Common reasons for tracking events

In this article, you will learn why it is important to track the events that happen on your website, what the process of doing so is and how to read the information from your Google Analytics account. Every action that a customer makes on a website is generically called an “event”. An event can be the press of a button, the completion of a form or playing a video. Google Analytics defines events as “user interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events.” When recording an event on one of your website pages you must detail the following components to Google Analytics: Category, Action, Label (optional, but recommended), Value (optional). An event hit includes a value for each component, and these values are displayed in your reports. For example, you might set up a video "play" button on your site so that it sends an event hit with the following values: Category: "Videos" Action: "Play" Label: "Baby's First Birthday" Value: “2” Category A category is a name that you supply as a way to group objects that you want to track. Typically, you will use the same category name multiple times over relating to UI elements that you want to group under a given category. Actions Typically, you will use the action parameter to name the type of event or interaction you want to track for a particular web object. For example, with a single "videos" category, you can track a number of specific events with this parameter, such as: Time when the video completes load "Play" button clicks "Stop" button clicks "Pause" button clicks Label With labels, you can provide additional information for events that you want to track, such as the movie title in the video examples above, or the name of a file when tracking downloads. Value Value differs from the other components in that it is an integer rather than a string, so use it to assign a numerical value to a tracked page object. For example, you could use it to provide the time in seconds for a player to load, or you might trigger a dollar value when a specific playback marker is reached on a video player. If you start tracking the event on your page you can then create reports as this one: Action  Label:"Gone With the Wind" Label:"Mr Smith Goes to Washington" Totals Play 10 visits w/Event 5 visits w/Event 15 unique events "Play" Pause 2 visits w/Event 8 visits w/Event 10 unique events "Pause" Stop 2 visits w/Event 3 visits w/Event 5 unique events "Stop" Totals 14 unique events for GWTW 16 unique events for Mr Smith 30 unique events for category "videos"   Here is a list of the most common events we track for our clients: Scroll depth - this is very useful when you have a single page website or a lot of content on every page. It is important for you to know if the client notices the full page, and if not, to be sure to move the call-to-actions in the first part of the page or improve the user experience. Playing videos - when you have video content events, as shown above, you can see if the audience is engaging with your content. You can then see if the video has a good position or if it has a good and intuitive title and so on. Nowadays, Video content is king, you just need to find a way to get people see your videos. Hover on Product Order Button - if you are conducting serious research on what people want to buy from your website and what actions they do in correlations with a product you can see the numbers of mouseover on an add to cart button beside the usual add-to-cart action and remove-from-cart. How your client refines their search - you can find what are the most wanted colours of this season, if your clients are discount hunters or if most of your clients wear a shoe size 36 and you don't have any in stock. Find what client research on your website and provide a better experience for them. Affiliate link clicks - if you are in the affiliate business you already know that affiliation platforms don’t give you all the information you need. We have helped our clients to see exactly what call-to-action was the most pressed, what review was the most convincing and where your traffic go. Choosing the right call-to-action in affiliation is almost of the same importance as getting traffic. Nowadays, almost, every website has a carousel. If you are tracking the number of resources a carousel uses, then tracking the performance of your carousel is a big thing. You can track events with the banners your clients saw, what banners were pressed and see what banners have the lowest performance so you can make a decision to change them. Events are sent to Analytics, even the ecommerce interactions as product impressions, adds-to-cart, checkout steps, promotions click and more. All the events in the ecommerce section have these goals: find insights about the customer behaviour to make better acquisitions of stock, better discounts campaigns, a more user-friendly interface and provide a more relevant product listing for the client. When you start tracking the events people generate on your pages, the information you will gather will be, most likely, very far from what you imagined. The most important reason why you should start track the events that happen on your website is that all people are different, come on your page from different sources, with different technical skills or experiences with websites. If you want your products or ideas to perform be sure your audience get through all the nodes of your website. Start learning how to implement events on your website right now and start building your digital strategy today! Need some help doing so? Get in touch with our experts! Image: Courtesy of blogoscoped.com

