Posts Tagged ‘back to basics’

Aug 11

ABC's of Google Analytics

Creative solutions are built from knowing the basics to the bone. Every so often, we like to go back to basics for our beginner readers and remind everyone else. Here’s a quick review and infographic of the “ABCs of Google Analytics”.

In the Google Analytics interface, on the left side there is the Google Analytics reporting menu. You’ll realize they’ve done a great job of organizing things based on intuitive marketing strategies.

A is for Acquisition: What brought visitors to your site?

These items in GA essentially show you what’s driving traffic to your digital properties, website, mobile site, mobile app, etc, telling you where your visitors coming from. Some examples of what kind of traffic you are getting are paid, referral, organic, and direct traffic. Also, the technological world we live in may have visitors coming to your site from multiple touch points several times before converting. Universal Analytics helps you tie all of these things together (including even offline data if you want).


B is for Behavior: What did the visitors do once they got there?

Once visitors get to your website or mobile app, what are they doing? The “behavior” area tells you what your visitors are engaging with on your digital properties. At a higher level, they might be visiting and interacting with the home page or other landing pages, traversing the site, visiting several pages (or bouncing!). Also, if set up correctly, Behavior not only includes what pages they visited, but specifics of how they interacted with your pages and site(s). For example, Events you’ve set up to be triggered by playing videos, clicking links, using the slider button and reading through content, would all be found here, so you can see the details of exactly what’s happening.


C is for Conversion: Did they do what you wanted them to do?

This is what it all comes down to! By setting up Google Analytics goals and enhanced eCommerce, you’ll be able to tell if your online marketing efforts are truly working. After all, who needs a bunch of visitors engaging with your site if they’re not contributing to your bottom line, like becoming leads by submitting forms or buying products. Here is where you can see all your goal conversions, like downloading material, form submissions, add-to-carts, completed checkouts, etc.


For your reference and visual pleasure, below is an infographic to demonstrate these basic concepts and flow in Google Analytics.

ABC of Google Analytics Infographic

Jun 16

advanced-segment-logic-thumbWe just passed Father’s Day! Your client’s site sells silk ties and they’re expecting big bucks this season, so they increased their PPC spend. They want do some advanced segments to see how their U.S. and Canada paid traffic did.

We just read a great piece by Jesse Nichols on advanced segment logic and thought it might be a good idea, as part of our “Back To Basics” series, to expand on that a little.

Advanced segments are essential in filtering your data so you can dive deep and get clean insights. However, you might have to blow the dust off your old symbolic logic text books, cause this stuff can be confusing. Getting the logic wrong could mess up your data analysis and reports.

Hopefully, the diagrams we made here will help you remember your “and’s” AND “or’s”. Or, I guess it would be your “and’s” OR “or’s”…(Anyway, whatever…)

Advanced Segment Logic (Non-Exclusive)

When creating Google Analytics advanced segments, you can “include” or “exclude” dimensions.

We’ll go through the following:

  • Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That)
  • Include “this” OR “Include “that” (This or That)
  • Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That)
  • Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That)

For non-exclusive dimensions (dimensions that can overlap, like place and kind), the following is a visual representation of how it will work. (We’ll go through exclusive dimensions – dimensions that don’t overlap, like two different places).


Let’s break this down in terms of the potential Google Analytics dimensions we’ll be looking at.
Let’s say:

  • “This” = “U.S. traffic”
  • “That” = “Paid traffic”

Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That). You’re looking for traffic that is U.S. and paid. You might translate “Include U.S. Traffic and Include paid traffic” into normal English, “I want U.S. traffic and paid traffic”. The latter implies you want both, which is where the confusion happens. In actuality, you are looking for where they overlap. Thus, in our diagram, you are looking for the dark grey color.

Include “this” OR “Include “that” (This or That). Translating this into English would sound like “I want U.S. or paid traffic”, which sounds exclusive – “I want either U.S. or paid traffic”, which sounds misleading. You will be pulling up “either or” as well as the overlap. If the condition hits either case (which includes if it hit’s both), it will be included. In our diagram, this corresponds to the dark and light grey.

Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That). “Not U.S. and Not paid traffic”. A little tricky. In traditional symbolic logic, “And” means both conditions need to be satisfied. You would think then that this is an overlap. Actually, you’re not getting rid of the overlap, you’re getting rid of both cases. That means anything that is from the U.S. will be eliminated as well as all paid traffic will be eliminated . Thus everything that is grey will be gone. You will only be looking at the orange universe.

Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That). “Not U.S. or Not paid traffic”. To me, this is the most confusing one. Again, traditionally, you’re thinking “OR”, which is both data sets. That’s not correct.

To understand this one, let’s look at “include ‘this’ or include ‘that’ “ for a second. The logic behind this implies: The data set either has to have “this” or has to have “that”.

Along the same lines, for “exclude”, if we take that italicized part of the previous sentence and insert “NOT”, you get this:
The data set has to NOT have ‘this’ or NOT have ‘that’.
Meaning, if the data set doesn’t have one of them or is missing one of them, it checks out.

Let’s go through each color area we have and compare it to that last logical sentence.

  • Does the orange NOT have “this” or not have “that”? The orange doesn’t have either, so that checks out.
  • Does the light grey ‘this’ area NOT have one dimension? It doesn’t have ‘that’, so that checks out.
  • Does the light grey ‘that’ area NOT have one dimension? It doesn’t have ‘this’, so that checks out.
  • The dark grey area isn’t missing either one, it contains both! So it doesn’t check out!

Conclusion? This advanced segment eliminates the dark grey overlap! So here, you are looking at the orange universe and the light grey. In other words, you are filtering out U.S. Paid traffic.

Advanced Segment Logic (Exclusive)

What happens when you have dimensions that are mutually exclusive? For example, U.S. traffic and Canada traffic? (Another example of sets that don’t overlap is if U.S. has no paid traffic). Things become a little different.


Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That). It’s impossible that one visit will fall under both locations (unless you have the power to teleport or go warp speed, in which case, you’d have to also be surfing the net during that time). Thus, you’ll get nothing from this segment, as they never overlap!

Include “this” OR Include “that” (This or That). This would be either U.S. or Canada traffic. Thus, you’ll get both (light) grey colors from this segment.

Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That). Similar to non-exclusive dimensions or sets, you’re just getting rid of both. Thus, in our diagram, you’re left with the orange universe. Anything that is not either one.

Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That). “Not U.S. or Not Canada traffic”. If we look at the non-exclusive diagram, you are getting rid of the dark grey overlap. Since there is no dark grey overlap in this diagram, you’re not really getting rid of anything. Thus, this is a moot segment when dimensions are mutually exclusive.


To analytics ninjas, the obvious segment you would want to create to analyze “U.S. paid traffic” is “Include U.S. and Include Paid Traffic”. When filtering for mutually exclusive dimensions like U.S. and Canada, “Include” and “OR” would be the way to go. Of course, there are a bunch of different combinations that will create different logic, but hopefully, these diagrams will help remind everyone of the basics to build on.

In any case, forget the ties, and get your dad something cool, like a camera or an iPad or something…