6 Advanced Google Analytics Tricks That All Site Owners Should Know

google analytics

When it comes to free analytics software, nothing comes close to Google Analytics.

Over 28,365,107 sites use it, which makes it the most popular analytics solution on the market.

Although it has some limitations, it’s fantastic as a free product.

However, most webmasters see the basic graphs and stats that Google Analytics (GA) gives you and never dig any deeper.

This is a shame because there are some really useful advanced features just waiting for you to be used. And I’m about to show you what they are.

And although they’re advanced, they aren’t that complicated to implement or use. I’m going to break them down step by step in this post, and I encourage you to start using as many of them as you find useful. 

Download this cheat sheet of 6 advanced google analytics tricks that all site owners should know.

1. One goal is nice, but two is better…

Too many website owners focus mostly on traffic.

But traffic is just a vanity stat. What really matters is conversions.

It doesn’t matter how many people you can get to visit your site if you can’t convince many to subscribe or buy from you.

As a marketer, you can do many things to try to improve your conversion rates. But they all require tracking your conversions to see if you were able to produce a statistically significant improvement.

In GA, conversions are called “goals.” Goals are specific actions that visitors take on your website that you’d like to track.

Setting up a basic goal: Goals are limited because you can track only a few specific options. If you need more customized options (e.g., clicking a specific link), I’ll show you how to do that with another trick later on.

What goals are typically best for is to track when a visitor loads a specific, exclusive page, like a thank-you page after signing up for an email newsletter.

To start, go to the “Conversions > Goals > Overview” tab at the very bottom of the left-hand menu:

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Next, you can choose which pre-filled template you’d like to use. This will narrow down the fields you need to fill out in the final steps:

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Once you click Next step, you’ll get a chance to give your goal a name. This will show up later in your analytics, so pick something that is descriptive.

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One last step is to put in the page or metric you’d like tracked.

In this case, it’s a URL of a thank-you page that visitors can access only after signing up to a newsletter (it automatically redirects them to it).

You can also add a value for the goal. If a subscriber is worth $50 (hypothetically), you can type that in. It will show up in your tracking later on, and you can use it as a quick estimate of your income over a time period.

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Once you click “Create goal”, you’re done.

You won’t have any data at the start, but after a few days, you’ll see a graph like this:

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In addition, you can go to almost any report in GA and see a column for your goal. For example, you can see how well traffic converts based on its landing page:

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Take conversions further by setting up multiple goal tracking: What do you do when you want to track a specific goal, but there are multiple ways for a visitor to accomplish it?

For example, you may have different email lists that users can join, so they have separate thank-you pages tailored for each specific list.

You could create two separate goals, but in many cases, you’ll want to combine them into a single “email signup” goal. It’s pretty simple to do.

Create your goal just like you normally would (above), but when you get to the final step, choose “regular expression” instead of “equals to.”

This allows you to use regular expression statements to create a goal that matches multiple pages.

For example, if I had two destination pages after a user signs up:

  • /thank-you.html
  • /download

I would enter:

/(thank-you.html|download)$

As shown below:

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If you’re not familiar with regular expressions, the vertical line (“|”) represents an OR statement. Essentially, it’s saying that if the URL matches a value on either side of the line, it should count as a goal. The brackets are needed to identify where the different options start and end.

Finally, the dollar sign signifies the end of the regular expression. In this case, it wouldn’t matter, but if you had multiple URLs that contained “/download”, you would use it to avoid counting other pages as well.

2. Understand your effectiveness with event tracking

Readers click on a lot of things when they visit your website.

One way to track their actions is with heat mapping software, but GA also has a few useful features.

An event is typically a click.

With event tracking, you can track how often readers are clicking a specific link or element. Most commonly, it is used to track:

  • file downloads
  • link clicks
  • embedded AJAX page elements interactions
  • Flash movie (or element) plays

This is useful to see if visitors are actually clicking on a specific link or element that you add to a page.

The good news is that it’s relatively simple to do once you understand it.

Here’s what the basic form of event tracking code looks like:

_trackEvent(category, action, opt_label, opt_value, opt_noninteraction)

That’s going to mean absolutely nothing until I define the terms in brackets there:

  • category – the type of event you are clicking. This label is mandatory, but you can call it anything. Examples include “bonus file,” “video,” and “affiliate links.”
  • action – this is also mandatory. You need to specify a type of action that describes the event. Typically it will be something like “click” or “download.”
  • opt_label – another label you can use to describe the event—optional.
  • opt_value – how much you think this action is worth. Don’t include currency symbols: e.g., enter “5” for $5. This is an optional field.
  • opt_noninteraction – if someone completes this event, you need to decide if you’d like it to affect the page’s bounce rate. If you do want it to affect it, enter “False”, otherwise, enter “True.”

