Why Do You Need Switch from Google Analytics to Universal Analytics?

Universal Analytics has launched in 2012 but got out of beta in 2014. I think it is time for everybody to switch to Universal Analytics for many reasons. I’ve always preferred Omniture to Google Analytics for enterprises for many features that did not exist in Google but with Universal Analytics they added so many new features that were part of Omniture for years. It looks like Google is catching up Adobe in analytics and that is very good news for all analytics professionals. Hopefully we will see more innovation on both sides.

Please see my other posts that compares Omniture (Adobe Analytics) with Google Analytics Premium. These are old posts so in the near future some of them might be irrelevant.




Let’s start with our subject:

1.Start doing visitor based analytics rather than visit

Google Analytics is a visit  based tracking system which is now ancient way of reporting. I have started web analytics in 2003 with Web Trends but I started to learn more in  2007 with Omniture. Visitor based analytics was always core of my analysis and this was the biggest reason why I always preferred Omniture to Google Analytics. Why? Cause visit is not an exact metric with an absolute definition. I don’t know what to do with this metrics these days. Let’s see:

Page view: each time page is viewed, this metric is counted. We have an absolute definition and it is also very easy to count this metric exactly.

It is hard to count “Unique visitor” information due to cookies, different browsers but it has an absolute definition. # of people who visits your site at certain time frame.

But visit metrics is so vague, and with mobile native apps, I want to forget this metric. First of all most analytics solutions use 30 minutes as their visit definition. But what about your site’s visit definition? How do you define visit? There are sites which does not expire session for hours, and if you take 30 minutes as your visit definition, what happens?

2-Bring Offline Data into Google Analytics

The Measurement Protocol- another tool that Omniture offered for years (Data Sources) -is now available under Universal Analytics only. This tool lets you to send offline data to Analytics so that you can combine offline data with online. I am strong believer of combining online and offline data to be able to find great insights that might create significant difference in your organization.

3-Data Classification is Finally Possible

This is such a big feature I have been using in Omniture for years. Let’s say you are an e-commerce company and you track product ID or SKU. Products can be classified in many ways. For example a shoe can be classified as one of these: women shoe, size 37, red shoe, high heel, classic, Manolo Blahnik and etc..There is no way we can capture this tons of classifications during a transaction, yes we can theoretically but it would be such a waste of time and resources because that data is already defined somewhere in your internal database. Ideally you would like to feed this information by using common key such as SKU. This feature is so crucial for enterprises. Omniture SAINT and new product Classification Rule Builder has been matched as Dimension Widening. I have not used it yet so I am not sure if there is an automation like in Omniture but to be able to upload Excel data to Universal Analytics for classification is very good. We can’t complain especially if you are using free version.

3-Configure Campaign Expiration Period in Admin

Google Analytics is creating session and visitor data based on cookies. Universal Analytics is using a new method to set visit and visitor data. New method creates session data at the server level. What does this mean? This feature brings so many new features I love in Omniture. There are some admin configurations in Omniture that was done very easily such as defining campaign cookie expiration. In Google Analytics default campaign cookie is 6 months (no it is not 30 days, that is default in Google Adwords) unless you added JS code to the page to alter this. So with Universal Analytics you will not need to add JS code to the page and can modify this value in admin section without development. FINALLY!!

4-Define Referring Domains in Admin

Other important new configuration is to be able to define what is referral and what is not. If you have multiple domains or subdomains you might end up seeing one of these sites as a referral. This configuration lets you define what is referral for you. Another Omniture feature that is finally added.

Since Universal Analytics has so many new cool features that can be used for free, I plan to write more about Universal Analytics. Stay tuned..

sibel akcekaya

Dijital Analitik ve Cerezler (Cookies)

Cerezler dijital analitigin temel ogelerindendir. Gerek kaliteli veri toplamak gerekse veriyi analiz etmek icin cerezleri iyi anlamak gerekir.

Cerez websitesinin kullanicilarinin internet tarayicisina gonderdigi veri iceren ufak bir dosyadir.

