An easier way to use Google Analytics for real results
I love Google Analytics, but it tends to be something that I open for a specific reason. Maybe I’m looking to report stats on a particular undergraduate course, analysing our page speed or trying to justify a new investment in mobile hardware. It’s not often that I’ll just open it without a goal in mind. There’s just too much in there and too much potential for lost time if I do.
I’m experimenting at the moment with a new (new to me, Google announced it at the beginning of June) Chrome extension from Google that allows me to see in-page analytics any time I visit one of my own webpages. It takes away the barrier of logging into the full Google Analytics interface, neatly fitting into a data panel at the bottom of the browser window.
When the click-through percentages get too distracting and repetitive (which is often), it’s easy to switch off and on. Much easier than logging into and out of Analytics.
The two biggest advantages are that I can see things by chance that I would never have thought to look for before. And when analysing a particular page, the chance to instantly see stats for it makes it much more likely that I’ll use them. Previously I would have to open Google Analytics in a new tab, then navigate through multiple layers of menus to find that information for a particular page. I did it when I was being particularly conscientious, but this extension makes analytics a part of every decision.
To use the extension yourself you need to be using the Google Chrome browser, have the Page Analytics (by Google) Chrome extension installed and have your Google Account logged-in and linked to the Google Analytics account of the site you want in-page analytics for.