Let’s pretend that I had a bonus PDF of my best marketing tricks available for download. My event tracking code would look like this:

_trackEvent(‘lead magnet’, ‘download’, ‘marketing tricks’, 5, True)

But this code by itself is useless. What you need to do is add it to an “onClick” property in a link’s URL. Unfortunately, there are some slight syntax differences, so you can’t just copy and paste.

I need to find the link to the PDF download and add the code:

<a href=”/downloads/marketing-tricks.pdf” onClick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘lead magnet’, ‘download’, ‘marketing tricks’, 5, false]);”>Download the Marketing Tricks PDF</a>

Make this easy with a code generator: If you’re not a huge fan of the technical stuff or having trouble remembering how to format the code correctly, you can use a GA event tracking code generator.

Just enter in the variables I explained above, and it will spit out the onClick code that you can copy and paste into a link:

image44

Once you’ve filled out the fields, you’ll get something like this:

image04

3. Get a visual look into your visitors’ actions with in-page analytics

What if you could see exactly what your visitors were doing on your pages?

That’d be pretty useful. You’d be able to see what parts of the content attracted their attention and which parts they didn’t really care for. You could use that information to optimize the user experience, which would lead to better conversions and more sales.

Well, that’s exactly what a heatmap software such as Crazy Egg does.

While it isn’t that expensive, I know that some website owners want to start with a more basic solution that doesn’t cost them anything. That solution is GA’s in-page analytics.

Option #1 – Use GA’s native in-page analytics: Start by navigating to “Behavior > In-Page Analytics”:

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By default, it will show you your homepage with basic page metrics (pageviews, time on page, etc.), as well as bubbles over all the links. The bubbles show you the click-through rate for each destination URL (clicks divided by page views).

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Pay close attention to what I just said there. The click-through rate is for each destination page. So, if you have four links to your contact page, they will all show the exact same percentage even though they probably got a different number of clicks. This is one of the main limitations of this feature.

You can explore other modes here. At the top right of the window, you can select “show color” or “browser size”:

image22

The color option will highlight all the different links on the page, with the most clicked ones turning red and the least clicked ones turning blue. It’s the same information, just presented visually.

image41

Next, the browser size option will show what a certain percentage of visitors see. When you drag the slider at the top, it will show you how much of your webpage that percentage of your visitors can see.

image18

Ideally, all your key information should be visible to the vast majority of your visitors (90%+ on the slider).

You can navigate throughout your site using the links shown on the page and see engagement statistics for each page you visit.

But some pages are hard to navigate to, and that’s when you’d want to use an alternative way of getting to in-page analytics.

When you navigate to “Behavior > Site Content > All Pages”, you will see a list of pages, arranged by most to least visited.

When you click on a page, you will see an option for “In-Page” at the top of the traffic graph. When you click that tab, it will bring up the in-page analytics for that particular page.

image45

Option #2 – Use the Chrome extension: If you use Google Chrome, you can install a really handy in-page analytics extension provided by Google.

One of the problems with using the native GA version is that it’s a little clunky. It’s not the easiest to navigate around to different pages of your site (or other sites in your account), and it doesn’t always render as expected.

With this extension, you just visit any page on your site (with your Google Analytics code in it) in your Chrome browser. You’ll see a map of your page, similar to the native GA version:

image28

While it’s not the full version, you can always click on “View in Google Analytics” at the top left to open the full tab in GA.

4. The real power of analytics is in segmenting

When it comes to GA, most webmasters start and finish with overall traffic stats.

As anyone who has seriously worked on growing a website or conversion rate optimization will tell you, overall numbers are next to useless.

In order to see if your work is creating results, you need to dig deeper.

Segments are basically small pieces of a whole. In the context of GA, a segment allows you to look at your traffic and user stats through a particular lens. For example, you could segment by:

  • traffic source
  • device
  • browser
  • page
  • landing page
  • returning vs new visitors…

…and much more.

With GA, you can create advanced segments easily so that you can examine one particular segment. To make things even better, you can compare multiple segments at the same time.

Creating advanced segments: When you first log in and select a site in GA, it will take you to “Audience > Overview”. This is one place where you can add segments, but you can add them in the exact same way in any Acquisition or Behavior section of GA as well.

Start by clicking the big “Add Segment” button:

image39

That will bring up the following menu:

image00

These are all the most common segments people choose, and there are some very useful ones.

Check any that you’d like to see, and then click the Apply button in the bottom left. You’ll get an updated graph and stats with all segments that you have selected:

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If you want to remove any, just click on the down arrow on each segment’s rectangle, and click “remove.”

