New interface and workspaces in Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager has recently had quite a revamp to its interface. Not to mention the addition of much talked about workspaces feature. Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a great tool that saves the development and implementation time, and the new drastic changes in any of Google’s tools can be quite a shock when you’re used to one way of workflow. The latest changes to the interface are radical but as with everything else, it just takes a short while to get used to. GTM still works the same, though. There’s no change to how your tags, triggers and variables are set up. So let’s see what's changed! Overlays on top of overlays This is the biggest change in the interface! Whether you’re creating a new tag or changing an existing one, you’ll be making your updates in overlays that slide in from the right hand side of the screen. Whilst this may be confusing initially, this is a great improvement on the previous workflow. Before you had to create your variables before the tag, or if creating the tag, save the progress, then create the variable separately, and then return to the tag to add in your variable. Too many steps! The new overlay doesn’t cover the whole screen and instead, leaves a bit of space on the left so you can see where you started from. Now that I’ve embraced the workspaces, I’ve realised how great it is to be able to do changes and updates without navigating elsewhere. Icons replace colours Previously, when viewing a list of tags all the triggers were colour coded so you could quickly see types of triggers used. Now, they’re all grey with icons at the beginning. I’ve previously found the colour coding very handy in quickly determining where the tags have been set to work. I’m not convinced that the icons will do as great of a job, but like with all of the changes – just embrace them and move on. List of variables They’ve lost the ‘enabled built-in variables’ section at the top. It used to have checkboxes so you could quickly enable or disable select variables. Now you have a list of built-in variables and for any changes, you have to click ‘configure’ button and then select which ones you want or not. And of course, you’ll have to do these changes in the overlay that slides over. The variables you've created previously will be in a separate list when you scroll down the page. If you want to view the details of the variable, then you’ll have to click on the variable and see its setup in the new overlay. Remember, remember… Do you tend to forget to specify your container's name and description? Now you get reminded to do so when you click to ‘publish’ your container and haven’t set the details. Timestamps I love it when a small change can make a big difference! This is that kind of change. When hovering over any relative timestamps in the triggers, overview or other sections, you will see the exact date and time of the latest change. What are workspaces? Workspaces are multiple containers that teams and users can work on without worrying about publishing someone else’s updates that may not be ready to go live. For someone working within a number of teams, like we do, this is a very welcomed update. After using it for a few weeks, I’ve already seen improvements in the speed of publishing updates. Now, fewer people have been blocked from progressing on their tags, which is really great! So now you can make your additions or amendments in a separate space and publish them when they're ready. What really happens when you publish is that anything new in your workspace gets added to the default workspace. This may include any updates to tags, triggers, variables, and any notes you may have added. If you can, stick to making smaller sets of changes within workspaces so you have a more robust version history, allowing you to trace updates and roll back to previous versions more quickly. You’ll get 3 workspaces in total so 1 default one + 2 custom workspaces, whilst 360 accounts get unlimited workspaces. Here’s how they work. To create a separate workspace click on the ‘Default Workspace’ in the left panel. In the new overlay click on the + icon in the top right corner. Now enter the name and description for the workspace so when you choose a workspace you can quickly see what's being worked on in there, or what the purpose of the workspace is. You can always refer to these for information on what was worked on or published as part of this workspace. A new workspace will always be created based on the latest GTM version and include the latest tags, triggers, and variables. If you're publishing a workspace that has conflicting updates with another workspace, then GTM will let you know and give you the option to resolve conflicts in their very easy to use conflict resolution tool. Once you publish the non-default workspace, it will be automatically removed. Better tag management You know how GTM has a number of tag templates for the most typical tracking needs, for example, AdWords and DoubleClick. These templates are very useful for creating and maintaining tags without codes, allowing to insert only required data, and making the whole process less error-prone. Well, they've expanded their selection with additional templates from vendors such as Bing, Twitter, Hotjar, Nielsen, Yieldify and many many more. I've been setting up a number of tags from the new vendors so I'm glad to see they've finally caught up with this. Here's a full list of supported tags is available in Tag Manager's Help section.   So these are some of the most notable changes. My favourite ones are overlays, timestamps and workspaces for reasons I mentioned above. The overlays don't seem to have got much love when they were first launched, but it's definitely a step up on the previous workflow. Got strong feelings about any of the latest updates? Let me know what you love or hate in the comments below.   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.   Image credit: screenshot of 'conflict resolution tool' courtesy of Google Analytics Blog

