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The Best Google Analytics Tools & Addons

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs / Comments: 10

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These are the 10 best tools (aka add-ons) I use when working with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. I have not attempted to list all possible tools – as there are now hundreds available. Rather, these focus on helping you get on top of, and maintaining, your data quality. I use all of them regularly.

Just follow the links to download/obtain them. All are free to use.

Tools are listed in no specific order though #10 is my current favourite…

1. Tag Assistant (Chrome extension)

Allows you to verify you have installed tracking tags correctly on your pages (not just GA). Helps you troubleshoot the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC), Google Tag Manager (GTM), and Adwords Conversion Tracking.

google analytics tools

2. Google Analytics Debug (Chrome extension)

Inserts analytics_debug.js (or ga_debug.js) for you when you load any page containing a GATC in the Chrome browser. You can then view very useful information in the browser console. Includes error messages and warnings about your tracking code implementation and a detailed breakdown of each tracking beacon/variable sent to Google Analytics.

3. Page Analytics (Chrome extension)

Overlays GA report data directly over a page loaded in your browser. Includes date range comparison and segmentation tools.

4. Table Booster

This is the only tool listed that is not really about data quality, but visualisation instead. That said, good visualisation allows you to spot data quality issues – hence my inclusion. Table Booster turbo charges the stale data grid of Google Analytics with some very useful visualisation aides. Click image to enlarge.

google analytics table booster

5. Regular Expression Helpers

Regular expressions (regex) are used to match patterns within text. In Google Analytics, regular expressions are used for filtering—for both filtering within a report (table filter) and for creating separate report sets (View filters); For defining advanced segments; For configuring goal conversions and funnel steps. In other words, regular expressions are important!

Going beyond the basics things can rapidly appear complex to the uninitiated – because regular expression resemble algebra. Therefore, before attempting these try my jumpstart regular expression tutorial, then practice with these interactive sites:

6. Annotations Manager (Firefox addon)

This Greasemonkey script allows you to copy, delete, and export your chart annotations. Very useful when you are running multiple profile views for a property. Developed by Vincent Giersch.

7. Confidence Checker (bookmarklet – all browsers)

This clever bookmarklet takes a statistical approach for comparing two e-commerce conversion rates and your overall goal conversion rate. The bookmarklet performs a z-test to show the confidence interval of two selected dimensions. This shows if the differences you observe are statistically significant. Developed by Michael Wittaker. Click image to enlarge.

z-test tool for Google Analytics

8. Web Developer Toolkit (Firefox and Chrome)

This tool adds a menu bar to your browser with a whole range of useful features for anyone who has an interest in creating web pages. It has an excellent browser error console and DOM inspector as well as quick lookup tools for cookies, source code, and so forth.

See also Firebug.

9. Campaign URL Builder (Chrome Extension)

Google already has a useful URL web page for building campaigns, but its a little cumbersome to use. This browser extension adds some very nice user friendly features such as: Loading the current web address automatically; Create and manage pre-configured sets of tags i.e. a template campaign url; Choose a template campaign as your default – great for fast editing of multiple landing page urls.

10. Tag Manager Injector (Chrome Extension)

If you are using Google Tag Manager (if not, why not?), this is a very powerful tool. It allows you to inject your own GTM container snippet onto a page. Why do this? So you can build your own complete test environment within GTM and then “deploy” it onto a site via your browser. That is, its a GTM install specific to you. Very powerful for creating/testing a setup before a real deployment.


Thanks to my friend and colleague David Vallejo for letting me know about this one.

More Apps…

Google Analytics maintains an App Gallery of third-party-developed add-ons that extend Google Analytics functionality. If you have a recommended tool, please add via a comment. Note I am looking for recommendations from real users – not promo material from vendors…

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  1. Rich says:

    Hey Brian,

    Great post! I can’t seem to get the Table Booster working though. I added it to my chrome extensions and have set it to be “always visible”.

    Is the chrome extension icon supposed to appear on the browser or is it one of those extensions that just runs in the background?

    What did you do to make it work? Let me know.



  2. Hi Brian.

    Thank you for including my injector extension in the mix, big fan!

    I’ve now updated the extension with a hostname filter (exact and regex match).

    Expressions and hostnames are also now retained when TMI is deactivated to avoid the need to re-enter them.


  3. Georgi says:

    Hi Brian,

    Nice list of tools, indeed. I just don’t see the need for #10 – GTM Injector – we do have a Preview & Debug mode in GTM, right? Why resort to an extension then…

    Have you by chance reviewed – we have a neat collection of tools for GA Pros. You can probably feature us in a future post about GA Tools if you like our toolkit? Let me know if you want an extended trial for your review, I’d be happy to provide it.


    • The injector is there when there is no GTM snippet in place…

      • Georgi says:

        I feel so dumb :-) Yes, that’s true, it would allow me to start working a day or two in advance instead of waiting for the client to place the code… Thanks!

        • Often I need to wait a lot longer than that… A common scenario is a new website build or redesign that can take several months to be completed. Our request for the GTM snippet to be added is usually left until last – just before launch (and sometimes forgotten about!). This plugin allows us to test progress whenever we want so be able to turn around the install almost the same day the GTM is officially added.


  4. Hi Brian,
    Thanks for mentioning my URL builder extension (#9).
    New and improved version is on the way!


  5. Good list, Brian! I’d also recommend trying out for those interested in automated testing for GA/GTM and any other marketing and analytics tags. I’m definitely biased since my company created the product, but it’s definitely helpful for my consultant role because I don’t have time to check 100’s or 1000’s of pages for GA/GTM/AdWords tags, etc.

    Looking forward to meeting you at Analytics That Excite 2015!

  6. Hi,

    I have myself used Tag Manager Injector, but prefer to use a local proxy tool like Charles or Fiddler.

    All though TMI works nicely, I value that the two suggested tools are browser-agnostic and let’s me change all sorts of stuff on the pages I work on, besides injecting TMS scripts.

    The fact that I, also browser-agnosticly, can see all requests to – and from the pages I work on, is a very big added bonus.

    I know this is a matter of taste, but now you have my take on the matter.


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