Learn All About 'Business Photos' in this Help Desk Hangouts; Google Analytics Q&A with Justin Cutroni

In this week's, Help Desk Hangout On Air, Google discussed "Business Photos," a add-on feature of Google Maps that help local businesses to display beautiful interior photos on Maps.In the hangout, Business Photos gurus Aubrey and Derek guides through some businesses already on board, show how to sign up, and answer questions -- Watch the […]

Help Desk Hangout On Air on Business Photos

In this week's, Help Desk Hangout On Air, Google discussed "Business Photos," a add-on feature of Google Maps that help local businesses to display beautiful interior photos on Maps.

In the hangout, Business Photos gurus Aubrey and Derek guides through some businesses already on board, show how to sign up, and answer questions -- Watch the whole thing in this YouTube video:

Google Analytics Questions and Answers with Justin Cutroni

Also, Goolgle Analytics advocate Justin Cutroni, recenlty anwerd Analytics Questions on Google+.

"There are a lot of GA users. As a matter of fact, in Google's Q1 2012 earnings call it was revealed that GA is being used on 10MM sites," posted Cutroni.

Per Google blog post:

Q. I am trying to see how many hits I'm getting against my pages. The catch is that many of my pages are passed a query part in the URL, and I am completely uninterested in this query value. The way things appear to be working is that for each different query parameter, the page is counted as a different page. So the following are all currently reported as different, but I want them reported as the same page:

foo.html?a=bcd
foo.html?a=efg
foo.html?b=qrt

Even more than the answer, however, I want to know where in the documentation I should have been able to figure this out.

Justin's Answer

You're looking for pageviews, which is a very different thing.

Query string parameters are such a pain! I hate it when they magically start showing up in a report. Use the Exclude Query Parameter setting in Google Analytics. Simply enter a comma-separated list of query parameters and GA will strip them out of your data. You only need to enter the name of the parameter, not the value.

Use the Exclude Query String Parameters to remove unwanted query parameters from your content reports.

You can also use an advanced filter to remove all query string parameters from your content reports.

You can also use an advanced filter to remove all query string parameters from your content reports:


If you don't know the names of the parameters, or if they are constantly changing, you might consider an advanced filter. This is the nuclear option 🙂 An advanced filter will strip off all the parameters, all the time, no matter what they're named.

Q. Do you have a post with a list of the different dashboards that you can "plug and play" ?

Answer

You're in luck! Here's a list of a few dashboards you can add to Google Analytics:

  • Basic blog dashboard: URL: http://goo.gl/wWy9j
  • Social media dashboard: URL: http://goo.gl/gafiH
  • Mobile ecommerce dashboard: URL: http://goo.gl/I322w
  • Site Performance dashboard: URL:http://goo.gl/eZfV5
  • Engaged Traffic advanced segment: URL: http://goo.gl/4HFoo
  • Daily Ecommerce report: URL: http://goo.gl/e0Ksy

Q. How does cross-domain tracking work in Google Analytics? Specifically, after putting the correct additions (trackDomain) to the Google Analytics tracking code, what does cross-domain tracking look like in the GA reports? We have clients that want this working for their sub-domain and their top-level domain (example.test.com & test.com).

Answer

Sub-domain and cross domain tracking are two very different things! Check out this article to read about the finer points of cross domain tracking and sub-domain tracking.

As for how the data looks in Google Analytics, there's really no difference. You'll notice the sub domain or the secondary domain in the Audience > Technology > Network > Hostname report. And you should see all of the pages from both domains in the Content reports.

I usually add an advanced filter to add the domain name to the content reports. This makes it easier for me to identify pages on different sites. If you need to separate the data you can create different profiles based on the hostname or used Advanced Segments.

Q. This might be a stupid question, but when setting up a custom dashboard, how do I create widgets which show a metric (i.e visitors for the last 30 days) with the previous month's figure as a % up or down? I'm sure I've seen others doing this, but can't seem to figure it out!

If you are able to offer any advice, that would be much appreciated 🙂

Justin's Answer

Unfortunately you cannot add a "sticky" date to the dashboard. But I wish you could! You can manually do a date comparison, then you'll see a % change in some of the widgets, like the tabular widget.

But stay tuned, we might have a better solution for that.