Everyone understands that it is important to track your Credit Union’s website performance, but what should be tracked? Is putting the out-of-the-box Google Analytics tracking script on the website good enough? If not, where do I start? Read on and you will learn some tips and tricks to take your CU’s website to the next level in web analytics tracking.
Tip 1: Select your website analytics reporting tool
If you don’t already have some sort web analytics software installed on your website, then selecting a tool is imperative to understanding your websites performance. There are a lot of tools out there and most all of them do the job well, but they all work in different ways, have pros and cons, and vary greatly in costs. In this blog, I am not endorsing one tool over another, but here are a few I have used:
For this post, I am going to focus on Google Analytics because they offer a free version of the software that is quite powerful for a free tool and also it is so vastly used across so many websites. However, any of these analytics tools will be able to track anything I mention below, but the terminology may be a little different.
Tip 2: Get the tracking on every page of your website
If you need to test and see whether a tag is missing from any pages, there are a lot of ways to do this. One easy way to test is to use the Google Tag Assistant. This tool is a Google Chrome extension and works if you use Google Analytics. You simply can go to the webpage to want to test and click on the extension and is tells you what Google tags are firing. Example from the www.firsttechfed.com website:
Tip 3: Track campaign performance
So you have a web analytics tool implemented and the tracking script on every page, great you now have a good foundation for reporting! Now how are your marketing campaigns performing? Let’s say you are sending out marketing emails to your members or you are using Google AdWords PPC Ads to target new members. How do you know how well they are performing? With the email marketing tools you will get email open rate stats from the vendor you use which are great. With Google Adwords you will get stats like click through rate (CTR) and average position for your ads which are also great, but what are these visitors doing once they get to your website? That is where campaign tracking comes in!
By adding some additional parameters to your URLs, you can get an idea of how much traffic your campaigns are generating to your site. Think of parameters as just a simple way to add additional data to your website URLs.
The 3 most popular parameters to use for Google Analytics are:
The utm_campaign parameter would be where you enter the name of the campaign (ex. NewMemberOffer2017), utm_source would be where the traffic is coming from (ex. Google AdWords) and utm_medium would be the marketing medium used (ex. PPC). So to compile all of these parameters into one URL, you would do something like so:
If this it too overwhelming there are some great tools out there to help build these URLs, for example: https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
Once you start using these parameters, you get access to a wealth of new reports like so:
Tip 4: Event Tracking
Event Tracking allows you to track specific actions happening on your website like link clicks, video plays, form fills, and more. It comes in really handy when you want a report to track Apply Now clicks for example on credit union websites. Then you can combine the campaign reporting mentioned earlier along with the event tracking so see which campaigns drive the most applications!
Probably the easiest way to implement Event Tracking on Google Analytics is to use Google Tag Manager. Here is an article that explains how to set up event tracking in Google Tag Manager: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6164470?hl=en.
An example of what you would get from setting this up is here:
Tip 5: Path Analysis
Members on Credit Union websites tend to bounce around from online banking pages, marketing pages, application pages, etc. which can make it tough to track where they are going. Being able to track paths helps you understand where any drop-offs may be occurring on the website, see what works and learn from it to continuously improve things. Here is a good example from Google discussing how you can evaluate the paths visitors are taking on your site with Google Analytics: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1713056?hl=en.
Utilizing these analytics tools should give you a much better understanding as to what is working and what features need improvement on your website. It’s always exciting to learn from the reporting, make site improvements and keep watching the metrics trend upwards!
What other tips do you have for improved tracking on your websites? Let me know in the comments!