In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we discuss ways to customize Google Analytics.

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Google Analytics is the most widely used web analytics platform. It’s true that businesses gain a lot of insights from the analytics within this platform; however, the out-of-the box installation doesn’t always serve your business needs. The good news is that Google is pretty smart and allows you to customize both data collection and data visualization or reporting so that you can see what you need to see. Today we are going to talk about how to customize data collection in Google analytics and in our next podcast we will look at the various options available to customize data visualization and reporting. Do you know where to start? If you’re like most of us, the answer is probably no. And that’s ok. That’s why we’re talking about it today. We want to help you get started on customizing your data collection within Google Analytics.


First we should say thank you Google for being so highly customizable! You can customize data collection by making changes to the Google analytics code on your website. While there is a plethora of different ways to customize the platform, today we are going to talk about custom dimensions and metrics, custom URL tagging and dimension widening.

* Custom Dimensions and Metrics: You can use these markers to collect and analyze data that Google analytics doesn’t automatically track. For example, if you store the gender of signed-in users in a CRM system, you could combine this information with your Analytics data to see Pageviews by gender. This is helpful in seeing different browsing patters between men and women.

* Custom URL Tagging: This is used to more accurately track traffic sources. URL tracking is the process of adding unique identifiers to your destination URLs, also known as landing pages. If you aren’t tagging your urls for tracking in either Google analytics or another third tier system you are losing out on a lot of helpful information such as successfully tracking PPC vs. SEO inbound traffic and the ability to gain a deeper knowledge of the overall performance of your PPC campaign.

* Dimension Widening: This feature is used to import your offline data directly into Google analytics using a CSV file. You might wonder why you would want to do this. Well, when you can align your analytics more closely with your business strategies and tactics the data becomes more valuable. Adding additional data, such as customer history, content publishing information, advertising cost data, etc. can help provide context to your data, thus making it easier to gauge performance and identify opportunities for improvements.

That’s all we are going to cover for today. There are so many ways to customize Google analytics to suite your business needs; which is why we have broken the topic into two parts.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn. Let us know what you think and what you’d like to hear about next. And if you like our podcasts, please share with your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time for part two of our series on customizing Google analytics to suit your business needs as we talk about the various options available to customize data visualization and reporting.