The 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.
Today 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
And there was much rejoicing.
This 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.
An 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.
A 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?
This 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?
Everybody 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!
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?