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Getting the Most Out of Google Analytics


Comments are ordered by helpfulness, as indicated by you. Help us pick out the gems and discourage asshattery by voting on notable comments.

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Tom Brooks

Thanks for the article. It would appear (like many others on here) that I’m not even touching the surface of what Google Analytics can achieve. I think it’s time to start making better use of the custom reporting.

Stuart Robson

Wow! I suppose the next sentence should be – Mind Blown!

I knew you could do ‘some stuff’ with GA apart from looking at your visitor numbers but this is fantastic!
Thanks so much for writing such a great article. Definitely re-reading this over the next day or so.

@24ways, with these articles, you are spoiling us :o)

Nicolas Chevallier

Thank you for this introduction to Google Analytics. The subject is well explained (it has been widely explained on the net) but I admit that I much prefer the more technical articles on design.

Dennis Deacon

Wow! Unbelievably practical, useful, helpful article. I’m a GA head, but not in advanced methods. I use GA for determining effectiveness and aiding in user experience research. The new GA is exciting, yet slightly daunting (if you’ve been used to the old GA for several years). This post covered the highlights, spotlighting the value of each topic, to make you want to stop what you’re doing and dig in. Kudos! (…and when will you be offering your online training in GA?) :-)

Jon Whitehead

Great stuff Matt, very concise and clear overview. ‘Pure stats porn’ made me laugh and some excellent tips on funnels and reports.

Another problem in custom reports – visits and pages don’t work properly together, it’s more like the value for entrances to a page. Annoying, as its an obvious report to create.

The way round it is to create segments for sections, or profiles per content section (which is tedious and uses up your profile blocks, but may be necessary).



“…write better targeted product descriptions…” — that’s SEO! Evil! Burn it! Burn it with fire!

Yeah, kidding. This is fantastic, Matt. It’s too easy to forget that the sites we lovingly craft are often businesses too, and need to work with business goals in mind.

Tim Leighton-Boyce

Matt, this is a great article. It’s so good to see such practical advice from someone who clearly does this stuff in real life and doesn’t just write about it.

Having said that, have you considered a career as a writer? This is a great read too. You make GA seem like fun.

Susan Hallam

Thanks for the great article, Matt, and lots of great concepts and processes in there. Love the concept of “searchendise”, and the shiny new stuff.

Funnel discussion reminded me of something Jim Sterne said at the Conversion Confernce last week:

Take a B2C funnel and put it on it’s side, and you get… a B2B pipeline!


Thanks for the article! I just hope the new analytics supports export report as pdf at some point. That’s definitely an advantage of the old version.


Google Analytics is a great tool for finding out more about visitors/users/cusomters, and if you get to use it at its full potential, you’ll benefit from numerous advantages. I found very useful the custom reporting section.

Pedro Pereira

Awseome Information! I have been using GA for the last year and I have been using some of GA new features but nothing as detail as this :)

I will definitly return to this blog :)


Wow, is there anything more to say about Google Analytics? :) You loose an entire evening reading, but at least you gain a good base in understanding how GA works. Thanks for the effort!

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