But don’t think you’re limited to just those default segments. You can use advanced segments to quickly create segments for just about anything.

Click on “Add segment” again, but this time, click the big red button that says “+New Segment”.

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You can pick as many or as few options as you like. You have a virtually unlimited number of combinations.

When you’re done, give it a name, and save the custom segment:

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Once you save it, you will get an updated graph with your new segment included:

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What’s really nice is that even if you remove that segment, you can always add a new one, click on “custom,” and re-add it without having to recreate it from scratch:

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The best segments for you to create will depend on your specific business and what you’ve been testing and working on. Here is a great list of 16 of the best advanced segments.

5. Take segments and metrics further with a custom dashboard or shortcuts

Segments are really useful once you get used to them.

But there’s one problem…

Segments don’t save in reports, so you’ll have to re-add them every time you load GA, which is a waste of time (not to mention tedious).

Luckily, there are a few different ways that allow you to save your custom reports so that you spend more of your time analyzing data and less time setting it up.

Creating a dashboard in GA: By default you get sent to your Audience Overview. While this is a useful report, you can create a report that combines the most important stats and metrics from all other reports, all on one screen.

It’s called a dashboard.

A dashboard is fully configurable so that you see only the data that is most useful to you. You can have up to 20 dashboards per account, which is more than enough for any site using GA.

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To get started, find the “Dashboards” icon and label on the left-hand side menu (near the top), expand it, and select “+ New Dashboard.”

That will bring up a window with a few different options.

If you pick “Blank Canvas,” you’ll start from scratch. Alternatively, you can choose “Starter Dashboard,” which gives you a few of the most commonly used widgets. If you’re just exploring, choose the second option.

Finally, you’ll see an option to “Import from Gallery.” In a second, you’ll see that there are thousands of possible things to include in your dashboard. With this option, you can import a custom dashboard made by someone else to save some time.

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If you choose the Import from Gallery option, you’ll get a list of the most popular published dashboards. Just click the “Import” button on the one you’d like to try:

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Once you pick one of the three options, you’ll see your initial dashboard. Now is the time to customize it to suit your needs and preferences.

If you click the “Customize Dashboard” button shown in the picture below, you can pick a custom layout. This could be useful if you have a particularly small or large screen.

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Next, you’ll need to add a widget…

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Dashboards consist solely of different widgets that you pick (although you can add advanced segments as well).

When you click “+ Add Widget”, you’ll get another pop-up:

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To start with, give your new widget a descriptive title.

After that, you need to decide which kind of widget you’d like to add. A standard widget takes a look at a pre-selected date range (like most of GA), while a real-time widget obviously looks at live metrics and data of people currently on your site.

Widgets fall under six different categories:

  1. Metric – A metric is the standard small area you see on most reports in GA. It consists of a single number and a small thumbnail graph.

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2. Timeline – A timeline is a graph that plots your data over time.

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3. Geomap – If you’re interested in data based on location, you can use a geomap. It’s a small map where areas with the highest amount of data are darkest.

image33

4. Table – A table compares metrics across different options. You can customize how many metrics are shown (e.g., sessions, bounce rate, etc.) as well as how many rows are included.

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5. Pie – Everyone has seen a pie chart in GA. They’re good for quickly seeing the relative proportion of a few different groups of users (e.g., location, device, etc.).

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6. Bar – Many GA users don’t know they can also add bar graph widgets. You can configure all of the labels and settings as well as choose between vertical and horizontal bars.

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Once you choose the type of widget you’d like to add to your dashboard, click “Add a metric.”

That will bring up a long dropdown menu with just about every metric you could imagine. Find the one you’re looking for:

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Once you’ve found what you’re looking for and have chosen the basic options you’d like for your widget, click the Save button in the bottom left, and you’ll see your updated dashboard.

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There it is!

Now, feel free to drag the panels around by clicking on and holding the top horizontal bar of each individual panel.

If you want to edit or get rid of any, just click the pencil—“edit”—button at the top of any panel:

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Creating shortcuts in GA: Dashboards are great, but sometimes you need to really dig deep into a report or add segments for one.

It takes you a few minutes to drill down to the right area, add your dimensions, and then add any segments you’re interested in. The annoying part is that if you exit GA and come back, you have to do it all over again.

It’s a waste of time if you keep coming back to see the same reports.

The next time you create a highly customized report, click on “Shortcut” at the top of the report. (Note you can also add it to a dashboard).

image05

Give it a descriptive name, and press “Okay.”

That will save a shortcut to that report. Now, any time you load GA, you can look under the Shortcuts menu option to see the name of the report you just created.

