Episode #4: Website tracking - How to approach setting up your analytics

August 17, 2021

Audio only:

What's this episode about?

In this video:

0:00 Story time about how tracking usually goes in most companies
2:41 Why analytics is usually an afterthought
6:24 Why tracking too many things is bad too
7:47 Why documenting your tracking efforts is important
10:38 Website tracking vs other digital marketing tracking
11:37 The tracking mindset vs tactical tracking advice
14:00 Why bother setting up analytics for a website at all
16:32 Data & website tracking in conversion optimization + AB testing
18:27 Tying together qualitative & quantitative data
20:05 Which analytics tools to use
21:59 Setting up basic tracking for a new website
23:22 Demographics and interest reports
27:51 Connecting Google Search Console & Google Ads to your analytics
28:30 Referral exclusions & query parameter exclusions
30:40 Site search tracking
33:08 View level filters in Google Analytics
34:54 Why you should filter out internal traffic from your analytics
39:02 Show hostname filter
40:06 Ecommerce tracking
40:56 Setting up goals in your website analytics - page views vs events
43:24 Data dictionaries and why they matter
45:23 Why is everyone’s analytics so messy
47:30 How to set up a data dictionary
49:07 Final thoughts

In episode #4 we talk about the mindset that is often missing in the early stages of setting up website analytics. There is a lot of great tactical information out there, but we wanted to look at this from another angle.

Having good usable analytics data is the foundation of every digital business, but quite often it's also one of the hardest things to achieve. Setting up analytics is not something that will bring you immediate gains, but definitely something that will come back to bite you if you don't pay enough attention to it.

As optimizers, we've seen so many different setups and the story is almost always the same. No one can confidently say that everyone in the company can trust what they see in that analytics setup. Yet important business decisions are made daily based on these numbers.

We go through the reasons why this happens so often, how to avoid them, and set your team up for success with the right mindset from the beginning.

Resources & helpful links

Simo Ahava’s 13 Useful Custom Dimensions: https://www.simoahava.com/analytics/13-useful-custom-dimensions-for-google-analytics/

Simo Ahava’s custom task builder: https://www.simoahava.com/tools/customtask-builder/

Tracking tabs and other browsing behavior: https://www.simoahava.com/analytics/track-browsing-behavior-in-google-analytics/

Why most analytics efforts fail: https://www.reforge.com/blog/why-most-analytics-efforts-fail

How to use Google privacy settings: https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/how-to-use-google-privacy-settings/

Block yourself from Analytics Chrome extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/block-yourself-from-analy/fadgflmigmogfionelcpalhohefbnehm?hl=en

Block yourself from Analytics extensions for other browsers: https://www.igorware.com/extensions/block-yourself-from-analytics

What Google knows about you: https://adssettings.google.com/

Music: https://www.epidemicsound.com/

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