5 Google Analytics posts you don’t want to miss in June

Here’s again the last post of the month saved for the top 5 interesting Google Analytics related resources I found on other sites. Here are the five for June – you may want to bookmark those as they can be very useful:

How-to Match Your Google Analytics Transactions With Reality

Usually ecommerce clients ask me why the sales numbers in GA don’t match their shopping cart systems. In this article you’ll learn the acceptable level of difference, what the reasons may be and some workarounds when your shopping cart doesn’t allow tracking.

AdWords Call Conversion Tracking with Google Tag Manager

This post shows you how to use Google Forwarding Numbers and GTM to measure calls from your website (not your ad extensions) as success metrics in the evaluation of your Google AdWords account. You will be able to see which campaigns, ad groups, and keywords produce the greatest call volume and optimize accordingly.

Android Google Search App Traffic Appears as Referral Source in Google Analytics

For a month or so you’ll see a new referral source in GA reports called “com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox”. It’s actually organic search traffic from the google android app. Updates were released on 6/9/16 and now referrals from this source are shown as Direct traffic.

Measure Google Tag Manager Event Duration

In this post Simo shows how to measure how much time it takes for GTM events to resolve. He uses User Timings to measure all sorts of important milestones, such as just how long it takes for a font or jQuery library to download.

Using Google Tag Manager to Dynamically Generate Schema/JSON-LD Tags

Here you’ll learn how to use Google Tag Manager to insert JSON-LD into a page, allowing you to add Schema markup to your site without having to touch the site’s code directly. The example is for blogs, but a similar approach can be used for other types of sites too.

P.S. Got a Google Analytics question? Send it to me and I’ll try to answer it on the blog.

At what time do people enter my site

Google Analytics shows you quite a lot of things about your traffic in its standard reports – what sources and locations visitors are coming from, what pages they land on, how long they stay, do they convert, etc. But there’s no standard report to show the time people are entering the website. You can only see a graph by hour in the Audence Overview report if you select the Hourly tab and a shorter time range to avoid sampling.


There are Hour and Minute dimensions in GA that we can use to apply to any report. Let’s see at what hour most people are coming to our site by traffic channels: go to Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels report and apply secondary dimension hour.


In a similar way we can select the Minutes dimension. However, it doesn’t make much sense to use just minutes without the hours, and standard reports in GA can have up to 2 dimensions, so let’s build a custom report. We’ll have 3 dimensions and 2 metrics to keep it simple:


Now you can see the specific time of day when people entered your site – an easy way to discover how your links shared on social media or press release announcements are affecting traffic.

5 Google Analytics posts you don’t want to miss in May

Here’s again the last post of the month saved for the top 5 interesting Google Analytics related resources I found on other sites. Here are the five for May – you may want to bookmark those as they can be very useful:

Ad Block Tracking With Google Analytics: Code, Metrics, Reports

Here Avinash explains what’s an ad block and offers a tracking code change through Google Tag Manager or directly together with setting the custom dimensions and segments in Google Analytics. The last part shows 5 reports and KPIs that deliver critical insights from ad blocking behavior. If you’re concerned about your customers using ad blockers, this is the way to understand its impact.

Seer’S Google Analytics heatmap to find your website’s peak times [Download]

Inspired by the heatmap feature in the redesigned GA Mobile App, the Analytics Team at Seer built a Google sheet that you can save in your account which allows you to heatmap certain metrics to identify growing or hot trends over time. It’s really cool, so check it out with your data!

#GTMTips: Using document.write Safely In GTM Tags

Simo’s blog is again featured 2 times this month. This first one is a guest post by Dan Wilkerson from LunaMetrics about the document.write() method used in the Google Tag Manager Custom HTML tags. It explains the problems with having document.write in your 3rd party marketing tags and the proper way to run them in GTM.

Simple Tracker Duplication For Universal Analytics

If you need to easily implement a roll-up GA property with exact hit duplication, this plugin that Simo developed can help. The implementation is straightforward and is recommended to use it with on-page Universal Analytics tracking, not with Google Tag Manager.

Announcing Data Studio: our free, new, Data Visualization Product

Google announced a free version of Data Studio for individuals and smaller teams and you can access it at http://google.com/analytics/data-studio There are a couple of videos about it in the GA Youtube channel and it looks great! You can connect all your marketing data (GA, AdWords, Google Sheets, BigQuery and soon SQL databases to access first party data) and turn that data into beautiful, informative reports that are easy to understand, share (like Google Docs), and fully customizable.

P.S. Got a Google Analytics question? Send it to me and I’ll try to answer it on the blog.

New in Google Analytics: User Explorer report

GA announced a cool new report called User Explorer in the beginning of May that went a bit unnoticed. I was pleased to see it in my accounts in the Audience section (it should be available from March 9, 2016 forward):


The User Explorer report lets you see individual users associated with Client ID or User ID. While GA shows only aggregate data, this feature was a big selling point for tools like KissMetrics. Understanding individual behavior is important when you want to personalize the user experience or find issues to improve.