In this example, it’s a “Customer Audience Overview”:

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When I click it, guess what comes up?

That’s right, the exact same report I customized earlier.

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If you find yourself going back to the same reports over and over again, create these shortcuts. They can save you hours per month of boring work.

6. Don’t limit yourself to just Google Analytics data

One of the great things about using Google products is that you can often tie all your data from different Google products together.

In Google Analytics, you can connect your Google Webmaster Tools account (Search Console) and get a ton of useful information.

Connecting your two accounts is really simple. Here’s a quick video that shows you how to do it:

Let’s look at why it’s useful to connect your WMT account with your GA account.

All of your WMT data is located under “Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization.”

The main useful feature is the “Queries” tab:

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A few years ago, GA itself was a great source of SEO information. You were able to see which keywords were providing most of your traffic.

Over time, however, more and more of that information became limited. Eventually, almost all keyword data from Google shifted to not provided.

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While it didn’t exactly happen overnight, GA is no longer useful for most SEO data.

What most site owners did instead was use data from WMT. Although it’s a different set of data altogether, with its own limitations, it’s the best simple alternative you have.

But it’s kind of a pain switching back and forth between GA and WMT for all your site properties. Once you integrate them, you won’t need to.

First up is the query report.

In this section, you’ll see up to 1,000 of the top queries for your site. Along with the queries, you’ll get the number of impressions and clicks for each query as well as their average SERP position and click-through rate.

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One nice thing is that it looks exactly like any other report in GA, and it functions the same way.

This data has lots of uses, but the one I would like to highlight is being able to find the best opportunities for gaining traffic.

It’s no secret that almost all search engine traffic goes to the top few results. The number 1 result alone gets about 33% of that traffic overall, and in some cases much higher.

Therefore, it makes sense to spend time improving the rank of pages for queries that are just below the top results.

An easy way to identify these queries is in this tab with advanced filters.

First, click the “advanced” link right beside the search bar in the middle of the page. This will open some custom filter options:

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I recommend adding the following filters:

  • “Average Position” greater than 3 – There’s not too much of a point optimizing for a query if you already rank in the top 3 although you could change this to 2 or 1.
  • “Average Position” less than 20 – You need to pick an upper limit so that you only get those keywords that you can get into the top few results with minimal effort. You could pick 20 as an upper limit to start with, but if you have many results, lower it to 15 or 10.
  • “Impressions” greater than X – If a query gets no impressions, it’s likely not worth ranking for. “X” will vary depending on your niche’s competition, your experience, and your resources. I recommend using at least 100 for this filter.

There’s one more useful tab that contains WMT data that you can use: “Landing Pages.”

When you click on it, you’ll get a similar report, but this time in terms of pages, not queries:

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The reason why this report is useful is because it tells you which pages Google trusts the most—the pages with the most impressions.

It also tells you the average position and click-through rate each page gets in the SERPs. The better the position, the better your CTR should be.

There are two main things you can do with this data:

  1. Target new long-tail keywords for pages that get a lot of impressions – If they are already highly trusted pages, you should be able to rank for long-tail keywords just by adding them to the page in a few places.
  2. Identify abnormally low click-through rates – If the page’s average position is on the first page but its CTR is less than a few percent, there’s something wrong. Consider writing a more enticing title and meta description and adding structured data if possible.

Conclusion

Analytics software enables you to track how your work impacts your site.

Instead of guessing how the changes you implement affect your users, you can test them and back up those changes with hard data.

If you use the six advanced GA tricks in this article, you’ll be able to not only gain more insight into your site’s user experience but also do it without wasting your time.

If you found these tricks interesting, don’t stop here. As I said at the beginning, GA has tons of great features—many are more useful than the ones I was able to cover here.

If you have a favorite GA feature, share it with me and everyone else in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. Hello, Neil.

    It’s Magz again.

    I haven’t got any favourite GA feature yet as I’m still a newbie.

    But my favourite part of your article is knowing exactly what you are doing and why you’re doing it.

    I have written a great article on http://modeltherich.com/blog/goal-setting-how-to-achieve-your-goals-in-7-steps/.

    When I read how important it is to set goals and how important it is to track your conversions, not just traffic, you made me to reflect on my life in general.

    Most of the time I failed because I didn’t have clear goals from the beginning and even if I had, I never tracked my progress.

    I will apply your teachings to the tee.

    Thank you so, so much.

    Best,

    Magz

    • Magz, glad I could help. It’s always useful to track goals and stay atop things with the proper analytics and statistics in place.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you.

  2. Christopher Pontine :

    Hey Neil,

    Great post. This is one thing I don’t utilize enough.

