Best Of 2012: Google Analytics, Big Data & Visualizations

Google Analytics, Big Data & Visualizations

This week Adam Singer, Product Marketing Manager at Google, posted a call for people to create "wrap-up" posts for 2012. When I read the call I immediately went to Google Analytics to check Online Behavior account to find out which posts got the most pageviews during the year.

Since I was a bit surprised with the results, I decided to share the numbers. But first a few words on why I was surprised and what I intend to do with this information, after all, analysis without action is not worth sharing!

My biggest surprise was to find no videos in the final list. The site has a section packed with amazing videos from the GAUGE Conference and from the eMetrics Summit. Since filming those videos take a considerable amount of resources and time, I won't be posting new videos in the coming year.

Another surprise was that there were no cartoons in the list. Our cartoons section is really awesome, and I would expect them to be more popular. But since they take less time and resources to produce, and since I really love them, they will keep being updated frequently.

Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Online Behavior posts on 2012, in order of pages viewed. I have normalized their pageviews into a 10 point scale, where 10 is the most viewed and 1 is the less viewed.

1. Google Analytics Content Experiments - A Guide To Creating A/B Tests - Grade 10

In this post I go over the new Google Analytics Content Experiments, a tool that can be used to create A/B tests from inside Google Analytics. This tool has several advantages over the old Google Website Optimizer, especially if you are just starting the website testing journey. Content Experiments provide a quick way to test your main pages (landing pages, homepages, category pages) and it requires very few code implementations.

2. The Definitive Guide to Google+ Analytics - Grade 9

Google Analytics has recently launched a new set of reports called Social reports, which can be used to analyze in-site and off-site interactions with a brand on Social Networks. In this post, Daniel Waisberg discusses how Google Analytics can be used to analyze Google+ in-site interactions (e.g. +1 button clicks) and off-site interactions (e.g. comments, posts, shares that happened on Google+).

3. Big Data – What It Means For The Digital Analyst (by Stephane Hamel) - Grade 5.5

With the evolution from “Web Analytics” to “Digital Intelligence”, there is no doubt digital analysts should gradually shift from website-centricity and channel specific tactics – as experts as we are - to a more strategic, business oriented and (Big) Data expertise. Learn more about Big Data and which areas you should focus on.

4. Google Analytics Custom Variables: Segmentation Power - Grade 5.5

This article is a guide to Custom Variables, the most powerful segmentation feature on Google Analytics. I provide a proper definition of this method, where it should be used, how to plan its implementation, and additional advanced tips.

5. Understanding Google Analytics Multi Channel Funnels (by Yehoshua Coren) - Grade 4.5

In this post, Yehoshua Coren discusses several ways to use the Multi-Channel Funnels, a Google Analytics feature that can be used to understand which channels assisted in driving website conversions. Yehoshua also goes over some important definitions and challenges of this tool.

6. Google Tag Manager: A Step-By-Step Guide - Grade 4

This guide will walk you through the newest Google tool: the Google Tag Manager. This tool conveniently helps marketers manage tags on their sites; this will reduce errors when it comes to tag implementation, make it much faster to implement tags, and free webmasters to work on other important tasks.

7. Building A Bulletproof Analytics Implementation - Grade 3.5

In this article, I start by describing the structure of accounts on Google Analytics and then dive into the Top 3 mistakes when it comes to settings and configurations on Google Analytics. I then proceed to describe four techniques that will help analysts and marketers to improve their data accuracy.

8. Nuts and Bolts of Chart & Graph Types [infographic] - Grade 3.5

This infographic provides a quick list of the types of charts that are available for analysts/marketers out there. I do not intend to provide a comprehensive list, neither an accurate explanation of each (you will note!). But I do provide a 'tell me which graphs you use and I will tell you who you are' cheat sheet where I describe some of the personality types of people using different charts.

9. A Web Analytics Primer - What Does It All Mean? (by Jordan Louis) - Grade 3

This article is for the beginners, anyone who is making the perilous journey into the treacherous realm of online marketing, and all of the developers and designers who are curious about measuring and improving their websites based on good old data. It aims to provide a brief definition of each of the major web analytics metrics, what they mean, why they matter, and which types of websites each are most relevant to.

10. Radically Rethinking Web Analytics (by Justin Cutroni) - Grade 2.5

Web analytics has an identity crisis. Everyone recognizes that we no longer do (only) web analytics, we deal with many different data sources. From social to app, the website is not our only source of data. We work with digital data. Learn more about the differences of Web and Digital Analytics and an alternative way going forward.

Closing Thoughts

All in all, it was a great years for Online Behavior, with a huge increase over 2011. We got a higher engagement with the website content in all metrics, higher newsletter signup rates, more interaction with our social accounts and, most of all, we got some really interesting conversation going on, so we will hopefully keep the graph up and to the right in 2013!

Online Behavior © 2012