2016-10-13

Unique events metric update in Google Analytics

We're very used to having to explain what the difference is between total and unique events in Google Analytics. Like many other puzzling metrics, this has consistently been a head-scratcher for more people than we can count. Whilst you may have been in this situation like we have, you might not know that this was often due to a problem in the metric! But thanks to the released update, this is now fixed for both internal and clients’ reporting. You can read more about this update in Google's blog post: Improving Google Analytics Events with Unique Events. So what was the issue? The issue was that the unique events metric wasn’t correctly taking into account all event dimensions when calculating your numbers for the reporting. This caused many discrepancies, which probably created those numerous confusing situations around what the number stood for. The unique events metric was always meant to show you the unique count of individual interactions (or events) within a single session. So if someone downloads the same PDF 3 times during 1 session, then that counts as 1 unique event. Instead, it has been counting how many unique numbers of times a specific combination of values is seen in the report per each row. This example by Google is very helpful in getting to grips with what this means. In the example at the top where you can see all three values for various event fields, you get the same count for both new and old unique events metric - each gets 3. In the second example, we exclude one dimension and get a different result. Now, because one set of values is hidden (event label) then the calculation takes into account only what is seen in the report. But the new metric, accurately now, knows that there is a third set of data, which is taken into account in its calculation. What’s the fix? Current unique events metric has been renamed to ‘Unique Dimension Combinations’ (UDC) - a bit of a mouthful - to reflect that it was counting the uniques of dimension combinations, not individual interactions! You’ll still be able to use it as a metric if you need to compare old versus new data or are doing any analysis on the legacy data that it is attached to. The calculation for the unique events metric will now take into account all event dimensions when calculating the number. Due to this change, all event fields are now also required to contain a value - any blanks will get a (not set) value. In your standard Google Analytics reports, you’ll see the new unique events metric with the label ‘NEW’ attached to it. That’s when you know you’ve got the fixed metric in your reports. The new unique events metric will apply to the data as far back as May 2016. BUT, the fix won’t be applied automatically to your custom reports. If you have any custom reports that reference the old unique events metric, the naming will be updated to UDC. Google has provided a neat method to update your custom reports too. So you get a choice whether you want to keep using the deprecated old metric or switch to the updated unique events metric. When making the choice, bear in mind that UDC may eventually be removed so you might want to jump on the fixed uniques metric straight away. Whilst not the most exciting update on its own, this is important for the accuracy of reporting. All of our clients use events tracking so any updates to improving the accuracy of events reporting and analysis are a welcome change. Have any questions about this update? Get in touch with one of our experts! Further reading: What is Google Analytics? Overview for beginners Common reasons for tracking events How to set up event tracking in Google Tag Manager Images: courtesy of Google

