New Google Analytics: Implementation — Part 2

new google analyticsSo, fol­low­ing on from Part 1 of imple­ment­ing the new Google ana­lyt­ics,  which can be found on my Google + page

Step 5 New Google Ana­lyt­ics: Under­stand­ing Report­ing And Visu­al­isa­tions — continued

# 1 : Web­mas­ter Cognition

What this means is that now, the web­mas­ter has a more intu­it­ive form of report­ing that helps him pre­dict the future of a design or con­tent piece, much more effect­ively than before.

The best part is that a huge chunk of fea­tures from Google Web­mas­ter Tools are now integ­rated into the new Google Ana­lyt­ics (GA).

Let’s under­stand with the help of examples.

1. Keywords

Ima­gine you buy 2 keywords that have lots of clicks. But one of them is attain­ing goals and get­ting you buy­ers at the end of the fun­nel, whereas the other is scar­ing traffic away. Ideally, you should take out all your budget from the cam­paign and start a new one focus­ing on that exact keyword which really brings in a huge amount of buyers.

That’ll save money and increase revenue.

How do we see what this keyword is?

That’s where Web­mas­ter cog­ni­tion comes in.

Open up the dash­board rel­ev­ant to the cam­paign and select the “traffic sources” option. Under this, select “Keywords”.

Now you’ll see a list of all paid and non-paid keywords that users type in to dis­cover your site. On the right side, you’ll notice a small but­ton that says “Com­pare to Site”.

This but­ton will bring up a keyword cloud that shows you all the keywords in their mighty sized form. The big­ger the keyword the more rel­ev­ant traffic it brings in, which means the more CPC you should assign to it.

2. Prop­erty Monitoring

The next part of web­mas­ter cog­ni­tion is present­a­tion of Google prop­erty reports. This is also a side bene­fit com­ing from the inclu­sion of web­mas­ter tools.

These are tab­u­lated forms of traffic data that tell you the impres­sions, clicks, aver­age pos­i­tion and click through ratio (CTR) of a par­tic­u­lar web-property.

In the report­ing sec­tion, look for the cus­tom reports option and select the prop­er­ties you wish to mon­itor. For some users this may not be vis­ible as their site oper­ates on a single medium and hence the code is hit by only a single type of vis­itor. In that case, default set­tings are applied.

The report will be in the form of a table giv­ing prop­er­ties like

–Mobile (Smart­phone)

–Web

–Image

as the rows and…

–Impres­sions

–Clicks

–Aver­age Position

CTR

as the column attributes.

3. Social Engage­ment Monitoring

Again, in the reports sec­tion, you can find the “social source and actions” tab­u­lated. Or bet­ter yet, if you’re switch­ing from the old GA to the new GA, under the “vis­itor” option in the ana­lyt­ics nav­ig­a­tion, social media inter­ac­tion was shown. You can recall that to under­stand this.

The same has been re-tabulated and bet­ter cat­egor­ized in the new GA. The new social engage­ment table, called the “Social Source and Action” table shows,

Social Media sig­nals like:

- Google: +1

- Face­book: Like

- Face­book: Send

- Twit­ter: Tweets

as the table rows and…

–Vis­its

–Pages/Visit

–Aver­age Time on Site

-% New Visits

–Bounce Rate

as the column attributes.

# 2 : Present­ing Stats And Visualisations

Visu­al­isa­tions are now more per­cept­ive and allow for quick ana­lysis. So instead of wait­ing for stats to appear and then read­ing through tables upon tables upon tables of cum­ber­some per­cent­ages, things just became so much better.

You now have the abil­ity to see real time inform­a­tion from the web­site and a set of easy to inter­pret cross-linked mind maps to mon­itor vis­itor flow and goal flow.

There’s 3 ways this has been implemented:

-  Real-Time Stats

The old GA would serve you data after a 24 hour delay in most cases. Well now, activ­ity is mon­itored as it hap­pens. Reports for

–Act­ive Pages

–Top Refer­rals

–Page views

–Keywords

are cre­ated real-time and you can see what your top act­ive sources for traffic and engage­ment are, as well as the best refer­ring URLs. A key bene­fit of this is that you can mon­itor a test cam­paign as it takes place by doing it on a small scale first.

If the res­ults are favour­able, go a for a big­ger launch!

Here’s a sample of what Real-Time stats look like:

real time data in the new Google Analytics

-  Graph­ical Meas­ures of Tendency

Sounds com­plic­ated, right? It’s easy though.

