5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Google Analytics

Things can get a little muddied when it comes to unique visits, cookies, and tracking traffic. Here’s some help.

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I know my fair share of HTML code, and have a lot of experience measuring the performance of websites. But when I was asked if I’d like to attend some Google Analytics 101 training I jumped at the offer—even before I knew breakfast and lunch were going to be free.

I am kind of a nerd and enjoy looking through analytics and putting all the data together to tell a story. Although it’s great to say “page views are up 15 percent over last month” or “the bounce rate for site A decreased over the past two months,” many will yawn at these numbers, and others will scratch their heads.

Perhaps more important, it is great fodder to get your boss/client/advertiser excited about the work you’re doing because they are seeing (and understanding) results.

For example: “Hotdogs.com saw a 15 percent increase in visits from April to May,” versus, “People who searched ‘best hot dogs’ in Google landed on our home page and subsequently visited two more pages on our site proving they are finding our content relevant. Our efforts in improving content and SEO have led to a 15 percent increase in page views over the last month.”

To me, the second example better explains the data and lends to some important insights.

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