Using Google Analytics to Get More Out of The Patron Edge Online
The PEO Labs series brings you information or advice on items that are geared towards users who can take high-level concepts or sample code and run with them. Please note that many of the things discussed are not supported. That doesn’t mean that an item is a warranty-voider; it just means that the Support Analysts can’t walk you through it or troubleshoot it if it breaks.
- Track the geographic location of site visitors to plan where to spend your advertising dollars
- Determine what page a visitor hits first on your site and how long he spends there
- See what sites or search engines are referring patrons to you
- Look for trends to see if parts of your site are confusing or cumbersome to visitors
- Discover how many times a visitor comes to your site before making a purchase
I’m not a marketer or a webmaster, but I’m sure there are a hundred other uses you can come up with for this tool. There is a nice demo on their site here that walks you through what the tool can do and how it works. This probably leaves you with some questions. How much does it cost? How long will it take to implement? How do you actually make it happen?
How much does it cost?
According to the Google Analytics site, use of the service is free if you get less than five million (million!) pageviews per month.
How long will it take to get started?
Getting an account with Google Analytics takes a few minutes, and adding it into PEO only a little longer. I would plan for 30 minutes to an hour for the whole project, plus any time you spend playing with settings and setting up reports in your Google Analytics account.
How do I do it?
- First, you need to sign up for an account. Once you sign up, you receive something called a Tracking Code. Hold on to this as we will need it again soon.
- Download this file and place it in the bbCustomizations folder of your public site.
- Edit line six of the file, replacing “UA-xxxx-x” with the Tracking Code you got in step one.
- On the PEO Admin site, go into Site Design and edit all of the screens of the interface you are using. In the Include After field, enter bbCustomizations\GAnalytics.htm. This is the part that can take a little while, depending on how many screens you have.
And you’re finished! That wasn’t so difficult, was it? After you have this all set up in Patron Edge Online, you will definitely want to go back into your Google Analytics account and do some tweaking so that the data it captures for you is more accurate.
You have some opportunities to get really advanced with this if you’d like by tagging the URLs that you send out in your marketing campaigns. For example, tagging your email blasts with things like campaign information will help you determine which ones are most effective. My site is internal only, so I haven’t been able to try tagging to verify it plays nicely with PEO, but let me know if you try it out and how well it works. How are you using analytical/statistical data to drive your mission? Leave a message in the comments.
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