2016-09-26

Vital Google Analytics custom reports and dashboards for ecommerce

Standard reports are useful to an extent. Custom reports and dashboards, on the other hand, allow you to compile metrics that give you much more useful insights of how your online shop is performing. Monitoring and reviewing the right data is essential for deciding which tactics or initiatives you should try, or marketing platforms to focus on, to help you sell more. If you are very familiar with how Google Analytics (GA) works, then you would set up some custom reports and dashboards to quickly access your key metrics. But if you are not as knowledgeable about the quirks and inner workings of GA then you should take advantage of the many custom reports and dashboards available for import. We can also help you build custom dashboards. There is a huge number of reports available in Google Analytics Solutions Gallery; used, created and shared by experts. They’re all done from scratch and designed to maximise your use of Google Analytics, but the huge amount of solutions from dashboards and channel groupings to segments and custom reports do require some time to find what’s right for your needs. From our experience setting up ecommerce tracking and reports for companies like MADE.com, British Red Cross Training, Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, these reports and dashboards are valuable when analysing purchase data. Don't lose sight of your conversion rate Keep an eye on your ecommerce conversion rate across five different tabs covering channels, keyword, mobile devices, cities and campaigns. Focussed on high traffic sources, each section shows where it's not up to scratch and needs your attention and tweaking. Get ecommerce conversion rate performance custom report. Find duplicate transactions Duplicate transactions can greatly skew your numbers and affect your reporting, making you doubt the accuracy of your data. Duplicate order data is sent to Google Analytics typically because the page containing such information has been loaded twice. This can happen when the page is refreshed or loaded again. To find whether your data contains duplicate transactions, add our custom report to the view you want to check. Get a custom report to check for duplicate transactions. If you have more than 1 transaction in any row (or per an individual transaction ID), that means you have duplicate transactions stored in your data. It’s worth checking the report on a regular basis, eg monthly, to make sure that there are no duplicates or they’re kept to the minimum. Lunametrics blog has a number of suggestions for how to fix duplicate transactions. Overview of ecommerce performance This overview dashboard brings important top level metrics into one place, so you don’t have to go searching for them in multiple reports. You will quickly see which of your campaigns, channels, and sources are bringing in the most revenue, whilst comparing conversion rates across each. Get ecommerce overview dashboard. How is your store content performing See how your customers are engaging with your site, content and product (or page, depending on the setup) categories. You'll get information on what they search for, and which categories and landing pages bring in the most revenue. Get ecommerce content performance dashboard.   Looking for improving your ecommerce tracking and reporting? Get in touch with our qualified experts.   Further reading: Take your ecommerce website to the next level Attributing goals and conversions to marketing channels Tips to optimise your ecommerce landing pages Image credit: Image courtesy of Juralmin at Pixabay

