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Using the New Google Analytics

Great step-by-step on how to set up and get started with the new version of Google Analytics. Part Two is at http://leesmallwood.com/2012/04/23/google-analytics/
 
How To Implement the New Google Analytics - Part 1

Over the past few months have seen an array of changes made to the Google Analytics (GA) interface and the engine underneath. As a result, it's become an ‘Enterprise Analytics’ solution, and can be a wild task figuring out how to set up the new GA to work on your website and to analyse the results presented.

This article aims to clear the fog a little. It will explain in depth how to use the new GA and what advantages the recent improvements offer. Let's get started.

Step 1

What's Google Analytics Really Meant For?

For those who don't use GA or don't quite understand it's full use and potential, let me dumb it down for you.

Google Analytics is Google's free web-analytics tool that helps webmasters and online marketers to create better websites, so that these sites are optimised to the visitor's needs. This helps you get the best return on a marketing campaign.

In essence, GA is meant to help you find how visitors find and use your site. When you know this, you can make better content and design choices for your webpages. And GA will help you see the impact of the changes you made by showing you

- Increase or decrease in conversions

- The site's keyword performance

- The site's ad performance

- Site revenue through measure of average purchase/order value

- Conversion rates (for ecommerce stores)

GA also helps you trace where visitors go after they leave critical points on your website, such as an order form or shopping cart. This gives you a transparent view of why your business isn't making the kind of income you expected.

You can use this information to make your sites more interactive and to keep your visitor's interest where it creates a win-win for both them and you.

A couple key features of GA that stand out the most include:

- Geographic Data - Which helps you target campaigns by region

- Adwords Monitoring - Access specific GA features in your Adwords account

- Monitoring Site Search - To see how users use your site's search box

- Funnel Views - To see a user's ‘clickpath’ through a sales funnel

- First Person Cookies - These are safe and users don't block them

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Step 2

Setting Up Asynchronous Tracking

The new GA uses asynchronous tracking which is different from the traditional tracking mechanism. This tracking code loads faster, gives more accurate data about visits to pages with heavy scripts and eliminates errors from javascript loading problems.

Follow these steps to set it up:

1. Log in to your analytics account and locate the profile you are
running for a particular website.

2. Click "edit" next to the profile, to open the profile settings page.

3. Click on "check status".

4. A code snippet will pop-up based on your profile. There will be a line inside the scope of the <script- tag that would look something like:

_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-***-*']);

In the above, verify "UA-***-*". It should indicate your profile ID number.

5. Copy the entire code snippet. Paste it before closing the <head- tag on the webpage you wish to monitor. It would look something like this:

(Code)

<head-

<title-

/*page title*/

</title-

/*Paste GA code snippet here*/

</head-

(End Code)

6. Remember, any other scripts that you wish to run at page loading time, must either be places before the analytics code or at the very end of the page for smooth functioning of analytics.

For more details on how to customise the tracking code, refer to this page:

https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/gajs/

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Step 3

Understanding The New Dashboard

There's great news for brands that are into multiple online businesses. On the same account, a firm (or user) can create up to 20 different dashboards specific to each business type they indulge in.

And each department of the business can have it's own goals. Different goals mean different widgets operating on different dashboards.

Every dashboard is created a matrix-type interface layout, where each module in the matrix is a widget. You can add and remove widgets. This will add and remove modules from your dashboard.

But one module that will consistently remain selected is "goal completions" and it'll generally lie at the top right of the dashboard, unless otherwise modified in the settings by the user. Other widgets would show a graphical or tabulated representation of a particular metric, including but not limited to:

- Visits (numeric and graphical)

- Source/Medium (tabulated)

- Goal Completions (graphical)

- Page Load Sample (graphical)

- Timeline (graphical)

- Bounce Rate (numeric percentage)

- Mobile Device Info (tabulated)

Of all these, which widgets you see and what depth they analyse your business in, will depend on your "goals". So let's understand goal setting in analytics.

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Step 4

Setting Up Goals And Funnels

Goals need to be created to allow GA to compute your goal conversion metrics. This does have a few requirements:

- A Goal Name

This identifies the aim or reference of a goal.

Example: "Download of My-Free-Report.pdf"

- A Goal Set

This puts the goal in relation to other similar goals.

More information about goal sets can be found here:

http://support.google.com/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=143572

- The Sales Funnel

Defining a sales funnel before setting up a goal can help determine which point of your selling process pushed a visitor away, or which part worked well. Your goal can be the end result of a sales funnel, or an intermediate result requiring the user to take some action.

