Getting Started with Google Analytics [video]

"It's a flexible structure within Google Analytics that allows you to have a set of data that's most meaningful to you, and your colleague to have a set of data that's most meaningful to her."

How does Google Analytics work?

The basic tenet is that you go to a website and request a web page => A JavaScript code is executed and a call is send to the Google server => Available information about the user is saved on Google Analytics (such as which browser, GEO location, referrer, time stamp and other).

A Google Analytics account can be for one person or for a team. Profiles can be set up by websites or by functional area, so that you can see sales on all sites rather than having to analyze each site's sales.

Security tip: Be sure to be careful about generic email addresses (like company @ gmail.com) where you don't know for sure who has access to the email. It's important to keep control of email addresses, so use private email addresses and always check if those people still "deserve" access.

A profile can be by site, by functional areas, or both. Page tags go on the page to make the data available. Building proper profiles is a very important part of using the Google Analytics account. Below is an image by Google on the structure of accounts, read more at this code article.

Google Analytics Implementation

Below are two very important tips on creating profiles for an account:

  1. Always have a RAW profile with no filters, and all segmentation can be done later.
  2. Create at least one profile which filters out all internal traffic, to see the real customer traffic.

Alex and Charles go on to show how to analyze traffic sources and how to navigate the Google Analytics interface, both in terms of graphing and of settings. Check the video to learn more.

Alex Langshur - Co-Founder & Senior Partner, Cardinal Path

Alex Langshur InterviewAlex Langshur is a co-founder and Senior Partner of Cardinal Path, a web analytics, search optimization and marketing consulting firm. Cardinal Path is the largest pure-play digital performance measurement firm in North America, committed to helping clients leverage their web, mobile, social media, email and search initiatives to turn convert visits to value, and prospects into customers.

Alex is a sought after speaker having keynoted and presented at digital marketing conferences around the world. He is the past-President and a current Director Emeritus of the Web Analytics Association (WAA), and a member of the Emetrics Marketing Optimization Summit Advisory Council. He teaches courses on web analytics, search optimization and digital measurement for University of British Columbia, GSA Web Manager University and WAA Base Camp, and has been published in journals and magazines including Government IT Week, Government Executive, CNN Money and others. Alex lives in Boston with his wife, two sons and golden retriever.

Charles Davis - Solutions Director, Blast Advanced Media

Charles DavisCharles is an entrepreneur at heart and Solutions Director for Blast Advanced Media. He works directly with clients to understand the most important details of their business and how we can best meet their demanding needs. With a background in enterprise level software systems, an understanding of the software lifecycle, and having started and operated a successful small business, Charles connects the business needs of each client with the skills of our diverse team to provide the maximum effect on the revenue and profitability of each client. Charles’ areas of special interest are project design, project management, website optimization, and developing strategic partnerships with great companies.

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