Archive for 2013

Sep 16

hitcallback thumbnailI learned early on in my analytics career that 100% accuracy is not attainable in this business. And while we deal with incomplete and messy data all the time, we always look for ways to improve the quality of data we collect and apply best practices to give marketers more confidence in their analytics reports and optimization efforts.

There could be several reasons your Google Analytics code is not working properly. For example, we sometimes get stuck in a situation where you run into a race condition and you want to be certain that your Google Analytics tracking beacon is sent to servers, especially if you’re tracking an outbound link or form where the thank you page resides on a 3rd party domain, but in a lot of cases, the browser will redirect away from the page before your Google Analytics data can even be registered.

Traditionally, the solution that we’ve seen (and have used ourselves) is to use the JavaScript function setTimeout to create a delay that allows the GA tracking enough time to execute. This is not an ideal solution for several reasons.

Much better is hitCallback. hitCallback is the magical solution you need ensure that the JavaScript executes before the browser leaves the page. In this (technical) post, I’ll share the technique to help you capture key data elements that you might be missing today (and thus improving the quality of your reports).

What the heck is “hitCallback”?

“Callback” is a piece of executable code that is passed as an argument to another function.
So hitCallback is a JavaScript function that is passed as an argument to another Google Analytics method.

ga('send', 'pageview', {'page': '/my-new-page', 'hitCallback': function() {CALLBACK CODE GOES HERE;}});

In the above example, the code is pushing pageview to Google Analytics servers. Once done, it’ll execute whatever code you have in the area bolded. So for example, you can replace the above bolded text with actions like form submission code, etc. to ensure that first your pageview data is sent to GA 100%, ONLY THEN will the form be submitted and redirect the visitor to a thank you page.

Nested Callbacks

You can also utilize hitCallback to control the order of executing your code.
The below example illustrates how to control the order of Google Analytics data beacon transfer to servers. We’ve also added alerts so you can see when each step is executed:

ga('send', 'pageview', {'page': '/vp/page.html, 'hitCallback': function()
       alert('Pageview data has been sent to GA. Anything else?');
       ga('send', 'event', 'Form', 'Submit', { 'hitCallback' : function ()
           alert('Event data has been sent to GA. Anything else?');
           alert('now submitting the form');
  • In the first line we send a virtual pageview and define a callback function where an alert is executed.
  • Then we fire another callback method inside the first callback where we send an event to Google Analytics.
  • Finally we submit the payment form which redirects the user away from the current page.

Is hitCallback for Universal Analytics only?

No! hitCallback can be used for both Universal and traditional Async version of Google Analytics as follows:

_gaq.push(['_set','hitCallback',function() {
    javascript:document.paymentForm.submit(); // Submit underlying form
_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Form', 'Submit']);

In this example the event will be pushed to GA, and only then will the form will be submitted.

Pinterest: Example of the benefits of hitCallback

pinterest iconLet’s say you have a pinterest button on your website page, and you had planned to track it as both social and an event in Google Analytics. You tagged the button by adding _trackEvent and _trackSocial methods to the onclick of the pinterest button.

onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Social', 'Pinterest', thislink]);
_gaq.push(['_trackSocial', 'pinterest', 'pin', thislink, document.URL]);"

You expected to see data in your Google Analytics reports but for some reason, you can’t find it. What happened?

The browser redirected your visitors to the before executing trackEvent and trackSocial methods. So both methods were aborted and nothing was sent to the Google Analytics servers.


hitCallback solves your problem:

onclick="var thislink = this.href; _gaq.push(['_set','hitCallback',function() { window.location = thislink; }]); _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Social', 'Pinterest', thislink]); _gaq.push(['_trackSocial', 'pinterest', 'pin', thislink, document.URL]); return false;"

This is how the code works:
It stops the “pin it” anchor from auto-redirect by adding “return false;” to the onclick of the anchor.
window.location is the callback method that will redirect after sending data packets to Google Analytics Servers.


You could be getting form submissions or pins, but not measuring your data accurately. How do you know where to optimize? But now, you can ensure everything is tracked properly and executed in the correct order, so your reports are precise.

Other scenarios you have and you’d like to share? We love to hear your feedback

Sep 05

google-analytics-speakerThis time of the year always brings change. The air is a bit more crisp, the days get shorter and students head back to school. And even though most of those going back to school are children and college-age adults, there are also those that will hit the books for training and learning the latest and greatest in their fields. Come next week, the 6th annual Tableau Customer Conference does just that, and E-Nor is going to be there heading up a training session that showcases a Tableau case study.

