Happy new year! I can’t believe 2007 is over. Continuing with a tradition I began last year, I give you my 2008 GA resolutions.
Before I get into the list, I want to thank everyone who reads and contributes to Analytics Talk. 2007 was an incredible year for me, and I really owe a lot to you guys. Thank you for reading, posting questions and helping me learn so much.
1. I will migrate to the new GA.JS tracking code.
Google announced a new version of the tracking code, ga.js, in October 2007 and launched the new code in December. After some minor launch problems things seem to be running smoothly. While you don’t need to migrate to ga.js, you should start to think about it because Google will no longer add features to urchin.js. In my opinion, you should tackle this problem sooner rather than later.
2. I will contemplate Event Tracking and how I can use it.
The reason Google introduced a new version of the tracking code was to enable a powerful new feature called Event Tracking. While most folks might think of event tracking as a ‘web 2.0’ tracking tool geared towards video players and Ajax, it’s really a flexible framework for data collection. I was skeptical at first, but now I’m a convert. All of us can take advantage of this new feature.
I’ll be writing more about Event Tracking and its uses when Google pushes the feature to everyone. In the mean time, check out this series of posts to learn more:
Event Tracking Pt. 1: Overview & Data Model
Event Tracking Pt. 2: Implementation
Event Tracking Pt. 3: Reporting & Analysis
3. I will get creative with profiles.
This is something I’ve been talking about for a while. Profiles are so much more than website data. They’re a collection of data and business rules. Last year, as part of my 2007 resolutions, I mentioned setting up test profiles as a way to insure your configuration settings are correct.
For 2008 I suggest setting up profiles for all major marketing campaigns and mediums. Why? So you can segment reports that normally can not be segmented. Check out Segmenting Visitor Loyalty Reports in GA for more information.
4. I will try some type of ‘advanced’ Google Analytics configuration.
Most of us have a fairly basic implementation of GA. We don’t need to do much more than add the tracking code to our site, set up goals, and configure on site search reporting.
Why not try something new this year? How about using an ‘advanced’ feature like custom segmentation, event tracking or even e-commerce tracking? All of these features can help you learn more about your visitors and what they do. That’s why we use these features and try these hacks: to gain insight and knowledge.
5. I will keep track of website changes and Google Analytics changes.
This is something that I wrote about a long time ago, but it’s still really important. It’s a good idea to keep track of your GA configuration changes so you can better understand the data. Any modifications, like a change to a goal, funnel or filter, should be recorded.
It’s also a good idea to keep track of website changes and online marketing changes. Knowing what’s going to happen with your online business helps drive analysis and you’ll be able to deliver data that will make people happy.
You don’t need anything elaborate, a simple Google Spreadsheet, like this one, will work just fine.
There you have it, a few ideas to spice up your 2008 Google Analytics plans. Got a better idea or think that I missed something? Leave a comment below. And happy new year!
Hopefully bloggers are resolving to put in conversion tracking for RSS subscriptions.
Very few non-analytics bloggers do, from what I can tell.
Adam Howitt says
Great post. I think it’s interesting Google hasn’t added a “spheres of influence” tool to allow you to overlay events on the charts like site redesigns, email blasts etc and as you point out, analytics changes. At the very least I would have thought that since they have the date of every change you make to their tool they could label the graph or give you a checkbox to include it.
Justin, these are all notable resolutions. Perhaps a little more emphasis on the results rather than the technology would be a good idea.
Compare marketting strategies using advanced configuration.
Promote sales to loyal customers using profiles.
I’m also very excited about Event Tracking. I began learning about web analytics a few years ago and was always looking for a way to best profile visitors to websites. Event tracking takes the ideas I’ve read about and agree with (there should be someway to find out what people are doing on the site, the level of interaction they engage in, and the order in which they do it), and makes it possible!
Great post! I look forward to your future thoughts on event tracking!
Justin Cutroni says
Thanks for the great feedback. It’s nice to hear that people have big analytics plans for 2008.
Thanks for the fantastic feedback! One of my resolutions for 2008 is to post more ‘usage’ articles. I think the blog has a good foundation of setup information, now it’s time to start talking about usage. Thanks again.
Olivier Travers says
Thanks for the always-good GA blog here. In the case of Event Tracking it seems (from what I’ve read in the GA group) it’s not enabled for regular (i.e. non beta) accounts yet. At least we haven’t been able to get it to work.
Justin Cutroni says
Event tracking is in a closed beta and will be released in the future. I’m not sure when, but some time in the future.
Thanks for the question,
Michael Wiegand says
Event Tracking would be so useful for a lot of my clients that don’t have really great web metrics (i.e. a lot of their business comes from toll-free sales calls instead of e-commerce). It’d be a way to show the impact of our campaigns without using hard revenue numbers.
I’am just start in Google Analytics. I hope, and I would be grateful, if you could help on this problem. I made a simple google spread sheet, and I want to use google analytics to control users access. I already insert the ID code on the Google docs settings, but I don´t now how to introduce the access control code, directly in the spread sheet. I anticipate my especial thanks for your help.
Justin Cutroni says
Controlling access to the spread sheet must be done via some mechanism outside of Google Analytics. However, if you want to control access to the data that you gather about the spreadsheet then you need to do that using filters and profiles. So, if there is a particular user that you want to omit from accessing that data then you can exclude the data for the spreadsheet from the profile that the GA profile that the user uses.
Hope that helps,