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Exploring the New Google Analytics, Standard Reporting Part V

By Edited May 3, 2015 0 0

Google Analytics 5


New years is a time for resolutions and what better resolution to have then to master the new edition of Google Analytics? One of the most important tasks of any webmaster is understanding how to not only read but how to use the analytics of his/her site(s) to optimize the content. Whatever the purpose of your website, whether it's monetized by ads, affiliate marketing, or some other form of ecommerce, you should know and use Google Analytics. This is Part V of my five-part tutorial for learning exactly how to use all of the features that are provided, both old and new from the Conversion section of Google Analytics 5.

Each part in the tutorial is not concurrent and you don't have to read any of the other parts to understand each individually. However, if you would like to read the other parts links will be provided to the others at the conclusion of this article.

Sidebar, Conversions

This is a reiteration of how I will be explaining different aspects of Google Analytics in the tutorial so if you have already read any of the other parts of my tutorial, 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 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.

Note: Before you get into this section it is important to be sure that you have done the following:
  1. Setup goal conversion tracking by adding the correct code sequences to your Google Analytics tracking code which is embedded in the pages of your site. In some cases, this is just the standard tracking code but depending on what you are trying to track, the code may need to be altered. For more information on how to set up the right tracking code for goal conversion needs please refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center. 
  2. Have added goals to the site by setting them up in the Google Analytics interface. This can be done by going to the dashboard of Analytics, clicking into a site's data and clicking the settings button , and then the Profiles Tab. From there you should see a layout of five different options which are: Assets, Goals, Users, Filters, and Profile Settings. Click on Goals to bring up the interface with the heading: "Configure the goals that will be visible in this profile." Below the heading there is a listing of five different goal sets which are labeled as Goal (set 1), Goal (set 2) and so on. You can click on the links below these labels to set up a goal and then fill out the required information to complete the goal. More information on filling out this form can be found in this article from the Google Analytics Help Center or keep reading to learn about the Goal Types and Active/Inactive Goals.
    Conversion Setup
  3. Have waited at least 72 hours for the tracking to be initialized


Within each of the tertiary and secondary menus, some of the tabs are used more repetitively than others. I'll briefly describe each of the most common tabs of this primary menu (Conversions) before beginning the more detailed tutorial of the secondary and tertiary menus. 

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. Also, within the tab, there is a listing of different sub-tabs below the title of the tab (Explorer). These sub-tabs are used to specify the type of information you want to display, in this explanation I will refer to them as specifiers. Some tabs have multiple specifiers and some only have one. The types of specifiers available is dependent upon the menu in which the Explorer Tab is being used. For example, the Goal URLs tertiary menu uses the Conversions specifier. Because of this, the specifiers are sometimes unique to only one or two different secondary or tertiary menus. Each specifier includes it's own set of metrics that are sometimes used concurrently across multiple menus and other times are subject to change depending on the menu that the Explorer Tab is used in. Within the tutorial I will refer to these specifiers as using the general metrics, if some alteration is being used, I will list the metrics and explain them as necessary. Here is a listing of the four specifiers used in the Conversions primary menu with their general metrics.

Explorer Tab 3
  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. Conversions - this is unique to the Explorer in the secondary and tertiary menus of Conversions. It includes metrics for Goal Completions and Goal Value.

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, Technology, Traffic Sources, or AdWords including all secondary menu options described below:

Other Primary Dimension
  • 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.

Overview Tab

The Performance Tab

This tab is used in the secondary/tertiary menus of the Conversions section, but may not be included in other menus. This tab includes specifiers similar to those in the Explorer Tab but generally has fewer metrics for each. Also, there is data for the percentage that a value will make up out of the total for a given metric. Since there are so many different specifiers for this tab I will go over them as they come up.

