5 Ways to Make Use of Your Google Analytics


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Web traffic tracking is ubiquitous, but actually making use of all those web stats is less so. A recent survey found that over 90% of departments and service units in a large public university track web traffic data, but about 75% of that same group never actually use the stats they track or they use them only sporadically. This session will discuss techniques that will help you identify and fix 404s, set up goals, track site search terms, create campaigns, and automate reporting.

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5 Ways to Make Use of Your Google Analytics

  1. 1. 5 Ways to Make Use ofYour Google AnalyticsCharlie Morris@cdmo
  2. 2. About MeNutshell:-  MSIS from UNC-  NC State since ‘05-  Joined NCSU Libraries 2 months ago-  Interests and areas of expertise: " Google Analytics, Drupal, WordPress, users and content, jQuery, burritos, CSS (recent Sass + Compass convert), PHP + MySQL
  3. 3. Agenda•  GA Basics•  Why this presentation5 Ways: 1.  404s 2.  Search 3.  Goals (and Events) 4.  Campaigns 5.  Reporting
  4. 4. Google Analytics basicsUser visits ga.js sends the Google your site user’s browser Analyticsand the GA information off processes snippet is to GA servers the data triggered and it sets and makes(along with cookies on the reports ga.js) available user’s browser (This occurs in a fraction of a second) (This takes hours)
  5. 5. Limitations•  Won’t track if JS is turned off•  “Unique” Visitors•  Cookie deletion•  NoScript and other add-ons•  Trend data, not exact
  6. 6. Google Analytics is easy.
  7. 7. Step 1Step 2
  8. 8. Step 1Step 2
  9. 9. Do you collect webtraffic data? Yes No <20%Do you use itregularly to informwebsite decisions?
  10. 10. So, how can you use it?
  11. 11. So, how can you use it?
  12. 12. So, how can you use it?
  13. 13. So, how can you use it?
  14. 14. So, how can you use it?
  15. 15. So, how can you use it?“Data Puke”
  16. 16. Analysis Paralysis
  17. 17. Options•  Analysis Paralysis•  Don’t Bother/Ignore
  18. 18. Google Analytics is easy.*
  19. 19. Google Analytics is easy.**Unless you actually want to make use of it.
  20. 20. Options•  Analysis Paralysis•  Don’t Bother•  How about: " Implement a few helpful options and" customize reporting
  21. 21. 5 Ways
  22. 22. 1. 404s Source: http://kilianmuster.com/404
  23. 23. Required: A 404 error page see"http://www.alistapart.com/articles/perfect404/
  24. 24. Default GATC _gaq.push([_setAccount, UA-######-#]);! _gaq.push([_trackPageview]);!_gaq The global object for asynchronous tracking.push Executes the given command array._trackPageview Main logic of GATC. Takes one optional parameter, if it isn’t specified then GA will use current address.
  25. 25. CodeModify the _trackPageview function:try{!_gaq.push([_trackPageview, /404.php?page= +document.location.pathname +document.location.search + &from= +document.referrer]);!} catch(err) {}!Source: bit.ly/edui404
  26. 26. Pull Report/404.php?page=/deansmessage.htm&from=http://cnr.ncsu.edu/fer/direct/brown.php Page = deansmessage.htm From = http://cnr.ncsu.edu/fer/direct/brown.php
  27. 27. Generate a report1.  See Top Content 2.  Filter by “404”3.  Set 500 per page" 4.  Set Up Email(more on this later)
  28. 28. Create RedirectsRewriteEngine On!RewriteRule scholarships.htm$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/future/scholarships_financial_aid.php [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule alumni.htm$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/alumni_friends/ [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule calendar$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/news/calendar.php [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule visitorinfocnr.htm$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/future/visit.php [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule development/index.html$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/alumni_friends/ [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule development/give.html$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/alumni_friends/support/ [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule development/update.html$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/alumni_friends/update_your_info.php[R=301,NC]!RewriteRule distance.htm$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/future/grad/distance_education.php [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule calendar/$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/news/calendar.php [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule bsprogrm/prtm/sportmgt.htm$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/prtm [R=301,NC]!RewriteRule directions.htm$ http://cnr.ncsu.edu/about/directions.php [R=301,NC]!
  29. 29. 2. Search Source: http://rosenfeldmedia.com/books/searchanalytics/
  30. 30. Track Site Search Terms<input type="text" size="31" name="q”>!<input type="submit" value="Search" name="sa">!
  31. 31. Example: Extension Forestry
  32. 32. What can search analysis tell you?•  What terms to include in campaigns*•  What to feature on the homepage•  How to structure information•  What synonyms to use in the search itself•  Where users are getting lostHelps make your site and its content morerelevant and useful
  33. 33. Other low-hanging fruit•  Daily number of visitors•  Top visited pages•  Average length of visits•  Bounce rate
  34. 34. 3. Goals Source: Sam Smith, http://bit.ly/eduiRaptor
  35. 35. “Defining your website goals isprobably the single most importantstep of your configuration process,as it enables you to define success” -Brian Clifton, author of Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics
  36. 36. •  Need to have actual goals before you can Mission! set “Goals” Business Goal Business Goal Website Website Action Website Action Action
  37. 37. An example•  You: an instructional technology training unit –  Mission: To raise the instructional technology expertise of faculty –  Business Goal: Get more faculty to come to in- person training sessions –  Website Action: Registration for workshops
  38. 38. An example•  You: an instructional technology training unit –  Mission: To raise the instructional technology expertise of faculty –  Business Goal: Get more faculty to come to in- person training sessions –  Website Action: Registration for workshops GA ‘Goal’
  39. 39. What is a Google Analytics“Goal”? •  a pageview* that gets tallied as a conversion
  40. 40. Website Action Goal: Registration for workshops Training and development home page All workshops listing page Workshop information page Registration page Thank you page
  41. 41. Implementing Goals (no code work needed)
  42. 42. Example: PRTM OnlineContact Form
  43. 43. This is all well and good, butmy goal isn’t something thatGoogle Analytics can track."Like playing a video or an"external site link.
  44. 44. Enter Events and“virtual” Pageviews.(a related, butimportant tangent)
  45. 45. 4 (a). Events and “Virtual” Pageviews -Brian Cray http://bit.ly/eduiCray
  46. 46. Use cases•  Actions within the page –  Site exits to external link –  Activating a tab –  Playing a video –  Multiple links to same address•  “onclick” attribute
  47. 47. Events code _gaq.push([’_trackEvent’, ‘category’, ‘action’, ‘opt_label’, ‘opt_value’)]);!_trackEvent Track visitor behaviorcategory General event category.action Event action.opt_label Optional descriptoropt_value Optional value
  48. 48. Events example _gaq.push([_trackEvent, Footer, External Link, Flickr])!_trackEvent Track visitor behaviorcategory General event category.action Event action.opt_label Optional descriptoropt_value Optional value
  49. 49. Naming Scheme for FooterCategory Action Opt_LabelFooter Internal Link Contact UsFooter Internal Link CopyrightFooter Internal Link Disability ServicesFooter Internal Link PrivacyFooter Internal Link Staff OnlyFooter Internal Link D.H. Hill LibraryFooter Subsite Entrance Hunt LibraryFooter Subsite Entrance Design LibraryFooter Subsite Entrance Natural Resources LibraryFooter Subsite Entrance Textiles LibraryFooter Subsite Entrance Veterinary Medicine LibraryFooter Subsite Entrance Giving
  50. 50. <a class="flickr" !onclick="_gaq.push([_trackEvent, Footer,External Link’, ‘Flickr]);” title="flickr”  href="http://flickr.com/photos/ncsu_scrc/">!!<img width="24" height="24" alt="flickr" src="/website/images/flickr.png">!!</a>!!
  51. 51. Example: NCSU LibrariesFooter
  52. 52. Virtual Pageviews•  Like an event, but tabulated as a page view
  53. 53. link1link2
  54. 54. Example: Virtual PageView for Site Exit<li>Submit your application using the NC StateUniversity Graduate School !<a ! !onclick="_gaq.push([! ! !_trackPageview, academic/how_to_apply/! ! !start-application/link4’]);" ! !target="new" 
 !href=http://www.ncsu.edu/grad/applygrad.htm” !>!Apply Yourself</a> web site.</li>!
  55. 55. Example: Virtual PageView for SiteExit•  Link1: MGIST applicants first link•  Link2: MGIST applicants second link•  Link4: GIS Certificate
  56. 56. What is a Google Analytics“Goal”? •  Any interaction a user makes with the site that gets tallied as a conversion
  57. 57. Caution•  Limited to 500 total events or pageviews per visit (user session) –  avoid scripting a video to send an event for every second played and other highly repetitive event triggers –  avoid excessive mouse movement tracking –  avoid time-lapse mechanisms that generate high event counts
  58. 58. 4. Campaigns Source: http://on-msn.com/eduiTattoo
  59. 59. CampaignsThe One True Way: “Make something great. Tell people about it. Do it again.” -Derek Powazek http://bit.ly/eduiSEO
  60. 60. Ways to tell people about stuffElectronic Space Meat Space•  Email / Email Newsletter •  Brochures•  Twitter •  Posters •  Podcasts•  Facebook •  Mailings•  Web page •  Television•  Blog post •  Radio•  Videos •  Billboards•  Search results •  Skywriting •  Sandwich Board•  AdWords* •  Scrolling marquee on Time•  Flash banner Square* whole nother story •  Tattoo on professional boxer
  61. 61. Google Analytics URL Builder•  Build in GA-specific variables into a URL solely for tracking purposes –  Campaign Source* –  Campaign Medium* –  Campaign Term (for AdWords) –  Campaign Content –  Campaign Name** required Source: bit.ly/eduiURL
  62. 62. http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/page?" utm_source=newsletterFall11&" utm_medium=email&" utm_campaign=AmazingAlumnihttp://www.lib.ncsu.edu/page?"utm_source=joeSmithBoxer&"utm_medium=tattoo&"utm_campaign=department http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/page?" utm_source=tweet484&" utm_medium=twitter&" utm_campaign=communications
  63. 63. Shorten it "bit.ly/page or go.ncsu.edu/page
  64. 64. 5. Reporting squirrel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sompops/166288241/ ninja: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeyhun85/4684666416/
  65. 65. Options for Export!Format: PDF, XML, CSV, CSV forExcel, TSV and schedule: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, QuarterlyData Export API:!http://bit.ly/eduiexport
  66. 66. Customize•  Build reports that answer specific questions•  Automate delivery•  Cut out stuff that doesn’t matter•  Leave no room for interpretation
  67. 67. Recap•  Google Analytics basics5 Ways to use 1.  404s 2.  Search 3.  Goals (and Events) 4.  Campaigns 5.  Reporting
  68. 68. Much more:•  Programmatic approach for implementation: –  CMS solutions –  jQuery•  Profiles and Filtering –  Blocking IPs•  Custom Reports•  Advanced Segments –  Custom Visitor Segments•  A/B Testing –  Website Optimizer•  trackSocial and a plethora of other functions
  69. 69. questions? comments?
  70. 70. 8/10“Eight out of tenimplementations of webanalytics solutions areincorrectly set up”-Bill Hunt, CEO, Global Strategies International