Analytics Hacks

Google Analytics Hacks

Google Analytics is a great suite of tools that allow you to keep an eye on your key metrics in one place.  With an ever expanding range of functionality however, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds.  Check out our selection of Analytics Hacks to help you make the more from your data.


It’s really good practice to annotate your analytics account and ensure your key trading dates, exceptional and even poor performance are all explained in the form of brief high-level descriptions.

Is there a big spike in sales because of a new promotion, or a particularly effective email? Did you have a serious stock issue that led to unseasonably poor sales? Did you run a flash sale in 2018 that you did not repeat in the same period for 2019? Take out the guesswork and annotate your analytics account.

Good annotations represent good housekeeping and will stop you having to rack your brain or refer back to your marketing calendar to better understand certain patterns or trends.

Day and Time Custom Reports

You can look at your sales data to have a good understanding of your biggest sales days in a normal week. But you can take it a step further and understand your site performance by the hour also. This will answer a whole number of questions and give you great data you can utilise in a number of ways.

You could have periods of time where conversion is high, but traffic is low. Seize this opportunity with some traffic acquisition activities (email marketing or PPC bid adjustments).

How to create day / time custom reports:

  • Go to Customization > Custom Reports
  • Give report a suitable title then add the following metrics:
    • Metric Groups – Sessions + Ecommerce Conversion Rate + Revenue
    • Dimension Drilldowns – Day of Week Name
  • Save

This will generate a report which gives you a good overview on which days perform well for you.

Tip – It’s important to take a fairly broad period of time to get the greatest, truest understanding of your performance. We would recommend 1-2 years of data. Looking at 1 week or month will obviously give you a snapshot, rather than a reliable measure of your typical customer behaviour.

Best conversion rates are on weekdays

In the above example you can see that the best conversion rates are on weekdays (specifically Monday, Tuesday and Thursday).

Sunday represents perhaps the starkest opportunity in that this is the day when the site gets the most traffic but has a below average conversion rate. Perhaps a good promotion or some email marketing content beginning / ending on a Sunday could capitalise on this opportunity?

If we’re going to send an email on Sunday, it would be great to assess when on Sundays we tend to get the most traffic and the best performance. Search ‘sunday’ (or indeed any day you wish to look at).

Search sunday

Add the secondary dimension ‘hour’. This will give you results that look like this:

Sunday results

You can see that the majority of your traffic and the highest possible conversions are all from 4pm onwards. In this example, the key opportunity exists between 4pm and 10pm on a Sunday. With that in mind, we would recommend a marketing email / promotion is announced in and around 4pm. It’s also reasonable to assume that bid adjustments on PPC to favour the afternoon and evening would represent a greater opportunity and higher return on investment than the rest of the day.

Understanding Your Market

International Conversion by Device

One of the obvious advantages to eCommerce is the ability to grow into international markets. Analytics can give you a really great understanding of how you’re performing and what’s working well for you in some of your key territories.

An easy start is to understand how your site performs on different devices in different countries. Start by heading to ‘Audience > Geo > Location’. This will give you a good overview of where your traffic is coming from:

Analytics Location

Next add the secondary dimension ‘device category’ and it will give you some interesting results:

Analytics Location Device Category

You can see how well UK desktop traffic is converting and that 9% of traffic generating a wildly impressive 25% of revenue. It’s clear that any investment in traffic acquisition here would represent a safe bet for revenue growth and excellent ROI. The same could be said for Irish desktop devices.

Whilst you can spot strengths, you can also spot weaknesses. On the whole here, mobile bounce rates and time on site are troubling and something we could actively work on to improve site performance. Whilst mobile conversion is good, it could stand to be considerably better with some care and attention to the user journey and key landing pages.

International Conversion by Channel

You can get an indicative understanding of channel performance in your key countries. This is important to get a high-level overview on your key channels. Start by clicking ‘Audience > Geo > Location’. This time add the secondary dimension ‘default channel grouping’.

This will give you a huge list of all your channel performance in all countries. Use the search functionality and search for one of your target countries to get a better look:

International Conversion Channel

This shows me that affiliate marketing is an extremely potent channel and organic and PPC are performing well. Generally, email marketing traffic should convert at, or above your site average, so this is something we would need to look at in greater depth. Obviously, we would also take a deep dive into social performance and build a corrective strategy to realise our potential in these two important channels.

Tidy up your loose ends – there’s no such thing as (Other)!

Analytics Channel Grouping

It’s really important to keep a close eye on your channels and ensure that you remove any ‘other’ channels as and when you see them. This has no value and is often a muddle of different channels (including Facebook and PPC). This is easily solved with some channel grouping.

First identify what the other traffic contains. Click other, then add a secondary dimension for ‘source / medium’.

Analytics Traffic Source

In this example, numbers 1, 3, 4 and 6 constitute ‘social’ traffic. 2 and 4 are tied to affiliate marketing and number 7 is obviously in relation to Google PPC. Let’s get them added to the correct channel groupings.

Click Admin. Under ‘view’ click channel settings > channel grouping. Unless you have something bespoke setup, click Default Channel Grouping.

Analytics Channel Grouping

In this example we’re going to tidy up social. Hit the edit button to begin.

Edit Social

We need to add additional rules to catch the source / mediums that have fallen into social. Hit the ‘or’ button. In this example, let’s add ‘PaidSocial / FacebookPaid’.

Edit Paid Social

Continue to add further source / mediums by adding ‘or’. When you are finished, hit ‘done’ and save. Whilst this won’t fix historical data, it will ensure these source / mediums fall into the correct channels moving forward.

Want to learn more about us, our work or how we could help you better understand your key metrics?  There’s a lot more to us than Analytics Hacks!  Get in touch and find out more.  We’d love to hear from you!

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