Lesson Two: Advanced Analytics
In this Advanced Analytics lesson we’re going to build on the basics we learned already and look at some of the more advanced features.
Specifically, we’re going to look at setting up Goals, Filters, user access and lots more.
If you want to get more from Google Analytics while still keeping it in plain-English, this is the training lesson for you.
Watch the next lesson: Lesson Three: Search Console Explained
Hello, and welcome to Lesson Two of Module Five.
In this lesson, I’m going to continue teaching you about Google Analytics.
Only this time, we’re going to cover some of the more advanced features that you need to know, including how to set up my advanced spam filters that I have custom built, and how to record sales, conversions and leads. It’s really not that complicated. Let’s get straight into it.
Okay, so for this second part of the Google Analytics overview, we’re going to cover some more advanced areas, as mentioned. I’m going to use the same Decorque Cards Analytics account, which relates to this agency client’s website.
Firstly, I want to discuss spam filters, because many people are completely unaware of this, but it’s a real problem and I would almost bet that you are experiencing this exact problem within your Google Analytics account.
And that is, as well as Google that crawls your website, and indexes your pages, and records all your analytical data … so, the visitors to your website, there are a lot of spambots out there. And spambots come in a couple of different ways, and they are a real pain, and they skew a to of your, the Analytics data that you’re looking at.
So when you log into your account right now, and you see data like this, that’s recording ordinary traffic, and you think, “Great, I’ve had 1,400, or 500, or 10,000 visits,” or whatever the case may be, there’s a high likelihood that, actually, that isn’t the case.
Over the years, I have scratched my head and tried to figure out how to exclude the spambots, because they’re constantly changing, and it’s a real bugbear. You’ve only got to look up online, and how to get accurate analytics, things like that. People struggle. People have tried a lot of different ways, and simply through trial and error, and a lot of experimentation, I’ve come up with a set of spam-proof filters and settings that seem to, so far, touch wood, have done the job.
What I thought I would do, as an extra special kind of bonus, for everyone on my academy, is … I would go through this exact process, and get them added, so that you yourself, when you look at your analytics, you can be super confident that it’s going to be as accurate as it possibly can.
What’d I do to it? I do update this script, and change it, every now and again, as and when required, when a new spambot comes out. It doesn’t change all that often, maybe a couple of times a year, but it’s something that you should … you can download it now, beneath this lesson, but then, going forward, every few months, once or twice, a couple of times a year, just make a note to come back in, and to almost compare what you did, versus what’s there, just make to sure that it is … that you stay up to date.
So, these spam fills, I’ve created a Notepad file, which is this. Now it is quite scary. It kind of is, but they’re … that’s mine. This is literally my notes I keep on my computer, 24/7, whenever I have a new agency client, this is one of the first things I do. I log into their Analytics account, and I set this up for them. And it then, going forward, it doesn’t work retrospectively. It will only work going forward. But it will record, accurately, and it kind of sections off.
It excludes all the spam, or about … I’ve found it to be over 95% accurate, in the tests that I’ve done, and I want to, just, before we go about setting this up, because there’s a few steps, and it’s a little techy, but it’s very doable yourself. Apart from one tiny bit.
But I want to just show you a, kind of a before and after. So this is Decorque Cards, as I say, and the default website view is this All Website Data. Now, many, many months ago, when we first started working with this client, I set up the exact filters I’ve just discussed, so I want to just you show you something.
I’m going to go Jan 1st, and go back to 2016, so we get just around the year, just over a year, about 13-14 months. So just looking at the standard All Website Data View, for the last year or so, I’m seeing all users as around 10,342. So there’s about 10,000 people who have visited this website in the last year. Which is an okay number. It’s a small business, it’s slowly establishing itself, so that’s pretty good. It’s on the increase. All looks positive.
However, what I’m going to do … that is including all of the potential spam that is there. That’s the default. So when you look at your Analytics account, that’s what you’re going to be seeing is that. Now I applied this spam filter more than a year ago. So I want to show you the difference.
We’re looking at that 10,342, which is the total number of sessions. Okay? Or, you can look at the users, 9,360. Now, this new spam view, look at how it will adjust the numbers, to make them accurate. Instead of 10,300, we’ve got 7,400. Instead of 9,300, the reality is, 9,360 different people did not visit this website in the last year. The reality was, it was 6,872. Now that’s quite a sizeable, that’s somewhere in the region of 20%, maybe 30% difference.