1-Cerezler her Internet tarayicisina ozeldir ve Internet tarayicilar cerezleri paylasmaz. Bu nedenle bilgisayarinda 3 Internet tarayicisi olan ve herhangi bir siteyi bu 3 tarayici ile ziyaret eden bir kullanici raporlarda 3 tekil ziyaretci olarak sayilacaktir.

2-Cerezlerin kullanicinin bilgisayarinda ne kadar kalacagina websitesi karar verir. Bazi cerezler oturumda biter, ama bazilari 5 yillik sureye sahip olabilir. Tekil ziyaretciyi olcen cerezlerin gecerliligi uzun sureyi kapsar.

3-Herhangi bir websitesinin gonderdigi cerezleri herhangi bir network analyzer ya da debugger ile gorebilirsiniz.Mozilla HTTFox, Firebug, Chrome Developer Tools size varolan cerezleri gosterecektir.

4-Cerezler nasil calisir?: Web sayfasi istendiginde web sunucusu sayfayi sunarken cerezi de beraberinde sunar. Cerezler Java Script tarafindan kolayca okunup degistirilebilir. Cerezdeki degiskenler bu sayede Java Script degiskenlerine atanabilir.

5-First Party Cookie ve Third Party Cookie: Bu Ingilizce terimleri “Birinci Derecede Cerez” ve “Ucuncu Derecede Cerez” olarak cevirecegim ama tum okul hayatim boyunca matematigi Turkce’ye tercih ettigimi hatirlatmak istiyorum ve  ceviriler kulaga kotu geliyorsa beni affedin:) Ama terimleri surekli Ingilizce kullanip Turkce’mizi cok kirletmek istemiyorum, gerektigi yerde Turkce kullanmaya calisiyorum. Konumuza donecek olursak cerezlerin domain’i eslemesinin gerekliliginden bahsedelim. Cerez’in domain’ini websitesinin domain’i ile ayni ise bu “birinci derecede cerez” dir. Kendi web sunucunuz araciligi ile yarattiginiz tum cerezlerinizin domain’i ayni olacaktir, bunda bir problem olmaz. Ama sitenizde baska sitelerden sunulan icerikler, gorseller, scriptler olabilir. Buralardan gelen cerezlerin domain’i sitemin domain’ininden farkli olacagi icin buna “Ucuncu Derecede Cerez” diyoruz. Ucuncu Derecede Cerez bazi Internet tarayicilari tarafindan guvenlik sebebi ile engellenebilir. Ucuncu Derecede Cerez’in ne kadar engellendigini analitik sistemini kuranlar cok iyi bilir.

Adobe Site Catalyst (Omniture) icin eskiden sertifika alip, CNAME set etmek ile ugrasirdik. Cunku Omniture cerezi JS yerine kendi sunuculari ile sunardi bundan dolayi cerezler ucuncu derece olurdu. Eger yukarida anlattigim kurulumu yapmazsaniz %15-20’lere kadar veri kaybettiginizi farkederdiniz. Bu sene eklenen Visitor ID servisi ile artik buna gerek kalmiyor, cunku artik cerez JS ile sayfaniz tarafindan sunuluyor. Omniture cookie’sinin ismi s_vi ve gecerlilik suresi 2 senedir. Bu ozelligi kullanabilmeniz icin Adobe Marketing Cloud’i aktivite edip sirketinize ozel Marketing Cloud ID almaniz gerekir.

Google Analytics cerezlerine gelelim. Iclerinden en onemli olani ve yanlis bilineni _utmz 

6-Google Analytics kampanya cerezi  utmz gecerlilik suresi 6 aydir. Kodda hicbir degisiklik yapmadiginiz surece kampanyalariniz sandiginizin aksine 30 gun degil 6 ay suresince saklanir. Google Adwords 30 gun sayarken, Google Analytics 6 ay sayar. Omniture’de ise bu sureyi kolayca aracin arayuzunden konfigur edebilirsiniz. Google Analytics baska cerezler de kullanir:

Ornek olarak: _utma 2 senelik, 30 dakikalik oturumu set eden _utmb

Universal Analytics ise Omniture gibi tek cerez kullanmaya basladi. 2 yillik _ga

Cerez ve cookie ile ilgili kisa bilgi vermeye calistim, lutfen cerezleri iyice anladiginizdan emin olun. Bu sayede hem veri yaratirken hem de analiz yaparken cok daha rahat olacaksiniz.


