Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How to setup account and container in Google Tag Manager

The first step in getting started with Google tag manager is to sign up for Google Tag Manager account.
Go to https://google.com/tagmanager to signup for an account if you already don’t have one.  After you login you will come to an interface where you can set up your Google Tag Manager Account.
Figure: Google Tag Manager Account Setup

Enter a name for your Account in the Account Name field, this is generally the name of your company where you will be using the Google Tag Manager. You can give any name that works for you.
After account name, you can choose if you want to share data anonymously with Google and others are not going to go. I choose yes.
The next step after account information is to create a Google Tag manager container.  In one account you can have multiple Google Tag Manager containers.  Each container contains its own set of rule, triggers and tags.
In the initial setup you will need to create one container, you can add more later.
Figure: Google Tag Manager Container Setup

Create your container and give it a name. Your container name can be as simply as the site or the app name where you are going to use this container.
Next, choose where this container is going to be placed whether it's a Website, App (iOS or Android) or accelerated mobile pages (AMP) i.e. Web site for mobile.
I am going to use Web for all my examples, click on Web and click create a container.
If you are prompted for Google Tag Manager terms of services, then go ahead and read them. Once you're satisfied go ahead and click “Yes”. Now your account is crated.
Next you will get the Google Tag Manager container code (also called Google Tag Manager code) that you will need to add to all the pages of your website.

Figure: Google Tag Manager installation code

You have two snippets of code here. One goes into the section of the webpages and the other one goes into the section of your webpages.
Go ahead and copy these and send them to your developer or if you have access to the code then simply take the JavaScript codes and put them on your webpages.
This is the only code your developers will ever need to put on the webpages. Rest of the tags will be deployed via Google Tag Manager interface without ever touching the code on the webpages.
Once you have copy them go ahead and click OK.
Now you will be taken to an Google Tag Manager interface where will add and manage all the tags that you need to place on your website.
Next, we will look at the Google Tag Manager interface.
Enroll in our Google Tag Manages courses
  1. Google Tag Manager (GTM) Online Training Course - From Zero to Hero
  2. Google Tag Manager Advanced Applications

Want to Learn Web & Digital Analytics? Enroll in a Web & Digital Analytics Course

Monday, May 13, 2019

How does Google Tag Manager work?

When you place a Google Tag Manager JavaScript on a web page, it can listen to various user actions happening on the page. Based on the rules (also known as triggers) you define in the Google Tag Manager interface, it activates (also referred as “fire”) appropriate tags, as defined by the rules set in the tag manger.
In a nutshell, the Google Tag Manager code has four main functions
  1. Container of tags
  2. Rules Engine
  3. Event listener – user or page actions
  4. Tag activator.
  1. Tag Container - As mentioned in the “What is a Tag and a Tag Manager” section, all the tags are configured within Google Tag Manager interface and are used as needed. Google Tag Manager code on the page is the container that pulls and uses the tags as needed.
  2. Rules Engine – In Google Tag Manager, you define a set of rules that determine when and which tag(s) to trigger (fire).
  3. Event Listener – Google Tag Manager code on the webpage actively listens to user or page interaction on the site. These interactions are known as events. Almost any user or page interaction on a webpage can be captured by Google Tag Manager. Example of such action are page load, link clicks, button clicks, page scroll, form fill, video play etc. These actions are also called triggers.
  4. Tag Activator – When a condition, as specified in the rules, is met then Google Tag Manager fires the tag that is defined in that rule.
Let’s take an example to see how this works:
  1. Container – Contains Google Analytics Event Tracking tag.
  2. Rule – Fire Google Analytics Event Tracking tag when a button on a page is clicked.
  3. Event Listener – Listens for events on the page and evaluates them based on the rules. In this case, the rule is looking for a button click on a page. When a button is clicked then it trigger Tag Activation.
  4. Tag Activation - Fires Google Analytics event tracking tag
Follow this series of posts and learn Google Tag Manager - step by step.
Enroll in our course
  1. Google Tag Manager (GTM) Online Training Course - From Zero to Hero
  2. Google Tag Manager Advanced Applications

Sunday, May 12, 2019

What is a Tag and a Tag Manager?

Tag is a snippet of code, generally a JavaScript code, that goes on your web pages or apps. This tag collects the information about users and users’ behavior and then send that information to the tool/tag provider.
These tool providers then use the data collected to provide their service such as analytics, targeting, reporting etc.
Some examples of tags are, Google Analytics Tracking tag, Google AdWords tag, Facebook tracking pixel etc.
 Example: Google Analytics Tag
These tags can also be written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) or a clear image file that is invisible to users but can send information to the server.
A website generally has several tags from various tool providers. These tags go directly on the web pages and require implemented by the website developers.