Speaking in September

The industry leader in data visualization, Tableau, is having the Tableau Customer Conference from September 8-12, 2013 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington D.C. Come meet Feras Alhlou, talk with him about E-Nor’s experience with Tableau and learn from his session, How Well Do You Know Your Cohorts? This case study examines both the challenges and solutions of understanding user behavior and cohort analysis across multiple platforms (pretty cutting edge stuff!). Feras will speak on the Tableau Google Analytics connector, which puts powerful GA data at your fingertips. In this session Feras also touches on the Cross-Platform Challenge and a more efficient approach to analysis and optimization when utilizing Tableau.

At the end of the month, Feras is off to the East coast for eMetrics Boston Summit, which takes place September 29-October 3, 2013 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA. This is yet another opportunity to meet Feras and explore how to Establish an Analytics Framework and a Data-Driven Culture. Here, attendees gain knowledge on the importance of both a framework and data-driven environment when it comes to the ever changing world of analytics. A Fortune 500 company is showcased, as Feras shares how organizations can embrace the culture and accomplish needed business goals and objectives.

The Latest & Greatest in Google Analytics

Following eMetrics, the staff at E-Nor will do some training of our own at the upcoming Google Analytics Summit 2013. Here, we’ll connect with Googlers in Mountain View to learn about what’s new in digital marketing and measurement, give feedback on existing Google Analytics products, as well as get the skinny on new product releases (and plenty more that’s going on in the world of GA – yippie!!). We’re excited to learn more about the future of analytics and see what Google Analytics is doing in terms of new ways of looking at data that will ultimately help us help our clients.

Training for You, Too

For those of you anxious to get out there and get your brain moving with the changing of the seasons, we’ve got YOU covered too! E-Nor recently launched Google Analytics Training Courses this Fall, which offers hands-on training and personal coaching of Google Analytics. Our results-focused training courses are available as a one-day introductory session, or multi-day mastery training. In addition, all participants continue to get on-going analytics support and personal development through direct coaching even after the course is complete! Instructor Eric Fettman holds a B.A with High Honors from Harvard University, is the founder of and has over 20 years experience in the indsutry, so you’re learning from the best! :)

Starting next month, we kick off our Fall courses in the following cities:

Washington, DC
October 22-25, 2013

Additional courses are planned for New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Miami. All details are available on our Google Analytics Training Course website.

So as we’re out and about in the next coming months, we hope to both see you, and share with you, what’s new in the world of analytics. And as always, if we’re not out in your neck of the woods don’t panic — we’re just a click away!

Aug 29

social mentions data activity hub google analyticsToday, any comprehensive digital marketing strategy must include social marketing. Everyone is constantly connected, either through their phones, at home, even surfing their social networks at work. They could be talking about your brand (positively or negatively)! Many organizations benefit greatly from social marketing and word-of-mouth marketing. It’s free, and the potential to go “viral” can boost brand awareness or even sales exponentially. Also, monitoring the sentiment around your brand can also help you catch any negative sentiment, ultimately allowing to to prevent or fix any potential reputation dings.

While there are a plethora of social marketing analytics tools out there, it would be nice to integrate this measurement with your main analytics tool, and get all digital data in one place. Google Analytics thinks so too.

Data Hub Activity – Social Marketing in Google Analytics

Now, when a link to your site is posted on particular social sites, you can view that data in Google Analytics in the “Data Hub Activity” report. See what type of buzz your brand is getting, and even respond to positive comments or fix negative issues.

In the current interface, go to Traffic Sources > Social > Data Hub Activity


View the count of your mentions over specific date-ranges. Even filter by specific social network through the drop down below the chart:


See the actual context and activity around someone linking to your site and even go directly to the conversation by clicking on More -> View Activity. This will take you to the actual social network and the conversation it is referencing.


Also, for Google+, there is a cool item called “View Ripple”, where you can see a visual representation of the virality of your post share.



Data Hub Partners: Social Networks Included

While unfortunately, some of the more popular social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, etc., aren’t participating in Google’s Social Data Hub, but there are quite a few notable ones that shouldn’t be ignored. Especially when aggregated my provide a significant number of mentions that can still boost your brand.

  • Allvoices
  • Delicious
  • Diigo
  • Disqus
  • Echo
  • Google Groups
  • Google+
  • Hatena
  • Livefyre
  • Meetup
  • Pocket
  • Reddit
  • SodaHead
  • Stack Overflow
  • Typepad
  • VKontakte
  • Yaplog

Including Other URLs Your Brand Owns

Your main website my not be the only site you have. People might not necessarily be sharing links to your website, they may share links to one of your subdomains or even your other social network company pages. For example, someone may post your Youtube Channel on Google+ or your Facebook page on Reddit.

