What is Universal Tag? (part 2)

In our last post, we talked about the use of Universal Tag to improve your web analytics implementation. In this post, we are going to discuss another major benefit associated with the Universal Tag.

Universal Tag is about having a better web analytics process.

Track Analyze OptimizeWeb analytics is an iterative process. A typical web analytics cycle is shown here. First, users deploy their web analytics tool. From there, they analyze the data, and make changes to their sites based on findings. The cycle then repeats itself. However, in some cases, the findings may require users to look at the data in a different angle. Often times, the new angle will require a change in web analytics implementation, which means re-tagging the site.

To demonstrate this, we’re going to discuss an analysis that we recently did for a technology company. This client sells expensive enterprise software and uses a large number of white papers in order to educate its user base. As part of the analysis, the client wanted to know if white papers have a positive impact on site conversions, which is lead generation. The client’s tool of choice is Google Analytics.

To do the analysis, we used the “Visits with Conversion” segment and looked at the downloaded files for the segment. This will show us which files were downloaded during the same session where the lead was captured. The results were initially shocking. For this particular segment, we saw about 30% less white paper downloads than an average session. Are we to believe that converting visitors are less interested in white papers than non-converting ones? This meant that we needed additional information.

The next hypothesis was that visitors download the papers, read them and then come back to the web site and submit their information. In order to prove this new hypothesis, we had to make an implementation change since Google Analytics does not provide this level of cross-session analysis without customization.

The solution was to use a visitor-scope custom variable to capture the downloaded document and look at the “download” custom variable report for the “converting” visitors.

With default web analytics deployments, this requires editing the tagging within the download pages, which is a laborious process that will involve the web development team. However, through the Universal Tag, this process be can implemented without a single page tag change.

Following this change, the discovery proved our hypothesis. In fact, we learned that it takes an average of 2 days between a white paper download and a lead registration. This exercise clearly showed the dangers of relying only on session-level data when dealing with complex sales.

Universal Tag made this discovery possible without re-tagging. Because organizations can fine-tune their implementation without costly re-tagging exercises, they can learn faster and therefore get more value from their web analytics investment than those using standard tags.

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