The Time on Page metric is probably one of the most misunderstood metrics in Google Analytics. Google Analytics measures the time on page for each page, but can only do so by measuring the elapsed time between two interactions. The first interaction is the timestamp of the initial pageview, and the second interaction is usually the timestamp for the next pageview (or an event). So for sessions with just one pageview (i.e. bounces) there’s just one timestamp. In those cases, Google Analytics is unable to measure the time on page. As such, for the time spent on a page for bouncing sessions and on exit pages there’s simply no data. (there’s no ‘last’ timestamp on exit pages either). The real time on page is therefore likely higher than what your reports are telling you.
So lately, I’ve been learning to use R with Google Analytics using R Studio. I’m just a couple of weeks in, but so far it has proven just amazing. By combining R with the Google Analytics Core Reporting API, it’s possible to do analysis, calculations and statistics much faster and deeper than using the Google Analytics interface or even add-ons to import Google Analytics data into Excel. Since R is script based, all analyses are automatically documented – and they’re easily reusable. Throw in the built-in plot functions (or the ggplot2 package) to build a wide range of visual representations of data, and you got an extremely powerful data analysis tool. However, what I’ve found is that – compared to Google Analytics – it’s more difficult to find good information, tips and learning material online. So I thought I’d share some of the articles I have come across. [Read more…] about R with Google Analytics Edition | Reading List
Ad blocking software has gotten a lot of attention recently. Not because it’s new, but likely because it’s being used more widely. Studies put the ad block penetration at up to 37% or even higher – it depends on country and other factors. Ad blockers are intended to block those annoying (remarketing) ads that follow you around the net. But are ad blockers also affecting our ability to collect traffic data, e.g. by blocking Google Analytics?
[Read more…] about Which Ad Blockers are blocking Google Analytics?
There is one thing I hear a lot when I’m giving talks about Google Analytics: “I didn’t know Google Analytics could track that!”. Put another way, I just as often get a question like “Could you make Google Analytics track [insert anything here]?”. The short answer is always, “Yes, you can track that in Google Analytics”. Basically, you can track anything that goes on inside a browser. If it happens within a browser (a mouse click, a keyboard key click, a mouse movement, scrolling) you can track it. This means that we can make Analytics listen for and track anything that happens in the browser as long as it’s triggered by the user. Luckily, there’s a nifty thing called event listeners help us.
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