    I’ve started realizing though how important it is to measure.

    Thanks,

    Christopher Pontine

  3. this is awesome trick to increase your website traffic in few days.www.kbjan.com

  4. How timely! I was just looking into the best way to do a visitor flow analysis on my site to see how people were getting to my “book a free 20-minute consult” link, and how many of those were clicking and not booking.

    I have a somewhat related question: I ask everyone who books a free call to tell me how they found me, and their answer is nearly always “Google”. Not a particularly helpful answer, and they almost never remember what site or article directed them my way. I’ve looked into Webmaster Tools, which provides a bit better insight into keywords, and referral traffic to see where people are clicking from, to try and get more insight on this…but I am really not sure how to evaluate the data that I see. Any tips?

    • You should try this awesome free plug in called “leadin.com” that automatically gets insights into everyone who fills out a form on your site.

      I have it on my-site and it works wonders, thru you should always have goals set up.

      • For form fields it is easy, but it is harder for phone calls. With paid ads it is really easy, but organic data is blocked in many cases.

    • There isn’t much you can do… at least you know Google is working. Once they removed the keyword data from analytics its hard to pin point it exactly, especially when you are getting phone call leads unless you tell people to hit the back button and go back to the Google results page.

    • It is possible to some extent
      Give them a unique code tgat they should mention when they call.
      On your website, track the user information and sort them using that code.

  5. Hi Neil,

    Great post like always. Love the explanation. I’ll implement it.

    Thank you!

  6. I KNOW I have been under-utilizing GA, but really couldn’t find a decent tutorial without all the fluff. Neil DELIVERS once again. This is perfect and now number 1 on my Priority list of things to do. Thanks again for another extremely informative article.

    Well done, as always, Neil !!

  7. Hello there,

    This isn’t advanced at all. I think you should be more responsable at naming your content properly.

    • Luis, sorry you feel that way. What do you suggest?

      • Eduardo Cornejo :

        Hey Neil,

        I love when I see you answering to negative feedback. It happens almost never, but it shows how you treat every reader/customer as the core of everything.

        You’d think a guy like you, who really has no need to write daily guides for us, for free, would get a negative response (specially about a simple title), but even from that I think I learn something from you.

        Thanks for always helping out! 🙂

  8. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the post. While reading I was wondering how google analytics data helping every websites business. I haven’t tried the new dashboard and import from gallery options. After checking think it helps more to get more seggregated data about traffic. Gonna try it now. Thank u once again Neil.

  9. Awesome Neil Sir I always thought Google analytics was just a tool to track our views efficiently.But there is lot more you can do in GA Thanks very much very helpful Can u help me track this article http://www.alltechytricks.com/us-open-2015-live-streaming-watch-tennis-live-scores-free/

  10. Belajar Blogging :

    Hi neil
    It is a great post as i search for analytic “how to”
    I am making tutorial website right now and I want to make my affiliate link detected. How can i find out some one click on my affliatr link with this free tool.
    Thank you

  11. Nice post. I am surely going to implement this as soon as possible.
    Thanks for this article

  12. I have been relying on other tools to tell me conversion rates but it would be nice to know the total amount of traffic that converted. Thanks Neil, setting this goal up now.

  13. Hi Neil,

    I am still waiting for Nate’s respon since 7 May regarding your offer to work together.
    But, nothing has happen until now, if you guys no longer interested to help small business like us, at least please refund our money.

    Thank you very much, you have a great post here. Am looking for latest GA’s info recently.

    Isma.

  14. Another nice post. Do you recommended any GA custom report that one can import?

  15. Nice Blog about analytic, I suppose to use all this tricks, thanks Nail I got the clear Idea and some more advance points, But U missed how to customized of Google Analytics that is more helpful in Google Analytics Reporting & for New Users…..Thanks A Lot Nail Again for This Type of Good Information…..

  16. To be honest, while I love Google Analytics, it can get seriously overwhelming once I move beyond the simple metrics. I’ve always wondered how the goals worked so huge thanks for sharing this detailed post with us.

    I know you said the “value” is optional but I would be interested to hear the logic behind the number you chose. How do you come up with a figure?

    This page will definitely be something I keep referencing as my site grows.

    Thanks Neil!
    Dirk

    • You just have to back track your numbers and see what each customer is worth and then how many leads end up becoming a customer and divide the numbers up so you get the value per lead.