2016-09-05

Tips to optimise your ecommerce landing pages

Are your ecommerce landing pages suffering from poor conversion rate because people aren't engaging? First impressions are everything, and more so online, so your task is to figure out which on-site improvements will help you towards your goals. Once you start optimising, it's a continuous process of reviewing, changing, testing and refining - aiming to find out what is most appealing to your customers, what they like and care about, what makes them trust you, what encourages them to purchase. There is always room for refinements so here are some tips on what you should consider when reviewing your pages. What are you trying to achieve? Before starting testing and implementing the changes on your landing pages, you have to be clear about what you want to accomplish. Whilst the end goal for an online store is to increase sales, at times you might also want to get more sign ups, or improve views of or engagement with product pages. Think about what success will look like as that will help with planning your optimisation tests. How are you going to measure it? If you are clear about what you are trying to achieve, it will be easier to set measurable targets. Are you looking to increase your sales by 10% or pageviews of products by 15%? Or maybe you want your potential customers to browse further and spend more time reading content? Further engagement can also be demonstrated by the site visitor scrolling down the page if you have long product or category pages. In which case you'll want to track how far down the page they get to. I believe in keeping reporting straightforward so when testing focus on tracking important metrics only. Ideally just one if you can, or a few if you have to, but that will help focus on measuring what is most important for your business at the time. Assuming you are using Google Analytics, like most of people looking after digital performance, set up goals to monitor how customers are converting. Our web-based software also makes it easy to keep track of on-site changes are by reporting on changes in trends, goals, pages. Who are you targeting? User-focussed content is more effective at engaging your customers and improving your conversion rates. So you should write up your customer personas to be clear about who you are targeting with landing pages. This also applies to general look and feel of your ecommerce site. Most importantly, include with personas what problems your customers are trying to solve or what they are trying to achieve.  Once your team knows who your ideal or typical customers are, then it will be easier to focus on creating more relevant and engaging content on those pages. Do you have a clear value proposition? Value proposition explains why you’re better than or different from your competitors, and what you can deliver that they can’t. When writing it up, focus on benefits not features. It’s not always about the product looking top notch (unless you’re the industry or company where that matters of course) so it is more about how you can alleviate their problem. Check out how to write your value proposition by following Geoffrey Moore’s model. Does your copy reflect your value proposition? Once you have your customer personas and value proposition, review existing content on the site against how you describe what your clients are looking for. Check if it fits with what they are looking for, explains how you can solve their problems or fulfill their desires. The copy on your site has to reflect how you can improve your potential customers lives through what you offer. A great copy informs, compels, captivates, reflects what people search for and promotes key benefits. Econsultancy have compiled a great set of advice from experts on writing copy for product pages. Also, check out Copyblogger Demian Farnworth’s articles for superb advice on writing copy. Have you found your winning call to action? This is very important – test your call to action until you find the best performing one. Your call to action is like a visual sign that guides the buyer towards a specific action you want them to complete. Different things work for different sites. Start off with trying simple changes like different text, colour, shape, size or placement of the button to figure out what is most effective for your page. If small changes aren’t helping, then try a more drastic change of the button or page. Do your pages load fast? This is pretty self-explanatory. Slow page loading speed might drive your potential customers away from your online shop, so you should regularly check whether they can view your products within 3 seconds (Source: Radware). If you’re using Google Analytics, you can use Site Speed reports to check how you’re performing and get advice on where to improve. If you don’t have Google Analytics, you can use their online tool PageSpeed Insights. Other tool worth checking out is GTMetrix where you can grade your site's speed performance and get a list of recommendations. Do you need to optimise for mobile? It’s a very common fact that more and more people are using mobile devices to browse and buy online. But unless you have unlimited budget for ensuring that your ecommerce site is optimised for mobile, it is best to check in Google Analytics first whether you need to do it now. If you go to Google Analytics > Audience > Mobile > Overview report, you will get a breakdown of device categories that buyers are using to visit your online store. Here you can see that the majority of customers, almost 93% are using desktop so in this case (assuming you have a limited budget) you might want to make sure you have a responsive site at the very minimum, and leave a full optimisation for mobile device for later when there is a sufficient need. Now, if results were different and let’s say you had 60% of people visiting your site via mobile devices, then you would want to ensure that they’re getting the best experience on their device and don’t leave the site to buy from a competitor instead. Are your test results statistically significant? Evaluating your AB test results isn't quite as simple as looking at the highest conversion rate for each test, which would be an incorrect way to interpret the outcome. You want to be confident that results are conclusive and changes you tested will indeed improve your conversion rates (or not, depending on the outcome of testing). That's where statistical significance comes in. It gives you assurance about the results of your tests whilst taking into consideration your sample size and how confident you want to be about the importance of the results. By reaching over 95% statistical confidence in testing results, you can be sure that the winning variation performed better due to actually being an improved version, and not simply due to change. You can easily find a calculator online that tells you if your AB testing results were statistically significant and you should conclude the test or not - for example, try the calculator by Kissmetrics or Peakconversion. There is no one winning formula for how to make your pages more effective, but you have to be pro-active to figure out what they are  - so keep testing until you do. Have any questions? Leave a comment below or get in touch with our experts!   Image Credit: Stocksnap.io

2016-07-27

How to calculate your marketing ROI

Are you running campaigns in AdWords, Facebook or on another advertising platform? Do you know whether your marketing efforts are paying off and which channels you should keep investing in to increase your product sales? As marketers face more and more pressure to demonstrate that their activities are contributing towards the profit, there is a bigger need for you to be able to show your decisions yield positive results. But if a particular channel or campaign is doing the opposite and causing your business losses, then the sooner you figure that out, the quicker you'll be able to adjust your further marketing plans. That’s where calculating and tracking your ROI becomes important. By being able to figure out how much you make from investing into a particular campaign or channel, you can figure out where to focus your budget. Whilst it’s difficult to compare the performance of specific marketing tactics across every single industry and company, there are interesting conclusions that have come out from market research. As reported by Web Strategies Inc., the top 3 channels that generated the best ROI were email marketing, SEO / organic search and content marketing. Email marketing has also been reported elsewhere to give the best ROI (source: Campaign Monitor), but you should focus on figuring out the correct ROI for your marketing activities and, based on that, decide which ones work for you best.     Further reading: What is CRO, conversion optimisation, for ecommerce? Image Credit: Image courtesy of Maialisa at Pixabay

2016-07-12

What is CRO, conversion rate optimisation, for ecommerce?

