We are continuing to push the envelope and improve our support for Analytics, making it easier for races to use cross-domain tracking by adding widgets with Google Analytics supported configuration. Cross-domain tracking allows races to report website traffic information (including e-commerce data) to their Google Analytics accounts with accurate attribution of the traffic sources.
We previously released a series of blog posts on our Google Analytics Integration highlighting the features of the integration and covering some uses for data gathered. In Part 3 of the blog series, we detailed how to configure our widgets to support Google Analytics and cross-domain tracking when added onto a race’s website. To remove the need to manually edit widget code for cross-domain reporting with widgets, the Google Analytics supported widget configuration can now be found on the main widget setup pages within the RunSignUp Dashboard.
If a race has supplied us with their Google Analytics account information, we automatically include the Google Analytics supported widget setup right on the current widget setup pages.
If your race is currently using Google Analytics but does not make use of RunSignUp widgets you can still support cross-domain tacking within RunSignUp by following the steps listed in Part 2 of the blog series. Once these options are enabled your RunSignUp and Google Analytics integration will accurately report your traffic information and traffic sources.
Why is this important?
The big question is why is it important that we support (and you setup) cross-domain tracking with Google Analytics. To illustrate the importance, we will walk through an example of how the data from a transaction looks when cross-domain tracking is supported, and what the data looks like when it is not supported.
A Participant’s Path
A previous participant receives a promotional email informing them that the price for the event is about to go up. The participant clicks on a link in the email that sends them to the race’s website. The runner then registers for the race using a widget hosted on the race’s website.
Without Cross-Domain Tracking Support: Using the above participant’s path, if cross-domain tracking is not supported the transaction within Google Analytics will be sourced to the race’s website. This provides a marketer or analyst with very little information about the transaction as they are unable to determine how the visitor reached the race website to begin with. This type of attribution results in assigning a very high percentage of traffic to the race’s website, resulting in a lot of unusable data.
With Cross-Domain Tracking Support: With cross-domain tracking support, when the same visitor reaches the page with the RunSignUp widget installed the race website will inform RunSignUp how the participant reached the race website, in this case through a promotional email. Then, when the participant completes their registration, RunSignUp is able to report to Google Analytics that the visitor came from the promotional price email. This gives marketers the information they need to understand the performance of their advertisements and promotions and allows them to make informed decisions.
RunSignUp and Google Analytics Best Practice
To make sure you are getting the most out of your RunSignUp and Google Analytics information, be sure to enable the e-commerce reporting within your Google Analytics account. RunSignUp automatically reports all transactions to determine which traffic sources are generating the most value for your event; however, you must have the e-commerce reporting enabled in your Google Analytics profile to indicate that it should be “listening” for that data.
To enable e-commerce reporting, follow the steps outlined in this Google Analytics support document. Once you have cross-domain tracking supported and you have enabled e-commerce transactions, it’s time to start analyzing!
We are continuing to work on our own internal analytics system designed specifically for races and events. The RunSignUp system will provide much of the information currently available through Google Analytics directly within RunSignUp; it will also supply additional information specific to races and events. RunSignUp’s system already automatically tags all outbound emails with tracking capabilities and reports on the effectiveness of both emails generated by race directors, and automated emails activated to send from the RunSignUp system. RunSignUp will continue to expand these capabilities breaking down traffic information from other websites, referral reward programs, and attributing transaction and donation dollars to their respective sources.