Sibel Akcekaya






Packaging Matters: How to Initiate Curiosity for New Customers Offline?

Physical packaging matters! Still in this era of digital age..

I want to talk about the interesting experience I had in London. I have been here since last Friday before attending a conference on Tuesday. Between Friday and Monday I have been everywhere, went to museums, walked on different streets, got on a subway,shopped in different stores, got out of a bus and etc. I have seen many people with one same bag: PRIMARK..It was a brand I never heard, I have  known  shops such as Top Shop, Selfridge and  Harrods but I never heard about Primark. I thought this brand should have some value. Because I kept seeing it everywhere and bag was not cheap plastic bag, it was actually nice recyclable brown paper. 


Packaging Matters

I kept seeing these bags for days and I decided to look up this store online and visited offline. When I visited store I realized that it is more kind of H&M type of store, very cheap textile products, which  is actually  less stylish than its shopping back. But I ended up buying some basic items that would make me happy.

Sometimes we lose ourselves in digital world and forget simple marketing tactics that is very effective . Everybody is using similar kind of digital marketing techniques such as Google, social media and retargeting. Yeah these are all very important but let’s do one more innovative thing offline to differentiate ourselves from others.

Kullanılabilirliğin Ana Fikri:Beni Düşündürme

Steve Krug’un  “Don’t Make Me Think” adli kitabi kullanilabilirlik alaninda yazilmis en iyi kitaplardan biridir. Sadece basligi bile kullanici tasarimi yaparken onemli bir yol gosterir. Tasarladiginiz urunun ne oldugu cok onemli degil ama vazgecilmez tek bir gercek vardir: Kullanicilariniz tasarladiginiz urunu kolayca kullanabilme istegi. Eger urununuz kullanilamaz ise bir sure sonra urununuz terk edilecek ya da urunun bircok harika ozellikleri bilinmeden cope gidecektir. Urun tasarimi yapan kisiler icin ne kadar aci bir sondur bu..
Kullandiginiz camasir makinelerini  dusunun. Bir suru karmasik belki de faydali ayara sahip olan bu makineleri ben hicbir zaman potansiyeline yakin kullanamamisimdir cunku hangi ayarin ne yaptigini tam anlayamadigim icin. Camasir makinesi kilavizunu oturup okumak gercekci birsey olmadigi icin de hicbir zaman tam anlami ile ogrenememisimdir, hep otomatik ayarini kullanmisimdir.
Camasir Makinesi Ayarlari
Hep Steve Jobs’in bir  camasir makinasi tasarlamasini hayal etmisimdir. Steve Jobs kullaniciya bircok secenek vermenin aslinda onu daha zorlayacagini biliyordu.
Kullanici deneyimi sadece urun kullanimi ile sinirli degil. Urun satis deneyimi de cok onemli. 2 sene once kendime  Lenovo PC alirken yasadigim karmasa ve zaman kaybi bu gercegi bir daha hatirlamami sagladi. Bircok degisik modeli cok degisik sekilde ozellestirme beni yildirmisti. Oysa Apple MAC’lerde urun kullanim kolayligi aslinda az ve oz secenegi urunu alirken baslar.
Websitesi ve mobile uygulamalarimizi ziyaret eden kullanicilarin dusunmeden aradiklarini bulmalarini saglamaliyiz. Web Analytics’in asil amaci da bu isi ne kadar iyi basardigimizi soyler bize.  Web Analytics yaparken insan psikolojisini de anlamamiz bize buyuk bir ongoru saglayacaktir. Sitemizde musterilerimiz aradiklarini bulamaz ise  dikkatleri dagilacak ve bir sure sonra sitemizi terk edecektir.Bu bizim de yaptigimiz bir davranis bicimidir. Dusunmeye baslayan musteri zaten emin olmadigi o urunu almaktan vazgececektir. Sepet terketme sendromunun ana sebeblerinden biri de budur.
Tasarimda en ihmal edilen alanlardan biri de sitede kullanilacak bilgilerin tasarlanmasidir. Information Architecture olarak adlandirilan bu alan kullaniciya yeteri kadar bilgiyi duzenli bir sekilde gostermeyi amaclar. Kullaniciyi sitede veya app’de yonlendirmek icin kullandiginiz cumleler, basliklar veya urun ozelliklerini iceren metinler tasarimin en onemli parcalarindandir. Mesela urun detayinda yazilan bilgilerin musterinin bircok sorusunu karsilayacak sekilde olmasi ama musteriyi yildiracak kadar uzun da olmamasi gerekir. Hata mesajlarininin musteriyi dogru yonlendirmesi gerekir. Sitede kullanilacak dilin de ziyaretciyi dusunmeye itmemesi gerekir. Bazen kelime yerine ikonlar ve gorseller de kullanilabilir. Information Architecture bir tasarimda bilginin sade ve gerekli bir sekilde organize edilmesini saglar.
Asagidaki iki ornekte degisik metin ve tasarim ile musterinin daha kolay arama yapmasi amaclanmaktadir. Burada yapilacak A/B testler musterinin nasil daha etkin bir arama yaptigini bize gosterebilir.
arama tasarimi
arama tasarimi 2
Kullanici deneyimini tasarlamaya bu soruyu aklinizda tutarak baslarsaniz cok onemli bir yol katedersiniz. “Musterilerimin dusunmeden urunumu en iyi sekilde kullanmasini nasil saglarim?”
sibel akcekaya

