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Exploring the New Google Analytics, Standard Reporting Part IV

By Edited Aug 24, 2015 0 0

Google Analytics(74411)

 

January is fast approaching and Google Analytics will be permanently changed to it's new interface also known as Google Analytics 5. Before this change becomes the standard, it is important to understand how to navigate all the features of this interface. Though the parts of this tutorial are not concurrent you can read the others by clicking here for Part I, here for Part II, here for Part III, here for Search Engine Optimization (part of the Traffic Sources menu), and here for information on the different viewing options in Google Analytics. Before I dive into the explanation of everything in Analytics 5, let me first explain the terms I will use within this tutorial.

This is a reiteration of how I will be explaining different aspects of Google Analytics in the tutorial so if you have already read Part I, you can skip over this paragraph. This explanation discusses the features under the Standard Reporting tab of the Main Menu. To make my explanations more clear, let me first define the terms I will

Sidebar Menus
be using when talking about different aspects of the site. Looking at the Sidebar there are five headings as listed above; these will be referred to as Primary Menus (written in all CAPS and a blue font color). Next, when you click on any of the Primary Menus an expanded list appears which includes two further submenus. The first expansion has titles with an arrow marking them as expanded or unexpanded; this is referred to as the Secondary Menu (written in gray, some with arrows to the right of the title) . Within each Secondary Menu is a last sidebar expansion known as the Tertiary Menu (written below the secondary menu items and shown when the arrow is click and shows the expanded list). Lastly, the Tertiary Menus have tabs within each of them, some have multiple tabs and some only have one tab; these can be referred to simply as Tabs. This tutorial will be explained in parts for each  of the primary menus of the sidebar: Audience, Advertising, Traffic Sources, Content, and Conversions. In each part I will explain all the features of the primary menu item, and all of its secondary and tertiary menus. This is Part IV of my five-part tutorial for Google Analytics Standard Reporting that will discuss the primary menu, Content.

The Content Primary Menu, a Brief Description

This primary menu is used for assessing the performance of your content in a very specific way. You can tell exactly how each page of your site is doing in regards to visitor traffic, retention, AdSense revenue, and much more. Before we get into an explanation of all of the features of this primary menu let me take a moment to explain some of the common aspects of the secondary and tertiary menus under Content.

Since some tabs are used more than others in the secondary and tertiary menus of Analytics, I will briefly offer an explanation of the Explorer Tab and the Overview Tab to save on some repetition and time during the full tutorial for content. The other tabs that come up within the interface will be addressed in the explanation of the menu they appear in.

The Explorer Tab

This tab shows information for different specifiers as well as listing data based on the primary dimension selected. The primary dimensions available vary among different tertiary/secondary menus but include data related to the secondary or tertiary menu within which the tab is utilized. For example, the primary dimensions of the Explorer Tab used in the All Traffic menu would include primary dimensions related to traffic sources. Before moving on, let me also provide a quick but detailed explanation of each of the specifiers of the Explorer Tab, namely, Site Usage, Ecommerce, AdSense, and Technical. Note: these metrics are the general metrics for each specifier and are subject to change across different menus. Also, there are secondary dimensions available for each Explorer Tab but these are simply a listing of all metrics which can be combined to create very specified reports.

Explorer Tab 2

1. Site Usage - this data includes metrics for Visits, Pages/Visit, Average Time on Site, Percent of New Visits, Bounce Rate (as a percentage), Goal Completions (set up in your AdWords account), and Revenue (earned from sales on your site).

2. Ecommerce - this data includes metrics for Visits, Revenue (sales), Transactions (number of sales), Average Value (of the cost of goods sold), Ecommerce Conversion Rate (% of visits that had a transaction), and Per Visit Value (average value of a visitor based on the averaged value of all visitors).

3. AdSense - this data includes metrics for AdSense Revenue, AdSense Ads Clicked (number of times your on-site ads were clicked on), AdSense Page Impressions (number of ad impressions shown), AdSense CTR (click through rate), and AdSense eCPM (estimated earnings per 1,000 page impressions). Note: AdSense eCPM is calculated as (AdSense Revenue / AdSense Page Impressions) = (AdSense eCPM / 1,000).

