Data Analysis

4 Things to Know About Google Analytics Goals

One of the fundamental configurations in Google Analytics is to setup Goals. Goals are what allows you to analyze your website’s ability to drive users to what you want them to do (i.e. their Goals). Basically, goals are the actions on your website that provide value for you and for your customers. In turn, you’ll use Goals and Goal Conversion Rate to analyze the performance of e.g. your paid traffic channels. Which ones work and which don’t? But as with many things in Google Analytics, there are some things you need to know about Google Analytics goals, before you can use them intelligently.

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Data Analysis

Pageviews and Unique Pageviews in Google Analytics

You’re probably familiar with the All Pages report in Google Analytics. This report tells you basic data about all of your pages. Things such as the number of entrances (landings), exit rate, bounce rate and so on. But the two first metrics – Pageviews and Unique Pageviews – often lead to confusion. Because, what’s the difference between Pageviews and Unique Pageviews?

This is a really short post since the answer is simple. It’s not even a post. I’ve categorized it in WordPress as an “Aside”. Which I think is just a quick note. But back to the difference. Just as there is a difference between Users and Sessions, Pageviews and Unique Pageviews are a world apart.

The Pageviews metric shows the total number of times a specific page is viewed. Even if your users view it multiple times by refreshing the page or by visiting it several times. So this is the total.

On the other hand, the Unique Pageviews metric is always going to be equal to or lower than the Pageviews metric. This metric only counts one per pageview of a given page per session. So even if a user views a page several times within one session, this only counts as one unique pageview.

So, Pageviews are the total – even if a user visits the same page multiple times within one session. Unique Pageviews are the total number sessions in which a page was viewed.

Practical Guides for Google Analytics & Tag Manager

How to Add Users to Google Analytics

It’s best practice too simply add users to Google Analytics when someone needs to access your data. Don’t ever share your own login and password! So if someone asks for access to Google Analytics, add that someone as a separate user.

User Levels

There are four different levels of users. Depending on the user level, that user will have different permissions inside Google Analytics. This is basically called role management. And it allows you to control what users can do. Some users should only be able to view data, while other users should be able to setup filters (which can modify your data).

The different user levels are:

  1. Read & Analyse
    This type of user can view all reports (including shared assets such as segments, custom reports and dashboards. This user type can also create his/hers own personal assets and share them with other users.
  2. Collaborate
    Apart from including the same permissions as the Read & Analyse user, collaborators can, well, collaborate on shared assets. Which means this user can edit dashboards, custom reports and create annotations.
  3. Edit
    The ‘Editor’ has the same rights as the two previous user types. In addition, this user can perform administrative tasks. This involves adding, editing and deleting accounts, properties and views, create new filters, edit existing filters etc.
  4. Manage Users
    Well, this user is special and does not include rights of any other user types (which must be assigned explicitly). This user can simply add and remove users and also edit the rights of those users.

Add Users to Google Analytics

So, now that you know something about different user permissions, it’s time to add some users to Google Analytics.

Start by logging in to Google Analytics (duh!). Then go to the Admin tab (1). Use the dropdowns to select the Account, Property and View on which you want to grant access.

Then click on User Management (2a, 2b or 2c) below the dropdowns. If granting access on Account level, the permissions will apply to all properties and views in that Account. If you grant access on View level, the permissions only apply to that view and not to the property or account. (Note: If an ‘Editor’ needs to create filters, he/she must be given Edit permission on Account level).

Google Analytics Admin Panel
How to add users to Google Analytics

When you’ve clicked on User Management, you’ll see a list of existing users. Each user has a dropdown where you can change that user’s permission levels.

Below the list, there’s a section called Add Permissions For followed by a text input field. This is where you simply enter the email address of the user you want to have access. In the dropdown on the right, simply select the permissions for that user.

You can opt to notify the user of the granted permissions by checking the “Notify this user by email” option.

It’s important to note that the email address of the user *must* be a Google Account or attached to a Google Account. Every Gmail address is automatically a Google Account. But it’s also possible to create a Google Account for other email addresses.

When you’re ready, hit the Add button, and you’re good to go!

Data Analysis

What are Users and Sessions in Google Analytics?

I do Google Analytics training sessions very often, and often for non-analysts. One of the questions that pop up most often is something that might seem basic for full time web analysts. Namely, just what are Users and Sessions? And what is the difference between Users and Sessions in Google Analytics? What do those metrics mean and how do Google Analytics track and count Users and Sessions?

Many people think Users are the same thing as people. Which – at its core – is wrong. Sessions are more easily understood. But the relationship between the two seems to be difficult to grasp for many. People who’ve been working with ecommerce for years also wonders whatever happened to good old metrics such as Unique Visitors and Visits. Not that they understand those two metrics any better.

So, in this post, I want to share the explanation I usually give in my training sessions and workshops. If you’re an analyst or consultant yourself, I hope this will make it easier for you to explain the whole Users vs. Sessions thingy to your colleagues. And if you work in Sales or Marketing and don’t consider yourself a Google Analytics expert, then I hope you’ll learn the definitions and differences here. Continue reading