- Goal Value

This is an interesting number.

Assigning a value to a goal can be tricky. But it is critical for you to track your progress in GA. Here's a step by step procedure to get a close estimate of what the value of a goal could actually be, for a sales analysis:

1. Calculate the average monetary expense paid 'to you' by a customer using your site. Let's call this "transaction value".

Example:

Say you're selling ‘Taylor Made golf clubs’ and the transaction value is about £500.

2. Let's say our goal is to "Get visitor's telephone number".

3. Now, if a list of warm leads (those who willingly gave telephone numbers) is given to your sales team...how many of these leads can your team close?

5% ?

10% ?

20% ? (Miraculous)

Whatever that number is, it gives the percentage of your leads (i.e. goal results) that is actually useful to your business and brings in capital.
So in our example, let's be optimistic and say "20%". We'll call this the "closing ratio".

4. So the 'getting telephone numbers' part effectively contributes only 20% towards a sale, where equal effort is made on 100% of all the leads collected.

Therefore, the value of the goal - "Get visitor's telephone number" is calculated as:

(Transaction value) x (Closing ratio)

In our example, this equals

£500 x 20%

which is £100.

That's the goal value we're looking for. A similar process can be carried out for other goals such as newsletter sign-ups and webinar attendance.

Once you've got these basic requirements covered, you can go ahead and set up a goal using these steps:

1. On the overview page, select the profile that you wish to set up goals for.

2. Under the actions column, click "edit".

3. Find the "goals" section on the page and select the goal set.

4. Click on "Add Goal".

5. Enter the goal name you desire and hit "turn on" to start monitoring it.

6. There's a pull down menu next to the goal which has the option to select a goal position. this position affect where your goal appears in the profile under the "Goals" tab. This is an optional step.

7. Goals can be moved between goal sets in the new GA, making things very flexible. More info can be found here:

http://support.google.com/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=158823

8. Decide the goal type. This is important. It refines the results you get from your analytics data as there are different types of behaviours and actions a user can execute, to complete a goal you want.

There are 3 types of goals identified by Google Analytics:

- URL destination

- Time on site

- Pages/Visit

More details on each goal type and its relevance can be found here:

http://support.google.com/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=148375

9. Next, a set of attributes will come up for "Goal Details". Depending on the goal type and action needed, fill in the fields.

Now, let's look at the funnel set up process. For URL goals, this would even be a requirement. Detailed steps for setting up funnels are as follows:

1. At the conclusion of goal setup, you have an option of creating a funnel for the goal. Select the affirmative option.

2. Fill in the URL of the entry page to your funnel. This is where your sales funnel analysis starts.

3. Give this URL step a name.

4. If this (or any) step is essential, there will be a checkbox to the
right saying "Required Step" which must be selected.
Remember that if any user reaches a goal without passing through a "required step", their activity would not be counted in your conversion analysis.

5. Go to the next step and enter more URLs as appropriate.

6. When done, click on "save changes". Your funnel has been created and is ready for GA to start monitoring.

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Step 5

Understanding Reporting And Visualisations

There's fundamentally 3 things that the new GA does very well.

- Allowing Webmaster cognition

- Presenting stats and visualisations

- Funnel Dissection and event tracking

I'll discuss these in detail on my blog in Part 2 :) along with:

- Webmaster Cognition
- Presenting Stats And Visualisations
- Funnel Dissection And Event Tracking

and finally a A Crash Course On Working With Reports

Part 2 of Implementing the #NewGoolgeAnalytics can be found here --> http://leesmallwood.com/2012/04/23/google-analytics/
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6 comments
 
+Lee Smallwood Thanks so much. Watched a bit of the +Chris Lang Hangout yesterday where he went over GA. Unbelievable how far you can dig for data. I'll need to set some serious time aside for this. :-)
 
+Ray Hiltz It's amazing how far you can drill down using GA... I think most people are put off from implementing fully because:

- Info is a bit scarce on how to
- Appears too techie
- Perception of time required outweighs the results returned...

Hopefully that will change..

+Chris Lang is a great source of info relating to this (amongst other things) ... I missed his #hangout yesterday (it was my wife's birthday)
 
+Mark Traphagen Well, you've just given the reasons why I procrastinate when I need to check my stats on GA.
Now that Google's changed the SEO world so much, maybe a move to GAO might be a smart career move? :-)
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