Google Analytics: 25 Tips, Tricks and Hacks

Peter O’Neill
Reading time: 3 minutes
1st September 2019

Way back in the depths of time, I gave a talk presenting 25 tips, tricks and hacks with Google Analytics. Well when I say the depths of time, I mean Nov 23rd 2016 although that feels like a lifetime ago now. It was a recorded talk for the ObservePoint Analytics Summit, a virtual event that anyone could listen into. This event has continued since then, with the next conference on the 23rd Jan 2020 – I highly recommend registering.

My talk on Google Analytics is still available online or you can hear it at around half of the MeasureCamps that I attend. ObservePoint recently published a blog post with a short summary of each of the 25 tips. My intentions though, when the time was available, has always been to publish a complete blog post for each tip, so we are able to dive into the details of each idea.

Given that it has nearly been 3 years since that conference, evidently I don’t have as much time as I used to, putting a strain on the amount of blog posts I can write.   The new plan is to spread the workload around the Ayima Analytics team and see if that can help get all of these blog posts written. Reviewing the list of tips, almost all are still relevant (if not, we will provide the latest ideas) and a couple already have blog posts.

So here is the original slide deck (with the old LeapThree branding, not Ayima) and below is a list of the 25 Google Analytics tips, tricks & hacks – they will have links added as each blog post is written.

Quick note, the areas range across all aspects of Digital Analytics with some advanced and some quite basic. If one is not to your taste, for whatever reason, try another…

Before you open Google Analytics

  1. Understand the purpose of Digital Analytics
  2. Create a Google Analytics solution for non-analysts
  3. Invest time to understand information needs
  4. Track the most useful information first
  5. Be creative within your Google Analytics solution

Useful information to capture

  1. Record the page URL and the page referrer
  2. Record the number of search results returned
  3. Record form validation errors

Google Analytics Campaign Tracking

  1. Use all 5 Google Analytics campaign parameters
  2. Tell your vendors to add GA campaign parameters
  3. Don’t forget GA campaign tracking for social media

Google Analytics Configuration

  1. Create Google Analytics goals for negative experiences
  2. Create a Google Analytics goal for all sessions
  3. Create a goal for each funnel checkpoint
  4. Create Calculated Metrics for each funnel stage

More useful information to capture

  1. Rename your pages in Google Analytics
  2. Record the type of each page
  3. Record the type of visitor
  4. Record product availability
  5. Record the basket value in a Custom Metric

Useful reports

  1. My favourite report – Pivot Entry Point vs. Medium
  2. Create a Performance Diagnostic Report
  3. Create a tactical report for ecommerce
  4. Create a tactical report for the content team

One final tip

  1. Hit-based segmentation is possible!

Actually, the original presentation contained 30 tips, not 25.  But even I, at the speed I generally talk, could not get through that many within 30 minutes, so I had to cut 5 out.  These additional 5 slides were previously published in a blog post but they also need individual blog posts.

Bonus 5 tips

  1. Understand Google Analytics definitions
  2. Wherever possible, group values
  3. Record the customer ID and GA client ID
  4. You don’t need all Enhanced Ecommerce stages
  5. Use the full Enhanced Ecommerce category variable

Let us know if you have any questions, thoughts and suggestions.  Of course, please do get in touch if you want to discuss getting any of these ideas in place at your organisation. A lot of the ideas are covered in our FREE training workshops – happening twice a month for the rest of 2019 (at least) at the Barbican in London.

Written By Peter O’Neill
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