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Author Archive

How to Increase Your Website Conversion in 30 Bajillion Ways or Maybe Just 1

The sheer number of blog posts out there on how to increase your website conversion rate are overwhelming.

10 Ways to Improve your Website Conversion Rate 

9 Time Tested Ways to Increase Website Conversion

25 Ways to Increase Conversion Rates

 7 Basic Ways to Improve Your Conversion

And you know what, they all make great points. There are some really talented conversion people out there working to make websites better, but if you’re reading this, you’re either a LunaMetrics regular, or you’re reading this post looking for SOMETHING SIMPLE you can do to start out.  (more…)

55+ Google Analytics Custom Alerts – The Check Engine Light For Your Data

Last month, Phil wrote a blog about five features of Google Analytics that you probably are not using, but there obviously are more than five, and here’s another one that you probably aren’t using, but you should. In fact, I think this is probably one of the KEY things you should do when setting up an account and a new website, and it’s my bet that the vast majority of people don’t do it at all.

Custom Alerts

Why use Custom Alerts? Because you don’t check your analytics every day. OK well some of you data geeks that read this blog do, and I do, but most people who are just regular people, they don’t. That guy who is wearing 20 hats, he doesn’t have time to go over his data every morning for an hour or two. You could argue he should, but maybe he doesn’t. Custom Alerts can let him know, in general, if there is something that needs his or her attention. Is something significant, or at least possibly significant happening? Should someone take a look? it’s like a check oil or check engine light on your car. If the light doesn’t come on you probably (I hope) change the oil on your car regularly, but if something is going wrong with your oil, then you sure are glad that light is coming on to let you know to check it. (more…)

20 Ways to Use Google Analytics Custom Variables

Google Analytics Custom VariablesThis is not a “How to Install Custom Variables” post.

I’m not going to bore you with a long rambling introduction to Google Analytics Custom Variables. We’ve talked about Google Analytics Custom Variables a few times on this blog, as we should… They’re an amazingly powerful way to get more out of your site data. Jonathan Weber’s early series from 2010 is still mostly valid though it uses the older traditional tracking code. If you need a primer, they’re a good place to start:

Google Analytics Custom Variables, Part 1: Why?

Custom Variables, Part 2: The Code

Custom Variables, Part 3: Slots

Also don’t forget what Michael Harrison laid out at the end of last year. Custom variables need to be in your code BEFORE a pageview or event is tracked, or they won’t work at all. Also the code he uses on this page is the current asynchronous tracking code format for custom variables:

Google Analytics Custom Variables Not Working?

And hey since I’m linking things, the best resource is usually from the source. Here’s the Google guide for Custom Variables.

 

https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/gajs/gaTrackingCustomVariables

Hopefully you can discern the basics from those articles, and others across the web about how exactly to use custom variables, how to segment your reports, etc. This post though is about specific ways to use them. it’s funny how often I’ll talk to a client who seems to understand that they’re very powerful, but can’t figure out ways to use them on their site.

So here are twenty different ways you can use custom variables. Five for each of the four main website types. Content sites, Ecommerce Sites, Lead Generation Sites, and Self Service sites.

(more…)

Better Adwords Remarketing through Google Analytics

Back in May our own Brittany Baeslack wrote up a great post on the Four Essential Rules to PPC Remarketing which laid out how exciting the new remarketing trends are and what you could do as an organization to leverage remarketing to improve your Adwords buys. Her post has been updated to reflect the exciting new changes AdWords has made to remarketing implementation. Remarketing essentially if you’re not familiar with it, is a way for you to place Google Adwords specifically to people who have visited your site before. It’s a way of saying “Hey this person visited my site, I want to show THEM ads to try and remind them to come back to my site.” Back in May this was done by placing a piece of code on a specific page on your site, and if a person visited that site you could identify them on a list in your Google Adwords, and then choose to focus ads on only those people. Pretty powerful stuff. (more…)

Wilhelm and Henriette: A Conversion Rate Optimization Folk Tale

Sometimes interesting modern conversion rate optimization lessons can be learned from old folktales, such as the Story of Wilhelm, Henriette and the Black Fleece.