Performance Tab

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


1. Goals

Goals refer to goal conversions (meaning some sort of visitor action) must be setup by the user through the Google Analytics tracking code. First off, I will now refer to conversions as actions by your visitors and goals as the completion of x number of conversions. The tracking code is what enables a level of creativity when it comes to monitoring the completion of an online business's objectives. These objectives (conversions) can be anything from downloading a digital product to simply registering for a weekly email alert or RSS feed. Depending on the type of site you run, conversions can be enabled for virtually any kind of visitor action including social media actions. You can also set monetary values for conversions and track the earnings of your site relative to the completion of certain objectives. This is very useful for an e-commerce store or any site that participates in affiliate marketing programs.

When you setup goals you should notice that each is given a number (Google only allows five goal sets at a time but four goals within each set, giving a total of 20 possible goals). In the equations for calculating different goal metrics this number is designated n. The Goal Type defines a specific type of conversion for Analytics to track. There are four Goal Types:

  1. URL Destination - this is a conversion that results from a visitor landing on a page which only appears as a result of completing a conversion action (the action that is tracked as a conversion). For example, if a visitor buys a product and lands on the receipt page, this page's URL is the URL Destination of a conversion which tracks purchases of products. In this case, the URL Destination would be something like sales/receiptforpurchase#.html
  2. Time on Site - this is a conversion that occurs when a visitor remains on a page (or multiple pages) of your site for more than some amount of minutes or hours as determined by how the goal is setup in Analytics. For example, you could track if the number of visitors that remain on your site for more than 3 minutes if the content on the page takes approximately that long to read, which may indicate that the visitor fully read through the content. The Time on Site would be written in a format of x:y:z, where x is the number of hours, y is the number of minutes, and z is the number of seconds.
  3. Pages/Visit - this is a conversion that occurs when some defined number of pages have been viewed by the visitor in a single visit. For example, if you want to track how many visitors reach a specified depth (in pages) of your site, you could set the Pages/Visit to be 4, which would indicate that for each conversion, a visitor has viewed at least four pages without leaving the site; this metric would be written as a numeric value. Note: these pageviews may be registered by reloading a page or using the back buttons to return to a previously viewed page.
  4. Event - this is a conversion that occurs when an action has been triggered on an event. This requires event tracking to be setup as well as goal tracking. An event can be any action a visitor can take such as clicking on a link or "liking" it on Facebook by clicking on a social button embedded in your site. For more information on events please refer to the explanation of the Events secondary menu in this article; it should be towards the end of the article. For information on creating an event in the Google Analytics tracking code refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center. An example of an Event conversion is a conversion which is triggered by a visitor expanding a menu by clicking on the expand button. In this case, a high number of clicks on the expand button may indicate that the menu should be changed to be more convenient for the visitors. The metric would then be written as the number of clicks in the form of a numeric value.


If you have successfully set up goals, this tertiary menu should show you the Overview Tab with a line graph, a listing of metrics, and navigational links related to your conversions. The metrics for all goal conversions are somewhat confusing so I will describe each of them. Note: these definitions come from the Google Analytics Help Center. In some definitions I will provide the equation for calculating the metric, in these equations n = the number of the goal and ga:goal = the tracking code of the goal metric.

Goals, Overview
  • Goal Completions - the total number of visitors who have completed all elements defined for a particular goal
  • Goal Value - the total numeric value for a requested goal number (n)
  • Goal Conversion Rate (%) - this is the percentage of visits which resulted in a conversion to the requested goal number. The equation for calculating this metric is:                          [ga:goal(n)Completions / ga:visits] * 100 
  • Total Abandonment Rate (%) - the rate at which goals were abandoned (meaning a visitor started to complete a goal and stopped; i.e. a visitor fills out the first few lines of a registration form then exits the page). This equation for calculating this metric is: [(ga:goal(n)Starts - ga:goal(n)Completions) / ga:goal(n)Starts]  * 100                                               

Goal URLs

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimension Goal Completion URL, with the Conversions specifier. This specifier uses the general metrics listed in the explanation of the Explorer Tab which are Goal Completions and Goal Value. Since these metrics have already been defined I will not re-explain them. At the top of the interface, you can select which Goal to view data for by choosing an option from the drop-down menu below the heading "Goal Option."