You can manually tell Google Analytics to include these URLs along with your website, so that if people post about them they’ll begin to show upon your Data Hub reports.

(NOTE: You’re NOT adding social networks as new partners, i.e. if you add, you will NOT see Facebook posts in your report. You will see if people post ABOUT these urls on the listed Data Hub Partners social networks).

This can be done from the Admin section in GA. Under the “Property” column, select “Social Settings”. Enter in all of your additional pages.


WARNING: If you enter in any urls, then ONLY the sites listed will be displayed. You are essentially reprogramming this report. For example, if you enter your YouTube page only, then ONLY links to your YouTube page will show up — links to your website will no longer be watched for by Google Analytics. Thus, make sure to enter ALL urls you’d like to see, including all subdomains, and both www and non-www versions of each site.

Here’s Google’s wording:

Also note that if you just put in “” instead of “<your_user_name>”, then you can get junk that is not linking to your user page.

You won’t see every single post that links to “” but you will get some amount of entirely irrelevant posts.

Here’s a real example of what can happen in an account that has been mis-configured in this way:


This cool feature in Google Analytics gives you yet another perspective and insight to your online presence. To see the full social picture, you can (and we encourage you to) leverage niche third party tools for platforms that are not participating in the data hub. But with few steps of configuration, rich social content and interactions are at your fingertips within your GA reports.

Help us test our Data Hub Activity by sharing this blog post and commenting below! :)

Aug 22

Want a Better Understanding of Google Analytics? Go Back to School! E-Nor Launches Google Analytics Training Course, Featuring Industry Veteran Eric Fettman as Instructor and Coach

Eric Fettman - Google Analytics Training Course InstructorHere at E-Nor, we’re always looking for ways to help others understand the importance of analytics, as well as the inner workings behind that and digital data. Over the past 10+ years, thousands of marketing professionals around the globe, consultants and business owners have attended our analytics and digital training courses. As we launch our newest form of analytics training, we look to focus more on the one-on-one aspect of teaching. And with this new program, we went right to the best in the business for someone who can teach, coach and guide our students. We’re excited to announce that Eric Fettman has joined the E-Nor team, to focus solely on the development and direction of Google Analytics Training Course.

Course instructor Eric Fettman is a Harvard graduate and founder of, and has more than 20 years experience in classroom and online training, as well as information design, website and application development, search engine and marketing optimization and web analytics. He has developed a Web content management system, online bookstore, e-learning platform, and multi-media training programs. Eric is currently a Google Analytics resource editor at iPassExam and develops content for a number of industry websites.

Ongoing Coaching

Eric Fettman Google Analytics Training ShotOne aspect that makes Google Analytics University unique from other training programs out there is ongoing support after the course is complete. Class participants are able to speak directly with Eric following the course during scheduled “Office Hours” through online sessions and open conference calls, during which they can discuss any aspect of their analytics work.

Three-month Google Analytics Development Plan and Beyond

Eric’s teaching philosophy goes beyond the classroom to include a three-month Google Analytics development plan that participants in the three-day main training track can work on with Eric.

Hands-on Training with a Real-World Focus

E-Nor’s Google Analytics Training Course is a unique training avenue designed to be hands-on, comprehensive and always with a real-world focus on business and technology leveraging data for bottom-line improvement. The training program is designed to provide the technical know-how for Google Analytics implementation and reporting, and additional skills and insights that you’ll need to create better experiences for your end users and to generate greater overall value for your organization.

Our Google Analytics Training Course offers single-day or multiple-day courses that teach the skills that drive measurable improvement and maximize website value, while giving students the foundation for successful digital optimization and the competitive advantage to make data-driven decisions. Check out the full curriculum for an overview of courses offered. Through the end of 2013, training is scheduled in Los Angeles, Washington, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, and Miami. Training is also available on-site at your location.

Want to know more? Give us a call at (866) 638-7367 or visit We’d love to answer any of your questions and talk with you more about this exciting new program. Or, if you’re ready, Sign up today for E-Nor’s Google Analytics training program that will give you the understanding and know-how to make your organization more data driven.

Aug 01

Tracking links posted to social networks in Google Analytics is pretty simple and standard, but we still hear clients asking how to do it. So we thought we would do a small refresher.

Watch our video on how to track social campaigns!

social network logosAny current digital marketing plan should include social marketing. With smartphones, everyone has instant anytime access to social networks, and they’re listening to their friends talk about your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing is more likely to convert by 4 times and also has the ability to go viral, which can exponentially increase brand awareness as well as generate leads. And for the most part, Social Marketing is free, if done right.

