How to add custom User-ID to your Universal Analytics (Google) implementation?

Standard

There are three different implementations that you could have with Google Analytics:

  1. Classic Google Analytics
  2. Universal analytics
  3. Universal analytics with Google Tag manager.

If you fall under “2. Universal analytics” then this post is for you since I’ll walk you through steps that you need to take see UserID’s on your google analytics report.

First why do you want UserID on your GA reports? 

1) Data blending is powerful. If you can combine your transactional datasets with web traffic data then you can extract some powerful insights! To be able to join your transactions data with web traffic data, you need some field that is common across those datasets. UserID might be one of the most useful fields that you could use for data blending.

2) Also having UserID in your reports let’s you perform some user behavior analysis at individual level and that could be pretty powerful too!

Now, How?

There are three steps:

  1. Identify the User ID
  2. Create a Custom Dimension on Google Analytics
  3. Modify your tracking code to send data for the custom dimension

Step 1. Identify the User ID

The first step is to identify the ID that you are going to send to Google analytics. Remember that you can’t send PII (personally identifiable information) so you can’t send something like an email id but you can send other ID’s that may be used in your database.

Step 2: Create a custom dimension on Google Analytics

Go to google analytics admin section > Select your account & property > Go to Custom dimensions

Custom dimensions google analytics

Now, create a new custom dimension. Give it a name, scope it and make sure it’s marked active.

Custom dimension universal analytics User ID

Step 3: Modify your tracking code to send data for the custom dimension

Notice that once you create the dimension, it will also show the example code (on the right side in the picture above). Send this to your web developer!

Just a note on this: The custom dimensions for which you are passing value using the tracking code are referenced as dimensionxx and you don’t use the Name like “Custom User ID” — if it’s the first custom dimension that you will refer to it as dimension1 in the code.

Next steps: Let me know if you have any further questions and if you are interested in seeing the steps for classic GA and Universal analytics w/ Google Tag manager then here’s a blog for you: http://dan-russell.com/2014/03/how-to-set-a-userid-as-a-custom-variable-using-the-google-analytics-cookie/

I hope this was helpful!

Advertisements

What percentage of users are authenticated? (Google Universal Analytics)

Standard

You’re using Google’s Universal Analytics — That’s great! They key to make sure that you get the most out of it is to make sure that you incentivize your users to log-in aka authenticate. First step in doing that is to figure out percentage of users that are authenticated…Here’s how you can see that report:

1. Login to Google Analytics

2. Select your view > Go to “Reporting” section

3. Navigate to Audience > Behavior > User-ID coverage

Google Analytics User ID Universal

4. On this report, you can see authenticated vs unauthenticated sessions:

Percentage of authenticated users google analytics Universal

Conclusion:

In this post, we talked about how to run a report that shows you percentage of authenticated users. (In google’s Universal analytics)

How to analyze “new users” metric by specific pages in Google Analytics?

Standard

Problem:

you want to create a funnel chart of how your new users move from their landing page to your desired destination. Ideally it’s goes something like this:

Stage 1) lands on your home/landing page

Stage 2) goes to a product page

stage 3) goes to a checkout page

stage 4) sees a thank you page

Now, if you want to analyze the conversion among these stages for a “new” user then you will need create custom reports in google analytics. You will basically need to create a report for each specific page that you want to analyze. So how to set one up?

Solution: 

1) Navigate to Google analytics profile

2) On the top of the go to “customization” section and click on create a new custom report

3) here’s how you can set up a custom report that will use you new users by a specific page (notice the page filter?).

New users by specific pages funnel visualization google analytics

Conclusion:

In this post, I outlined the steps that you need to take to setup a custom report in google analytics that shows you new users by specific pages.

Business Metric #5 of N: “Conversion rate” (online marketing)

Standard

Summary:

In this post, we will see an important metric in online marketing called “conversion rate”.

Description:

so, what is conversion rate?

Conversion rate = (Number of Goals Achieved)/(Total Visitors)

why is this important to track?

In my previous blog on leads (marketing), I mentioned it’s important to track number of people interested in your products/services but along with that it’s important to provide context while reporting on Leads – this is where conversion rate comes into picture and provides the necessary context. Conversion rate can tell us the Quality of the leads & visitors that you get from your online marketing efforts.

Let’s take an example of an e-commerce site:

An e-commerce site decides to increase their monthly online marketing budget and they see a spike in the number of visitors – so that’s great, right? They should continue to increase their marketing budget, right? Well – that might not be true. While the number of visitors may have increased how do we know that increased number of visitors results in increased revenue? It all depends on the quality of the visitors that’s being generated – so how do you quantify the quality of the visitors? That’s right – conversion rate with the goal: number of visitors clicking “buy” button. So you want to make sure that with increased online marketing budget 1) Conversion rate is good or better 2) Number of visitors/leads have grown.

This was a basic scenario helping you appreciate the power of tracking the conversion rate for your online marketing efforts.

Now, If your marketing funnel is more complex then you might also create multiple conversion rate metrics to track conversions at each stage of a marketing funnel. This is VERY powerful. Here’s an Example:

Conversion Rate #1: (Number of Leads)/(Number of Total Visitors)

Note: your marketing team would define a “lead” based on their criteria(s) like downloads a newsletter, submits a contact us form, favorites a product, etc.

