Setting up common email software for Google Analytics

Many of the popular email providers make it easy to automatically tag up links in your emails to allow Google Analytics to track them under the 'Email' channel. Without this, the traffic from email links will be dispersed under 'Direct' and 'Referral' channels, and you won't be able to see which emails really drive engagement or sales. Here are the links to set up some common email services: MailChimp Campaign Monitor ActiveCampaign Benchmark Email ConstantContact iContact Emma MadMimi GetResponse Mail Jet If your email provider is not in the list, or you send emails from your own platform, you'll need to manually paste in tagged up email links. Still need some help? Contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions!

2016-08-24

Why do I need ecommerce tracking?

Only by using Google Analytics ecommerce tracking, can you match real sales data with website usage (including traffic source/medium). This sales analysis is required to understand the performance of your website landing pages and return-on-investment from marketing campaigns. The ecommerce reports allow you to analyse purchase activity on your site or app. You can see which products were bought, average order value, ecommerce conversion rate, time to purchase, discount vouchers used and checkout process funnels. Ecommerce tracking is useful not just for online shops but for all kinds of websites including event booking, courses / education, travel / hotels and so on. To see ecommerce data in Google Analytics, you need to: Enable ecommerce in Google Analytics Add the code to your site/app to collect ecommerce data. To complete this task, you'll need to be comfortable editing HTML and coding in JavaScript, or have help from an experienced web developer. Read how to Set up Ecommerce Tracking with Google Tag Manager. Based on this data, you can develop an understanding of: Which products sell well, and by inference, which products are best suited for your customer base. The revenue per transaction, and the number of products per transaction. For example, if the number of products per transaction is lower than you'd like, you might benefit from offering better quantity discounts, or offering free shipping if customers meet a minimum dollar amount. How long (in time and in the number of sessions) it takes customers to make the decision to purchase. If your sales cycle is stable or fluctuates predictably based on product or season, you can use this information (in conjunction with overall sales forecasts) to make reliable predictions about revenue. If customers routinely make numerous visits before they purchase, you might think about a site design that leads more easily to your purchase pages, or options that let users compare your products and prices to your competitors'. The difference between goals and ecommerce. A goal is only measured once in a visit. Think about it similar to pageviews vs. unique pageviews - once the goal has been 'triggered' to a visit, it can't be triggered again. On the other hand, there are no limitations on the number of transactions being measured during one session. Ecommerce is more powerful in that it allows you to analyse additional metrics.  For example, you can see how many visits occurred before the visitor decided to purchase. Many visitors on my site come back more than 7 times before they finally decide to purchase. Wow, interesting figures! Here is a list of the available metrics for ecommerce: If you have marketing campaigns and have no ecommerce tracking you are more likely struggling to calculate the return on your investment (ROI).  With both goals and ecommerce tracking, you will now have a full understanding of your customer journey and your customer life value (CLV). Analytics goals vs. ecommerce transactions, which to choose? Both of them!  If you have read my post carefully, you will understand that both of them have their strengths and limitations. We strongly advise to implement and configure goals and ecommerce. Need help configuring goals and/or ecommerce on Google Analytics? Get in touch with our experts!  

2016-08-09

Do I need the Google Analytics tracking code on every page?

The script which triggers the tracking events to Google must be loaded once (and only once) on every page of your site. To set up Google Analytics tracking, you’ll usually need either your Analytics tracking ID or the entire Javascript tracking code snippet. This corresponds to your Analytics property. To find the tracking ID and code snippet: Sign in to your Analytics account. Select the Admin tab. Select an account from the drop-down menu in the ACCOUNT column. Select a property from the drop-down menu in the PROPERTY column. Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code. The snippet provided here must be implemented on every page, even the pages you are not interested in. If you chose to not include the code on every page then: you will not be able to see the full flow of a client on your website you will have inaccurate data about the time spent on site and actions taken visits to untracked pages will appear as 'referrals' and so will skew the volume of sessions marketing campaigns to the untracked pages will be lost The easy way for an established website to see if the tracking is complete is to go in Google Analytics -> Acquisition -> Referrals and search in the report after the name of your website, as shown below, or you can use Littledata's audit tool. Choose how to set up tracking There are several ways to collect data in Analytics, depending on whether you want to track a website, an app, or other Internet-connected devices. Select the best installation method for what you wish to track. Here is the complete guide from Google. Once you have successfully installed Analytics tracking, it may take up to 24 hours for data such as traffic referral information, user characteristics, and browsing information to appear in your reports. However, you can check your web tracking code setup immediately. If you don’t think it's working correctly Check your Real-Time reports or use Use Google Tag Assistant to verify your setup.   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2016-08-04

