Test Design: The Official Doc

If you are running a testing program, then you’ve more than likely had to think about what should go into a test you are running. This could include the problem statement, your hypothesis, how many variants, how different these variants will be, what your measures of success will be, screen captures, and more. It’s important to create a doc or some sort of accessible page/application for your teams to be able to reference this information. This helps to foster and open and collaborative culture of optimization. It will also help you as you look back to understand what your test objectives were and how the test did compared to those objectives. I track all of this via a Google Doc for each test I run. I used the same template for
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Best Practice Solutions Guide: Implementing Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager

Towards the end of last year, I heard feedback from a few of our clients that there wasn’t a lot of good documentation on how to implement Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager. I felt this pain because I’d been in their shoes. For the previous couple of years I’d been on the practitioner side implementing GA via GTM and I knew exactly what they meant. So I decided to write a guide on how to implement a lot of common GA features via GTM from a practitioner viewpoint. I wanted to be sure to call out the gotchas and best practices that I’ve learned from good, ol’ fashion experience of doing this stuff myself. So today I’m really excited to share with you what I’ve been working on. We just
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Digital Analytics is all About Context – Lessons from #TheDress

Over the past couple of weeks I have presented at a few conferences (SummitUp in Dayton, Ohio and UnSummit in Salt Lake City, Utah) on the topic of People, Process, and Platform. Now, before you roll your eyes because you’ve heard it all before, let me let you know that you won’t be getting my whole speech in this blog post. In fact, you won’t be getting any of the core parts. Instead, I want to remind you of the importance of the people you have looking at, analyzing, interpreting, and telling stories about your data, as I did to the audiences at these conferences. Most of you will have seen #TheDress, #DressGate, #WhiteAndGold, or #BlueAndBlack over the past couple of weeks. For those of you who haven’t, let me
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Business vs Marketing Analyst – Roles, Skillsets & Career Paths

I was recently chatting with a young women who happens to be a senior at Chapman University in Southern California and is an aspiring analyst. She mentioned she had just been to New York for a school trip where she had learned a lot about financial analytics, and she asked me my thoughts on financial analytics vs web analytics. Were they two different things? Were the skills transferrable? What were the main differences? After chatting with her about this for a good 15 minutes I thought it would useful write it all down in a blog post to share more broadly. What are the main differences between a Business Analyst and a Marketing Analyst? A business analyst is generally someone who sits in a business operations, finance, or marketing operations
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Step by Step: Outbound Link Tracking in Google Tag Manager

Following up on last week’s post on event tracking, I thought it would be a good idea to deep dive on outbound link tracking. Outbound link tracking is super easy to setup using Google Tag Manager and the insights you can gain by understanding the most common paths to leaving your website are definitely worth the minimal effort to implement. So, without further ado, here is a step by step guide to setting up outbound link tracking via Google Tag Manager. Before you being, be sure you’ve enabled the necessary pre-defined variables in Google Tag Manager. Step 1: Create a new tag in Google Tag Manger. – Select ‘Google Analytics’ as the tag and Universal Analytics as the tag type – Choose ‘Click’ for what triggers the tag to fire
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Events: Best Practices for Hierarchies and Naming Conventions

If you are looking to understand the actions that a user takes on your website, one of the best ways to do this is with event tracking. This can include (but not limited to): Link clicks (on site or outbound) Downloads (whitepaper, pdf, etc) Scrolling Load times In Google Analytics, event tracking is made up of 4 elements: Category, Action, Label, and Value. The awesome thing about this is that the hierarchy use cases are highly customizable so events are a very flexible way to report on user action. For larger websites/enterprises, I tend to track events in the following format, utilizing the category as a means of organizing actions based on site structure. Note that the ‘Value’ field is used to set a numerical value for an event, most
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2014 Travel By The Numbers

Happy New Year! Wow, I can’t believe 2014 is already behind us, it really did FLY by… Ha.. see what I did there? 2014 was a big year in travel for me, both professionally and personally. Given the data nerd that lives in my very core, I thought I’d throw together the numbers and stats for a quick analysis. Thankfully, this year TripIt made pulling all of my flight miles together really easy and they even presented it in some fun infographics (see below). So the 2014 snapshot: Total miles flown: 109,121 miles via 60 flights on 11 different airlines visiting 11 different countries (outside of the airport). Of that, I’d estimate that 75-80% was for business, 20-25% for pleasure – blurry due to a mix of both on some trips. Total
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Definitions of Common Analytics Terms

If you’re just starting out in analytics, you may find that there are a lot of new, confusing terms to master. Here is a short (but certainly not exhaustive) guide to what many of these mean: Hit: a hit is any server call that corresponds to the javascript firing on a webpage or app and sent to an analytics tool. For example, you can have hits for page, event, ecommerce, and social interactions. Pageview:  the load/view of a page of your website or mobile app Session/Visit: a group of interactions (pageviews, events, etc) that take place on your website within a given time frame. Generally a session has a time-based expiration of 30 minutes of inactivity after the last action. A session also ends at midnight in some analytics tools
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Using a GTM Constant String Variable for GA Property ID

If you use Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, you’ll know that with every new analytics tag you create, you need to enter in your Google Analytics property ID (what’s a property ID?). If you are creating multiple tags, this can be a pain and can also lead to possible typos/errors that will cause your tags to fail later on since you won’t be sending data to the right GA accounts. There is a very quick and easy way to make this better! And more importantly, scalable. To do so, I’m going to show you how to use a constant string user-defined variable for your Property ID. This is only 2 easy steps. First, you’ll need to create the new user-defined variable. To do so, select variables, new User-Defined Variable,
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