Goal URLs provides information on the performance of goals that are set to trigger a conversion when a visitor reaches a URL Destination as discussed in the explanation of Goal Types. This information can be used to see conversions data for specific URL Destinations such a receipt pages, registration pages, etc. It is useful for assessing the completion of sales or other objectives and determining which areas may need to be improved.

Reverse Goal Path

This tertiary menu use the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimension Goal Completion URL. Unlike other Explorer Tabs, there is no specifier but instead displays different "previous steps" that a visitor completed before reaching the Goal Completion URL (as defined by the Destination URL goal details). These steps are listed in the reverse order that they occurred prior to the Goal Completion URL and are listed horizontally as Goal Previous Step - 1, Goal Previous Step - 2, and Goal Previous Step - 3.  After the listing of the third previous step, there is a listing of data for the number of Goal Completions. You can select between different Goal Sets by using the same drop-down menu discussed in Goal URLs.

Reverse Goal Path

To create a better understanding of how Reverse Goal Paths work, it is necessary to provide further information. Previous steps are listed as the URL of the page that was landed on before a visitor reached the Goal Completion URL. To follow the example from before, the previous steps before reaching a receipt page may be a product details page, a broad products viewing page, and a product category page. This would indicate that the visitor looked at the product categories, selected one, and searched through the products. They select a product they like and after viewing it in more detail decided to purchase it, which led them to the receipt page for their purchased product.

This information is crucial if a webmaster wants to understand how visitors move throughout the site and how patterns can arise across visitors purchasing the same products. If the visitor in the example only remained on the pages for a few seconds, it may be because it was the only prescribed path they knew would get them to the product ordering page. This could mean that the product pages should be available through a product search function or that there should be a way for visitors to create shopping profiles and save products as favorites.
Funnel Visualization

In order to understand this tertiary menu it is first necessary to understand what a Goal Funnel is and how it works. A goal funnel is a means of tracking a goal as the visitor navigates through a tries of different pages prior to reaching a Goal Completion URL. In order to create a goal funnel, it is necessary to either create a logical path of pages (like the path used in the Reverse Goal Path example) or to use a pattern of visitor movement as basis for an expected page-path. Because goal funnels rely on navigation by the visitor from page to page, funnels can only be used with a URL Destination goal.

Goal Funnel

To create a goal funnel, you must go to the page where you setup goals:

Google Analytics Home > Web Report (select a site to view Analytics for) > Web Management Property (click on the setting icon) > Profiles Tab, Goals Tab (default selection is the Profiles Tab, click on Goals)

Once you have reached the page, you can simply click to setup a goal and select the goal type Destination URL. The page should expand into a form for Goal Details, this will require you to provide the exact URL of the Goal Completion URL (labeled simply as "Goal URL"), choose a match type, determine whether the URL should be case sensitive or not, and provide a Goal Value, which is optional. Below all of that there is an unchecked box labeled Goal Funnel, check the box and more forms will appear to provide the URLs in the page-path of the funnel (INSERT PICTURES OF THIS PROCESS). For these URLs you should only enter the path, which does not include the main domain URL (i.e. example.com/step1 should be written as /step1.html). You can provide labels for each step so you know what each URL is referencing and also choose to make a step required for the funnel by checking the box labeled "Required Step." You can add additional steps by clicking +Goal Funnel Step below each funnel step's detail forms; there can be up to 10 goal funnel steps.

