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Author Archive

Three Ways Your New Website Will Murder Your Conversion


“Oh, it’s alive…. IT’S ALIVE! IT’S ALIVE!…IT’S ALIVE!”
-Henry Frankenstein, Frankenstein (1931)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before… A man walks into a marketing department and says “Our website is so old! It’s like it was made in the 1990’s! Let’s update the design, and make it responsive! Mobile users are the future! Our competitors all have flashier newer websites, we’re getting left behind! We can make a new website! A better website!” Then they start cackling really evil like, and get twitchy eyed.

The department all nods in agreement, ignoring the obvious creepiness of the guy, because they’ve read stories about mobile users and those “kids today” with their newfangled “smart phones”. So they design a gorgeous new site, sleek, great uses of whitespace, a real pro job. Responsive too! Loads of new functionality. Looks great on their phones, their pads, their pods, their droids, and of course their laptops. So they launch it to great fanfare!

And their conversion gets cut in half. (more…)

Increase Transaction Insight with 9 Steps in Google Tag Manager

Here’s a trick to capture additional information from transactions using Google Tag Manager. Let’s say you have several product categories on your site, and you want to easily see how different combinations sell on the site.

1: Create a Custom Dimension named “Transaction Categories”


5 Google Analytics Power Tips for Small (& Smart) Businesses

Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer - Ovation Images

Image courtesy of Ovation Images, a Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer who uses Google Analytics.

According to the U.S. Census about 3/4 of all businesses in the country have no payroll. Most of those are self-employed people operating unincorporated businesses. 61% of the firms that DO have payroll have 4 or fewer employees. 79% have 9 employees or fewer.

When you operate a small business with only a handful of employees, everyone is busy (hopefully). As the owner you end up wearing a million hats, and one of them usually is your marketing strategy, or lack thereof. But the vast majority of the time, your experience is in the product or service you are selling, and that is probably not websites, and almost certainly isn’t Google Analytics. You simply don’t have the time to spend on your digital analytics, much less the knowledge of what to do, and you just don’t make enough money to hire a company like LunaMetrics to help you out. You’re stuck. (more…)

Can Endangered Florida Manatees Increase Your Online Conversion?

Adorable Chubby Manatee at Sea WorldManatees, the gentle giant of the sea, were routinely hunted pre-historically by the Taino and other Caribbean people, for everything from their hides and meat, to their bones themselves, which were ground up to treat various ailments such as asthma. Hunting of manatees was banned in 1893, and so the question of whether manatees could also be used to increase your website conversion were generally thought to be unanswerable. Until today.


How to Access Custom Dimensions in Google Analytics

“Give it to me. NOW!”

- Veruca Salt, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

If you are using Universal Analytics you may have heard something about Custom Dimensions. They’re the next evolution of Custom Variables. Regular Google Analytics users get 20 of them, while Google Analytics Premium users get a whopping 200 of them.

I’m not going to cover here how to implement them. It’s pretty easy though. Here’s the Google Analytics documentation on the implementation. (more…)

Why Track My Videos – The Essential Guide

There is one enormous, overarching reason why every video you create should be carefully tracked. One reason so all-encompassing, so indescribably important, that its very definition denotes its value. That one big reason is money.

Again, so we’re clear: anyone that looks to increase revenue, or to decrease costs, be it a business, non-profit, or individual, should be concerned with tracking their videos. (more…)

How to Solve Google Analytics Sampling: 8 Ways to Get More Data

What do Bald Eagles have to do with Data sampling? Nothing. they're just awesome.

What do Bald Eagles have to do with Data sampling? Nothing.

What is Sampling?

Sampling is a tried and true statistical technique. You see it every time you hear about a political poll, or anything like that. 68% of people prefer dogs to cats. 28% of Americans think that God created Doritos. They didn’t actually ASK everyone. They asked a small subset of people, that hopefully is large enough to make what they’re reporting on accurate. So if they’re saying “All Americans” they might interview 1,000 people out of the 300 million that live here, and pretend it’s a legitimate sample.

It also leads to all the political polls being different, and arguing about whose poll is better. This generally refers to what sort of sample are they taking. How many people are they asking, what’s their makeup, how many men, versus women, etc.

The basic idea is that you simply can’t ask 100% of people certain questions, so you ask a subset aka a sample, and that then represents the larger group.

How does it work in Google Analytics?


How to Easily Track video.js in Google Analytics

What is video.js?

video.js is a free, fast, open source (licensed under Apache) HTML5 video player available at http://www.videojs.com/ which was developed by video experts from Brightcove & Zencoder. It’s really easy to set up, but like most of these types of popular open source players, it doesn’t come with built in Google Analytics tracking. As a possible benefit though it doesn’t use jQuery, so if for some reason you can’t use jQuery, or you’re having issues with jQuery on your website, video.js could be a good option for you.

How to Easily Track jPlayer Audio & Video in Google Analytics


Problem: You have media like an audio file, or a small video, that you want to put on your website, and you want to track whether people are listening or watching to it inside Google Analytics, or even make it a Goal.

Solution: Use jPlayer and the code below to track your jPlayer events into Google Analytics.

Wait a Tick: What’s with the Bob Ross photo?

Google Analytics Real-Time Dashboard Widgets


This thing all things devours:

Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;

Gnaws iron, bites steel;

Grinds hard stones to meal;

Slays king, ruins town,

And beats high mountain down.


The answer to Gollum’s riddle was of course time. It devours all things. It doesn’t do it quickly, it does it drip by drip like water. Throw water at a rock and it splashes and makes the rock wet. Throw water at a rock every second of every day for a thousand years and the rock becomes sand. The slow steady drip of time wears away at everything.

Real-Time data is like watching a river in that respect. It’s watching the steady flow of time and visitors across your site. Ebbing and flowing, changing and reacting. If a standard report in Google Analytics is a table of data presented to you saying “This many cubic feet of water passed us in the past day, including 4 barges, 2 pleasure craft, and an otter.” then a Real-Time report is sitting on a rock watching the river, listening to the sounds. And when things change, you can react quickly. (more…)