1 Welcome to Analytics Edge

Analytics Edge makes it easy to get your data into Microsoft Excel. You can place multiple queries anywhere in your workbook as this video explains. More

2 Help Resources Available

The Analytics Edge help site has plenty of resources available for learning and assistance with reporting. This video explains what is available and highlights the ‘account not found’ problem people experience when sharing workbooks. More

4 Creating Custom Reports

Analytics Edge was designed to create the customized reports people need for their website or campaign tracking needs. This video explains the common errors you may run across and what you can do about them. More

5 Licenses and Updates

This video explains how Analytics Edge products are licensed and updated. It demonstrates how to identify updates available and how to install them.  More

Account Reference Names

Analytics Edge takes account security very seriously. When you use the add-in or one of the connectors to access one of your accounts, the product will encrypt a security token and save it to your computer. You will be asked for an account reference name for this token. More

Add File Download Link Text/URL To Google Analytics 4

It is easy to get more details about file downloads added to your Google Analytics 4 reports — just add the custom dimensions for the existing event parameters ‘link_text’ and ‘link_url’! The data doesn’t start collecting until you do this, so do it now! More

Add Session Count To Google Analytics 4 Reports

It is easy to get a Session Count fields added to your Google Analytics 4 reports — just add a custom dimension for the existing event parameter! The data doesn’t start collecting until you do this, so do it now! More

Data Sampling Problems In Annual Reports

Google Analytics uses statistical sampling to improve responsiveness for large queries. There is nothing wrong with statistical sampling — it will usually produce numbers close to the actual, but not always. More

Definitive Guide to Removing All Google Analytics Spam

This is a PROVEN WORKING SOLUTION to remove referral spam in your Google Analytics. Updated for 2021: Bothered by referral spam from the likes of trafficnow.club, bot-traffic.xyz or other domains? Implement a Custom Segment as described in #3 below or, if you catch the spam traffic on the day it happens, a Spam Crawler Filter (#4). More

Direct ‘Spam’ in Google Analytics

A number of my clients have seen unexplained direct traffic in their Google Analytics accounts. There is no apparent purpose or reason behind this traffic — it just exists; sometimes for a short period of time, and sometimes for months. More

Error: 400 invalidParameter ids

This Google Analytics API error indicates that you are referencing an invalid view ID. The view ID is the number that appears beside the view in the Accounts wizard (Analytics Edge connector for Google Analytics), or in the Google Analytics web interface when you click on the account selector at the top. More

Error: 401 authError Authorization

This Google Analytics API error indicates that the security token for the account you are using has failed. Normally the security tokens are auto-renewed, but if you changed the account password or otherwise changed your security settings, the renewal can also fail. More

Error: 503 There was a temporary error

This Google Analytics API error indicates that there was a problem processing your query request. This can occur if you make too many bad queries in a short period of time, or if you use use up your quota for the day. In some cases, it may indicate that the server was too busy to process your request (usually for a very large query).  More

Error: Account not found. Check Account wizard

This error usually occurs when you share workbooks with coworkers, or after a computer move or rebuild. Analytics Edge stores a reference to the account in the workbook, but the actual security tokens are stored on your computer.  More

Error: Invalid/missing dates

This error usually occurs when the cells you referenced in a query have moved or the contents are changed. Analytics Edge connectors offer the ability to use cell references for the dates, but the references can get out of alignment if you add rows or columns in the worksheet, or if you renamed the worksheet. More

Get Impressions From Google Analytics

A lot of people want to include the Google Analytics clicks and impressions metrics in their reports, and are frustrated when they see most reporting tools do not offer those metrics. The reason is that they don’t actually come from Google Analytics — they come from Google Search Console, and that uses a separate API.

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Google Analytics 4 Report Automation

Now that the Google Analytics Data API has been released, it is possible to automate your GA4 reporting. Analytics Edge makes the process easy with a powerful add-in for Microsoft Excel and the Google Analytics Pro connector.