2016-08-01

Using Google Analytics in store - online and offline

Let’s say I am a retailer selling LEGO®. I have an offline store and I would really like to track my performance. This article will show you that online and offline have a lot in common. The KPI’s are almost the same. You just need to find the right tools to track each channel. I’m an online geek so I would like to track all my activity in my Google Analytics account. At this point, you might already think that it can't be done. But just this morning when I saw this quote it became clear: It always seems impossible until it’s done. So let’s dive in on how an offline store KPI’s can by tracked via Google Analytics. I chose LEGO for two reasons. One, I love LEGO, and second, I love the uniformity of a LEGO store. All LEGO stores have the same structure, philosophy, almost the same products (differs by approx 10% in each country) and the same management control. That made my example so easy to picture. A LEGO store has in it the following and it can be translated in an online store the following way: Offline Online Collections of products Category Main products Products Complementary products Complementary / Accessories products Every product comes in a box The main photo of the product Every shelf has only one collection The listing page The LEGO catalog The online catalog (newsletter) Facebook page / Find shop page Facebook page / Find shop page Tablets with video of the products Video on product page Giant statues Banners Marketing events Campaigns Marketing assets ( rollup, banners, mash) CPM campaigns Traffic sensors Google Analytics tracking code Cash register Checkout page VIP cards UserID tracking A tablet for surveys Exit survey or email survey A tablet for VIP registrations Register section Video cameras Hotjar :)   The first step to monitoring something is to choose which tool we are going to use. In my demo, we will use Google Analytics. We are going to create a Universal Google Analytics account with Enhanced Ecommerce tracking set up. In a normal website, we will implement this tracking code on each page of our website. In a retail store, we will have like a single page website because LEGO usually has only one room for the stores. Now comes the fun part. When a loyalty card means a UserID I mentioned above that we have a 'website' for the LEGO store with the new Universal Google Analytics script. We also have a VIP club because all LEGO stores have a program called LEGO VIP Club. This club is a program designed to engage customers and increase sales. With each sale, a customer is encouraged to become a part of the VIP Club. They will get a card, like a credit card design, and a unique ID. With this ID, we will be able to unify the customer's activity on online and in offline stores. Sessions: or “traffic” in retail For traffic control lots of retail stores have implemented sensors to track the amount of people coming in and walking out. Such a solution is usually called “counting visitors” or “footsteps counting”. A retail store can implement a "counting visitors system" in 2 parts of the stores for collecting the maximum amount of data: outside the store, and just inside the entrance / exit. This way you can measure the amount of people who saw your store and the amount of people who actually came in / left the store. You could then further divide the amount of people leaving the store in shoppers and visitors. Which in online translates to conversion rate. Here we will then add the amount of people that saw LEGO ads via marketing efforts. To make things interesting, we can put a contactless device by the entrance, to track the number of VIP customers that enter the store. Here you can extract data from your counting visitors system and send this information via the Measurement Protocol to Google Analytics. I will not get technical on this, due to the fact that it is just an idea and not a case study. But for more information feel free to contact us. At the entrance gate, you can send GA the information that a customer entered the LEGO store from Happy Street, give him a generic userID from the counter and if he taps the VIP card send the VIP Club ID also. Category and products Every brick and mortar store has an inventory of products. And every product in LEGO Store has a single category. If you've never seen a LEGO Store, let me show you what order means in products and category. [embed]https://youtu.be/lAaE-pxNB1w[/embed] The products and categories can be imported to Google Analytics using data import function in the admin section. In a LEGO store, you can track the On Shelf activity by using both traffic sensors and track events on digital assets. The sensors can track and send GA, the traffic on a specific section of the store. And since we are talking about LEGO this will be easy because the products are not mixed up. LEGO has implemented Digital Boxes in US stores. Digital Boxes are an emulator that takes the image of an object you have in your hand and projects a new image on top of it. This Digital Box can be seen in the video above, and could be treated like a view of a specific product page. Another cool asset LEGO has is the video player on the shelf. This video player shows the content of a product on a tablet (usually 7” wide). This tablet is put next to a selected product and the customer has the opportunity to virtually see the content of the LEGO box. We can now send to GA this