CXL Scholarship — 5th Week Review

10- Google Analytics for Beginners — Continued

  • In this section, Chris talks about the acquisition report. He said that in this report, you could find out where your users are coming from. All of those source/medium reports, campaign reports, ads and search console reports, so on and so forth.
  • This wasn’t that exciting. Chris used to talk about at least one thing that was jaw-dropping to me. This thing didn’t happen in this section of the course.
  • So, what is the behavior report? It is what actions your users are taking. It gets the time to understand the differences between the exit rate and bounce rate. I don’t forget the day I understood what is what and the fact that every bounce is an exit, but the opposite isn’t true.
  • The bounce rate is directly related to the number of entrances and the exit rate is a fraction of all the pageviews. It is common to see that the bounce rate is higher than the exit rate.
  • Understanding the difference between landing pages and exit pages is vital. A landing page that is also the exit page means that a bounce has occurred!
  • Great details about the conversion section were given here. He talked about funnel visualization and goals flow in detail. As a matter of fact, I am currently struggling with setting up a goal in the GA and don’t know how to handle it. Chris, please help!
  • Talking about multi-channel funnels (MCF) has always been intimidating for me. This is really exciting stuff that is also very sensitive to mess with. Knowing about the concept of assisted conversions and the attribution model is very good and helps any marketer to feel great about life!
  • All those e-commerce and tracking where the dollars are coming from are exciting too. I want to be part of an eCommerce project and work with real data. Anybody wants an intern anywhere?
  • I now know that you can filter your views based on a set of things and give users access based on the level they should have access to.
  • Knowing what has changed and by whom is a great feature that GA has. The fact that nobody can delete anything without others being notified is another great feature.
  • Vow! The property settings have a lot of things that I was completely unaware of. I have to admit that I didn’t know about referral exclusion and search term exclusion. They are very powerful settings, and if you want to change them, you really have to know about what you are about to do.
  • Product linkings has never been a problem for me. But now I know what happens on both sides when these products get linked to google analytics.
  • I also want to talk about changing the session duration. I knew that its default is 30 minutes. But happens when somebody needs to change it? Why should you want to change this? Does this affect retrospective data, and all your data gets affected?
  • Another wrong thing that I think many of us have done in the past and it is setting up views properly. Once I heard from Justin Cutroni that you at least have to have three different views. One master view, one test view, and one raw data view. I thought it is not that important until now that Chris Mercer is saying it too.
  • Having a test view allows you to do anything (right or wrong) and not to damage any data. It is basically your playground. The raw data view should not be changed at all. It is an untouched version of your data that in case of emergency, you have to refer back to.
  • Chris Mercer talked about filters in google analytics, and I felt being dumb! He is very smart in doing these things and Learned a lot just in the “Getting Started” part! Can you believe that?
  • I always thought that filters are only good when you want to exclude your internal traffic and how silly I was. Not only can you exclude (which isn’t recommended cause you can’t test anything on your site anymore), but you can also include traffic for a specific view and I found it quite useful.
Chris Mercer — Google Analytics Tutor
Chris Mercer talking about Google Analytics
  • And all of that regex stuff. I had prepared myself and learned about them in the past, but I got shocked again when I saw this guy messing with them so easily. He concatenated the URL and URI using a rather simple regex code and I was blown away by that.
  • Using lowercase letters in your reports and converting all of the mistaken Capital ones is a gift. Hopefully, we can do them using filters too. But the one that used a complex regex for adding a slash to the URI scared the shit out of me!
  • The more he explains about GA, the more I understand that I know nothing. Not set mediums can be tagged so that we can find their sources? It’s awesome. I am waiting to see how you are going to do that.
  • Using primary and secondary dimensions, so smart is something that I don’t believe a lot of people have. He works with google analytics in a way that you think he knew it from his childhood! Like he has been born with this ability!
  • Oh my god! I didn’t know that some websites are more generous than others in making referring links to the destination website. I saw that quora gives you the exact path, and websites like youtube and Facebook don’t! Why youtube? Why?
  • Remember I mentioned Chris saying that all the traffic should be tagged? He meant using UTMs. It is that simple.
  • Chris Mercer says that you have to have a guideline for tagging and using UTMs. all of your team members should know the rules and abide by them. I have seen places where they don’t set any rules, and the data is messy and dirty to hell!
  • He constantly says that you have to ride the bike! You can’t ride the bike by simply watching youtube videos. The same goes for learning Google Analytics. He’s damn right.
  • I liked the way he taught tagging the traffic. I will force myself to follow the rules I learned from him from now on.
  • Speaking about filters is now somehow exciting for me. The Search and Replace looks and works pretty amazingly. The idea that you can change everything that you don’t like and make the data clearer is a thing that all marketers will need eventually.
  • I like the Idea of Trust But Verify (TBV) that Chris Mercer uses constantly.
  • Destination goals are very simple to implement. I have set this kind of goal in the past. But when it comes to designing funnels, it becomes a bit scary! You have to consider every detail and pay attention to the path that is your preferable path of conversion. If you can do this, you are a powerful marketer.
  • The more I dive deeper into the google analytics, the more I feel the need to learn the regex thing. I already know a thing or two about them, but it is mandatory to know everything about it.
  • Chris mentioned a great framework for goal setting: The ACE framework. It basically means that your goals have to cover the Aware, Complete, and Engage stages. These three stages are those that your prospect goes through to become a customer. You have to have a holistic point of view when setting goals.
  • I never quite understood why we have Duration Goals in Google Analytics. They are pretty useless and don’t give us any useful data.
  • Duration goals don’t show up in the real-time reports because Google needs to understand how much time has passed since the beginning. Nor does the Pages per session goals. These two types of goals follow the same kind of rules.
  • Chris repeats over and over that in GA, the power is in the trend (or something like this, I don’t remember that well). You shouldn’t be looking at exact numbers (including time), but instead, consider the difference in the trends. This recommendation seems pretty wise. I’ll take it.
  • Pages per session goals are very similar to duration goals. They follow the same rule and need to be looked at alike. I personally don’t like them and don’t know what kind of engagement can be measured using them.
  • I hate that google analytics can’t track events independently. It has to work with a tool like google tag manager or being hardcoded into the page by a developer. Learning GTM has always been very hard for me Because I don’t know why it seems so daunting to me!
  • The hierarchy of Event Category, Event Action, and Event Label has been set up very well. You can’t not like it. Chris showed a sample of being implemented very well and the results are fascinating.
  • Using eCommerce and enhanced eCommerce is one of the powerful features of Google Analytics. If you just want to track simple aspects of your eCommerce, go for the simple one. But if you want to know the why, you’d better turn on the enhanced eCommerce.
  • I feel that since it is the end of the course, Chris isn’t putting much effort into the teaching process. He was much better at the beginning or at least this is what I personally think.
  • I got introduced to a framework named QIA which says you have to have questions, Information at hand, and Actions that need to be done.
  • So, this is it. It came to an end and now is the time for taking a test. Wish me luck!

11- Landing Page Optimization

  • I just passed the google analytics test and I am ready for another great journey to get started.
  • This lesson is about conversion optimization and the instructor is a handsome guy named Michael Aagaard. This seems to be another great lesson. Let’s get started.
  • The guy says that a landing page is any page that the user lands on, you know, the same thing that google analytics thinks about it. But when he continues, we understand that the actual Landing Page is what he means.
  • Landing page optimization is not just about copy, design and user experience. A lot of other things come into play. You as a person who is in charge of landing page optimization should know about a whole lot of other things.
  • I am excited about this because this guy talks about using qualitative and quantitative data. He says that quantitative data is about what and why, but qualitative data tells you why everything is happening.
  • The instructor talks about Danny Kahneman and his two models, system one and system two. I wonder what would happen to the world without having Kahneman talking about this concept.
  • We tend to make quick decisions. This is our system one thinking method that wants to make things as simple as possible. But not everything is darn simple.
  • Then we got acquainted with three cognitive biases. Priming, Framing and WYSIATI. The latter seems to be a japanese word, right?
  • The next lesson was about brain chemicals: dopamine and cortisol. I knew that dopamine is related to the reward system in our brain. But I didn’t know that the other chemical is related to the stress levels and anxiety.
  • Trying to raise the dopamine levels and reducing cortisol is what you have to do with your landing pages. See. everything in this world is connected to the other ones. That’s what my father says all the time.
Michael Aagaard
Michael Aagaard speaking about Landing Page Optimization
  • Knowing what happens in the brain when we face rewards or difficulties is so important that no marketer should face the real-world challenges without knowing them. You have to be prepared for everything that you are about to see and when the actual problem arises, you should know what to do to fix it.
  • The next topic is about information hierarchy. The Who, What and Where of the message is important. Who we want to talk to, what message we want to convey and where we should tell about that message.
  • Michael spoke about quantitative data and used standard google analytics reports. I don’t know what good would be in these simple reports after passing the course with Chris Mercer.
  • He then talked about drop-off (he used step-drop to refer to it) tests and checking which part of the funnel is leaking traffic. Knowing where the funnel is leaking will help you fix the problem way faster.
  • Let’s talk about qualitative data. If you want to do that, you need to conduct a full-funnel review and know where the funnel is problematic. After that, you have to go to review sites and check what your customers are saying there. Then you have to run in-person or phone interviews with your sales rep, customer success staff and all of your internal stakeholders.
  • One great thing that I learned here was the 5 second test. You let people look at your landing page and after that, you ask them if they understood what the page was all about. If they can describe it correctly, then good for you. If not, go look for the reason.
  • You can use session recordings and look at the actual users’ behavior. Sometimes these recordings give you invaluable insights about the barriers users are dealing with. You’d better look at them carefully.
  • One of the things that I have personally tested with Hotjar is scroll map and click map. Michael also mentioned something called the movement map that I knew nothing about its existence. These maps tell you whether your users like your landing page or not and how are they behaving click- and movement-wise.
  • You can use feedback polls as well. They are small and easy questions you can ask your users (not at their arrival on your site) about the things that might make your product and landing pages better.

Closing thoughts




A marketer who tries to act based on data and never stops learning.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Lesson learned after the first month working as a co-op student

Why Google Analytics Is The Only Skill You Need?

Why Google Analytics Is The Only Skill You Need?

8 Proven Social Media Marketing Strategies for 2019

How to Start Affiliate Marketing In 2022

7 Facebook Messenger Marketing Strategies You Can Try Today

3 Ways to Stay Brand Consistent in the Digital Age

Location: Visit data is the market of the future

Omnichannel Program — a unique chance for corporate partners

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mohammad Sammak

Mohammad Sammak

A marketer who tries to act based on data and never stops learning.

More from Medium

Fintech Platforms’ Strategic Possibilities

Digital Transformation: A Case Study — Building New Standards for the Construction Industry

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter Product Reviews

Google Data Analytics — Case Study (Cyclistic Bike Sharing Data Analysis)