Advanced Segments: Should I filter by Sessions or Users?

To filter by Sessions or by Users? That is the question… at least it is if you have ever configured an Advanced Segment in Google Analytics.

Advanced Segments - Should I filter by segments or users?Advanced Segments are a powerful tool for “slicing and dicing” your analytics data, allowing you to isolate and analyze subsets of sessions or users. The choice between sessions or users however, can have a significant impact on the data that gets captured by your segment. Thus, it can have a significant impact on the insights and conclusions that you may draw from your analysis.

Let’s take a look at the difference between session-based and user-based advanced segments, so that no matter what analysis question you are trying to answer, you will know exactly which type of segment to use. Continue reading “Advanced Segments: Should I filter by Sessions or Users?” »

A Headache-free Guide to Linking AdWords & GA Accounts

We are often asked how to link AdWords and Google Analytics.Headache-free AdWords and GA Linking

We often hear horror stories about businesses not being able to link their AdWords and GA accounts, therefore losing out on the insights and advantages. In extreme cases, some business have had to forfeit their data and open new GA accounts to be able to link their AdWords account.

The linking process itself is very straightforward and Google does a great job explaining this in the AdWords Help Center.

To complete the linking process, you need to have a Google Account with the following permissions:

  1. For the AdWords account(s): Administrative access
  2. For the Google Analytics propertyEdit permissions

Once the accounts are linked you can change or remove these permissions as needed and your accounts will remain linked. So, if necessary, you can grant (or receive) temporary permissions in order to complete the linking process.

Simple right?  So why the messy, time-consuming, pull-your-hair-out rigmarole? Continue reading “A Headache-free Guide to Linking AdWords & GA Accounts” »

How to Use Timer Triggers in Google Tag Manager [V2]

Event Listeners have been an extremely useful feature in Google Tag Manager, making it easy to capture on-page interactions like link clicks, downloads, button clicks, and form submissions. By listening for events and sending data to GA, you can get more detailed and more precise information about how people are using your site.

In GTM’s Version 2 interface, listening for events is now more efficient than ever.

Instead of requiring both a Listener tag and a firing Rule as before, listening for an event can now be accomplished with a single Trigger. (In V2, triggers are the upgraded version of rules.) Hence, a trigger can now be used to both listen for an event and fire the desired tracking tags as a result.

We had previously written a tutorial on How to Use Timer Listeners in Google Tag Manager. We can now do the same with Timer triggers in GTM Version 2.

The most common way that we use Timer triggers is to track the time a user spends on a particular page. Wait, doesn’t Google Analytics track Time on Page automatically? Well, yes and no. GA calculates time spent on a given page by taking the difference between the timestamp of that pageview and the timestamp of the subsequent hit. But if a pageview is the last (or only) hit in the session, GA will assign it a time of zero.

That’s where Timer triggers come in! If you’re using GTM (and if you’re not, you should be), Timer triggers give you a simple way to get more precise metrics for time on page, session duration, and bounce rate in Google Analytics.

Let’s now take a look at how to implement Timer triggers in GTM Version 2. Continue reading “How to Use Timer Triggers in Google Tag Manager [V2]” »

Affordable Analytics Training through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Classroom Training CoursesWe’ve all heard that ‘practice makes perfect’.

That is how you really get ‘great’ at something – sports, academia, cooking…and digital analytics.

To practice, you need to train, keep on top of new developments and at times even do a re-fresher and practice what you think you already know to uncover missed opportunities and techniques.

While there is a cost involved to train people with new skills or hone existing skills so that they get better/faster/smarter at doing their jobs, employers do not have to fund the entire 100% investment on their own. Continue reading “Affordable Analytics Training through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant” »

A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool. Don’t be a Fool.

Tool OverkillA new year always spawns lots of “top tools” articles and blog posts.  Being human, we like shiny new objects.

We should be on the lookout for ways to be more effective and efficient, but just because a tool is new and shiny with new features that leverage the latest doesn’t mean it’s better for you.

Don’t be a fool or be fooled by claims that sound too good to be true.  Don’t pay for new capability you don’t need.

More might mean more complex.  Often, less is more, because you can start using a simpler tool faster, and benefit quickly from the tool.

Strive for the right fit.  Ask yourself how it will be better for you and your organization – the structure, process and learning that has been built up around an existing tool to make things work is typically undervalued.

Continue reading “A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool. Don’t be a Fool.” »