  17. Nice post, Thanks!!

  18. Hello, I want to ask 1 question sir that Is off the topic. If a nutrition blog get backlinks from high authority sites like quicksprout or any tech blog by comments (do follow)..will they get indexing in google for higher rank if targeted word is broad and sites like webmd and live strong get rank on top 10 n 1st page ..If he/she manages to get high da or pa backlinks links n quality more than then live strong website n webmd site fr that single targetted keyword , backlinks not from same niche sites and if a tech niche site or Internet marketing sites get backlinks from authority sites that don’t relate then ..will it work in positive way or negative ..Please sir answer ..This is big confusion. Sorry for making question complex ..i did mistakes to put my question right way .I hope u understand it

    • They do, but the links aren’t too good. Links from relevant sites even if they are lower in DA are better. Always go for relevancy over quantity and DA.

  19. Nice Blog .. Thanks for sharing

  20. I am a newbie wordpress blogger. I already created a google webmaster tools account and google analytics account and I will try to learn how to integrate them together so I will not leave google analytic interface when i want to see data from my webmaster account. I love the acquisition features of google analytics, it gives me insight how to grow my traffic.

  21. Hi Neil,

    Great article! I do a decently good job at bringing in page views and fair share of analytics but I’m just not able to convert any leads that efficiently. Can you give me a tip on that?

  22. Patrice La Belle :

    Lots of marketers talk about traffic. Your line says it all: “But traffic is just a vanity stat. What really matters is conversions.” I shared it with a link to this post on Google+.

  23. Shounak Gupte :

    Excellent article Neil. Very detailed as always.

  24. Hi Neil,

    Thanks one again for very informative post about Google analytic tools.

  25. Great post like always. Love the explanation.

  26. Hey Neil,
    Do you have resource where to learn step by step implementation of Google analytics in to your website on wordpress?
    Thanks in advance 🙂
    Regards,
    yakin.

  27. Thank you Neil for sharing such a useful information regarding Google Analytics. Now i want to implement it.

  28. Everytime I land on this blog, there is something new to learn. Some new piece of information, or a new tool whatever it may be, you never cease to amaze with your volubility Neil. Once again a great article.

  29. Awesome and really informative article by you again. Thanks Brother Neil

  30. Yes Neil!

    Goals and events are so important for understanding what really works. What traffic source leads to the most email sign-ups, what social media platform actually results in sales, do mobile visitors actually check-out – all this information is gold when allocating your time to making your site hum.

    Your last point around setting up filters for query-based behaviour is a steal, and definitely something I’ll be playing around with – thanks very much for that! There goes my weekend…

    I released an article several weeks ago on the 8 quick actions all webmasters should take AFTER setting up Analytics to help them get the most of the data coming through. It may be useful for some of your readers: http://www.rickeliason.com/setting-up-google-analytics/

    In the meantime, stay awesome. I’m sure you hear this all the time but your blog (and emails to new blog posts) are one of the only things in my inbox that don’t get ignored. You hit the bullseye every time! (who doesn’t like flattery on a Saturday morning…)

    Stay well,
    Rick

  31. Thanks you for sharing this useful information. Awesome and really informative article by you again. Thanks

  32. It’s rare to say about Analytics posts that too often only deal with the obvious but there are helpful and actionable methods here for all website owners to make the most of. Excellent Neil Patel as ever.

  33. Hi neil,

    i couldnt agree more than simetimes whats free arent really bad. Google analytics is indeed the best free tool out there that every marketer should utilise 🙂 !

  34. Theodore Nwangene :

    Hello Neil,
    This is really a very comprehensive and timely tutorial. I’ve always been underusing Google Analytics all these years even though i understand that there are so many other useful features that I’m not yet making use of but, i haven’t had the chance to learn more about it.

    I was even performing some searches on the subject the other day at Udemy and i bookmarked so many tutorials there for later, never knew you have something good and better in stock for me 🙂

    Seriously, i think that with all these awesome features and more, Google Analytics deserves to be a premium tool, I’m sure that there are so many similar tools are there that is not even up to its standard and people are happily paying for them.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Theodore, glad you found the post helpful.

      It really doesn’t get the weight it deserves. I think it provides immense value.

  35. Neil,

    I’ve been planning to customize google analytics so that I can start working towards doing A/B tests and optimize for conversions, but haven’t yet mainly because I plan to add hundreds of new eco fashion products to my site before doing so. Also because it seemed so tedious to search through the internet to find a simple not-too-technical guide for beginners that covers only the points I’d be interested. Especially when I have so little time.

    Thanks a lot for this step-by-step guide. Saves me so much time and headache.

    Baig

  36. Jonathan @ air rifle :

    Hi Neil ,
    You did a great job in this article. Thanks for sharing another amazing post. All the best!
    Cheers!

  37. Pedro @travelwithpedro :

    I have to be honest: I totally underuse Google Analytics! I’ll start using these tips, as I didn’t set any goals as of yet.

    Thank you!

