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Archive for the ‘Google Analytics’ Category

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.

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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!

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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.

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Non-Interaction Events in Google Analytics

You already know about event tracking in Google Analytics and using it for everything from downloads to video plays. Maybe you’re using jQuery or Google Tag Manager to capture events.

One thing to note about events is that, by default, events affect the bounce rate. That is, if a user lands on a page and an event is triggered, they are not a bounce (even if they don’t view any subsequent pages). In many cases, that’s what you want: after all, if someone engages with the page in some way, you probably don’t want to count them as a bounce any more.

However, you have control over whether those events affect bounce rate. There’s a parameter you can send with the event data to decide this called the “non-interaction” parameter. In a case where a video auto-plays when someone lands on the page, for example, we might want to set the non-interaction parameter so that the bounce rate of that page isn’t zero.

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Share Your Goals in Google Analytics

First there was the honorable GoalCopy plugin for Firefox, which ruled the kingdom for many (internet) years. This tool gave you the magical ability to copy goals from one profile (remember when that’s what they were called?) to another with ease. And the peasants rejoiced.

But then came v5 of Google Analytics, and with this new design the failings of the old king. GoalCopy was dethroned by it’s Chrome extension cousin,  GA Copy and Paste. It was visusally appealing and worked in the new interface. And the peasants rejoiced.

GA Copy and Paste met with its untimely demise when Google Analytics rolled out changes to the Admin, including Goals configuration. The Kingdom fell into chaos, with no ability to copy goals from one View to another. Until now.

Now we have learned of a noble warrior with a true bloodline, claiming the throne. This new leader calls itself by no name, it just sits there ready to copy your goals at a moments notice, either one at a time or in bulk.

You don’t have to download it. It isn’t browser specific. It’s a new feature in Google Analytics.

You can now share your goals. (more…)

Universal Analytics Out of Beta and Into Our Hearts

multi-devices

We write about Universal Analytics all the time in this blog. In fact we’ve been talking about it since October 2012, which seems like an eternity ago. That’s when Google Analytics first announced that it existed. Now, close to a year and a half later, that twinkle in the eyes of several dashingly handsome Google Analytics engineers, has become a full, non-beta, reality. April 2nd, waiting to be sure to be clear of the horrendous world that is announcing things on April 1st, Google announced that Universal Analytics was officially, truly, no holds barred, out of beta.

So what?

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Hands Free Google Analytics – “OK GA”

What do you do if you need to use Google Analytics, but you have a broken hand (or two)?

broken hands
This is the problem we were faced with last year, as two of our analysts were involved in separate bicycle accidents. Using a mouse and keyboard to navigate the reports in Google Analytics proved difficult, if not impossible, with hunks of plaster covering our hands and fingers. (more…)

Statistical Significance Script for Google Analytics

Graph Trend

When comparing two time periods in Google Analytics, we are given a percentage increase or decrease. In situations where there is a dramatic difference (as is often the case for year-over-year comparisons), we can safely assume that the result is statistically significant.

For example, in the below chart, every data point (day) is lower in the second period than in the first. We can reasonably conclude that there has been an increase in visits in our month-over-month comparison.

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Who Instead of How: Why You Are More than a Traffic Source

Direct traffic can be dangerous

Move over social media and search engines. Direct traffic is the next big thing.

Can’t you imagine it already? Direct Traffic Evangelist job titles and Direct Visits marketing plans will force you to revise your resume and attend new conferences.

Dibs on Direct Traffic Online Marketing Conference in 2015!

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Maybe the industry is not ready for a conference next spring. But a recent Mashable article got me thinking after it devalued Facebook (and search) traffic due to less average time on site than direct visits.
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Google Tag Manager Readiness Checklist: 42 Ways to Prep Your Site

Don’t wait until you urgently need a new tag to discover you also need your developers. Put the right infrastructure in place and reap the full benefits of Google Tag Manager.

May 25 is Towel Day

Google Tag Manager is so easy to use, you can start adding tags to a site as soon as the developers put up the GTM container code. To make the most of it, though, you will need your developers’ help.

Some information should not (or cannot) be hard-coded into the tags, because it depends on each visitor’s behavior on your site. What did the visitor buy? What articles did they read? What videos did they watch? What forms did they complete? I could go on (and do, below).

Your developers can pull information from the back-end of your site and make it available on the page. They can also prepare various page elements to work with Google Tag Manager’s listeners, rules, and macros. It all means smoother sailing for you when you want to add tags later.

Follow this checklist to prep your site for Google Tag Manager, and you’ll be ready for almost any tagging request. You’ll be the hero who always knows where your towel is.
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