Google Analytics

My Favorite Report in Google Analytics

As digital marketing becomes the standard way to market and sell products the importance of tools like Google Analytics will become increasingly more important.

Using and understanding Google Analytics is a fundamental part of what we do at Anduro Marketing. Some days it seems that we eat, sleep and breath numbers, tables, charts and ratios. 

One area that many of our clients struggle is setting up and understanding Goals. It is actually easy: Go to the Admin section, click on Goals and set up a goal. You can even turn on Value to track the dollar value of a specific action that happens on your website. There are advance features that are tricky but to track the performance of a specific page is quite simple.

A common example, is to count up the number of times a visitor fills out a form such as the form on a Contact Us page. It is easy, at the end of the month, to look at the Conversions section of Google Analytics and count up how many times the form was completed. In addition, you can look at Source / Medium and determine which marketing channel is doing the heavy lifting and bringing in the most inquiries. 

Results will look like this:

Using this area of Google Analytics to determine the marketing channel is less than optimum because there is too much information - there are too many Sources. A better way is to click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. This report looks like this:

 

This is one of the most useful reports in Google Analytics. On one screen you can see all of the following by Marketing Channel:

  • Sessions
  • New Users
  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/ Session
  • Avg Session Duration
  • AND Conversions

That is my favorite report in Google Analytics.

In my next post, I'll look at some complications between Goals, Pageviews and Segmenting Data.

Using Filters in Google Analytics

Have you noticed a jump in sessions recently?

A few of our clients and one of our websites are getting a bunch of spam from a website with the URL of "floating-share-buttons.com" or some version of that. A little bit of spam leaking through is not a big deal but this site seems to really bump up the sessions with no value - very annoying.

In Google Analytics under the Acquisition section on the vertical menu (All Traffic \ Channels \ Source as Referral) you will see something similar to this: 

Notice that there are quite a few sub domains - all are spam traffic. 

When you click on the link for this "referral" you are redirected to sharebutton.to and a page that looks like this:

There has been quite a bit written on what these sessions are, how they work and why companies are spamming sites. See Carlos Escalera's post: www.ohow.co/stop-floating-share-buttons-com-referral-spam-google-analytics/

The problem is that the traffic from these sites is useless from the point of view of gaining prospects and sales leads. The solution is to filter out sites like this. I'll outline the steps for you:

1. Log into Google Analytics for your website and choose the appropriate profile.

2. Click on the Admin link in the top horizontal menu.

3. Click on Filters under View section

4. Click on the red button for New Filter

5. Enter a name such as Referral Spam

6. Select Custom as the Filter Type

7. Remain on Exclude and choose Referral under Filter Field

8. Under Filter Pattern copy and paste the following: 
    floating-share-buttons.com|free-social-buttons.com

9. Click on Verify this filter to check to be sure you that you get some results in the last 7 days.

10. Save and you should have the following:

Now that you know how to create a filter in Google Analytics you can filter out other traffic that is not valuable - for example visits from company employees. All you have to do is create another filter and exclude the IP address of people in your company.