Google Analytics: MVPs and Game-Changing New Features

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Part two of Seb Chan & Brian Alpert’s "Web Metrics and Google Analytics for Museums" workshop looks at some of the most significant recent changes to Google Analytics. With many improvements released over the course of the 2013-14, Google dramatically altered the landscape of the tool's capabilities. The presentation discusses such GA "MVPs" as Advanced Segmentation and Event Tracking, and provides an overview of some of the many new features, including Demographics and Interests reports, custom channels and content grouping, and the coming change to Universal Analytics. Case studies and slides showing best practices and "tips and tricks" are also included, as well as links to the valuable resources used to collect the information. Presented 4/2/14 at Museums and the Web 2014, Baltimore Maryland.

Transcript of Google Analytics: MVPs and Game-Changing New Features

  • Google Analytics MVPs and Game-Changing New Features as presented at Museums and the Web 2014 Baltimore, MD 4/2/14 Brian Alpert Web Analytics and SEM Analyst Smithsonian Institution @balpert
  • 2 What do we have here? Introduction MVP Feature 1: Improved Segmentation Cohorts MVP Feature 2: Event Tracking Automation: Supermetrics Dashboard / Case Studies New, Game-Changing Features Demographics and Interests Universal Analytics Other Stuff GA Best Practices/ Tips and Tricks Resources
  • 3 Feverishly Google Since 2012 Google has been feverishly revamping the worlds most popular web analytics tool. 70+ launches in 2013 alone! New reports New features New navigation structure New names for stuff New ways to do stuff Completely new code (well get to that)
  • 4 Google Analytics MVPs!
  • 5 MVP #1: Improved segmentation Probably the most important tool (Cutroni) Drag and Drop interface Templates make it easier to create segments (Anonymous) user segments Cohort analysis Behavior sequence segments Launched 7/13/13 Overview Examples (Cutroni) Advanced segments are accessed from this pull- down arrow.
  • 6 (Not-so) New user interface Drag and Drop one or more segments into place Nice touches give an improved experience
  • 7 User segmentation is a large step forward A user is the tools best-guess of an anonymous person. User segments represent all data associated with a user. I.E., all visit data the user generated during the time frame. Built-in Single-visit users Multi-visit users Create your own "Users in Massachusetts who spent > $500." Can follow user groups for 90-days. User segment: mobile device users from facebook who stayed for >30 seconds.
  • 8 User segmentation (contd) Offered in various places E-commerce area shows ability to analyze per user (anonymously) The segment shown at the bottom can answer the question: Whats the difference in conversion rates for people who went to page X from a banner on the home page, compared to people whose first page was page Y?
  • 9 New and awesome! Cohorts! The ability to segment a unique group of visitors with something in common. Helps analyze the long- term benefits of groups. Date of First Visit is the first / only offering. Segment users (create cohorts) by when they first visited. "All users who first visited between Feb 1 and Feb 28 as a result of a paid search campaign (cpc). Can create cohorts for any 31-day time period The example can help you understand if a shift in strategy has been successful (or not!) (Kaushik)
  • 10 Also way cool Sequence segments Identify specific sequences of interaction by visit (within single visits) and/or user (over all visits within a date range). Track the behavior of users across multiple sessions. Examples Users who viewed two pages in a row (e.g., two steps in a shopping cart). Segment all people who visited from a campaign and bought something some time after seeing the campaign. People who started a checkout process but did not purchase. This segment will measure users who start a checkout process, but do not finish. (Cutroni)
  • 11 The Gallery. THE GALLERY! Let experts create segments for you! Well-known GA experts post their segments. Click Import from Gallery. Not just segments! Custom Reports Dashboards Bonus segmentation links Example segments (Google) 10 Google Analytics Advanced Segments That Reveal Search & Social ROI (Search Engine Watch)
  • 12 Social Media Visits advanced segment Regular expression: awe.sm|bit.ly|bitly|blogfaves.com|blogger|bloglines|blogspot|delicious|digg|facebook|feedburn er|flickr|foursquare|goo.gl|groups.google|groups.yahoo.com|hootsuite|instagram|linkedin|m.fa cebook.com|meetup|newsgator|ow.ly|paper.li|pinterest|plus.google|plus.url.google.com|reddit |sphinn|stumbleupon|t.co|technorati|tripadvisor|tweetdeck|twitter|typepad|tumblr|wikia|wordpr ess|youtube The regular expression (regex) can also be edited to include smaller groups, or types of social sites, i.e., facebook and twitter.