Relearning Unique Visitor Metrics in the Multi-Channel and Multi-Device World

Do you remember how digital technology looked like early days of Internet, e-commerce and web analytics?  There were no smart devices or tablets; Internet Explorer was the dominant technology. Laptops and people with second home computers were very rare. Not everybody had 24 hour unlimited  access to the Internet and we had that nice slow dial up connection. When people wanted to reach us on digital channels, there was usually one device or one digital asset involved.

Then technology took off; computers got cheaper and better. Internet became better, cheaper and more accessible. Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers started to become very popular and many people started to use them interchangeably. Smart devices and tablets started to be part of millions.  Customers now have many different devices and companies has many ways to meet them in digital world. Websites, mobile sites, micro sites, native apps, social media apps and etc.. Multi channel and multi device era had started.

Multi Device Era

Multi Device Era

As you know cookie is based on a browser , so with this new era there is really no way of counting absolute unique visitors. Some analyst might think that cookie is computer based, well it is not and  browsers don’t share cookies. If you use 3 browsers in one computer, you will be counted as 3 unique visitors. What we measure now is a unique visitor  per browser.

Unique Visitors

Unique Visitors

Let me tell you about my multi channel world. I have 2 personal laptops (1 MAC and 1 PC)  at home. I also use my client’s computers but I will not take that account to keep things simple.

On my PC I am using both Firefox and Chrome browsers so I am 2 users here. On my MAC I use Safari and Firefox, here I added 2 more users. I also access to similar websites on my Iphone, sometimes through browser and sometimes through native app. I have same behavior on IPAD. As you can see I am actually 8 unique visitors in digital world. Of course not everybody is  like me but we know on average people uses at least 2 devices: Computer and smart devices. On average one person can be  counted as 2 to 4 unique visitors.

As you can see it is pretty hard to define your absolute unique visitors number.Don’t get me wrong, I am not the type of analyst to obsess with perfect data; I  use visitor number for trends. But when I use this number, I know what it is and I make sure everybody also does.  For instance if you are an executive you should question how accurate this number is and if you are an analyst you should make sure that your executives don’t take this number so seriously.

Is there a no way to measure unique users who interact with my digital assets? Yes there is if you have lots of users logging in onto your site. Most e-commerce companies require customers to login to complete purchase. Other companies encourage social login to serve customers  personalized experience.  You want to measure engaged users on your site, that way you can make sense with data. Don’t forget anonymous customer trace is not a very good material for digital marketing anyway.



Tekil Ziyaretci Ile Ilgili Gercekler

Gecenlerde Turkiye’deki buyuk bir Internet sirketinin bilboard’larini gordum. Her ay sitelerini kullanan tekil ziyaretcilerinin ne kadar oldugunu gosteren bir reklamdi. Bu bilboard’u gordugumde, Turkiye’de olcme ve analizin halen nasil ilkel seviyelerde oldugunu farkettim. Yoksa kimse yanlis olctugu bir sayiyi, gogsunu gere gere kamuya acik alanlarda ilan etmez.

