Analytics

Google Analytics Advanced Tracking and Segmentation For Better SEO Impact

Google Analytics Advanced Tracking and Segmentation For Better SEO Impact
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So here I am jotting down yet another post on Web analytics, so damn carried away with Google Analytics features that I decided to write a guide on the most advanced features that can be utilized for maximizing your website effectiveness. Here is a list of features that can be used to get more advanced reports using Google Analytics, so webmaster get ready to put on your tracking shoes:

Google Analytics Advanced Segments

Advanced segments are one of the most exiting features that can be used to explore and analyse queries faster. I have earlier posted about Advanced Segments and how that can be used for effective reporting so take a look at that for get deeper insights into segments. Here are few segments that you can use:

Advanced Segments for Social Media

If you are running a social media campaign for your business and want to measure its effectiveness then a social media segment can be the best and easiest option. Here’s how to go about out:

Click on the – My Site tab > – Advanced Segments > Then click on – Add New Custom Segment > Choose a suitable name > Then click on – Add a dimension or metric > then add “Source” as a dimension > have it as “include” & “matching regular expression” then using a bit of cool expressions ,like the one mentioned below:

(facebook|twitter|linkedin|stumbleupon|youtube)

Advanced Segments for Long tail keywords

If you want to understand the long tail keyword performance then Long tail keyword segment can be the answer. Follow the same steps as mentioned above to get into the advanced segment dashboard, once that is done use the below mentioned rules:

Click “Add a dimension or metric “then add “Keyword” as a “dimension” keep it as “include” and “matching regular expression” and use the mentioned expressions.

^s*[^s]+(s+[^s]+){3}s*$

This segment lets you sort out keywords with more than three words. If you want to filter more or less keyword then change the number mentioned in the curly brackets “{}”

Advanced Segments for Non Branded keywords

If you are looking to sort the non-branded keywords that have bought in traffic to your website then advanced Segments for Non Branded keywords will serve the purpose. Follow the same steps as mentioned above, but incorporate little change which is mentioned below:

Let’s take an example first, imagine that your company is called John Players.

Click on “Add a dimension or metric” then add “Keyword” as a dimension and have it as “exclude” and “matching regular expression” then type the following expression in the field.

(John|Players|Jon|Playar|player|…….)

This expression will exclude all the branded terms from your report and will get you a non-branded keyword report.

Tracking Multiple Goal Conversions

Tracking Goals using Google Analytics is quite simple. But how can you track the goals if you have two ways for visitors to register to your website site:

Page 1 – www.znerim.com/my_deals = Visitors registered through the home page and landed on the main contact page.

Path 2 – www.znerim.com/bookdownloads = Visitors registered to download my free e-book sample.

Both these pages lead to the same thank register page, now can we create a goal with multiple URLs? Here is a how to go about it:

Go to your profile dashboard and create a new goal now select goal type as “URL Destination “and enter the regular expression mentioned below into the Goal URL and on the “Match Type” field, select Regular Expression Match and save it.

/(my_deals|bookdownloads)$

If dynamic elements are needed to be tracked then you can exclude the $ symbol at the end of the expression.

Custom variables

Custom variables can be used by webmaster to track very useful and valuable data. The example mentioned shows as to how custom variables can be used to track the author of pages. Take a look as to how custom variables can be used:

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount','UA-XXXXX-X']);
_gaq.push(['_setCustomVar',1,'author','maheshnarayanan',3],['_trackPageview']);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();

Cross Domain Tracking

Google Analytics uses first party cookies for tracking. This means that if a user or visitor heads over to a third party website then GA will not be able to track the data. A best example can be set if your site accepts third party payments on another site. To track this data you will be required to use cross domain tracking, also visits from the third domain will be considered as referral traffic so this will also be needed to be checked through the Cross Domain tracking method. I have already posted a brief summary of Cross Domain Tracking, have a look at that before reading further.

For effective cross domain tracking you need to have Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) implemented on both domains and the third party site must not prohibit query string parameters.

Step 1 – Modify the GATC

Go to Analytics Settings > Tracking Code > Select “Multiple top-level domains” radio button > Google Analytics will provide you with two new lines of code as shown below.

_gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'none']);
_gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]);

It’s possible to get a cookie with a domain of www.znerim.co.uk and .znerim.co.uk which would mean getting more than one set of cookies per visitor.

It’s usually best practice to use the primary domain of your website instead of the ‘none’. For example I would use ‘.znerim.co.uk’ to avoid multiple instances of the Google Analytics tracking cookies.

Step 2 – Transferring the cookies

Analytics has two methods to transfer the tracking cookies between the two domains which are _link() and _linkByPost()

Both extract the cookie values from the cookies and place the data in the destination page URL as query string parameters. Imagine our primary domain is www.znerim.co.uk and our 3rd party payment site is www.znerim.com then apply the following:

Example 1 = If your website transfers the visitor between domains using standard anchor tags, use _link()

<a href=”http://www.znerim.com” onclick=

“_gaq.push([‘_link’, ‘http://www.znerim.com’]);return false; ” > Buy Now </a>’]);

Example 2 = If your website uses a form to transfer visitors between domains then you need to use _linkbypost()

onsubmit=”_gaq.push([‘_linkbypost’, this]);”>

Once you’ve applied either _link() or _linkByPost(), your site visitors will be tracked across the two domains.

I may not be the most smartest person around but still I read a lot and get to interact with lot of people who are best in what they do. So by reading about my experiences and views your can boost your odds for success.
If you are looking for any questions on how Best to increase your Online Presence, Manage Your Online Reputation or on how to increase your website traffic, SEO or need help with anything of that matter. I can sure try helping you out. And don’t worry I am not looking out for financial benefits :)
Mahesh Narayanan
I may not be the most smartest person around but still I read a lot and get to interact with lot of people who are best in what they do. So by reading about my experiences and views your can boost your odds for success. If you are looking for any questions on how Best to increase your Online Presence, Manage Your Online Reputation or on how to increase your website traffic, SEO or need help with anything of that matter. I can sure try helping you out. And don’t worry I am not looking out for financial benefits :)
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