interaction of a user with the video. Here we can use Google Tag Manager to catch the user interaction with this digital asset. For the products that have no video on the shelf or a digital box projection, we can use a smartphone along with an improved version of the LEGO app called LEGO 3D Catalog. This app can be downloaded from the Android store or Apple Store, and in the same manner, as the digital box, it will project an animation of the product on the image of the product box. To enter the app you must be logged in, so we can use the User ID, and we can make use of the GPS position to be certain that he is in our store. Online meets offline All online marketing activities are easy to send to Google Analytics if we use a system to track them. You can build your social campaign in a way that will be shown in Google Analytics in a very detailed way. Littledata provides a template to build powerful URL’s that can be used in your social campaigns. The role of this URL is to tag your traffic with the campaign information. Download Littledata's campaign tracking sheet with a URL builder. Online marketing activities mean Facebook, AdWords, mall website, PR communication, partners and mail exchange. You can connect the tablet, which you have in your store for surveys, to Google Analytics and get interesting reports based on that data and act quickly with the alerts from Google Intelligent Alerts. Impressions or proximity to marketing assets The easy part in offline marketing is to track the impressions. Two words: proximity sensors. By using these sensors you can track the amount of people that came close to your marketing asset and send it to GA (or, as we say, make it fire to GA). A marketing asset can be a banner, a statue, a mash or a roll up. And now let’s take the game to the next level. Track the promotions interactions. Let’s say you have a LEGO photo booth. Within the photo booth, you could place a QR code that will automatically share your customers' photo on social media and, in the same time, send a hit to GA or add a hashtag. Purchases The complex structure of a purchase in Google Analytics is this: 'id': 'P12345',                   // Product SKU 'name': 'Android Warhol T-Shirt', // Product name 'category': 'Apparel',            // Product category 'brand': 'Google',                // Product brand - in our case is super easy “LEGO” 'variant': 'black',     // Product variant - on LEGO we have products like mugs red, green, yellow 'price': '29.20',                 // Product price (currency). 'coupon': 'APPARELSALE',          // Product coupon - We can put here the coupon from our campaigns. And for the general campaigns like LEGO has a full month 30% off at City collection. Put the LEGO City sales that meet the conditions (like 1+1, or 2+1, or 2 +50%) a LEGO City identifier. 'quantity': 1                     // Product quantity (number). All of these can be sent to GA on the purchase. Also, we can add custom dimensions like payment method and we must not forget about the VIP Club ID. Incomes and outcomes all in one place Data import lets you upload data from external sources and combine it with data you collect in Google Analytics. You could then use GA to organise and analyse all of your data in ways that reflect your business better. Data imports join the offline data you've uploaded with the default hit data being collected by Google Analytics from your websites, mobile apps or other devices. Imported data can be used to enhance your reports, segments and re-marketing audiences in ways that reflect your own business needs and organisation. The result is a much fuller, more complete picture of your users' online and offline activity. You can import you banners costs, traffic data from mall reports or refunds that maybe you are not tracking in your accounting software connected to Google Analytics. Data imports let you manually do a few of the things I detailed in this article. Big DATA in useful reports At this point, you have a bunch of data. All you need is some simplification. As already Littledata showed you, the final reports are the ones that really matter. Now, you just need to take a seat, grab a pencil and draw the KPI’s that matter to your business. I have some retail KPI’s that can be relevant to your business as they are for a LEGO store: customer retention, cost of goods sold, customer satisfaction incremental sales, average purchase value sales per square foot, cross devices and offline/online, conversion rate in store, track sales target, track bundle performance, employee sales performance, VIP enrollment target. "Sky is the limit" when it comes to understanding your customers. Even if you are a big store or a little one, your company will be able to make adjustments to various strategies and budgets, improve your activity and bring customers better services. Want more information on this blog post? Contact one of our lovely experts for details!   Further reading: What is CRO, conversion optimisation, for ecommerce? Image Credit: Image courtesy of http://eveash.com

2016-07-22

How to use Google Analytics' hidden features

