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I track my website's traffic using Google Analytics. I have tracking parameters on marketing campaign links, conversion tracking for important page views and purchases, even logging the amount of a purchase. I've had this in place for over 5 years and I have yet to use Google Analytics to reach any conclusions about anything. Every time I try to discover something, be it an overall trend or finding very specific information, I get endlessly confused and frustrated by the GA interface and tools. Examples of things I'm unable to do:

  • Determine the ROI of an Adwords campaign
  • Track what visitors that clicked from a marketing campaign actually did on the site
  • Track where purchasers came from

Is there a simpler tool, one that uses the Google Analytics API to take the data and make it more easily understood? I'm sure all of the data I need is being captured and structured correctly, it's the analysis of the data that I'm missing.

Tools I've already tried are Kiss Metrics and Raven. Raven uses the GA API but just presents the most basic reports that are already in the GA interface. Kiss Metrics doesn't use GA data and only does a few things and none of them are what I need.

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1 Answer 1

Google Analytics already has one of the most usable interfaces in the Web Analytics world. However, its interface is built around looking at all the traffic to the site all mashed together.

It looks to me like your three example queries are about what specific groups of people on your website did, and you're getting frustrated because by default the interface tells you what everybody did without breaking it down into different groups or campaigns.

There is a mechanism in Google Analytics to simply get information only on what specific campaigns or groups of traffic did on your site, that mechanism is called "Advanced Segments".

You can use advanced segments to filter the standard google analytics interface and have it only show you data for users that belong to a specific campaign.

So to find the ROI of an Adwords campaign, you can create a segment only shows visits that came from that adwords campaign. Then the standard google reports (Top Content, Traffic Sources, etc) will show you only what those visitors did on your site, and also only show you revenue that was generated by those visitors.

If you want to track where purchasers came from, you can make a segment that only shows traffic for visitors who made a purchase. Then the reports in the traffic sources menu will only show you information for purchasers.

There are several good guides online to getting started with advanced segments, as a starting point I'd recommend the official google documentation and Avinash Kaushik's guide

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