4. Clicks - this is not used in the Content primary menu
 

5. Technical - this data includes metrics for Pageviews, Average Page Load Time, Average Redirection Time, Average Domain Lookup Time, Average Server Connection Time. and Average Server Response Time; all of the time metrics are measured in seconds.

Also, a commonly found primary dimension is Other, which is explained in the following description:

Other - this shows metrics for a variety of different things for further specification by Visitors,

Other Primary Dimension
Technology, Traffic Sources, or AdWords including all secondary menu options described below:
  • Visitors - Language, Continent, Sub Continent Region, Country/Territory, Region, and City
  • Technology - Browser, Browser Version, Operating System, Domain, Screen Colors, Screen Resolution, Flash Version, and Java Support
  • Traffic Sources - Source, Medium, Keyword, Campaign, Ad Content, Visitor Type and Landing Page
  • AdWords - Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Match Type, Matched Search Query, Placement Domain, Placement URL, Placement Type, Ad Content, Ad Distribution Network, Ad Format, Display URL, or Destination URL; these metrics are in the context of the Google AdWords interface so please refer to Google AdWords for their descriptions

 The Overview Tab

This tab is used for all of the secondary and tertiary Overview menus that come up within this section. The Overview Tab is exactly as it sounds and includes a line graph that details some metric over some span of time that can be set by the user. Below that, there is a grouping of statistics for other various metrics such as pageviews, average time on site, bounce rate, etc. Lastly, the bottom of the page shows a group of navigational links for other menus that are at the same level or a different level than the overview menu. For example, if the overview tab appears in a secondary menu for Site Search, the navigational links are Search Term, Site Search Category, and Start Page, which may correspond to the other tertiary menus within the Site Search secondary menu which are Usage, Search Terms, and Pages.

Now moving onto an explanation of the secondary menus and any tertiary menus they may include.

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1. Overview

This secondary menu is used to analyze how your content is performing on all of your site's pages. It uses the Overview Tab and shows a line-graph of pageviews over a set period of time. The metrics shown in the tab's grouping are pageviews,

Content, Overview 2
unique pageviews, average time on page, bounce rate, % exit, AdSense revenue, AdSense page impressions, and AdSense ad units viewed. It includes links to tertiary menus under several all secondary menus including a link to Page and Page Title stats (under Site Content), Search Term (under Site Search), Event Category (under Events), and Page (under AdSense). It also includes some general information on the number of pageviews for each page and the percentage that each page's pageviews make up out of the total number of pageviews (within the set period which also determines the data of the line graph). 

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2. Site Content

This secondary menu is used for analyzing the performance of your site's content and allows you to select between the tertiary menus: Pages, Content Drilldown, Landing Pages, and Exit Pages.

Pages

This tertiary menu shows information on how the individual pages of the site are  doing relativ

Site Content, Pages
e to each other. This menu uses the Explorer Tab with the specifier for Site Usage and includes the primary dimensions Page, Page Title, and Other.
  • Page - this shows data for each of your pages based on the way it is indexed under your site's main domain URL. For example, if a page is example.com/examplepage1 then it will appear in this menu as /examplepage1. 
  • Page Title - this shows essentially the same information as that of the Pages primary dimension but displays the page information in a slightly different way. Instead of listing them the way that they appear in the URL, it lists them in the way that they appear in the meta data. For example, if a page is example.com/examplepage1 and it is listed as Example Page 1 - Example within its meta data it will appear exactly that way in this interface. 
  • Other - for information on this primary dimension please refer to the previous explanation of the Explorer Tab 

The Site Content tertiary menu also uses a tab known as the Navigational Summary Tab. This tab shows exactly where visitors moved relative to a designated page over a designated period of time. The default selection for this tab is the home page and the navigational summary displays the percentage of times that visitors entered on this page (out of all entrances to pages), the percentage of times that previous pages were viewed before this page, the percentage of times a visitor exited (this does not necessary mean they bounced), and the percentage of times they moved on to another page. You can designate the page to analyze the navigation of by clicking the button next to the "Current Selection:" text and you can designate the period of time to be used by clicking on the arrow to the right of the dates at the top right of the screen and selecting a date range out of the drop-down menu.