A meas­ure of cent­ral tend­ency is basic­ally an aver­age, or more com­monly used — a median value. And any other meas­ure or per­cent­age of total is a trend indic­ator. These are cur­rently deployed for three ana­lyt­ics functions:

–Site Speed (Aver­age page load­ing time in seconds)

–Page views

–Page Load Sample

The report being a graph eas­ily gives you the median value or the trend line based on the func­tion selec­ted on the top of the trend indic­ator. Here’s a sample of what it looks like: google analytics site speed

 

-  Visu­al­isa­tions

GA offers spe­cial criss-crossing mind map visu­al­isa­tions to map goal flow and vis­itor flow in a cam­paign. These can be accessed in the sec­tions of your dash­board where you get the goals sum­mary and fun­nel analytics.

What they reflect essen­tially var­ies between what goals you set and what pages they include. Hence, visu­al­isa­tions and what you can do with the data would vary from site to site.

A “vis­itor flow report” can be gen­er­ated at the click of a but­ton that gives you an idea of how vis­it­ors move along your site, so that you know where best to set your tar­get pages.

A “goals flow report” essen­tially shows you where in your sales fun­nel do people drop off or repeat actions. This will help you find those tweaks your fun­nel needs in order to get more people to a goal and raise conversions.

Here’s a video explain­ing goal flow and it’s sig­ni­fic­ance in depth:

# 3 : Fun­nel Dis­sec­tion And Event Tracking

In the old GA, fig­ures repor­ted about con­ver­sions could lose their accur­acy from time to time due to a major problem:

“Rigid Goal Interaction”

This meant that you had to have a new des­tin­a­tion URL for all your goals to get accur­ate stats. If there wasn’t a des­tin­a­tion URL, a vir­tual page view had to be gen­er­ated to see the action taken by the user.

So you had to install a spe­cial code snip­pet on the page near the end of a goal defin­i­tion, which would cor­rupt some of the ana­lyt­ics data you got. And you could not mon­itor user engage­ment and activ­ity on your site very well.

Actions like view­ing videos and doc­u­ments or acrobat files wouldn’t get tracked without inflat­ing the other metrics.

But now, the new GA allows you to modify your goal set­tings within each goal set. In your goal set­tings, just point to the event con­di­tions list.

Then, just fill in the

–Cat­egory

–Action

–Label

–Value

for an event that occurs dur­ing the con­ver­sion pro­cess and it will be mon­itored separately.

The above men­tioned attrib­utes of cat­egory and label are entirely user defined and you can have all the flex­ib­il­ity in clas­si­fy­ing and labelling a user action the way you like.

Another short­com­ing of the old Google Ana­lyt­ics was a Webmaster’s inab­il­ity to track con­ver­sions from a pro­cess lower in the con­ver­sion hierarchy.

What does that mean?

Let’s under­stand the con­sumer for a minute. Very few pro­spect­ive cus­tom­ers will ever make a buy­ing decision based on a single expos­ure of a brand, ser­vice or product. This means repeated expos­ures are more likely than ever, a “required” mar­ket­ing effort.

When you can’t track con­ver­sions from pro­cesses lower in the hier­archy, it means that the effect­ive­ness of the mes­sage delivered before the final mes­sage when the buy­ing decision was made, get heav­ily undermined.

Example:

A con­sumer may have wanted to buy an app when you explained it in a launch video, but the credit for the con­ver­sion went to the sales let­ter or the email newsletter.

The new GA helps you track back your effect­ive con­ver­sion activ­it­ies behind the final chan­nel of user engage­ment in a sales or lead fun­nel. It breaks down your fun­nel into mul­tiple chan­nels, with each chan­nel focus­sing on a par­tic­u­lar mar­ket­ing activ­ity such as a

- paid search ad

- launch

- sales page

- product portfolio

- organic search result

- refer­rals

- social media activity

…and many other activ­it­ies that can have the ana­lyt­ics code embed­ded on a page. In your report for the dis­sec­ted fun­nel, you will receive a visual rep­res­ent­a­tion of the fun­nels with a path telling you how the con­ver­sion took place.

It will show you the impact of your mar­ket­ing from the past 1 month of time, includ­ing all the chan­nel paths or channel-groups in a path (form­ing a chan­nel group­ing path) that made the con­ver­sion effective.

