Users, cookies and misleading conversion attribution

Have you ever felt that an advertiser is following you? It’s very common, specially after you show some kind of interest for a product. Say you are going on vacations to Berlin and at some moment you were looking for a place to stay in Airbnb. “Forgot it”, you think. “I found a cheaper hotel in and I don’t need a place to stay anymore”. Nevertheless, Airbnb doesn’t know that happened and they will keep showing ads to everyone that at some moment got interested for a reservation. There is where the advertiser starts following you. Let’s see how this works.

If you read the post on Google Analytics a few weeks ago, you may know you can track user behavior in our website, by using a Javascript Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) that tracks events and conversions within your website. For instance, correctly installed, we may know how many people are at this exact moment in my website or how many of them purchased a product in the last 30 days, in case we are an eCommerce.

A similar approach is used by social media and search advertisers. Just like GATC, Facebook has a Pixel code we can install so we know what happened during a visit to our website, which products did users visit, if they added a product to a cart and if they ended purchasing the product (or not). Continue reading

Google Analytics: back to the basics

Since I started writing in 2008, not always I did the right things. It took me a couple of years to learn how to create hight quality content, to know how often should I post or how to write SEO-friendly posts. This happened because nobody taught me how to run a blog. I learned by doing and seeing what others were doing. I’ve read books and tons of blogs and during the process I’ve learned. Nevertheless, there’s a lot I don’t know yet as well. And this is what happened to me recently with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool I didn’t use for ages, and when I started using it I learned it from the scratch. This happened back in 2013. I used to work at an SEO agency, and one of the first things I realized was that my blog didn’t event have a Google Analytics code installed. Man, that’s like 5 years of lost data!

Once I learned that lesson, I installed Google Analytics. By doing this, I would have the chance of tracking how users were using and finding my blog.

In case you don’t know, Google Analytics is a technology anyone with access to the HTML code of a website can install. You just need a Google Account and set up separately a Google Analytics account. After setting up your account, you will have a Javascript Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC) that will look like the one below. This code will be able to recognize some events when a user loads a page. For example, this code may identify the time that a user passed in a single page before leaving our website or before visiting a new page, and there are tons of events and useful information Google Analytics will provide us about our users.

Continue reading