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Make QA for Your Analytics Tagging “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”

April 25, 2014

Anyone who’s ever had to test analytics tags can definitely relate to Lionel Richie singing “I know is sounds funny but I just can’t stand the pain”.

Quality Assurance for Analytics tagging can be tough and time consuming. It is particular difficult to isolate test data in production or any environment where multiple users and on the site.

Here’s a quick method for testing that, once set up, will leave you time to pull out your record player and spin your favorite Commodores album.

Part 1

  1. Identify a set of pages and actions to be tested.
    1. Make sure you include all the actions associated with your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
  2. Determine the “flow” of your testing.
    1. Home Page > Content Page A > Action >Etc.
  3. Define a test “Campaign Tracking Code” (a code appended to a URL to identify the traffics source).
  4. Add the Campaign Tracking Code to the first page of you test’s URL
  5. Either manually or through an automated tool, if you have one, execute the pages and actions of your test.
    1. Be sure to execute the steps in order
    2. NOTE: Do not take any other actions from that browser on you site for at least 35 minutes (assuming your analytics tool considers a visit over after 30 minutes of inactivity)

Part 2

  1. Create a segment that includes all the pages and actions that occurred in the visit where the Campaign Tracking Code you defined in step 3 was present.
    1. In Adobe Reports and Analytics (Omniture, SiteCatalyst) be sure to use the visit container.

Part 3

  1. Using the segment from Part 2, run reports for each page and action in your test.
    1. If you have access to a tool like Adobe Report Builder use it.
  2. Once you have validated that your test is working and your site is correctly tagged, save the results to compare against in future tests (regression, etc.)
    1. If you used a tool like Report Builder you can automate the validation phase of the test as well.

    i.     Save the correct results set
    ii.   Automate the pulling of the new test results
    iii. Add Excel functions to compare your benchmark with the current test results.

Boom! Spend a little time on the “Nightshift” making it solid like a “Brick House” and tag testing will be “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”


Rock on!

Matt Coen


Want to hear some of my music?

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