You may have noticed that I love SEO tools, and one of my most favorite ones is Google Analytics because it allows for a huge number of setting and configurations.

Google Analytics Hacks

Last year I did a large post over-viewing most useful Google Analytics tips and today I am presenting them as well as adding a number of more important hacks to compile one mega-post on Google Analytics tips and tricks:

Useful Filters

1. Track full referring URLs

Full referring URs

2. Exclude internal traffic: Analytics Settings => Edit => “+Add Filter”

3. Track Universal Search traffic

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

4. Track keyword rankings in Google:

Track Google Rankings

 

Coding Hacks

5. Track 404 page

Application: quickly spot when your visitors do not get what they want

Code:

pageTracker._trackPageview("/404.html?page=" + document.location.pathname + document.location.search + "&from=" + document.referrer);

6. Track your links (link level)

Application: See how useful your links are

Code:

<a href=”http://www.example.com” onClick=”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview(’/outgoing/example.com’);”>

7. Track your Flash banner ads:

Application: Set up your own tracking for (affiliate programs) banner ads on your site, optimize their performance and track again.

Code:

on(release) {
getURL(”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview
(’/bannerads/advertisername/bannername’);”);
getURL(”http://www.advertisersite.com”);
}

8. Track your downloads: PDF, AVI, or WMV (link level)

Application: Watch who likes your free downloads and learn how to place them more effectively;

Code:

<a href=”http://www.example.com/files/map.pdf” onClick=”javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview(’/downloads/map’); “>

9. Track mailto: links (link level):

<a href=”mailto:[email address]“onClick=”javascript:urchinTracker(’/mailto/jerry’);”>[email address]</a>

10. Classify your site personas

Application: Track visitors that landed on a particular page or performed any sort of action on the site.

Code:

<script type=”text/javascript”>pageTracker._setVar(’Marketing/PR’);</script>

Advanced Segmentation:

11. A detailed guide on creating custom reports;

12. Analyze the impact of your site sitelinks;

13. Segment out your brand search keywords (be sure to study that guide for more advanced segmentation tips)

Compare your brand name searches

Google Analytics FireFox Hacks:

14. Check Google Analytics for the current day (not for the last 30 days): use this browser bookmarklet

15. View each page social media metrics: Social media metrics adds social media statistics (Digg, StumbleUpon, Sphinn, Reddit, Mixx, Delicious) and Yahoo SiteExplorer backlinks to the page statistics in Google Analytics

Social media metrics

16. View keyword trends: this Greasemonkey script shows you the keywords that have received 20% higher / lower traffic over the last week.

17. Export to Google Docs from Google Analytics: save (and share) Google Analytics reports in Google docs.

18. Add notes to your Google Analytics reports: the notes are searchable and can be saved as an XML/CSV file.

WordPress plugins:

19. “Ultimate Google Analytics” plugin also allows for lots of other handy features (easy Google Analytics installation, simple configuration screen, all types of links tracking, etc.).

20. Google Analytics for WordPress offers tracking AdSense clicks, image search keywords, etc.

Further Reading:

21. LifeHacker's Guide to Making the Most of Google Analytics;

22. Official list of Google Analytics settings and configurations;

23. Advanced Google Analytics

24. Any more? Please share them in the comments!

The guest post by Ann Smarty, an SEO Consultant.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is a blogger and SEO consultant and professional blogger. Check out Ann's personal project My Blog Guest - the forum meant to connect guest bloggers to blog owner for plenty of mutual benefits. Ann also provides guest blogging services.

SEOsmarty.com

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27 Responses to “Google Analytics Mega-Post: 23 Google Analytics Tips and Tweaks”

  1. Michael says:

    Good information. Thank you for posting this. Gave it a Digg. :)

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Very kind of you, Michael, to take the time to Digg this. And yes; good info there.

      In your opinion, what delivers better ROI: Digg or Delicious? Or is that too "apples & oranges"?

  2. Great overview on some lesser known Google Analytics features!

  3. Very helpful. I guess I have just been scratching the surface because I only look at the vists and the traffic sources. I have a question, I have been using bit.ly to track my links that I use on Twitter and it seems like they are not getting counted in GA. Do I have to do seomthing to set this up?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Michael D says:

    This is excellent Ann and it's a great reminder that I've gotta customize my results more. So much more there to do and learn. Thanks!

  5. Another great post from Ann Smarty!

    The detailed Google Analytics info is especially incredible, and I bookmarked this page so that I can study it some more.

  6. Michael says:

    Old timer with delicious but use for reference and tool… not so much marketing.

    New to Digg but anticipate this will much more useful for ROI.

    Apples and oranges to be sure but I would digg digg if I could at this stage. :)

  7. Ann Smarty says:

    I am glad you guys have found it useful!

  8. [...] Google Analytics Mega-Post: 23 Google Analytics Tips and Tweaks, Search Engine People [...]

  9. Very detailed tips on Google Analytics. Will definitely utilize some of these tricks tips and tricks. I retweeted this post as well and my stats shows that you got 32 extra visits!

    Tom

  10. Tom Duong says:

    Very detailed tips on Google Analytics. Will definitely utilize some of these tricks tips and tricks. I retweeted this post as well and my stats shows that you got 32 extra visits!

    -Tom

  11. Ridhuan says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I'm currently looking on how to customize the filter or goals for analytics but I can't understand how to setup. Since we can add more profiles for a same analytic domain account (for 1 domain), can we set a profile to collect data from a folder (blabla.com/blog) instead of (blabla.com)

  12. Nice post, there were a few things in here I hadn't seen before!

  13. Richard says:

    Some of the hacks can now be implemented better using event tracking. This tracks things like downloads, external links etc.. as events rather than page views.

    Problem is that not all accounts have this enabled as it's released in Beta. You can still access the event tracking reports which I blogged about a while ago: http://www.webhelp.co.nz/blog/2009/01/20/event-tracking-reports-without-beta-test-activation-in-google-analytics/

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  19. I guess I have just been scratching the surface because I only look at the vists and the traffic sources. I have a question, I have been using bit.ly to track my links that I use on Twitter and it seems like they are not getting counted in GA. Do I have to do seomthing to set this up?

  20. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the list of tips Ann. I didn't even know you could use external scripts in Google Analytics. I'm definitely going to have to take a closer look at some of these tricks. Which do you think are the 5 most useful tricks? Which ones do you actually use?

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  22. David says:

    Ah always great articles some nice tips, the greasemonkey script that shows the extra data can sometimes be a bit annoying but its a great idea to combine the data within the console rather than having to export it.

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  24. This is a great collection of Google Analytics hacks. Exceptional article. Bookmarked it and plan to come back later.

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