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Are you tweaking your Google Analytics for success?

Ever wondered how your competitors are doing well than you ? One reason of this could be their way to measure their traffic and tweaking performance, usability stuff. Google Analytics provides you with the best insight of your web site and using the following tweaks you can analyze, measure and improve your traffic and so Success.

When Google released Google Analytics, they allowed webmasters to use near-enterprise level analytics for free. However, there are a lot of things you need to tinker with in order to get some of the data you need from it. So, here’s my list of 10 things you really should be doing to get the most out of GA.

  1. Tracking clicks on links. Every time you put a link to anything external or a download on a page, make sure you add onClick=”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview(’/link/linkname’); “. Always know where your visitors went.
  2. Tracking user groups. If you’re sending people to a landing page, and you want to know where they go from there, segment them by using onLoad=”javascript:pageTracker._setVar(’Segment/Subgroup’);”. This will help you know what different groups are doing, and split-test user behaviour.
  3. Tracking full referred URLs. You’ll often get visits from forums or blogs that append their URLs. That’s not much use to you, so to make sure you know where people actually came from, set up a filter with the following settings:
    • Name: Full Referrers
    • Type: Custom filter – Advanced
    • Field A -> Extract A: Referral > (.*)
    • Field B -> Extract B:
    • Output To -> Constructor: User-defined > $A$1
  4. Exclude internal visits. Add a new filter, with the “Exclude all traffic from an IP address” setting. Then add your own IP address, and repeat for any other IPs you don’t want to be included. Make sure you escape any full stops, with a backslash, like this: 63\.212\.171\.
  5. Tracking across multiple domains/subdomains. If you’re running a very large site, or a site that spans multiple domains, you’ll need to be able to track visits across those sites. Fortunately, we have a way of doing that. Firstly, we set up the following filter:
    • Name: Full URI
    • Type: Custom filter – Advanced
    • Field A -> Extract A: Hostname > (.*)
    • Field B -> Extract B: Request URI > (.*)
    • Output To -> Constructor: Request URI > /$A1$B1

    Now you’ll see URLs in your content reports that look like this: www.example.com/index.html, help.example.com/more.html and so on. Next, we tweak the analytics code slightly, so it looks like this:

    That will make the code work across all our (sub)domains. Finally, whenever you link from one domain to the other, make sure that you stick this piece of code into the link: onclick=”pageTracker._link(this.href); return false;”. Alternatively, if you’re using forms to jump between domains, use this code instead: onSubmit=”javascript:pageTracker._linkByPost(this)”.

  6. Tracking ecommerce transactions. Yes, Google Analytics has a full ecommerce module built in too. To turn it on, go to the account settings, and change the Ecommerce Website button from No to Yes. Now, on your receipt page, add the following code, with the fields below being filled from the order.

    The last part (pageTracker._addItem( to the closing ); is repeated for each extra product or order in the transaction. And now you’ve got ecommerce tracking!

  7. Tracking exact keywords for AdWords. The problem with the keyword reports for your paid search campaigns, is that they only show the keyword that was triggered, not the exact keyword the person actually typed in. If you want to get that, you’re going to have to create the following two filters…
    • Name: PPC Keywords 1
    • Type: Custom filter – Advanced
    • Field A -> Extract A: Referral > (\?|&)(q|p)=([^&]*)
    • Field B -> Extract B: Campaign Medium > cpc|ppc
    • Output To -> Constructor: Custom Field 1 > $A3

    Field A Required, Field B Required and Override Output Field need to be set to Yes.

    • Name: PPC Keywords 2
    • Type: Custom filter – Advanced
    • Field A -> Extract A: Custom Field 1 > (.*)
    • Field B -> Extract B: Campaign Term > (.*)
    • Output To -> Constructor: Campaign Term > $B1,($A1)

    Again, Field A Required, Field B Required and Override Output Field need to be set to Yes.
    Now when you look in your reports, you’ll see the actual keyword the searchter typed in, in brackets next to the keyword that was triggered. Cool, huh?

  8. Making the site overlay tool useful. There’s a basic flaw in the way the site overlay works. Unfortunately, it groups all clicks on a URL togeter, so if you’ve got two links to the same URL, it’ll report the total data for both, rather than for each link individually. To get around this, leave the first link to the URL in question as it is, but add &location=x to the end of each additional link (where x isthe number of that link, so the first extra link would be 1, a second would be 2 and so on). Fixed!

If you’ve got any thoughts, comments or suggestions for things we could add, leave a comment! Also please Subscribe to our RSS for latest tips, tricks and examples on cutting edge stuff.

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  • Sounds like good advice and helpful tips! I like the way you laid it out step by step.

  • Sounds like good advice and helpful tips! I like the way you laid it out step by step.