  • But how do you track how well your social networks are doing?
  • If you are spending ads to promote your posts, how do you track if visitors are clicking on your links and converting?
  • What are social visitors doing on your website?
  • Which social network is the most effective?

Google Analytics helps you slice and dice your traffic to answer these questions, if only you could somehow filter your data for these social networks.

You can!

Here are 3 easy steps:

Step 1) Create Google Analytics campaigns for each of your social networks.

There are 3 utms you will need to pass to Google Analytics to create a campaign (for each network). This will allow you to segment the data for these campaigns based on this criteria. (For more information on Url Tagging, see our past post).

  • utm_campaign
  • utm_medium
  • utm_source

Let’s say you were promoting a blog post. Here’s what we would define the utm parameters as…

  • ?utm_campaign=blog
  • ?utm_medium=social
  • ?utm_source=facebook

For “campaign”, you will need to name it based on your campaign, so for a blog post, we named it “blog”. You can see for “medium” we put “social” since that’s where it’s coming from (vs email, organic search, referral site, etc), and for “source” we put the name of the social network.

Step 2) Pass the utm parameters to the url you want to promote, then post the corresponding url to each social network.

To create the utm tagged urls, here are some tools we use:

Once your urls are tagged properly (and preferrably shortened), post each corresponding url (with its corresponding source) to your social networks. When people see it and click on it in their feed, the url they visit will be tagged.



Step 3) Segment your reports for these campaigns and slice and dice your data!

Now that you’ve passed these utms, you can segment your Google Analytics reports based on these filters.
First thing I like to do is segment for just the campaign. So I set up a custom advanced segment for that. In our case, we named it “blog”.


Now Google Analytics will only show data for links that you’ve tagged with this specific campaign.

Then, we can go into the advanced filter of any report, and filter for where the “medium” = “social”


And now you can see data based on just your social posting! Look for a particular day where you blasted the that post, see what social network gave you the most traffic, which visitors triggered events and goals, etc.!


You can now more accurately attribute ROI, so you can do it again, again, and again!

Jul 18

E-Nor Texas - Google Analytics Certified PartnersClick here to read the official press release.

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. So as E-Nor gets “bigger,” it just so happens that we’re growing our analytics and digital optimization services for the Central U.S. with a new office based in the Dallas, Texas area. Local resident, Patricia Hinojos has been named Senior Consultant, and will manage client services for the location.

Patricia has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing realm, including consulting and implementation of digital strategies for various industries such as hospitality, health services, legal, technology, manufacturing as well as other consumer and business service industries. She has an in-depth knowledge of online user experience, digital analytics, SEO, SEM, social media and online brand management. Hinojos has a passion for leveraging digital marketing and providing intelligence for more effective customer engagement, operations and growth. She has held positions with Fortune 50 organizations, and works with strategic business development, training, marketing communications and international channel management.

“I am excited to work with E-Nor, after years of independent collaboration. The entire team here exhibits the highest level of passion for, and expertise in, measurement and optimization and they deliver on their promises. Plus, this is a fun team to work with. I’m happy to bring E-Nor a personal connection to Texas and the Central US.,” shares Patricia.

In addition to her love for digital marketing, Patricia is passionate about supporting youth organization in entrepreneurship and community service. She has supported the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) as a trainer and competition judge, and has also served at the local level in various philanthropic leadership positions within the National Charity League and Young Men’s Service League.

Patricia Hinojos E-Nor Google Analytics Certified PartnersAs part of E-Nor’s Central US expansion, Patricia will assist, advise and implement analytics solutions and help clients derive insights to impact the business. The new office will expand the organization’s presence in Texas and beyond, to continually offer leading edge digital analytics services, strategy, implementation, training and support, consulting, as well as Google Analytics Premium services.

For more than a decade, E-Nor has been a trusted advisor to many of the world’s top brands, Fortune 500, governmental agencies and those aspiring to establish a data-driven culture. With the addition of Patricia to our already well-seasoned staff, E-Nor is on it’s way to becoming aligned with the Texas slogan, and offering up BIGGER and better services to those in Central US.

To learn more about our expansion, contact Patricia Hinojos at (866) 638-7367 ext. 213 or

Jun 28

*****UPDATED ARTICLE 10/15/2014: Integrate Universal Analytics with SalesForce!

salesforce google analytics integrationYou have several tools and channels: Paid Campaigns (Google Adwords), Google Analytics and Salesforce.  All are robust and tell you different details about the behavior of your leads/prospects.  Google Analytics has an overall view about your visitors (qualified and unqualified leads), while Salesforce has detail about each individual lead.

