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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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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Google Analytics Blog Guest Post – 3 Tips for In-house Practitioners

Working as a practitioner in-house at a technology company, one of my jobs is to teach my team members how to fish with Google Analytics. What should they be looking for in GA? Where do they start? What is meaningful? Are the campaigns being measured? Are the microsites tagged? These are the types of questions I get everyday, and very likely, you do too. In this guest post, I detail how I teach my internal practitioners to use the following 3 features: 1. Event Tracking 2. Advanced Segments 3. Shortcuts Visit the official Google Analytics Blog to see the full post!
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#unSummitSLC 2013 Recap

Two weeks ago in Salt Lake City I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend and speak at unSummitSLC (I spoke about mobile & cross-channel analytics). unSummit is a half-day, intimate gathering of digital marketers from all over the country and local university students that takes place the day before Adobe Summit each year (this was it’s 3rd year). The idea is to share content/presos about relevant topics in the industry without the pitchiness of many of the presentations at larger conferences. It’s also a great learning platform for students who are interested in analytics (I wish something like this had been around when I was in college!). This was my first unSummit, and I walked away very impressed and inspired by the day. Some of the biggest
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eMetrics Boston 2012 Highlights

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend eMetrics in Boston. (I actually started this blog post on the plane home but am only now finishing… I blame on-boarding a new job for taking up all my free time ;)) No surprise, it was a great time. I learned a lot, met some great industry people, and had a fun time. Given that there was 3 full days of content, I’ll give a recap of the major takeaways and some notes from a few of my favorite sessions but I won’t break down each session individually. Let me know what you think! Big Takeaways: 1. Tag Management! With the announcement of Google Tag Management, the acceptance and proliferation of tag management across the board will see a sharp
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