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How to Wring the Most Out of Google Analytics

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How to Wring the Most Out of Google Analytics

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Stats are great, but if you get too bogged down in them it's easy to get lost in the rabbit hole and forget what you should be using them for.

Inc.com has a great post on keeping focused and effective on Google Analytics.

If you're unfamiliar with Google Analytics -- oh dear -- it's a free tool that shows you how your website is performing. The inc.com post has nine tips to get even more out of the fantastic tool, though I'll of course highlight the ones I think are particularly insightful before politely showing you the door to that original post.

One of the standout pointers concerns tagging your campaigns: 

Wherever you promote your site, whether it's on Google, through a paid advertising campaign, or through social media, you need to create URLs that identify the source and nature of the visit. For example, if you launch an email marketing campaign, you want your URLs linking back to your website to contain various attributes, such as source ("Email to Prospects #4"), medium ("Email"), name ("Email to Prospects 2012"), etc. The data provided by campaign tagging will help you see which marketing and advertising channels are providing the best ROI and which ones either need to be improved or abandoned.

Another important distinction to make is to make sure you're filtering IP addresses to assure internal visits and spammers aren't warping your figures.

For the other seven tips, hop on over to inc.com. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.  

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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