This is where the problem happens.  Anytime you need to change something, you are dependent on the developers to make those changes. You must work with their schedule and wait for them to implement the code that you want.  A lot of times that's too late because they have their own priority list and your needs are generally the last on their priority list.
Changing the tags is also very expensive and time consuming because when developers make a change to a page, it requires quite a few people in the process to make sure that everything is working fine before the code can be made live.
Net result is that making any changes to tags is not an easy process. This is where a Tag Manager helps a marketer. Tag Manager removes the need to put individual tags on the pages and makes it fast and easy to make any changes without any help from a developer.
Tag Manager provides you a single JavaScript code that needs to be placed on your pages. This code needs to be placed on your site only once by your developers on all the pages on your website or app. Once the code is implemented, the job of a developer is done.  Developers won’t need to be involved in anything going forward.
This Tag Manager code acts like a container which then triggers various tags that you define in a separate interface.

Any addition and changes to the various tags are done via Tag Manager interface and do not require a developer.  Someone in marketing team can easily manage all these tags without touching the code on the page.
Any time you need to make a change to any of the tags, instead of making a change in your page you go to the tag manager interface and make changes in that interface. Next time your web page needs a tag it gets new tag from the tag manager. This helps eliminate your need to be dependent on IT or a developer and you can make all your tag changes in a matter of hours or even minutes.
Want to learn Google Tag Manager? Enroll in our course
  1. Google Tag Manager (GTM) Online Training Course - From Zero to Hero
  2. Google Tag Manager Advanced Applications
More to come...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Context is Critical: Creating a Culture of Web Analytics

Continuing my series on Creating a Culture of Analytics I would like to touch on a very critical aspect of creating a culture of Web Analytics and that is Context.

What is Context

According to Princeton.edu context is
  • Discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation
  • the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event

Context takes the ambiguity out of the equation. As an Analyst it is very important that you provide full context when reporting your web analytics data. Context gets everybody on the same page. Do not leave anything for interpretation by the end users of your reports, give them the insights in a simple and easy to understand format.

Let’s look at an example to understand critical context is.

60 Degrees

If I say it is going to be 60 degrees tomorrow. What will be you reaction?
If you are in Minnesota – You will yell “Summer”
If you are in Seattle, you will think – ““Spring”
If you are in Florida, you will say “ Damn… Cold”
If you are in India, you will say “WTF….” (Indians measures temperature in Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius is 140 F)

Some other question that might pop in people’s mind are:
  • What is the temperature today?
  • Is it normal to have 60 degrees this time of the year

Without context 60 degrees does not mean much. Right.
Similarly when you report your numbers and tell report on visits, page views, time on site etc. it does not mean much unless you provide the full context.

Web Analytics & Context

Just saying that Visits are down by 10% from last week is not enough. You have to put that 10% decline in full context. Tell your end users what happened and why they should or should not worry.

So add something like : Visits are down 10% from last week and also 10% lower compared to the same time last year. Prior to this week we saw a 10% year over year growth but last week was abnormally down. Isn’t that getting better now?

You should go even further: Last year we got some free advertising from local newspaper sites that drove 20% additional traffic same time last year. Since we did not have the advertising deal this year, it impacted our visits this year. We noted the potential impact of newspaper site advertising in our last year’s annual recap (here is the link to last year report – people forget so remind them). If we take out the impact of spike from newspaper sites then we have a consistent pattern of 10% year over year increase. As noted in last few reports, that increase is due to our social media efforts this year. Now the picture is much clearer. Of course you should look into the full impact e.g. conversion, bounces, sales etc. (Note: How you present this story will depend on what format you chose to present your report)

Now everybody is on the same page and knows exactly what those numbers mean. Without that context, everybody would have had their own interpretations of the data. Misinterpretations lead to wrong action and/or mistrust in the data and the analytics team.

Final Words

Do not provide any reports without providing full context. Keep in mind that most of the canned and automatic reports do more harm than good because they do not provide context.

Other posts in the series

Note: This post was originally posted on March 4th, 2011 but it is still very relevant.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Advanced Digital Analytics workshop at DA Hub on Oct 17th

I will be conducting a full day advanced digital analytics class at DA Hub in Austin on Oct 17th.

Do you have experience with influencing business change? Are you ready to move into reflective analysis that drives real return on investment for your company? Want to advance your career prospects? This course will help you deliver all of that.

