Like many web sites, Business Insider relies on Google Analytics to understand our (non-real-time) traffic. Until we started working with web analytics consultants Empirical Path, one of a select few who are Google Analytics authorised, we assumed GA’s capabilities were limited to what you get “out of the box” when you install the GA tracking code. Empirical Path audited and overhauled our GA setup to provide major new insights into Business Insider visitors. Some key upgrades:
- Campaigns: We can distinguish active marketing via emails, feeds, partnerships, and social media from links created by fans and readers thanks to campaigns. By adding query parameters to inbound URLs, we get detailed metrics on what’s working to grow audience.
- Page types: We have new insight into traffic by page types, such as landing pages, posts, and slide shows; helpful for analysing results of layout changes and in forecasting ad inventory.
- Audience by verticals: Our SEO-friendly URLs and page titles do not contain section names, making it impossible to analyse visitor metrics by section until the GA makeover. Empirical Path implemented page-level “custom variables” that allow us to see how visitors to each section behave. The differences are striking: SAI readers come back more than any other vertical’s, for example.
- Events: Bad name, useful functionality. We defined key user activities that don’t get counted as page views and GA captures them as events. For example, we now track outbound links, i.e. links that users click on Business Insider that take them off the site, a powerful measurement in working with content partners. We can also track aggregate “sharing” activity, such as posting from our site to Facebook, Digg, and other social sites.
- Members: Soon we will use GA’s visitor-level custom variables to analyse behaviour of registered vs. unregistered readers.
Empirical Path helped us figure out what we were missing, enhanced our GA setup, and now sends us valuable monthly reports making sense of all the new data we capture. The reports provided clear, cogent insight into what is working or not working on the site and in our outreach. Figure out how you can do the same for your web site’s audience. Contact Empirical Path to take advantage of a special offer for Business Insider readers and receive a $1,500 audit for $995.
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