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Tracking On and Offline Advertising Using Google Analytics

Website Analytics September 30th, 2008

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google-analytics-tracking

Google Analytics- Getting Started

For your online marketing efforts Google Analytics is a magical solution. This is especially applicable to your Adwords PPC spending. It will automatically tag keyword destination URL’s so you can take a focused look at the money you are spending on traffic. Zoom in on Clicks, ads, landing pages, keyword popularity, and conversion.

Google Analytics Will Also Track:

…to mention a few!

With Google Analytics, you can track the results of any online marketing campaign. But it does not stop there. I am sure your business also has offline marketing such as direct mail, radio, TV or Print. Did you know you can also track your offline marketing efforts with Google Analytics?

Take a look at some of the other website tracking options out there and I am sure you’ll agree Google Analytics is top of the food chain. There are other options such as Omniture or Core Metrics but what makes Google’s amazing analytic tracking solution so attractive is the price…it’s FREE!

So your choices are really quite simple when you opt in on website analytics for your website:

  1. Invest time and money into making data driven decisions on your own.
  2. Invest in web analytics services that will increase your web site conversions.

There are many excellent features in the urchin analysis software Google offers. (Urchin IS Google Analytics for those that do not know.) My personal favorite is goals and analysis. After all— if your website does not have goal(s), why does it exist? When the goal funnel is sculpted for each unique website design it provides web analysts a simplistic approach to ROI improvements.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Installing Google Analytics

  1. What kind of a website do you have? Lead Generation, brand lift or ecommerce site?
  2. Does your site allow for java script? There are some management systems that pose a large challenge. The bottom line is if you cannot put JavaScript on your site you cannot use Google analytics.
  3. Do you have links, downloads or special page elements you want tracked?
  4. Is the architecture easy to navigate, have special html tags or unique characteristics?
  5. Are there ‘frames’ being used on your site? This may inflate your statistics
  6. If you have an Ecom website what software is used? Some of the more popular ecommerce software comes with an easy Google Analytics integration module such as Xcart.
  7. How many domains need to be tracked that are a part of your website?

A Bit About The Google Analytics Tracking Module

How to Track Form Data from Multiple Domains

This method of tracking multiple domains on a website is based on the new version of tracking code Sept 27, 2008.

  1. Modifications required to existing code
  2. So these are the 2 lines you will need to add:
    pageTracker._setDomainName("none");
    pageTracker._setAllowLinker(true);

If you want use to pass the form data along to another domain _linkByPost function is also required. Here is an example of a form post and how it would change. I have bolded what you would need to add to the existing form post.

<form action="http://newdomain.com/form.cgi" onSubmit="javascript:pageTracker._linkByPost(this)">

Then if you want the full url to show up in analytics you will need to create a custom, advance filter like this:

The Coding Required:

Filter Type : Custom filter > Advanced
Field A : Hostname Extract A : (.*)
Field B : Request URI
Extract B : (.*)
Output To : Request URI
Constructor : $A1$B1

(Read more from Google on tracking multiple domains)

Want to Track File Downloads?

On your website there are free demo downloads available. You can begin tracking file downloads through Google Analytics by adding a simple ‘on click’ event that will post a virtual page view. We will use the urchin tracker function to do this.

Here is the Thumbnail I want to Track

Original code looks like this:

<a href="/en-US/firefox/images/p/23701/1216621818" title="PDF Download by Nitro PDF Software">

        <img src="/en-US/firefox/images/t/23701/1216621818" alt="">

Modified code will look like this

<a href="/en-US/firefox/images/p/23701/1216621818" onClick=”javascript:urchinTracker(‘/demos/seo_light.htm’);” title="PDF Download by Nitro PDF Software">

        <img src="/en-US/firefox/images/t/23701/1216621818" alt="">

To track PDF files, movies images or any file you offer for free downloading you can easily track how many times it is downloaded. The above method would result in a page view shown in analytics to seo_light.htm, which means a file download in this case.  Just make note of the filename!

How Can You Use This?

This form of tracking could be used for movie views, events, downloads, MS Word even outbound links to other sites. Expand your thoughts!