  38. Joseph Miller :

    Hey Neil! I am a follower of Quicksprout since long. Thanks for this superb article on GA. I was actually looking for article that could have me set goals, tracking, and stuffs with Google Analytics. Thanks for the detailed article.

    • Joseph, glad you liked it. I will write on those topics very soon – stay tuned. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

  39. Hi Neil,
    We all know that GA is a free and great analytics tool. But I think that GA is not as much useful because it shows a lot of spam traffic in referral section. This spam traffic is totally useless and does not bring any conversion. You have your own analytics tool i.e. KissMetrics then why don’t you promote it. Please share some major benefits of KM over GA so that people can go for it instead of using GA. You can bring it in you next quicksprout blog post and the title could be “KM vs GA” . 🙂

  40. Hi Neil,

    Good Post and I am much aware of the things explained in the post though very helpful.

    I would appreciate if you can please write a post somewhere in the near future on ” How to track (not provided) data in Google Analytic”

    Look forward to hear from you.

    Thanks,
    Vijender

  41. Great post Neil. As an SEO it’s more important to track visitors to specific actions. Yes, goals provide the information like conversions and the conversion value for the site. “Event tracking” & Regular Expression – I never knew this until today! I appreciate you sharing the simple steps to implement. I’m sure you have saved many of our time. Thank you for sharing.

    Question: Neil, I have a question for you. For example, I have a website called “www.abc.com”. I am getting hits from the own branded (abc, free abc demo) and other keywords as well from search engines. So, I just want to exclude the terms like “abc” and “free abc” from Google Analytics Report permanently?

    Could you please help me out with this?

    • Yes, that way you know how much search traffic is coming from non-branded keywords. Keep in mind that it isn’t 100% accurate as not provided keywords may have your brand names in there.

  42. Thomas Charlie :

    Thanks for another extremely informative article. I have to be honest: I totally under use Google Analytics! I’ll start using these tips, as I didn’t set any goals as of yet.
    I know I have been under-utilizing Google Analytics, but really couldn’t find a decent tutorial without all the fluff. Neil delivers once again. This is perfect and now number one on my Priority list of things to do.
    Thanks for once again for this informative post.

  43. it is really very helpful guideline and tricks increase your website traffic. thanks for sharing this informative post.

  44. I oftenly found some sites like :sharebutton.com..or gettraffic.com, but I never submit my website on those site but it always shows that traffic comes from that sites, any suggestions.

  45. Nice share Neil, I hope you write about Reddit soon, it’s getting frustrating here

  46. Thank you a lot. it is so much informative and helpful article.

  47. Hariyaksh Mehta :

    Firstly, thank you for this article it is really helpful. (I would like to ask, that while I use Analytics, I also happen to use Google webmaster for the same purpose. And it so happens that i found significant discrepancy in the data from both these tools. Could you possibly explain to me as to how is this possible and in what way do they both work?

    • Hariyaksh, what kind of discrepancy did you find?

      • Hariyaksh Mehta :

        I noticed that there is quite considerable difference in the traffic for the month of august when compared webmasters and analytics. As a matter of fact, when I compared the device breakdown, the data varied there too. Is there a reason for this? Or is it that webmasters and analytics have different algorithms and hence different way of tracking the traffic? then again, there must be a margin of error? I’m pretty confused here.

        • Hariyaksh, the data should be fairly similar — and there should be a margin of error. How big was the difference in the data sets? I would like to know so I can figure this out as well…

  48. Hi Neil,
    Great article.
    Totally agree with you,the high traffic to the website is great, but the conversion is what matters most.
    I’ve recently started using event tracking it allows you to see the real effectiveness of your campaigns.
    One thing that I was almost ignoring was segments. Defiantly gonna explore it too.

  49. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing this post on GA, I am newbie to this Digital marketing world.
    I recently started using GA, but was having a hard time understanding all the features provided in GA and how could I use it efficiently. Goals and conversion in GA din’t make any sense for me till now. I just use GA to see traffic, I was unaware of it’s true potential. this post helped me, I came to know more about GA.
    Thank you!

  50. Wow, I never knew these things were inside GA.
    Data “not provided” is a really big issue. Clients think those are direct traffic or not related to SEO.

  51. Neil,
    I feel like for the first time in my life just got to realize how to use GA, properly! 🙂 And I use it for 3 years til this moment 🙂
    Great post, really:)

  52. Really, great Info shared by you “Neil”. I am using Google Analytic since several time but i didn’t know these all features.. You have done a great job..