Which, if you’re calculating your ROI in your campaigns, and the traffic to your website, and trying to figure out, and increase, your conversion rates and your sales, that can quite heavily play havoc with your data and your figures. So that’s quite significant.
Whenever I click into their Analytics account, I have the All Website Data View, and then, I have this, excluding no spam view, and I click into this. Because instantly, I know that I’ve excluded 95% or even more … sometimes, I’ve seen it as 100%. So I then know that what I’m looking at is accurate.
I’ve been asked by various people, over the months and years, for these spam filters, and I’ve said no. Because this thing here, no one has told me how to do this. No one has helped me kind of piece this thing together. This is all, there’s several steps to this, that’s three steps, and this all just comes from trial and error and experience, and getting into Analytics, and delving into the nitty gritty.
So it’s a real plus, and it’s something I can guarantee, none of your competitors are going to have.
I think I’ve built that up enough. How do we get this to sort it? What did we do? Well, seeing as we’ve already got on this view, I’m just going to walk you through the steps that you would hypothetically have to take. So I’m going to go back to the All Website Data View. And I’m going to click.
The first you would do, you come into your Analytic, you’d click in Admin. Then, you’re going to, I’ve actually written all the notes down, and see it, so you can see.
Step One is called … Ghost spam is the first type of spam. I’m not going to get into the different types of spam, but the first one, you’ve got ghost and you’ve got crawler spam. They’re the two pains in our back side. Ghost spam is the first one, and we filter this by using the valid hostname filter.
So, and these exact notes, this exact file, is going to be downloadable, below this lesson. You can work through it. But if you combined the notes with what I’m going to show you right now, and maybe watch it about a couple of times? You’ll able to go through it, no problem.
What we do, before we go into Admin, we’re going to go into your reporting. And then choose a date range back, as far as possible. So I go at least a year. A year is generally okay. You could do a year, 18 months, two, whatever. Then you’re going to go into Audience, then Technology, and then Network.
What we’re looking for here is, I’ll just show you. You’re then going to select, where it says Primary Dimension, you’re going to select Hostname. Once you’re in here, you are going to note down all of the legitimate hostname. Now, a hostname is essentially your website, but it’s the root domain.
So in this case, it’s just simply that. You ignore the dot, dot, dot, or if you add, blogdot, or anything else, it doesn’t name, it’s just that root domain. You don’t anything after the dot.com, or the dot.credituk, or whatever it is. It’s just that root domain. So that is your hostname. Okay?
I know that maybe the odds are variant to this. It may not always be exactly this process. But this is a general rule of thumb, and if you do get stuck, speak to your Web developer, or send me an e-mail, and I’ll gladly see how I can help.
You’re looking for the valid hostnames, because one of the ways spam gets in and affects your analytics is by affecting … just try and simplify it, it falsifies a hostname that tricks Analytics into thinking it’s a legitimate site visit, when actually, it isn’t. So, we can just set … what we’re going to say in this first step is, “Only record traffic with a legitimate hostname.” That is, in essence, that is what this first step is doing.
Now, in here, almost always, the first one will be right. So I take the first one, and I’m just going to open up a new Notepad file, and I copy it in there. Then what I start doing is, I look down here, and I think, “Oh, some of these Web, instant service, that’s clearly not right. Not Set, no. We’ve Google Web Lights. Not sure what that is, blog.google, FoxNet …” A lot of these, some of these will be legitimate, and you’ll see, also.
So we’ve got a list of it. You can see it down here, in the bottom right, you’ve got a list of 100. We got a list of 102. So I’ll actually just switch all those on. You can see it, we’ve got … I mean, you can just see a lot of these are absolute, US and Russian ones, we’ve got all sorts of … And a lot of it, as you can see, is just one, one, one, one, one, one, one … so the ones with one aren’t, they’re all spam. You can just tell by the URLs.
If there’s only one, it’s not the end of the world. But often, spambots send one visit, to see if it’s recorded, and then it’s like, it opens the floodgates. And then, weeks or months later, bam! You get for hundreds or even thousands of links, that it causes havoc.
