Gaining insight from Google Analytics
Video: Gaining insight from Google AnalyticsThe early days of the Web vexed traditional marketers, because they weren't able to measure the effectiveness of what they were doing. That changed in the early 2000s when Web analytics software started to appear. Then it solidified in 2005 when Google got in the game, and they pretty much owned it with Google Analytics. It's quite easy to install the Drupal modules if you need to use Google Analytics. Before you can use it, though, you have to have a Google account to receive the information that your site collects. I won't show you that part; you can learn about it from the lynda.com course, Google Analytics Essential Training.
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This course shows how to build an online store using Drupal Commerce, a set of modules that extend Drupal. Author Tom Geller teaches the basics of configuring a store, processing a payment, and charging for shipping and taxes, as well as creating, displaying, and categorizing products. The course also explains how to integrate a store into a Drupal site, customize a store's appearance, and increase site traffic using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
- Surveying the store-building process
- Installing Drupal Commerce using Commerce Kickstart
- Accepting PayPal payments
- Processing orders
- Understanding rules and line items
- Listing and importing products
- Managing inventory, orders, and customer profiles
- Streamlining the checkout process
- Launching a store
- Offering product discounts
- Analyzing site traffic with Google Analytics
Gaining insight from Google Analytics
The early days of the Web vexed traditional marketers, because they weren't able to measure the effectiveness of what they were doing. That changed in the early 2000s when Web analytics software started to appear. Then it solidified in 2005 when Google got in the game, and they pretty much owned it with Google Analytics. It's quite easy to install the Drupal modules if you need to use Google Analytics. Before you can use it, though, you have to have a Google account to receive the information that your site collects. I won't show you that part; you can learn about it from the lynda.com course, Google Analytics Essential Training.
This video shows you everything else that you need to know. First, let's go to the Google Analytics site. You do that at google.com/analytics, and I'll just log in with my own account. That starts the Google Analytics part. Next, we'll need to get the Google Analytics module, which is the glue between your Drupal Commerce store, and Google. To get that, we'll go to drupal .org/project/google_analytics.
We'll go down here, and we'll install it in the usual way. We then enable the module.
You'll find it down toward the bottom under the Statistics group, and then you save. Once you've done that, you'll start to notice a warning as you go around your site. If we go to our Status report, we see what it is. Google Analytics requires that you enter your Google analytics code, which goes up right here. For that, we have to go back to our Google Analytics site, and get that code. Now, here I have to warn you about something. You won't be able to use Google Analytics on a site that you haven't yet launched, so we actually can't do it on our Two Trees site here, because it doesn't have an actual URL; it's just on our desktop machine, twotrees:8082.
We'll try to do that. I'll go down to my gellerguides group here, and add a new profile. It asks me for the URL. If I were to say simply twotrees:8082, which is what we have back here, remember? And finish; it tells me that I have to correct the errors, because it wasn't able to find that. Now, it's actually asking, did you actually mean gellerguides? So let's try a new domain. Yup, and you see, URL ends with an invalid -- so it's just not seeing that. So instead of using this site, we're going to use the one that we uploaded earlier on in the Launching Your Store video. That one I happen to have at tgeller.webfactional.com, and once again, I have to install the module.
So go to Modules, Install, and exactly as before. Now we can use it. To configure it, I go to Configuration, and again, I can follow these links through the Status report, or just click here on Google Analytics. Now I'll go back to Google Analytics, and get my code. I want a new domain; that's going to be tgeller.webfactional.com, and continue.
Now I have my code. This is the part you actually need. You could ignore the rest of this stuff, because this is actually built into the module that you put in to your Drupal site. So I'll just copy this UA code here, go back to my site, yup, it's the webfactional one. Paste it, and save. Now, we're ready to go. Now, I skipped over an awful lot when I went through that. You have a lot of options down here at the bottom of the page. You can track according to domains, pages, roles, and so on.
You'll notice that some of these exceptions are already built-in. It's set so that Google Analytics won't track the things that you do as the administrator, which is really good, because otherwise you'd find a lot of false positives. Oh, people are coming to my site; no it's just you administering the site. Let's go back to the Google Analytics page, and see what it's reporting back. Unfortunately, we're not going to see anything yet. It takes a little while for your site to talk to Google Analytics, and for Google Analytics to respond, but let's take a look anyway. We'll go back up to the top level, and see what's under our gellerguides group.
There it is; tgeller.webfactional.com. Now as I say, it's not reporting it, but otherwise, you would see a report here showing exactly who's on your site, how much time they've spent, what pages they go to, and so forth. So to give you an idea of what that actually looks like, I'm going to show you the analytics from my own site, tomgeller.com. To do that, I'll go back up to Analytics. So, here you can see that Google Analytics shows you a lot of information.
It tells you on a day by day basis how many people came to your site, shows geographically where they're coming from, and you can actually drill down in here, and see a closer report for any part of this. Very useful stuff. Again, for more information on this, see Google Analytics Essential Training from lynda.com. This whole field of analytics is just fascinating stuff, and with the Google Analytics module installed and configured on your store, you can see a lot about what on your site most interests people, and it's broken down by demographics, and you can use that information to increase sales and target your marketing.
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