  53. I am looking these type of information. These tricks may use in future. Thanks for sharing this information.

  54. Once Again an Awesome Post Neil !!
    I just love your postings
    Thanks for sharing, this is perfect for me..

  55. Chase Campbell :

    Neil such nice detail really helpful http://www.sizeupsupplements.com

  56. Hey Neil,
    This is a wonderful post on google analytics, I very much liked your 2nd and 5th Point.Your all post are quite informative and always been very interesting to read.I am getting addicted to your blog. 🙂

  57. So useful to say the least.

    I always wondered how to use the goal tools and I’ve only used analytics for the basic traffic source analysis to my blogs, great to find your deep explanation.

    Now seems I’ve got some serious work to do and I think setting a value to each target will also help greatly to keep clear financial goals for the blogs analysed.

    Thanks Neil!

  58. Great article and very well thought in sights you share Neil. Thanks for that. I am also fairly new to the GA game, but its a very powerful tool that helps to get better insights of how our customers/visitors are interacting with our site.

    Great tip with the in-page analytics. I also use hotjar and sumome for heatmap recordings, which are free, for a limited amount of traffic. Still a good tool!

    All the best from Berlin!

  59. Hi Neil,

    Great article. You did a very fantastic job. I am a professional web analyst and Google Analytics is my daily tool. I highly recommend you using Google Tag Manager. Espacially in implementing event tracking. Defining and set up category, action and label is very easy and you provide errors.
    Greetings, Juliane

  60. Hi,

    Nice post about google analytics. Can you please, let me know how to set up rolling report in google analytics.

  61. I have never really dabbled too much with analytics, thanks for all of the great information Neil! I will have to put it to the test 🙂

  62. Steve Williams :

    Hello Neil, I like your post. Tried to implement GA, but I have one problem.

    In WordPress, switching form the text editor to the visual editor ruins the “onclick” code … that is, the GA onclick code disappears. That means I would have to disable the visual editor, and blog in html only… not ideal.

    Do you have suggestions?

    Regards,
    Steve Williams

    • I don’t… I just have my developer Szymon do it for me. I emailed him asking for a solution, but I haven’t received any response yet as he is on vacation.

  63. Hi Neil,

    As always superb detailed breakdown – you should’ve been a teacher 😉

    One question which might be a little bit of a tangent to the main thread of the article: Have you any tips to tune this article’s advice to local search marketing. Just offered to set up a new client’s GA and add a basic goal while they sort out their actual marketing goals within their surprisingly limited target area. I suppose it’s the beginning of the wake up to the fact that the Big G appears to be starting to squeeze the local results towards paid visibility and the apparent need to bite the bullet of Adwords Express. Any thoughts or is it just the product of a fevered imagination?
    Cheers again,
    Ray

    • Ray, that seems to be the progression: towards paid ads.

      However, with the right content strategy you can spend little to nothing on ads. It’s important to find ways to rank and best way to do is through unique content that no one else has. Looking forward to hearing more from you. Good luck!

  64. Great post ! I use Analytics for years but until now I just hear the very new and interesting tricks. Especially segmenting.

  65. Thanks a lot for giving such a wonderful article and can you tell me that how to increase unique users of the website? I need your reply.

  66. Shilpa Dhamne :

    Hello
    I want to send individual listing page owner who is registered on my website and showcasing their data, I want to send them individual hits page to their listing though my website, how can I do that?

  67. IranMCT Management Consultant :

    Wow. After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it

    • Excellent, I’m happy you understand this. If you get stuck or have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  68. Hi Neil, I have recently discovered your website and read your articles, it was amazing…After reading your post only i came to know i should write long post…eventhough i have website for about 4 years. it didnt had enough traffic..but you opened my eyes..i will wirte articles with more content hereafter…

    Thanks neil…

  69. govtjobsnews :

    I am new bee in blogging filed and some suggest me to read the neil patel blog. From past 15 days i read nearly 15 blogs and gain some great news related to blog. I say it is one of the best site for the beginner.

  70. Great article. I’d also like to recommend Google Analytic Counters Tracker
    Plugin. This plugin, analyses the visitors hits on your websites and displays it
    graphically. It is also simple and easy to use. You can access it from
    the link, below:

    https://wordpress.org/plugins/analytics-counter/

  71. Thanks you a lot for giving such a wonderful article and can you tell me that how to increase unique users of the website? I need your reply.

  72. Great, am also using Google Analytics Counter Tracker and is the best Plugin so far…

  73. Great one, I have lerrnt a whole bunch

  74. You show me that this stuff is a full time job. 🙁

  75. APRIL JACKSON :

    WASTE!!! I TRIED TO DOWNLOAD THE CHEATSHEET USING MINE AND MY BROTHER’S EMAIL ID BUT COULD’NT GET IT. ;(

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