So you can see, look at all these. These are all just spam visits that are just messing with our data. So, you’re going to take the hostname.
Now, if you are using a third party checker, a piece of software like PayPal, or if you have YouTube videos embedded, or if you have a striped account, or if you have any other software, or CRMs, or anything that’s running live, that’s plugged into your website? You’ll probably see them here as well. So it’s always worth checking your whole list, because anything that is legitimate, you would record them into here.
Because you want to record all of the legitimate hostnames, and so, yeah, generally, if it’s an e-commerce site, or if you accept payments, it might be PayPal, it could be YouTube, stuff like that.
Then what you want to do is, we’re going to create an expression, which is separated by pipes. Now, this may sound complicated, but it actually really isn’t. So you’re going to take, and in this instance, I know, I’m fairly confident … the only one that’s, is, and I’m doing this quick … the only one that is legit is this one there.
Then what you do, there’s two Google default ones, which we always need to include, even if you don’t see them here. And there again, they’re going to be in the notes, and that is this. You got webcache.google, usercontent.com, and translate.google, usercontent.com. So that is going to be your expression, which tells Google, “Only include traffic that comes from hostnames of these three.” And you always separate them. No spaces, it’s just, you separate the main names with a pipe.
So that’s the first part of Step One done. So we’re going to pop that over there. We then go up to Admin, and we go to views, and I’m trying to remember all the steps. We go to Views, and then we create a new view, which I’ve already done here. You would create them, you’d click on that, create a new view, and you would call it, “Traffic Reports, Excluding All Spam,” or you can call it whatever you want. That’s just what I call it. But you’re just going to create a new view here. I’m actually going to click into this.
Then, once you have created the new view, once you create it, you’ll automatically be taken into it. So you can now say, “I’m in this view.” Now, this why I said to you, you can have the dropdown, because now I’ve sent you, I’ve got two views of this property, as I explained in the first part of this Analytics overview. You got the, that’s the property, sitting within the account. And now we got two views, so we got the All Website Data, which is the one big bucket, it includes absolutely everything, and now what we’re doing is, we’re creating a second view, which is going to be the accurate analytics.
So you’d go to Traffic Review, Excluding All Spam. Once you’ve created that, you’ll be able to see that you’re taking this … you just make sure that that’s now what you’re looking at, is Traffic Reports Excluding All Spam, or whatever you call it.
Once you’ve done that, you’re going to come down here into Filters, and you’re going to click on Ad Filter. Once you do that, you’ll be brought to a page that looks like this. You then call it … okay, now, you don’t have to follow what I’ve called it, but I’ve just called it Valid Hostnames, because that is what it is. These are only going to be … this filter is only going to include valid hostnames.
You then need to click on Custom. You then click on Include, because we want to include these, and Filter Field, you’re going to, “just search for hostname.” And you just check that. Once you’ve done that, you’re going to copy and paste this code snippet … and you can see, this is exactly what I did, but I see, I actually did include PayPal, of course, because it does accept PayPal.
Yah, then you’ve got the webcache, you’ve got the translate, and that’s it. So, often, you want to have your website, dot.credituk, or dot.com, plus the two default Google ones. They’re less often, all you’ll have. Make sure it says hostname there, and then, you can verify the filter, but nine times out of 10, that doesn’t seem to work. I don’t know why Google don’t just remove it. And then you click Save.
Once you’ve done that, that’s Step One done. I can just go and change it? Yes, I don’t need the server. So that is, that that’s that done. You’ll then come back to this screen, and you’ll, Save Valid Hostnames, or the name that you’ve applied to it. It’ll say, “Filter Types, and include filter,” and going forward, from this moment forward, that will now only record traffic for this view, from those hostnames. And this is one of the reasons why you create a second view.
Because best practise dictates that’s your only … you never want to disturb the raw data, if you like. Because in case you’ve set something up, and you made a mistake, if you didn’t, if you just did everything in the one view here, which you could do, you could apply filters and all sorts into this one view, you have no way of going back and getting that old data.
At least, if we apply something to create a new view, and then, we can mess around with it, and try different things, experiment with it, if you make a mistake, you at least have, you know you’ve got your fail safe, which is your raw data here. It may not be correct, but you can go back, and you can historically slice and dice it, and actually look at it, and you haven’t lost everything.
