I'm Not Using Google Site Search?
        2. 18.1.2. What If I'm Not Using Any Search Tool?
      2. 18.2. Site Search Overview (Metrics)
      3. 18.3. Site Search Reports
        1. 18.3.1. The Usage Report
        2. 18.3.2. The Search Terms Report
        3. 18.3.3. Start Pages and Destination Pages Reports
        4. 18.3.4. The Categories Report
        5. 18.3.5. The Trending Report
      4. 18.4. The Philosophy of Site Search
      5. 18.5. Why Are People Searching on My Web Site in the First Place?
    5. 19. Event Tracking
      1. 19.1. Why Bother with Event Tracking?
      2. 19.2. Implementing Event Tracking
        1. 19.2.1. The Event Tracking Module
        2. 19.2.2. Implicit Count: What It Is and What You Need to Know
        3. 19.2.3. Does Event Tracking Affect Bounce Rate?
        4. 19.2.4. Are There Any Limitations on What I Can Track?
      3. 19.3. Tracking File Downloads as Events
      4. 19.4. Can Events Be Tracked as Goals?
      5. 19.5. Event Tracking Reports
        1. 19.5.1. The Event Tracking Overview Report
        2. 19.5.2. The Event Tracking Categories Report
        3. 19.5.3. The Event Tracking Actions Report
        4. 19.5.4. The Event Tracking Labels Report
        5. 19.5.5. The Event Tracking Trending Report
        6. 19.5.6. The Event Tracking Hostnames Report
      6. 19.6. Using Events in Advanced Segments
    6. 20. E-Commerce Tracking
      1. 20.1. Ecommerce Overview
      2. 20.2. Total Revenue
      3. 20.3. Conversion Rate
      4. 20.4. Average Order Value
      5. 20.5. Product Performance
        1. 20.5.1. Product Overview
        2. 20.5.2. Product SKUs
        3. 20.5.3. Categories
      6. 20.6. Transactions
      7. 20.7. Visits to Purchase
      8. 20.8. Days to Purchase
  11. A. Where To Go from Here
    1. A.1. Google Resources
      1. A.1.1. Navigating Google Help Files
      2. A.1.2. Conversion University
      3. A.1.3. Searching Help Files
      4. A.1.4. Google Analytics Forums
    2. A.2. Google Analytics Blogs