Tag Archives | google analytics

How to track Facebook ads using Google Analytics?

Last month, we kickstarted our Facebook ad campaign. But we have been struggling to get good analytics from that campaign because we just couldn’t get Google Analytics to recognize and categorize all the traffic coming from the Facebook ads. Yes, it is easy to measure the Impressions and Click Through Rates (CTR) within Facebook, but we wanted more than that. We wanted to measure pageviews, demo views, sign up rates etc once the traffic lands on our website.

So, why is this so hard? Because Google Analytics, for some reason, doesn’t recognize the “source” of the traffic coming from Facebook. Neither does it recognize the keywords that the users are clicking on. And therefore, it just categorizes all Facebook ad traffic as “direct” traffic – which anyone who is familiar with analytics knows is Google’s way of throwing its hands up and saying “I don’t know where this traffic came from”.

I thought that this has got to be a very common problem. And so after some quick search, I found this answer. The basic idea is to use the Google URL Builder tool to generate a special url with all those extra parameters. I did that and still Google Analytics wouldn’t detect the traffic source as Facebook. So, that answer does not completely solve the problem.

And finally, today I figured out the correct solution to this. Here it goes.

1. Construct a special URL using Google URL Builder (as explained in the article I have linked above). Our special URL , for example, looks like this

http://www.ordoro.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=December_2010&utm_keyword=eCommerce_related_keyword

2. Now, tweak the Google Analytics code on your website to explicitly make it detect those special variables that you have added into that URL. Here is how the default Google Analytics code looks like (as generated by your Google Analytics admin screen. As explained here.) -

<script type="text/javascript">
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-123456789-1']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

Once you have that code generated from the Google Analytics admin screen, now you must add more variables to that code (new variables are highlighted in red)

<script type="text/javascript">
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-123456789-1']);
_gaq.push(['_setCampSourceKey', 'utm_source']);
_gaq.push(['_setCampMediumKey', 'utm_medium']);
_gaq.push(['_setCampContentKey', 'utm_keyword']);
_gaq.push(['_setCampTermKey', 'utm_keyword']);
_gaq.push(['_setCampNameKey', 'utm_campaign']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>

That does the trick. Post this updated code snippet into your website, and Google Analytics will start tracking the source, campaign, and keywords for your Facebook Ads traffic. Obviously, this technique is not just limited to Facebook Ads. You can use it for all external ad campaigns that you are running.

If you want to know more details on what those variables mean, you can check out the Campaign Tracking section of the Google Analytics API documentation.

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Why do customers abandon your shopping cart?

Shopping cart abandonment can be caused by a variety of reasons. This Q3 2009 Forrester study conducted across 3,332 online customers shows that high shipping and handling costs could be a major reason for the abandonment. The study also shows that especially women shoppers are interested in “window shopping” and would like to “save the cart” for a later purchase.

5 reasons for shopping cart abandonment

5 reasons for shopping cart abandonment

In addition to the hard metrics shown in the Forrester study, I noted earlier the “shopping experience” on your website is also an important contributor to the shopping cart abandonment problem. Customers are often confused by the site navigation or “turned off” by the poor aesthetics of the site.

However, in order to tackle the abandonment problem on your webstore, the first step is to measure what your shopping cart abandonment rate is – a metric can be easily measured by the free Google Analytics tool.

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How to measure shopping cart abandonment rate?

Often customers adds items into their shopping cart, and then just abandon the cart and leave the site without making the purchase. According to a study conducted by marketingsherpa in 2006 across 1,100 ecommerce businesses, the average shopping cart abandonment rate was 60%.

Do you know what your shopping cart abandonment rate is?

The “shopping cart abandonment rate” is an important metric that every small business online retailer should measure. And the good news is that this metric can be easily measured using Google Analytics, a free service.

Google Analytics does require moderate technical skills to get set up (you need to place a line of Google code on your pages). But once set up, it provides an easy tool to accurately measure the customer drop off points from your website. You can observe the funnel starting from the main page of your website where the customer begins the shopping process, to individual product pages, to the checkout process, to payment information, and track the customer drop off rate precisely at every stage of the funnel. This will in turn help you identify improvement opportunities to the shopping process.

Given that Google Analytics is a free service, and can be set up with minimal help from a technical expert, there is no reason to not measure your shopping cart abandonment rate.

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