GTM & GA: Track all outbound links with one tag

We already did download tracking with one tag – now let’s use the same principles to set up outbound link tracking. Step 1: Enable default variables. We’ll use the same default variables that we used for downloads, so if you’ve already set that up, you’re all set. If not, enable {{Click URL}} and {{Click Text}}. Step 2: Set up the GA tag. Let’s think about how this should look in GA: Event Category: outbound linksThis value can be hard-coded in – the other two are dynamically populated by variables. Event Action: Similar to downloads, the destination URL of the outbound[…]

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GTM & GA: Track all downloads with one tag

There are a few things that live in almost every Google Tag Manager container I set up, and I’ll be covering several in the coming days/weeks. One of those is download tracking. GTM’s auto events are simply wonderful, because most of the time, there’s no need to handle one-offs at all anymore; I just add one tag and one trigger, and BAM, all downloads are tracked. Not only that, you can dynamically send more useful data to GA than you probably ever have in the past. Here’s how it works! Step 1: Enable default variables You’ll need the “Click URL”[…]

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Audio for sorting algorithms

These were forwarded to me by my brother Adam, who also helped me out tremendously by writing a little app I used to change Excel files into audio, so that I could find out what web analytics data sounds like. This guy has put audio to several different kinds of sorting algorithms and accomplished just what I was after with the web analytics data–listening teaches you something about the process that would be much harder to grasp in words, or maybe even visuals. Though in this case the combo of audio and video is what really works, I think.

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SVAMA Morning Forum Series and Tibetan numbers

Last week, I gave a presentation on Improving Marketing ROI Through Web Analytics for the Silicon Valley chapter of the American Marketing Association. It was a great group of people and a lively discussion. My presentation centered mainly on building a story around web analytics, and specifically bringing the story of the customer lifecycle to life through the integration of analytics throughout the cycle. One of the things I got to do, since this was more of a personal viewpoint presentation, was use this slide: Tibetan has different symbols for numbers, which came as a surprise to me since every[…]

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Reasons for Direct Traffic

Let’s talk about web analytics. After all, I am a Math Detective. An International Math Detective. One mysterious thing that comes up again and again is Direct Traffic. Technically, it’s anything that doesn’t have any information in the referrer field of the request. In theory it accounts only for people who type your URL into their browser, or arrive via a bookmark. In practice, there are a LOT of other ways for the referrer to get stripped from a request. I keep looking around for these lists, so I’m compiling my own here. I reserve the right to update this[…]

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New analytics audio

Taking things in a new direction, I started modulating pitch based on daily visits. (Well, technically, average hourly visits by day.) When I showed it to Gabe, his response was, “Are you talking to aliens or something?” This one modulates the pitch based *changes* in visits per day. When you hear a blip of a high note, it means that day had a big jump in visits. This one modulates the pitch based on the raw number of visits per day. This data spans a few years, so as the site gets more and more visitors over time, the pitch[…]

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What I’ve just read: The Predictors

The Predictors: How a Band of Maverick Physicists Used Chaos Theory to Trade Their Way to a Fortune on Wall Street, by Thomas Bass, managed to combine my excitement about two recent books I’ve read, Chaos and The Black Swan. Two things: One, I was really glad to realize that several of the predictive models I built for a recent analytics client followed some of the same methods of looking for patterns and of building models that would evolve automatically over time. Two, how can I invest with these guys? Because this is my style.

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Google Analytics custom filtering

I have a client with a sort of complex setup. We host most of their site, so we can manage URLs and page titles. However, their press releases are hosted offsite, where we have very limited control. Unfortunately those are files on which they need very specific reporting. They need to see aggregate page views to these pages as well as be able to look up views to specific press releases. The page URLs are unintelligible, and the names have nothing in common, but all of these pages are in the same folder on this offsite host. I can get[…]

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Bayesian search theory rulz

Bayesian search theory uses the work of mathematician Thomas Bayes to find lost objects–particularly objects lost at sea. For example, submarines. What’s great about this method is that it works with hunches. In the search for the USS Scorpion, John Craven used Bayesian search theory, along with Vegas-style rounds of betting by a group of experienced submariners, to construct a theory about where the Scorpion could be found. The key elements of Bayesian search theory are: Creating a variety of hypotheses, and probabilities, about where the object might be Determining the likelihood of finding the object in each of those[…]

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Multiphonics & chaos

My brother Aaron is a great saxaphonist and is bizarrely obsessed with throat singing, which is NEAT but can indeed draw attention when done in public. Not always good attention… Throat singing is a way of creating more than one note at a time with your voice. Follow the link above to hear/see an example. Multiphonics is a more general term for this; it often refers to creating more than one note at a time on a woodwind instrument. It sounds impossible–any type of horn is set up to create only one wavelength, and the presence of two notes indicates[…]

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