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4 Google Analytics Goal Types That Are Critical To Your Business

Hacking URL Goals with Virtual Pageviews

In Google Analytics, we can force a pageview into the system whenever we want. With a small bit of JavaScript, Google Analytics will track anything as a pageview. We can even define exactly what the URL is.

Doing this with any link is super easy. Let’s say we want to track a link to another domain and the link is so important that we want to make it a goal. We could use events to track it but we’ve decided that we want to use the goal as part of a goal funnel. Since event goals don’t allow us to do this, how can we use virtual pageviews and a URL goal?

Here’s your normal link:

Click Here!

Now we have to decide how we want the URL to look in our reports. We can’t get it to display as othersite.com because Google Analytics will think the URL is a part of our domain. Let’s build a URL that easily tells us that it’s a virtual pageview, what domain it’s pointing to, and what page on that domain our visitors are going to. Which gives us a URL like this:

/vpv/othersite/promotion

Remember: Google Analytics drops your domain in your URLs. For this virtual pageview, Google Analytics thinks that www.yoursite.com/vpv/othersite/promotion actually exists on your domain. But we’ve tricked it.

The vpv stands for virtual pageview so we know this URL is fake, “othersite” tells us which external domain we linked to, and  “promotion” clarifies which page we’ve linked to specifically. You can name your virtual pageview URLs whatever you want. But take the time to name them in such a way that you can instantly figure out what they are 6 months from now.

Now let’s use our fake URL with an onclick event and modify the original hyperlink. We’ll end up with this:

Click Here!

This code tells Google Analytics to register a pageview at the URL we’ve specified every time the link is clicked.

Google Actually will start using the /vpv/othersite/promotion URL which we can now use as a URL destination goal. We can even use this virtual pageview in a goal funnel which we can’t do with event goals.

You can use the virtual pageview trick for external links, file downloads, or any other element on your site.

6 Tricks to Add Depth to Your Photos – Alex Schult

Image credit: Andrew Gook at unsplash

One of the obstacles that all photographers face is figuring out how to make their images look less two-dimensional and more three-dimensional. Of course, this is easier said than done because, unlike our eyes which see everything in 3-D, our cameras can only muster 2-D.

However, there are some tricks you can use to try to boost the depth of your images. And, by doing so, you can make your images appear as though they have greater dimension than they actually do. Let’s review six of our favorite tricks for doing just that.

  1. Leading Lines
  2. Framing
  3. Point of View
  4. Connect the Foreground, Midground, and Background
  5. Shadows
  6. Shallow Depth of Field

Understanding the Marketing Mix and the 4 Ps

The ‘Marketing Mix’ is made up from the collective decisions a company has to make to bring a product to market, and the 4 Ps is one of the best-known ways of visualizing these decisions.

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

However...

Digital channels are now more prevalent than ever and downloadable content is easily accessible, As such the 4Ps have been extended to the 7Ps to look deeper in to People, Processes and Packaging but the 4Ps have been consistent since the 60s and form a good foundation to build your marketing mix.

Paper by @Dropbox looks pretty awesome

Paper supports all phases of the creative process – from start to finish

A connected space to create and ideate together

Collaborative by default

Comments feel like conversations and attributions help people keep track of who contributed the perfect line, mood board or code snippet.

A flexible workspace

However you think – in words, code, pictures or motion – Paper brings it all together in one place.

Work on the go

Capture inspiration wherever it hits and keep projects moving forwards from anywhere with the Paper app. 

Simple by design

We've designed Paper so that your work looks good without extra formatting, and we've stripped out unnecessary features so you can focus on your work.

Easily set up your own Twitter bot – Scott Spence

Twitter bot bootstrap

This is a bootstrap for setting up a Twitter bot with Node.js using the twit library, the bot will like and re-tweet what you specify when configuring it, it will also reply to followers with a selection of canned responses.

As a primer for this there are the great posts by @amanhimself on making your own twitter bot and this is an expansion on that with further detail on configuration on Heroku

What you’ll need

  • Twitter account [Duh!]
  • Development environment with Node.js and NPM
  • c9 account
  • Node.js
  • NPM
  • Heroku account

5 Key Components of Landing Pages That Convert via @dmigroup

The landing page you use in your PPC campaign is your chance to speak directly to your target audience on your terms. You’ve got a prospective buyer on your website; now you can speak to them without the restrictions or limitations of an advertising network.

A great landing page...can multiply a person’s enthusiasm for your offer and drive them towards taking action.

