One of the marketing challenges we initially faced after merging to become Datalytyx was how to increase our visibility online. Our friend, Ian Cleary of razorsocial.com, kept telling us that we needed to create valuable content. That would increase our SEO rankings and get people interested in the work we do. After a lot of thought, we realised that our technical team was probably the greatest untapped mine of content that we had access to. Our team is made up of highly skilled, very intelligent people working with cutting edge systems for digitising, transforming and analysing data. So, the question became, how do we motivate them to create content? We settled on a monthly cash prize - one prize for the most content submitted within the month and one prize for the best performing post for that month. This meant that while they may not have much control over website traffic, they would have control over the extent to which they participated. The team got on board quickly, not so much for the cash prize but mostly to compete with each other. The prize was just the icing on the cake. Now, we had a problem on the marketing side. The question for us was, how do we monitor each author’s success? We were already using Google Analytics to track our website traffic because it’s free, useful and reliable. We also decided to use Tableau to visualise the data. Datalytyx is partnered with Tableau because it allows us to combine different sets of data easily (they have connectors to some of the most commonly used databases) and create rich, interactive visualisations which can be automatically updated. So here’s what we did to create a Blog Scoreboard using Google Analytics and Tableau.
Set up a Google Analytics account.
Hopefully, you’ve already taken this step. If not, don’t worry. There’s plenty of online resources - such as this link - to learn how to set up a Google Analytics account and implement your tracking code to collect data on your website. It’s fairly easy.
Create a custom dimension to track the author of each blog post.
Google analytics does not automatically track the author of a page. So, you’ll need to create a custom dimension to collect this data. First, log into your GA account and go to the Admin menu. Under the Property column, click Custom Definitions and then Custom Dimensions. Click the + New Custom Dimension button. Name it Author and set the Scope to Hit. Check it as Active and click Create. Take note of the Index number next to Author. If this is your first custom dimension it should be 1. In fact, www.vsellis.com has a great post on author tracking and you can also go to developers.google.com for more information on custom dimensions. Creating the metric on GA will not automatically tell Google to start collecting this from your site. You need to get your hands dirty with a little bit of PHP code. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. First, go to your GA Tracking Code by clicking Tracking Info > Tracking Code under the Property column.