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Answers To Your Burning Google Analytics Questions

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Last week we hosted a webinar on Getting Started with Analytics and received so many good questions during the event that we didn’t have time to answer all of them. I’ve sorted through the hundreds of questions and below are answers to the most asked and interesting. If you missed the webinar or want to rewatch, it’s now available on the Google Analytics YouTube channel.

Can I measure if a visitor plays a video, downloads a whitepaper, etc?
Yes, use Event Tracking to learn about visitor actions like video plays, or PDF downloads that don't correspond directly to pageviews. And once you set up an Event it can also be tracked as a Goal. You can assign a value to these Events as a microconversion. Start with a larger objective that has a monetary value, like landing a big client, then map out the smaller steps leading up to that sale. For example, you may discover that for your business, an average of 7 PDF downloads corresponds to 1 sale. The value of a download would then be equal to an average sale divided by 7.

How do I learn if my website drives phone calls & offline conversions?
Many business’ customers start researching online, but then pick up the phone and call to complete the sale. Think about what activities a user may do on your website that would motivate them to call. Do they spend time viewing your portfolio, reading testimonials, or checking out prices? Set up Goals to measure these micro-conversion actions that will help you learn which of your sources are providing quality visitors. You can also add unique phone numbers to the landing page or ad that will enable you to identify when a user calls you what marketing source they came from. The GA App Gallery has call-tracking integrations and here is an example of how Google AdWords enables call forwarding and tracking by pay per click campaigns.

Can I track actions that happen on a 3rd party page like email newsletter sign up or checkout?
Since this action happens outside of your website, Google Analytics will not be able to measure it. If you work with a third party vendor check with them to see if they can share with you any tracking information they may have. Be sure to check out the Google Analytics App Gallery to see if there are 3rd party integrations like payment solutions, reporting or email marketing that could work with you to solve this problem.

How do I get Multi-Channel Funnels Assisted Conversion reports in my account?
Similar to your other Analytics reports, Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) are driven by the Analytics tracking code you have already placed on your webpages. No additional code is required to access MCF reports but you do need a Goal set up in your Analytics Account. Once you have goals set up, the MCF reports will be automatically filled with data for the visitor interactions that lead up to the completion of that goal. Keep in mind viewing MCF reports on a filtered profile can skew your data, learn more in our help center. We will also have a webinar focused on MCF reports coming soon.

Why do my visits in Analytics not match with AdWords or my website hosting service?
All of the AdWords reports in Google Analytics import data directly from the AdWords system, and they usually match the data in your AdWords account exactly. But there can be circumstances where the data can differ. For example AdWords clicks do not equal visitors, if a user clicks on your ad twice within thirty minutes without closing his or her browser this is registered by Analytics as one visit to your site, but it equals two AdWords clicks. Also your Analytics profile could be filtered to exclude visits from IP’s within your company, but your web hosting service could count those as visits. Here is a great article from our Help Center explaining this in more detail.

What is the best way to tag my marketing campaigns? And can I use a URL shortener?
If you need help creating campaign tags for links in your marketing campaigns (Search Marketing, Display Ads, Email Newsletters) check out the tagging tool in our Help Center. Remember to turn on AdWords Auto-tagging if you are running AdWords campaigns as this will automatically insert the campaign tags for you. Yes, you can use a URL shortener like goo.gl or other services out there to successfully pass your campaign tags through a nice short link.

If you’re interested in learning more about Google Analytics, we have a great webinar on Reaching Your Goals with Google Analytics. For more advanced users check out our Marketing Attribution Insights webinar, and watch the blog for more details about our attribution webinar series.

Posted by Ian Myszenski, Google Analytics team

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