That comes from experience, because I have in the past done that, into there, we also made a mistake, and then been cursing, because I had no way of getting accurate data. So, learn from my mistakes, and do it, create a second view. And then you can, like I say, you can correct up to 25 views. So you can correct multiple views.
Step Two! I’m positive this is going to take a little, a few minutes, because it’s worth getting right if we spend 20 minutes, half an hour, getting this right. It’s worth the time, because it’s going to sure that you’re accurate, for, going forward for years.
Step Two is around … so we’ve done that, we’ve just gone through that entire process, all of those steps, and I will clean this up a touch, before I pop it below this lesson. So, yeah, you’ll have all the steps, nicely laid out, and it’ll make nice good sense.
Step Two is blocking crawler spam. So we do that with a Campaign Source Filter. How do we do that? We go back to Reporting. We click on Acquisition, and then, we click on Channels, and then Refers, and … oh, you could actually, you can say, “I’m in the wrong view.” So that’s another thing to check. Because if you can click back into Reporting, you will actually have no, you will have zero. Just a straight line here.
Because, of course, you only set up just the new view, it’s going to only start recording data from today. So you’re actually going to click that, or go back to, always the day. Otherwise, you won’t have any information at all.
So, back in here. Acquisition Channels, Referrers, where are we? Referrers? And then, you select Hostname as the secondary dimension. So you can see, you’ve got secondary dimension here, and let’s select the hostname. Select that. What it’s going to do is, it’s going to add a second column here, okay? And then, what we want to do is, we’re looking for sites, using a legitimate hostname, but where the source is spam.
So what we’re going to do is, I’m going to open this up. So you got 249 here, so often, this second step is where you get more spam.
What we’re going to do, all the ones now, and this is where actually it should start to make sense, hopefully, is … all the hostnames that aren’t, that weren’t included in our first filter, we don’t need to worry about. Because we’ve already, going forward, we know where it’s going. What we’re now looking for, and you could even Apply Filter for, if we really wanted to … in fact, let’s do that. I’m going to actually just show you.
What you could do is, what we’re looking for, is, only the hostnames that are legitimates. So, yes, yes, yes. But we’re looking, where they’re legitimate, but the source is spam.
So this one’s going to be, is legitimate, because said it’s a legitimate website. I know that website … keywords_monitoring_yoursuccess, what do you think that one is? i.facebook? Not sure. EU cookie, law enforcement.exy? No. I mean, again, that’s not set. images.google.de? That’s German.
So you would just go through, and you’re going to look for … now, if there’s anything that you’re not sure about, like that one? Not sure. There’s one or two that I’m not sure about. You can leave them in, because the other filters are going to catch them.
This is just, we’re just trying to get it to be absolute bulletproof, but any that are obvious spam, and as you come down the list, you’re going to start see some ones are really obvious: freevidetool.com. I know it’s just complete and utter spam. What else have we got here? Keywordsmonitorthesuccess.com? Yeah.
What you can do, if you’ve got a huge list … depending on your website, you may have, click advanced. Include Hostname Containing, and then, just write in your, decorquecards.com, Apply, and this will now filter everything. And it will only include the results here. So, again, if you’ve got a huge number of these, and you think, “Wow, this is gonna take me awhile,” then you can just export it.
You come up here, Export, CSV, download it, work your way through them. What you’re looking for, you’re just looking at highlights in all the ones that aren’t legitimate, and then, we’re going to apply a filter to them. Now, to save you, I suggest you do that, and you come up with all those that you can find.
However, just through sheer number of times that I’ve done this process, I’ve already found about 90% of those that you will see in your list. And what I’ve included is them here, so you can see. You’ve got [$100seo.com 00:20:55], bestseooffer … I mean, no wonder the SEO industry has a bad name. It’s shocking.
Ah, Buttons For Website? It’s all of these. And you’ll probably see some of these. You may even have seen them in your analytics, or you’ll see them, SEO Profile, or Euro Opener. I don’t even know how to pronounce that one. Make Money Online, Success SEO, dah, dah, dah, yada, yada, yada.
So that’s the first filter, and then you can see. I’ve had so many of these, because you can only add about 20 or so, I’ve started to create a second filter here. And if you find, if, when you do this process, you find more that aren’t listed in one of these filters? Just add them on here. So it’ll be, pipe, root domain, that’s the actual domain. So, no dub, dub or anything, nothing else, no http. Just literally the root domain, so, website.co.uk, or website.com.
