Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Google Analytics Lost in Translation

Google Analytics, of course, is the powerful, free metrics tool provided by Google itself. But since all the smart user interface people work at Apple and all the English majors work at Facebook, the user interface and linguistics of Google Analytics need some translation.

Here's my tongue-in-check explanation of the left column in Google Analytics, click around and read my translations on what these elements really mean.


Google Analytics - (Un)Lost in Translation


Google Analytics
~ Are we there yet? Who came to our party? Why did they come? What did they drink? Did they leave without paying?

Demographics~ Did old people visit our site? Men, women, children, or people from Florida?

Interests~ Really amazing stuff about your visitors, that if you enable with the nifty, updated tracking code you still won't really see, because Google Analytics ain't Facebook, people.

Geo~ Strange word in Google Analytics for what language your visitors speak, and their location, which is the real word for location, meaning did people really come to your site from Florida? Iraq? Germany?

Behavior~ What did they do on your website, not were they naughty in elementary school.  New (within 30 days or just paranoid cookie killers) vs. returning (non-paranoid folks, increasingly an endangered species per the NSA). Engagement - no, not a wedding ring but a measure of if they hung around your page and wow, for more than a few seconds.

Technology~ Yes, technology~ What browser, operating system, and are there still folks on dial up networks and AOL out there?

Mobile~ desktop, mobile, and tablets with devices being largly the Apple iPad or iPhone

Visitor Flow~ WOW!  Jackpot! Click here, and an Amazon-river of graphics opens up for your viewing pleasure. Screenshot it for an amazing marketing meeting! Not sure what it means, but it sure is pretty!


Acquisition~ A creepy phrase for traffic sources, meaning how did people get to your website.  Channels, being organic (which isn't food, it's free traffic on Google), direct, referral, social, and other means that people got to your website.


Keywords~ Ha, ha, ha... You didn't think Google Analytics would actually share the keywords with you, did you? LMAO.  Paid... yes, of course, but organic is now basically just Bing / Yahoo.  So not much left here, sadly.

AdWords~ If you're paying Google, and you connect things right, they'll show the keywords (above).  Day parts sounds like roadkill, but really it just means who visited you at 9 am, and were they really from Florida? Iraq? Germany?

Social~ Those pesky social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, that will crush Google+.  (Oops, people move along.. nothing to see here, please ignore how little real traffic you get from Google+).

Search Engine Optimization~ If you connect Google Analytics to Webmaster Tools, Google will show you some nifty keyword data here. But don't worry you can't slice and dice this data via Advanced Segments... because that's too difficult for Google to engineer, except for AdWords advertisers.


Behavior~ What did people do on the site?  Where did they land? What were their exit pages, and other fun information about website traffic.

In-Page Analytics~ Another mind-blowing visual display, showing click percentages as you bop around your website.  Show at next week's marketing meeting.

Conversions~ Did anyone buy anything? Register anything?  This is set by goals, and of course you can't define a goal here; you have to do that on the Admin page.


Help.  Located in the top RIGHT of the screen.