If you run or work in an ecommerce business, you will always be looking for ways to increase your sales. So CRO or conversion rate optimisation is one of the key metrics you should care about - review and improve it. Are potential buyers leaving your online store before purchasing products? Have you looked at the potential reasons why they may be leaving and ways to improve the number of visitors who end up buying? Increasing that number of people who complete the main action, or convert, is called conversion rate optimisation. Some of the reasons why more people are not buying your products could be: product pages are loading too slowly not enough information provided about the product your ecommerce site has poor navigation information about delivery and returns costs is too confusing/difficult to find need more time to think before committing to a purchase In the video below, Edward gives an overview of CRO and talks through some examples of tests you could be running to find out how to improve your conversion rate. *This video is part of ISDI online training courses for digital professionals. Video transcription so one of the important things, if you're going to increase your return on investment of marketing campaign, is to think about how users engage with your page and this is typically called conversion rate optimisation or increasing the percentage of people who land on the page or visit the page to those that do the main action let's look at this example which is a very generic e-commerce product page as you can see the very obvious call to action, which is highlighted, is to click the Buy button to add it to cart if we get a marketing campaign to push people to page let's say the product here is some pink shoes and our campaign says buy pink shoes we are wasting money that's never going to have a positive return on investment if people out on the page and don't even like the content they don't engage with it so we need to measure very carefully what is the bounce rate  of our landing page, and the bounce rate is the percent of people who land on the page and then go away with them without doing any further action and conversion rate optimisation is really the process through which you might go to get more people to convert - in this case to click Buy so we might look at the text on the page the heading could we change the copy to make it more engaging or to make it more fitting with the users expectations so if we advertise for pink shoes this better say pink shoes somewhere in the copy the next thing we'll optimise is the image - is it appealing, is it easy to see what the product is, maybe we might add a 3d visualisation animation of the product for them to get a better feel for it and then we might experiment with a Buy button itself - how about making it bigger or make it red this might seem really trivial but you'd be amazed the difference in conversion between let's say a blue button and a red button, so altogether we can run a series of tests in the next chapter, we're going to look at a series of tests you might run to test those things but the process of doing it is conversion rate optimisation and that's really going to help you boost that return investment from any given marketing campaign Have any questions? Get in touch with our experts!   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2016-06-28