Attributing goals and conversions to marketing channels

On most websites, the conversion journey involves many different routes and across many sessions: few customers buy from the first advert. You may have heard of the ‘rule of 7’. In reality, it varies from maybe 2 or 3 touches for a $20 purchase and definitely more than 10 for an enterprise business service. Your company is buying prospects (or traffic) from a number of online channels, and in many cases, it will be the same potential customer coming from different sources. To be able to report on this in Google Analytics, we need to get the basic setup correct. Tagging campaigns for attribution The first step is to make sure that the different traffic sources can be compared in a multi-channel report are consistent and have complete inbound link tagging. Be sure to tag your campaign correct with our URL Builder. Some tools (such as Bing or Mailchimp) have options to turn on link tagging for GA - although it's buried in the settings. With many others, you will have to add the necessary ‘UTM’ parameters onto the link. Without this tagging, many sources will be misattributed. For example, affiliate networks could send referrals from any of thousands of websites which will appear under the ‘referrals’ channel by default. Facebook ads, since the majority come from the Facebook’s app, will appear under the ‘direct’ (or ‘unknown’) channel. From when full tagging is in effect, the channels report will start to reflect your genuine traffic acquisition source. But don’t expect a 100% match with other tracking tools – see our article on Facebook – GA discrepancies. Importing cost data The cost for any Google AdWords campaigns can be imported automatically, by linking the accounts, but for any third party campaigns, you will need to upload a spreadsheet with your costs on. The benefit is that now you can see the return on investment calculation update in real-time in the multi-channel reports. Model attribution The final step is to decide how you will attribute the value of a campaign if it forms part of a longer conversion pathway. The default for Google Analytics (and most others) is ‘last non-direct click’. That means that the most recent TAGGED campaign gets all the credit for the sale. If the user clicks on 5 Facebook ads, and then eventually buys after an abandoned basket email reminder, that email reminder will get all the sales (not Facebook). This attribution is what you’ll see in all the standard campaign and acquisition reports. You may feel that it is unfair on all the work done by the earlier campaigns, so ‘linear’ (sale equally credited to all tagged campaigns) or ‘time decay’ (more recent campaigns get more credit) may be a better fit with your businesses’ goals. Conclusion Multi-channel marketing performance attribution is not a luxury for the largest companies. It’s available to you now, with the free version of Google Analytics. It will require some setup effort to get meaningful reports (as with any measurement tool) but it has the power to transform how you allocate budget across a range of online marketing platforms. But if this still is not working for you then you may have a problem with cross domain tracking. Need a bit more advice or have any questions? Get in touch with our experts or leave a comment below!   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2016-08-04

Personally Identifiable Information (PII), hashing and Google Analytics

Google has a strict policy prohibiting sending Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to Google Analytics. This is necessary to provide GA reports around the world, yet comply with country regulations about storing personal information.  Even if you send personal information accidentally, Google may be forced to delete all of your analytics data for the time range affected. This policy has recently tightened to state: You may not upload any data that allows Google to personally identify an individual (such as names and email addresses), even in hashed form. A number of our clients are using a hashed email as the unique identifier for logged in users, or those coming from email campaigns.  If so, this needs be a minimum of SHA256 hashing (not MD5 hashing), with a 'salt' to improve the security - check your implementation meets the required standard. If you want to check if personal information affects your analytics, we now include checking for PII in our complete Google Analytics audit. Google's best practice for avoiding this issue is to remove the PII at the source - on the page, before it is sent to Google Analytics.  But it may be hard to hunt down all the situations where you accidentally send personal data; for example, a form which sends the user's email in the postback URL, or a marketing campaign which add the postcode as a campaign tag. We have developed a tag manager variable that does this removal for you, to avoid having to change any forms or marketing campaigns which are currency breaking the rules. Steps to setup 1. Copy the script below into a new custom Javascript variable in GTM [code language="javascript"]function() { // Modify the object below to add additional regular expressions var piiRegex = { //matches emails, postcodes and phone numbers where they start or end with a space //or a comma, ampersand, backslash or equals "email": /[\s&\/,=]([a-zA-Z0-9_.+-]+\@[a-zA-Z0-9-]+\.[a-zA-Z0-9-.]+)($|[\s&\/,])/, "postcode": /[\s&\/,=]([A-Z]{1,2}[0-9][0-9A-Z]?(\s|%20)[0-9][A-Z]{2})($|[\s&\/,])/, "phone number": /[\s&\/,=](0[0-9]{3,5}(\s|%20)?[0-9]{5,8}|[0-9]{3}-[0-9]{4}-[0-9]{4})($|[\s&\/,])/ }; // Ensure that {{Page URL}} is updated to match the Variable in your // GTM container to retrieve the full URL var dl = {{Page URL}} var dlRemoved = dl; for (key in piiRegex) { dlRemoved = dlRemoved.replace(piiRegex[key], 'REMOVED'); } return dlRemoved; }[/code]   2.Check {{Page URL}} is set up in your GTM container This is a built-in variable, but you'll need to check it under the variables tab.   3. Change the pageview tag to override the standard document location, and use the variable with PII removed   By default, Google Analytics takes the location to be whatever is in the URL bar (document.location in Javascript).  You will over-ride that with the PII-safe variable.  

