Mastering Google Analytics for your community


(Sarah Hawk) #1

Like many of you out there, we rely fairly heavily on Google Analytics to measure and diagnose member behaviour. It’s not something that I do particularly well at the moment, but I’m working on that.

I am currently working through the Digital Analytics Fundamentals and Google Analytics Platform Principles courses from Google, and highly recommend them.

If you’re one of those people that collects data but doesn’t do anything with it, then I recommend these courses as a starting point.


(Ophelie Lechat) #2

+1 for the Google courses. I took the official Google Analytics course years ago (the precursor to these) and it was a great introduction to web analytics in general.

Also useful: everything Avinash Kaushik writes.


(Mark Baldwin) #3

Nice little point that came out of one of the presentations yesterday. Make sure you use the section:- Interests: Affinity Categories (reach) as you can get some genuinely fascinating insights from there.


(Bas van Leeuwen) #4

I’m generally not one to spam, but I think my blog post of last week is relevant here.

With a bit of development, you can make GA massively more powerful for CMs. By telling Google whether someone is a member or not, you can differentiate between the visitor flows of the two. Something that has lead me to some very valuable insights at clients.

Basic idea is to fire an analytics event that sets a custom dimension.


(rhogroupee) #5

That’s pretty awesome Bas! You didn’t mention it specifically, but this would also be a great way to demonstrate whether registered members purchase more, or more often, than non members. Powerful stuff.


(Rob Bosch) #6

Maybe this is a bit beyond this discussion, but personally I tend to be a bit allergic for big-brother aspects by google analytics. Still, the results you can get from google analytics are pretty amazing.
So, i’d like to see an alternative that gives more or less the same options as Google Analytics.
This might be possible with piwik.
@Bas_van_Leeuwen, do you have any experience with piwik? If so, could this get some attention at the analytics event?


(Bas van Leeuwen) #7

@Rob_Bosch, I feel you, GA is a bit scary. That said, the ease of integrating compared to hosting something like Piwik is a barrier that most companies won’t overcome unfortunately. That is, unless we’ll see a change in legislation.

Consequently, the popularity of GA forces me to focus on that in my blog.[quote=“Rob_Bosch, post:6, topic:2152”]
@Bas_van_Leeuwen, do you have any experience with piwik? If so, could this get some attention at the analytics event?
[/quote]
No direct experience. I’m not organising an event btw, think this is a mincing of words :slightly_smiling: I was referring to a Google Analytics event, a type of javascript call to the GA engine.


(Adrian Speyer) #8

Hi I hope it’s okay to post this: I wrote a book called Google Analytics for the Community Manager. It’s completely platform agnostic. I was also an early member of the Piwik team, so I know quite a bit about that platform as well.

Before joining Vanilla (and besides running communties) I was a Web Analytics Manager. I am happy to help with any Piwik or GA questions you have :slight_smile:


(Bas van Leeuwen) #9

Cool! Got some holiday reading to do :slight_smile:


(Adrian Speyer) #10

Nice product you have there @Bas_van_Leeuwen. Looks like I have some investigating to do as well :slight_smile:


(Sarah Hawk) #11

Great tip. In order to do that you may need to enable Advertising Services and then wait for the data to be collected.


(Sarah Hawk) #12

Slightly OT, but I think it makes sense to clarify that is is absolutely ok to post these kinds of articles and resources. In fact, it’s encouraged.

Self-promotion by way of posting links to your own stuff in a new topic could be problematic, but posting things that are helpful and relevant to a discussion are most definitely ok.


(Mark Baldwin) #13

[quote=“HAWK, post:11, topic:2152”]
Great tip. In order to do that you may need to enable Advertising Services and then wait for the data to be collected.
[/quote] also worth remembering that you may have to update terms and conditions on your website to show that you are collecting data etc.


(Sarah Hawk) #14

Good point. Does anyone have any guidelines around the rules here?


(Adrian Speyer) #15

Google has a page on it here. This is the main thing:

If you’ve enabled any Analytics Advertising features, you are
required to notify your visitors by disclosing the following
information in your privacy policy:

  • The Analytics Advertising Features you’ve implemented.
  • How you and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as
    the Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party
    cookies (such as Google advertising cookies) or other third-party
    identifiers together.
  • How visitors can opt-out of the Analytics Advertising Features you
    use, including through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or
    any other available means (for example, the NAI’s consumer opt-out).

We also encourage you to point users to Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web.


(Katherine Mancuso) #16

Hi all - I actually hold my Google Analytics Individual Qualification and teach workshops in it (primarily for business owners with WordPress sites, although I’ve run a WordPress developer version). I’ve taken all the classes @HAWK mentions and some others.

I haven’t done a workshop specifically for CMs - mostly because I’d need someone with forums with decent traffic who was comfortable with me using their data as an example to do such a workshop - but if you have questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to help.

If you are considering earning GAIQ I’m also happy to talk to you about that, but it’s not really a needed step unless you work for an agency, specialize in analytics, or want to teach. The test is pretty hard these days, so it’s not something with a low time investment like Hootsuite Academy or Hubspot certification.


(Sarah Hawk) #17

Are the workshops remote or IRL, @musingvirtual ?


(tophee) #18

This is the second abbreviation on this forum that I have to look up in just 30 minutes or so. May I suggest you install this plugin?


(Sarah Hawk) #19

Great idea but unfortunately no. We’re on a hosted instance so we can only install official plugins.


Introduce yourself (or at least just say hi)