10 top web analytics links to look at when entering the world of web stats and google analytics

So you have a web site and you want to add/ have Google Analytics. What next? Well based on my own experiences the following 10 resources will take you that next step. As ever feel free to comment and discuss.

Setting up GA correctly

  1. Google Analytics guide – Simply Business

Small business guide to google analytics - Simply Business

Firstly a great guide and secondly it’s an infographic!

Covers all the basics; beginners guide, installation, interface, setting up site search and much more.

Whilst simply business creates guides for small business they can’t half do them well (social media success any one)


  1. Google analytics naming conventions – Dominic Hurst (me!)

Yes it’s something I wrote, but never the less still important. Here I explain the need to think about what you name your accounts, property’s and views and in what situations you would have more than one property/ view. As Justin Cutroni says always set up several views especially an unfiltered one.


Focus reporting – ditch vanity stats for ones that provide insights.

  1. Digital Marketing and Measurement Model – Avinash Kaushik

If there is one link to click it’s this! The great Avinash has provided us all with a bible so read it! I get most Web Managers/ editors/ owners in the public sector don’t have much time for metrics or expanding their knowledge in metrics, I know I’ve been there, but it’s so important to have a plan. Apart from helping your organisation succeed it will prove your worth. With these volatile economic times job stability isn’t guaranteed, but having a plan, developing and enhancing the site, reaching objectives, will put you above others.

  1. Analytics for startups – James Gill (go squared)

Track everything, focus on what matters

James highlights some of the possible goals you can set in your DMMM with some great suggestions.


  1. Segment or Die – Online Behaviour/ Avinash Kaushik

analysing data in aggregate is a crime

Several of Avinash’s blogs refer to this. Vanity stats/ aggregated stats are meaningless. “200k Visits this month”… great, what does that tell me? NOTHING!

Use your DMMM set goals and then delve deeper, segment, segment, segment.


Setting up campaigns

  1. Definitive guide to Campaign tagging – Annie Cushing

You’re up and running and the basic sources are coming into your site (referrals, search, direct, social) but now you have a campaign. You have to place links on emails, links from other sites but you also need to track these! If you don’t most often than not they will jump into referral or direct and you won’t know if they worked.

Follow Annie’s guidance and you can then have campaigns jump into a new source. This can then be used in other reports and cross referenced against your DMMM goals. (A perfect example of segmentation)


Think SEO

Slightly off topic but completely related to Measurement and Analysis – SEO

  1. How to Score Your Website’s SEO in 10 Minutes or Less – Neil Patel

search engine optimization activities - quicksprout

Great post. Neil looks at SEO from afar and covers all the key things to look at. Whilst the test is 10 minutes fixing issues might take a bit longer 😉


  1. Beginners Guide to SEO/ SEO Cheat Sheet – MOZ

MOZ provide a great beginners guide for the non-technical and a crib sheet for the technical guys


Discover the world of REGEX

  1. Regular Expressions (REGEX) for Google Analytics – Robbin Steif

Yes REGEX is scary and in the wrong hands is dangerous. Good news Robbin is at hand. She covers the elements you need to know for GA (for use in advanced filtering, segmentation, customised reports/ dashboards or goals.)

The bigger the site, the more complex the URL string the more you will need to utilise REGEX to segment metrics. This is vital for goals in your DMMM!

I always test the REGEX in advanced filtering before I add it to a goal/ dashboard/ report. That way you can see if you get the desired result. If not try try try again.

Google Analytics advanced filter screen


If your still in doubt – surf

  1. Top 10 Best Web Analytics Resources – Anna Lewis

Finally as per anything look elsewhere. The world is full of people asking the same questions. Anna gives you 10 top people/ blogs to view for inspiration.

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Posted in Understanding Google Analytics
3 comments on “10 top web analytics links to look at when entering the world of web stats and google analytics
  1. […] The key to all of this though is to have a measurement plan in place first. Set goals (in this case goals on impact) set targets pre-campaign and then monitor. Reporting on the above after the campaign with no goal set is going to give you a nice to know metric which won’t be widely accepted by senior management. By setting goals and targets with senior management pre-campaign you will automatically have their attention after all it’s something they have now have a vested interest in. When you achieve more than your target then you will really have there attention especially if you have set values. For more detail on goal setting and measurement models see my previous blog item: Focus reporting – ditch vanity stats for ones that provide insights. […]

  2. Hey Dominic,

    Thanks a ton for the awesome post! I was wondering if you would also like to include our recent webinar in the list? – tatvic(dot)com/webinar/seo-google-analytics-benefit/

    A super resourceful session from Alexander Holl (121) explaining how to use Google Analytics for SEO benefit. Additionally, from 8:02 minutes – the recent google analytics bots issue is covered! 🙂

    Hope its a good addition?

    Cheers! 🙂

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