2016-08-03

Why do you need cross-domain tracking?

What is cross-domain tracking and why do you need to implement in your Google Analytics account? Cross-domain tracking makes it possible for Analytics to see sessions on two related sites (such as an ecommerce site and a separate shopping cart site) as a single session. This is sometimes called site linking. Cross-domain literally means that you are able to see a user in a single Google Analytics account in his journey across multiple domains that you control (e.g. mysite.com and myshoppingcart.com). In the standard configuration of the Google Analytics script, every time a customer loads a page on a different domain a new session is generated, even if the branding looks seamless to the user and, unfortunately, the previous session has ended and this is even if the customer is still active and generates events and page views. Until you have implemented the cross-domain setting on your website you will not be able to have an accurate customer journey. Why? Let’s take, for example, a standard website, www.siteA.com, and it's blog, www.blogB.com. To track sessions, Analytics collects a client ID value in every hit. Client ID values are stored in 1st party cookies, and these cookies are only available to web pages on the same domain. When tracking sessions across multiple domains, the client ID value has to be transferred from one domain to the other. To do this, the Analytics tracking code has linking features that allow the source domain to place the client ID in the link URL, where the destination domain can access it. Fortunately, with the release of Universal Analytics cross-domain tracking, it is easier to implement, and especially so with Google Tag Manager. Setting up cross-domain tracking using Google Tag Manager Add (or edit your existing) a basic page tracking tag (i.e. Tag Type = Universal Analytics; Track Type = Page View). If you are using the same container for siteA.com and blogB.com, under More Settings → Fields to Set, enter the following: Field Name: allowLinker Value: true Under More settings → Cross-Domain Tracking → Auto Link Domains enter "blogB.com" (without the quotes). If you have multiple domains, separate them by commas: blogB.com, siteC.com Leave the 'Use hash as delimiter' and 'Decorate forms' unless you have an unusual web setup. Set the trigger to "All Pages". Save a version of the container and publish it. If you are using a separate container for blogB.com, repeat the steps above but in the Auto Link Domains field add: siteA.com Add both domains to the Referral Exclusion List When a user journey crosses from your first domain to your second domain, it will still appear as a new session in Google Analytics by default. If you want to be able to track a single session across multiple domains, you need to add your domains to the referral exclusion list. Here’s an example Tag Assistant Recordings report that shows what it looks like when cross-domain tracking is not setup properly. Setting up cross-domain tracking by directly modifying the tracking code To set up cross-domain tracking for multiple top-level domains, you need to modify the Google Analytics tracking code on each domain. You should have basic knowledge of HTML and JavaScript or work with a developer to set up cross-domain tracking. The examples in this article use the Universal Analytics tracking code snippet (analytics.js). Editing the tracking code for the primary domain ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXX-Y', 'auto', {'allowLinker': true}); ga('require', 'linker'); ga('linker:autoLink', ['siteB.com'] ); Remember to replace the example tracking ID (UA-XXXXXX-Y) with your own tracking ID, and replace the example autoLink domain (siteB.com) with your own secondary domain name. Editing the tracking code on the secondary domain ga('create', 'UA-XXXXXXX-Y', 'auto', {'allowLinker': true}); ga('require', 'linker'); ga('linker:autoLink', ['siteA.com'] ); Remember to replace the example tracking ID (UA-XXXXXX-Y) with your own tracking ID, and replace the example autoLink domain (siteA.com) with your own primary domain name. Adding the domain to page URLs using filters By default, Google Analytics only includes the page path and page title in page reports - not the domains name. For example, you might see one page appear in the Site Content report like this: /contactUs.html Because the domain names aren’t listed, it might be hard to tell whether this is www.siteA.com/contactUs.html or www.blogB.com/contactUs.html. To get the domain names to appear in your reports you need to do two things: Create a copy of your reporting view that includes data from all your domains in it Add an advanced filter to that new view. The filter will tell Google Analytics to display domain names in your reports. Follow this example to set up a view filter that displays domain names in your reports when you have cross-domain tracking set up. For some fields, you need to select an item from the dropdown menu. For others, you need to input the characters here: Filter Type: Custom filter > Advanced Field A: Hostname Extract A: (.*) Field B: Request URI Extract: (.*) Output To: Request URI Constructor: $A1$B1 Click Save to create the filter. You can validate that filters are working as you expect using Google Tag Assistant Recordings. Tag Assistant Recordings can show you exactly how your filters change your traffic.   Get Social! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook and keep up-to-date with our Google Analytics insights.

2016-08-02

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

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

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