Until now, these views are looked at separately.  Wouldn’t it be powerful to be able to combine them into one comprehensive full 360 view of your leads?  To be able to find out where they went, how they converted, then optimize for that conversion to get more leads???

The only code for Salesforce integration that existed used to be for Google AdWords.   Even that has since been retired as of May 1, 2013 (read more about it here).

In this post, we hope to provide code that integrates Salesforce and Google Analytics, which not only replaces the Adwords integration, but will work with any of your marketing channels and campaigns.

Why Integrate Salesforce with Google Analytics?

Google Analytics has very rich reporting capabilities for conversion tracking. For example, you can define a goal by simply identifying a unique URL of the thank you page for any form on your website. And if one doesn’t exist, you can even “fake it” by creating virtual pageviews or events. This will allow you to analyze the number of conversions you receive, where they came from, and other user behaviors about visitors who convert.

Salesforce is “the name” in sales funnel reporting. Each time a lead submits information through forms on your website, through integration with Salesforce (or through manual entry from your sales representatives) other information about the leads can be entered and tracked.

But both tools alone might have missing pieces. In Google Analytics, how many of my conversions are spam or unqualified leads? In Salesforce, what information or pages were my leads looking at that got them to convert? Are search engines a primary source of converting traffic? Etc.

Google Analytics and Salesforce each have a place in helping analyze how to improve your sales funnels and the quality and quantity of your leads. Combining the two can really give you powerful insights to act upon.

In this post, we’ll show you how to pass Google Analytics information to Salesforce, then cover advanced integrations, such as passing unique keys that will allow you to tie visitors between Google Analytics and Salesforce. From there, you can get “first touch” campaign information.

Implementation (The Code)

The code below will allow you to improve your reporting by passing the traffic source information into Salesforce every time a form is submitted.

  1. Setup the following 5 fields in Salesforce:
    • Medium
    • Source
    • Campaign
    • Content
    • Term

    Here’s sample code (“xxxxxxx” represents the database id/api name of the custom field, depending on your salesforce mapping):

    <input type="hidden" name="txt_medium" id="xxxxxxx" value="" />
    <input type="hidden" name="txt_source" id="xxxxxxx" value="" />
    <input type="hidden" name="txt_campaign_name" id="xxxxxxx" value="" />
    <input type="hidden" name="txt_term" id="xxxxxxx" value="" />
    <input type="hidden" name="txt_content" id="xxxxxxx" value="" />
  2. Update all forms to contain the same 5 fields created in step 1 (they should be hidden so they aren’t shown to the user).
  3. Values for the hidden fields can be read from the GA cookie __utmz. The code below will parse out the campaign variables from the GA cookies and make them available in 5 variables.
  4. Logic should be put in place within the form to pass the values of the hidden fields to their corresponding fields within Salesforce when the form is submitted.
  5. Place the following code on every page on your website that has a Salesforce form before the closing </body> tag.
<script type="text/javascript">
var z = _uGC(document.cookie, '__utmz=', ';');
var source = _uGC(z, 'utmcsr=', '|');
var medium = _uGC(z, 'utmcmd=', '|');
var term = _uGC(z, 'utmctr=', '|');
var content = _uGC(z, 'utmcct=', '|');
var campaign = _uGC(z, 'utmccn=', '|');
var gclid = _uGC(z, 'utmgclid=', '|');
if (gclid !="-") {
 source = 'google';
 medium = 'cpc';

var csegment = _uGC(document.cookie, '__utmv=', ';');
if (csegment != '-') {
 var csegmentex = /[1-9]*?\.(.*)/;
 csegment = csegment.match(csegmentex);
 csegment = csegment[1];

} else {
 csegment = '';

function _uGC(l,n,s)
if (!l || l=="" || !n || n=="" || !s || s=="") return "-";
var i,i2,i3,c="-";
if (i > -1) {
i2=l.indexOf(s,i); if (i2 < 0){ i2=l.length; }
return c;

document.getElementById("txt_medium").value =medium; /* Campaign_Medium */
document.getElementById("txt_source").value =source; /* Campaign_Source */
document.getElementById("txt_campaign_name").value =campaign; /* Campaign_CampaignName */
document.getElementById("txt_term").value =term; /* Campaign_Term */
document.getElementById("txt_content").value =content; /* Campaign_Content */


After implementing this code you can test one of the forms on your site and this is what you should see in Salesforce:

Salesforce Google Analytics Fields


Congratulations! You are now pulling reports in Salesforce and accurately determine what traffic sources are resulting in opportunities, qualified leads, and customers.  Now you have a more accurate understanding of the true ROI of your marketing activities.

