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Author Archive

Easy Upload for Google Tag Manager’s Lookup Table Version 2

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In October 2014, the Google Tag Manager team announced a new version of their popular tool, complete with easier workflows, a brighter design, and many other wonderful features. Most things work in a familiar fashion, with a few name changes.

Macros are now called Variables, and the Lookup Table Variable works exactly as we would expect it to. Sadly, there is still no support for CSV upload, so there still exists a need for a tool that people can use to quickly copy and paste from Excel or Google Drive.

I created a clunky workaround for Version 1, and at the request of many, I’ve now created an updated version that works with the new interface. As the GTM team continues to improve the design and functionality of Version 2, this tool could possibly stop working, and could hopefully become unnecessary.

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Google Tag Manager Basics: Links and Clicks

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While Google Tag Manager touts itself as a code free alternative to website development, sometimes a knowledge of basic web mechanics (and a little bit of code!) can help make your setup go much easier!

Whether or not you’ve started using the new version of GTM, this post will help explain how to target clicks on specific html elements like links, images, or buttons. (more…)

Kick Off 2015 with a LunaMetrics Training

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As we look towards the end of this year and the beginning of 2015, consider how a training in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, or Google Tag Manager may help your career! Choose from seven different cities in the first quarter, ranging from Boston to San Francisco, with stops in Chicago and Denver along the way.

With trainings in cities around the country, we hope you can find a location that is easy to travel to and fun to explore!

Whether you’re just starting out in a new field or looking to get a deeper understandable of the tools you’re currently using, we have a class for you.

Learn how to better collect and analyze your data with our Google Analytics series, futureproof your website with the flexible Google Tag Manager, or drive qualified traffic to your site through paid search with our Google AdWords trainings.

Choose an option below to learn more about the specific topics we cover and decide which trainings would be right for you!

Google Analytics Google AdWords Google Tag Manager

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Easy Cohort Analysis for Blogs and Articles

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It’s now easier than ever to track and compare performance between articles and blogs. While Google Analytics shows you pageviews and other key metrics, frequent content comparisons are made difficult by the shifting time frames.

How can I compare a blog post that was published this month vs. a blog post that was posted last month? Sure, we can run two different reports, pull it into Excel and start crunching the numbers, but there’s gotta be a better way!

blog-cohort-applesEnter Cohort Analysis. You may have heard this term thrown around before, usually in relation to users on your site and when they first became users. The idea here is to group users or sessions into common groups, like who first visited in January or first-month visitors. Avinash and Justin Cutroni both love cohorts, so obviously we should, too!

In this case, we’re going to use Google Tag Manager to put content into cohorts so we can analyze how they performed in similar time frames. We’ll pass these into Google Analytics as Custom Dimensions so they’re available for analysis. It’s actually much easier than it sounds! (more…)

Duplicate Transactions in Google Analytics – The Check and the Fix

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By far the most common issue I’ve come across with ecommerce sites; duplicate transactions can inflate revenue and ecommerce metrics, altering your attribution reports and making you question your data integrity.

When talking about where to put the ecommerce tracking code, Google suggests the following for Universal Analytics:

… If successful, the server redirects the user to a “Thank You” or receipt page with transaction details and a receipt of the purchase. You can use the analytics.js library to send the ecommerce data from the “Thank You” page to Google Analytics.”

The missing step here is to ensure that either A) the user cannot access the page more than once or B) you have logic in place to make sure the transaction is only sent once. The biggest issues I’ve seen are when this receipt page is automatically emailed to the customer, with the ability for them to return as frequently as they please, each time sending a duplicate transaction.
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Universal Analytics Upgrade One-Pager For Decision-Makers

For this post, we wanted to take a step back and describe the Universal Analytics upgrade process in very simple terms. What is it, and why should you care? If your company is struggling with any of these common questions, feel free to download this one-pager and share with your company to help understand the benefits of upgrading to Universal Analytics!

Universal-Upgrade-One-Pager

Read on for more information and the full text of the one-pager!  (more…)

Long Page URLs in Internet Explorer Cause Missing Pageviews, Transactions in Google Analytics

While LunaMetrics.com is known best for our blog content, the vast majority of our time goes towards helping clients with Google Analytics implementation. Our clients often come to us with some form of existing Google Analytics, and it’s our job to sift through the data to make sure everything is being collected correctly. For a website with eCommerce, this involves comparing data from GA to a back-end sales system to make sure everything matches. We’ve found many strange and buggy scenarios, but one in particular stands out as a particularly difficult challenge.

The Longest Place NameIn the scenario below, a client’s website appended an internal key as a query parameter to transaction pages to help with their processing. These keys were huge and the page URLs would sometimes hit 1400 or 1500 characters. When a hit gets sent to Google Analytics, all of the details about the page and the visitor are combined together into one long image request which gets sent to their server. However, Internet Explorer, and more specifically, Internet Explorer 9, imposes a cap on the length of these requests. Because the page URLs were so long, some hits to Google were just failing at the browser level and never made their way to GA.

Continue reading for a “chart review” of how we diagnosed the issue, and then further on for steps on how to fix this for yourself!

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Creative Tag Manager – Ads, Promotions, and Visitor Messaging

Google Tag Manager AdLet’s get creative with Google Tag Manager! Google Tag Manager has changed the way we implement Google Analytics here at LunaMetrics, making it easier to track pageviews, events, you name it. It’s excellent for adding marketing tags for Adwords or conversion tracking for any service you need. But many people gloss over the fact that GTM can deliver really any code that you want to your site. This includes HTML, CSS, and Javascript!

So let’s think outside of the Analytics box and talk about using GTM to add content to your site, specifically:

  • breaking news strips
  • fly-in promotion
  • expandable in-line messages

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Automate GTM’s Lookup Table Macro from a Spreadsheet

Click here for the updated version
that works with Google Tag Manager Version 2.

Upside down house

Get it? It’s an upside-down house. She’s looking up at a table!

Earlier this year, Google Tag Manager added a great new feature called the Lookup Table Macro. It’s pretty simple to use. Populate the table with two columns of data. Feed a value into it using a macro and if it finds that value in the left column, it will return the value next to it. This useful macro isn’t meant to replace complicated Javascript switch statements or advanced regular expressions. But it can take a large list of data and save us lots of time! (more…)

Say Goodbye to Exclude Filters in Google Analytics!

Use Google Tag Manager to Protect Your DataNo need to panic, Exclude Filters aren’t going away anytime soon! However, after reading this post you may not WANT to use Exclude Filters as frequently.  There are still many valid reasons why you may need to set them up, but when possible – it might be time to eliminate them.

Just as a quick refresher, you can use the Exclude Filters in Google Analytics to block traffic data from certain sources from showing up in a particular view.  Sometimes these are used to partition data into one view or another, for example, think of creating separate views for Internal or External Traffic.  For these use cases, Filters work beautifully. You can filter based off of IP Address, Hostname, Service Provider, etc…

But then there are those occasions where you want to block out traffic completely.  Just as easily, you can set up an Exclude filter for each of your views, and poof! The data has disappeared!  Except, it hasn’t really.

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