This time around we talk about website analytics, URL shorteners, and our selfmade tool the MasterTracker.
This one was a no-brainer for us, since our main website is on a customized WordPress platform, and Google Analytics integrates so very well into this universe, it is free, and it is easy to pick through data sets and export them for use offline, that we never considered anything else.
You might be tempted to find a paid service that does it all for you, but remember that for us we had to always consider the costs for paid subscriptions in a world where most of the best tracking and monitoring services are free.
We used Google Analytics with care, since the options and data-combos seem almost endless, and before we started doing any analytics through Google we went over our project goals and used them to select only a few, but for us invaluable, data points, which ended up being:
- General geographical stats for all of arcticcircle.gl from the Map Overlay
- General stats from the Content Overview including Total Visits, Unique Visits, Pageviews, Pages per visit, Average time on site, Bounce Rate, and % of New visitors
- Top Landing and Exit Pages
- Drilldown stats for each film-landing page including Pageviews, Unique views, Time on page, Bounce Rate, % Exit, Direct Traffic, and Referring Sites
Bit.ly, ow.ly and all those URL shorteners
There’s a large and growing number of shorteners available and our only recommendation is to find one you like, stick to it, and use it consistently.
You can choose between the likes of ow.ly, fb.me, tinyurl.com, bit.ly, goo.gl (note the Greenland connection?), tiny.cx and so on and on, and for our project we went with ow.ly for all our Twitter links while we used bit.ly for everything else.
We decided to allocate the ow.ly shortener to the twitter links because ow.ly is a Hootsuite dedicated service, and because it made us able to see link stats specifically for our tweets when we were using the same long URLs for both tweets and FB updates.
Bit.ly was made our choice of URL shortener for everything non-Twitter because we really like it’s free (just create an account) custom-link service. But we particularly also like how the folks at bit.ly provide excellent tracking of the link performance even as far as showing how the link is used in tweets and shares on Facebook. And bit.ly can even pull in stats for remakes of the original bit.ly link when other users decide to tweak the link when sharing it so you get an stat overview of all editions of the original shortened link.
Here’s a tool we could find nowhere out there but which became our Grand Central for all things tracking throughout the campaign and in the analysis phase that followed: The MasterTracker.
We call it the MasterTracker because it is a fairly extensive Google Spreadsheet that holds all data we pulled from Vimeo, Hootsuite, and Google Analytics plus a list of all media mentions and intersections made that needed follow ups.
(Any spreadsheet software could be used, we just love Google Docs since it’s so nice to work in a realtime online environment when the team is spread out from Argentina via Denmark to Switzerland and Greenland).
The MasterTracker is our most valuable post-campaign tool and from the depths of the data collected here were are able to do analyses on different levels, feeding data from the tracker into small graphs or large infographics to be used throughout the reporting and documenting phase of the project.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: smitw2011, social media tools | No Comments »