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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. Read more →

How to use the (UTM) Campaign URL Builder

The Campaign URL Builder for Google Analytics is a free tool. It lets you build URLs by appending certain parameters to your existing landing page URLs. In turn, this lets you track inbound traffic from marketing campaigns in Google Analytics on a detailed level. Ultimately, you’re better equipped to analyse the performance of campaigns. And you’re able to do so on a per marketing channel basis. Let’s say you’re running a Winter 2016 Sale. Read more →

Fix Duplicate Ecommerce Transactions in Google Analytics

A relatively common issue with ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics is that transactions are often counted more than once. This is not really caused by an error in Google Analytics. Rather it’s a problem in the ecommerce platforms and the tracking implementations. For the most part, Google Analytics will trust that you send valid and correct data. So it doesn’t try to correct anything. But just like it’s possible (but not allowed) to log PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in Analytics such as email addresses, it’s also possible to log the same transaction multiple times. Read more →

How to find Dead Pages in Google Analytics

Once in a while, I need to identify so-called dead pages on a website - that is, pages with no pageviews. Usually, this is necessary when migrating a website to a new CMS. In that case, it’s useful to know if there are pages that can be safely deleted/omitted (just remember proper redirects). A similar use case is when cleaning up a website in order to remove unnecessary content. However, since Google Analytics only track pages that are visited, it’s not possible to find dead pages in Google Analytics alone since those pages will not show up in any reports. Read more →

4 important skills of great web analysts

The data analysts and web analysts of today are not just required to do reporting and relay data in simple charts and tables. True web analysis is about answering business critical questions and come up with intelligent answers. It’s about delivering real value based on insights derived from data. And it has a lot to do with recommending specific actions or to qualify discussions and planning in marketing and sales. Read more →

Track Real Time on Page for Bounces and Exits with GTM

The Time on Page metric is probably one of the most misunderstood metrics in Google Analytics. Google Analytics measures the time on page for each page, but can only do so by measuring the elapsed time between two interactions. The first interaction is the timestamp of the initial pageview, and the second interaction is usually the timestamp for the next pageview (or an event). So for sessions with just one pageview (i. Read more →

R with Google Analytics Edition | Reading List

So lately, I’ve been learning to use R with Google Analytics using R Studio. I’m just a couple of weeks in, but so far it has proven just amazing. By combining R with the Google Analytics Core Reporting API, it’s possible to do analysis, calculations and statistics much faster and deeper than using the Google Analytics interface or even add-ons to import Google Analytics data into Excel. Since R is script based, all analyses are automatically documented - and they’re easily reusable. Read more →

Which Ad Blockers are blocking Google Analytics?

Ad blocking software has gotten a lot of attention recently. Not because it’s new, but likely because it’s being used more widely. Studies put the ad block penetration at up to 37% or even higher - it depends on country and other factors. Ad blockers are intended to block those annoying (remarketing) ads that follow you around the net. But are ad blockers also affecting our ability to collect traffic data, e. Read more →

Track Anything in Google Analytics with Event Listeners

There is one thing I hear a lot when I’m giving talks about Google Analytics: “I didn’t know Google Analytics could track that!”. Put another way, I just as often get a question like “Could you make Google Analytics track [insert anything here]?“. The short answer is always, “Yes, you can track that in Google Analytics”. Basically, you can track anything that goes on inside a browser. If it happens within a browser (a mouse click, a keyboard key click, a mouse movement, scrolling) you can track it. Read more →

Analytics Reading List | May 2016

This is the first post in a series of Reading List posts. Part of working with web analytics and conversion optimisation is to keep learning. There are a lot of ways to learn; conferences, books, networking and so on. And then there are people you don’t know. I use Twitter, LinkedIn and even Google+ to follow people that do great stuff within Analytics. And very often, I’ll come across interesting posts or articles with great solutions for different analytical problems. Read more →

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