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Introducing Google Tag Manager Training

gtm-trainingLearn about Google Tag Manager, get your hands dirty, and get your questions answered… in less than a day. We are proud to introduce a brand new training course: Google Tag Manager – Basics & Beyond! This is a hands-on, intensive workshop, debuting in New York City for Internet Week on Thursday, May 22nd, at SUNY Global Center in Manhattan.

This workshop will be significantly different than our other trainings. It will be more interactive: LunaMetrics will provide a live demo sandbox, where attendees will practice setting up Google Analytics events to track button clicks, form submits, and other JavaScript interactions, all through Google Tag Manager. It will be more collaborative: a limited number of seats ensures that each attendee will be able to sit with our qualified trainers and talk through their specific questions relating to their own implementations. And it will be more intensive: the course will run for a half day, and it will be packed with both technical and strategic components, providing real-world implementation techniques you can enact on your own website right away.
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Google Analytics Accordion Navigation Chrome Extension

ga-accordion-nav-440The Google Analytics interface was updated this week. Gone is the familiar orange navigation bar at the top of the page. In its place now is a unified interface that shares commonality with other Google properties around the web, especially after the interface changes in Google AdWords and Tag Manager.

One thing that was not changed, however, is the functionality of the left-hand navigation. We here at LunaMetrics have been jonesing for a return to the classic functionality of the interface, circa 2010, which allowed users to click on a menu header to immediately collapse all other open menus.
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Classify your Blog Posts in Analytics Using Content Groupings

holy-grailToday we are going to go on a quest to find the scientifically-proven best blog post ever. We will do so with math.

We have a hypothesis: the best blog post ever must contain these five things:

A handful of tasteful images
A YouTube video
A length between 1200 and 1500 words
A concise title
Published on a Friday

On December 19th, Google Analytics introduced a new feature called Content Grouping. Long in the making, this feature allows analysts to combine common pages by way of Rules, URL/Title Extraction, or with a piece of JavaScript placed on those pages.

Then, just yesterday, Google Tag Manager introduced an integration with this piece of JavaScript, so that its built-in Analytics tags could define content groupings based on Rules/Macros.

And there was much rejoicing.

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SEO Reporting with Google Tag Manager

what-if-i-told-youThis has been a big year for keyword (not provided). It has become more difficult than ever to gauge the success of SEO campaigns. That single term is now showing for over 95% of LunaMetrics.com’s organic search traffic! Yikes!

Our SEO team has been hard at work finding ways to get back some of that keyword data, through Webmaster Tools, AdWords, and some fancy mathetmatizing. Reid Bandremer blogged about some ways to combat (not provided) in a post in October.

But what if we could do even better? Rather than focusing on a user’s search term, what if we could see, on a page-by-page basis inside Google Analytics, exactly which keywords we optimized those pages for? Then we’d be able to see which of our actual SEO keywords are performing best, using metrics like conversions, bounce rates, time-on-page, etc.

The following is a way to get optimized keyword data inside Google Analytics, across your entire website, using Google Tag Manager.

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How To Upgrade To Universal Analytics: A Survival Guide

Brace Yourselves: Universal Analytics is ComingAn icy storm gathers in the North. Winter’s first frigid gales bring harrowing legends of server-side configurations, custom dimensions, and cross-device tracking. Web analysts shiver with fear, ill-prepared for the creeping frost. There is nothing to stop it now. Universal Analytics is coming.

At this year’s GA Summit, we heard a major announcement that a migration tool (affectionately called an “upgrade tool”) will one day soon allow users of Google Analytics’ asynchronous code to port their data into Universal Analytics. With a couple of clicks, it will be possible to visit the Admin section and upgrade your existing properties to Universal Analytics (UA).

From a screenshot shared at the Summit:

All Google Analytics properties will soon be required to use Universal Analytics. Properties that aren’t upgraded will be auto-upgraded to Universal Analytics in the future.

[Shiver]…
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GA Summit 2018 – 14 Announcements from the Future

The future of Google AnalyticsA lot has been written about this year’s Google Analytics Summit, which was held last week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. There were 14 major public announcements, over a dozen speakers, and a boatload of cool new features that were triumphantly revealed on day 1, or quietly implied behind closed doors on day 2.

I had the opportunity to attend this year’s GA Summit. For two days, we sat on the cutting edge of the industry, and it was nothing short of amazing. The venue, the theme, the speakers… the roadmap. You think 14 announcements were cool — just wait ’til you see what’s next.

Somewhere atop the Santa Cruz Mountains, late in the evening, I found myself dreaming of what the GA Summit might look like five years from now. It would definitely be even more international: this year’s Summit attendees already represented 47 different countries! It would definitely be more popular: yes, we were a trending hashtag on Twitter this year, but that’s just the start. What else?

GA Summit 2013This year’s three major themes were “Access. Empower. Act.” I imagined 2018′s keynote Googler pacing the stage, broadcast live across YouTube to Google Glass, Android devices and Google TVs around the world. What would her three themes be? “Act?” That’s perennial. “Predict?” GA is definitely headed in that direction. “Engage?” “Track hoverboard users?” Obviously.

What would her 14 announcements be in 2018?
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jQuery Event Tracking Generator for Google Analytics

jquery-coffeeEverybody these days knows about the awesome power of jQuery. Among its multitude of uses, it allows you to target elements on an HTML page in bulk. Let's say you have a page with a hundred different links on it. You might want to target twenty of the links inside a particular list element only, and apply some special click event to just those elements. jQuery is the tool for you, as it can save you from having to write twenty different onclick attributes on each a tag.

jQuery is also an invaluable tool for Google Analytics, as it allows us to reliably target clicks on links of a certain type and send some special event to Google Analytics. For example, you might want to fire off a virtual pageview every time someone clicks on a link with the .pdf extension. Or you might want to fire a custom event on every click of an external link. jQuery makes this task easy, so long as you know how to use it.

Enter the Google Analytics jQuery Tracking Generator. This wizard will auto-generate custom jQuery code to help you fire off custom events, virtual pageviews, or custom variables to Google Analytics, on the links or forms of your choosing!

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Tracking PDFs and Other Downloads Inside Google Analytics… Server-Side!

Google Analytics is great for tracking just about anything – inside a webpage. Google’s JavaScript code sits nicely on your website’s HTML pages, and tracks all of your site’s pageviews, visitor session information and various user interactions and events (including resource downloads from links, with some minor tweaking).

The thing about JavaScript though is that it needs to live somewhere on the visitor’s browser (client-side), tucked neatly inside the <head> tag. GA can only track resources that are downloaded when JavaScript is involved.

This is all fine and dandy – except that the world doesn’t always work that way. People sometimes hotlink to PDFs, Word docs and images and visit them directly. And thank goodness! Can you imagine a world without direct links to imgur.com memes?

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