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.
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!
Read on for more information and the full text of the one-pager! (more…)
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.
In 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!
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
Get it? It’s an upside-down house. She’s looking up at a table!
No 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.
Unfortunately, this post won’t work for payphones.
Sometimes when dealing with a website, it’s easy to throw on the classic tracking events – PDFS, mailto links, etc… But what if we wanted to track when people clicked on our phone links? In a perfect world, this should be easy. However, phone numbers can be written in many, many different ways and we don’t always have control over the content to add in appropriate phone tags. As if that’s not enough, dealing with different browsers on different devices supremely complicates the matter.
Regular Expressions: The Gift That
Keeps on Giving( and Giving)*!
When I came to LunaMetrics, I had never really used regular expressions. I had heard about them, knew they were important, but couldn’t give you one concrete use. “Learn regular expressions!” they said, so learn regular expressions is what I did, still unsure of how or why these would be useful. There were examples online, people talking about Advanced Segments or Custom Filters, but how can you begin to understand these concepts until you actually need to use them? It was only after I began taking on clients and working with Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager that I was able to try out my newfound skills and truly become a convert.
Yet still, I couldn’t help but think that there must be a better way to introduce regular expressions (we’ll call them regex from here on) to complete newcomers. There are plenty of resources out there, which I’ll link to. I’m not going to recreate all of the basic instructions, but I’m going to give examples that I would have found useful when beginning my regex journey.