And very rarely, I will just say, very rarely will you find a dot.co.uk. Because the UK’s very stringent when it comes to spam, and often, it’s dotcoms that come in from America, or all over the world, they’re a nightmare. Sometimes, I wish we could just section off the UK from the rest of the world, but it’d be great.
So there are your two spam filters, and you would just go through, add to that list, and once you’ve sort of built out a list in here, so you just start to build them in much the same way we did with this one here, you’re going to go back to Admin. You’re going to back to the right view. So, remember, always go the new view, which is Excluding Spam. Don’t set up any filters.
You’ll notice in here, there are no filters, because this is my raw view. I’m doing it. So now, we’re just going to go, Traffic, Excluding All Spam, back to Filters. And we’re going to do this. You’re going to come, click into Add New Filter. Well, you’re going to click here. Filters, Add Filter there. Once you do that, you’re going to be presented with a screen like this.
Again, this is very, same screen as what we had earlier. Exclude crawlers, because this is now crawler spam, that we’re trying to exclude. You’re going to click on Custom. You’re going to, this time, click Exclude. So the first time, I was Include, this time, it is Exclude.
Filter Field is going to be Campaign Source. Then you’re going to copy in the string. So, the first one, you can just my one, which is this one, because this is full. You can’t add anymore, so you would just copy that whole string, paste it in there, no point in doing that.
Making sure, Exclude Campaign Source. Custom, Exclude, I think, Crawlers. Save. What that’s going then do is, it’s, that’s the second filter. I don’t want to go back in there. So you’ve now, you’re only including valid hostnames. You’re excluding the first row of crawlers.
Then what we’re going to do is, we’re going to exclude … I’ve just called this Exclude Crawlers, too, and over the months and years ahead, if you fill this one up? Just create an Exclude Crawlers III. Because spammers, once they know that their spam works are not affecting people’s analytics, they’re just going to create more and different spambots, and crawler spam, and ghost spam referrals, and so, it’s a constantly evolving thing.
However, it doesn’t change that whole list. We’ve probably got about 30 Web domain, 25-30 in there, and that’s from three or four years’ worth of having this in place. So they don’t come out all too often. Hence, what I said. If you’re updating and checking this once every, once or twice a year, you’re absolutely set.
So you popped out all that data in there, which would include any that you found yourself, where again, making sure that the hostname is legitimate, but the source is spam. That’s a really important thing to be mindful on, and I’m just going to recopy that again in just a second.
You would then save that, and that’s it. You’re then done. You have, you would have all your … I’m just going go back a few steps. Okay, and I know it’s taking too long. So you’re just going to go back into here, and we’re going go into Referrers. I just want to quickly recap this thing, because it is important.
Hostname is the secondary dimension. So it’s making sure that this bit is legitimate. But this site isn’t, so any that just aren’t, right, they just are, look spammy. So if this bit looks spammy, this column … you don’t need to worry, because the first filter will have sorted that. It’s only if this is right, but this looks wrong. Then you know they’re done. Hope that makes sense.
Right, so that is Step Two done. So then, when you click into your Admin, you will have, and actually, that’s a really … I’m just going to quickly show you that, because that is a really valid point. See, we’re in here, the Excluding All Spam?
You can see, all of those are legit, and these are all legit websites. Because this is, well, this has got this, the filters applied. And this is obviously, looking back historically, and you can see, this is all absolutely fine. So, just shows you that it does work. It worked from the day you applied this, going forward.
And then, making sure you’re in the right view, excluding all the spam. If you click into Filters, you will then have this. You’ll have won this, excluding the, including the valid hostnames, and one or two or three or however many that is excluding the crawlers.
So that’s Step Two done. That whole process, say, it’d probably take you 15, 20 minutes, to set it up and to get it done. And once done, it’ll record everything accurately, going forward. So you’ll have one version of your Analytics, which is going to include all traffic, and one which is going to exclude almost all the spam.