If you haven’t implemented the User ID feature, by default GA will show Client IDs:

Client IDs:


User IDs in the User ID enabled view:


The metrics available are sessions, average session duration, bounce rate, revenue, transactions and goal conversion rate. Unfortunately there’s no filter field to easily get users with revenue > $100 or by another metric / dimension. You should use segments for this.

When you click an ID, you’ll get a snapshot of the user: the acquisition date, channel and device category for the user, as well as an activity log that list all actions by the user during each session.


Here you can filter by any combination of pageviews, goals, ecommerce and events using the Filter by menu:


You can also expand and collapse sessions, and expand individual actions for more details.

Now let’s create a segment. It can be only user-based and we can apply only one segment at a time. I’ll select a combination of specific event and the ecommerce hit and click the Create Segment button:


If we go back to the User Explorer report and apply our new segment, we’ll see all users that match the conditions (just 2 in my case):


From there you can easily export the list of IDs matching your segment.

How to use the User Explorer report:

  • Respond to specific behavior within a segment – if other reports show valuable behavior by a particular segment, you can examine specific users within that segment to get a more detailed understanding of what’s going on.
  • Upsell – understand how your high-value customers purchase so you can lead the next tier of customers along that same path. Export the IDs of middle-value customers to personalize their site experience to more closely match the experience of your high-value customers, or build an audience and serve it ads for the more expensive products.
  • Remarketing – you can create segments based on the relevant behavior you identify in the User Explorer report (like abandoned shopping carts), and then use those segments as the basis for new remarketing audiences showing exactly the same products or suggested upsells.
  • Personalize customer service – it will be extremely valuable for your customer service representatives to check the User Explorer report for a detailed history of each user and understand the context.
  • Identify personas – you have personas as part of your marketing, right? Investigate the behavior of different segments so that those personas are based on how users engage with your site.

The new User Explorer report is great and I can’t wait to use it. If you have a lot of traffic and try to apply a segment though, you’ll hit the sampling issue and without these options available in the reporting API you need to make your date range shorter, export multiple reports and combine them to get the full list of IDs.

Have you tried the User Explorer report yourself? What do you like about it? Any problems?

5 Google Analytics posts you don’t want to miss in April (+ 3 extra)

Here’s again the last post of the month saved for the top 5 interesting Google Analytics related resources I found on other sites. Here are the five (and 3 extra) for April – you may want to bookmark those as they can be very useful:

How to Use GTM Download Redirects to track Links, Downloads and Email Clicks | Measureschool

In this video (9:27 min) Julian shows how to track email links, downloads and other outbound resources sent in an email more precisely with a combination of redirects in Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. It’s pretty cool!

Tracking Funnels With Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking | Measureschool

In this video (17:04 min) Julian shows how to build you own customized funnel using Enhanced Ecommerce tracking in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, even if you don’t have an Ecommerce website. This will help you get super actionable insights and segments to help you in your marketing.

Panic Time or False Alarm? A Beginner’s Guide to Traffic Drop Analysis

This step-by-step guide from Distilled will help you understand your client’s traffic drop – is it a real problem, seasonality or broken tracking issue? This post will walk you through the process of confirming what actually happened and understanding why it happened in the first place.

Why Am I Seeing 307 Redirects on My Google Analytics Collect Hits?

Maybe you noticed the duplicated or redirected Google Analytics hits in the network tab of browser’s developer tools. GA didn’t really announced their migration to HTTPS and this post by Analytics Pros was quick to explain the reason. HTTP requests with a status code 307 are not sent to GA and only serve as redirects, so your hits are not double counted.

Google Analytics – Querystring parameter INCLUSION is the new black

As sites grow in scale and complexity, more query string parameters are showing up in page paths that may pollute your data and artificially inflate cardinality in pages reports. This blog explains how to use a series of filters to include only the useful query string parameters we want – all others are excluded.

#GTMTips: The Timer Trigger

Here Simo shows how to create your own timer in GTM which fires after a certain amount of time has passed on the web page. This is especially useful if you want to start a timer based on a user interaction such as a click, but this option is not available in the current GTM version.

Buy-To-Cart Rates by Digging Deep in GA Enhanced Ecommerce

This LunaMetrics post shows how to answer questions like what’s the likelihood that a user put something in their cart and then purchased at some point later, which goes beyond the standard Enhanced Ecommerce reports in GA. You can do this both with the free version and GA 360 and discover metrics like buy-to-cart rate within N days and average purchase lag.

More Accurate Conversion Data with Sequence Segments

Another LunaMetrics post this month showing how to use sequence segments to answer questions like: Is that new page of content driving more lead forms? Is this month’s home page banner driving more free trial sign-ups? You specify conditions for each step, and each step must occur in order.

P.S. Got a Google Analytics question? Send it to me and I’ll try to answer it on the blog.