If you manage a Google Analytics account, then understanding regular expressions – and how to set them up – is a key part of your job. This tutorial is intended to jump start novice users into the world of regular expressions – specifically from a Google Analytics point of view. [...]
A small number of typos have come to my attention with the 3rd edition – four so far. These will be corrected in the next re-print (due end of May). However I wanted to list them here for people to be aware of. Please let me know (by adding a comment here) if you find others.
Ch 7, page 254 – Figure 7.15
Figure 7.15 illustrates a hostname differentiation filter. The “Field B” and “Output To” have no option selected, and only show a dash -. They should instead read “Request URI”. Replacement image shown below. [...]
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. [...]
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! [...]
After two years since the last book the 3rd edition is finally here – officially shipping on Amazon et al from 19th March 2012. Thanks to all who have provided feedback on the last two editions. Its been both flattering and humbling when people write with praise. It makes my day/week in a way no other job or role has ever done – which ultimately is my driver for writing.
Come and join me for the Launch Party in Stockholm (March 29th)
What’s new in the 3rd edition?
As you may know, my aim with these books has always been to give the reader a thorough understanding of web analytics, from a practitioners point of view, using Google Analytics as the tool of choice. There are lots of details (well the book is called Advanced…!), but only when it is necessary. That is, where there is a good business opportunity/insight to be gained from it…
In 2011 alone there was a wealth of announcements from the GA Team (coolest first):
There are a number of commentators on the web that purport the level of adoption for Google Analytics i.e. market share. This is a short post to summarise the latest figures that I consider as solid and reliable. If you have conducted a study yourself, or know of other reliable sources of adoption numbers, please share the results in the comments section. I maintain a snapshot of major brands using Google Analytics at….
A good friend of mine, Daniel Waisberg, and I were discussing how organisations are reluctant to invest in their Google Analytics setup – be it implementation, training & education or insights/consultancy. Our conclusion was, that is difficult to get even the richest of companies to invest in a product that is free. The perception is that everything else that is required to make it “work” i.e. all of the above, should also be free.
Of course the new GA Premium product changes this a great deal – though that is very much aimed at large enterprises i.e. Fortune 500 types. That group aside, why is it an organisation will pay tens of thousands of pounds on a CMS platform or CRM solution, but fail to see the opportunities of investing a similar amount (or less!) in their web analytics?
As I wrote in an article last year, the hard part of web analytics is gaining insights form your reports when all you have is the basic setup. You must go beyond the basics if you wish your measurements to actually impact your business.
With this in mind, I asked Daniel to write a guest post on what it takes to get your GA implementation up to the next level. Below is a 10-point check list he recommends for both beginners and advanced users.
Why use a paid-for tool? A client considering GA Premium (the paid-for version of Google Analytics) asked me the following question recently:
“One thing that would be great to cover in our meeting, is the value of the Premium product for us. How will it save us money by spending $150k a year instead of simply adjusting our approach and using the free product?”
That’s a great question – getting right to the point of value for money. And this was my two-point response that can be applied to any paid-for vendor….
An odd announcement form the GA product team was made last night that affects all users of web analytics tools: When a signed in user visits your site from an organic Google search, Google Analytics will no longer report the query terms that the user searched on to reach your site. – Full announcement That’s a BIG change! Essentially marketers will no longer be able to view the keywords used by visitors that come from Google organic search in their web analytics reports (the fact they came from a Google organic search is still shown). Instead the keyword will be listed as “not provided” The rational for this, as the announcement explains, is to protect the privacy of users who are logged into their Google account. What’s my view? As you know, I am a big fan of user privacy and putting the end-user experience first, so on the one Read the full article…