9 tips for marketers using Google Analytics

Setting up Google Analytics to collect data on your website visitors’ behaviour is step one. But are you getting the insights you need? Web analytics tools like Google Analytics can provide a wealth of information about what people do on your site, but it becomes powerful when you do more than just look at trends going up or down. It’s about measuring and improving. Here are some tips on how to use your data for informed marketing decisions for your company. Make analysis a regular habit Checking analytics to evaluate website and marketing performance varies from business to business. Some do it multiple times a day or only when it’s time to do their monthly reporting or end up getting hooked on real-time analytics. Make it a regular habit to analyse your Google Analytics metrics and before you know it, you won’t need the constant reminders to do so and it'll feel less like a chore. You can start off with doing it a few times a week and if you find that there aren’t enough changes to come to any conclusions, then do it less frequently. Whilst for smaller businesses the results won’t change much hour to hour or even day to day, for the bigger businesses changes can be significant on a daily basis. Form your questions Before sifting through your Google Analytics reports, come up with a set of questions that you are looking to answer with your data. You might want to know: What are users searching for? (requires site search to be set up) Which pages are they spending the most time on? Which pages have the highest bounce rate and might need further tweaking? How are my marketing campaigns performing? Is my spending on Adwords justified? Which traffic sources bring the best converting traffic and are worth investing into? Are my call to actions working? (this is where goals come in handy) Know where to measure Think about which reports and metrics will be most suitable to answer your questions. Knowing what you're looking for will minimise the amount you spend wandering aimlessly through numerous reports hoping that you'll find something interesting. It’s said that there are over 100 standard reports available in Google Analytics, so it’s handy to know where to look. The reports are split into 4 main categories: Audience is about the users – where are they, what devices are they using, Acquisition is about how users get to your site – how are your campaigns performing, where do they come from Behaviour is about user interaction with your site – which landing pages get the highest traffic, which pages have the highest bounce rate Conversions is about users completing certain actions (requires further setup to get the most out the reports) – which goals did they complete, what is their shopping and checkout behaviour Pages with high page views and bounces / exit rate Check how your individual pages are performing in All Pages and Landing Pages reports (under Behaviour > Site Content). If your page is getting a lot of page views and has a high bounce / exit rate, then whilst it might be a valuable or attractive piece of content it’s not doing a great job at getting your users to another page. Can you provide some other relevant content on that page? Link to them where appropriate. This will help improve the visitor journey through the site and reduce the bounce rate. Know your user journeys You can use Google Analytics flow reports to view which paths users take through your site and where they drop off. Evaluate the pages with the biggest drop offs  - can you improve these pages to encourage users continue their journey? You've put a lot of work into the pages that are meant to convert your site visitors, but it's a waste of all that effort if your journey to the converting page doesn't work. Goal flow report is especially handy for seeing users' paths towards the goals you have set up. Not sure how to set up a goal funnel? Here's how. Segment your users Use Google Analytics segments to view and analyse a separate subset of user data. You could view your reports for users from a specific location, eg Spain, or with a specific device, eg Apple iPad, or by certain behaviour, eg made a purchase. Check out Google's guidance on using segments. Evaluate your tagged campaigns Custom campaign tracking is important for organising your campaigns so you can review the performance effectively. If you're not tagging your campaigns yet, check out our blog post on how to tag your campaigns. Share findings with the team It’s great if you get into the habit of reviewing Google Analytics data on a regular basis to inform your actions. What's even better is if you create a team culture where you share findings with each other. You can email around individual reports, share insight at team meetings, set up custom alerts or sign up to our web-based tool to do that for you. For those less geeky or knowledgeable about data, make sure you translate the findings into plain English statements (PS. our tool already does that too). Continuos improvement When Dave Brailsford became the head of British Cycling, he implemented the concept of marginal gains within cycling. He believed that by breaking up the process of competing and improving every step by 1%, they would see a big improvement in their team. And he was right. All the small changes accumulated into a massive performance boost, and Team GB surpassed everyone’s expectations by going on to some big wins at Olympics and Tour de France.  This can apply to many other areas as well - customer satisfaction, improving service quality, doing minor updates to marketing campaigns. Rather than focussing on one big improvement and spending weeks or months on it, before even knowing if it'll work, look at the potential small changes you could make. You will spot much more quickly which of these changes are of benefit and which are not. There's a lot of information stored in your Google Analytics, when used correctly and regularly you will start getting the insight you need to guide your marketing efforts. Suggestions above will help you do just that. Something else on your mind? Let us know in the comments below or get in touch!   Images: Courtesy of Suriya Kankliang, pannawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2016-03-17

New in Littledata: tailored tips, new reports and more

We released the last updates just a few weeks back, but we've done it again. The new improvements will help you get more out of your reports and make your analysis more efficient, but if you've got any other requests or feedback, don't hesitate to let us know. So here's what we've done. Report improvements Discover where you need to improve Tips reports identify the gaps in your analytics setup and suggest fixes or improvements to boost your tracking. We are working on bringing you more of these tailored tips but we need to know what you're trying to achieve to get these right. By updating your report preferences in the subscription settings, you will start getting personalised suggestions and we will use this information for other future tailored reports. You can get to your subscription settings by clicking on the cog icon in the header. See more detail on your referrals It's important to stay on top of your website traffic changes with minimum time waste. This is why we developed Littledata software in the first place. Now we have added extra information to your referrals reports so you can immediately see which sources had the biggest increase or decrease. You will also see the option to pick the type of reports you want to get. Just click on the 'Yes please' button at the bottom of the report to see your choices for customisation. New monthly report So far you've been getting reports that look at the changes in your Google Analytics data on a daily and weekly basis. We've had a lot of requests for monthly comparison reports instead, so we've added these to your feed. Just like your daily and weekly reports, you can spot the new monthly ones by the time tag. Benchmark your website performance It has always been difficult to get a hold of benchmark data to find out how you’re performing against others. You often have to spend a lot of time crawling through the internet to find anything remotely useful. With our new website performance benchmarks we are changing that. Now you can compare your engagement metrics to other websites. You’ll be able to tell whether you need to focus on improving your bounce rate from a particular source, or page load for example.   Feel free to ask questions or send us your comments either below or via the Intercom Messenger available when you're logged in.   Further reading: Under the hood of Littledata

2016-03-14

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