Content Drilldown

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimension Page Path Level 1 with only the Site Usage specifier. The metrics included in this are Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Average Time on Page, Bounce Rate, and % Exit.
Understanding this information is crucial to knowing which pages are working and which may be underperforming in terms of traffic, on-page retention, etc. You can also use the average time on site metric to determine which pages have the greatest window in which visitors view ads and may click on them. Pages with a longer average time should therefore be optimized with the best ad types, sizes, etc.

Site Content, Content Drilldown
  • Page Path Level 1 - this is the top level of what are called Page Path Levels. The Google Analytics Help Center offers very little explanation of these but as best as I have ascertained, a Page Path Level is a designator of the folders and subfolders that your site's content is indexed in. The 1st page path level, then is the first folder within a domain. For example, site.com/example where the example page is under Page Path Level 1; site.com/example/level shows a secondary page path level where "level" is under Page Path Level 2, and so on.

Landing Pages

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Landing Page and Other. This tab can be further specified for Site Usage, Ecommerce, and AdSense. The metrics for the primary dimensions are Visits, Pages/Visit, Average Time on Site, % of New Visits, and Bounce Rate. 

  • Landing Page - this data shows information on which pages are bringing visitors to your site so to speak. The landing pages with the most visits may be ranking for keywords, linked to more, or just plain more popular than the other pages to understanding which pages are highest for landing is the first step in assessing why that is. If you can understand why a page has the more landing visits than others, you can use aspects of that page to increase the number of landing visits on your other pages.
  • Other - for information on this primary dimension please refer to the previous explanation of the Explorer Tab 

Exit Pages

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Page and Page Title with only Site Usage as the specifier. The metrics for the primary dimensions are Exits, Pageviews, and % Exit. Understanding the analytics on this tertiary menu is necessary when trying to figure out which pages may have the highest exit rates including both bounces and non-bounces. It is important to know which pages are most likely to be exited from and are not contributing to the continued navigation of a visitor through your site because these pages may have flaws or aspects that need to be changed in order to decrease the % Exit. 

Site Content, Exit Pages
  • Page - since this metric was previously discussed I won't go over it again except to note that since this is for the Exit Pages secondary menu, these pages are the ones that were exited from, not landed on, or simply viewed.
  • Page Title - again, this metric was previously discussed so there's no need for repetition. For information please refer to the description of this primary dimension in the Pages secondary menu.

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3. Site Speed

This secondary menu does not have any tertiary menus within it but includes several different tabs including the Explorer Tab, the Performance Tab, and the Map Overlay Tab. To start off, the Explorer Tab used in this tertiary menu includes the primary dimensions Page, Page Title, and Other and can be specified to show both Site Usage and Technical information. Since these primary dimensions have been discussed before I will not provide another explanation of them here. The metrics for the primary dimensions within the Site Usage Specifier are Average Page Load Time (in seconds), Pageviews, Page Load Sample, Bounce Rate, and Exit Rate. It is clear that the loading time of the pages is an influence on the percentage of bounces and exits from this page. Visitors do not want to wait a long time for a page to load and are prone to hitting the back button or clicking on something else if a page seems to take too long to appear. 

Site Speed 2

In case readers are wondering about the metric Page Load Sample. To explain, the Page Load Sample is a metric which shows the load time of a page given a "Sample Load" of the page which can be assigned to that page through an alteration of the Google Analytics tracking code. For information on how to add this code, please refer to the article about this in the Google Analytics Help Center.  

The metrics used in the Technical Specifier are all related to loading time for various aspects of the load including redirects, domain lookups, server connections, server responses, and page downloads. This is very useful information if you need to know why your page is loading slowly because it allows you to pinpoint which aspects of the load are slowing it down the most.