Tekil ziyaretci kavrami Internet sitelerinin baslamasi ile lugatimiza eklenen bir metrik. Tabi teknoloji yerinde durmadigi gibi, bu kavram da degisiklige ugramistir. Ben 1999 senesinde THY’de calisiyordum. Musterilerin THY’ye ulasmasi icin tek yol websitesi idi. Bilgisayarlar pahali idi, kisisel bilgisayar kullanan kisi sayisi cok fazla degildi. Kisisel bilgisayari olanlar genelde desktop kullaniyordu, laptop gordugumu bile hatirlamiyorum o zamanlarda:) Dolayisi ile hem ev hem is bilgisayari olan kisi sayisi cok azdi. Is bilgisayari olan herkesin de Internet’e ulasimi oldugunu sanmayin. Ufak tefek baska browser’lar olsa da Internet Explorer marketin cogunluguna sahipti. Ayrica akilli telefon ve tablet kullanimi yoktu. Musteriniz size genelde tek bir yoldan ulasabiliyordu, dolayisi ile tekil ziyaretci kavrami cok kolay olculen bir metrikti.

Ama gelisen teknoloji; ucuzlayan bilgisayar fiyatlari; Internet’in yayginlasmasi, hizlanmasi ve ucuzlamasi  ve tabi ki akilli telefon ve tablet pazarinin patlamasi ile multi-device donemine girdik.

Cok Kanalli Dijital Iletisim

Cok Kanalli Dijital Iletisim

Tekil Ziyaretci’nin cookie ile olculdugunu ve cookie’nin browser bazli oldugunu dusunursek neden tekil ziyaretciyi tam anlami ile olcemeyecegimizi anlayabiliriz. Bu arada bilinen cok buyuk bir yanlis var, bu da web teknolojilerini cok anlamadan analiz yapmaktan kaynaklaniyor. Cookie browser bazlidir, bilgisayar degil (Evet bilgisayar bazli oldugunu dusunen cok buyuk bir kesim var). Ve mantikli dusunursek farkli sirketlerin sahip oldugu browserlar’in aralarinda cookie paylasimi protokolu olamayacagini anlayabiliriz. Yani Microsoft Internet Explorer cookie’sini Google’un Chrome’u ile paylasmiyor. Bu nedenle bizim tekil ziyaretci dedigimiz sey, aslinda bir cihazdaki bir browser kullanimi.

Tekil Ziyaretci

Tekil Ziyaretci Nedir?

Mesela benim evde 2 laptopum var. Mac’de hem Safari hem de Firefox var. Yani bu bilgisayarimda 2 kullanici olabilirim. PC’imde ise hem Chrome hem  Firefox kullaniyorum. Normalde girdigim sitelere buradan da ulasiyorum. 2 kullanici daha ekledim. 1 Ipad’im var. Hem app hem de browser kullanabiliyorum, 2 kullanici daha.1 de Iphone’um var, ayni sekilde orada da 2 kullanici olabilirim.Yani ben 8 kullanici yerine geciyorum. Herkes benim gibi cilgin multi device bir hayat surdurmese de, hem is hem ev bilgisayari (ya da okul bilgisayari) olan kisilerin birden fazla browser kullanmasi bile sayilarin ne kadar carpik olabilecegini gosteriyor. BUna bir de artik herkesin elinde olan akilli telefonlari katmamiz lazim.

Gordugunuz gib durum karisik, site ve app kullanimi icin logine zorlamayan hicbir sirket benim su kadar tekil ziyaretcim var diyemez. Bunu olcebilen bir teknoloji daha gelistirilmedi. Kanal bazli diyebilir mi? Web sitesi ziyaretcileri birden fazla browser ve birden fazla cihaz kullanacagi icin burada da durum vahim..Tekil ziyaretci daha cok  session/visit sayisina yakin olan bir metrik gunumuzde..