Goal Funnel Setup

Going backwards a bit, I mentioned that when creating a goal funnel you must choose a match type, determine whether it should be case sensitive, and enter an optional goal value. Obviously, completing these steps requires an understanding of what each of them will do for you funnel. Starting with match types, when you click on the drop-down menu, there are three choices:

  1. Exact Match - this should be used if your URL is a static page that does not change across different visitors. For example, a page that thanks visitors for registering to receive emails is the same for anyone who registers.
  2. Head Match - this should be used if your URL requires variables to be included, such as php script to match a product receipt to the product page. URL's with variables usually have things like ?page= or ?basket=. These types of URLs have the same page but display differently depending on the information being fed into the display by the php or any other kind of variable script embedded in the URL.
  3. Regular Expression Match - this should be used if the URL changes in a broader way, like a registration for two different types of email blasts. In this case, the URL would either display as registration/weeklyemail.php or registration/dailyemails.php, but does not have as much dynamic variation as a Head Match URL.

Choosing whether to make a URL case sensitive or not depends on the nature of the URL, but for almost every URL this is not necessary and the box should be left unchecked. A goal value is only necessary if you can attach some type of numeric value to reaching the Completion URL, such as earnings from product purchases. How you set it is really up to you and it can be left blank without affecting your funnel visualization in Analytics.

Goal Flow

This tertiary menu is used to analyze the performance of any URL Destination goals that you have previously set up within the Goals configuration of your Analytics account (specific to each site). The Goal Flow is similar to the Visitors Flow

Goal Flow Metric Selection
(Audience) except it tracks visitor movement through a specified goal conversion funnel. Looking at the graphic, you can see that the selected metric is Source (green box) and so the flow displays the way visitors move through your site. It starts with the source which may include search engines and referral websites along with the number of visitors that came from each source. Next, you can see the number of visitors that came from any of the sources to the pages designated as steps in the Reverse Goal Path, ending at the Goal URL. Below the graphic is a table depicting the same information with the percentage of visitors that came from a given source. If you move your mouse along the graphic you can see the source and number of visitors that came through it in a hovered text-box.

There are several different navigational buttons that you can use to adjust the graphic display. On the far right of the interface is the Home Navigation Button which lets you move from left to right on the graphic and zoom in and out. Along the top of the interface is the Top Navigational Toolbar which lets you select the Goal you are viewing information for, select a segment, and adjust the detail of the graphic by sliding the tab on the Connections Bar.

Goal Flow

This interface is useful if you are trying to assess how visitors are moving through your site to your Goal URLs. This information can help you optimize traffic to specific pages on your site and evaluate metrics for Visitors, Traffic Sources, Content, and Systems. The listing of these metrics for each of the categories is the following:

  • Visitors - City, Language, Mobile, Region, Country/Territory, Sub Continent Region, User Defined Value, Custom Values (Key and Value)
  • Traffic Sources - Campaign, Ad Group, Keyword, Ad Content, Ad Slot, Source/Medium, Source, Social Source, Medium, Traffic Type
  • Content - Event Category, Event Action, Event Label
  • Systems - Browser, Browser Version, Operating System, Operating System Version, Flash Version, Java Support, Screen Colors, Screen Resolution, Service Provider, Domain


2. Ecommerce

This secondary menu is used to evaluate the performance of your websites in ecommerce/online sales. If your website is one that sells, buys, trades, or auctions products, then this section of Analytics can be setup to track all of this information. If you want tracking for Ecommerce to be activated (and display Analytics data) you have to go to your settings by clicking the wheel icon in the top right corner, then the Profiles tab, the Profile Settings sub tab, and select "Yes, an E-Commerce Site" from the selection menu under the heading "E-Commerce Settings." From there, click apply and Analytics will now track and provide data for all of the tertiary menus of the Ecommerce secondary menu. For more information on setting Ecommerce Tracking, please refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center. 