Next, the Performance Tab is something that hasn't been discussed yet and is unique to the Site Speed secondary menu. There is a series of selection options directly under the tab selection, I will refer to these as primary dimensions since they appear to be akin to the primary dimensions of the Explorer Tab. The primary dimensions included in this tab are Page Load Time Bucket, Redirection Time Bucket, Domain Lookup Time Bucket, Server Connection Time Bucket, Server Response Time Bucket, and Page Down Time Bucket; all are measured in seconds. So what is all of this bucket terminology?

Site Speed, Performance
According to the Google Analytics Help Center, a Page Load Time Bucket is a group of pageviews that are separated by speed range. Within the performance tab, the percentage of a Page Load Time Bucket is created by looking at the average load times of a group of pages out of the total number of pages. This goes for every primary dimension of the tab.

Lastly, the Map Overlay Tab includes the primary dimensions go the Site Usage specifier are Country/Territory, City, Continent, and Sub Continent Region. The metrics used with these primary dimensions are: Average Page Load Time, Pageviews, Page Load Sample, Bounce Rate, and % Exit. I feel all of these primary dimensions are pretty self-explanatory except for the Sub Continent Region which is plainly the continent and the directional based region (northern, eastern, western, or southern). This tab is unique in that it displays a visual map of the world with variation of green to designate
Site Speed, Map Overlay 2
the loading time (with darker green being longer load time and vice versa). The technical specifier details the same dimensions and metrics as the technical specifier of the Explorer Tab so I won't go over that information again. One cool aspect of this tab in general is that you can click on a designated region, country, etc. and view more detail on the region by state, country, or whatever else you want. 

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4. Site Search

This secondary menu includes the tertiary menus Overview, Usage, Search Terms, and Pages.

Overview

This tertiary menu shows information on

Site Search, Overview
the number of visits that have come to your site's pages through search engines that are enabled within your site. For example, a site with a "search powered by Google" search bar can be tracked to see how searching within your site has brought visitors to different pages. Setting up this feature is a bit tricky and requires an understanding of the tracking code for Google Analytics. For more information on exactly how to do this, please refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center. Note: Unless you set up this feature, this menu will display all stats as 0; this is simply a result of not having the tracking information fed back to your analytics and does no in any way reflect a problem with your site's in-site searching capabilities.

Although I do not have this feature set up in my Analytics, I will briefly go over the metrics used within this secondary menu.
  • Visits With Search - this is the number of visits to your pages that have resulted through searching within your site
  • Total Unique Searches - this is the number of unique searches (meaning the searches are by different visitors) that have led visitors to your pages; this excludes multiple searches of the same keyword during the same visit.
  • Results Pageviews/Search - this is the number of pageviews of search results out of the total number of unique searches
  • % Search Exits - this a percentage created out of a comparison of the number of times a visit has come through a search before leaving the site to the number of times all visits have come through a search
  • % Search Refinements - this is the number of times a visitor has search again after performing a search and only viewing the results without clicking through to any of the pages
  • Time After Search - this is the average amount of time (in seconds) that a visitor spends on your site after performing a search. The equation for calculating this metric is:               Time from All Searches/(Number of Search Transitions + 1)
  • Search Depth - this is the average number of pages that visitors viewed after a search. The equation for calculating this metric is:                                                                                        Search Depth of All Searches/(Number of Search Translations +1) 

Usage

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimension Site Search Status and can be further specified by Site Usage and Ecommerce. Both the Site Usage and Ecommerce specifiers use the same primary dimensions but have different metrics; refer to the description of the Explorer Tab for more information on what these metrics are).

Site Search, Usage
  • Site Search Status - this simply shows whether visits came from an in-site search or not. If you do not have the analytics tracking code set up for this data then it should display all visits as being "Visits Without Site Search."

The interesting thing about this tertiary menu is that it not only displays a line graph of the metrics over a designated period of time but also shows a pie chart which depicts the percentage of visits that came from a search compared to the number of visits that did not. Note: the pie chart is the default view and can be changed to any of the other data display viewing options; more information on what these viewing options are can be found in this article.