This interactive full day advanced digital analytics course will give you practical tools to elevate your analytics skills. It will also help you transition into a thought leader within your organization. 

Building upon the Fundamentals of Digital Analytics, this course encourages participants to critically examine methods and metrics in ways appropriate for their specific business model.

Learn how to effectively communicate analytical data, best practices for site and campaign design, and examine campaign performance standards from the CFO perspective using control groups and simple predictive models.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Define gaps between measurement practices and business goals for the company 
  • Create a framework for standardizing the evaluation of current performance measurements for website, search, display, email, affiliate and social channels.
  • Understand how to effectively measure campaigns
  • Understand how to find right opportunities for improvement and optimize them
  • Provide feedback on the design, execution, and outcomes of testing efforts 
  • Manage a results-oriented analytical culture adept at driving business change 

The course follows the Digital Analytics Association's syllabus and is endorsed by it. Participants will be awarded six Professional Development Units (PDU) towards their DAA Certified Web Analyst certification renewal credit.

This works shop will be held in Austin, TX on Oct 17th along with DA Hub. Register at https://www.digitalanalyticshub.com/us_2018/anil_batra?reg_type_id=19719

About DA Hub

DA Hub is bringing together top analytics professionals for in-depth idea exchange. Leading digital analytics and optimization practitioners come from across the US to discuss and share the latest developments, challenges and opportunities in the industry. It is a unique opportunity to be part of the conversation. With over 50 huddles to pick from, run by the industry’s foremost practitioners and only 160 places available, you should book your place for this year’s event to meet, learn, share and network.  Get details at https://www.digitalanalyticshub.com/us_2018/home?reg_type_id=19719

Saturday, August 18, 2018

23 Email Marketing Metrics That You Should Know

A while ago I wrote a post on Measuring Online Display Advertising. Continuing the theme, in this post I am describing 23 metrics for measuring email marketing.