Ecommerce Setup


This tertiary menu uses the Overview Tab which includes a line graph tracking conversions (sales), a listing of metrics, and navigational links for different tertiary menus in the Ecommerce secondary menu. The metrics listed in this are:
  • Ecommerce Conversion Rate (%) - percentage of sales conversions out of the total number of visitors
  • Transactions - this is the number of sales transactions (which may include multiple product purchases within a single transaction)
  • Revenue - this is the sales revenue of the sold products. Note: this is not profit and does not take into account the cost of goods sold
  • Average Value - this is the average value of the sold products
  • Unique Purchases - this the number of purchases made by unique visitors
    Quantity - this is the quantity of the products sold

Ecommerce Overview

Product Performance

This tertiary menu shows data for how your product sales and uses the Explorer Tab. The primary dimensions are Product, Product SKU, and Product Category; the  only specifier used in this Explorer is the Ecommerce specifier. The metrics included in this specifier are Quantity, Unique Purchases, Product Revenue, Average Price, and Average QTY (quantity). These metrics are pretty much self-explanatory except for unique purchases, which is the total number of times that this product has been part of a transaction.

  • Product - this shows information on the products as they are listed by name
  • Product SKU - this shows information on the products as they are listed by their SKU (stock keeping unit)
  • Product Category - this shows information on the performance of each product category; these can be setup within the tracking code.

For more information on how to setup tracking of specific products or product categories please refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center.

Sales Performance

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimension Date and the specifiers Total Revenue, Conversion Rate, and Average Order Value. 
Since these specifiers are not used in standard Explorer Tabs, I will explain them now.

Sales Performance
  • Total Revenue - this shows the total revenue by date of all of your product sales; the metric used in this specifier is revenue.
  • Conversion Rate - this shows the sales conversion rate by date of all of your products; this rate is a percentage of sales conversions to the number of all visitors. The metrics used with this specifier are Ecommerce Conversion Rate and Transactions. 
  • Average Order Value - this shows the average order value which is calculated by adding the value of all orders and dividing by the number of orders; the metrics used with this specifier are average value and revenue.


This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab and includes the primary dimension Transaction with the Ecommerce specifier. The metrics used with this specifier are fairly intuitive and include Revenue ($), Tax ($), Shipping ($), and Quantity. This is very useful for assessing the information on a per-transaction basis.

  • Transaction - this shows information for the revenue, tax, shipping, and quantity information for each transaction.

Time to Purchase

This tertiary menu uses the Performance Tab which uses the primary dimensions Days to Transaction and Visits to Transaction. For each primary dimension you can see the number of transactions and what percentage these transactions make up out of the total.

  • Days to Transaction - this is the number of days between visitors' purchases and related campaigns that led to purchases
  • Visits to Transaction - this is the number of visits that were made to your site via a given campaign before a visitor makes a purchase

Time to Purchase

3. Multi-Channel Funnels

This secondary menu shows how different traffic sources and mediums work together to create sales conversions by bringing more targeted traffic to your site. When tracking your revenue, Analytics is setup to automatically credit AdSense or Ecommerce earnings to the last campaign, search, or AdWords ad impression that referred the visitor when he/she converted through clicking on an ad, buying a product, etc.; however, this does not track all the details of the conversion. Multi-Channel Funnels lets you keep track of every aspect of a visitors time on your site both before and after the conversion was made. This is very useful stuff if you are trying to figure out what search phrases are leading visitors to purchase products on your site or if you need to know which backlinks are most valuable in terms of sales conversions.


This tertiary menu uses the Overview Tab which includes a line graph charting conversions, metrics for the number of Conversions and Assisted Conversions, and a Multi-Channel Conversion Visualizer. The visualizer is probably the most impressive and useful thing on this menu, because it displays a pie chart which shows the medium through which visits came which led to conversions.

Multi-Channel Conversion Visualizer
  • Conversions - this is the number of sales conversions that do not have a trackable/discernible referring website, search engine, etc.
  • Assisted Conversions - this is the number of sales conversions that have a trackable/discernible referring website, search engine, keyword query, etc.

Assisted Conversions

An assisted conversion is simply a conversion which occurred through interactions within a channel or a grouping of channels. You can select which conversions to include by clicking on the Conversions selector at the top left of the interface. If you have not created any conversion subsets then this will default to all conversions. To learn more about creating conversion subsets, please refer to this article from the Google Analytics Help Center. Also, you can choose whether to show only AdWords conversions or show all conversions by selecting the Type (next to the Conversion selector).

