Google Analytics has introduced a new feature called In-Page Analytics, which allows you to see your performance data overlaid on your homepage and various web pages as you navigate throughout your site. This new GA product is still in Beta but is available to all English users and has been designed to replace the old Site Overlay. In-Page Analytics can be accessed through the Content tab in Google Analytics.
According to Google Analytics, with In-Page Analytics you can view Clicks, Transactions, Revenue, Goal Value and any Goals that you have set up in your Analytics, based on certain links on your website. Bubbles with a percentage of clicks on the current page will appear next to each of the links on your page.
Just as you can use Advanced Segments (i.e. All Visits, Paid Search Visits, etc.) throughout the Analytics interface, you can segment your In-Page Analytics the same way. You can also apply filters for Visitor Type, Geography/Location, Campaign, Keyword, source or even Browser to get very specific on the type of analytic data you are trying to capture.
In-Page Analytics allows you to visually see your website at the same time as you view your website performance data. You are able to see what different visitor types are clicking on which products or services your company offers, and it is very user-friendly and helpful in analyzing website trends and visitor usability.
Cleaning house and purging old items is very hard to do. Shirts that you haven’t worn in years are tough to throw away, and the new pair of skis that you bought ten years ago and used only once are seemingly impossible to get rid of. But your wife or husband eventually talks you in to doing it, because you know it’s for the greater good, and you’ll have more free space (for more old t-shirts!).
As great as Google Analytics is, there are some reports and features within the interface that just take up space. They are hardly ever used and they cause more confusion than anything.
As much as it pains me to say this, Google needs to purge some reports from Google Analytics. There are cobwebs forming and a thick layer of dust is collecting on top of these reports, and it’s time to donate them to those in need. This will make Google Analytics even more awesome than it already is (yes, it’s possible to make it more awesome).
Hey Google! I think that you should get rid of these five reports:
1. Top Exit Pages. This report shows the pages where visitors leave your site. I can’t remember the last time I’ve looked at this report other than to tell someone that they shouldn’t use this report. Think about it: your web site’s visitors must leave your site at some point in time – they can’t stay on your site 24/7. Eventually, they will have to exit the site, and since most traffic you get is usually on your home page, a logical deduction is that most traffic will leave from your home page. What actions or insights can you take from this report? Struggling to answer? That’s a good sign that this report isn’t so valuable anymore.
2. Service Providers. In the visitors report section, there are a few reports that could be eliminated today and it wouldn’t affect me one bit. One of those is the service providers report, within the network properties sub-section. Do we really need to know which internet service providers (ISP) visitors are using to access your site? Is there some change that you can make on your site if your AT&T service provider traffic has a slightly higher bounce rate than your Comcast cable service provider traffic? I don’t think so.
3. Goal Abandoned Funnels. The metric is useful, but the report is not so much. This report is a simple histogram which doesn’t add any additional insight beyond the metric itself. This metric could simply be available on the goals overview report, or available as a metric option in the trending graph. Since we’re cleaning house, this report can get swept away.
4. Navigation Summary. The sheer volume of confusion behind how this report works is a big reason for my request to have this report removed from the interface. I’m by no means advocating the removal of anything difficult or not 100% crystal clear, but this report has a few long-standing issues that severely limit its functionality. Therefore, do we really need it? Would your analysis life be any different if it wasn’t around? Probably not. If you use it as an important piece of your reporting, well, let’s talk it over :).
5. Site Overlay. By far, this is the one that pains me the most to want to get rid of. I love the site overlay report concept, but I don’t love the site overlay report functionality. Like navigation summary, there are long-standing issues with it and it doesn’t seem to clearly work in a web 2.0 world. Again, I ask myself if this report ceased to exist, how hard it would affect me? The answer is that it would barely scratch my surface, so there you go.
There you have it – five reports that could be removed to spruce up the place, remove clutter, and not affect your phenomenal daily Google Analytics life.
If you’ve been to our website recently, or have just seen our site’s footer, you’ll notice that MoreVisibility is a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant (GAAC), making us one proud company. We love everything Google Analytics, which means you’ll read a lot of GA-oriented material on this blog. We really feel that Google Analytics can help every company, every business, every ONE, regardless of size, number of employees, or complexity of needs / wants.
With all that being said, this doesn’t exclude Google Analytics from suffering a few bugs, glitches, breaks, and flat-out inaccuracies – this is life on the World Wide Web. A lot of posts and emails have come across my eyes over the last few weeks about some of the troubles with certain elements in Google Analytics. So, below, I have a few of the biggest current bugs / issues with GA. Rest assured, each and every one of these items is currently being looked into or being worked on as you read this. They may not be able to turn things around in 24 hours – but give them a break; they are very busy people with a lot on their plate!
1. Column Sorting
Clicking on any column heading within any table in GA Reports will not properly sort that column by the metric you clicked on. It’s definitely a frustrating bug. In the meantime, what you can do is you can download the report in a CSV file, which is available towards the top-left of Google Analytics, and do any kind of sorting locally, if you absolutely must.
2. Site Overlay “Gray Screen”
This is an issue that has received a lot of attention, especially lately. At random times, Site Overlay will fail to load successfully, causing a gray overlay over your website’s homepage. You can still see your website, but none of the overlay bars or metrics will appear. If this happens to you, try closing your browser and re-open it (not just the tab where you have GA open – the entire browser).
3. AdWords “Clicks vs. Visits” Discrepancies
There are have been some issues in some accounts with the importing of AdWords data into the AdWords Campaigns reports in Google Analytics, found underneath the “Clicks” tab. Even though Visits are not the same thing as Clicks, they should be “somewhat close”. There have been accounts that have not had all of their AdWords data properly imported over, causing huge data discrepancies for some accounts. If this pertains to you, simply use the actual Google AdWords interface for the time being until this bug can be sorted out.
4. Inability to halt automatic reports
Some users are currently affected by a bug that continues to send them automatic reports from the Google Analytics Email Scheduler, despite being removed from the email (or despite the email being deleted). The workaround to this temporary problem is to set up a rule to automatically delete the email in your email client, or, click on the “Unsubscribe” link towards the bottom of the email.
5. Ecommerce Data “way off”…
This is something that has been mis-reported as a bug, when in fact it is just the way it works. The reports pertaining to Ecommerce in Google Analytics are on a different schedule in terms of viewing the data, separate from the rest of the GA Reports. It takes anywhere from 24-48 hours for complete Ecommerce data to appear in Google Analytics, which is different from all other data, which takes anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours. The solution? You will need to wait a day or two in order to view full Ecommerce data for your website.
6. Absolute Unique Visitors shows “N/A”
In almost every account, having an advanced segment turned on will show “N/A” for the Absolute Unique Visitors metric / report. This is not necessarily an error, but due to the way Google Analytics uses Advanced Segmentation, Absolute Unique Visitors is a metric / report that cannot be displayed.
I’m experiencing other technical issues / bugs with my GA Account, or I have a suggestion for Google Analytics – is there a way to tell them about this?
Yes, there is. You can use the Google Analytics Contact Us for, located here:
You can also keep track of known issues with GA from this page: