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Based on the book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics - by Brian Clifton

All 'Plugins & Hacks' posts in date order i.e. newest first. Click on the post title to read in full.

Google Analytics – Customisations you cannot live without #2

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Plugins & Hacks Comments 2 »

There are 2 main things that Google Analytics cannot do:

1. No regionalisation of Search Engines for SEO – previous post
2. No automatic tracking of file downloads and outbound links – this post…

The first is an major limitation for Search Marketers requiring regional search engine detail for SEO campaigns; The second is a real pain in the bum for webmasters of content heavy websites who need to track non-standard click throughs (file downloads, mailto, outbound links).

However, Google Analytics is a very flexible product and a little bit of custom JavaScript can go a long way – so I have developed JavaScript “extensions” to over come these limitations…

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Google Analytics customisations you cannot live without #1

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Plugins & Hacks No Comments »

There are 2 main things that Google Analytics cannot do:

1. No regionalisation of Search Engines for SEO – this post
2. No automatic tracking of file downloads and outbound links – follow-up post

The first is an major limitation for Search Marketers requiring regional search engine detail for SEO campaigns; The second is a real pain in the bum for webmasters of content heavy websites who need to track non-standard click throughs (file downloads, mailto, outbound links).

However, Google Analytics is a very flexible product and a little bit of custom JavaScript can go a long way – so I have developed JavaScript “extensions” to over come these limitations…

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SEO Tracking – regional Search Engines in Google Analytics

Categories: Plugins & Hacks, SEO & Analytics Comments 40 »

Google Analytics recognises 41 search engines by default. Although this is constantly being added to, there are of course a great many other search engines in the world – language and region specific, as well as price comparison and vertical portals. This hack is for anyone who manages SEO at a regional level i.e to be able to differentiate regional variations of search engines. For example, the default Search Engine list for Google Analytics shows aggregate search engines – Google, Yahoo, MSN etc., this hack shows regional specific ones for your SEO efforts. April 2011 – New async hack launchedThis hack has been completely revised for the latest GA async code. Further info >>   [ Now 100+ additional SEs + GA defaults (140+ domains). You no longer need to re-define the default set of search engines as this hack now prepends new search engines to GA’s list. For details Read the full article…

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How to track mobile phone users with Google Analytics

Categories: Plugins & Hacks Comments 23 »

Designing a web site for a mobile audience with a 3 inch screen and potentially slower data connection is clearly very different from other users. Therefore studying this segment of visitors can have important implications for your web development. Visits from older generations of Internet enabled mobile phones cannot be tracked by web analytics tools that use page tags – including Google Analytics – as they do not execute JavaScript or cookies. The traditional solution to this was to use a Log analyzer such as Urchin. However the lack of cookie and JavaScript support was precisely the reason so few people used their phone for web access. In many cases sites just failed to work, so tracking the few mobile visitors out there was never a priority – until now. The newer generation of Smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry etc.) have driven the recent proliferation of web usage via mobile devices by Read the full article…

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SEO Tracking – Bing in Google Analytics (and other custom search engines)

Categories: Plugins & Hacks, SEO & Analytics Comments 14 »

As you may have heard, bing.com is the new search engine from Microsoft. Although tracking bing.com visitors in Google Analytics will take place automatically, the caveat is, that at present it is reported as a standard referrer – as if a link from another website. That means it is not grouped with other search engines in your reports and no keyword information is available. This update allows you to track Bing.com as a search engine in Google Analytics with visitor keyword detail. April 2011 – New async hack launchedThis hack has been completely revised for the latest GA async code. Further info >>   Background Search still has a long way to go in helping people efficiently find information other than for product search, so reading the Bing press release certainly caught my attention. Also see my latest post tracking regional search engines. Although Google will no doubt apply a Read the full article…

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Roll up reporting in Google Analytics

Categories: Plugins & Hacks Comments 52 »

Roll up reporting is not a standard feature in Google Analytics. However with a little extra coding, you can have stand alone reports for specific i.e. product dedicated websites, and a roll-up report to give a global overview.

Generally, this issue mostly effects enterprise clients. For example, companies with brand specific or product specific web sites targeted at particular markets. Because of this specific need it makes sense to have separate, stand alone Google Analytics accounts for each web site. That way, segmentation, referral analysis, e-commerce revenue (or lead generation) can be analyzed in detail.

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Creating the perfect (trackable) blog article

Categories: Metrics understanding, Plugins & Hacks Comments 15 »

Crafting your article to entice click-throughs to your site If you write the perfect blog article and publish the full content via RSS, there is a strong possibility that the visitor will read your content in their RSS reader, be entirely satisfied (strong engagement) and then move on i.e. not visit your web site. … This is a great way to track engaged RSS readers – casual readers of you headlines are screened out because they don’t click through (so are not tracked), while engaged visitors click through and therefore are tracked.