Wilhelm and Henriette and the Black Fleece Children's Book about Conversion Rate Optimization

(more…)

Google Website Optimizer is Dead. Long live Google Analytics Content Experiments

Until a few days ago we’ve had to keep this one under wraps, but with the official announcement on the Google Analytics Blog Friday we can finally talk about the all new Google Analytics Content Experiments. This is the all new, tied directly into your analytics, testing software to replace Google Website Optimizer. Google Website Optimizer will slowly be decomissioned over this year, and replaced fully by these new Content Experiments. So if your’e starting any A/B testing anytime soon, time to do it in here rather than in GWO.

Let’s do a quick run through on how to use and set up these new tests. It’s really simple, and A/B testing is something pretty much everyone is capable of doing, and should give a try.

The first screen below here is where you start. It’s under Content in the left navigation, and from there you’ll see “Experiments”. This brings you to the first page. The first step is to simply enter in the URL of the page you’d like to A/B test. Enter the original URL, so if it’s your index.php home page then put in www.mydomain.com/index.php for instance (Where obviously you’re replacing mydomain with your actual website domain.)

Google Analytics Content Experiments Screen 1

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INFOGRAPHIC: How To Use Usability Testing To Increase Your Conversions

How To Use Usability Testing To Increase Your Conversions - Title Image

A.B.T. Always be testing. This is the mantra of successful website owners. But what does that mean? Well you should be testing everything, but how can you really know what’s wrong with your website, or why people are having problems, or generate possible fixes? Simple. Regular and repeated cycles of usability testing. Check out our infographic on how to use usability testing to increase your conversions after the jump…

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A Google Analytics Social Engagement Tracking WordPress Plugin

Telly Savalas - Who Loves Ya Baby

Social tracking in Google Analytics is changing.

Gone are the days where we measured social engagement as an aspect of a visitor.

Since I think sometime last week.

The social reports were under “Audience”. “Such and such a user” is socially engaged. We’d see whether socially engaged people were more likely to purchase something or complete a goal. Of course we had to add extra code to get that to happen with any other social sharing than Google+.

But how useful was that? So the person who shared your product on Twitter had a higher conversion rate? Is that really a shock?

Of course there was other information that was related to social media that wasn’t located there in the audience section. Referrals from social sources for instance. Looking at how often a page was shared, and then how often visitors to that page from similar social sources converted, was a far more complicated report to divine.

Well now it’s all about traffic. It’s about what that social sharing is DOING for you.  Those socially engaged people… What are they sharing, and what pages are being shared, and the people who come in from social media.. What are they up to?

It’s about the social traffic coming into your site, and how those different sources, actions, and hubs affect your conversion. It’s about putting it all in once place so you can best take advantage of it.

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Foursquare Check-In Ethics

Wait… Did that title read… ethics?

"Like the sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." - Socrates

"Like the sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." - Socrates

Yes. Ethics. Moral Philosophy. It’s a branch of philosophy that deals the concepts of right and wrong. What is right? What is wrong? Etc. The early greek philosophers like Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC) would talk about ethics. He encouraged people to look at “the condition of humankind” (quoting wikipedia not Socrates… because he spoke ancient greek). He saw knowledge about human life placed higher above all other knowledge. Self-knowledge was therefore needed for success, and therefore good. A self-aware person, thought Socrates, would within his or her own limits be able to succeed, whereas someone not self-aware would have failure. He also thought that people would naturally do the right thing, if they know it’s the right thing. He felt that evil or bad actions (like cheating) were the result of ignorance. If a crook were fully aware of all the mental, physical, and spiritual consequences of their actions, they would not commit their crimes. So in Socrates mind knowledge was correlated with virtue, and virtue was correlated with happiness.
“The truly wise man will know what is right, do what is good, and therefore be happy.”

