Upcoming LunaMetrics Seminars
Los Angeles - Anaheim, Sep 8-12 Washington DC, Sep 22-26 Boston, Oct 6-10 Chicago, Oct 20-24

Archive for the ‘Google Analytics’ Category

Google Analytics Data Mining with Big Query and R

Big Query and Big Query Export for Google Analytics give us the power to visualize and explore virtually any trend in our GA data. It’s really quite powerful stuff. Because this tool is still very new, I want to get the conversation started on how advanced reporting can augment our digital analytics.

In this post I discuss data mining and the advanced reporting of Google Analytics data. I provide an R script for generating an E-commerce report with visualizations that are not possible within Google Analytics.

(more…)

Are You Missing Referral Traffic in Universal Analytics?

Don’t fall for that old Jedi mind trick and simply ignore what Universal Analytics tells you to ignore… they might be the referrals you are looking for.

fooling the troopers with an old mind trick

Did you know that Universal Analytics’ default setting is not to count referrals from your domain? That’s right, Universal Analytics is going to ignore self-referrals by default. This may not be a good thing if you need the information to fix coding errors, but that’s another story.

Today’s story is how to make sure that your idea of self-referrals matches what Universal Analytics is calling a self-referral. If it doesn’t, you may be ignoring some referrals that you didn’t want to ignore. Depending on your situation, you may need to change a setting or even add some custom code to see all the referrals you want.

Read more to understand what’s really going on with referrals in Universal Analytics so you can make an informed decision about what to ignore.

(more…)

Using Google Alerts and Google Analytics for Online Reputation Management

What is Online Reputation Management?

Online Reputation Management

“Online Reputation Management”, or ORM, can be thought of simply as SEO combined with online public relations and social monitoring – how you or your brand is perceived online. How can you know what your online reputation is? Is it possible to measure if your reputation is affecting revenue? Since search optimization plays a huge role in a brand’s reputation, the two are often connected. However in addition to a strong SEO effort, there are several methods to manage your online reputation.

Many software-as-a-service solutions monitor conversation online – from free widgets to enterprise-level applications. These SaaS platforms are great for in-house customer service outreach and monitoring conversations on Twitter and some public Facebook pages. However a major investment may not be not worth it if you are looking for clean, reliable, consistent data.

Facebook, other social networks, forums, news and aggregator sites have changing privacy settings, nofollows and robots.txt to prevent site crawling which can block ORM monitoring software from finding keywords. Again, these providers may prove useful for other purposes, but I believe there is no catch-all ORM tool currently. The good news is that you can use free tools like Google Alerts and Google Analytics to begin to understand and measure your online reputation.

(more…)

Campaign Tracking with a Dynamic Source

Where-do-you-come-fromDo you want to track your press releases or distributed content (widgets, infographics, embedded content, etc.)? I’m going to show you a much better way to do that with campaign tracking in Google Analytics.

I was recently asked a question by an attendee to our Google Analytics training in Los Angeles about using campaign tracking in Google Analytics:

We distribute press releases that get distributed and posted on various websites.  I want to be able to track any traffic generated by those pickups as part of a campaign, but also know from which sites the traffic is coming.  What happens is I simply leave utm_source out?

(more…)

Using APIs To Add Insight To Google Analytics

a.baa-small-neighborhood-on-shore

Want to segment your users by whether they live in a cool neighborhood in GA? We’ve got an API for that.

How Much Does Scrap Metal Cost?

About a year ago we were working with a client who wanted to bring some very specific data into their Google Analytics account. They wanted to compare their site traffic with the current price of scrap metal, by adding it as a Custom Variable on the visit. While scrap metal prices aren’t exactly something that would help many other clients, we started thinking more about different kinds of ways we could pull other information from APIs around the web, into Google Analytics, in ways that would increase our insight. (more…)

Universal Analytics Upgrade One-Pager For Decision-Makers

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!

Universal-Upgrade-One-Pager

Read on for more information and the full text of the one-pager!  (more…)

Statistical Significance Chrome Extension for Google Analytics

Note: This article contains updates to the previous article “Statistical Significance Script for Google Analytics”, which has been redirected to this article. See the changelog for details.
google analytics statistics iconGoogle Analytics Statistical Significance script

In March I wrote a script for the statistical evaluation of time-frame comparisons in Google Analytics. The idea seemed well received, but who wants to have to hit F12, open their developer console, and then come back to my blog post for the code… every time you want to run the script?

So, I converted the script into a Chrome Extension (click below)!

 

GA stat buton

(more…)

One Goal, Many Values with Lookup Tables in Google Tag Manager

Google Analytics Events + GTM Lookup Tables = Super Groovy Goal Values!

psychedelic_guitar_wallpaper_by_jefferywright-d3g9es6

Here’s a familiar refrain: Need KPIs? Assign goal values to your non-ecommerce goals in Google Analytics – for example, calculate the average value of a lead and enter that as the goal value.

And a less-familiar verse: Should you settle for the average value? Not if the actual values vary widely. Distributions matter!

Suppose you have one lead form for many types of leads. The user might request info about option A, a potential sale worth nearly twice as much as option B, and five times as much as option C. And what about options D, E, F, and so on?

New verse: You don’t have to give them all the same goal value. And you don’t have to create multiple goals to give them each a different value.

Send different event values to Google Analytics for each type of lead with a lookup table in Google Tag Manager. And then set the event value as the goal value in the Google Analytics interface.

You say your goal is based on the thank-you page URL and not an event? No problem. Fire an event when the user reaches the thank-you page and use that event to define the goal instead.

Follow these four steps to add more meaningful values and make your goal data rock.

(more…)

Long Page URLs in Internet Explorer Cause Missing Pageviews, Transactions in Google Analytics

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.

The Longest Place NameIn 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!

(more…)

Tracking Clicks Using Custom Data Attributes, Google Tag Manager, and Google Analytics

Let's Go Pens

Let’s Go Pens!

By setting up some simple Macros, Rules and Tags in Google Tag Manager you can track anything you want on your site as an Event or Virtual Pageview by simply adding Custom Data Attributes to the on-page HTML elements, rather than adding additional Google Analytics tracking code to your website. This has several benefits:

  1. You keep all your tracking code in a single location, Google Tag Manager. Rather than have tracking code all over various pages and templates, now all your actual tracking is in one location.
  2. Your analytics become fuller with more insight. No other method lets you as easily track external links, downloads, or events on your site. Documents which before were untracked, now can be quickly tracked with various specific dimensions for much greater insight.
  3. Your site tracking becomes less prone to technical errors. Rather than 100 lines of tracking code all over the place, or even on specific links, now your actual tracking code is in one place and less likely to do something horrible like break your entire visitor session.
  4. You can easily add additional tracking in the future. By following the rules below you can almost immediately and easily track anything on your website that is clicked.

(more…)