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Integrating Voice of Customer data with Google Analytics – Part II

Categories: Plugins & Hacks Comments 5 »

This is part II (from a two part series) of articles providing a How-to guide for integrating your voice of customer data with Google Analytics. In Part I, I discussed the approach to take when integrating with Clicktools – a popular visitor survey tool. In Part II, I discuss integrating with a very different type of voice of customer tool – Kampyle. As you have hopefully read in Part I of this series, the general rule of thumb when integrating with Google Analytics, is to export your data from into your second tool. Essentially Google just makes exporting easy for you (though potentially the new GA API may one day also facilitate importing data into Google Analytics). However, exporting data from Google Analytics and into Kampyle is not possible, so a different approach is required. Kampyle background information Kampyle is a feedback survey tool – with the emphasis on feedback. Read the full article…

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Integrating Voice of Customer data with Google Analytics – Part I

Categories: Plugins & Hacks Comments 14 »

As I have written before, Voice of Customer techniques are your direct feedback mechanism from visitors to your web site. It provides invaluable qualitative data to your web design, development, marketing, PR and content creator teams. It compliments the quantitative data of web analytics by providing the “why” to the “what” and “when”. However it is often the case that this data remains in a separate silo within the organisation, never to be compared with the quantitative data of your web analytics platform. This post, the first part of two, is a How-to guide for integrating your voice of customer data with Google Analytics. I have chosen two popular VoC tools: , Clicktools and Kampyle, though it is not my intention to review the merits of the respective tools themselves. However I do use them both, which makes me a fan of them both. This is Part I – Integrating Read the full article…

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Track outbound links and file downloads automatically in Google Analytics

Categories: Plugins & Hacks Comments 132 »

Just to let you know that I have finally gotten round to updating the original combined tracking script hack I had for urchin.js to the new ga.js. Essentially the combined tracking script is a modification of the GATC so that it automatically tracks: outbound links – Automatically file downloads – Automatically mailto links – Automatically Therefore, instead of having to manually modify such links by adding an onClick event handler to your ‘a’ tags, this script will do it all for you. April 2011 – New async hack launchedThis hack has been completely revise for the latest GA async code. Further info >>   Why is this necessary? Outbound links (links to other websites from yours), file downloads (e.g. PDFs, exe, xls etc.) and mailto links (links to an email address) can be important indicators as to whether your site is engaging with visitors. If so, you will certainly want Read the full article…

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Tracking error pages from WordPress

Categories: Plugins & Hacks Comments 6 »

My standard word of caution for all “GA Hacks” posts – This is a tech tip and requires you to have a knowledge of html and javascript to implement and use it… Tracking error pages is something that page tag solutions cannot track out of the box – including Google Analytics. In Chapter 9 of the book I describe how to track all your error pages using Google Analytics. Essentially, you modify the server error template to include the GATC, then use an advanced filter to rewrite the URL string. However, if you are a WordPress user, there is a simpler method than tinkering with your web server… WordPress includes a template file called "404 template" (404.php). This is the file used to display an error message if a page is not found. By default it does not contain very much: <?php get_header(); ?> <div id="content"> <h2>Error 404 – Not Read the full article…

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Tracking links to direct downloads – Automatically

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Plugins & Hacks Comments 19 »

My standard word of caution – This is a tech tip and requires you to have a knowledge of html and javascript to implement and use it… [This hack is for the legacy urchin.js tracking code. Always refer to the Scripts & Downloads section for the latest version.] April 2011 – New async hack launchedThis hack has been completely revise for the latest GA async code. Further info >>   Following on from my previous post Tracking banners and other outgoing links automatically, this GA hack allows you to track downloads automatically. As you may know, tracking download files such as PDF, EXE, DOC and XLS can be achieved quite easily with the modification of the link to include an urchinTracker call to log a virtual pageview. However, as for tracking outgoing links, manually modifying each download link becomes inefficient when there are large numbers of ever changing files to Read the full article…

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SEO Tracking – Customising the list of recognised search engines

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Plugins & Hacks Comments 12 »

My standard word of caution – This is a tech tip and requires you to have a knowledge of html and javascript to implement and use it… [This hack is for the legacy urchin.js tracking code. For the ga.js version read: Customising the list of search engines in Google Analytics.]   April 2011 – New async hack launchedThis hack has been completely revised for the latest GA async code. Further info >> Google Analytics shows which search engine your visitors/customers have used in the Traffic Sources > Search Engines report. To view the list of all the search engines that Google Analytics currently identifies by default, simply load into your browser http://www.google-analytics.com/urchin.js. In this file you will see the section commented as: //– Auto/Organic Sources and Keywords This section is where the organic search engines are defined that once captured by the Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) will be reported Read the full article…

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Tracking banners and other outgoing links – Automatically

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Plugins & Hacks Comments 26 »

A word of caution – This is a tech tip and requires you to have a knowledge of html and javascript to implement and use it… [This hack is for the legacy urchin.js tracking code. Always refer to the Scripts & Downloads section for the latest version.] April 2011 – New async hack launchedThis hack has been completely revise for the latest GA async code. Further info >>   Your site may offer a visitor a link to click through to an external web site such a subsidiary, an affiliate, advertiser or an trade organisation. For Google Analytics, a visit leaving your web site requires an edit to the page in order to track it. This is achieved by modifying your outbound links to call urchinTracker and is extremely easy to do. However, what if your web site has hundreds of separate outgoing links that are constantly evolving and being Read the full article…

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