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◂ Blog: Google Analytics

Deploying autotrack.js through Google Tag Manager

*autotrack.js has been updated! See this post for more information*

Just 2 days ago, the Google Analytics team released a plug-in called autotrack that packs a lot of new functionality into Google Analytics. The thinking behind autotrack is that far too many clients deploy the default GA snippet and stop there. By packaging up advanced GA tracking capabilities into one, easily deployed plug-in, clients will gain more value out of their GA account. These tracking capabilities include:

  • Event Tracking – Track when users click on any HTML element with a certain data attribute
  • Media Query Tracking – Track breakpoints, orientation, and resolution
  • Outbound Form Tracking – Track when users submit forms that land them off-site
  • Outbound Link Tracking – Track when users click on an outbound link
  • Session Duration Tracking – More accurately track the duration of sessions by firing an event when the user closes their browser window
  • Social Button Tracking – Track when users click on social sharing buttons
  • URL Change Tracking – Track when the URL changes but the page does not refresh (important for single page applications)

While utilizing these enhancements goes beyond a “beginner” understanding of GA, by packaging them up in this easy-to-use plug-in it brings them from the clouds and into the hands of anyone with a basic understanding of GA and HTML.

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Integrating Brightcove’s video player with Google Analytics

For the many customers of Brightcove’s video platform, understanding user engagement (ex: play, pause, percentage watched) with their videos is key. And while Brightcove offers reports showing user engagement, there are many advantages to tying that data into a broader analytics platform such as Google Analytics. One particular advantage of this approach is that AdWords remarketing lists can be generated based on video engagement. Did a user watch your video but not convert? Remarket them!


I recently completed a Brightcove/GA integration and learned some things along the way worth sharing.

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Analysis Exchange Case Study with MIT Press

I recently completed a project with MIT Press Journals (MITPJ) as part of the Analysis Exchange, an online marketplace that connects  mentors and students in order to provide free web analytics services to non-profits. The program is intended as a vehicle for providing recent entrants into the web analytics field with real-world experience while assisting non-profits with services that are typically out reach due to budget and staffing considerations. It’s a great program that I can’t recommend enough so I’ve put together the following case study that can hopefully inspire others to get involved. With permission from MIT Press, I’ve released all the deliverables for the project on Google Drive so that others can borrow/steal from our work as much as possible.

The project spanned 4 weeks and can be broken out into the following 4 phases:

  • Week 1 – Understand
  • Week 2 – Educate
  • Week 3 – Analyze
  • Week 4 – Recommend

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Simplify your Campaign Tagging using Sitecore and Google Tag Manager

Anyone responsible for measuring campaign performance has likely run into either incomplete or missing data due to incomplete campaign tagging. This can show up in the form of (not set) values in Google Analytics or in artificially inflated (direct / none) traffic.

campaign values in GA

The typical solution is to ask that everyone in your organization generate campaign links with UTM parameters such as:

However, these links and parameters are often cumbersome to generate and are prone to human error. Any typos will result in misleading data in your reports.

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Google Analytics Content Groups – “Unique Views” vs “Sessions”

The question came up recently within the Digital Analytics Association member forum regarding whether one could interchange the Google Analytic’s “Unique Views” metric found when viewing a Content Group and the “Sessions” metric found when using Advanced Segments. They were asking because they had a preference for using Advanced Segments, but wanted to make sure they were comparing apples to apples. The question boiled down to this:

If I create a content group defined as “contains /blog/” and an advanced segment defined as “sessions that viewed pages which contain /blog/”, will the “Unique Views” metric for the content group be the same as the “Sessions” metric for the advanced segment?

The answer is yes. Let’s look into why.

When you create a content group and view the “All Pages” report with your content group selected, you’ll notice that the first 2 metrics displayed are “Pageviews” and “Unique Views”. Don’t be thrown off here. You may be familiar with “Pageviews”, but “Unique Views” is not “Unique Pageviews”. It’s a metric only available when viewing content groups.

unique views

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