Modifying Google Analytics to Provide In-Depth Data



Google Analytics is a comprehensive reporting tool, that allows you to gain insights into your website visitors. However even though it provides a lot of useful data, there are still a few limitations.

Here are some neat hacks and plugins you can use to import detailed data into Google Analytics.

Getting Started with Google Analytics

If you need a complete guide to Google Analytics I highly recommend the Google Analytics Cheatsheet(pdf), created by Ian Lurie with Conversation Marketing.

Pull Adwords Keyword Data into Google Analytics

I’m sure you hate when you look at Google Analytics under Keywords and see “other unique queries”. Well this shows you exactly what the user searched. The keyword on the left is the keyword or phrase you are bidding on in Google Adwords and the keyword in the ( ) is the exact term the user searched. This can help you refine your campaigns by seeing exactly what is being searched to find your ad. It may be that you need to narrow the search match or add a negative to the campaign.

To add this to your Google Analytics data, follow these instructions.

Tracking Files Such as PDF, AVI, and CSV

In order to track files you need to tag the link with the _trackPageview() JavaScript.

To see an example of how this is done you can it in the Google Analytics Help Center.

Track Universal Traffic with Google Analytics

With the evolution of universal search it can be hard to know which type of listing a user clicked on. Say you have a video link, website link and blog link all on the same page of the search results. How do you know which result they clicked on? Here is how.

You need to apply these advanced filters:
Step 1 :
Create filter for organic traffic
New filter ->
Filter name `Organic`
Filter Type -> Custom Filter
Checked : include
Filter Field: Campaign Medium
Filter Pattern `organic`

Step 2:
Create filter for All Universal Search traffic
New Filter: ‘Universal Search Items
Filter Type: Custom Filter
Checked: Advanced
Field A -> Extract A -> Referral -> (.*)oi=([a-zA-Z_]+)&(.*)
Field B -> Extract B -> Referral -> (?|&)q=([^&]*)
Output To -> Constructor -> User Defined -> $B2 : $A2

You can also create separate filters for some of the Universal Search items instead of all of them

Custom Step:
Create filter for Universal Search – specific
New Filter: ‘Universal Search | images’
Filter Type: Custom Filter
Checked: Advanced
Field A -> Extract A -> Referral -> (.*)oi=image(.*)
Field B -> Extract B -> Referral -> (?|&)q=([^&]*)
Output To -> Constructor -> User Defined -> $B2 : $A2

Get more information about how you can setup tracking for universal search.

Tracking Local Search in Google Analytics

There are a number of ways you can track and segment localized traffic. Here are a few ways you can do it.

Track Full URL in Google Analytics

Using the full URL can help you to see exactly where someone came from, instead of just the root level domain.

Add this filter to your Analytics profile:

Custom Filter
Advanced
Field A -> Extract A: Referral (.*)
Field B -> Extract B:
Output To -> Constructor: User Defined $A1
Field A Required: Y
Field B Required: N
Override Output Field: Y
Case Sensitive: N

Tracking Social Media Traffic in Google Analytics

Tracking Outbound Links with Google Analytics

Currently you can see traffic coming from inbound links, but what about outbound links? There is a really neat jQuery plugin that will allow you to track outbound link data in Google Analytics. Visit Think2Loud to download the plugin and get instructions.

Once you have installed the plugin your data will look something like this.

Tracking SEO Rankings in Google Analytics

Have you ever wanted to see what page the user clicked on your listing in the
search engines. Well now you can, by setting up an advanced filter. It will look something like this when it is completed.

Get detailed instructions on how to add rankings to Google Analytics by visiting the Yoast website.

Tracking Website Optimizer Data in Google Analytics

This script will allow you to make the most out of your A/B and Multi-Variate tests, by leveraging the full use of Google Analytics.

See the full instructions on how to track website optimizer in GA.

About The Author
Mark is the Internet Marketing Manager for Atlantic BT, a full-service Web Design & Marketing company, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also is the creator of StayOnSearch, a search marketing blog dedicated to SEO’s and Internet Marketing professionals.

Follow Mark on Twitter (@m_thompson)

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