Archive for the ‘Technical tips and tricks’ Category

Google Analytics Xmas upgrade, yay ^_^

December 14, 2007

Great news for Google Analytics fans, December 13, 2007 marks the official arrival of the replacement to urchin.js we have all come to know and love (or hate) 🙂

The urchin.js tracking script has been downgraded to legacy status and should be phased out within the next 18 months or so.

The new ga.js code has a new syntax and comes with all sorts of bells and whistles to make your life easier and, let’s face it, spend more time hooked on GA 😉

Included with this update is the beta functionality that allows for the analysis of multiple metrics directly from the calendar interface. You may now select page views and visits for instance and compare them across time periods or against the entire site.

New tracking code and functionalities

If you look at your Google Analytics interface under Settings > Check Status, you will see that Google now offers both code snippets for the GATC (Google Analytics Tracking Code) that rely on the _getTracker method which generates a page tracking object with a host of new functions.

Here is what the code will look like: (more…)

Nouveautés pour Google Analytics

December 13, 2007

C’est Noël avant la date pour Google Analytics avec

  • Un nouveau code de suivi
  • Un comparateur de mesures dans le calendrier

Nouveau code de suivi et nouvelles fonctionnalités

Dans votre interface d’administration de Google Analytics, si vous allez voir dans Paramètres > Vérifier l’état, vous verrez que Google vous propose le nouveau code de suivi (GATC ou Google Analytics Tracking Code) qui se sert de la méthode _getTracker pour créer un objet qui va ensuite mesurer le trafic de vos pages.

Voici un aperçu du code de base: (more…)

iGoogle & Google Analytics KPIs

August 31, 2007

Thanks to Michael Whittaker‘s team at Monitus, the Analytics KPI module for Google Homepage (aka iGoogle) can now be used multiple times in one given iGoogle tab!

Monitus AnalyticsIndex

Alan Boydell of Google Analytics France first pointed me to this nifty little tool (in French) but at first I got frustrated because I could not use more than one reportlet in my iGoogle page. Yes i was pushing my luck but hey, you can’t blame me for trying 😉

Anyhow, Michael was very quick to react to my comment and presto, three days later his team had put together a fix 😀

If you like Google Analytics and would like to have your KPIs right when you open your browser, this module is for you!

KPI customization appears to be in their plans so watch this space, we’ll cover it when it’s released.

Tip: if you still like to have your news feeds and other gadgets, create a new tab dedicated to your GA reportlets. By the way if anyone knows how to bookmark an iGoogle tab, please let me know 😉



Exclure son trafic dans Google Analytics (1ère partie)

August 20, 2007

Attention, cet article porte sur l'”ancien” code Google Analytics avec urchin.js!!

Il y a quelques temps déjà, Mehdi et moi avions discuté d’un petit plug-in pour exclure notre propre trafic de nos rapports Google Analytics.

Bien sûr vous me direz:

“Oui, mais ne t’en fais pas Julien, il suffit d’exclure son adresse IP! Regarde dans les options de ton profil!”

et vous aurez raison… pendant quelques minutes tout du moins 🙂

En effet, cette méthode d’exclusion d’adresse IP ou de plages d’adresses IP peut être un des remèdes à votre problème, sauf dans le cas où vous vous trouvez derrière un pare-feu ou si votre adresse IP n’est pas fixe.

Que faire dans ces deux cas précis? Voici un petit truc d’expert certifié Google Analytics Authorized Consultant 😉


Google Analytics: De l’importance des referrers complets

June 25, 2007

Comme vous vous en apercevez peut-être quand vous consultez vos rapports, les sites externes qui amènent du trafic vers votre site (aussi appelés referrers ou sites référants ou de provenance) sont très souvent des sites dynamiques.

Quand vous essayez de mesurer l’activité provenant d’un catalogue produit, d’un site communautaire, d’un blog ou d’un forum, il y a de fortes chances que l’URL des pages de provenance contienne des caractères cabalistiques auquels vous ne comprenez rien et ce même si cette page a un titre tout à fait orthodoxe.

Par exemple, si vous recevez du trafic depuis

il est très probable que vous ne puissiez pas reconnaître le document à première vue 😉

La plupart des outils de Web Analytique permettent de visualiser l’intégralité du referrer.

Ce n’est pas le cas de Google Analytics car la façon de stocker l’URI du referrer est tronquée après le point d’interrogation ‘?’ qui marque le début de la chaîne de requête (querystring). (more…)

Exciting new features for Google Analytics

June 13, 2007

Google Analytics logoGoogle Analytics logoSo I hadn’t checked the latest Analytics blog post before I posted a blurb on my personal blog about how URLs and referrers are now clickable in Google Analytics. Then it hit me with all of its reporting goodness:
new bells and whistles had been added to Google Analytics 😀

New features:

Reports now extend to 500 rows up from 100 in the previous release

ga500rows.jpg (more…)

Web Analytics Wednesday April 2007 – Brussels – The Presentations

April 21, 2007

After posting a short summary about the first Web Analytics Wednesday in Belgium, here are the presentations.

