Google Analytics at BU
The Google Analytics platform allows you to get detailed insights into how visitors are using your website. Google’s platform allows for everything from a quick overview to an in-depth analysis of your site’s visitor data. Google Analytics is a free application and is automatically included on most public-facing sites managed by IS&T.
How can Google Analytics help me?
Getting Started with Google Analytics
In WordPress on BU.edu, additional Analytics accounts are very quick update for Site Admins. More information about adding additional trackers is available in this section.
To view BU’s data in Google Analytics, you’ll need to be granted access to the account. Once access is granted, your view will include data from all of BU’s web properties. This can be an overwhelming set of data.
Here are a few quick steps to get started:
- Create a Custom Segment to filter out page views that aren’t from your site.
- Apply the Custom Segment to your view.
- (Optionally) Remove the “All Sessions” segment
- Explore Custom Reports, if you find yourself regularly looking up the same metrics (e.g. “How many people visited from our newsletter this month?”)
Once a segment is created, both standard and custom reports can be run against the data. Multiple segments can be enabled simultaneously, allowing you to easily compare report metrics. For more information, please visit Google’s documentation for Custom Segments.
Let’s run through an example by creating a custom segment for Techweb. We’ll be filtering out traffic that isn’t from the site:
Short on time? Load this Custom Segment (pre-made): http://goo.gl/6spVBB
Caution: Be sure to triple-check Custom Segment criteria for new segments! A criteria set may have unintentional consequences, including leading to a significant amount of data missing from the report.
Let’s walk through the process with our example question, starting with a Standard Report:
Short on time? A starter report is available at http://goo.gl/5i5cEx
|1. Under “Reporting”, expand “Acquisition” > “Keywords”, and click “Organic”.Note: Be sure that “http://www.bu.edu – Boston University” is the profile selected in the top-right corner|
|2. Now, on the “Organic Search Traffic” page, click “Customize”|
|3. On the “Create Custom Report” page, you should start by eliminating any unneeded Metric Groups. “Goal Set 1”, “Goal Set 2”, and “Ecommerce” are likely not applicable, unless you’ve set up specific metrics for those.|
|4. This step is important! Here we’re separating your site’s data from all of the data at BU. Under “Filters”:
|5. In the next dropdown on the line, select “Regex” (instead of “Exact”). In the text field, type: ^/yoursiteReplace ‘yoursite’ with the first part of your site’s address, after ‘www.bu.edu’.Example: For TechWeb (http://www.bu.edu/tech), we’d type ^/tech in the box.|
|6. Click “Save” & you’re done! Your report will be saved permanently under the “Customization” tab.|
Sending Data to a Separate Analytics Account
- First, you’ll need to create a (free) Google Analytics account for the site.
- Once the account has been set up, grab the “Tracking ID” (http://note.io/1prHOgm) and head to WordPress.
- In your admin panel, go to Settings > Google Analytics.
- Click “Add new account…” and enter the Tracking ID from Google Analytics. Click ‘OK’.
- All set! Verify that data is being received in Analytics by following these instructions.