Google Analytics—Esparta (Flickr.com)
Secrets To Employ About Google Analytics
I had no idea how to use this or even why I would want to employ Google Analytics then I discovered this…
5 Little Known Facts About Google Analytics
Google Analytics (GA) has popularized analytics for folks who hardly know what analytics really are. No longer the domain of deeply technological vendor specialists, analytics can now be implemented by anyone who signs up for a GA account.
For some, it’s really that simple. If you have a small site and need to know the basics, you hardly need anyone to do anything for you at all (from an implementation standpoint). GA gives you a tracking parameter where you add your domain name and you plop this into the header of your page and suddenly, you are part of the grand analytics experiment.
Where mainstream vendors send you expensive proposals, complicated account teams, service level agreements, caveats and contracts, GA sends you the tracking code. And this has proved almost a siren call to many marketers looking (justifiably) to break free of Big Vendor handcuffs.
The problem is, some people don’t know how much GA can actually do. But even learning a few little-known facts and limitations about GA may help dispel the notion that it’s a set-it-and-forget-it kind of tool. The follow items refer specifically to Google Analytics’ free offering, not its more heavyweight GA Premium offering. Many items can be found in Brian Clifton’s book Advanced Metrics with Google Analytics.
1. Google Analytics Ignores Data After a Certain Activity Level is Reached.
After 500 hits during a single visitor session, further activity is ignored. “Hits” is an old-fashioned word that no one wants to think about anymore, but servers deal with nearly everything on a “hit” level, even if analysts think it’s not useful to reference this as a parameter. A hit is generated any time any item is requested from the web server — a tracking code, a GIF file, a PDF, a page element, an interactive module. And depending on how your site is built, getting to 500 hits might not be so far a barrier to bash into. And then the activity is ignored. It’s not counted.
2. It Samples Data After a Certain Activity Level is Reached.
After you reach 1 million unique dimension combinations, GA samples the data. In somewhat plainer language, this means that once you have that many variables in play — and they do stack up fairly rapidly — GA selectively and intelligently ignores some of the data. It deploys sophisticated algorithms that make quick work of understanding overall patterns and dropping out the data least likely to result in a visible difference.
It’s the same principle universal image compression files (like JPG) use today — what you can’t see anyway will never be missed. Again, that is the driving principle. But when acute detail is needed, or where samples are very large and where algorithms may stray very far from true north, then sampling is not so great. It’s certainly something to be aware of if you are running GA on a heavily trafficked site.
3. It Calls Key Performance Indicators “Goals” Allows 20 Per Profile.
This won’t affect smaller implementations, and there are workarounds to minimize the effect it may have on even larger ones. But for very large, multiplex implementations, 20 KPIs per profile may seem puny compared to the nearly limitless ones you can set up in the pay-for tools. Remember that KPIs may be any valuable action you define — from time spent on page, to content downloaded, to transactions, to completing a registration. The list is about as infinite as the amount of clicks on all the sites in all the world.
Again, this issue can be managed and mitigated and for many it will never be a problem. But enterprises beware: You are probably going to need more than 20 defined KPIs and the free GA tool does not allow it. Read More….
I hope this article about Google Analytics was helpful…Start using it to see effective results.
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