Assisted Conversions

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimensions Basic Channel Grouping, Source/Medium, Source, Medium, Other, and Channel Groupings. The specifiers for this tab are Assist Interaction Analysis and First Interaction Analysis. To clarify the purpose of this menu, I will first offer an explanation of the primary dimensions followed by a listing of the metrics used with each specifier.
  • Basic Channel Grouping - there is an established categorization of different types of channels which are organized in basic channel groupings. The types of channels are (Google Analytics Help Center):
    • Paid Advertising - visits associated with AdWords campaigns or links tagged with the medium "cpc," "ppc," "cpm," "cpv," "cpa," or "cpp."
    • Organic Search - visits that come from an unpaid search on any search engine; the medium is organic.
    • Social Network - visits from any of 150 social networks, but not from ads within that social network (i.e. Facebook adverts). Note: I could not find what these social networks are specifically but I would assume all of the major social bookmarking sites (Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit) and the major social networks (Facebook, Linked In, Twitter).  
    • Referral - visits from websites that are not social networks. 
    • Email - visits that are tagged with the medium "email."
    • Feed - visits that are tagged with the medium "feed."
    • Direct - visits from a visitor that typed the URL of your website into the browser or came to your site via a bookmark (other than a social bookmark) 
  • Source/Medium - this shows information detailing both the source and medium written in the format "source/medium;" for examples of sources/mediums please refer to the following descriptions.  
  • Source - this shows information on the source which brought visits to your site. Sources are either websites or search engines, but search engines wil not be listed by their main domain URL unless they are coming from another country (i.e. google.com.uk).
  • Medium - this shows information on the medium through which visitors came to your site. It refers to the type of traffic source that sent visitors to your site and not to the type of device/browser used to access your site. Here is a listing of common traffic mediums:
    • Organic - this medium is for organic traffic meaning it came from a visitor who clicked on a link to your site listed within the search engine results for a search query.
    • Referral - this medium is for referred traffic meaning it came from a visitor who clicked on a link placed on a referring site.
    • CPC (Cost-Per-Click) - this medium is for paid traffic meaning it came from a visitor who clicked on a link placed within an ad either within search engine results or on another website.
    • (None) - this is listed when the medium was not tracked or is unknown
    • Note: You can create other mediums such as "Email" or "Banner" by tagging links with utm_medium. As explained by the Google Analytics Help Center, an example of a tagged link with a designated medium is: http://www.example.com/?utm_medium=email
  • Other - for an explanation of this primary dimension please refer to the previous description of the Explorer Tab.  
  • Channel Groupings - when you select this primary dimension you are given the choice to either (1) create a custom channel grouping, or (2) copy a basic channel grouping template. If you click on "Create a Custom Channel Grouping" a new form appears and you must write a custom name for the channel or grouping of channels and then add appropriate rules for it to follow. For more information on creating custom channels please refer to this article in the Google Analytics Help Center. Alternatively if you choose to copy a basic grouping template, a form will appear in which you can choose which template to copy and add rules as needed.

Here is a listing and explanation of the metrics for the specifier Assisted Interaction Analysis, which provides information relevant to referred or assisted sales conversions for the following metrics:

Anatomy of a Conversion Path
  • Assisted Conversions - this is the number of conversions that were assisted by a channel or a grouping of channels; this does not include last interaction conversions.
  • Assisted Conversion Value - this is the value of the assisted conversions which is defined by the user (i.e. for sales conversions this is the dollar value of those sales).
  • Last Interaction Conversions - this is the number of referrals that occur immediately before the conversion (i.e. the site which linked to a sales page for a product).
  • Last Interaction Conversion Value - this is the value of the last interaction conversions which is defined by the user; see the above description of the assisted conversion value for an example.
  • Assisted/Last Interaction Conversions - this is the ratio of assisted interaction conversions to last interaction conversions. Values above 1 would indicate that less last interaction conversions (meaning conversions are not necessarily completed) and values close to 0 would indicate that more last interaction conversions are occurring (meaning conversions are being completed).