(more…)

Tracking Your Social Engagement With Google Analytics

We’ve talked about Social Engagement before, but I thought it’d be a good idea to put everything in one spot, to make it easier for the average Joe to set up their web page to track social engagement. First though let’s go over the basics.

Social Engagement Tracking is Awesome

What is Social Engagement

Primarily this is referring to when a visitor to your website likes your page on Facebook, or clicks the Twitter button or Google’s +1, or even a share on LinkedIn. We were originally going to include Pinterest as well in this post, but we’re still having problems working nicely with their API. Hopefully they release something soon that let’s us Analytics nerds have better access.

So when someone, for instance, like’s your page, it will get recorded as that user being socially engaged. You’ll see which users are socially engaged, which pages generated the most engagement, etc.

Google’s documentation regarding social tracking can be found here.

 

Available Reports on Social Engagement

There are several basic reports available on social engagement by default in Google Analytics located under the Audience section.

Social Engagement in Google Analytics

Audience > Social > Engagement is the primary report where you can compare the number of pages viewed per visit, the average time on site, the bounce rate, and other normal metrics for visits. This can help you determine whether people who used social actions that are available on your site viewed fewer or more pages, than people who did not use social actions.

 

Audience > Social > Action compares the number of social actions for each social source, and social source-action combination. For example you can compare “Likes” and “sends” from Facebook on your site, or compare the total Facebook interactions, with the total Twitter interactions.

 

Audience > Social > Pages allows you to compare the number of actions for each page of your site. You will see the information by social source, and social source-action combination. For example you will be able to see which pages prompted the most Facebook actions or the most Facebook likes, or the most Twitter Tweets. On this report Page is where the social action takes place, and Social Entity is the page that was shared.

 

How to Set Up Social Analytics

You will need to use the _trackSocial action for everything other than Google + buttons. Those are included automatically by Google, however all Facebook and Twitter interactions need to be tracked independently. In his recent Pinterest post, Jim makes a great point about also for the moment tracking things as Events, but we’re going to keep it simple here and just do TrackSocial. Maybe we can do a second follow up post and have an advanced version of the code.

 

First, be sure to include your Google Analytics Code!

Be sure to have the Asynchronous Tracking Code running on all pages. This code won’t work properly without up-to-date tracking code from Google. Be sure that your tracking code is tracking to the correct account.

 

Include the ga_social_tracking.js file on all pages

You will need to include a file on every page that is called ga_social_tracking.js and contains the following code. This code does not need to be modified. It can also be found at http://code.google.com/p/analytics-api-samples/source/browse/trunk/src/tracking/javascript/v5/social/ga_social_tracking.js

 

Include the Twitter JS-API Async Code in the Head

Twitter requires you to include the following code in the head of your document. This code does not need to be modified.

Here’s the code if you want to ‘cut n paste’

<!– Load Twitter JS-API asynchronously –>
<script>
(function(){
var twitterWidgets = document.createElement(‘script’);
twitterWidgets.type = ‘text/javascript’;
twitterWidgets.async = true;
twitterWidgets.src = ‘http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;
// Setup a callback to track once the script loads.
twitterWidgets.onload = _ga.trackTwitter;
document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(twitterWidgets);
})();
</script>

Add the LinkedIn Share Button Code to the Head

Add the following code for LinkedIn sharing to the head of your document as well. This code does not need to be modified

Here’s that specific code:

<!– LinkedIn Share Button tracking–>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
function LinkedInShare() {
_gaq.push(['_trackSocial', 'LinkedIn', 'Share']);
}
</script>

 

Check the scripts in your head. They should be something like this…

<head>

<script>

/******Asynchronous Google Analytics Tracking Code******/
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

<!– Google Analytics Social Button Tracking –>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.yourdomainname.com/ga_social_tracking.js”></script>

<!– Load Twitter JS-API asynchronously –>
<script>
(function(){
var twitterWidgets = document.createElement(‘script’);
twitterWidgets.type = ‘text/javascript’;
twitterWidgets.async = true;
twitterWidgets.src = ‘http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;
// Setup a callback to track once the script loads.
twitterWidgets.onload = _ga.trackTwitter;
document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(twitterWidgets);
})();
</script>

<!– LinkedIn Share Button tracking–>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
function LinkedInShare() {
_gaq.push(['_trackSocial', 'LinkedIn', 'Share']);
}
</script>

</head>

Ok now to the bottom of the page…

 

Add Facebook code to the Bottom of the Page

This code for Facebook needs to be included somewhere on the page. You can put it anywhere within the <body> however because it is non-async we recommend you put it at the end of the page.

