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GTM Hack – Combining Lookup Tables in GTM to Serve the Right GA ID

Today I’ll share a cool way to combine multiples lookup tables to serve more complex “look up problems”, namely one with more than one type of input. Of course, any lookup table can map 10 hostnames to their Google Analytics ID, but we can’t map a combination of hostnames AND environment names to the right ID. I’ll explain the use case in detail further down. Basic Look Up Tables A lookup table is a great…

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Less Duplicate Content with Proper URL Matching

What do I mean by matching URLs? Suppose multiple people on your team work on your websites (run by WordPress). One product page might have the URL “www.yourcompany.com/amazing-product/“. Sooner or later, people will start, by mistake, to create a bunch of variations of this URL. For instance, you will see links from other pages to: https://www.yourcompany.com/amazing-product/ (SSL Problem) www.yourcompany.com/amazing-product (Trailing slash Problem) www.yourcompany.com/Amazing-product/ (Capitalisation Problem). If you have a great CMS, this might be caught.…

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Data Studio Hack – Content Groupings on Historical Data

I am amazed at how little attention the new Google Data Studio has gotten. I’ve been working with complex systems out there; There are a ton of “data studios” which are extremely complex that need trained people to operate and deliver something (usually not that pretty) on the screen. The Google Data Studio is pretty simple and offers great integration of the default data sources, especially Google Analytics. More important they also offer Google Sheets…

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Four Rules for Global Gateways

In my opinion, IKEA is the master of the global gateway. I’ve come across their gateway through a book called “Global Gateways” years ago. And they still keep making their gateway better and better. The global gateway is the page that appears on ikea.com if you haven’t visited the page before. Actually it always appears, see rule 1. It’s where a visitor can choose which country website he wants to visit, e.g. the Canadian one, and which language he…

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Duplicate Content on International Websites

For some reason, international websites love to produce a specific kind of duplicate content. Take the cat.com case. Caterpillar is a large industrial S&P 500 company with a huge website catering to customers all around the world. They have in particular the following sub websites: http://www.cat.com/en_GB.html for customers in Europe speaking english (though the URL implies it’s specifically targeted to Great Britain) http://www.cat.com/en_US.html for customers in North America speaking english (though again, the URL implies US) http://www.cat.com/en_MX.html for customers…

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Great Plain Text E-Mails

What is the key to writing, organizing and designing great HTML mails? Really nailing plain text e-mails first. At least in my opinion. Besides you always need a plain text version of your e-mail. And it’s much easier to practice and understand the principles in a plain text e-mail. I also believe you should try to learn from great examples (which may have lots of little shortcomings) instead of reviewing what went wrong with bad examples. So here…

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Blocking Google Analytics Spam with Google Tag Manager

After I went through the list of ways to stop spam in my last article, I decided to try to implement something even better. So in this post we will tackle the problem a little differently. We will stop the spam as early as possible through three different techniques. The first method is enough to stop all spam to my account currently. I’ll implement things with the Google Tag Manager, but any other TMS (Tealium or…

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Web Analytics Documentation Best Practices

Imagine this. You, the data analyst, are ready to present the monthly overview on the performance of the recently launched SEO campaign to your boss. You found a surprising drop on the performance of the specific landing pages for the campaign. You spent a good amount of time to analyze this and think you came up with a decent explanation. 5 minutes before you start, the SEO guy approaches you and offhand mentions that he…

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Thoughts on “Google Analytics Integrations” by Daniel Waisberg

I’ve recently read the book “Google Analytics Integrations” by Daniel Waisberg. In this blog post I share a couple of thoughts related to the topics mentioned in the book. I don’t really review it, other people have already done that. But if you are interested in integrating data into Google Analytics, the following thoughts will be helpful. Who should read this book? Anyone who wants to combine Google Analytics data with something else (E-Mail campaigns,…

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Google Analytics Spam, Spam and Spam

Recently, I redid an old website of mine. It had neglected it for a couple of months.I brought up Google Analytics to see how the site performed the previous months, suspecting almost zero activity.   To my surprise, the Google Analytics account showed lots of activity.   Just not the activity I wished for.   Event spam, calls to “vote for Trump” hidden in language data, referral spam, ghost referrers, it had caught every kind of…

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