For more info cre­at­ing and using chan­nel group­ing, refer to that link ;)

—————————————–

Step 6

A Crash Course On Work­ing With Reports

Okay, so now that you know the “pur­pose” of the most use­ful GA fea­tures, it’s time to recog­nize the GA inter­face and get a grip on it’s on-ground oper­a­tions. You now need to know about the basic report views and ana­lyt­ics usage.

So let’s delve right in.

But wait, before we really jump in, I want you to know that if at any point you feel over­whelmed or can’t find what you’re look­ing for, Google’s main activ­ity — “Search” — is here to help you.

That’s right.

Google’s got a search box spe­cific to ana­lyt­ics right there in your account! So if you feel lost, just type in what you’re look­ing for and your dash­board will fetch it for you. Nav­ig­a­tion doesn’t get any simpler.

Onward…

-  Time Control

The GA cal­en­dar gives you the act­ive date range set­tings option. This is the slot of time for which you want to fetch and ana­lyse data. Select the act­ive date range by select­ing days and months in the cal­en­dar. You can also type it into the input boxes to the right of the calendar.

Mul­tiple data ranges can be set to com­pare the per­form­ance of a site from day to day, month to month or year to year. These com­par­is­ons will be reflec­ted in all graphs and reports.

The Ana­lyt­ics timeline will show the traffic trends of your site.

-  Graphs and Annotations

Most reports will have graphs towards the top. The time units for these graphs can be altered by day, week or month.

Graphs will also allow you to select spe­cial dates on the time-axis and attach annota­tions to them. To do this, just click on the date on the graph and in the pop-up click on “cre­ate new annota­tion”. You can also modify its vis­ib­il­ity and make it private if needed.

These annota­tions are use­ful dur­ing spe­cial cam­paigns and launches. They stand out from the rest of the data and let you fig­ure out if a cer­tain event of mar­ket­ing activ­ity had an impact on your ana­lyt­ics data.

-  Met­rics

Met­rics are “meas­ure­ments” such as:

- Num­ber of visits

- Pages viewed per visit

- Aver­age time on site

These met­rics will appear as score­cards and as column val­ues in tables.

They can also be graphed. When view­ing a set of score­cards or even a single score­card, you can request a graph­ical view by just click­ing on it.

The score­card num­ber, ratio or per­cent­age will max­im­ize into a small trend line graph.

-  Met­ric Correlation

Cor­rel­a­tion between two dif­fer­ent met­rics can be determ­ined by view­ing their graphs together. To do so, click on “com­pare met­ric”, which is right above the graph trendline.

A drop down menu appears. From this menu, select the met­ric you wish to compare.

-  Explorer Tabs

Under the Explorer sec­tion of the dash­board, groups of met­rics will be found organ­ised into tabs. Click­ing on each tab will show a dif­fer­ent set of score­cards for that group of metrics.

For example:

The ‘Site Usage’ tab shows the vis­its, pages per visit, aver­age time on site, bounce rate, rev­enue etc.

The ‘Goal Set’ tabs show spe­cific con­ver­sion rates for each of the goals you set in the beginning.

The ‘Eco­m­merce’ tab shows rev­enue, trans­ac­tions, per visit value and other met­rics per­tain­ing to the eco­m­merce store’s group of metrics.

-  Adwords Report

These reports will fea­ture addi­tional tabs in the explorer sec­tions. The tabs are:

- Clicks (shows CTR, CTC, RPC, Clicks, ROI and Margins)

- Adsense (shows Adsense Rev­enue, Page Impres­sions, CTR etc.)

-  Tables and Dimensions

A lot of your reports will con­tain tables. Such tables will break-down your data by a single dimen­sion, for ease of inter­pret­a­tion and classification.

Dimen­sions” are mainly the cri­teria on which tables are based.

Examples:

Dimen­sions can be — Country/Territory, City, Con­tin­ent, Sub Con­tin­ent Region etc.

The rows in the table will provide inform­a­tion of dif­fer­ent records stored in that table, based on the dimen­sion selec­ted. Say, if “City” is the selec­ted dimen­sion, then each row in the table will be a record for a dif­fer­ent city.

To select a dimen­sion, point to the hori­zontal list of blue hyper­text links placed next to “View­ing” option on top of a table. These blue hyper­text words are the dimen­sions allowed for the table.

-  Sec­ond­ary Dimension

Below the hori­zontal list of dimen­sions is a grey bar that allows you to select a sec­ond­ary dimen­sion. This means you can select another allowed dimen­sion and com­bine the data of the two dimen­sions to see all pos­sible com­bin­a­tions of met­rics for the 2 dimen­sions held together in a single table.