Conversion Rate #2: (Number of Actual Customers)/(Number of Leads)

Note: Conversion Rate #1 is great to evaluate effectiveness of marketing campaigns and conversion rate #2 is great to evaluate sales effectiveness.

How can you capture this data?

A good web analytics tool (like Google analytics) should help you track your conversion rates.

Conclusion:

In this post, we saw that tracking conversion rate is very important metric to track your online marketing efforts.

Google Analytics: How to Track an email campaign?

Standard

In this post, I’ll share how I learned to track an email campaign via Google Analytics.

First up, what do I mean by email campaign?

let’s say you email 1000 newsletter subscribers a link (URL) along w/ a summary – How do you track the traffic that is generated via this email campaign? Well – that’s where Google analytics can help you track your email campaigns. One metric would be how may people clicked on that link and visited your site.

Why should I care?

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” – Peter Drucker

If you do not measure what’s working or what’s not working, then you can’t improve – can you? Let’s take a hypothetical example. supposing it’s cost you $25 dollars to email 1000 people. How do you calculate the ROI on it? Well – track it! And the tool you can consider using is Google Analytics.

Now, Here are the steps to track an email campaign via Google Analytics:

Here’s the visual:

google analytics track email campaign

Here are the steps:

1. First Step is to create an URL.

Why do you need this? Basically this URL would have “meta data” that helps Google Analytics identify this link belongs to one of the campaigns.

How do we create it? Use this web service: http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1033867 to create an URL:

This is how an URL that I created looks: http://parasdoshiblog.blogspot.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=UTDEmailCampaign

google URL builder google analytics

2. Create an advanced segment in Google Analytics:

> Open Google Analytics.

> Select your site

> you should be in the audience overview report

> From here, click on advanced segment and click on new custom segment

google analytics advance segments> Here I’ve configured it like shown in the image below. Note the name of the campaign is same as the name of the campaign in STEP 1.

email campaign track google analytics> Save segment

> next time you visit, you’ll see this custom segment – select it and you’ll see only from the campaign that you want to track:

google analytics custom segments traffic

That’s about it for this post. your comments are very welcome!

How many websites in USA exceed the data collection limitations of Google Analytics?

Standard

Little bit of background:

– I was researching on the limitations of Google Analytics

– After reading the Limitations, I wanted to know – How many websites in USA exceed the limitations of Google Analytics?

So Here’s the Short Answer:

Only 108 sites exceed this limitation

(as of today)

And Here’s the long answer:

Limitations of Google Analytics. Here’s the URL: http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1070983

And I am quoting from the above URL:

Data Collection limit: You should not send more than 10 million hits per month. If you exceed this limit, there is no assurance that the excess hits will be processed.
Data Freshness limit: Sending more than 200,000 visits per day to Google Analytics will result in your reports being refreshed only once per day

And to take it further, I wanted to know how many website in USA get greater than 10 million hits per month, turns out only 108 websites in US get that much traffic.
Source: http://www.quantcast.com/top-sites/US?jump-to=108

so from data collection limit standpoint, only these 100 odd sites would exceed the limitations of Google Analytics.

To put things in Perspective: MySpace.com does not exceed Data Collection Google Analytics Limit:

my space can use google analytics

Conclusion

Just knowing about the Data Collection Limit was not interesting but I combined data from other data sources – it seemed very interesting to me! Anyhoo – In this post, I shared:

> Limitations of Google Analytics

> Answered How many websites in USA exceed the limitations of Google Analytics?

[UPDATE Feb 10th 2013] I made a mistake in correlating data from Quantcast and Google Analytics. Lesson learned: double-check for units when comparing data from two different sources

Florin Dumitrescu pointed out that while Quantcast uses People/Month and Google uses hits/month. They may NOT be always the same. Sorry about this.

One Insight from Analyzing my Past Year’s Blog Traffic Data:

Standard

I analyzed my Past Year’s Web Traffic Data: Here’s the Insight: Traffic on Weekdays > Traffic in Weekends. In most cases, Traffic on Weekends drops by 40%!

In other Words: Not as many people read BLOGS on weekend as much as they do on Weekdays.

What Can you do with this insight?

> First, Verify that it’s true for your domain/field-of-expertise. I blog about Technology and so this insight is applicable to blogs like mine.

> If you plan to blog say Twice in a week. Schedule those Posts on Weekdays (instead of weekends)

What Data did I analyzed:

– WordPress.com site stats

– Google Webmaster Tools search queries report. This gives you the number of searches that include your “blog post” as one of the result. Here’s what it looks like:

web analytics analyzing google webmaster's search data

Seems people are not searching for Technical content during Weekends. And less folks searching for “content” on Search Engines means Less Traffic (& less EyeBalls).

Conclusion:

For my Blog, The Traffic Drops by 40% on Weekends. And that just means that lesser number of people are “listening” on weekends. Since I do not have a “schedule” for this blog yet – I would try to post things on weekdays instead of weekends. That’s what I would do – What would you do with this insight? Do you see the same Traffic pattern for your Blog?