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Google Analytics

This document will help you get started using the college's Google Analytics reporting features. Comprehensive reports for all college or site traffic can be generated, as well as reports for specific Web sites.

Viewing Reports

Requesting Access

You will need a Google account, which will be associated with an email address of your choosing. Once you have a Google account, email your account information to webservices@ag.psu.edu and request access to Google Analytics.

Logging into Google Analytics

  1. Visit: http://google.com/analytics
  2. Click the "Sign in" link at the top of the page, and select "Google Analytics" from the dropdown.
  3. Log in with your Google.com account
  4. Find the "Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences" header, and "http://agsci.psu.edu" profile. You may have to click the headers to expand them.
  5. You will have the choice of 2 reports, choose one:
    • External traffic only - Displays only non-PSU Web visitors - remove faculty/staff/student traffic. This is usually more important since faculty and staff sometimes skew Web statistics and give you a false sense of traffic patterns.
    • Internal and External traffic - Display all traffic regardless if it is internal or external.
  6. You are now viewing the dashboard for the entire College - all traffic regardless of website URL. This is not your Web traffic, but instead the entire College.

Viewing traffic for a specific website

  1. Click "Behavior" on the left navigation. Be sure that you choose the first-level "Behavior" element, and not the sub-element under "Audience."
  2. Click "Site Content"
  3. Click "All Pages" to show traffic by the individual page
  4. You will now see the listing of the top website URLs in the College.
  5. To filter by the URL (or a portion of the URL) you can use the search box at the top of the listing.

    Google Analytics search box

    The easiest approach is to filter by the first section of your URL (minus the http://). For example, you could use "extension.psu.edu/animals" to see traffic in the Animals section of the Extension site.

Setting the date range

You can change the date ranges by clicking the dates on the top right of the screen.

Google Analytics date range widget

Alternate Dimensions

You can change the dimension drop down to view different types of data on the graph, including:

  • Sessions (formerly Visits)
  • Users (formerly Unique Visitors)
  • Pageviews
  • Unique Pageviews

Not all of these options are available on every report.

    Creating Custom Reports (Segments)

    If you are only interested in statistics for a specific website, you can follow the steps below to create a custom report that is already filtered on one or more URLs. In Google Analytics, you can create an "segment" to narrow down a report based on your site's criteria.

    1. Log into Google Analytics.
    2. Navigate to the report for which you want to create the segment.
    3. Click the Add Segment button:
      Google Analytics Advanced Segments
    4. Click the "New Segment" button on the left of the screen (under the "All Sessions" text).
    5. Add a "Segment Name" for your segment. For example, you could call it "Animals section traffic."
    6. Under the "Advanced" header in the left column, click the "Conditions" tab
    7. Expand the first dropdown box (by default contains "Ad Content")
    8. In the search box that shows up, type in "page" as one word.
    9. Click on the Page item that appears (under the "Content" header).
    10. Click on the "contains" condition and change it to "starts with" in the drop down box.
    11. If you would like to filter on an entire site, type the top level URL into the value box (e.g. 'extension.psu.edu'). If you want to filter on a section of the site (e.g. 'extension.psu.edu/animals'), put the section URL in the value box. Do not include "http://" or "www." in these URLs.
    12. Click the "Test" button below the criteria selection. You should see a notice that says something like, "X% of users with Y% of sessions selected". If the number of matching sessions, you may want to verify your filtering criteria.
    13. Click the blue "Save" button to save and apply your custom segment.

    You have now created a new segment, which will be available at any point in the future from only your account. This segment can be applied to your reports by following the instructions in the Viewing Custom Reports (Segments) section of this document.

    Creating a Custom Segment For Multiple URLs

    If the URL of your site has changed in the time period that you're reporting on, you will need to include both the old and new URLs in the custom segment. For example, this could be required if your site was migrated to Plone.

    Follow the directions above for creating a custom segment, but add an 'OR' statement when defining your filter criteria. So, your conditions would be:

    Include Page starts with '[Old Site URL]'
    
       OR
    
    Include Page starts with '[New Site URL]'

    Viewing Custom Reports (Segments)

    1. Log into Google Analytics
    2. From any report or the Dashboard click on the down arrow next to the Segments listing on the top left of the screen.
    3. Changing the view from "Grid" (the default) to "List" makes the interface easier to use:

      Google Analytics Report View

    4. Filter the segment listing using the "Search segments" search box at the right of the screen.
    5. Click the name of the segment to add it to the list
    6. Click the "X" next to "All Sessions" to remove that segment (unless you're interested in comparing your site's traffic to the entire college!)
    7. Click "Apply" below the segments listing to apply that filter.

    You are now viewing all of the reports that are narrowed to to only this specific segment or website. You can verify the segment is selected by looking above the graph on any report and it should say the name of the segment you created.

    Differences between Segments and the All Pages report

    Segments in Google Analytics show you all traffic for all sessions that included the criteria you specified.  This causes some other hostnames/URLs to appear into reports that are filtered by a single hostname/URL via an Segment.

    For example, if you created an Segment to narrow content to "extension.psu.edu/animals", you will notice traffic from other domains and URLs will appear in the "All Pages" report.  This is because visitors to the specified URL also visited other URLs and sites.

    In general, using the "All Pages" report and filtering by URL is useful for looking at which pages on your site receive the most traffic.  Segments are useful for showing the number of sessions and users visiting the site.  The Pageviews and Unique Pageviews metrics should be disregarded when using Segments, since they are counting all pageviews within a session that included the URL in the Segment.

    Viewing Reports For Email Newsletters

    To see the number of sessions that came in an email newsletter:

    • Go to "Acquisition -> Campaigns -> All Campaigns" in the left column.
    • Filter by the name of your newsletter in the search box at the top of the table, and click the magnifying glass icon.
    • Expand the date range (top right) as necessary

    This will show you a graph and the stats for that particular email newsletter.

    Shortcuts

    In August 2012, Google added a beta Shortcut feature. This allows you to bookmark reports for later use, without having to recreate the report or re-apply the Segment. You can find more information on how to use these shortcuts on Google's Shortcuts help page and their Get To Your Data Faster: Announcing Shortcuts In Google Analytics blog entry.

    IT Chatter Sessions on Google Analytics

    Adding Google Analytics to your website

    Sites within the Plone content management system have the Google Analytics code integrated, and do not require any special actions on your part.

    However, if you would like your non-Plone website included in Google Analytics, please insert the following code into your website's footer or at the bottom of every page to be tracked. It should be in the HTML just above the closing </body> tag.

    <script type="text/javascript">

    var _gaq = _gaq || [];
    _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-4037316-1']);
    _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
    _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'psu.edu']);

    (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();
    </script>

    Note: If you are adding this code to a blog you need to change the setDomainName variable to your blog's domain. For example, if you are using agnews.blogspot.com then you would put in blogspot.com instead of psu.edu.

    Once you add the code to your website's footer or in the template, your statistics will start to show up in the College's Google Analytics account the following day.