Category Archives: Web Analytics

Google Analytics through HTTPS or not? Loadtimes per device and more

More and more sites are moving towards HTTPS in the past months. Google claimed it can be used as an SEO ranking signal and privacy organizations advice it so you give your visitors more privacy.

Google Analytics works fine on both HTTP and HTTPS sites. In the basic tracking script you see this line:


It's a protocol independent URL that will fetch the analytics.js file from HTTP or HTTPS based on the site's protocol where the script is loaded. But Google Analytics offers an extra option to do the tracking in HTTPS also. Take your basic tracking code and add the forceSSL line:

ga('create', 'UA-XXXXX-X');
ga('set', 'anonymizeIp', true);
ga('set', 'forceSSL', true);
ga('send', 'pageview');

(I also add the anonymizeIp line by default to give my visitors just a little bit more privacy).

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Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders

Google recently launched a new function called "Exclude all hits from known bots and spiders". You can find, and turn it on, in your "view settings":


After you turn it on Google will exclude all the known bots from the IAB/ABC International Spiders & Bots List. So it's not some sort of smart bot-detecting algorithm, but a simple list. Note that Google was already ignoring a lot of bots simply because of the fact most bots don't execute javascript. Nowadays more and more bots do execute javascript to render a site to get a screenshot or to do some page load time measurements, so I think it's a good thing Google created this.

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Google Sheets + Google Analytics = Powerful dashboard tool

Last week I did a tweet with this image in it:


It shows a Google Sheet with some data per AdWords campaign and a little sparkline next to the numbers. It got much attention, and I got many requests to explain what I did there. So here it goes, I will explain some things about the Google Analytics API, how you use it in a Google Sheet and how to extract and query data from it. And last but not least: how to create the little sparklines.

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Create a real time error monitoring Google Analytics dashboard

Today Google officially launched the real-time widgets for use on the Google Analytics dashboards. Awesome feature that can make real-time analytics a bit more useful than it was before. These are the new widgets (the second row) you can use to visualize real-time stuff:


The great news is: you are able to put filters on these widgets... really awesome. Google has a more extensive description about all new possibilities, but here's an example I would use these features for.

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Google Analytics introduces a Change History log

Great news, my buddy Tim Bakker told me Google introduced a new Change History feature. And when you login to your analytics account you will see this message:


With this new feature you will be able to see which account changed what to your account. This includes:

  • Accounts: created, deleted
  • Users: added, deleted, changed
  • Goals: created, deleted, changed
  • Filters: created, deleted, changed

In one word: awesome. From now on you can see if the requested goal changes are processed by your Web Analytics consultant. Or who applied a filter that blocked all data from a specific profile.

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Google Analytics Retargeting for AdWords and AdBlock software

Just a quick post about the retargeting (remarketing) option in Google Analytics. July '12 Google launched a new feature in Google Analytics that made it possible to retarget a specific group of visitors. You only need to change this line in the Google Analytics Tracking Script from:

ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '';


ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://' : 'http://') + '';

The script will be loaded from the doubleclick domain and a third party cookie is set. That cookie can be used to target visitors on other sites that have been on your site.

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How to work with multiple currencies in Google Analytics

Google launched a new feature in their ecommerce module that helps international sites in tracking their worldwide revenues. Until now every single site that worked with multiple currencies had to implement some sort of curreny-converter script to get all revenues in the same currency. This is a very time consuming and expensive action that needs constant attention. As of today this is all history.

Google implemented a new feature that can convert the local currency to the currency you specified in your profile settings:


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Google Analytics updates interface and adds some new features

It looks like Google is rolling out some new features in Google Analytics. There isn't an official statement/blog about it, but after some digging I found these new features:

New graph formats on the dashboards

There are 2 new types of graphs you can choose on your dashboard:


The Geomap and Bar are new. The Geomap is a known report that was available for quit a while in the normal reports. But on the dashboard it's a welcome addition. The Bar is new and looks like this:

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Windows 8 visible since December 11th, 2012 in Google Analytics

Just a small update from here (haven't been blogging for a while). If you're looking at the Windows 8 stats in your Google Analytics account you will see this graph:

windows 8

Last October I tweeted that Google Analytics was reporting "Windows 8" as "Windows NT". I like to think they read my tweet and changed this on December 11th 😉 Since the launch of Windows 8 on October 25th you see traffic for "Windows NT" suddenly rising until they changed it to "Windows 8".

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