This is the first post in a series of Reading List posts. Part of working with web analytics and conversion optimisation is to keep learning. There are a lot of ways to learn; conferences, books, networking and so on. And then there are people you don’t know. I use Twitter, LinkedIn and even Google+ to follow people that do great stuff within Analytics. And very often, I’ll come across interesting posts or articles with great solutions for different analytical problems. With this series, I want to share what I believe to be some of the best recent articles. And please do send me a suggestion if you think I should read something. [Read more…] about Analytics Reading List | May 2016
Did you know you can detect and track device orientation changes in Google Analytics? That is, if a mobile or tablet user switches between portrait and landscape mode? Well, of course it’s possible (basically anything that happens inside a browser can be detected and tracked in Google Analytics).
In a previous post, I wrote about how to detect and track the browser’s viewport (which was made almost obsolete by the new native Browser Size dimension). This tells us how users as a whole view our website, and provide valuable information about how to layout our pages. If users on a specific site or page have very large viewports, then we can make use of a lot of screen real estate.
In this post, I’ll take it a step further. Because sometimes, I really need to know if users are literally turning their devices (mobiles or tablets). Perhaps our responsive website has been designed for browsing in landscape mode. But in reality our users might prefer to browse in portrait mode. In any case, we need to know, so we can go tell our designers to optimise the experience for one or the other (or both!). [Read more…] about Track Device Orientation changes in Google Analytics
Every website owner and web analyst reaches a point where there’s a need to get Google Analytics data in Excel. While the Google Analytics web interface is very user friendly and easy to work with, it quickly becomes an obstacle when doing more advanced analysis. Very often, we also want to do the same analysis from month to month for reporting purposes. Or maybe we need to merge Google Analytics data with other data – and Excel then gives us more tools than the Google Analytics interface.
In this post, I’ll teach you how to import data from Google Analytics directly into Excel – without needing to build and export reports in Google Analytics. You’ll need access to your Google Analytics account (duh!) and you’ll need Microsoft Excel 2007 or later running on a Windows PC.
Google Analytics Annotations are a built-in feature of Google Analytics. It lets all people with access to Google Analytics account add comments to nearly all reports (at least those with charts). Everybody should use annotations to comment on traffic changes, traffic spikes and other important events.
This can save you a lot of time. You won’t have to do the same data dives every time you wonder why something happened to your traffic. It’s really useful when you’re looking at data from weeks, months or even years ago. Equally important, it saves your fellow analysts and coworkers for even more time, because they won’t have to do the deep dives at all.
So in this post, I’ll teach you everything (or at least the most important) you need to know about annotations.
If you see self referrals appearing in your Acquisition reports in Google Analytics, or if you are performing a Google Analytics implementation audit, one of the first steps is to make sure that the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) is present on all pages – Screaming Frog will help you do that fast and easy.
In this post, I’ll show you a step-by-step guide for checking your website for pages that don’t have the GATC installed or don’t have the Google Tag Manager snippet present.
When you are setting up Google Analytics on your website, you’ll want to verify that it’s actually working and that data is being collected and processed. So even before you begin to configure events, ecommerce tracking etc., it’s crucial that you can trust your data collection. This involves checking if Google Analytics is being loaded at all and if your customisations such as event tracking is working as intended.
In this post, I’ll provide some tips and tricks that can help you in the initial setup phase on your Google Analytics implementation.
Have you ever observed pages on your website with a 0% or very low bounce rate? If so, then chances are that you have a faulty Analytics setup. Well, of course it’s possible to have a website or a landing page that is just so amazing, that all of your users interact and stay on your website!
But, every time I’ve seen a close to zero percent bounce rate, it’s been caused by an error in the Google Analytics implementation. I’ll explain the most common of those in this post.
The Bounce Rate is probably one of the most used metrics in web analysis. But it’s also one of the most misused and misunderstood metrics. Much too often, analysts simply look for high bounce rates on specific landing pages, and recommend changes or even deletion of those pages – based solely on their bounce rate. While bounce rates can tell us a lot about page performance, it’s – as always with digital analytics – much more complicated than that. [Read more…] about Bounce Rate: How (not) to use it for content
Ad blockers have been around for years – and I won’t go into a moral or ethical discussion about the use of them. But with Apple’s iOS9 update, content (or ad) blocking suddenly became much more mainstream. Now, the problem is that many ad blockers also block Google Analytics.
Analytics software such as Google Analytics is there to help users – not monitor or track them per se. We use analytics data to improve and optimize our websites. When our analytics software is blocked, we risk making bad or outright wrong decisions. So one important thing to do as an analyst in this landscape of blocking, is to get an idea of how big the problem actually is. And why not use Google Analytics to track how many users are blocking Google Analytics? [Read more…] about How to track if Google Analytics is blocked – in Analytics!