Search Terms

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimensions Search Term and Site Search Category. There is only one specifier for this tab which is Site Usage and includes the metrics Total Unique Searches Results Pageviews/Search, % Search Exits, % Search Refinement, Time After Search, and Search Depth. These metrics have been previously explained in the description of the Overview tertiary menu, however, let me offer a brief explanation of the primary dimensions.

  • Search Term - this shows the keyword searched which led to a visit on a page by the searcher
  • Site Search Category - this shows the category that the search was performed in; this must be designated when the search data is added to the Analytics tracking code. 

This information is very important to understand when trying to optimize the search terms (tags) tied to each page on your site. You should strive to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find exactly the information they want for any given search.

Pages

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimensions Start Page and Destination Page within the Site Usage Specifier. The metrics used are Total Unique Searches, Results Pageviews/Search, % Search Exits, % Search Refinements, and Time After Search

Site Search, Pages
.
  • Start Page - this the page that a visitor started on before performing a search for other content on your site
  • Destination Page - this is the page that visitors ended up on after performing a search 

Understanding the start page information is useful when assessing whether a page may be misleading to visitors, which causes them to issue a search for what they actually wanted. The destination page information may inform the user that these pages are not being tagged correctly or require higher visibility on the site for users to find.

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5. Events

This secondary menu is used to measure data on events which are set up by the user by including certain characters in the tracking code. Events can be virtually anything from the number of times a visitor has clicked on an icon to the number of times a visitor has reloaded a page. An event should include these five components:

Events, Top Events
  • Category - this designates the root level of event tracking and the base level for sorting events; Ex: "Downloads"
  • Action - this designates the action(s) that the user must take in order to be registered by a specific Event tracking codeLabel - this is optional in the code but simply labels the event based on some classification designated by the user
  • Value - this is some numerical vale assigned to any event within a category; Ex: "Seconds of Download Time"
  • Implicit Count - this is the number of interactions with an event within a category; Ex: "Number of Downloads"

For more advanced tracking of events please refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center. 

Overview

This tertiary menu shows an overview of information about different events that you have setup to track. This menu uses the Overview Tab and includes metrics for: Total Events, Unique Events, Event Value, Average Value, Visits with Event, and Events/Visit. There are also navigational links to the Event Category, Event Action, and Event Label. I will now go over all of these metrics including those associated with navigational links.

Events, Overview
  • Total Events - the total number of events that were tracked during all visits
  • Unique Events - the total number of events that were tracked during unique visits
  • Event Value - this is the numerical value discussed in the explanation of the five components of Events tracking
  • Average Value - this is the average of all of the Event Values that were tracked
  • Visits with Event - this is the number of times a visit has occurred with an event
  • Events/Visit - this the average number of events per visit
  • Event Category - this is the category of the event(s) which occurred
  • Event Action - this is the type of action that occurred during an event
  • Event Label - this shows the designated label the user has added to an event tracking code

Top Events

This tertiary menu shows the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimensions Event Category, Event Action, and Event Label. This tab can be further specified to show information for Event, Site Usage, and Ecommerce. Since the Event specifier is unique to this menu I will now offer a description of the metrics used within it.

Events, Top Events
  • Event - gives the number of Total Events, Unique Events, and the Event Value for the primary dimensions listed above

Pages

This tertiary menu shows the Pages that events occurred on and uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primer dimensions Page and Page Title. This tab can be further specified to show information for Event, Site Usage, and Ecommerce. Since all of these metrics have been previously discussed I won't repeat explanations for them here.

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6. AdSense

This secondary menu will only work if AdSense has been linked to Analytics; more information on how to do this can be found in this article. This menu includes the tertiary menus Overview, AdSense Pages, and AdSense Referrers.

Overview

This tertiary menu includes information on the AdSense performance of your site's pages. It uses the Overview Tab and includes metrics for AdSense Revenue, AdSense Revenue/1,000 Visits, AdSense Ads Clicked, AdSense Ads Clicked/Visit, AdSense CTR (click-through rate), AdSense eCPM, AdSense Ads Viewed, AdSense Unit Impressions/Visit, AdSense Page Impressions, AdSense Page Impressions/Visit. 

