Website Goals and Google Tools (July 13, 2016)

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Presenter: Margrit McIntosh, UAHS BioCommunications (

Will not be covered today:

  • SEO
  • Google AdWords
  • "Own this business?"

Website Goals

  • "I need a web presence" -- how do you measure success? The site is loading in a browser?
  • "Why isn't my website getting more hits?" -- how many "hits" do you think it *should* be getting? Why? This is a good opportunity to dig deeper -- who are these people who you think should be hitting your site? What are they looking for? What do they want to accomplish? What do you want them to accomplish? Is there a way for you to measure engagement other than hits?
  • The ever-expanding economy: if the number of hits is steady over time, is that ok or not ok? why or why not?
  • Bounce rate - why a high bounce rate might not be a bad thing.
  • What are Personas and how to use them to create and measure some basic goals.

Center for Creative Photography Personas were:

  • Member of the public
  • Potential donor of collections
  • Potential donor of funds
  • Researcher / Art Historian
  • Researcher
  • U of A Faculty

So maybe for your Department website, some personas might be:

  • current faculty (mirror-gazers)
  • potential donors ("Ways to Give")
  • prospective students ("Apply Now")
  • granting agencies ("Our Research")

Google Tools: Google Analytics

Google Analytics Pre-Defined Goal Templates

  • Revenue: Completed Online Payment.
  • Revenue: Register Online: Signed up for a class or scheduled an appt.
  • Revenue: Scheduled Visit: Made an online appt or reservation.
  • Revenue: Donate: Made an online donation.
  • Acquisition: Create an account: successful sign up for an account.
  • Inquiry: Uploaded or finished online form or document or application.
  • Inquiry: View schedule: Viewed calendar or deadlines.
  • Engagement: Media Play: play video, slideshow, product demo, product tour.
  • Engagement: Share / social connect: shared to a social network or emailed.
  • Engagement: Newsletter signup: sign up for newsletter or mailing.
  • Custom: Destination: ex: thanks.html.
  • Custom: Duration: ex: 5 min. or more on site.
  • Custom: Pages/Screens per session: ex: 3 pages.
  • Custom: Event: ex: played a video.

Tracking Anonymous traffic only in a special View with a special Filter connected to your special Custom Dimension -- probably won't have time for this. What is a User. What is a Hit. What is a Session. Why Scope matters. Why creating Views and Filters as soon as possible is important. See below for an appendix with step-by-step instructions.

How to gain control of a GA account that you don't have access to and you don't know who does have access to it - does anyone know how to do this? I don't.

Google Tools: Google Search Console

(formerly known as "Webmaster Tools")

What is Search Console?
Search Console is a free product that provides data and analytics to help improve your site's performance in Google search.
Enabling Search Console data within Analytics
Once you connect a site you own in Search Console to your Analytics property, its data becomes visible in your Search Engine Optimization reports. You can visit the Property Settings page in Analytics account management to change which of your Search Console sites' data you wish to show, and control which views on your Web Property have access to view the data.
How to use Search Console data within Analytics
Search Console provides data about what users see in Google search results before they decide to click to your site (or some other site). You can use this data to identify opportunities and prioritize development effort to increase the number of visitors to your site.

Google Search Console (GSC)

Mobile-Friendly Test:

"Googlebot cannot access CSS and JS files on [your website]"

What is Googlebot.

Connecting Search Console to Analytics for a property:
A recent update by Google brings enhanced information from GSC to the Google Analytics reports

Appendix: How to set up a Custom Dimension in Google Analytics to track traffic by Drupal User Role.

1. You have to decide what the SCOPE of your dimension should be. The possible values are:

  • Hit [default] - dimension only applies to a hit.
  • Session - Session-level custom dimensions are applied to all hits in a single session, regardless of when the specific hit occurred that set the custom dimension. If a user has a session-level custom dimension applied that defines them as a logged-in user, and then they log out, the custom dimension value of “false” is applied to all of their hits for that session. This means their entire session will be considered a “logged-out” session.
  • User - User-level custom dimensions are applied to all hits in current and future sessions (at least until the value changes). GA defines a user as a unique combination of browser and device, and tracks this with a first-party cookie.

I use "Hit"

2. GA: Create your Custom Dimension in GA -- this applies to the Property, not a view. You give the Dimension a name and a Scope. It doesn't need more info. The way you connect it to Drupal is through the index number of your dimension. The first one will be "1"

3. Drupal: On your Drupal site, go to your GA settings (Configuration -> System -> Google Analytics) and expand the Custom Dimensions tab. Use the token for user roles which is [current-user:roles] and put that in the "value" field.

4. GA: Create one or more new Views in GA that will have filters related to user role. My example: "Include Only Anonymous Traffic" View.

5. GA: Edit your new View to add a Filter. This example is to filter a View to include only anonymous traffic:

  • Add Filter to View -> Create new Filter
  • Filter name: Include Only Anonymous Traffic
  • Filter type: Custom -> Include -> Filter Field
  • Here, in the list of Filter Fields, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the list, your Custom Dimension will appear on the list.
  • Filter Field: Authenticated User Roles (if that's what you called your Dimension)
  • Filter Pattern: Anonymous

That should do it. Remember, the Custom Dimension, and the View, can NOT look back at historical data. They can only apply to data collected after you set them up.

Useful additional links:



More about scope:

Attached Images: