How to Getting the most out of Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a very useful free tool for tracking site statistics. For most users, however, it never becomes more than just a pretty interface with interesting graphs. The resources below will help anyone, from the beginner to those who have been using Google Analytics for some time, learn how to get the most out of this great tool.

For Beginners

The following list of links will help you get started with Google Analytics from setup to understanding what data is being presented by Google Analytics.

  1. How to Use Google Analytics for Beginners – Mahalo’s how-to guide for beginners.
  2. A beginner’s guide to Google Analytics, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 – A series of detailed posts walking you through Google Analytics from setup to understanding what data is being presented.
  3. Getting to Know Your Google Analytics Dashboard – The title says it all! This is a brief post with one goal: to introduce you to the Google Analytics dashboard.
  4. Google Analytics for Beginners: How to Make the Most of Your Traffic Reports – This guide doesn’t cover setup, but it does a great job of helping you to better understand the data being presented.
  5. Google Analytics Video Tutorial 1: Setup – A video presentation that walks you through Google Analytics setup.
  6. Google Analytics Video Tutorial 2: Essential Stats – A video presentation that introduces you to some of the most important data being presented in Google Analytics.

Tips & Tricks

If you’re already fairly familiar with Google Analytics and you’re ready to dig deeper and learn more about how to make use of the information that is available to you with Google Analytics, this list of tips & tricks is for you.

  1. Google Analytics Tips for SEO – This posts looks at how to use some of Googles new features for Search Engine Optimization.
  2. 8 Useful Google Analytics Tips – This is a great list of tips for someone who has been using Google Analytics and is ready to take it to the next level and/or overcome some of its shortcomings.
  3. Web Analytics Demystified – While this post isn’t about Google Analytics specifically, it is a great primer on understanding how to use the data presented by Google Analytics and it uses examples and screenshots from Google Analytics for many of the descriptions.
  4. You Cut Quite a Profile – A guest post on the Google Analytics Blog about how to set up multiple profiles in order to filter down certain segments of your data.
  5. 5 tips for using Google Analytics – A quick set of tips for getting more out of Google Analytics.
  6. 3 Quick Tips to Tag and Track with Google Analytics – A great post on how to segment, track, and tag site visitors.
  7. Google Analytics Tagging Demystified – A how-to post on the use of tagging in Google Analytics.
  8. 5 tips for getting the most out of Google Analytics – Another quick set of tips for getting more out Google Analytics.
  9. Get the most out of your Google Analytics – This post gives you an overall idea of what Google Analytics can tell you by asking some simple questions and showing you how Google Analytics can help you answer them.
  10. Getting More out of Google Analytics Goals – A post on the importance of setting up goals in Google Analytics and how to do it.
  11. Goal Setting Example with Google Analytics – Another post on setting goals in Google Analytics.
  12. Getting the most out of Search Log Analysis and Google Analytics – A post that explains what “Search analytics”, search log analysis and clickstream analysis are and why they are so important.
  13. How to analyze results in Google Analytics – As the title suggest this post looks at how to analyze the data that Google Analytics provides.
  14. Top Tips for Using Google Analytics – Another quick set of tips for getting more out of Google Analytics.
  15. Google Analytics Tutorials: All Together – A list of several video tutorials that include some of the more advanced features of Google Analytics.
  16. Google Analytics Tip: Learn How They Found That 1 Page – This post will tell you how to find out how visitors found a single page on your site, which can be useful for figuring out why traffic on your site may have spiked on a certain day, for example.
  17. Install Google Analytics Site Search In 5 Steps – This post shows you how to set up the Site Search feature in Google Analytics, which will allow you to analyze your internal search phrases as opposed to those from search engines.
  18. Google Analytics Site Search: Working with the Data – A follow up to the above post that explains the data from your internal site searches.
  19. Google Analytics Videos on YouTube – A list of official Google Analytics videos that are on YouTube from the Google Analytics Blog.
  20. Advanced Use of Google Analytics and the new interface – A great post about some of the more advanced uses of Google Analytics.
  21. Google Analytics Tutorial Part 2 – A follow up to the above post that answers questions posed to the author.
  22. Tracking social networks with Google Analytics using filters – This post shows you how to set up a filter that will allow you to look at visits from various social networks.
  23. The Huge Collection of Google Analytics Tips – A long list of Google Analytics tips and tricks.
  24. Advanced Google Analytics: Conversion Goals (Part One) – This is the first in a series of posts about advanced uses of Google Analytics. This post covers how to setup and define goals.
  25. Advanced Google Analytics: Conversion Goals (Part Two) – This second post shows you how to set up funnels in Google Analytics.
  26. Advanced Google Analytics: Conversion Goals (Part Three) – This third post explains how to track “things that don’t have a distinct page view associated with them.”

