One of the great advantages of online marketing is that it’s measurable to far greater degree of precision and richness than older media like broadcast and print. The depth and breadth of measurement afforded by online tactics can also be a weakness however; not everything that can be measured needs to be, and many metrics are mere “noise” with little value in terms of insight or actionability.
How do you filter out that noise and focus on the measures that provide real guidance for improving online business results? Which tools and plugins are really useful for extending the capabilities of Google Analytics (GA)? What common analytics mistakes should you avoid? How can you use GA to track visits to a Facebook page?
Discover the answers to these questions and others here in eight of the best guides to web analytics of last year.
5 Simple Google Analytics Tips You Should Be Using by The Daily SEO Blog
Detailed instructions for five helpful GA tips; most of these are pretty basic, though setting up expressions for searches and filters is a fairly advanced technique.
Google Analytics Enhanced with SEO Site Tools by Wisdom IT Solutions
A concise explanation of how to use Google Chrome and the SEO Site Tools plugin to view social media statistics in GA.
Tad Chef follows up on his fantastic initial list of 30+ Google Analytics tools and resources with this new list of tools (e.g., TrakkBoard), how-to articles, mobile phone apps, add-ons, plugins and resources. This will keep data junkies busy for a while.
6 cool things YOU can do with Google Analytics Custom Variables by Distilled Blog
Six ways to use GA’s custom variables feature to track metrics like cumulative actions (e.g., how does the conversion rate for frequent blog commenters differ from other visitors?) and ecommerce shopping cart drop-offs. Interesting, but definitely not for beginners.
The 9 Most Common Google Analytics Mistakes by Timberline Interactive
While a few of the mistakes that Tom Funk identifies here are specific to ecommerce sites, most apply more broadly as well, e.g, failing to test, failing to properly tag non-Google paid search campaigns, and one I’ve seen a few times—failing to track on-site search. This last area can be a rich source of data for keyword targeting, future content development and navigational changes to improve the user experience.
The Power User’s Guide to Google Analytics Hacks, Tips and Tricks by WordStream
***** 5 Stars
17 SEO and web analytics experts including David Harry, Vanessa Fox, Ian Lurie and Bryan Eisenberg share some of their favorite tips and hacks in this extensive online guide to GA, for example: how to track engagement and goal conversions by keyword.
In his usual highly detailed and richly illustrated fashion, Marty Weintraub steps through how to create a KPI-tracking dashboard (to track, for example, conversions by referring site) using Woopra, a moderately priced, real-time web analytics package.
How to Add Google Analytics to a Facebook Page Tab by SitePoint
Alyssa Gregory lays out a quick and relatively easy three-step process for adding Google Analytics tracking to a Facebook page tab, while noting that Google Analytics is now the analytics package of choice on 56% of all websites.