Wherefore Universal Analytics

, Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Since it has come out of beta, we have been fielding a lot of questions about Universal Analytics, the latest and greatest analytics package from Google.  So I’ve decided to answer a few of those questions here.

 What Makes Universal Analytics So Different?

There are a few things that make Universal Analytics different from Google Analytics. There are the three in particular that we at Beaconfire are super-excited about.

The ability to report more on visitors instead of visits.

With standard Google Analytics, the focus has always been on the visit. While there were hacks, there has never been an easy way to say “if someone comes to the site on their work computer, then their home computer, then their phone, treat them as one person.”

With Universal Analytics, it becomes possible to link those three visits. It will work best when a user can have a unique identifier (like a constituent ID). So this may not be for everyone. But we’re still pretty thrilled about it.

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Make Your Website Mobile Friendly with Responsive Design

, Friday, April 11th, 2014

This is a re-post of a piece that first appeared on the NTen blog on 4/7/2014

The 14NTC was a great time for me and everyone else I ran in to. I especially appreciate the tenacious group who attended the ”Make it Mobile!“ session that I did with Niki Hammond from MSDS on Saturday, March 15.  We had a good time presenting about Mobile and Responsive Design, and similar to every session I attended, the Q&A was definitely the best part.

Responsive Web Design is the latest in a long line of terms that have really caught on and, depending on who you ask, either signals a complete shift in the way that we work, or describes some cool new techniques to consider when designing and building websites.  I tend to fall into the first group to such an extent that I believe a year from now, what we are now calling “Responsive Web Design (RWD)” will simply be called “Web Design.”

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Universal Analytics – To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade

, Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Recently, a lot of our clients have been asking us if they should upgrade their standard Google Analytics (ga.js) to the new Universal Analytics (analytics.js.) Based on how Google has treated past versions of analytics (remember Urchin) we know that they will continue to support standard Google Analytics for several years, but that all new development will be done on the new version, Universal Analytics.

So, let’s upgrade, right?
As expected, Universal Analytics has a lot of great features that can’t be found in standard Google Analytics. This includes the ability to do more configuration customizations, the ability to import offline data (including offline conversion data), and from a reporting perspective the ability to see multi-device activity. As more users utilize different devices to interact with your website, multi-device tracking is essential.

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Responsive Email Design & More

, Friday, March 28th, 2014

On Wednesday, my colleague Justine and I produced a webinar entitled “Mobile Friendly Emails for any Organization.” In the webinar, we covered the shifting landscape of email including where users are reading email and how it impacts your marketing program. We also discussed tactics on how to get the most out of your email marketing program, and provided a framework for creating responsive emails. Finally, we tackled basic reporting concepts.

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