A great headline

Your landing page’s headline is the first thing prospects will read after they arrive on your page, so it’s essential that you get it right.

Use simple, intuitive forms

Have you ever clicked on a link and arrived on a landing page, only to encounter a form with a seemingly endless number of fields?

Use images

Which is more fun to read: a magazine or a textbook? Academics aside, the majority of people would rather read a picture-heavy magazine than a dense, single-spaced page of content from a textbook.

Include a value proposition

Remember the three-step formula we outlined above for a great title? The final step was to list your offer’s value - the benefits it provides to leads, clients or customers.

This is called a value proposition, and it’s an essential part of any landing page. Without a clear value proposition, people that arrive on your landing page aren’t likely to understand how or why your offer is worth pursuing. A Value proposition is:

  • Lists the key benefit of your offer
  • Explains what you do, who you do it for, and why it’s useful
  • Lists secondary benefits and important features
  • Communicates why your specific offer is the right choice

Check your compatibility and load speed

No matter how effective your landing page is at turning prospects into customers, it’s unlikely to generate a positive return on ad spend if only half of your audience can see it. Load speed is one of the most frequently ignored factors in landing page optimization. 

Mapping Sheets - Google Sheets add-on

Plot your own data onto a Google Map directly from Google Sheets.

the Mapping Sheets add-on provides an easy way to plot your data onto a Google Map directly from Google Sheets with just a few clicks. Plus, when viewing your data on the Google Map, you will have access to the fastest searching and filtering tools available.

What's an Engagement Custom Audience? #facebook

An Engagement Custom Audience is a Custom Audience made up of people who have engaged with your content on Facebook. "Engagement" refers to actions like spending time viewing your videos or opening your lead form or Canvas. Using Engagement Custom Audiences, you can retarget ads to people who have taken these actions. You can also use it as a source for a Lookalike Audience, which will let you find people who are similar to those who've engaged with content on Facebook.

Everyone should install Mercury Reader from @PostlightStudio

Mercury Reader - Clear away the clutter from all of your articles. Instantly.

 

The Digital Marketing and Measurement Model

A well-structured Digital Marketing and Measurement Model will enable you to get the most out of your web analytics. It’ll help you clarify the purpose of your marketing campaign and what you hope to get out of it, while setting clearly-defined metrics to allow you to keep track of your campaign’s performance. Avinash Kaushik has written an excellent article on how anyone can take advantage of this approach.

The root cause of failure in most digital marketing campaigns is not the lack of creativity in the banner ad or TV spot or the sexiness of the website. It is not even (often) the people involved. It is quite simply the lack of structured thinking about what the real purpose of the campaign is and a lack of an objective set of measures with which to identify success or failure.

I've developed the Digital Marketing & Measurement Model as a simple, structured, five step process to infuse this much needed thinking. Here is what each step in the process helps accomplish:

  1. Step one is to force us to identify the business objectives upfront and set the broadest parameters for the work we are doing. Sr. Executives play a key role in this step.
  2. Step two is to identify crisp goals for each business objective. Executives lead the discussion, you’ll play a contributing role.
  3. Step three is to write down the key performance indicators. You’ll lead the work in this step, in partnership with a “data person” if you have one.
  4. Step four is to set the parameters for success upfront by identifying targets for each KPI. Organization leaders play a key role here, with input from Marketing and Finance.
  5. Step five, finally, is to identify the segments of people / behavior / outcomes that we’ll analyze to understand why we succeed or failed.

And

A complete, and competent, Digital Marketing & Measurement Model will focus on three key areas of your marketing, and in each answer the cluster of questions provided:

1. Acquisition.

How are you anticipating acquiring traffic for your website / YT video / whatever else you are creating? Did you cover all three components of successful acquisition: Earned, Owned, Paid media? How would you prioritize each? Where are you spending most of your efforts?

2. Behavior.

What is the behavior you are expecting when people arrive? What pages should they see? What videos should they watch? Should they visit repeatedly? Are there certain actions they should take? What is unique about your effort that ties to an optimal experience for a customer?

3. Outcomes.

What outcomes signify value delivered to the business bottom-line? A download? A phone call to your call center? A qualified online lead? Signing up for email promotions? People buying your product / services ? A 95% task completion rate? A 10 point lift in brand perception?

Simply put: Why are we undertaking this digital initiative?

Step 1: Identify the Business Objectives.

Step 2: Identify Goals for each Objective.

Step 3: Identify the Key Performance Indicators.

Step 4: Identify the Targets.

Step 5: Identify valuable Segments for analysis.

And what the final model might look like: