In-Page Analytics Plugin for Chrome Overlays Data Onto Your Pages

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Page Analytics plugin for Chrome displays Google Analytics data directly on your page.

There are a range of useful Google Analytics extensions for Chrome. In a previous post, we discussed Google Tag Assistant. Today we look at the Page Analytics extension that overlays your Google Analytics data directly onto a page in the browser.

To use the extension:

1. Install and activate it.

2. In one tab, log into Google Analytics.

3. In another tab, access a page that is tracked under your Google Analytics login.

The Page Analytics extension will take advantage of Enhanced Link Attribution, if you have made that customization in your tracking code.

The Page Analytics plugin is a handy addition to our Google Analytics toolkit – not only for our own analysis, but as an aid for analytics communication with clients, colleagues, and managers.

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Complement Google Analytics with Competitive Analysis from Compete.com

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Complete can provide details about competitor traffic, and rank based on traffic.

You consult Google Analytics to see how much traffic your own site is getting, but what about competitor sites?

Fundamentally, Compete.com can tell you:

• how much traffic other websites are receiving

• how websites compare with each other in terms of traffic

The numbers aren’t exact, and more reporting is available with a paid subscription, but even the free service can provide a reasonably good traffic comparison among competitors.

In an upcoming post, we’ll discuss another traffic comparison tool: Alexa.com.

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Monitor Your Website for Downtime

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Choose a monitoring service that offers alerts and reporting.

If a website that you manage analytics for is down, you should not be the last to know about it.

For one thing, you should make sure that the situation is being addressed, even if this is not in any way your direct responsibility. For another, you need to record the exact time and date of the occurrence and correlate it with any resulting anomalies in your Google Analytics data.

You can take advantage of many free and very low-cost monitoring services such as SiteUptime. In addition to real-time alerts, look for a daily and monthly reporting option when choosing a service.

Although not part of Web analytics per se, reliable and timely website monitoring should be included as an important item on your Google Analytics implementation checklist.

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Identify Slow Page Elements with YSlow

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You can use YSlow to track down specific page load issues.

If you have identified slow pages as outlined in yesterday’s tip on the Site Speed Page Timings report, you can use YSlow to find specific page elements or characteristics, such as numerous external Javascript files, that may be causing the slowdown.

YSlow is a browser extension that you can add on to Firefox or Chrome. Before installing the YSlow extension (or “plug-in”, of course, in Firefox parlance) in Firefox, you must first install the Firebug plugin. Firebug itself can also help to identify page load slowdowns; specifically, its Net tab displays load times for individual Javascript files.

So even if you’re not doing any of the development on the site or not otherwise in a position to fix the slowdowns yourself, YSlow can provide some specific starting points as you work with your developers to speed up your site and thereby improve user experience and – let’s hope – conversion rates.

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