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Take your Google Analytics knowledge to the next level in this intermediate session that covers beyond-basic tactics including: Event & conversion tracking, custom reports, custom segments, custom dashboards, secondary dimensions, filters, referral spam, self-referral issues, and cross-domain tracking.
How to Increase Your Google Analytics Skills (Intermediate Google Analytics): WordCamp 2018
A Pam Ann Marketing Company
There are SO many ways to increase your Google Analytics skills.
We only have time for a QUICK overview today of some important
...but these slides are chock full of links to additional information on
I highly recommend downloading the slides to read more later!
“The goal is to turn data into
information, and information into
-Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of HP
Grouping Users Sessions
Search 119 128 61.72% 1.8 0:01:48
Paid Search 80 86 75.58% 1.03 0:01:23
Question: Do organic search visitors engage with our
site more than paid search users?
Information: Yes, organic users bounce less, stay longer,
and consume more content.
Insight: We should invest more in SEO.
To effectively turn data into
information and then insight, it
needs to be:
3. Segmented in a way that can
Use Secondary Dimensions
One account can have multiple properties (websites).
One property (website) can have multiple views (where the data is filtered in
Many accuracy issues in GA come from improper
tracking code implementation.
A SINGLE copy of the tracking code must be placed
BEFORE the closing </head> tag on each page (ideally
right AFTER the opening <head> tag).
Double-check your implementation with Google Tag
Assistant (Chrome extension).
Self-referral traffic is traffic from your own domain that is
shown as NEW incoming traffic.
This can cause sessions to be double-counted, and
conversion data to be inaccurate.
Look for this in Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Referrals
Admin -> Tracking Info ->
Referral Exclusion List
Also do this for external payment gateways like PayPal, so
that GA will associate returning users with their original
session data after checkout.
Similar to self-referral issues, traffic that sends users
back-and-forth across different domains can result in
double-session counting and inaccurate conversion data.
OurSite.com OurCareerSite.com OurSite.com
Use the SAME Google Analytics Property (Tracking Code)
for all domains, and segment the traffic in GA by setting
up separate views:
Account Property View
OurSite OurSiteProperty All Sites COMBINED
Requires addition of “linker” script. Full instructions:
Remove yourself and
your team from GA
Advanced Way: IP Filtering*
*IMPORTANT! ALWAYS create an unfiltered backup
Referral spam is “fake” traffic that spammers send to
your GA account to get your attention.
It often, but not always, has a 100% bounce rate, 1 page
per session, and 00:00:00 session duration.
Referral spam skews sitewide average metrics, and
should be filtered out of your main GA view.
*IMPORTANT! ALWAYS create an unfiltered backup
So how do you filter out referral spam?
Option 1: DIY – Follow His
Option 2: Pay Him
Follow step-by-step instructions here:
Contact Carlos here:
Sign up for email updates, update
your filters each time an email notice
Pros: Free Pros: Taken care of for you,
Cons: VERY complicated, requires
Cons: Requires ongoing
Track all ACTUAL conversions.
“Viewed Contact Page” is NOT a conversion.
But form fills and purchases are. Be sure to track all.
Form Fill Tracking:
• Easy way:
• Redirect submitted forms to a “-/thank-you/” URL
• Set up a destination goal
Form Fill & Ecommerce Tracking (Advanced Way):
• Form-Fill Event Tracking with Tag Manager:
• Ecommerce tracking w/Tag Manager:
Track Key Non-Conversion actions with Event Tracking
(View under Behavior -> Events):
• Video Views & Interactions:
• YouTube: https://www.simoahava.com/analytics/the-youtube-video-trigger-in-
• Vimeo: https://help.vimeo.com/hc/en-us/articles/115002859607-Integrating-with-
• Clicks on mailto:, click-to-call, or outbound links:
• Clicks on images or other elements:
My favorite nifty little
segmenting trick is
“Hmm..our Careers page
is one of our top landing
I wonder where all the
traffic to that page is
This nifty dropdown
Adds this add’l
column of data
Many options for
ways to quickly
break data down
Custom segments allow
you to view ALL GA
reports through a filtered
For example, we have
multiple pages in our
Careers section. I can
create a segment to view
all activity on all careers
pages across all GA
More info on segments:
When I apply that segment, any report I go to only shows data for
sessions on Careers pages.
I can also do the same for another section of the site, and view both
segments at once:
If you find yourself…
1. Using the same custom segment all the
2. Using the same secondary dimension all
It may be better to create a custom report
with those settings, and not have to apply
the secondary dimension or custom
segment all the time.
More info on custom reports:
Just select the:
1. Dimension (1st column
2. Metrics (numbers in the
3. Filters (what type of
traffic you want to
narrow the report to)
reports, can be
sent by email.
(Just click the
Custom dashboards are great for quick visualization of a hand-
selected group of stats.
More info on custom dashboards: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1068216?hl=en
To create one, go to Customization -> Dashboards.
You can start with a clean slate, or import a premade dashboard
from the gallery and customize it.
To effectively turn data into information and
insight, it needs to be:
3. Segmented in a way that can answer