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Google Analytics Premium Support

The Google Analytics Pro connector from Analytics Edge supports the extra dimensions and metrics available to Google Analytics 360 customers. It also supports the new resource quotas, allowing GA 360 customers to get unsampled reports up to 100 million sessions! More

Google Analytics vs GA 4: Different Cities

I dug into the detailed data behind Google Analytics 4 and compared it to the old Google Analytics we have come to know, and something popped out that was unexpected: sometimes the city being recorded for a specific user’s visit was different. More

Google Analytics vs GA 4: Pages Reporting Is Flawed

Comparing Google Analytics 4 page reports to the old Universal Analytics version exposes another ‘little’ difference between the measurement systems: your page titles can be shown in different languages, spread across twice as many rows (your data will vary).

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Google Analytics vs GA 4: Sessions Spanning Midnight

Updated 2021-03-27 after a deep dive into additional metrics…

As reported in one of my Misunderstood Metrics articles, one of the quirks we discovered in Google Analytics is that sessions that span midnight are restarted on the first hit after midnight, even though the session id (and Count of Sessions dimension value) doesn’t change. But what quirks await us in Google Analytics 4?

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Google Analytics: API Filter Expressions

FAQ: do NOT encode the “ga:” in the field names of your expression!

Custom filter expressions can be used in the Google Analytics connectors, but there are a number of rules you must follow. This is documented in Google’s API Reference, but it is part of the old v3 API documentation, which could be removed at any time, so I have copied and embellished it here.

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Google Analytics: Building a Cohort Analysis

This article explains how to build a cohort analysis report in Excel using the Analytics Edge free Google Analytics connector. Cohort Analysis lets you see how one group of people behaved differently from another. More

Google Analytics: Custom Dynamic Segments

One of the features of the Google Analytics connector is the ability to create a custom dynamic segment, which is really useful when you are sharing workbooks with others. Custom segments in Google Analytics are stored as personal assets — they are associated with the login account, not the Google Analytics account. Because of that, using one of your custom segments in a query means other people cannot run your query; they will get an error when they try to refresh the query.  More

Google Analytics: New vs Returning Report

Google Analytics provides a New vs Returning report to measure the pull of your site and the extent to which you are encouraging first time users to return. Making this report with Analytics Edge allows you to easily track these metrics the way you want to see. More

Google Analytics: Reports Limited To 25 Months?

If you find your Google Analytics reports won’t download any data beyond 25 months, chances are this is due to your data retention settings. By default, they are set to purge after 26 months.

To change this, go into your Google Analytics Admin settings for your account: Property Settings > Tracking Info > Data Retention.

 

Measuring Time On (Bounce) Page

For people measuring their website traffic with Google Analytics, there is nothing more frustrating than building a really popular web page that gets tons of visits, but GA shows Session Duration close to ZERO! The problem is that Google Analytics doesn’t measure the time on the last page of a visit, so even if they read your article for 5 minutes, if they don’t click on another page, their session is recorded as 0 seconds. Sigh…. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Bounce Rate

What is the bounce rate in Google Analytics? Is it better to be higher or lower? What is typical? Does it affect my search engine rankings? Here is some insight into this frequently misunderstood metric. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Google Analytics 4 Sessions

As more and more people start the process of switching over to the new Google Analytics 4 for website tracking, they are discovering that the session counts are significantly different from the previous release of Google Analytics (a.k.a. Universal Analytics). My recommendation: stop focusing on sessions — focus on user engagement with your content instead.

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Misunderstood Metrics: Google Analytics 4 Sessions for Pages

Since Google Analytics 4 is still under development, this is just an introductory article.

