So this is going to be short. I have fallen behind. The classes are no joke, and you will want to at least do 9 hours a week to keep up. That is only about two hours a day if you skip the weekend, but that information is a-freekin’-lot.
This past week I stepped it up a notch and interred into Google Analytics (GA) Intermediate and Tag Manager (TM) for Beginners.
The whole time that I have been studying and watching these videos in the GA section, Mercer has been very energetically reminding us how fantastic TM is and how it is practically a must for managing your info gathering in Google Analytics.
Now here’s the deal; Google Analytics gathers information and stores it. You can go in and manipulate which information you want to gather and how, to an extent. It takes some messing around for sure. TM helps you manage it even easier by allowing you to set up the story completely so that when it hits GA it is already in the scenario that you want. It is a cleaner and more rapid way to receive and follow your data story.
Pro Tips: Cleaning up Data
I am not going to go over each section of these classes. If you are reading this, you need to stop questioning your life and get in there and boost your knowledge. These classes are loaded, robust, and setting you up for success. However, the CXL Institute is not for the weak. You need some serious self-discipline.
Anyway, back to the point..
1. As he mentions at the end of the beginners module, you need a QIA set up before you even go into GA — Question. Info. Action. Depending on what that QIA is will also let you know what you need to do in GA or TM.
As Mercer puts it, “ The three things you must have already in place before you go into your Google Analytics. You have to have a question, you need to know what information that you need to get in order to get those answers for that question, and ultimately, you really want to understand the actions that are going to be taken based upon those answers because when you know the actions, you know the context and sometimes it makes the whole process a ton easier when you know that.”
2. Make sure that you clean up your spam. When you are cleaning up and creating filters to get rid of spam, be sure to make it match the source. If you just throw a word in there associated with the source, it will filter out ALL of the data with that word. GA is VERY literal, down to the capitalization.
Creating a filter to change everything to lowercase when pulling in information can help prevent getting double hits from the same search or page view. Sometimes people do not type the same way as the other, accidentally hitting caps on letters.
3. Get rid of your internal hits so that you can gather the information only your customers are pushing into the GA. There are ways to do this i n GA, but from what we were taught, TM is the pimp on this game. They simplify it so that you aren’t accidently leaving in those internal hits on your page and also leaving in those that may seem like an internal hit but not. Are you confused yet? Just go get in on the class already then.
4. Tracking User ID and making sure there are no page bounces from going into Paypal or the cart and coming back into the site. If your GA is not set up to read them differently, you will get a pageview hit every time they go in and Out. Tag manager allows you to do this with GA and Facebook. It helps correlate the page views by keeping the same User ID since it is given the code that Paypal is not a referral site. Pretty sweet stuff and pretty easy to set up.
Now that you have all the no good info taken out of your data, you can get a great view of your funnel. This gives you a great fluid view of the user experience. It shows you the actions they take — the conversion history. Not the sales history, but what they went through to get to the sale. It shows where the traffic is coming from and where it is going.
TM also has a simpler way to do this — Obviously. But Funnels do not have segments, which are sort of like filters, but more personalized toa certain visual of the UX within the funnel versus the actual manipulation of the data like a filter.
Now listen, you’re probably like what in the hell is this lady talkin’ about! If you know anything about GA, you know it can be a mess for those that do not know how to set it up. It just gathers all this information all willy-nilly with no objective other than to gather.
What Tag manager, filters, sets goals for, etc. helps gathers a cleaner story — NO DIRTY DATA. The whole point of the class is to show you how to gather a story and it does a great job of showing the basics and how to navigate in the GA beginners. However, this GA Intermediate and TM Beginners module dig a bit deeper to show how to personalize your story to fit the scope of the data you want to collect to clearly answer a question in your conversion view.
If you are wondering what GA can do for you and TG can do for your GA, I suggest getting out that lil’ debit card and filling out that CXL form to get in on the KNOWLEDGE. If this old pothead can do it, anyone can. It isn’t hard, it just takes some self-discipline as I said. Good luck… And OH! There is a super nice Scholarship link tucked in there when you are lookin’ for your class payments. Check it out, fill it out, and maybe you won’t have to pay after all.. But don’t give them any bullshit; pour your heart out, just like you would do to get a lead!