Google Analytics has evolved from neonatal to very matured stage by launching ‘Universal Analytics’. The journey from Web Analytics 1.0 to Web Analytics 2.0 has brought a sea change in Google Analytics Tool implementation and configuration. A web analyst and digital marketer, being a business catalyst should be aware of industry best practices. I have made an attempt to consolidate and present relevant best practice in Google Analytics Best Practices Series -1. Thank you so much for visiting , read on and let me know your opinion.
Google Analytics supports multiple trackers on a web site. But what are the scenarios we need to consider for multiple trackers is a million dollar question. It has been a usual practice of most web analyst to implement Google Analytics multiple trackers for better understanding of different parts of the website or multiple websites of multiple brands of a business group to analyze customer behavior on website.
Are there any caveats to obey? Are there any best practices established so for by our Web Analytics Community? To answer this question there is very less information available on internet and this million dollar question is very much falls in Strategic decision of Digital Marketing. So there are very less disclosures on this topic.
Well, when I started my research on finding answers for this question I have ended up in drawing few frameworks to guide in deciding about this million dollar question i.e. to go or not to go for Multiple Trackers.
Before going for this decision I strongly assume that you have following fundamental factors.
A. You have defined a killer process for Digital Marketing.
B. You know Traffic Sources to your website.
C. You have a clear vision of different parts of website and their individual importance. Here different parts of website I meant are Blogs, Forums, and sub domains etc., which drive relevant traffic to the website. Probably, it is very important factor because; Blogs, Forums and Sub domains can be indispensable or independent digital marketing entities. Either indispensable or independent plays very crucial role in finding the answer to go for single tracker or multiple tracker implementation.
Following are few instances where we can consider Multi Tracker implementation:
1. Size matters!
If your website is relatively big whereas pages could be 3000 or above implement different trackers for different parts of the website. A website with 3000 and above pages approximately needs different section to drive traffic. Even if your website spans across sub domains and top level domains, you can implement multiple trackers for better insights. According to my experience, most of the small and middle level companies fall under this category, where their requirement for Web Analytics Data insights is growing. But these small and middle level always stumble in hiring a right person or right web Agency for this task.
Google is generous in giving as many Property ID as you require, but do we have necessary resources ( people, process) to draw necessary insights into data dump gathered by multiple trackers. In fact many a times we ignore the importance of natural resources ( Free Google Analytics data dumps).
2. Data Sampling
A self-Imposed Constraint by Web Analytic Tools. If your marketing decision mechanism is hurt by insufficient web analytics data, probably you are the victim of Data Sampling. Read out my blog post Data Sampling: How to achieve Data Accuracy from Sampled Data?
If your website is reaching the threshold of data sampling, and you do not want data to be sampled out, then multiple trackers are the best solution to avoid data sampling. Here, you have identified different sections of website, which is to be implemented with different tracking ids.
It is worth to take a note that, Data Sampling is always done at Property level. So multiple trackers helps you to avoid reaching the sampling threshold to the greater extent, thereby you have greater chances of analyzing Un sampled data.
3. Persona of Visitor or Visitor Segmentation at Root Level
Website serves wide spectrum of visitors, not all visitors contribute revenue or lead acquisition to your business. Visitors can be classified into various segments like researchers, blog content consumers, forum participators, value contributors etc. Driving all visitors to a single tracker website results in.
1. Data Sampling thresh hold is reached and data sampling is triggered.
2. Inflated sessions and page views
3. Inflated metrics in Frequency and Recency reports
4. Inflated Engagement metrics in Engagement Report
5. Lowest conversion rate.
Among above all metrics Frequency and Recency, Engagement and Conversion rate metrics are foundational metrics which throw light on real business results. If these metrics are inflated by driving all visitors (via researchers, blog content consumers, forum participators, value contributors) other than value contributors to website, your webs analytics tool is a source of irrelevant consumer Analytics generating system.
In general following type of websites are best candidates for considering multi trackers for Visitor Segmentation at root level.
1. E commerce websites with huge customer base.
2. Company Websites with Research and Development services.
3. University websites.
4. Websites who drive traffic by Content Marketing.
5. Web sites with blog as pivotal point of Content Marketing Strategy. Where blog drives traffic to website.
Google Analytics Premium has dedicated property level Roll-up Reporting under Audience section to capture data from multiple trackers or different source properties to give consolidated insights of customer behavior on different websites of single business group. But what if you have standard Google Analytics privileges, check out Roll up Property implementation with Universal Analytics tracking code.