Google Analytics: Using Regular Expressions to Segment Data (Guest Post)

I just wrote another best practices tutorial as a guest blogger on the Bronto Blog. This one pertains to using regular expressions to better filter email send campaign data in Google Analytics.

You can read the entire article here: Google Analytics: Using Regular Expressions to Jump Onto More Data!

Track outbound links and file downloads with Google Analytics

Track outbound links and file downloads with Google Analytics

One of those not-so-obvious features of Google Analytics is its ability to track outbound links and file downloads. This feature isn’t available by default, because Google Analytics tracks links by way of the tracking script you paste. So when users click from one page to the other on your site, Google Analytics can track the sequence of this visit.

Since your Analytics tracking code doesn’t exist on 3rd party websites you link to, Google Analytics won’t track this (at least not in your account—the site you link to may also have GA, but for privacy reasons, Google won’t share their data with you). Likewise, you can’t embed your GA tracking on a PDF or WMV file. … Read more

Tracking Redirects in Google Analytics Site Search

Tracking Site Search is important

Search Terms in Google AnalyticsTracking what users search for is one of the best ways to improve your website (Learn how to set up site search).   You can find out what users are searching for overall, what they’re searching for when on a specific page, and thanks to advanced segments, you can even track what they’re searching for after having landed on your site via the search engines.  This data can be useful for understanding what your visitors are looking for.  You may find that they are looking for a product you may have deemed less relevant and therefore relegated to a spot that’s harder to find than the products you deemed more relevant.
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Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) Test

Google recently began offering a Google Analytics IQ Test to allow individuals to earn certification (good for 18 months) for their skills. The online course is free, but the certification test itself is $50. Earlier today I took (and passed) the test.

If you plan on taking this test, I highly recommend going through the Conversion University tutorials before taking the test, which was much harder than I expected. Even if you don’t want to take the test, the quality of the information contained in the tutorials merit watching/listening to them.

Take the Google Analytics IQ Test

Validate site page changed with Google Analytic’s date comparison

Not so long ago, Google added the ability to compare date ranged in Analytics. One of the most efficient uses of this is the ability to check metrics before and after you made a change.

So for example, let’s say you changed products or copy, lowered prices, or added new products to a page on December 11, 2008. 2 weeks later you’d like to go back and measure the effectiveness of these changes.

1- Find your page in the Top Content Section

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Better Data Filtering with Advanced Segments

One of the main drawbacks of Google Analytics has been its inability to deeply cross-reference data. But thanks to the newly added Advanced Segments feature, that’s no longer a problem! Here is a perfect example of an old limitation now overcome.

The old limitations of Google Analytics

In the pre-Advanced Segment days of Google Analytics, you had no way to filter your Product Overview (under the E-Commerce tab) to only view products sold through a specific Campaign. At best, you could drill into an individual product, then filter your data accordingly. But if you’re selling thousands of products on your site, looking at them one at a time is hardly an option.

Cross-referencing products sold with referring sources is normally limited

Cross-referencing products sold with referring sources is normally limited

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Installing Google Analytics – How to Install Google Analytics

Installing Google Analytics is extremely simple.

1- Create a Google account if you don’t already have one.

2-Visit the Google Analytics website, click the Sign Up Now button, and follow the easy sign up process

3-Copy paste the code you are given, just above the closing body tag on all of your webpages (meaning your template or master page if applicable), then click the Check Status button on your Analytics interface, so Google can verify that your site is running the Analytics script.


Choose New Tracking Code (ga.js)

Copy the "New Tracking Code (ga.js)"

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Google Analytics – Save time with Regular Expressions

Using the Content section in Google Analytics

Google Analytics makes gathering data for individual pages rather simple. Simply click the Content link on the right navigation, then click Top Content. You’ll be treated to all of your site’s pages, in descending order of the traffic they receive.

Google Analytics Top Content

Google Analytics Top Content - Great for comparing your top page metrics

This is great if you simply want to know how your top pages are doing.
But what if you need to find specific pages, and these pages aren’t among the most visited pages? In the example above, there are 9,512 pages to sift through. Not many of us have that kind of time or patience.
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