Plugins, Hacks & Additions

Want to learn how to get even more out of and extend Google Analytics by extending it with third party plugins, additions and hacks? This list of links is for you.

  1. The Ultimate Google Analytics Plugins, Hacks and Tips Collection – A long list of links and descriptions regarding ways you can get more out of Google Analytics.
  2. Using MooTools to Instruct Google Analytics to Track Outbound Links – Shows you how to use MooTools to track clicks on links to other sites from your site.
  3. Use jQuery with Google Analytics to Track Clicks on Outgoing Links From Your Site – Shows you how to use jQuery to track clicks on links to other sites from your site.
  4. 4 Tools to Get More from your Google Analytics – A list of 4 scripts that can be used to enhance Google Analytics using the GreaseMonkey Firefox extension.
  5. How to track downloads in Google Analytics automatically – A post on how to track links to documents and outbound links.
  6. Google Analytics on iPhone – Shows you how to get your Google Analytics data to display on your iPhone using an web-based application in development by a German developer named Sergej Mueller.
  7. 7 Google Analytics Plug Ins & Reports You Probably Didn’t Know About – Links to scripts, plugins and reports gleaned from a Google event that the author attended.
  8. Google Analytics for WordPress – A plugin for adding Google Analytics to your WordPress blog.

New & Advanced Features

In October 2008 Google started to release enterprise-class features to Google Analytics. Some of these features include Advanced Segmentation, Custom Reports and Motion Charts. In November 2008 Google also announced a simplified solution for tracking Flash content. The links below will introduce you to these features and show you how you can use them.

  1. More Enterprise-Class Features Added To Google Analytics – A post from the Google Analytics Blog that introduces the enterprise-class features that were added to Google Analytics in October 2008.
  2. Google Analytics Releases Advanced Segmentation: Now Be A Ninja! – A very detailed post on how to use the new Advanced Segmentation features in Google Analytics.
  3. Google Analytics Advanced Segmentation: The Allegory of the Cave – Describes the new Advanced Segmentation features through Socrates The Allegory of the Cave.
  4. A deeper look at Advanced Segmentation – Another detailed post about the new Advanced Segmentation features directly from the Google Analytics Blog.
  5. The new features are now available in your account! Let’s take a deeper look, starting with Motion Charts – The Google Analytics Blog takes a detailed look at the new Motion Charts feature in Google Analytics.
  6. Motion Charts in Google Analytics – A video presentation demonstrating the new Motion Charts feature.
  7. Google Analytics Benchmarking: Tutorial, and Things that Make You Go Hmmmmm… – A humorous, yet very useful post on how to set up and use Google Analytics Benchmarking feature.
  8. Make a date with data in Google Analytics – While not yet fully implemented, Google has integrated Google AdSense data into Google Analytics and this post from the Google AdSense Blog describes this new feature.
  9. Google AdSense Reports to Appear in Google Analytics – A series of screenshots showing Google AdSense data that has been integrated into Google Analytics. This was posted when there was still some speculation around Google releasing this feature, but the screenshots show you what this new feature looks like.
  10. Want to track Adobe Flash? Now you can! – Here is the announcement from the Google Analytics Blog regarding the simplified solution for tracking Flash content that they released in November 2008.

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