Get this article as an eBook at Global Analytics Academy.
  1. Sent: The numbers of emails (generally unique email address) that were sent. This number excludes any suppressions that occurs due to business rules, privacy compliance etc. Your email service provider (ESP) will have these number as a standard metrics in their reports. This is a raw metrics that is used to calculate other email performance metrics and is generally of low value by itself so should not be used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI). A trending of this metric overtime can provide you a view into the health of your marketing list.
  2. Delivered is a count of emails that made their way into the recipient inbox. If an email was rejected by the recipients email provide then it is not counted as delivered. If an email shows up in junk folder, it is still counted as delivered. Your email service provider will have these number as a standard metrics in their reports. This is a raw metrics that is used to calculate other metrics. A trending of this metric overtime can provide you a view into the health of your marketing list. Delivery rate (described below) is a better indicator of Delivery issues than the raw number. This metrics by itself is not a KPI but forms a basis for other KPIs.
  3. Delivery Rate – It is calculated as Emails Delivered divided by Emails sent, expressed as a percentage is Email Delivery Rate. Delivery Rate measure the quality of your email list, goal is to have 100% delivery rate, but I can guarantee that it is not going to happen. Any deviation from 100% should be investigated to see what is causing the issues. If there are some hard bounces (see below) then those should be removed promptly. Too many hard bounces can lead to spam triggers and further delivery issues.
  4. Bounce – An email is considered a bounce when it cannot be delivered to the intended email address. There are two types of bounces – Hard Bounce and Soft Bounce. Hard bounce generally means that the email address is wrong or no longer exists. Soft Bounce generally means that the addresses exists but either the inbox is full or is having temporary issues, the message is too large to deliver etc. You should immediately remove Hard Bounces from your email list since they are dead and you will never be able to deliver an email to them. Raw number of bounces should not be used as a KPI.
  5. Bounce Rate – Bounce rate is measured as Bounces divided by emails sent, expressed as a percentage. It is exact opposite of Delivery Rate. (Note: this should not be confused with the Landing Page Bounce Rate)
  6. Total Opens: Total opens measure the number of times your email has been viewed by the recipients. It gets counted when a recipient opens the email. Emails use a small invisible pixel (image) that gets loaded every time an email is viewed, the loading of this invisible pixel is counted as an open. Few things to keep in mind
    1. Any recipient who have disabled the images will not be counted in the open metrics since the invisible pixel won’t be loaded.
    2. Any recipient who has preview pane open will be counted as open as the emails gets loaded in preview pane enough though the person might not actually open it.
    3. Multiple views by same respondent will increase the open count, one for each view (open).
  7. Unique Opens - This measures the number of unique recipients who opened the email. Unlike Total opens, multiple views (opens) by a same recipient will be counted as one unique open.
  8. Total Open Rate – This measure the effectiveness of your subject line and your brand (shown in from column of email) in driving people to open the emails. Email open is the first action by user in their journey to engage with your email. This metrics is calculated as Total Opens divided by Delivered, expressed as percentage.
  9. Total Clicks or Clicks - Total number of clicks on any link in the email is counted in this metric. Keep in mind that a click does not mean that a person landed on the intended destination of the link hence you will likely see a discrepancy in this metric, as shown by your ESP, and the number shown in your Web Analytics tool. There are multiple factors that could lead to a click but not a visit to the destination. If one recipients clicks on multiple links then each click is counted in this metric.
  10. Unique Clicks – Unique Click counts the number of unique recipients who clicked on one or more clicks. Unlike Total Clicks, Unique clicks counts each person only once, no matter how many links that person clicks.
  11. Click to Open Rate – It measures how effective your newsletter content is in driving people to take actions. It is calculated as Unique Clicks divided by Unique Opens, expressed as a percentage.
  12. Total Click Through Rate – It is calculated as Clicks divided by Delivered, expressed as a percentage. If a person clicks on 2 links then the number of clicks will be 2. Considering that one person (email recipient) can click multiple links in the email, this number can potentially go over 100%.
  13. Unique Click Through Rate – It is calculated as Unique Clicks divided by Delivered, expressed as a percentage. Even if one person clicks on multiple links, only one click is counted in this calculation. Keep in mind that if someone talks about Click through Rate then they are referring to this metrics. This is also used for industry benchmarking by various vendors.
  14. Email Conversions – Email Conversion is defined as the count of action that you want the visitors to take when they arrive as a direct result of a click on the email. Some examples of conversions are – purchase, download a whitepaper, sign up for an event etc.
  15. Conversion Rate – It is calculated as Number of Email Conversions divided by Delivered, expressed as a percentage. Some vendors use the sent metrics as denominators and in some organizations I have seen the Unique clicks (visits in the Web Analytics tools) used as the denominators. (also see, 21 Metrics to Measure Online Display Advertising)
  16. Unsubscribes – Number of emails recipients who chose to unsubscribe from your future mailings. This number is available in your ESPs report.
  17. Unsubscribe Rate – Unsubscribes Rate is calculated as Unsubscribes divided by Delivered and is expressed as a percentage. It measure the effectiveness of your email marketing strategy and the quality/relevance of your email marketing. If this number continues to rise, you have a problem that should be immediately fixed. The fixes range from adjusting the email frequency to increasing the relevance of the message.
  18. Email Complaint or Spam Complaint – Number of email subscribers who have marked your emails as Spam. This number is readily available in most of the ESP. SPAM complains can totally kill your email marketing so this number should be watched closely and steps should be taken to ensure that you have users permission to market and are sending the relevant messages at the right frequency. This number should be available from your ESP
  19. Email Complaint Rate/Spam Complaint Rate Number of emails complaints divided by total emails delivered, express as a percentage.
  20. List Growth Rate – Measures, how fast your email list is growing, it is the net results of new subscribers minus the unsubscribes and email/spam complaints. You have to make sure that your list continues to grow rather go in negative direction. Growth (new subscribers – unsubscribes- email complaints) divided by total list size is your growth rate. Your email marketing program depends on List Growth so watch this number closely and take actions to actively grow your email list.
  21. Forward Rate/Share RateThis measures the emails forwarded (shared) by your recipients to their friends/contacts. It is calculated as number of forwards divided by number of emails delivered and is expressed as a percentage. It provides a view into the effectiveness of your email in not only engaging your recipients but also driving new subscribers, people who become of your brand as a results of receiving emails from their friends. This number is available in some ESPs.
  22. RevenueThis measures the Revenue generated as a direct results of email. Several version of Revenue as a KPI are
    1. Revenue Per Sent – Revenue attributed directly to the email divided by number of emails sent. This is also sometimes expressed in terms of Revenue Per 1000 (RPM).
    2. Revenue Per Click - Revenue attributed directly to the email divided by number of unique clicks.
    3. Revenue Per Open ­ - Revenue attributed directly to the email divided by number of unique opens.Revenue numbers won’t be available in your ESP but can be tracked in Web Analytics tools for online sales.
  23. CPM – CPM stand for Cost Per Mile (1000 in Latin). This is generally used when you rent/buy emails list from third parties. It is the cost of renting 1000 email address and is calculated as (Cost/Emails)*1000. This rate should be provided to you by the vendor from whom you are renting the list. If not provided then you can use the above calculations.
Get this article as an eBook at Global Analytics Academy.

