Skip to content

5 Google Analytics things I would change

I really like Google Analytics. I use it pretty much exclusively for my website stat tracking, and the recent update is wonderful. However there are a few things I would like to change to improve it even more.

In case you haven’t heard of Google Analytics, it’s a service offered by Google which tracks the visitors to your website. The security concious amongst you will be happy to know that no personally identifiable information is sent, and the web designers… well you’ll likely have heard of it anyway – but it let’s you see where people go on your site, and how they found you.

I’m writing this post as a way to firstly list what I would like changed, secondly as a way to see what other people would like changed, and thirdly to see if there is actually a way to do the things I want without them changing anything.

5. More speed

To tell the truth this isn’t a feature I am too worried about, but I asked on the 9rules member forum (it’s private – sorry) for their opinions and this was the overwhelming top response. They wanted stats that updated quicker. The reason I am not too worried about this is that, as far as I can tell, the stats do update in almost real time (or at least every few hours). What you need to do is adjust the date to include the current day and then you can see the most recent statistics.

4. & 3. Better Links

This one has bugged me since Google Analytics was first released, there must be a technical reason for it not happening. Basically when viewing top content if you wish to view one of the pages on your own site you have to create the site url yourself. There is nothing to click to take you to your site and view the content. More importantly if I want to view a referring site then I have to recompile the link myself (copy the url, copy the referring page, stitch them together). I like to see who’s linking to me so why isn’t there a link somewhere on these pages to take me to the referring site?

2. More Conversion Goals

I have only recently started using these, but I can already see that 4 just isn’t enough. To tell the truth i am not sure what there is a limit at all, with all the things Google is capable of I’m sure increasing the goals should be fairly trivial.

1. Hourly traffic breakdown

One of the things I liked to use Google Analytics for was checking when my site was accessed. I liked being able to see the spikes in traffic, being able to tell if I had been stumbleuponed or if my site had been down at all (no hits = broken website?). As far as I can tell that feature has now been removed, and that frustrates me.

This list is largely my opinion but I’m sure there are other people who must be feeling something similar to me so please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see as well, or even if you use the service (and if not why not?).

Share

15 Comments »

  1. Personally, I use my host’s AwStats package.

    Google Analytics isn’t for me, and I had massive problems setting it up initially. I just reverted back to AwStats.

    Speed is definitely an issue though, but I find sites like MyBlogLog are much slower.

    Google should release a local version of the site.

  2. I wish that you could be taken directly to your reports, rather than winding through the front page that you are shown. There’s just so much text, and it’s aggravating.

    Also, yeah, the links don’t work properly on mine. It makes me sad.

    But it’s still rather pretty!

  3. On your style of background, on most blogs you can comment and when you comment yours is coloured so people know its you. How do you do that? Please help me.

    Thank you.

  4. Joe – that’s an interesting point about the speed. A local version would be interesting too, but with the amount of data they hold I wonder if it would be too processor intensive for people on shared hosting.

    Biscuitrat – Personally I don’t mind the overview, but I can see where you’re coming from. And it is very pretty :)

    Shama – that’s a little offtopic I’d say, but I use a plugin called Author Highlight. There are loads of wordpress plugins that do it. Just Google for them.

  5. Do they cost anything? Sorry… I only want to know so people know its me :!: I’m having trouble finding what I need.

    Thank you.

  6. Shama – You don’t say where your website is. If you’re on WordPress.com and using the Regulus theme then you need to go to your control panel. Go to the presentation section of you site and then click the current theme options link. Go to the personal information and enter the name and email address you used to create your wordpress account. Press save.

    If you’re not using wordpress.com then your best bet is to ask on the wordpress.org forums as I don’t do wordpress support.

  7. While I responded in 9rules, I figured I’d respond here as well and say I really enjoyed the list, and I certainly hope these things are looked at/fixed in future versions. Thanks!

  8. Welcome to Binary Moon Bartoneus :)

    I’m glad you liked the article. One of your comments on 9rules has given me an idea for a follow up article :)

  9. As I am not to worried about exact traffic levels, AWstats seems to be a good fit and shows traffic trends that I need. I do want to try analytics to see some more granular reports on the traffic. Not sure if the juice if worth the squeeze though.

  10. I think what annoyed me the most was not having a complete breakdown of which search engines sent which visitors for which keywords, or what keywords brought users to a paticular page, but now people have devised filters that do it for you so I’m very pleased with it again :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Watchdogs is a new game coming from Ubisoft. I’ve been a fan of them for ages – Beyond Good and Evil is one of the best games ever, and more recently Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia and Assassins Creed have […]