It’d be really interesting for you, as you go forward, you can just compare the two. I know I find that real interesting, just to, when I go into my own Analytics, and you’re looking at your initial dashboard, you will have both views, and it will say, “X amount for one, X amount.” You can see the difference, and think, “Ah, so that difference? That was the spam.” Then you’ll start to see, over the coming weeks and months, the difference.
Now, sometimes, the difference might not be there at all, or it might be minimal. If it’s not, it means spambots are not trying to hit your site. So that’s a great thing. But sometimes, you’ll see certain peaks. I’ve come into Analytics accounts for some of my clients, and I’ve looked, and before they’ve had this applied, and there’s been a huge spike, and I’ve seen 500 or 1,000 or a few thousand visits in a day.
And I thought, “Wow, what? They’ve just been featured on some huge press release, or something?” No, they haven’t, it’s where a spambot has got in, and it has caused havoc.
Now there is one final step, and that is applying this code here to your htaccess file. Now this is, it’s kind of an optional step, because some of you will be able to do it, others won’t. If you can’t do this, it’s not a huge problem, but if you have a Web developer, or someone who maintains and updates your website, you need to ask them to apply this code to your htaccess file. Now that’s a very, that’s a technical file, that helps do various things for your website.
Just doing this, it’s another, it’s kind of adding another blockade, to insure that spam just cannot get through, at all. So you would just copy this exact script there, that’s what we need to copy, send that over to your Web developer and say, “Can you add this to my htaccess file, and can you then test the website, make sure it’s all working, that’s it all absolutely fine?”
Make sure you get that done, if you can. If you can’t, certain websites, certain hosting environments, you can’t access the Control Panel. It’s just not feasible. If you can’t, don’t worry. Steps One and Two will have you covered. This is just an extra layer of protection that’s great to do, if you can do it.
So, yeah, that is your, how to keep your Analytics spam free. It’s an advanced thing. It’s something that I apply for my agency clients, and it’s something that I just couldn’t not include in this training, because it’s so important for … when you’re looking at your data, and seeing you grow your business, I want you to know that the traffic you’re looking at, is accurate. So I had to include it.
So, there are just a few other things that I want to quickly cover, as part of this analytics. Training, because it’s so important that you understand analytics, because it’s something that’s going to help visualise your business growth, and see that you are making the progress, and you’re getting the return on your investment, and that you’re, yeah, make sure you’re a happy bunny.
We’re going to go back into Reporting, and I’m going to talk a bit quickly about how to set up goals. What is a goal? You use goals to record any notable actions on your website. So, most commonly, it’s going to be things like inquiries. It’s going to be certain actions that have a meaning to your business. Often, that’s form inquiries, it can be phone calls, it can be sales, it can be leads, it can be one of many things. It will totally depend on your business type.
How do we set this up? These actually are incredibly to set up. You go into your Admin, and again, what you need to do is think, which view do I want to apply this to? Now, if you’ve just set up the spam views, I would advise setting your goals up in that view, because that’s going to become your accurate view. What you could do, and it’s probably advisable, is to actually set this goal up in both views.
So do it all in the All Website Data View, and do it in this Spam View, as well. So you can do this process in both views. You would do it once here, and then, you would click here, go to All Website Data, and do the same there. Just so that you know you’re recording your goals on both views.
So you’re going to click into Goals here, and you would just click in New Goal. Now, you can set up goals for absolutely anything, as I say. Google has a bunch of suggestions, so it’s anything. You can use one of their existing templates for placing an order, or checkout complete, or whatever it is.
Often, I recommend just doing Custom, because that template’s a little bit, it’s just easier to, just to create your own, because then you can just get it right, and get it how you need to do it.
So give your goal your name. We could call this, if it’s e-commerce day, or if it’s just a sales website, or anything, you could just call it Website Inquiry, or Inquiry, whatever. It doesn’t really matter.
Then what we’re going to need to do is record what type of a goal this is going to be. Is this going to be destination goal? Is it a duration? If it’s watching a video, it could be a duration.
Page or screens, if you want record the engagement on your website, so are people engaging? You could click that, and make sure they’ve got to visit three pages, or five pages, or 10 pages of my site. You could even section this up to, do they view a specific page?
Are they clicking … if you want to promote a given product or a given service, you could set this up, so you only record visitors to that page. You can see the engagement, a specific product, service, page is getting.