Google Analytics is a powerful tool when you know how to use it. In this article, we will show you how to use some of the hidden features of Google Analytics and how to empower the use of data in your business. It's often said that the only constant in life is change. Humans are build up to resist change and this resistance to change is now more important than ever. Napoleon once said, "You must change tactics every 10 years if you wish to maintain superiority." In today's society, the pace of change is immensely faster, and it will only continue to accelerate. We know our children are growing up in a technological age, but the ability they show in mastering the new and smart devices is truly amazing. The new age is coming, and online stores must be prepared to meet these kids’ expectations. If you have a website then answer these questions before continuing: Are you attributing new and returning customers to marketing campaigns? How do you make that data accessible, accurate and comprehensive? Do you understand how your customers are using multiple devices through numerous touch points? Are you prepared to measure this type of behaviour as shown in the video below? [embed]https://www.youtube.com/embed/qn7RfQU1MJg[/embed] Stats on ecommerce websites The Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, published in 2016, mentions that the online sales for 39 publicly trading retail chains ranked at 10.4% while comparable-store sales growth was only 1.4%. Online customers are predicted to spend $414 billion by 2018. That’s more than 57% revenue growth since 2013, according to InternetRetailer.com. Shoppers are flocking to retailer websites with good content: annual product video views increased by 42% in 2015, according to a survey of retailer clients by Invodo Inc., an online video marketing firm. And shoppers who watch a video are 1.7 times more likely to buy something than those who don’t - but videos must be relevant, and those depicting how to assemble or use a product get the best results. If the video has a higher rating, then the consumers are more likely to purchase that product, Invodo found. A five-star rating correlates to a 3.76% conversion rate, while a one-star rating yields a 1% conversion rate only. And do your KPIs consider how the customer feels; does your website do better than this video? [embed]https://youtu.be/3Sk7cOqB9Dk?list=RDN5WurXNec7E[/embed] How can you collect data about your customers? Many powerful analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, are free and can help you analyse where your traffic comes from, what your site visitors search for to find you, and what your potential customers do once they get to your site. You can track visitor interactions with your site at a very detailed level, such as traffic sources associated with revenue and keywords associated with revenue amounts. Tracking your website activity will make sure that the efforts in the above categories, such as changes you’ve made to your website’s appearance and order process, product presentation, incentives and social media, are paying off. If these efforts are paying off, by how much, and which is the best performer? As you probably know, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to drive traffic to your online store. The problem is that many of them are expensive and many of them do not convert. Before you test any type of traffic and spend even a dime on driving traffic to your site, it is imperative that you set up conversion tracking. This way you know exactly which sources are converting for your store and know where to reinvest advertising budget to bring in more sales. How can you use that data? Let me start off with showing you how you can centralise all your digital performance in one place: Google Analytics. If you use a variety of systems and tools to run your business, you can use Google Analytics to join and analyse that data in one place. For example, you can turn separate CRM data, ecommerce data, and Google Analytics data into a single comprehensive view of your business. Each business system you use generates its own data store. Your CRM might contain information like customer loyalty ratings, lifetime value and product preferences. If you are a web publisher, your content management tool probably stores the author name and article category. If you have an ecommerce business, you might create catalogues that describe your products according to prices, style, size, etc. And, since you're reading this, you most likely use Google Analytics to track traffic and performance for your websites, mobile apps or appliances. Typically this data exists in its own 'information silo,' unaffected and uninformed by the data in other silos. But with the data import function, you can merge the data generated by your offline business systems with the online data collected by Google Analytics. This can help you organise, analyse and act upon this unified data view in ways that are better aligned with your specific and unique business needs. For example, as a web publisher, you could unite the web hits collected by Google Analytics with the data dimensions exported from your CMS and CRM systems to analyse the relative contributions of authors to your site. You can use the Google Analytics API and Google Apps Script to access your Google Analytics data from Google Sheets. This is a powerful tool because it allows you to utilise all the great features of Google Sheets with your analytics data, such as easy sharing, collaboration, charting and visualisation tools. Not everyone has the ability to read the Google Analytics reports but with the right implementation and the right declaration of your KPI’s you can generate easy to read, comprehensive and reliable reports on your business. What if you could have a single place to enter and see at a glance what you are interested in? All your business KPI’s brought to you on a plate and with fresh data every day? You can view the most