Example:

You can select Oper­a­tion Sys­tem as a dimen­sion and the browser used by the vis­itor as a sec­ond­ary dimen­sion. Thus, you can pin­point the exact source of most of your traffic, by check­ing the given com­bin­a­tions of the com­bined table and ana­lys­ing correlation.

-  Data Fil­ter­ing
In the same grey bar as the sec­ond­ary dimen­sion, you can click the “Search” option above the table. It allows you to fil­ter out, i.e. “Exclude” cer­tain val­ues of a par­tic­u­lar dimension.

Example:

If you use “Search” and exclude City Dimen­sion Value ‘Lon­don’ from the ‘City’ dimen­sion, then any records per­tain­ing to Lon­don will not be dis­played in the table.

-  Report Views

Next to the ‘Search’ option above a table, there’s the View Option. Click on it and a drop down con­tain­ing the fol­low­ing choices will appear:

- Data

- Per­cent­age

- Per­form­ance

- Com­par­ison

- Term Cloud

- Pivot

The Data view organ­ises inform­a­tion into a table. It is the default view in most reports.

The Per­cent­age view cre­ates a met­ric spe­cific pie chart, while the Per­form­ance view gives a met­ric spe­cific bar graph.

The Com­par­ison view gives a visual meas­ure of met­ric val­ues, telling you if an entry in the table is per­form­ing above or below aver­age. You can go ahead and modify the entries that are lossy and see what can improve them.

The Term Cloud, as stated before, will help you visu­al­ise your keywords. Their import­ance is indic­ated by their size in the cloud.

The Pivot view cre­ates a ‘pivot table’ in which both rows and columns are allowed to beak out dimen­sion values.

As an example of Pivot, you can have a table with dif­fer­ent row entries for dif­fer­ent keywords and dif­fer­ent column attrib­utes indic­at­ing dif­fer­ent traffic sources such as Google and Yahoo Search.

-  Data Sorting

Columns in tables can have their inform­a­tion sor­ted in both ascend­ing and des­cend­ing order. To change the cur­rent order, simply click on a column heading.

The arrow next to a head­ing title will give you the order in which the entries are lis­ted. The down arrow means des­cend­ing order and the up arrow means ascend­ing order.

To expand the num­ber of res­ults dis­played in table from the default 10, click on the “show rows” option to the bot­tom right of the table and change the num­ber of rows. the max­imum num­ber of rows that can be dis­played is 500 per page.

-  Advanced Segments

Advanced Seg­ments are sub­sets of your data. They limit ana­lysis to a cer­tain seg­ment of a dimen­sion, based on a metric.

Example:

If you select the advanced seg­ment: ‘Vis­its with con­ver­sions’, then all your ana­lysis will get nar­rowed down to user activ­ity that res­ul­ted in a goal being attained with a desired con­ver­sion. The need for manual fil­ter­ing gets lowered greatly.

You can apply more than one advanced seg­ment, to fil­ter data in mul­tiple ways. You can select up to 4 seg­ments at a time. This lets you com­pare data for each seg­ment side by side as you go through your reports.

The ‘All traffic’ seg­ment allows you to remove the fil­ter and view all your data again.

Apart from the default seg­ments, there’s another cat­egory of seg­ments called ‘cus­tom seg­ments’. While default seg­ments are pre-defined and avail­able to any­one using GA, cus­tom seg­ments are user-defined and con­tain your per­son­al­ized ana­lysis criteria.

For cer­tain types of report­ing, cus­tom seg­ments can act as really power­ful fil­ters and mark­ers of cause and effect. But you should avoid get­ting caught up in cre­at­ing too many of these, as it can make ana­lysis cumbersome.

In other words, fly as your cam­paign would need you to.

And finally … [TL:DR]

With that, I hope to have laid down a basic primer to the world of GA and encour­age you to go ahead in set­ting up new Google Ana­lyt­ics for your web busi­ness. With prac­tice, exper­i­ment­a­tion and usage, I’m sure you’ll real­ise that it really is a power­ful tool for your growth.

Let me know how you get on and remem­ber Part 1 on imple­ment­ing the new Google Ana­lyt­ics is on My Google+ page

 

About

SEO, social con­tent and sig­nals advoc­ate, closet geek (not fully fledge), writer, speaker, & blogger.

Founder of NOD3x (http://nod3x.com) — Social Net­work Ana­lysis, know­ledge graph ana­lysis application

Lee can be con­tac­ted by email: here

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