Tracking Offline Advertising

The simple answer to this is simple redirects. You can purchase vanity or single purpose domains, or create sub domains or directories on your site that perform as redirecting pages.

Redirect Example

www.searchenginewizards.com – Was used in a trade convention promoting search engine optimization

Techwyse.com/am-radio- Used for advertising from AM radio ads

Techwyse.com/free-analysis – Used in a magazine ad.

These webpages will all redirect to specific landing pages or the homepage of your website. Print-direct mail, tv, radio. If manual tags in the redirecting URL are used Google Analytics will know how their visitor arrived at your website.

Read more here http://adwords.blogspot.com/2006/02/going-once-going-twice-your-ad-in.html

Suppose I was running an ad in Backbone Magazine to a targeted audience in the January issue. For this offline campaign I will use www.searchenginewizards.com  (created for this campaign) as the destination URL. This is the script you would need to put on the index page

<script language="JavaScript"

type="text/javascript">

  function Redirect(source, campaign, content)

  {

     var url = http://www.yourwebsite.com/;

     if (

          url.indexOf(‘utm_medium’) == -1 &&

          url.indexOf(‘utm_source’) == -1    &&

          url.indexOf(‘utm_campaign’) == -1 &&

          url.indexOf(‘utm_content’)== -1

     )

     {

          top.location.href = url + ‘?’ +

          ‘utm_medium=offline_print’ + ‘&’ +

          ‘utm_source=’ + source + ‘&’ +

          ‘utm_campaign=’ + campaign + ‘&’ +

          ‘utm_content=’ + content;

     }

  }

</script>

Then we change the body tag to

<body onload="Redirect(‘BackBoneMag’, ‘Jan08′,’PageLocation’)">

In this case we will need to make a destination URL that serves as the redirecting link which passes all of the data to Google Analytics. To do this we go a handy URL builder tool Google provides to make this easy as pie.

http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578

Campaign Details

For this campaign the redirecting URL I will use is going to be to the TechWyse homepage.

         The campaign name is Ethical SEO

         The ad is running on page 6.

         The title of the ad is ‘Search Engine Optimization’.

         The call to action is free website analysis.

Destination URL

Using Google’s URL builder above I was able to create this URL in less that 30 seconds.

https://www.techwyse.com/?utm_source=BackBoneMag&utm_medium=offline_print&utm_term=search%2Bengine%2Boptimization&utm_content=keyword%2Bresearch&utm_campaign=Ethical_seo

So what is happening here is this page will refer traffic to your target sales page and Google Analytics will take care of the rest. By using the code above Google Analytics will tell you the following information:

Campaign Source = BackBoneMag

Campaign medium- offline_print

Campaign- Feb08

* If it is a catalogue or a multiple page publication where your ad appears more than once you can also track which page triggered a visit. You would do this by making a change to the <body> code above, ‘PageLocation’ would change to ‘page 6’

Post By Robert (29 Posts)

Robert can be found in the TechWyse experimentation lab mixing his 'Internet Marketing' potions every single day. Blessed with advanced level knowledge in the entire internet marketing sector dating back to 1998, Robert often contributes to the Rise To The Top blog with his analytics input through his in depth work experiences.In 2011 Robert moved up to Orillia on Lake Couchiching. Once settled in the Sunshine city, OrilliaBusiness.com was launched to help businesses tap into the awesome opportunities online. With a special knack for internet marketing and measurement, Robert is helping businesses in and around Orillia shine like fine cut diamonds.

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Robert can be found in the TechWyse experimentation lab mixing his 'Internet Marketing' potions every single day. Blessed with advanced level knowledge in the entire internet marketing sector dating back to 1998, Robert often contributes to the Rise To The Top blog with his analytics input through his in depth work experiences.In 2011 Robert moved up to Orillia on Lake Couchiching. Once settled in the Sunshine city, OrilliaBusiness.com was launched to help businesses tap into the awesome opportunities online. With a special knack for internet marketing and measurement, Robert is helping businesses in and around Orillia shine like fine cut diamonds.

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