Definitions of Common Analytics Terms

If you’re just starting out in analytics, you may find that there are a lot of new, confusing terms to master. Here is a short (but certainly not exhaustive) guide to what many of these mean: Hit: a hit is any server call that corresponds to the javascript firing on a webpage or app and sent to an analytics tool. For example, you can have hits for page, event, ecommerce, and social interactions. Pageview:  the load/view of a page of your website or mobile app Session/Visit: a group of interactions (pageviews, events, etc) that take place on your website within a given time frame. Generally a session has a time-based expiration of 30 minutes of inactivity after the last action. A session also ends at midnight in some analytics tools
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Using a GTM Constant String Variable for GA Property ID

If you use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, you’ll know that with every new analytics tag you create, you need to enter in your Google Analytics property ID (what’s a property ID?). If you are creating multiple tags, this can be a pain and can also lead to possible typos/errors that will cause your tags to fail later on since you won’t be sending data to the right GA accounts. There is a very quick and easy way to make this better! And more importantly, scalable. To do so, I’m going to show you how to use a constant string user-defined variable for your Property ID. This is only 2 easy steps. First, you’ll need to create the new user-defined variable. To do so, select variables, new User-Defined Variable,
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Enabling Pre-defined Variables in the New GTM UI

In GTM 2.0, macros have gone away. These are now called ‘Variables’. There are many pre-defined variables in GTM 2.0 which make setting up tags & triggers easier than before, however, you must first enable them. This is just a quick post to hopefully save you some time and energy the first time you try to use the new UI to create a new tag or trigger. When you first create a new container, there will be a small subset of pre-defined variables already enabled. You can see them by navigating to the ‘Variables’ section via the left-hand nav. If you are creating any type of click or form event, you’ll want to enable these fields to have them show up as a selection when creating a new trigger. To
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Step by Step: Setting Up a Google Analytics Dashboard

Do you need to look at the same metrics or report on a regular basis? Do you want to share the same report across a broader group of stakeholders? Do you want to have the flexibility to change the date range for the whole report or segment it down to certain demographics or characteristics? Great – you can do all of that with a Google Analytics Dashboard! In this quick post I’ll walk you through the easy step-by-step process of creating a new Google Analytics Dashboard. Step 1: Creating a new dashboard canvas Decide whether you are going to create a new dashboard from scratch, or if you will add reports to a new dashboard from the regular reporting UI. For right now, let’s start from scratch. Later in the
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Update: Setting up GA via GTM’s new UX

This post is essentially an update to the one I posted about a month ago for setting up Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager for WordPress (using Thomas Geiger’s Duracelltomi Google Tag Manager plugin for WordPress). Now that the beautiful new GTM interface has launched, things may look and feel a tad different, so read on for an updated step-by-step. I’d also like to quickly thank my sister, Jilleen, who runs the awesome blog SoCal Field Trips, for unknowingly volunteering as an example for this post… did you think that blog help was free?! Love you sis! Ok, now onto the useful stuff… Step 1: Go to tagmanager.google.com (note that this link takes you directly to the new UX, whereas google.com/tagmanager will take you to the old interface) to create a GTM account.  You’ll get
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A Casual Conversation with Google’s Analytics Advocates

This morning I had the opportunity to do a fun little Hangout On Air for the Google Partners Network with my fellow Analytics Advocate Adam Singer. We chatted casually about some of our favorite analytics resources and tips and also answered several questions from the partner community. Check out the video of this conversation for some of our favorite tips!
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Join the DAA SF Symposium on Nov 13: Getting Data Right with Quant AND Qual!

Originally posted on the official Google Analytics Blog, reposting here: This year the annual Digital Analytics Association (DAA) San Francisco Symposium is taking place on Thursday November 13th and will be hosted at University of San Francisco. The theme is “optimizing performance using quantitative and qualitative practices”. The DAA SF chapter has lined up industry leaders who will be sharing their thoughts and experiences. We are expecting a great afternoon of discussion followed by a networking reception. Following are the event details: Our lineup of wonderful speakers is focused on presenting real-world solutions to the optimization challenges we all face everyday. They will be discussing the principles of qualitative data collection, optimization and the relation to quantitative data they’ve put into practice. This year we are piloting a new, more interactive
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Step by Step: Setting Up a Quick Onsite Survey

We all love hard data. The facts and figures please. BUT those who really love data know that the secret sauce is to combine ‘hard’ data (quantitative) with ‘soft’ data (qualitative) to really understand the whole picture. There are many qualitative survey tools on the market that can help you do just that. For this post, I’ll talk about Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) as it’s the tool I use most frequently, but there are many others that rank high in terms of ease of use, functionality, and data output (Qualaroo, SurveyMonkey, Foresee, and Opinion Lab, to name a few). A couple of use cases are top of mind for me as a practitioner working with teams that are constantly launching new websites and updating offerings: 1. Task completion (tip of
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Step-by-Step: Setting up a Google Content Experiment on Your Website

Setting up a Google Analytics Content Experiment is easy! Follow this four-step process and you’ll be on your way to running your first test. To start, first go to the ‘Experiments’ section of Google Analytics and click on ‘Create Experiment’. Step 1: Setup the test Advanced: if you are working with a high volume page and want to analyze more than one goal at a time, you can set up a ‘fake goal’ so that the test will not optimize towards a single winner. Use a ‘fake goal’ to run the test longer than 2 weeks: Multi-armed bandit: Content Experiments uses a traffic splitting method called Multi-armed bandit (MAB) which essentially weights the traffic towards the variation(s) that appear to be winning, away from losing variations. In theory, this could
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