Google Analytics Code Snippets
Introduction to Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC)
In order to effectively track a visitor's behavior, it is recommended that you tag every page on the website with the Google Analytics tracking code.
Introduction to Reports in Google Analytics
Reports in Google Analytics convert raw data into presentable information. In addition, links and options within reports provide interactive segmentation which enables you to reorganize the data on the fly. There are two fundamental building blocks to any report in Google Analytics: metrics and dimensions.
Metrics and Dimensions in Google Analytics
Here is how the basic report structure works in Google Analytics:
A metric is defined as a numerical measure of the user interaction on your website. Metrics have the following characteristics:
- Metrics will always be expressed in the form of a number.
- Metrics are standalone entities. When you look at a metric in a standalone fashion it provides you with information about the site-wide performance.
- Metrics will form the columns of a report structure in Google Analytics.
Some of the common metrics you will find in Google Analytics are visits, pageviews, bounce rate, etc.
Dimensions, on the other hand, have the following characteristics:
- Dimensions are nonnumerical data fields.
- Unlike metrics, dimensions are not standalone entities, i.e., dimensions are not generally meaningful when viewed individually.
- Dimensions, when coupled with metrics, provide meaningful context to the data.
- Dimensions can be used to segment a metric.
The following example will help you understand the above concepts:
Overview of Report Structure
Google Analytics provides six main report categories. The following table provides an overview of the available reports along with their definitions and significance.
||These reports show custom and automatic reporting on intelligence events, which are analytics monitoring that can alert you when there are statistical variations in your website's traffic.
||These reports show interesting data based on Users that are currently on your website, in real-time.
||This group of reports highlights visitor information, both geographic and demographic. Ideally, you'll want to find out about visit quality, and these reports allow you to source this information.
||Reports in this category provide an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your site including natural (organic) and paid sources.
||These reports provide information about your content including an overview of pageview volume and lists the pages viewed.
||Reports in this category provide information about conversion rates and goal paths. (Important for non e-commerce sites). For e-commerce sites, this category also provides commerce tracking such as revenue generated and revenue sources (only available when enabled).
Subdimensions are the main tool that will help you track your social media results. You can cross-segment your data within a default report by using different subdimensions.
Using the Secondary dimension drop-down menu, select Campaign as the dimension. Google Analytics will cross-segment the data and show all of the campaigns that have brought visitors to your website.
Consider the screenshot below. You will see some of the campaigns that brought traffic to the web property in a one-month span.
Reminder: The campaign settings are set manually via the Google URL Builder.
Exploring the Social Reports
These reports show you how many website visitors are sharing your content through social media (e.g., liking one of your pages from the Facebook account, tweeting one of your latest stories, etc.). Please note: you do need to set up additional tracking code on your website to fully setup. See this link: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/gaTrackingSocial.html.
Here are a few ways in which you can leverage this report:
- Using the Engagement report, you can see a simple, yet effective, report showing how many of your website visitors are "socially engaged" with your site.
- In the Action report, you can see see which social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) your website visitors are using most to share your content.
- In the Pages report you can see which web pages of yours are the most popular for website visitors to share with their social connections.
In conclusion, Google Analytics offers great insight to your results with online marketing initiatives. The platform is very user friendly, but there is a need to spend some time looking through all the various options and determine what might be best for your individual company needs.