Google Analytics / Google Tag Manager

Google Analytics_Google Tag Manager

Have we ever introspected what could have led to the success story of iPod – probably the most important of technological innovations in terms of consumer usage in the last 2 decades? Nothing but a detailed study of the current consumer behavior and a deep understanding of the consumer psyche as far as the need of the future gave birth to the device which could at a go give access to proprietary music, movies and a whole lot more. We do not know how the great Steve Jobs accessed and analyzed this data and inferred to invent the iPod, but he sure had a great analytical prowess to observe and conclude.

For that matter, Google has also been a path breaker as far as technological advances are concerned. Larry Page and Sergey Brin sure tapped on the right button of catering to the searching needs of billions by commercializing their hitherto unknown college project and open up a whole new world to the millions of knowledge hungry netizens.

These innovations and a lot more laid down the foundation for a concrete analytical engineering science which will have the capacity to bring out a meaningful conclusion from a cluster of unorganized data that will not only help to do better business today but also would help to provide an insight to better future business decisions. Google Analytics, another of Google’s mind-blowing range of offerings is designed to do just that. Right Data for the Right Purpose.

Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager – The Amalgamation

Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google which helps users track and report website traffic data. Working in tandem with Google Tag Manager (GTM), Google Analytics (GA) forms a formidable platform which effectively tracks and reports user traffic to websites.

Why Google Analytics

Having already given a premise of Data Engineering and Analytics, it is most pertinent to pose a question – Why Google Analytics? My Answer – Why Not?  When you have such a powerful tool which empowers you with such robust features as below at zero cost.

  1. Affinity & In-Market Segments: Understand Your People Better
  2. Google Analytics Shortcuts: Save Your Complex Views
  3. Custom Dimensions: Deeper Unique-You Analysis
  4. Time Lag & Path Length: Pan-Session Ecommerce Analysis
  5. Assisted Conversions: Smarter Marketing Impact Attribution
  6. Custom Alerts: Get Your Known Unknowns!
  7. Download Solutions: Benefit From The Wisdom Of Crowds
  8. Search Queries: Get Your Organic Keyword Data Back!
  9. GA Applications: Your Everyday Challenges Amazingly Solved!!
  10. Shopping Behavior Analysis: Funnel Your World!

Add to it the ability of creating customized reports that is absolutely unique to your style and domain of business and all you have to do is to take the right decisions from the data you already have. To top it up Google Analytics enables you to build a data landscape through its fiercely objective and data intensive algorithms as also tracking the entire customer journey and  measure customer satisfaction index through Key Performance Indicators(KPI) captured  through highly engaging and user friendly fan exams and surveys.

Another feature of the Google Analytics tool which has made it a winner is its capacity to integrate data which is one of the most important factors that any data engineer would look forward to. Drawing incongruent conclusions from sliced and diced data could probably spell doom for your business. A classic example would be the long lost Hindu fable of 6 blind men and an elephant, where by each blind man was asked to identify the animal by touching a different part of the elephant’s body. The results were disastrous in all cases and none of the men could identify the elephant in actual. Google Analytics evades this problem by integrating data from all spheres of your business lifecycle helping you to perform a meaningful analysis and take important business decisions for the present and future.

Mechanism of Data Traffic monitoring using SERP bounce Metrics:

One of the most critical metrics that Google Analytics uses to monitor and record website traffic is the SERP Bounce metrics. Essentially bounce metrics refers to the dwell time of the user on the landing page of your website after being redirected from an organic Google Search and returned to the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) using the browser’s back button.

This is a great example to showcase the synergy between Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. A graceful bonding of probably the two most agents of data engineering results in the recording of user timings whereby each landing page can be scrutinized against the unit of time the user spends there before hitting the browser’s back button.

Technically, it is impossible to record the instance the browser’s back button is hit. But here is a little bit of snooping that you have to do, accessing the history of the browser from which the site is invoked. Another technical bottleneck is the browser’s back button itself. This is not part of the browser’s  object model and hence a little tweak on your code , can actually identify the click by making use of something called Hash Changes by recording how people navigate with URL hashes.

The process through looks simple is not so to implement on a code level. What we are actually doing is manipulating the browser history by introducing a new entry in the browser history with a has reference as the user arrives at the landing page through organic google search page. Now as the user hits the back button to navigate back to the SERP page, you actually navigate the user to the previous state, i.e. to the URL without the has reference. All that remains is to fire a Google Analytics Timing event that will record the time the user spends from landing on the page in question and moving out and manually moving the user from the page in question to the previous page(in this cases the Search Engine Result Page – SERP).

So you see, a little intelligence can actually help to gather a lot of meaningful data and help you in making business critical decisions and make your business boom faster.

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