You can have it as a video. So this is something a little more advanced, where you get into recording if someone has a specific … if they do ever watch a video, or if they’re engaged with something, if they download something, if … whatever. Then you can record it as an event.
For this one, we’re going to do just an inquiry, which is a destination. Because often, depending, again, on your website, when someone has a … it fills in as if we go to … Contact. When someone sends an inquiry form, say, for example, someone comes on here, you’re going to … and again, this will totally depend on your setup. But when someone fills this in, you are going to get a thank you page or an acknowledgment of some description.
You then need to copy that URL in, that you are … so it might be, /contact/thankyou, or something along those lines. You would take that, and then that will be your destination. So we’re going to pop that in, and we’re going to continue there. Then you would just say, “equals to,” or “begins with,” or … so just keep it as “equals to,” because you want the … it’s the URL that needs to be equal to. You don’t need the actual URL, you only need the forward slash, so that would be where my goal destination is.
What that’s telling Google is, every time someone arrives at the contact/thankyou, or the thank you page, or the acknowledgment, or whatever it is, record that as a goal. There are a lot of different variances to this setup, and I just want to explain the process. Then you will need to go and look, or speak to your Web developer, or whoever handles your website, to find out how exactly your CMS needs to set this up.
Because some don’t arrive at a specific page. Some goals actually have Java script built in, so that when you click on, “Submit the form,” or “Send the form,” it doesn’t actually generate any page. It just comes up with a little thank you message. If that’s the case, then it’s no problem. You just need to apply it, a tiny bit of code, or get your Web developer to record it as a goal.
So as long as you understand the process of this, you can come in and get this set up, and if you need to speak to that, to your developer, get that third party’s help, it’s easy enough to do.
So you would pop that in. You an assign a value if you want. So if you know that it’s a sale, or if it’s something that you can assign a value, you can create in a funnel, but that’s a little bit more advanced. You would then just hit Save, and that’s it, done. You can set up a goal.
You could set up all sorts of goals. You can set up goals to people to add something to the cards, goals to people to add their business details, goal is that they check out complete. It really doesn’t matter. You can literally set up goals for absolutely anything. So it’s very very simple. You can just set up a goal in a handful of clicks. You just click into Goals, click Add Goal, and then, New Goal, and then just decide what you want to record.
I encourage you to set up at least two or three or four goals. Just record different things, because it’s just interesting. It’s a nice way to test your analytics, kind of test what people are doing on your website, especially as you start to build your awareness.
Definitely record inquiries. If you’re e-commerce, definitely record sales and purchases and people putting in their details into your Cart page, or your Basket page, or the shipping details, stuff like that.
So that’s just, that’s a little bit of trial and error. There’s no set way that I could cover off every different CMS and every different setup. I’d be here for days. But that’s as easy as it is to set up goals. Because, often, that is one of the things, you hear: how on Earth do you set up Analytics goals? Simple as that.
If you want to set up e-commerce tracking, so, if you are an e-commerce score, and you want to set up and record your sales in more detail, e-commerce settings, here. Make sure you switch this on, so this is enabled. Enable an enhanced e-commerce setting, as well. Just switch that on and submit it. Again, you can set up a funnel, but you need not. You don’t have to do that.
Once you do this, your e-commerce dates will start recording. There is a caveat to that, being that if you use a third party plug-in, such as PayPal, or someone you don’t accept?
If you don’t accept payments, or you require the user, during their payment or journey, if they have to go off your website … so, if they have to go off to PayPal, or go off to wherever it is to complete the transaction? Then it’s a little more technically advanced, to get it all set up, because you have to set up cross domain tracking.
So that is something you would definitely need either my help to do, or a Web developer to assist you with. But if it’s just, you accept everything on your website, and no one goes anywhere? It’s just a couple of clicks to switch the things on, and it will start to populate in your reports, conversions, e-commerce here. So you’ve got Overview, you’ve got Product Performance, Sales Performance. All of these will populate as you start to record sales.
You’ve got your goals as well here, you can click into your goals, and you can see the number of goals, different goals to set up. You can see where they’re coming from by clicking into Source of Inquiry, so Google, and direct, that’s very good for this client’s website. Yeah, and you can record how many people have done what things, to where they’ve check out.
That’s why I said, about the Checkout page, it’s very similar to the inquiries. It’ll be checkout, forward slash, an order number or whatever it is. And that’s your goals.
