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A. Google Analytics Compliance with WAA Standards

Justin Cutroni O'Reilly Media ePub

TableA-1 includes a list of all standards defined in the Web Analytics Association (WAA) metrics definitions document and Google Analytics compliance with each definition. Google Analytics is compliant with 19 of the 26 metrics. Most of the noncompliance is due to the fact that Google Analytics does not offer all the metrics that the WAA defines. You can learn more about the WAA standards on the WAA website, http://troni.me/ch5G4A.

TableA-1.Google Analytics compliance with WAA standards



WAA definition

Google Analytics definition



A page is an analyst-definable unit of content.

Same as WAA.

Page view


The number of times a page (an analyst-definable unit of content) was viewed.

Same as WAA.

Google Analytics refers to this metric as the pageview.

A pageview is created each time the _trackPageview() method is executed. Any value passed to the _trackPageview() method will appear in the Content reports, thus making a page analyst-definable.

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8. Must-Have Profiles

Justin Cutroni O'Reilly Media ePub

There are some filters and profiles that you should be using regardless of how you have configured Google Analytics. Each additional profile can help create segmented sets of data that can aid in analysis. Remember, you cannot create a new profile and reprocess historical data, so its best to create these profiles during the initial setup, even if you dont need them right away. As you use Google Analytics, you will become a better analyst, your data needs will change, and these profiles will become useful.

You should create several different profiles to perform different functions, such as protecting your data and controlling access.

The raw data profile should have no configuration. It should be an unmodified set of data that you can use if other profiles fail. Hopefully you will never need to use it!

The master profile should not be altered or changed. You should initially refine the data within this profile as much as possible using filters and profile settings, and once the data is considered accurate, you should not change the profile unless absolutely necessary. If you must make any changes to a master profile, test them first using a test profile.

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B. Regular Expressions

Justin Cutroni O'Reilly Media ePub

A regular expression (sometimes referred to as a regex) contains a mix of regular characters (like letters and numbers) and special characters that form a pattern. The pattern is applied to a piece of data and, if the pattern matches, the regular expression returns a positive result.

Many regular expressions include regular alphanumeric characters. For example, you may have a list of keywords, and you need to identify those keywords that contain goo. These three characters are a valid regular expression. Google Analytics will apply goo to the target datain this case, the keywords. If goo matches any part of the data, the regex will return a positive result. TableB-1 shows some simple patterns and gives examples of data that match.

TableB-1.Regular expressions that contain only alphanumeric characters



Example matches


Match the characters go

google, go, merry-go-round, golf


Match the characters bos

boss, boston, my boss, emboss

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11. Enterprise Implementation Considerations

Justin Cutroni O'Reilly Media ePub

There has been much debate as to whether Google Analytics is an enterprise-class web analytics tool. The simple fact is that if Google Analytics meets your reporting and analysis needs, it is a viable solution for your organization. Ive worked with many organizations that would traditionally be classified as enterprise; they are global organizations with hundreds of websites and many different types of analytics users.

When implementing Google Analytics in these types of organizations, many unique issues can arise. It can take some work to design a solution that is technically viable and meets the overall business needs of the organization. If youre dealing with an enterprise implementation, keep an eye out for these issues.

Large organizations tend to have more sites, and more sites mean more data. Collecting the data in a business-centric fashion that allows room for growth and appropriate access for users takes time and planning.

During an enterprise implementation, we usually create a series of accounts and profiles that collect and segment the data based on business logic and access needs. We create a data hierarchy that provides high-level aggregate tracking across the entire online experience (i.e., roll-up reporting) and detailed tracking for each individual property (i.e., website).

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9. Marketing Campaign Tracking

Justin Cutroni O'Reilly Media ePub

Another important part of setting up Google Analytics correctly is configuring online marketing campaign tracking. Unlike other configuration steps, you dont perform marketing campaign tracking in the Google Analytics administrative interface or on your website. Marketing campaign tracking involves changing the links used in your marketing activities. Ill discuss this more in a moment.

The reason marketing campaign tracking is so important is that, by default, Google Analytics places your visitors in three basic referral segments:

Visitors who access your site by clicking on a search engine result (both organic search and paid search)

Visitors who access your site by clicking on a link on some other website

Visitors who go directly to your website by typing the URL in their browsers

While these segments are useful, they do not identify paid marketing activities. You want to measure paid marketing activities so you can better understand if theyre successful, and you can only do this via marketing campaign tracking. Using marketing campaign tracking adds a fourth segment to the list above: campaigns.

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