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Google Analytics Goals Confuse Me

I’ve been playing around with Google Analytics’ goals recently and I don’t quite get how they work. They sound easy enough, but yet, they are very confusing.

For example, when you add your goal, it says e.g. http://www.mysite.com/thankyou.html. But on the ‘My site’s pages are dynamically generated. How do I set up funnels and goals?’ page it shows www.example.com/checkout.cgi?page=1 (no http://) and on the expressions page it shows www\.google\.com.

So which is it?

Also, on the expressions page there are 11 expressions available. However none of them have a very good examples or explanations. I guess if I were a hardcore programmer these would make more sense. But what about for the more average person?

So here are my questions.

  1. What is the correct way of putting in a url?
  2. What is the correct way of tracking a URL that includes a session ID or other variable on the end that always changes?
  3. How do you track a URL that can change in the middle.
    Example: http://www.mysite.com/14/email/ where 14 could be any number.
  4. With funnels, how can I track anyone who enters the store from the iPod page and completes an order when I have no idea how many products they will look at in-between?
  5. How can I track if someone comes from Sams site to mine and fills out a form or orders a product?

I’m sure Google Analytics goals can do all this, but the documentation is very vague or over my head.  I understand how to track a basic page, but funnels and dynamic pages confuse me.  If you know of a good tutorial, that’s not to technical, I’d love to read it.

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2 Responses

  1. I don’t know… I am in the same boat as you! So I am going to subscribe to this post and wait until someone can answer this.

  2. Is there a google analytics flash tutorial somewhere? I view the analytics
    and feel lost, so my backup is statcounter.com

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