Here is a listing and explanation of metrics for the specifier First Interaction Analysis, which provides information relevant to those sites which began the interactions which led to a sales conversion; it includes the following metrics:

  • First Click Conversions - this is the number of conversions which occurred after the first click on a link; meaning this is the first time a visitor has been referred to the site by a given link and statistically this has a lower conversion rate than any other type of assisted conversion.
  • First Click Conversion Value - this is the value of the first click conversions as defined by the user; please refer to the description of the assisted conversion value for an example.
  • Last Interaction Conversions - see description above.
  • Last Interaction Conversion Value - see description above.
  • First/Last Interaction Conversions - this is the ratio of first interaction conversions to last interaction conversions. Values above 1 would indicate that more first interaction conversions are occurring and vice versa; values equal to 1 would indicate that an equal number of conversions are occurring for both types of interactions.

Top Conversion Paths

To start off, what is a conversion path? Basically, a conversion path is the pattern of interactions between channels that occurred before a conversion. At the top left of the interface, you can select which conversions to include, the path length, and the type to show (all conversions or only AdWords conversions). If you have created subsets of conversions, you can choose to only show data from those subsets otherwise the default is all conversions. If you want to learn more about creating a subset of conversions please refer to this article from the Google Analytics Help Center. When selecting a path length, it is important to understand that the default selection "2 or more" will display only assisted interaction conversions. Otherwise, the path length simply shows how many conversions resulted from conversions paths that contained a selection of between 1 and 12+ channel interactions.

Top Conversion Paths 2

This tertiary menu uses the Explorer Tab which includes the primary dimensions Basic Channel Grouping Path, Source/Medium Path, Source Path, Medium Path, Other, and Channel Groupings. The specifier for this tab is Conversions which includes metrics for the number of conversions and the value of those conversions. Since I have already offered explanation for these dimensions in the Assisted Conversion menu description, I will not repeat them here. The only difference in these metrics is that they include the path of pages that led visitors to a conversion.

Time Lag

Time Lag shows the number of conversions that resulted from conversion paths that were between 0 and 12+ days long. This information helps you assess how long a sales cycle takes before a conversion occurs. Like in the previous two menus, you can choose to display only some subsets of conversions or the default which shows all conversions. Also, you can choose to view only conversions that came from AdWords campaigns or all conversions.

This tertiary menu uses the Performance Tab which includes the primary dimension/specifier Time Lag in Days. This primary dimension is exactly as it sounds and shows the number of days that it took for a conversion to occur from the first interaction to the last interaction. The metrics used in this tab are the number of conversions and the conversion value. There is also a graphic displaying the percentage that a time lag's conversion/conversion value makes up out of the total.

Time Lag

Path Length

Path length shows the number of path interactions that were required to complete a conversion. This can range from between 0 and 12+ interactions; these interactions can occur within a single channel or across multiple channels. Once again you can choose to select the conversions/subsets of conversions to be displayed and whether you want to view information for AdWords conversions or all conversions. Understanding the path length is important in assessing how many interactions are required for a conversion to occur, and how the path length may correspond to the time lag for a conversion.

This tertiary menu uses the Performance Tab which includes the primary dimension/specifier Path Length in Interactions. The metrics used in this tab are the number of the conversions and the value of those conversions. Like in the last menu, there is a graphic displaying information on the percentage that a given path length's conversions/conversions value makes up out of the total.


This concludes Part V of my five-part tutorial for the new Google Analytics. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide and if you have any suggestions for how I can improve it please feel free to leave a comment.

Here are links to the other parts of this tutorial including two supplements related to this information.

Google Analytics 5(77818)
Credit: http://wordspicturesweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/google-analytics-logo.png


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