Grasp Innovative Ideas, Guidelines and Tricks for How to Hack Google Analytics

All of you must have heard the name of Google Analytics, a world class web analytics solution. Actually, Google Analytics is the enterprise-class web analytics tool that provides deep insights regarding your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. This powerful tool is well accompanied with several flexible and easy-to-use features which let you view and analyze your traffic data in an entirely innovative and unique way.

It enables webmasters to write better-targeted ads, strengthen their marketing initiatives and create higher converting websites. Google Analytics illustrates you how your site is found by the people, how they explored it, and how you can enhance their visitor experience. All these information assists you in improving your website return on investment, increase conversions, and make more money on the web.

As all of you must have seen on normal basis, through the use of Google Analytics tool, you get the fundamental overview of traffic data of a site, detailed statistics about the visitors to a website, bounce rate and much more. But today, in this post, we are detailing some important aspect of Google Analytics beyond this. We are demonstrating here some of the innovative ideas, guidelines and tricks for hacking Google Analytics and gathering more information. We are presenting some examples along with code snippets which will let you gathering more information in conjunction with Google Analytics. So let’s check out these examples or tricks given as under:

Example 1: Where Do Users Come From?

The first and most important thing which Google Analytics performs is that it tells the last web page or link the user clicked on found on to your website (also known as referrer or referral path), how much user has visited, the conversion rates, i.e. how much visitors has become the customer and so on. Through these data, it also becomes easier to find where the user was before visiting your site. Sometimes the situation occurs that taking action based only on the last referral path, as reported by tools like Google Analytics, might leave many opportunities on the table and sometimes might not give even enough actionable information. In such a scenario, hacking Google Analytics deeply sort out your problems to a much more extent. Let us see how you could make it better:

➡ The first thing which must be taken into consciousness that, each time a visitor gets to your website, Google Analytics will look at his referral and note it down in a specific cookie called “__utmz”.

➡ The second thing which you should note that JavaScript hack can help you copy that referral information on another cookie that is managed by your website, and not by Google Analytics.

➡ The next important thing is each time a visitor gets back to the website; Google Analytics will rewrite its own cookies. The JavaScript hack will update (not rewrite) your website cookie by adding the new referral next to the old one.

➡ The last but not least, when a visitor becomes a customer, upload the content of the new cookie to your database, next to your customer details.

We are providing under below the sample of such a script which you can experiment and fine-tune:

Function createCookie (name, value, days)
{
If (days)
{
Var date = new Date ();
date.setTime (date.getTime () + (days * 24 * 60 * 60 * 1000));
Var expires = “; expires=” + date.toGMTString ();
}
Else {
Var expires = “”;
}
document.cookie = name + “=” + value+expires + “; domain=” + window.location.hostname + “; path=/”;
}
Function readCookie (name)
{
Var nameEQ = name + “=”;
Var ca = document.cookie.split (‘;’);
For (var i = 0; i < ca.length; i++)
{
Var c = ca[i];
While (c.charAt (0) == ‘ ‘) c = c.substring (1, c.length);
If (c.indexOf (nameEQ) == 0)
{
Return c.substring (nameEQ.length, c.length);
}
}
Return null;
}
Function googleCookieReferrer ()
{
Var feed=readCookie (“__utmz”);
// If the utmcsr is not found, cancel
If (feed.indexOf (“utmcsr”) ==-1)
{
Return null;
}
If (feed! = null)
{
// new version cookie
If (feed.indexOf (“%7C”)! = -1)
{
Feed = feed.split (“%7C”);
Feed = feed [0].split (“%3D”);
}
Else
{
// Old version cookie
Feed = feed.split (“|”);
Feed = feed [0].split (“=”);
}
If (feed [1]! = “”)
{
Return feed [1];
}
Else
{
Return “”;
}
}
// Read the Google cookie, and extract the utmcsr parameter from utmz
Var referrer=googleCookieReferrer ();
// If the Google cookie was successfully read, and utmcsr found
If (referrer! = null && referrer! = “”)
{
// Read our cookie if it exists
If (readCookie (“__rfrr”))
{
// Cookie data
Var feed = readCookie (“__rfrr”);
// Temp cookie string
Var feed_temp = feed;
// this will hold the last referrer in our cookie
Var check = “”;
// Split the data in our cookie
Feed = feed.split (“|”);
// If it’s the first element, it’s a string
If (feed [feed.length-1] == null)
{
Check = feed;
}
else
{
// if multiple elements, it’s an array, so get last array item
Check = feed [feed.length-1];
}
// If last element! = referrer: write cookie and add new referrer
If (check! = referrer) {
CreateCookie (“__rfrr”, feed_temp+”|”+referrer, 365);
}
// if no cookie found: create and populate
Else
{
CreateCookie (“__rfrr”, referrer, 365);
}
}
}