viewed product this week to see if you can supply accordingly, or view your goal funnel and see where your customers abandon the site and much more. Segmenting your clients Use the data to improve. You have a bunch of customers on your website every month. They are all the same but still so different. Do not communicate with them in the same way: segment your customer list. Google Analytics includes predefined segments (system segments) that you can use as provided, or that you can copy and edit to create new custom segments. You can also build your own segments from scratch. In addition, you can import segments from the Analytics Solutions Gallery, a free marketplace where Google Analytics users share segments and other solutions they’ve developed. A segment is a subset of your analytics data. For example, of your entire set of users, one segment might be users from a particular country or city. Another segment might be users who purchase a particular line of products or who visit a specific part of your site. Segments let you isolate and analyse those subsets of data so you can examine and respond to the component trends in your business. For example, if you find that users from a particular geographic region are no longer purchasing a line of products in the same volume as they normally have, you can see whether a competing business is offering the same types of products at lower prices. If that turned out to be the case, you could respond by offering a loyalty discount to those users that undercut your competitor's prices. You can also use segments as the basis for audiences. For example, you might create a segment of users who visit your menswear pages, and then target just those users (your audience) with a remarketing campaign that is focused on the new items that you are adding to those pages. Are your CTAs clickable and your PDFs downloadable? Event tracking is one of the best ways to understand the user actions on your website such as how many times a button was clicked, a form was submitted, or documents were downloaded. You can measure interactions on your site by either implementing the Google Tag Manager Data Layer Event code or leveraging Google Tag Manager's Auto-Event Tracking functionality. With Auto-Event Tracking in Google Tag Manager, capturing these actions is easy. You can create event tags directly within the Google Tag Manager interface and fire them with triggers based on predefined variables or on custom variables that you can build within the Google Tag Manager. Now it’s easy and you have no excuse to see if your business plans are on the right track. If you know what actions your clients do on your website, you have the ability to take actions in the right direction. Stop guessing and start counting numbers and actions. We've written a blog post previously on how to set up event tracking in Google Tag Manager. Track your social buttons I expect you already have social share buttons on your website, but do you track them? Like with the call to action buttons, the social media buttons can be tracked and you can find out the impact of your social presence. There’s a lot of value in both implementing these social buttons in a good and fast way and measuring all these interactions. Seeing which sort of social buttons work for which types of traffic can really help you find what you should be optimising how. Track your campaigns If you are running marketing campaigns on social media you can increase the value and quantity of the insight even on you social media platforms. The standard Facebook pixel is caching the conversion, but by adding some lines of code on the Facebook pixel with the Google Tag Manager you can track the value of a purchase, what searches were made on the website, how many times did the campaign result in items being added to cart and wishlist, how many clients started checkout, content views, adding payment info or completing a registration. Your social campaign will have more relevance and will be more documented when you will merge the force of your data with the data from your social media platforms. To take the problem from the other end, you can build your social campaign in a way that will be shown in Google Analytics in very detailed way. Littledata provides a template to build powerful URL’s that can be used in your social campaigns. The role of this URL is to tag your traffic with the campaign information. The URL builder makes it easy to tag your campaigns and track them in Google Analytics. Simply enter your campaign details, and it will generate a tagged uplink for you in 'Final campaign URL' field. All upper-case characters are converted to lowercase to avoid using a combination of both, which results in same campaigns showing up in different categories in Google Analytics. Download the Littledata campaign tracking sheet with a URL builder. We have detailed this before in this article on the Littledata blog: Why should you tag your campaigns? There’s always room for growth. You can track a client that enters the store, adds to cart, sees the delivery cost and exits; you can retarget a client that bought a product from you with additional products and can set personalisation of the store based on the customer’s behaviour. So when you think you’re done developing that, rethink and start again! Interested in getting help with any of these features? Get in touch with our experts and we'd be happy to help!     Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2016-07-14

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