Peki ne olcebilirim? Elbette ki login olmus kullanicilarimi olcebilirim. Bizim icin anlamli ve dogru olan sayi budur. Tabi siteniz login olmadan kullanilmiyorsa siz zaten tekil ziyaretci sayisini olecebilirsiniz. Bu nedenle olcumlerinizi  login olmus kullanicilarin (ya da daha once login olup gelecekte cookie ile taniyabildigim login olmamis kullanicilar) uzerine yaparsaniz, daha cok aksiyon alabilirsiniz. Verinin yanlis olmasi yanisira anonim tekil ziyaretci sayisinin medya/icerik sitesi degilseniz size zaten pek anlamli bir fikir ya da fayda vermesi beklenemez. Hicbir sekilde kim oldugunu bilmediginiz ve sitede donusum yaratmayan kisiler sizin icin pazarlama materyali olamaz.



Google Analytics Premium versus Adobe Analytics (Omniture) Part 3 – Segmentation

This is my third article about Google Analytics Premium and Adobe Analytics (Omniture Site Catalyst) comparison. Please find my other articles below. http://webanalyticspower.com/2013/01/13/google-analytics-premium-versus-adobe-omniture-site-catalyst/ http://webanalyticspower.com/2013/10/04/google-analytics-premium-versus-adobe-omniture-site-catalyst-part-2-path-analytics/ In this article I want to talk about segmentation analysis. I am sure you heard it already, it is being called  by analytics experts all the time. crowd Most of the consumer businesses have different variety of customers: Women, men, young, old, rich, middle class, world traveler, TV lover, mobile phone user, CEO, analyst, Indian, muslim, urban residents and etc..These are example of some demographic segmentation that classical marketers always use when they develop new products or improve performance of their  existing products. Online marketing world created a need for new type of segmentation , I call it immediate segmentation which forces immediate personalizaton and targeting. Your product are: your mobile apps and your website. You have sub-products such as features, offers and content on your digital products. Some of the sub products are created at a particular instant and need to find the target segmentation at that instant. There is no time for a marketer to develop communication plan to meet that sub-product with its target market, it has to be automatic. For example 15% hotel discount for NYC only for 24 hours because you did not sell enough is a kind of immediate sub-product. Yes you might put banners on your site, you can email everybody but that’s really not  marketing, it is more of a mass communication. That’s where you actually need to design your digital channels to reflect this kind of marketing if you really want to target to your customers. The easiest way to do this is to use segmentation analysis. As I said above online marketing created immediate segments such as:

  • People who searched for NYC hotels for next week and did not buy
  • People who suddenly started to look at smart phone telephone news on your content site
  • People who came from Google, came until purchase page but did not complete sales

As an analytics expert our first job is to discover these immediate valuable segments. There is no certain segmentation here like women, christian, urban resident, these segmentation are hidden and you are the one who needs to discover them by looking at data. In order to do that Adobe Analytics (Omniture ) gives you great tools with Site Catalyst and Discover (new name:Ad Hoc Analysis) Discover is a tool to fall in love if you are a data junkie. Segmentation capabilities here are so detailed and fast. For example I can create a segments like:

  • People who came to my homepage, spent 30 seconds and moved to smart phone page
  • People who looked at business content in June-2013
  • People who came to my homepage from Google, continued to my account page, added “clothing” type of products to her cart, went to checkout but did not complete

Sequential and time based segmentation is really new and advanced. It makes me so powerful as an analyst. For more information go and read Brian Au’s great blog posts about the subject. http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/analytics/ad-hoc-analysis-release-highlights-new-chart-views-statistics/ http://blogs.adobe.com/digitalmarketing/digital-marketing/discover-3-2-sequential-segmentation-primer/ When it comes to Google Analytics Premium, segmentation analysis capabilities are very limited.First of all you can’t segment your funnels which is so limiting.. I never look at my shopping funnels without segmentation because they are extremely different depending on the segment. You can’t apply one segment onto another, with an unlimited breakdowns.You can’t create sequential and time based segmentation which carries your view to another level. You might say all these things are very  advanced for you since you don’t even do basic analysis. This is an excuse I keep hearing all the time. I never employed that kind of thinking, and  all I can say: “Be hurry, train is going to leave soon and somebody else might get on it while you are loitering in the entrance of the trance station.” peace sibel akcekaya