Google Analytics is an extremely powerful tool for analyzing and optimizing your website and traffic, but it is far from being simple to use and understand. We often see the same questions being repeatedly asked by various users about weird things in Google Analytics.
We gathered five repeated questions and simplified their answers.
1. Where is the A/B testing section and how to use it?
You’ve probably heard that it is possible to create A/B tests with Google Analytics, but there’s nothing about A/B testing in your account. Well, the ability to create A/B tests exist in your account, but it’s called Experiments, and it’s in the Behavior section of Google Analytics.
As in other A/B testing tools, Google allows you to match two different variations of text, designs or any change you wish to examine and compare their performance, by your selected goal. A goal can be page views, bounce rate, conversions etc.
Set up your experiment by naming it and choosing a goal and variations to test. That was the easy part, and now comes the part every marketer or website owner hates the most – having your developers make changes in the website code. Unfortunately, using Google’s experiments requires code editing, but luckily for you, it’s possible to email the code straight to your developer to get it done.
Now, all there’s left to do is follow the results of your variations, and see which is the winner.
2. How is it possible that I see more users than sessions?
If you’re using Google Analytics on a regular basis, you have probably encountered the unreasonable situation, when it shows you have more users than sessions. This makes no sense, since sessions are being done by users, so it’s impossible to have more users than sessions.
So how does it happen?
Google Analytics shows more users than sessions in some cases because of the way metrics are being calculated. When browsing through your data in Google Analytics, you are actually comparing dimensions that are related to sessions or hits. Sessions are every time your users engage with your site and are “attached” to the first page they landed on. So if your user got to the home page first, that’s the page the session will relate to. Hits are every page he browses through during his sessions, which may cause a confusion. For example, if two users visited your site:
User A – Landed on the Home page, and browsed through to the pricing page.
User B – Landed on the blog, and browsed through to the pricing page.
Both users visited the pricing page, but none of them started his session there, and therefore this page will have two users and zero sessions.
3. Why are my keywords not provided?
Seeing what the people who got to your website through Google were searching for is extremely powerful, but unfortunately, sometimes what you mainly see is one line with aggregated data and no keywords, which will appear as not provided.
Why are the keywords not provided?
Google is not showing the keywords that led to your website for a reason. When the user who is performing the search is logged in to any Google account including Gmail when he is searching, his search is conducted over SSL, hence the referral data which include the search query is hidden. Google knows which keywords generated traffic for you, but unfortunately, you can’t see it.
Is there a way to see the keywords anyway?
There are two very simple ways to see which keywords led users to your website and analyze their behavior by the search terms.
- Connect your Google Search console to Google Analytics.
The Google search console (Formerly known as Google webmaster tool) helps you analyze your organic traffic from Google. In the search console, you can see what the people who got to your website through Google were actually searching for. Connecting the search console and Google analytics enables you a much deeper look, beyond what people were searching for by connecting it to post-click data. You can see a detailed data by each keyword, like how many actions the people who were searching it performed, how much time they are spending on your website, and basically match all the search data with the highly detailed data that is available with Google Analytics.
- Connect your AdWords account to Google Analytics
Keywords not provided, is an issue only with organic search. If you’re advertising with AdWords, you can get the full data of your paid keywords. Of course, it’s not exactly the same as seeing the organic search queries that got people to click on your website, but it can give you a great indication on the search terms that makes people be interested in your website.
You can see your paid keywords data on the AdWords dashboard, but linking Adwords into Google Analytics allows you to perform a deeper analysis of your keywords. You can see how many conversions each keyword generated, what is the bounce rates of users who were searching for it, and how much time they are spending on your site.
4. Why would I want to upgrade to Google Analytics premium?
The basic and free version of Google Analytics is packed with many features and data that can be used for site optimization. In fact, most Google Analytics users, doesn’t even use half of it, and yet there’s a paid premium version called Google Analytics 360, which makes many users wonder why do you even need a premium version when there’s such a massive free version?
The answer is very simple – Google Analytics 360 was made for large enterprises, with a massive amount of data. The Main difference between the regular Google Analytics and 360, is the ability to analyze very large amount of data.
For example, the basic Google Analytics allows you to integrate with your Google AdWords account and share data between the two platforms. The 360 version allows you to do the same, but with the addition of the ability to integrate with Google’s Doubleclick, which is usually used by large scale advertisers and generate larger amounts of traffic and data.
Another major advantage of the 360 version, is that it allows to combine data from multiple properties, and not analyzing each property separately, like your website and blog.
In addition to the added abilities, purchasing the 360 version gives you access to an extra service – Google Analytics 360 users are granted with more support than the basic version users.
Purchasing Google Analytics 360 is mainly for enterprise companies with a huge amount of data. For most website owners, it makes much more sense to keep using the free version of Google Analytics or use one of the other and simpler analytics tools such as MixPanel, Heap Analytics or Oribi, which can make data analytics much simpler.
5. How can I add a new website to my account?
A Google Analytics account can contain various websites, which are actually called properties. In many cases, there will be more than one property in one account. For example, for many brands, the website and blog will be different properties.
Adding a new property (website) to an existing account is possible, and actually very easy to do.
Simply log in to your Google Analytics account, and click on the Admin tab. In the property section of the admin page, click on the drop down and choose “Create new property”.
This will lead you to the new property set up screen.
Choose to track a website or a mobile app, name it, and enter the URL (choosing a mobile app will require a bit different settings). Next, choose the website category out of multiple options and set your reporting time zone.
Now click on Get Tracking ID, and the required code will be generated.
Again, this is the part we all hate, but unfortunately, it is necessary. Have your developer Implement the code on your website, and Google Analytics will start tracking it.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you wish to analyze your website and marketing efforts, and really improve results, you are welcome to try our new analytics tool for Free.