Here are few more email marketing posts that you will like:
  1. One costly email mistake that you can easily fix Growing email list is a hard job. All you Growth hacking goes down the drain when you make a simple mistakes that costs you subscribers that you just gained. This posts you one such mistake and how to fix it.
  2. Email Personalization Not Working? Read This This posts explains why the email personalization might not work. The bottom line is that you have update your personalization criteria over time and test it.
  3. 3 Techniques for Expanding your Email Reach Email marketers are facing a tough time with growing emails remaining unopened and unsubscribes. Acquiring new subscribers using old techniques is expensive. In this post I have listed 3 techniques that you can use to spread the word of your emails/newsletters beyond the email list that you are sending the emails to.
  4. Are You Depleting Your Email List? Email marketers, in order to maximize short term conversions, often bombard irrelevant emails in subscribers inbox However this short term mentality results in erosion of long term viability of their email marketing, due to increase in unsubscribes causing depletion of email lists.
  5. 15 Things to Test in your Email Campaign This post talks about 15 things you can test today.
  6. Targeting Cart Abandonment by Email Targeting Cart Abandonment is a great way to drive conversions however, use incentives/offers cautiously.
  7. Conversion Tip: Making the Most of the Email Confirmation Thank you Page Use your Confirmation page effectively, this posts shows an example of a good page and a not so good page.
  8. Number One Email Marketing Mistake Number one mistake marketers make with email marketing is to send “Irrelevant” messages to their customers. Find out why this strategy has a far-reaching impact on your email marketing program.
  9. 7 Ways to Create Relevancy in Emails 7 tried and tested ways of creating relevancy in emails are described in this post.
  10. Relevancy Matters in Email Marketing This post shows an example of an email that missed the opportunity to convert.
Get this article as an eBook at Global Analytics Academy.


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Thursday, August 02, 2018

Google Tag Manager Workshop in Seattle, WA

I will be conducting a full day Google Tag Manager Workshop in Bellevue (Seattle),  Come and learn how Google Tag Manage works and how you can start it to use it for your business.
After this class, you will know how to confidently use Google Tag Manager and deploy Google Analytics and Facebook pixel.

Date: Sept 17th
Time: 10 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 3600 136th Pl SE # 300, Bellevue, WA 98006
$699 – Before Aug 15th (Early Bird)  - Save $100 - Signup now
$799 – After Aug 15th

This is a great opportunity for you to remove your fear of Google Tag Manager, and get trained so that you can use it with confidence.
What will this training cover?
This course will cover every thing you need to know to start using Google Tag Manager with confidence. Covers the latest version of Google Tag Manager (2018). I am very confident that you will love this course.

Here is what some of the students of my online class are saying:

Troy – AWESOME COURSE! I bought like 4 courses (including stuff for google tag manager) on udemy to teach me this and NOTHING came close to what Anil delivered in this course! I don't usually rate courses and place comments but I will make an exception in this case. Phenomenal class, covers everything, & well worth the money!

Ashish Batra – Initially I wasn’t sure if I should subscribe to this course or not as I usually buy courses with 100+ reviews. I am glad I purchased it. Anil has done a fantastic job in this course. If you are a technical marketer, you must do it. Previously, I have done some other GTM courses and watched youtube videos. But this course is definitely among more practical courses and added value to my existing knowledge. p.s. Coincidentally, I share last name with instructor, but we aren’t related 

Kate Proyka –  The course is well structured, clear and covers all elements of the tool. There are several examples which can be easily implemented and make sense.
Bryan Bloom – I already love love this course. It is at the correct speed and amount of explanation. I was so scared of GTM and now I am learning it and loving it!!!
In this course you will learn
  1. Fundamentals of Tag Manger (Applies to any tag manager)
  2. Signing up for Google Tag Manager
  3. Details of Google Tag Manager Interface
  4. How to setup Google Tag Manager for Google Analytics and track page views
  5. How to setup external link tracking as Events in Google Analytics via Google Tag Manager
  6. How to setup Button click tracking in Google Analytics
  7. Track JavaScript errors using GTM
  8. Deploy GTM in Wodpress
  9. Use Data Layer in Google Tag Manager
  10. Facebook Conversion and Re-targeting Pixel
  11. Facebook event tracking
Note: You will need basic understanding of HTML and JavaScript to use some advanced tracking using GTM.