17h10: Welcome: Web Analytics Association Introduction (by René Dechamps Otamendi)

The first one that I presented was an introduction of the Web Analytics Association as the WAA is the main organiser of the Web Analytics Wednesdays worldwide:


Competitive watch with Google Analytics

April 16, 2007

Google Analytics logoGive your company all the competitive edge it can get by analyzing what content is viewed by the competition.

Assuming your competitors are large companies, who sometimes own a whole range of IP addresses with their Internet Service Provider, you can identify these companies thanks to Google Analytics.

It’s a pretty smooth ride, so follow gently along 🙂


On tag placement and related mechanisms…

March 16, 2007

I was having a stimulating conversation with Maxime, our Technical Web analytics Specialist (in-training).

It’s a technical debate but it fits clearly in our role as Web Analytics education provider.

When it comes to implementing a Javascript, tagging-based, Web Analytics solution, we are usually faced with one of three scenarii:

  • Manual insertion of the tag
  • Automatic insertion of the tag via a scripting stack, CMS or other Web application package
  • Automatic insertion of the tag by means of a server-based mechanism


Before selecting a vendor, what would you take into consideration?

November 19, 2006

Tibet's capitalI was asked to enter in some kind of best Web Analytics project competition at the end of last month and felt actually unconfortable with the questions asked.
My first reflex was to think about the fact that I couldn’t give out any results from my clients in order to protect them and their business model. My second thoughts emanated once I started reading the questions asked in the form I had to fill in.

I’m sharing here my comments to the organiser of the competition I sent him a month ago: (more…)

The (un)Real Conversion Rate topic discussion (Avinash vs Future Now?)

November 18, 2006

Filtering your visitsAvinash has posted a week ago a new Web Analytics tip on his blog (Excellent Analytics Tip #8: Measure the Real Conversion Rate & “Opportunity Pie”) and

Avinash’s tip presented 3 ways of increasing the conversion rates to which John disagreed (I rephrase and simplify their statements, so if you feel I got it wrong, please feel free to comment): (more…)

After eMetrics, an urge for Web Analytics European professionalism

October 23, 2006

European Web Analytics Excellence

The eMetrics summit held in Washington last week was attended by some 480 participants, of which only 9 companies from Europe were present! Amongst which, Italy was represented by Giovanni (left) from BigBang, Scotland by Vicky Brock* (right) from Highland Business Research and us, little Belgians. Avinash (middle) is an exception, I’d call him a world citizen and one of our greatest inspirators.

The week before attending, I received an email from Brian Induni, Web Analytics Association President, regarding a possible subcommittee about certification or how to define Web Analytics professionals.

During the course of this week, I was reminded of the fact that web analytics products are not a silver bullets, independantly of the one you choose. Some products are better than others, will adapt better to your needs; with the Golden Palm going to what I call the analyst nirvana, Visual Sciences. I mean WOW!

All presentators and attendees agree on the fact that Web Analytics is hard!
Education remains the essential underlying theme of sucessfull web analytics projects and as Avinash pointed out, curiosity and spending at least 20% of your time “providing analysis no one asked for and only you can perform” is actually where INSIGHT can be found. Gosh, that was so true!
Please note I used the term insight and not reporting or reports. It’s not about reports as these can be spitted out by any tool. The WSS whitepaper I commented upon (thanks Eric for your comments) last week defines KPIs for the media sector. Such reports can be set-up of course in WSS’s HBX but also WebTrends, Instadia or Coremetrics, amongst others.


Integration of Web Analytics tags, a daunting task?

October 7, 2006

I got a remark this week from one of my possible future clients – doing a PoC, Proof of Concept for them – where he mentioned that it seemed actually quite difficult to introduce tags into the “application” we wanted to measure. The application was actually a Flash file and as far as Flash files go, yes, it’s a bit of a hassle but nothing really spectacular as long as you get all the little details right.

It’s actually quite funny how this question came back a couple of times lately and the answer to such a question remains invariably “it depends”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not really complicated and as for any kind of task, it does require some preparation. I often compare it to cooking a dish: integrating the tags is like shopping for your ingredients. Once you’ve got all your ingredients in place, the fun part starts but without one particular ingredient, you might get your dish completly wrong. (more…)

Web Analytics: what about Packet Sniffing?

May 31, 2006

As from time to time we come along a web analytics solution that makes use of Packet (or IP) Sniffing, I took the opportunity during the Emetrics Summit 2006 in London to ask the different vendors that were present what they thought about this quite new technology, as the opinions were all on the same line.

The first Packet Sniffer everFor those who don't know about this technique, packet sniffing is designed for the purpose of monitoring network traffic in order to recognize and decode certain packets of interest. It makes use of a black box which is installed in the network.
Packet sniffing is also widely used by hackers and crackers to gather information illegally about networks they intend to break into. Using a packet sniffer it is possible to capture data like passwords, IP addresses, protocols being used on the network and other information that will help the attacker infiltrate the network.

And lately it is being used for web analytics reporting as well.

So what was the outcome of the nice little discussion I started during Emetrics: (more…)