(Keep in mind that when testing to clear your cache, cause any previous cookies or tags associated with your site will reflect in the form submission.)

The following is a report we have helped many of our customers work towards, which is mapping their Salesforce lead/customer data to their advertising spend.  This report shows the ROI and cost per qualified lead for each of their marketing channels.

salesforce google analytics marketing dashboard

A Note About Autotagging/AdWords

If you are trying to analyze the impact of your AdWords campaigns, you may notice that in Salesforce all of the Keywords, Content, and Campaign information is missing. This will happen if you have AdWords set to use autotagging. If this is the case, the default implementation provided above will not be able to pass anything more detailed, because the AdWords information is hidden in the GCLID, which is not decoded until later in Google Analytics.

If this information is important you have two options:

  • You can disable autotagging and use manual tagging
  • You can customize our code to accept customer parameters, which you can append to all of your destination URLS.

Advanced Implementations

Qualified Lead Behavior in Google Analytics
Marketers, get ready to have your mind blown! The number one question every business has is, “How can we get more business?” One of the keys to answering this question is to understand the common traits of your buyers. “How did we close you?” so we can do more of that.

With this integration, by associating a unique identifier with visitors in Google Analytics and passing that info to Salesforce, you can easily filter for this unique identifier (if you have goals set up) by using their built-in advanced segment of converting visits. What does that mean? That’s right, you’ll be able to see what your qualified leads did on your site!

But if your conversion is a form submission or contact email for example, what you cannot do though is create a segment of only your qualified leads or actual customers, as it will likely be filled with spam leads and non-qualified leads. We can solve this with a bit of code.

Our friend Justin Cutroni details in his blog post here how to store the unique ID that Google Analytics generates into a custom variable.  By reading the __utma cookie, we can extract this ID and send it to Google Analytics and also send this key into Salesforce. By placing this code on all Salesforce form pages on your site and passing it into both Google Analytics and Salesforce we will now have a key between the two systems to tie visitors together!

Now, in Salesforce you can create reports of qualified leads, customers, or any other customer grouping and extract these unique ID’s, then take these unique ID’s and create advanced segments for each of these groupings like so:

salesforce leads field custom variable

google analytics advanced segment custom variables

First Touch Attribution
Almost every Google Analytics report (except for Multichannel Funnels) is built on a last touch attribution model. Meaning, when you create reports or segments for converting elements, only the last traffic source is being tied to it. This is the same for our Salesforce / Google Analytics implementation that is provided above.

If you need insight on first touch campaigns and marketing channels, with some minor modifications, you can pass this along. Conceptually, this works best when you pass and store this information from the Google Analytics cookies into your database. Every time, that user re-authenticates and fills out a form, you can read this information from your backend and pass it into Salesforce using hidden fields.

Conclusion: 360 Customer View

The integrations mentioned above allow you to get closer to a 360 view of all of your customers and leads. By passing your visitors campaign and marketing channel information from Google Analytics into Salesforce, you will be able to report on the ROI and Cost Per Qualified Lead, which are two metrics every lead oriented business should have. By using the advanced implementations you can pass more information into Salesforce and create segments of your visitors based on information that is learned from them in Salesforce.

We have done many custom implementations of Salesforce and Google Analytics and with marrying both systems to other data sources.  The true power in it is architecting a solution that meets your needs. Feel free to contact me at: if you have any questions or would like help working out a solution for your environment.

Jun 21

tableau ontario california mapCanada, oh Canada. We’ve extracted a handful of gems from you…Maple Syrup…Hockey…The Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies…even Justin Bieber. Apparently, you’re also #1 in the world in fruit juice drinking (real statistic), which is an amazing talent.

If you’re a frequent reader, you might be used to us posting advanced analytics topics, such as Google Analytics Premium, Integration with Tableau, Qualitative and Quantitative integration, Cohort analysis, etc. For analytics ninjas, this post might be a bit lite. However, when you’re stuck in the complex, you overlook and forget about the basics, which have their own value – so a refresher is always good.

The Challenge: Pageviews from Canada but No Leads?

While assessing one of our client’s content marketing strategies, we found they had an exceptional amount of pageviews from Ontario, Canada. They were concerned though. For some reason though, they haven’t gotten one sales lead from that region. Are they missing out on top Canadian dollars?!