<!–Facebook Scripts–>
<script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>_ga.trackFacebook();</script>

Add Twitter code to the Bottom of the Page

Like the Facebook script above, this is non-async code, so should be placed somewhere on the page within the <body> and we recommend placing it at the end of the page.

<!– Twitter Scripts –>
<script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);</script>

Add Google+ code to the Bottom of the Page

Like the Facebook and Twitter code, Google+ buttons need a little on page help. Add this code to the bottom of the page for Google+ buttons.

<!– Google+ Scripts –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
(function() {
var po = document.createElement(‘script’); po.type = ‘text/javascript’; po.async = true;
po.src = ‘https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);
})();
</script>

Add LinkedIn code to the Bottom of the Page

And  this code must be included once per page within the body, but preferably near the end of the page as it is non-async.

<!– LinkedIn Scripts–>
<script src=”http://platform.linkedin.com/in.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>


Review the Bottom Code

Your code at the bottom of the page should look like this…

<!– Facebook Scripts –>
<div id=”fb-root”></div><script src=”http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1″></script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>_ga.trackFacebook();</script>

<!– Twitter Scripts–>
<script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);</script>

<!– Google+ Scripts –>
<script type=”text/javascript”>
(function() {
var po = document.createElement(‘script’); po.type = ‘text/javascript’; po.async = true;
po.src = ‘https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s);
})();
</script>

<!– Linked In Scripts –>
<script src=”http://platform.linkedin.com/in.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>

</body>

 

BUTTONS

Ok it’s time to add the actual buttons. Here you have a bit more leeway because the scripts you’ve set up should now enable the social tracking on all four buttons.

 

Adding Facebook Buttons

With the above code installed, adding a Facebook like button is as simple as including a line of code similar to the one here where you wish the Like button to be located. Be sure to change the href value to the appropriate domain and page. If it is placed on a Blog page, it should have the URL for that page placed within the code on each page, otherwise the ‘like’ will be for the blog as a whole, rather than a specific page.

<fb:like href=”http://www.yourdomain.com/pagename.htm” send=”true” width=”450″ show_faces=”false” font=”"></fb:like>

The attributes can also be found on this page: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/

You can modify the code with various attributes that are described on that page under Step 1. For instance in the line above I have “send” being true which adds the send button next to the like button. I also have show_faces as false. If true it would display profile photos beneath the URL. Width lets you control the width on the page that the button will take, it can go smaller, or wider for instance. All the attributes are on the link above, and should be reviewed.

 

Adding Twitter Buttons

Twitter buttons are similar to Facebook, in that you simply add the following code or something similar where you wish the Tweet button to be located.

<a href=”http://twitter.com/share” data–count=”horizontal” data–url=”http://www.yourexamplewebpage.com” data via=”yourtwittername” data–text=”Your custom message” class=”twitter–share–button”>Tweet</a>

This code also needs to be modified. The data-url should be for the page you are referring to, the URL and the page itself.  I recommend using this Twitter page to create a button:

http://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons#tweet

When there you can choose which button to use, and add the button options. This might create something like this…

<a href=”https://twitter.com/share” class=”twitter-share-button” data-via=”YourTwitterUsername ” data-hashtags=”SocialMedia”>Tweet</a>

<script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);</script>

With that code, simply delete the <script> section and only use the bolded a link area inline where you wish the button to be located. The script itself that you’re deleting here you added to the bottom of every page in step 6.

