Today’s post will kick things off by looking first at how to track email opens in Google Analytics. My next post will show how to tag a visitor with a unique ID, so you’ll be able to track them across devices (like in the image below). Finally, we’ll tie it all together so you can see visitor behavior from opening your email to visiting your site and (hopefully!) converting.
We’ll use MailChimp - a popular (and free, if you want to play along) email marketing manager to walk you through how to set this up, but you should be able to apply the same steps to any email marketing solution you use. (more…)
The new goal setup in Google Analytics is great, unless you want to organize your goals. Here’s how to cope until (fingers crossed) Google fixes it.
Let me start by saying I love the new, clean look of the goal configuration screens. I love that GA is always adding new features and making adjustments. Every week there’s a surprise, often a pleasant one. One of the best things in the new goal setup is the next to last step: “Verify this Goal.” Why, yes! Yes, I would like to verify this goal before saving it and wondering next week where all my goal data is. Or without taking several extra steps to verify my goal first.
I’m perfectly happy about the clean, new direction of the administrative UI, except for one thing. The goals list is a jumbled mess!
Problem 1: Numbered Goals Now Alphabetized
Previously when I looked at the Goals UI, the goals were listed in the order they appeared in my reports. First I had Goal Set 1, and any goals I had configured in that set, then Goal Set 2, and so on.
Now the goals are alphabetized by the name of the goal, without regard to how they appear in my reports. All my macro conversions are in Set 1 (and they still are), but I can’t easily see that in this list. (more…)
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?
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. (more…)
You probably already know about the Funnel Visualization and Goal Flow reports in Google Analytics. They’re a great way to understand how users complete (or don’t) some kind of process on your website, such as filling out a series of forms, like a registration or checkout.
Sometimes, though, there isn’t a clear path. On this site, for example, we have a contact form that doesn’t just appear on one page, it appears in lots of pages, and this isn’t an uncommon feature of lead generation sites. Likewise, sometimes people say things like, “Well, page X is our goal. But you can actually get here either by going A > B > X, or by A > P > Q > X, depending on what options you choose.” How do we know which way people got to X?
The Reverse Goal Path is a report that helps fill in these details. You’ll find it under Conversions > Goals in the left-hand navigation in Google Analytics, and like all the goal reports, you can select a particular goal you want to see from the drop-down at the top. It’s very simple: it gives you the goal completion URL and the URL of each of the 3 pages that came immediately before. You don’t have to predefine a funnel or anything, it simply looks 3 pages back in the visit and tells you what they were.
So here’s an example from our contact form. The first column is the “Goal Completion Location”, which in this case is always /about-us/contact/thank-you/. Then each of the subsequent columns walks back one page, telling us whether someone was on the home page, the contact details page, the client list, etc. No funnel necessary!
To sort out this information, note that you can use the advanced filter. So if you’re only interested in one particular path or page, you can narrow down the possibilities you’ll see here. (more…)
One of the advantages of Google Analytics Premium is that you can get unsampled data, but it’s still processed data. Have you dreamed of getting access to your raw GA data?
Those dreams are about to come true. Announced today at Google I/O: later this year BigQuery will be available to users of Google Analytics Premium.
Query hit-level data at interactive speed
BigQuery is a web service that lets you query billions of rows, a.k.a. Big Data, with a response time in seconds. Without Google Analytics Premium, you upload some data first and then run your queries.
With Google Analytics Premium, your hit-level GA data will be available for the same type of interactive ad hoc queries. Pose a question, get an answer. Does that lead to another question? Rinse and repeat! You can batch queries, too.
Build complex queries and join data sets
Direct granular access to your GA data opens the door for all kinds of complex queries. You’ll also be able to combine data sets from other sources for powerful business insights.
Imagine having data at your fingertips to solve problems like these: (more…)
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? (more…)
Google Analytics Content Experiments are a great way to quickly and easily set up simple A/B tests for your website. And for most people, setting up these experiments can be done using the interface in Google Analytics.
However, there are some who desire a little more control over the variation pages, that just can’t be done through the setup wizard.
For example, when you’re choosing you’re variation pages, you can specify full (exact) URLs for the variations, or relative URLs. If you choose to specify the variations by the full URL, you’d end up with something like:
If you choose relative URLs, you can take advantage of query parameters to specify your variations. This makes it possible to do site-wide tests, by placing the Content Experiment code on every “original” page of the site. Then, for your variation URLs, you’d have: (more…)
Your social media traffic data is split across several reports in Google Analytics. Are you taking steps to get it together?
Social media traffic sources appear in Social :: Network Referrals, as well as in Sources :: All Traffic and Sources :: Referrals. They also appear in Sources :: Campaigns if you use campaign-tagged links, not to mention the ones masquerading as direct traffic.
There’s little you can do about the direct traffic, but to get a handle on the rest of it, it’s helpful to understand where the reports overlap and where they don’t. Some of the sources for these visits are accounted for across reports. Others appear only in Sources reports and not in Social reports.
For example, the Sources :: All Traffic report shows visits from t.co and twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com (values of the Source dimension), while the Social :: Network Referrals report pulls them together as visits from Twitter (a single value of the Social Network dimension).
It’s not clear from these two reports whether the two campaign-tagged sources “twitter” and “Twitter” on the left are also pulled together into the social network “Twitter” on the right. Actually it’s not even clear that the other three sources are part of the social network, either, but we’d like to think that, wouldn’t we? (more…)
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…)