  • AdSense, Overview 2
    AdSense Revenue - the total amount of revenue (in whatever currency you've designated for your earnings) from pageviews on this site
  • AdSense Revenue/1,000 Visits - this is the projected amount of revenue per 1,000 visits based on the proportional estimation relative to the amount of revenue you've earned/total number of visits.
  • AdSense Ads Clicked - this is the number of times an AdSense Ad has been clicked on
  • AdSense Ads Clicked/Visit - this metric is given by a comparison of the number of clicks to the total number of visits
  • AdSense CTR - this is the click-through rate of your ads; it is shown as a percentage of clicks out of the total number of ad impressions displayed to your visitors
  • AdSense eCPM - this metric shows the number of projected AdSense revenue that would be earned for every 1,000 AdSense Page Impressions
  • AdSense Ads Viewed - this is the number of total AdSense ads that were viewed (including both CPM and CPC bids)
  • AdSense Unit Impressions/Visit - this is the average number of AdSense impressions viewed per visit
  • AdSense Page Impressions - this is the total number of AdSense impressions (meaning CPM bids and not CPC bids)
  • AdSense Page Impressions/Visit - this is the average number of AdSense page impressions (CPM bids) per visit

AdSense Pages

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimension Page and uses the Site Usage specifier. The metrics used by Site Usage are AdSense Revenue, AdSense Ads Clicked, AdSense CTR, AdSense eCPM, AdSense Ads Viewed, and AdSense Page Impressions. These metrics have already been explained so I will provide a description for just the primary dimension.

  • Page - this data shows the AdSense information on a per-page basis and can help users identify which pages on their site are the most successful as far as advertising revenue

AdSense Referrers

This tertiary menu is used to assess the websites that are referring the visitors that have clicked on AdSense ad impressions on your site. The Explorer Tab is used and includes the primary dimensions Source and Medium; the specifiers for this tab are AdSense and Site Usage. The metrics for these specifiers are the general metrics discussed in the previous explanation of the Explorer Tab.

  • Source - this shows the source which referred visitors to your site; this data is written as the main domain URL of the referring site (ex: google.com) 
  • Medium - this shows the medium of the referring sites which is simply listed as referral given the nature of the

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7. In-Page Analytics

This secondary menu is a feature that was beta tested in the previous version of Google Analytics but was not widely used because of loading and performance problems. Fortunately, the In-Page Analytics feature of Google Analytics 5 is completely functional and can be used to analyze how visitors are interacting with your website(s). Understanding this information is useful for optimizing the layout of your website whether that be ad positioning and sizing or updating the in-site search aspect of your site.

In-Page Analytics Screen 2


This page uses the In-Page Tab, which is unique to this menu. When the interface loads it should show the Site Usage specifier which includes the metrics Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Average Time on Page, Average Page Load Time, Bounce Rate, and % Exit. The top control bar (located below the metrics) lets you select a Viewing O
In-Page Tab Top Bar
ption which can be either Clicks or Goal Value. For Clicks, you can also select to only view where visitors have clicked at greater than some CTR (in a %). This is useful because it lets you know what links or ads have the highest click through rates and vice versa. Goal Value must be set up by in advance, which can be done by clicking the Settings Icon in the orange bar on the top right corner of the screen. Moving along the top control bar you should see a series of icons on the far right side which can be used to designate how Bubbles appear in this view. Bubbles show
In-Page Tab Bubbles
where visitors have clicked on ads and can be displayed as they are or in different color variations for more visibility.

According to the Google Analytics Help Center, you can also show a complete list of incoming and outgoing links on this interface but thus far I haven't been able to generate this list within my site's Analytics. There are a few different things that can cause problems with this interface, so for troubleshooting information please refer to this article

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This concludes Part IV of my tutorial for the new Google Analytics. Check back for the release of Part V within the next few weeks.

Google Analytics 5
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