We were hoping that their analytics data could give us some insights as to what was happening and why they weren’t getting leads from there. In this post, we’d like to demonstrate how we used Google Analytics in a simple/basic way to extract some insights into such questions.

A Closer Look For Patterns

When we looked at their data, we created an advanced filter that only showed visits from the region Ontario and we saw this:
ontario filter google analytics

ontario blog traffic google analytics

Anything jump out at you? It seems that most of the urls in the top content from Ontario have “/blog” in it (the client has 2 sites connected to this domain – a main site and a blog).

Interesting. We were wondering if that pattern had any connection.

Validating the Theory

So we compared this to a region where they were getting a healthy amount of traffic and successfully generating leads – California. When we filtered traffic for California, at first glance, the pageviews looked fine. Thinking about the pattern from Ontario (“/blog”), we then filtered even further for only California blog traffic. There really didn’t seem to be anything unusual.
california blog traffic google analytics

So what was the issue then??? Well, keep in mind, we’re not only concerned with pageviews, we’re concerned about leads. In other words, conversions define as leads, which in this case, the client defined it as contact-form submissions. Both reports show a healthy amount of pageviews, however, one region is generating leads, one is not.

Looking at the conversion report for California, overall, it maintained a healthy look. But after again filtering for only blog conversions, then comparing it against Ontario, that’s when we uncovered the gem! Consistency in the theory!



Voila! When both regions are filtered for blog traffic, the percentage of conversion balances out (in this case, the visits were almost equal so the conversion being 1 is an equal percentage of conversion)! We can’t say definitely, but after drilling down the data, signs lead to the blog not necessarily generating leads the way the client wanted (and since most Ontario visits were blog visits, they don’t so much get Ontario leads).

That’s one way to get insights using some critical thinking and the tools in Google Analytics. Of course, there are infinite ways to torture the data and therefore infinite insights.

Real Analytics ninjas may also be thinking that form conversion shouldn’t be looked at in a vacuum – for the blog, there should always be micro conversion goals, such as email newsletter subscriptions, sharing, comments, does it refer to the main site, and generate interest or micro conversions there, etc.

The next next step is our analysis is understand the behavior of users across multiple sessions and answering questions like: are visitors who read the blog come back and convert in later sessions.

We promised to keep this blog post lite, so we will answer this question in a future post! :) Now it’s your turn, how do you use Google Analytics to derive actionable insights.

Jun 19

UPDATE 8/29/2014: Some users have informed us this way no longer works (Google is always changing things!). You can click here and request your account to be restored (which provides a telephone number to call and simple instructions). Keep in mind you still need an adwords account.

deleted google analytics accountIn recent weeks, we’ve received a number of calls for Google Analytics accounts that have been deleted or have lost access to. Most of them think we are Google, but even upon finding out that we are partners, plead with us to help them.

Unfortunately, while we would love to help, only Google has control over these accounts. In order for even a chance to recover it, we found a “secret”, non-intuitive way to contact Google about it, but it’s the only way we could find.

Please follow the following instructions:

  • Login into an Adwords account (Note: if you are not logged into an adwords account or do not have one, it wont work. You can sign up for an adwords account here.)
  • Go to this link:
  • Click on the “Contact Us” link in the footer.
  • Choose the email option for “Adwords” customers, NOT “Partner Provided Support” for Google Analytics Certified Partners.
  • You will get a screen that lists a couple options. Click “Google Analytics”.
  • The next screen will give you several options. Choose “Can’t Access Analytics.”
  • It will give you a form where you must provide your name, email (should be company branded), phone, Analytics account Id (UA number), Analytics login email, website, and summary of your issue.

There’s no guarantee that your account will be fixed or recovered, but this is your best shot. Also, Google is constantly changing their processes and policies. Not sure how long this will be available or if they decided to fix the inconsistencies across browsers (or if they fix the fact that to get Google Analytics support, you have to click on Adwords!)

Jun 16

advanced-segment-logic-thumbWe just passed Father’s Day! Your client’s site sells silk ties and they’re expecting big bucks this season, so they increased their PPC spend. They want do some advanced segments to see how their U.S. and Canada paid traffic did.

We just read a great piece by Jesse Nichols on advanced segment logic and thought it might be a good idea, as part of our “Back To Basics” series, to expand on that a little.

Advanced segments are essential in filtering your data so you can dive deep and get clean insights. However, you might have to blow the dust off your old symbolic logic text books, cause this stuff can be confusing. Getting the logic wrong could mess up your data analysis and reports.

