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Using APIs To Add Insight To Google Analytics

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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. Read 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!  Read More…

Top 5 Must-See SEO Sessions at SMX Advanced Seattle

In a couple of weeks, I will be attending the 2014 SMX Advanced conference in Seattle, WA. This is my first search marketing conference, and I couldn’t be more excited to be locked in a room with a bunch of SEO and PPC nerds (like me) from June 10-12. I’ve reviewed this year’s agenda more times than I’m willing to admit. Read 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

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Free Excel Workbook for Analyzing Screaming Frog Data

We here at LunaMetrics are born from data and to data we return time and time again to uncover insights and craft strategy. But staring at large sets of data is a mind numbing process, one I personally hate. So when I began performing health checks for large websites I immediately starting thinking about how I could eliminate as much work as possible. Using some Excel magic, many Mr. Excel videos, and data pulled from Screaming Frog I created a simple copy & paste workbook that counts, totals, and visualizes all the data Screaming Frog gives you.

Shout out to Dan Sharp of Screaming Frog for his great feedback on this workbook. Keep an eye out for Screaming Frogs new version being released in the next couple weeks. The big addition? Data visualization. Can’t wait for that!

Free Excel Screaming Frog Analysis Spreadsheet

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How to Use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO

Note: The article contains updates to previous articles “3 Ways to Use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO” and “3 More SEO Tricks in Google Webmaster Tools,” both of which have been redirected to this article. 

Google Webmaster Tools ― which I shall henceforth egregiously call “GWT” (apologies in advance) ― is a sweet suite of Google SEO tools that provides data and configuration control for your site in Google. If you’re doing any SEO and you don’t find value in GWT, you either use a paid tool that uses GWT data or you have a great opportunity to expand your toolkit.

There’s a ton you can do with GWT, but it can take a while to learn how to get great return on the time you spend with it. To that end, I’ve tried my best to assemble a meaty, practical collection of key insights on the reports I’ve found most useful (including lots of coverage on the Search Queries feature). Read More…

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

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

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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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Big Data, Big Problems? Resources for Applying Big Data to Your Business the Smart Way

 

I’m the least-qualified LunaMetrician to be writing about the field of Data. I’ve never had a great recall of numbers, I designed much of my time in academia to avoid spreadsheets and focus on the arts and I even dropped an early college Statistics class. However, I’ve always been fascinated by grand narratives, Economics and business trends. Big Data’s story is still being written, and what has been committed so far is fascinating. I love reading trends and case studies to see how Big Data is impacting the way we do business as SEO and Analytics providers and how it can benefit my roster of clients. Let’s look at ways your company can approach and benefit from these techniques.

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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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