  • 13 Case Study: Social Media Visits segment Key Trends and Insights Social Media segment trends are streaky, indicating interest correlating to social media program activity. High loyalty group share is much higher than similar groups, indicating strong relationship between OP content and its audience. Impact Social media visitors visiting the site erratically over time could impede the project goals of fostering a desire to learn more, to continually share and to move visitors along a continuum of learning toward action. Recommended Steps If social media/blog efforts are coming in spurts, consider ways to execute a more consistent schedule. Engage qualitative effort to gauge possible U-I or search issues, and/or uncover other engagement- related characteristics.
  • 14 Lets make the Social Media Visits segment The regex, which you can update and/or customize: awe.sm|bit.ly|bitly|blogfaves.com|blogger|bloglines|blogspot|delicious|digg|facebook|feedburner|flickr|fo ursquare|goo.gl|groups.google|groups.yahoo.com|hootsuite|instagram|linkedin|m.facebook.com|meetu p|newsgator|ow.ly|paper.li|pinterest|plus.google|plus.url.google.com|reddit|sphinn|stumbleupon|t.co|tec hnorati|tripadvisor|tweetdeck|twitter|typepad|tumblr|wikia|wordpress|youtube
  • 15 Advanced segment: engaged visits These visits Were deeper than three pages. Were longer than three minutes.
  • 16 Advanced segment: highly-engaged visits These visits Were deeper than four pages. Were in frequency more than two times in the measured period. Were longer than two minutes. These values can be tweaked for your site, of course! A nice blog post on this topic is here.
  • 17 Custom Channels help you understand your audience Channel Grouping Located in Acquisition Acquisition-Behavior- Conversion (ABC) cycle How you acquire users How they behave Their conversion patterns Custom channel examples Paid social media Library sites Photo sites Rules may involve regex These channels will also appear in the Multi Channel Funnels reports Sources: Cutroni SEER Interactive The Acquisition Overview report shows acquisition metrics in ABC terms: Acquisition Behavior Conversion
  • 18 Content Grouping helps you understand behavior A way to create content-specific segments Blogs Content types (History) You define these. Multiple ways to specify content groups Tracking code modifications URL, page title, or description Other rules Groupings of Groups - ! Blog content categories References http://cutroni.com/blog/2014/01/09/set-google- analytics-content-grouping/ http://cutroni.com/blog/2014/01/24/use-google- analytics-content-groups/
  • 19 Discuss How would you use user segments as opposed to traditional visit segments? How would creating Date of First Visit cohorts extend that usefulness? What custom channels would you add? What about Content Groups how could you use them?
  • 20 MVP #2: Event Tracking Events are super-important, yet under-utilized because they involve adding code! Events are a feature of HTML Bits of code that triggers javascript to make something happen A prompt, or alert Sending info to Google Analytics (e.g., a link was clicked) To use Event Tracking in GA, you have to: Define and categorize your events Configure and add the code, usually right in the link (but not always) The code is pretty simple, really Many social-share widgets automatically add Events.
  • 21 Common uses for Events Basic (super easy) External links Internal banners Sign-ups, log-ins, form submissions Downloads Middle (a little more complex) Gadgets Videos Social sharing button interaction Advanced (but awesome!) Search engine rank tracking Form completion progress/ drop out Scroll reach (great for blogs) Source: Lewis (2013) Source: Bowhouse
  • 22 Defining Events is a simple exercise Category The broad category of the event you are tracking Ex. External links, Social, Downloads, Videos Action More specifically what you are tracking Ex. Click, PDF, Play Video, Submit Form, etc. Label (optional, but helpful) More specific sub-categories of actions, titles, etc. Ex. Overview PDF, Gone With the Wind Value (optional, also good-to-do and easy) A predetermined numerical value for a tracked object An assigned dollar value ascribed to an Event An assigned value when a user plays a video to a certain point, etc. Interaction (optional) True/False category that determines if the action will prevent the visit from being a bounce visit.