Hopefully, the diagrams we made here will help you remember your “and’s” AND “or’s”. Or, I guess it would be your “and’s” OR “or’s”…(Anyway, whatever…)

Advanced Segment Logic (Non-Exclusive)

When creating Google Analytics advanced segments, you can “include” or “exclude” dimensions.

We’ll go through the following:

  • Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That)
  • Include “this” OR “Include “that” (This or That)
  • Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That)
  • Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That)

For non-exclusive dimensions (dimensions that can overlap, like place and kind), the following is a visual representation of how it will work. (We’ll go through exclusive dimensions – dimensions that don’t overlap, like two different places).


Let’s break this down in terms of the potential Google Analytics dimensions we’ll be looking at.
Let’s say:

  • “This” = “U.S. traffic”
  • “That” = “Paid traffic”

Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That). You’re looking for traffic that is U.S. and paid. You might translate “Include U.S. Traffic and Include paid traffic” into normal English, “I want U.S. traffic and paid traffic”. The latter implies you want both, which is where the confusion happens. In actuality, you are looking for where they overlap. Thus, in our diagram, you are looking for the dark grey color.

Include “this” OR “Include “that” (This or That). Translating this into English would sound like “I want U.S. or paid traffic”, which sounds exclusive – “I want either U.S. or paid traffic”, which sounds misleading. You will be pulling up “either or” as well as the overlap. If the condition hits either case (which includes if it hit’s both), it will be included. In our diagram, this corresponds to the dark and light grey.

Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That). “Not U.S. and Not paid traffic”. A little tricky. In traditional symbolic logic, “And” means both conditions need to be satisfied. You would think then that this is an overlap. Actually, you’re not getting rid of the overlap, you’re getting rid of both cases. That means anything that is from the U.S. will be eliminated as well as all paid traffic will be eliminated . Thus everything that is grey will be gone. You will only be looking at the orange universe.

Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That). “Not U.S. or Not paid traffic”. To me, this is the most confusing one. Again, traditionally, you’re thinking “OR”, which is both data sets. That’s not correct.

To understand this one, let’s look at “include ‘this’ or include ‘that’ “ for a second. The logic behind this implies: The data set either has to have “this” or has to have “that”.

Along the same lines, for “exclude”, if we take that italicized part of the previous sentence and insert “NOT”, you get this:
The data set has to NOT have ‘this’ or NOT have ‘that’.
Meaning, if the data set doesn’t have one of them or is missing one of them, it checks out.

Let’s go through each color area we have and compare it to that last logical sentence.

  • Does the orange NOT have “this” or not have “that”? The orange doesn’t have either, so that checks out.
  • Does the light grey ‘this’ area NOT have one dimension? It doesn’t have ‘that’, so that checks out.
  • Does the light grey ‘that’ area NOT have one dimension? It doesn’t have ‘this’, so that checks out.
  • The dark grey area isn’t missing either one, it contains both! So it doesn’t check out!

Conclusion? This advanced segment eliminates the dark grey overlap! So here, you are looking at the orange universe and the light grey. In other words, you are filtering out U.S. Paid traffic.

Advanced Segment Logic (Exclusive)

What happens when you have dimensions that are mutually exclusive? For example, U.S. traffic and Canada traffic? (Another example of sets that don’t overlap is if U.S. has no paid traffic). Things become a little different.


Include “this” AND Include “that” (This and That). It’s impossible that one visit will fall under both locations (unless you have the power to teleport or go warp speed, in which case, you’d have to also be surfing the net during that time). Thus, you’ll get nothing from this segment, as they never overlap!

Include “this” OR Include “that” (This or That). This would be either U.S. or Canada traffic. Thus, you’ll get both (light) grey colors from this segment.

Exclude “this” AND Exclude “that” (Not This and Not That). Similar to non-exclusive dimensions or sets, you’re just getting rid of both. Thus, in our diagram, you’re left with the orange universe. Anything that is not either one.

Exclude “this” OR Exclude “that” (Not This or Not That). “Not U.S. or Not Canada traffic”. If we look at the non-exclusive diagram, you are getting rid of the dark grey overlap. Since there is no dark grey overlap in this diagram, you’re not really getting rid of anything. Thus, this is a moot segment when dimensions are mutually exclusive.


To analytics ninjas, the obvious segment you would want to create to analyze “U.S. paid traffic” is “Include U.S. and Include Paid Traffic”. When filtering for mutually exclusive dimensions like U.S. and Canada, “Include” and “OR” would be the way to go. Of course, there are a bunch of different combinations that will create different logic, but hopefully, these diagrams will help remind everyone of the basics to build on.

In any case, forget the ties, and get your dad something cool, like a camera or an iPad or something…