 

Adding Google+ Buttons

Google+ is automatically tracked by Google Analytics, but you still need a button. I recommend using the Google page that helps you add the button to your website: http://www.google.com/intl/en/webmasters/+1/button/index.html

The standard tag is:

<g:plusone></g:plusone>

And the most minimal tag is

<g:plusone annotation=”none”></g:plusone>

When you choose your options, simply copy the tag code such as above, and ignore the <script> render call, which you’ve already included on every page in step 7.

 

Adding LinkedIn Buttons

LinkedIn needs a little bit of help. Like the other buttons above it’s best to use the LinkedIn code itself located at https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/share-plugin-generator to generate your button. The generated script on the page will look something like this:

<script src=”//platform.linkedin.com/in.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>
<script type=”IN/Share” data-counter=”right”></script>

Be sure to only include the second line listed, as you have included the first line in the bottom of your page in step 8. There are other options, so it’s best to use the URL to be shared in the link itself, generated by your page.

<script type=”IN/Share” data-url=”http://www.yourdomain.com/pagename.htm” data-counter=”right”  data-onsuccess=”LinkedInShare”></script>

Also add the line data-onsuccess=”LinkedInShare” which will activate the function included in the head to track a LinkedIn share as a social engagement.

 

Variations – Box Count

You like the box counts like in the first image above?

<h2>Vertical Count Buttons</h2>
<!– Vertical Count Buttons –>
<div style=”position:relative;width:270px;height:70px;margin:auto;”>
<!– Facebook Vertical Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:0x;”>
<div class=”fb-like” data-href=”http://www.yourdomain.com” data-send=”false” data-layout=”box_count” data-width=”450″ data-show-faces=”true”></div>
</div>
<!– LinkedIn Vertical Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:60px;”>
<script src=”//platform.linkedin.com/in.js” type=”text/javascript”></script>
<script type=”IN/Share” data-url=http://www.yourdomain.com” data-counter=”top” data-onsuccess=”LinkedInShare”></script>
</div>
<!– Twitter Vertical Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:140px;”>
<a href=”http://twitter.com/share” data-count=”vertical” data-url=http://www.yourdomain.com” data-related=”Related Twitter Handle Like The Company” data-text=”Insert Twitter Default Message Here” data-via=”Your Twitter Handle” class=”twitter-share-button”>Tweet</a>
</div>
<!– Google+ Vertical Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:220px;”>
<g:plusone size=”tall” href=”http://www.yourdomain.com”></g:plusone>
</div>
</div>

Boom. There you go.

Variations – Horizontal Count

You like the lower kind, under the picture of the awesome puppy?

<h2>Horizontal Count Buttons</h2>
<!– Horizontal Count Buttons –>
<div style=”position:relative;width:370px;height:20px;margin:auto;”>
<!– Facebook Horizontal Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;”><div class=”fb-like” data-href=”http://www.yourdomain.com” data-send=”false” data-layout=”button_count” data-width=”70″ data-show-faces=”true”></div></div>
<!– LinkedIn Horizontal Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:90px;”><script type=”IN/Share” data-url=”http://www.yourdomain.com” data-counter=”right”></script></div>
<!– Twitter Horizontal Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:200px;”><a href=”https://twitter.com/share” class=”twitter-share-button” data-url=”http://www.yourdomain.com” data-via=”YourTwitterName” data-hashtags=”social”>Tweet</a></div>
<!– Google+ Horizontal Count Button –>
<div style=”position:absolute;top:0px;left:310px;”><g:plusone size=”medium” href=”http://www.yourdomain.com”></g:plusone></div>
</div>

Shazam. You’re welcome.

Don’t forget to add the correct domains, twitter handles, descriptions etc.

Conclusion

With the code above in place, you can place Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn buttons across any of your sites where the code is included, and all sharing on those buttons will be included as Social Engagements in your Google Analytics tracking data. There are admittedly a few steps, but it’s mostly easy cut and pasting, and before long, you should not only be helping your users share your pages with their friends and colleagues, but you’ll be able to track when they do so.

Got any questions about implementing social engagement tracking? Write us below and we’ll get back to you uncomfortably fast with the answers.