Back to Basics: Free Google Analytics Tools

Monday, June 29, 2009 | 5:02 PM

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We've picked two free tools that anyone can use while setting up Google Analytics for your site. The tools below are pretty basic but are applicable to anyone tracking a campaign with an Analytics account.

URL Builder

The first tool we want to introduce our beginners to is the URL Builder. In order for Google Analytics to track your marketing campaigns effectively, you'll need to tag your online ads with the right information (e.g. campaign, medium and source) so that Google Analytics can track your marketing campaign and show you which activities are paying off. To help the the tagging process goes smoothly, you can use the URL Builder from our Google Analytics Help Center.

Tagging your campaign links will consist of a URL address followed by a question mark and your campaign variables. But, you won't need to worry about link syntax if you fill out the URL Builder form and press the Generate URL button. A tagged link will be generated for you and you'll be able to copy and paste it to your ad.


SiteScan

The Google Analytics SiteScan tool, created by EpikOne, a Google Analytics Authorized Consultant, is a very handy tool to verify that all pages on your site include the tracking code.

SiteScan picks up on some classic signs indicating that your site has improperly implemented tracking code like:

1. No data in your account. (The tracking code was either never implemented or has the wrong account number)
2. You're seeing a high bounce rate even though your site isn't a blog and has more than one page. (If you've only tagged your homepage, your Google Analytics account will be unable to identify any other pageviews from your site. )

SiteScan then reports each page in an easy-to-read CSV file after you've installed the tool. This makes it easy for you to isolate the pages with tracking problems, fix them, and effectively manage your Google Analytics Tracking Code installation.


We're constantly working on developing tools to diagnose problems associated with your account or increase the usability of Google Analytics. We hope that you find the above two tools useful and leave us a comment about any other diagnostic tools you would like to tell us about on this blog!