June 3, 2013
Better Google Analytics
When viewing any report in Google Analytics, just double-click on a date and you’ll be allowed to enter an annotation. These notes can be anything, such as “landing page redesign”, “monthly email blast sent”, or “AdWords campaign launched”. You can then use these while reviewing your analytics data to see whether or not certain events affected your traffic.
The Intelligence Events section of Google Analytics will allow you to setup custom alerts that will trigger an email (and/or a text message to your mobile phone) when certain criteria are met. This can easily help you monitor traffic spikes (or drop-offs), expected traffic sources, conversion goals, or even revenue increases on e-commerce sites. Just click “Intelligence Events” from the sidebar navigation to see the automatic alerts already built in along with a “Custom Alerts” tab for setting up your own.
Being able to segment your data is an incredibly valuable tool and while Google gives you a lot of great options out of the box there are often times when you might want to segment your data by a custom value. On a blog for example, you may wish to see which author(s) posts get the most traffic or which categories/tags are viewed most. By adding some simple custom variables into your tracking code you can easily capture this data for using in your reports.
Google’s own Custom Variable page has all the technical details you need but it’s really just as simple as adding a line of code like the one below to your page.
You can create variables for pretty much anything…
- Tracking whether or not a user is logged in
- Tracking product codes or SKUs on an e-commerce site
- Tracking customer loyalty (based on unique visits, number of purchases, number of comments, etc.)
Use your imagination and figure out what data will be most valuable for you and your clients.