Google Analytics was plagued with custom reporting problems by mixing metrics and dimensions with different scopes  (e.g. sessions for pages). Well, even though Google Analytics 4 is very different, it shares the same problem: it has dimensions and metrics that are user-scoped, session-scoped, event(hit)-scoped, and item-scoped. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Google Analytics Users

Why do the Users numbers in my report not add up to the total in Google AnalyticsThis Misunderstood Metrics article explores the Users metric in Google Analytics, why the numbers are different, and why both of them are probably wrong. More

Misunderstood Metrics: New vs Returning Visitors

Why do New + Returning Visitors add up to more than the total Users? How can I have more New Users than Users who are ‘New Visitors’? This Misunderstood Metrics article explores the Behavior > New vs Returning report in Google Analytics, and why the numbers can be confusing. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Next Page Path

In Google Analytics, the Previous Page Path shows what page was visited just before the current Page, but Next Page Path seems to be broken or not working. The problem is that it doesn’t hold what the name implies. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Sessions for Pages

Build a custom report to see how many Sessions included your top pages, and the result is confusing! Chances are you will see the number of Sessions drops sharply once you get below your primary landing pages. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Time on Page / Average Session Duration

avg-session-duration-vs-avg-time-on-pageHow can the Average Session Duration be less than the Average Time on Page?  In Google Analytics, seeing the time spent on your website or on individual pages is not as obvious as it first appears. This Misunderstood Metrics article explores the concept of time in Google Analytics…or lost time as the case may be. More

Misunderstood Metrics: Unique Events

Google Analytics has recently changed, introducing a new Unique Events metric calculation. This article has not yet been updated to reflect that change — Mike Sullivan.

As a follow-up to my previous post on Google Analytics events, this article will look at the unique problem of “Unique Events“…the metric that defies understanding by many. More

Multi-Source Waterfall Report

The wizard-based automation provided by the Analytics Edge Core Add-in for Excel makes it easy to combine data from multiple sources. This article explores how you can build a Waterfall Report that includes data from Google Webmaster Tools (now Google Search), Bing Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and an external database. More

Reading Sitemaps to Get a Full Listing of Pages

When analyzing website traffic, there are times you might want a full listing of the website’s pages…even those that never get any traffic or impressions. Google Analytics and Google Search Console will only report on pages were there is data, so these unrecognized pages continue to be overlooked. This article shows how the Analytics Edge Core Add-in can read the website’s sitemap files to extract a full listing of pages. More

Reporting Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 4

If you have transitioned to the new Google Analytics 4, you have probably noticed that there is no Bounce Rate metric available. Instead they push an ‘Engaged Sessions’ number, which is kind of like the opposite to a Bounce Rate. What if you really want the old metric? Well, a little math and you get your answer, but you probably won’t like it. More

Selecting a Date Range

In most Analytics Edge wizards, you can select a data range for your query. There are a large number of combinations possible, but here are the most common selections. More

Simplified Core Web Vitals Reporting

Google released new guidance on how to collect and report Core Web Vitals using Google Analytics 4, but the approach makes use of some pretty complicated concepts with BigQuery. In this article, I want to show you how to make similar reports in Excel using Analytics Edge with a lot less work and complexity. More

The Hidden Value of Nofollow Blog Comments

When I was working on a new Excel report for my Google Webmaster Tools connector, I started seeing traffic from a specific query phrase that didn’t make sense, so I dug a little deeper, and what I found made me question the very foundation of conventional SEO wisdom and the meaning behind Google Webmaster Tools data. More

Tiny Wizards, Fonts And Big Screens

Analytics Edge products are being updated to support the newer high resolution monitors, but until all of the products get updated, some of the wizards may appear smaller than the rest of your applications. These hard-to-read wizards can be fixed if you change your Display Settings. More

Tracking Multiple Websites

If you have multiple websites that you manage, and struggle to keep an eye on all of them at once, here’s how to create a quick report to compare their day-to-day traffic at a glance. More

Unsampled Data From Google Analytics For Free

Google Analytics sampling can really mess up a custom Excel report! The Free Google Analytics Connector included with all Analytics Edge Add-ins has the ability to minimize sampling problems with large sites and long time frame queries. More

Why You Should Not Use the Referral Exclusion List for Spam

While all of us fight to get Google Analytics referral spam under control, one piece of well-intentioned, but bad advice comes up over and over again: use the Referral Exclusion List. Some people (myself included) have stated that is a bad idea, but no one has taken the time to really explain why. Here is the Why… More

Year-Over-Year Reporting

If you are trying to build a Google Analytics report comparing one year to the previous one, you can use the Pivot operation to make charting easier. The trick is to choose your dimensions wisely. More