Archive for the ‘Google Analytics’ Category
“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…)
Don’t let bad data crash your analytics party.
One of the benefits of client-side, tag-based analytics (as opposed to server side analytics) is that you generally don’t have to filter out traffic from bots.
However, it seems lately that some bots (*cough, cough* Microsoft) have been showing up in Google Analytics like an uninvited guest, crashing the data party. (more…)
Implementing Google Analytics can be pretty easy: copy and paste the code, hopefully into some sort of template file that’s used on every page on your website. Done!
But you know it’s not always that easy. First, there’s not just one template, of course, there’s that special one for the landing pages, oh, and this application on our subdomain uses a whole different server. Oh, and you wanted to put some AdWords tracking code or another tool on all those, too?
Then, of course, you’re not allowed to just copy and paste code into the website. It has to go into the update and testing queue, and three months later, if you’re lucky, it will go into production.
A tag management tool can help you with some of these issues. It’s not a cure-all, and it’s not necessarily any better for you if you don’t face these kind of issues, but if you do, it can pave the way for an easier experience. (more…)
Why do advanced segments get all the love in Google Analytics? What about report filters and profile (view) filters? Filters and segments work differently. Do you know when you need a filter instead of a segment?
You may think a segment is isolating the data you want and instead it returns too much data. Or you may think you’re getting all the data you want, and later find out a big chunk is missing.
To understand when you need a filter, it helps to know how filters and segments work. I highly recommend a read, or re-read, of Avinash Kaushik’s explanation of hits vs. sessions, because it all comes down to segments working on the session-level, and filters working on the hit-level.
But first let me show you how segments can go wrong. (more…)
In my last article, I discussed 5 ways people stifle SEO campaigns at the macro level by focusing on the wrong KPIs.
Today, I’d like to discuss a few common Google Analytics pitfalls we see when it comes to SEO. (more…)
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…)
Last week, I sent an email to my fellow LunaMetricians asking one question, “what’s some big mistakes you see when it comes to SEO and measurement/Google Analytics?”
The measurement masters came up with some good stuff, and I’ll discuss five high-level screw-ups people make when it comes to analyzing SEO metrics.
Let’s start from the top.
1. Obsessing over Rankings
Ever Google the term “SEO definition“? The results have been getting better, but there’s still some severely outdated definitions ranking highly. Here’s a taste of the bad stuff:
“Search engine optimization is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.”
“Stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Just about every Webmaster wants his or her site to appear in the top listings of all the major search engines…”
The second excerpt comes from a 400 word entry that seriously talks about Meta Keywords and directory submissions as viable SEO tactics. But I digress.
What the outdated and crappy definitions how SEO all have in common is they paint a verbal picture that high rankings are the goal of SEO. That is false.
In part 1 of this series, I showed you how to use Universal Analytics and the Measurement Protocol to track whether or not someone opened your email.
Now we’re going to kick it up a notch use email to tag visitors with a unique ID. This will let you track visitors to your site across devices, like below:
We’ll continue from where we left off after the last post, so I’ll assume you’re already using Universal Analytics, and you have a custom metric set up to keep track of email opens. We’ll continue to use MailChimp to walk you through setting this up, but you should be able to apply these steps to whatever email marketing platform you’re using.
In step 1 of the last post, you created a custom metric in the Google Analytics admin interface called Email Opens to track the number of times an email was opened. This time, you’ll create a new custom dimension called Visitor ID to keep track of individual users.
Log in to Google Analytics and go to the Admin section. Select your account and web property, and click on Custom Definitions under the Web Property column. Then click on Custom Dimensions.
In the next window, click on the New Custom Dimension button, and give your custom dimension a name (I recommend Visitor ID) and set the scope to User. Also, make sure the Active check box is checked.
Now that you’ve set up your custom dimension, it’s time to start populating it. In our example, we’re going to do that through email marketing. When someone opens your email, it will show up in Google Analytics as an email open from visitor ID 12345 (or whatever their ID is). And when they click on a link in the email, it will show up as a visit from that same visitor ID.
To do this in MailChimp, there’s a feature that we’ll take advantage of called Ecommerce 360 link tracking. You’ll find this in the Setup phase when you’re creating an email campaign – check the box for Ecommerce 360 link tracking:
So, what is Ecommerce 360? Basically, it makes it possible to track visitors from your email campaigns, capture transaction information, and pass it back to MailChimp.
But that’s not why we’re using it. We’re using it because when you have it enabled and someone clicks on one of your email links, it adds a couple of parameters to the end of your URL. Specifically, these are the parameters:
The mc_cid parameter is the internal MailChimp campaign ID and the mc_eid parameter is the unique, MailChimp-generated ID for the list member.
In other words, MailChimp is giving you the unique ID to use in your Visitor ID dimension!
To get that ID stored in your Visitor ID custom dimension, you’ll need a tiny bit of script on your page to check for that value in the URL and capture it. If you look at the source code on this site, you’ll see our Universal Analytics code has been updated to include this extra code (lines 9-17):
ga('create', 'UA-296882-21', 'lunametrics.com');
var hash = location.hash;
var mcId = hash.match('mc_eid=(.*)');
var cid = tracker.get('clientId');
var vid = mcId;
ga('set', 'dimension1', vid);
With the script above, plus the Ecommerce 360 option in MailChimp, you’ll now be capturing the user ID of visitors who click on the links in your emails, but remember, we also want to do that if they open the email (without clicking a link).
To do that, we’re going to modify the code from step 6 in the previous post. This is where we’re placing our “fake” image at the bottom of the email that sends the data to Google Analytics:
The only difference from the previous post (the code above) is that we’re now also going to add the unique ID to the custom dimension. We can do that as follows:
OK, so I admit that you’ll have to roll up your sleeves and get your hands a little dirty with some code. But your efforts will be rewarded with large sums of money and glory.
You’ll now be able to see the following scenario playing out in your data:
Visitor ID 12345 (which you can match back to John Q. Smith in MailChimp) opened your email on his phone on a Monday. Then he opened the same email from his computer on Tuesday and clicked the link to go to your site, where he browse around but didn’t convert. Then he came back to your site on Thursday and made a purchase (or signed up, subscribed, etc.).
Cross device nirvana!
Colliding galaxies, because the universe
Everybody these days knows about the awesome power of jQuery. Among its multitude of uses, it allows you to target elements on an HTML page in bulk. Let's say you have a page with a hundred different links on it. You might want to target twenty of the links inside a particular list element only, and apply some special click event to just those elements. jQuery is the tool for you, as it can save you from having to write twenty different onclick attributes on each a tag.
jQuery is also an invaluable tool for Google Analytics, as it allows us to reliably target clicks on links of a certain type and send some special event to Google Analytics. For example, you might want to fire off a virtual pageview every time someone clicks on a link with the .pdf extension. Or you might want to fire a custom event on every click of an external link. jQuery makes this task easy, so long as you know how to use it.
Enter the Google Analytics jQuery Tracking Generator. This wizard will auto-generate custom jQuery code to help you fire off custom events, virtual pageviews, or custom variables to Google Analytics, on the links or forms of your choosing!