The code is over, once the script is in right place, you’ll be able to get the answer the various questions, such as who are the referrers that drive the most sales no matter if it’s the first click, the last click, or somewhere in the middle, who are the best first-click referrers that bring converted visitors to the website, which referrers do the best job of getting visitors back to the website and convincing them to buy and many other questions of interest.

Example 2: How Much Do Customers Spend?

The second example which we are presenting here will demonstrate how much time customers spend on a particular web page. One of most interesting question of concern generally raised by clients who use Google Analytics ecommerce tracking is why are there more/less money or orders shown by Google Analytics than in reality? Here we are going to explain this. Basically, Google Analytics is not an accounting application, that it will show the exact figures of sales. Rather, there are several reasons such as charge backs, tracking code issues and ecommerce implementation not covering all payment methods etc due to which Google Analytics do not present precise and exact information. Although, it is so, but it can be made better in the following ways; let’s see:

➡ In the admin area of the website, create a special page for reporting sales and report from your own database figures; include data such as daily sales, orders or average amount paid per order.

➡ As mention above in Example 1 about the JavaScript hack, add the referrer’s reports for your orders.

➡ After having the above steps, add some Google Analytics API queries and display behavior data of converted users compared to website average. This includes time spent on site, number of pages, countries or anything else that’s important to your business.

Here, we have just created a professional dashboard for business that will give a clear and reliable view of what’s happening in actual.

Example 3: How Successful Is Website Personalization?

The third example of this post dealt with the fact that personalizing the experience of website visitors can bring positive results. Here are provided few ways which will show you how to personalize experiences for your visitors. Let us see how:

➡ The first way is by displaying personalized messages and call-to-actions to the visitors, based on their referral path. One can start with specific messages for users that come from advertising campaigns. One can also start offering visitors exactly what they’re looking for based on the ad campaign they clicked on.

➡ The next thing to accomplish the same can be done by changing the home pages content and basing it on previous behavior, i.e. making it an opt-in or opt-out action for visitors when they sign up, to respect their privacy etc. To accomplish this, some advanced coding will be needed and it is worthy to do that.

➡ The ultimate way is to invite engaged users to the website to subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feed, based on their behavior.

It is a well known fact that each website has many keywords that drive visitors from search engines on pages. We are providing below the code snippets which when added to the code given in example 1 will extend the functionality displaying a nice bottom overlay to the visitors containing just the information they are looking for. Go through the code given below:

// add this to extend the code in Example 1
Function googleCookieKeyword ()
{
Var feed = readCookie (“__utmz”);
// If the utmcsr is not found, cancel
If (feed.indexOf (“utmctr”) == -1)
{
Return null;
}
If (feed! =null)
{
// new version cookie
If (feed.indexOf (“%7C”) != -1)
{
Feed = feed.split (“%7C”);
Feed = feed [3].split (“%3D”);
}
Else
{
// Old version cookie
Feed = feed.split (“|”);
Feed = feed [3].split (“=”);
}
If (feed [1]! = “”)
{
Return feed [1];
}
Else
{
Return “”;
}
}
Else
{
Return “”;
}
}
// Read the Google cookie and extract the utmcsr parameter from utmz
Var referrer = googleCookieKeyword ();
If (referrers == “YOUR_DESIRED_KEYWORD”)
{
// add your code for displaying the content you desire here
}

Conclusion

From the post presented here, it must have become clear to you that actionable web analytics is not something that should be left to generic tools and data-gathering methods, rather it is beyond that. The examples presented in this blog post will acknowledge you with several innovative ideas for hacking the information on Google Analytics and paving a way to great solutions and ground-breaking workarounds just for you.

We hope this post must have made you walk through several approaches how you can gather richer and more refined data from your own analytics software. We would be delighted if you will share your opinions with us what feeling you have had about this blog post. We will appreciate your efforts if you will drop your valuable comments in the comment section.

David Meyer

As the most experienced developer of CSSChopper - PSD to HTML Conversion Company, David Meyer firmly believes in building the new ways that lead the people towards success. He focuses on an ideal approach and tries to deliver the perfect services close to the defined needs.