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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Three Actionable Analytics Tips to Implement Today

I have the opportunity to speak to a lot of different audiences about analytics & optimization. Many times, I’m asked to leave the audience with a few actionable tips that they can implement in the next week. While there are many things I’d suggest (and it does change based on audience), I often recommend the same three things as I believe they are fundamental to moving past basic analytics and taking a more hands-on, informed approach. Tip #1: Use campaign tracking Campaign tracking is fundamental to getting more granular with your referring/incoming traffic sources. If you do it right, you can get smart about the types of ads/links/emails/social content that work best at driving qualified traffic to your website. And the best part about it – you don’t have to
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Real-Time Analytics: Top Use Cases for Quality Assurance

When real-time analytics first came out in Google Analytics, there were a lot of questions on the usefulness of this report. Yes, it looks cool to put it up on a big screen in the office for people to watch how much traffic is currently on your site… but that may not be super actionable (depending, of course, on your business). Thankfully I’ve found a couple of very useful ways to use real-time analytics for QA to help make me a better marketer: 1. Ensure campaign tracking is setup correctly: Real-time analytics allows me to see that the UTMs I’ve attached to my blog post URLs are working correctly and attributing traffic to the right sources. It’s a nice assurance to quickly check this after posting a new blog post
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How to setup Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager on WordPress

In this post I’ll walk you through setting up Google Tag Manger and installing Google Analytics on your WordPress blog in 5 easy steps. Step 1: Go to http://www.google.com/tagmanager/ to create a GTM account.  You’ll get a GTM account ID, in the format GTM-XXXXXX. Copy this ID, you’ll need it in the next step. Step 2: Install a GTM wordpress plugin. I chose Thomas Geiger’s Duracelltomi Google Tag Manager plugin for WordPress because it has great reviews on WordPress and a dedicated site full of ‘how to’ resources. Once installed, enter your GTM account ID. Step 3: Configure your tags, rules, & macros in GTM. The first thing I installed was a Universal Analytics tag to fire GA on all pages of my site. For basic tracking, it’s pretty easy. Just choose the tag
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I’m Joining the Google Analytics Team to Advocate for Digital Analytics Best Practices

After working as a practitioner of analytics and optimization for the past six years (at Adobe, the Apollo Group, and most recently Google), I’m excited to announce that I’m ‘officially’ making the move to the vendor side of the house! I’m joining the Google Analytics team as a ‘Best Practice Advocate’ for analytics and optimization. Five years ago, I would have said this role was my dream job. Two years ago, when I joined Google, I still would have said that this role was my dream job. And today, now 5 days in, I’m happy to say I’ve actually landed my dream job! I say ‘officially’ with quotes for two main reasons: 1. I’ve already been at Google for two years, many might think that I’ve been on the vendor
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I’m not a fan of time metrics or bounce rate – here’s why

How much time do visitors spend on our site? If we make this change, how much more time will people spend looking at our website? Did that change have an impact on bounce rate? As an analyst, do you get these questions a lot? I know I do. And my response is (almost) always the same… I will not report on those metrics and we should look elsewhere for something more meaningful. Why? Well… for many reasons. But first some definitions. Time on page: calculated by the first time stamp of landing on a page subtracted from the next time stamp when going to a new page (alternatively, the time stamp on exit of that page when continuing on to another page tracked within the same analytics account). Time on
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Step by Step: Setting up GA tracking for Marketing Campaigns

Several weeks back I posted a campaign tracking guide on the Official GA blog, now cross-posting it here. See the original post here. As an analytics practitioner, one of the most important things I try to teach marketers is how to properly tag their campaigns so we can report on the success of their efforts. To do this, I’ve created a guide for them to follow to make it easy to choose the proper UTM codes to have consistent campaign tagging across the business. This allows us to begin to assign source and medium values to finance channels and usage metrics to really understand how each campaign performs in terms of our bottom line business metrics. Overview: Setting up tracking and reporting on your marketing campaigns is simple and fun. This guide will
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Guide: A Practitioner’s Tips for Reducing the Impact of Sampling

Do you have large data sets being collected via Google Analytics? If you’ve got more than 250,000 visits within the time period you are analyzing, then you will likely encounter sampling in Google Analytics. Why? Sampling occurs for data sets larger than 250k visits in a single property (or 500k if you maximize the sampling ratio) in order to reduce processing times for data via the interface and allow marketers to view their data and make decisions more quickly. Sampling alert message:     While the speed to insight is great, at times, the sampling ratio can make it more difficult to analyze your data in the most efficient way. In order to get the most out of my data, I’ve invested time and effort in various ways of reducing
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eMetrics Sydney Recap

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend and speak at eMetrics in Sydney, Australia. This was the first conference I had attended or spoke at outside of the US, and a very unique opportunity to see how the digital analytics industry is thriving elsewhere. One thing that stood out to me: the analytics industry in Australia is a tight knit community with a ton of engagement via IAPA which is a similar organization to the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) in the US. It was great to meet and talk with everyone at this event and I walked away very impressed with the level of talent and enthusiasm that I saw. The second thing that stood out to me: Twitter is still an up and coming medium for
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