Google Analytics Tips

Google Analytics is a great free software, anyway why using it, you can notice several important things missing, Pete from Search Light Digital, wrote a great post with a list of things you should be doing to get the most 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:, and so on. Next, we tweak the analytics code slightly, so it looks like this:

    <script type="text/javascript"><!?
    var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "<a target="_blank" href="https://ssl" mce_href="https://ssl">https://ssl</a>." : "<a target="_blank" href="http://www." mce_href="http://www.">http://www.</a>");
    document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src=?" + gaJsHost + "<a target="_blank" href="" mce_href=""></a>? type=?text/javascript?%3E%3C/script%3E"));
    // ?></script>
    <script type="text/javascript"><!?
    var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxxx-x");
    // ?></script>

    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.
    <script type="text/javascript"><!?
    var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
    document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src=?" + gaJsHost + " type=?text/javascript?%3E%3C/script%3E"));
    // ?></script>
    <script type="text/javascript"><!?
    var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-xxxxx-x");
    "1234", // The ID for the whole transaction
    "Mountain View", // The affiliate name, if there is one. If not, put as your name
    "11.99", // Total transaction value
    "1.29", // Tax
    "5.99", // Shipping charges
    "San Jose", // City
    "California", // State
    "USA" // Country
    "1234", // The ID for this single part of the order
    "DD44", // Product SKU
    "T-Shirt", // Product Name
    "Green Medium", // Category
    "11.99", // Price
    "1" // Quantity
    // ?></script>

    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!

No related posts.

Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

More from this category

blog comments powered by Disqus