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Based on the book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics - by Brian Clifton

All 'Implementation ABCs' posts in date order i.e. newest first. Click on the post title to read in full.

Linking GA to Adwords – Avoiding permission issues

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments 3 »

A post to clarify a common misunderstood problem when setting permissions to enable the linking of your Google Analytics account with your AdWords account.

adwords linking permissions

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The Future of Google Analytics – GA Summit 2012 [Infographic]

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding Comments 8 »

Last week I attended my 8th GA Summit in Mountain View (the first one had just 10 people in the room! Four of that original group where there this year*). For a change, I summarise the highlights – and why I consider them important to you the GA user – as an infographic

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The Best Google Analytics Add-Ons

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments 12 »

These are 13 of the best tools (aka add-ons) that have made significant differences to how I work with Google Analytics. I have not attempted to list all possible add-ons that are available – I seem to come across a new one every day…! Rather, ones that I have used in real-world situations that have helped me do my job. [...]

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3rd edition of Advanced Web Metrics now shipping – What’s it about?

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments 15 »

There are two fundamental questions you need to answer in order to assess the performance of your website:

1. What is driving visitors to my website?
2. What do they do once they arrive?

These are the same questions no matter what position you have in the organisation – its just the level of detail in the answer that changes. Essentially, no matter what your role of interest or responsibility is for your website, these two questions are where you start your investigations. For that is what “analysis” is – an investigation of data and the building of a hypothesis from it.

As a practitioner this is what I do for a living and this is what the 3rd edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics is all about! [...]

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Improving a website *without* Web Analytics – a case study

Categories: Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding 1 Comment »

Improving a website without web analytics may sound odd coming from a data analyst, but its quite a common occurrence for me, and in fact, part of my day job as a website performance consultant.

Following John Ekman’s guest post on the two types of personas he has observed in this industry (Conversionistas are from Venus and Metrics people from Mars), I started thinking about how best to illustrate these. I consider myself a HYBRID – part conversionista and part metrics person (may be 50:50), and this case study illustrates the conversionista side of my work…

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Why web measurement is easy, yet gaining insights is hard

Categories: Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding Comments 2 »

Collecting data is very straightforward – you simply paste a few lines of JavaScript to your pages and data will start to stream into your account. I am specifically referring to Google Analytics here, but the principal is the same for all the main web analytics vendors. Superficially that’s all there is to it. If you just wish to view visitors and pageview counts you don’t need an analytics specialist to help you – all you require are basic webmaster skills. However, products such as Google Analytics have 100+ reports so that you can analyse much more than these – in fact, regardless of how much traffic you receive, those can be covered in a handful of reports. So why so many reports…? If all you require are traffic volume graphs and a site-wide conversion rate (i.e. the number of transactions divided by the number of visits), then you don’t! That’s the Read the full article…

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12 Useful Tools for Google Analytics Administration

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments 18 »

Tools and helper applications I have come across as a practitioner come in two flavours: those that help you with your administration of Google Analytics – install, setup and configuration, and those that help you use or interpret reports – visualisation aides, third-party integration, segmentation help, and so forth. Often these two scenarios overlap, and marketers frequently find themselves using the same toolset as webmasters and web developers. This post is a compendium of useful tools I have used for GA administration. Regardless of your job role, all the tools listed here are straightforward to use. [ This page is an edited version of Appendix B, taken from the second edition of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics. The new book is due March 2010 ] Tools to Audit Your GATC Deployment The key to being able to improve your website is having good, solid, accurate data that you can rely Read the full article…

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Troubleshooting Tools for Web Analytics

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments 8 »

I recently read an article by a friend of mine Neil Mason, called – Tackling the basics of web analytics: Getting the right numbers right . To summarize, Neil discusses how difficult it can be to install even the most simplest of tracking tags (data collector beacons) across an enterprise web site. That is, a site that is large (thousands if not hundreds of thousands of pages of content), uses multiple technologies and has multiple stakeholders – often in different countries and sometimes different companies. However, this fundamental step of getting the data in using page tags, is the key to everything else i.e. getting good, solid, accurate data in*. There simply is no point investing in analysis if the data is flawed. After all, garbage in = garbage out. And of course the web is ever changing, so maintaining data integrity is also key. Page tagging is therefore not Read the full article…

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What is the 4th thing to do when considering a web analytics implementation?

Categories: Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding No Comments »

[This article is part of a series entitled: GA Implementation ABCs] So far what I have discussed in this series has been fairly straight forward – dare I say “easy”! The next step is the difficult part – not from a technical perspective, but purely in terms of communication. To recap the story so far, the first three best practice implementation principals are: Tag everything – get the most complete picture of your web site visitors as possible Clean your data – apply filters Define Goals – distill the 80+ reports of GA in to performance benchmarks If you have followed these steps so far, then you have done an excellent job. However, the usual problem is that few other people in your organisation know this or even appreciate your work. You have created a set of nice charts and reports, “so what?” is a common response that is thought, Read the full article…

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What is the 3rd thing to do when considering a web analytics implementation?

Categories: Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding 1 Comment »

[This article is part of a series entitled: GA Implementation ABCs] In Part I of this series, I discussed the importance of simply getting the data in. Part II concerned keeping the data clean by using filters. In this third install I discuss defining goals – the building blocks for your Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Remember this is all before tackling the much wider (and also more complex) issues of mapping your stakeholders, building your KPI list or assessing your business needs from your web site. The importance of Goals in web analytics After collecting and cleansing your initial visitor data from your GA reports (Parts I and II of this series), you then establish your benchmarks. Assuming there are no horror stories from viewing your initial traffic volume, consider your web site goals. A goal is quite simply the purpose of your web site, which in theory should be Read the full article…

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What is the 2nd thing to do when considering a web analytics implementation?

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments 8 »

What is the 2nd thing to do when considering a web analytics implementation?

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What is the 1st thing to do when considering a web analytics implementation?

Categories: Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding Comments 4 »

[This article is part of a series entitled: GA Implementation ABCs] I had an interesting conversation while in Seattle recently. On discussing the progress of the book (95% complete now..!) with a friend from the industry, I described how my last chapter is going to be a sum up all the things learnt plus my thoughts on what’s next for web analytics. For the sum up, I was asked, “so what do you think should be the first thing to do when considering a web analytics implementation?”. “That’s a great question” I replied and gave the following response: “Tag all your pages i.e. Collect the data”. The conventional wisdom for web analytics, has traditionally said that before you even choose your preferred vendor for an implementation, you should prepare your web analytics business objectives, map who your stakeholders are, canvas throughout your organisation for KPIs, business plans, marketing plans etc. Read the full article…

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