A couple more things now, if we go to, back to the Audience Overview, which is kind of the default place that you arrive into your Analytics. I just want to show you e-mail and export. Now, if you want to export anything at any time, you can, you can just click that, and you can … Generally, CSV’s the best thing to export. You can, into a Google Sheet, if you use that. Or into A PDF, if you just want something that’s not editable, but just nice and easy to print.
Whatever screen you’re on, any size … if you want a printer, and you’re going to a meeting, or you want to show something, or you want to demonstrate, or whatever it is, whatever you’re viewing? Export, and you can choose your option here, PDF or whatever, to printer, as I say. So that’s nice. Then you could do it with absolutely any page you’re in.
E-mail is a really handy little thing that people just don’t make the most of, and that is, if you’ve got a specific page … So if you just think, “Right, I want to sell out this, and I want to see all visitors, versus organic visitors,” and I want to reply to that. You think, “Right, I want to, and I only wanna set this to the last 30 days.”
You think, “Right, this is … This, for me, this tells me what I wanna know: 70% of my traffic is organic, and I wanna see the total number of visitors. I wanna see the breakdown of their engagement with the website for the last month. I wanna see that, and I iwanna see that every week.” Great. All we need to do is set up an e-mail.
E-mail it to yourself. You could set it again up as a CSV, or PDF’s probably better, if you’re going to e-mail it to yourself, if you just want to have a glance to it. Choose the frequency. Choose the day of the week you want it, and pop a note on it, if you want. Just to explain, I’d often put in a note, saying, “This is Analytics report overview,” of whatever it is. And then, just hit Send, and that will then come out every Monday or every Tuesday, or whatever it is.
You could set it to weekly, daily, monthly, quarterly, and it’s a nice way … you don’t even then have to worry about clicking into Analytics. You just, you can get an e-mail, and you got a PDF, you can click on it. An absolute glance takes a few seconds. You can go, “Ah, right, my traffic’s on the increase,” or, “There’s a problem,” or, “The organic’s growing great, I’m happy.”
You could either, you could even further into this. You could, different types of traffic. You could come down and do the same for Acquisition and Overview, to get a real sense of where your traffic’s coming from, see on a weekly basis. You’re in the know. You’re seeing. You’re aware of what’s happening.
You’re not falling into that trap of saying, “I’ve got an Analytics account.” “When was the last time you checked it?” “No clue.” Or, “How much traffic are you getting?” “I don’t know.” This is some of the stuff you need to be seeing, you need to be aware of.
And lastly, Dashboards. This is something, as well, this is really handy. You can create your own dashboard. So, as you start to familiarise yourself with some of these, and you start to think, “Right, I really find the Acquisition Overview useful, and/or these graphs.” Or, “I really find the mobile versus desktop really useful.”.
Once you know that, come into here, you can crate a new dashboard here. Click into it, and then just add widgets. So you just literally go through, work you through, what type of widget do you want? How do you want it to display? Choose your metric, and you can apply a filter if you want. Dave it, and then you can just populate these with … these were the default ones, with a bunch of graphs.
This is often what I do is, I’ll set up a bunch of these graphs, all the ones that tell me the key information that I want. I then set this up, to e-mail myself, so then, every week or every month, I get a report, which has half a dozen, 10 different graphs. Which I can print off, and at a glance, see, right, whether my goals have gone up, my bounce rate’s coming down, my conversions are increasing, my traffic’s increasing. I’m very happy. It’s great.
And you can do that one, and you don’t even have to log into your dashboard. And you can have more than one dashboard. You can have multiple. You can have ones for measuring different things. So make sure that you use that as well.
And that does cover absolutely everything. That is, like I say, it’s an overview. It’s by no means absolutely everything that Analytics can do, but hopefully, that’s to give you a really good taste of Analytics. It’s demystified it, it’s taken some of the scariness away, and shown you some of the key bits.
Definitely download those spam filters and get those installed, and best of luck with it. If you do have any questions, shoot me an e-mail. Otherwise, in the next lesson, in Lesson Three, I’m going to do much the same, but for Google’s Search Console, as this has some really tacky information.
Again, I’m going to explain it all and go through all the key things in that. So I look forward to seeing you there.