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I’m a big fan of Enhanced Ecommerce in Google Analytics. In fact, I think it’s the only valid way to deploy Ecommerce tracking today, especially when using Google Tag Manager. The ability to use a Custom JavaScript variable and the possibility to tackle the full ecommerce funnel are some of the benefits of using Enhanced Ecommerce. However, tracking certain view-based events, impressions in particular, has a significant problem when it comes to how Google Analytics processes events.

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The Custom HTML tag in Google Tag Manager is splendid. It’s your go-to tool when you need to run arbitrary JavaScript on the webpage. Some might even use it to actually add HTML elements to the page, but I’m willing to bet running JavaScript is its most common use. However, there’s a downside to Custom HTML tags, which is only made more apparent on single-page apps which do not clear the full page when transitioning from one state to another.

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Perhaps you didn’t know this, but there’s a really handy demo account for Google Analytics you can use to check out how Google Analytics works in a real business context (the data is from the Google Merchandise Store). However, you can access the account with nothing more than read-only access. This is annoying if you wanted to customize the setup. Worry not, I have a solution for you! Harnessing the awesome power of customTask, you can create a duplicate of the data collected on any website where you can modify the tracking (e.

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One of the big problems in Google Analytics’ data model is the immutability of historical data. Once a row of data is written into the data table, it is there practically for good. This is especially annoying in two cases: spam and bogus ecommerce hits. The first is a recognized issue with an open and public data collection protocol, the latter is an annoyance that can explode into full-blown sabotage (you can use the Measurement Protocol to send hundreds of huge transactions to your competitor’s GA property, for example).

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Scope in Google Analytics’ Custom Dimensions refers to how the value in the Custom Dimension is extended to all hits in the same scope. Hit- and product-scoped Custom Dimensions apply to the given hit alone - they are not extended to any other hits in the session or by the same user. Session-scoped Custom Dimensions apply the last value sent during the session to all the hits in that session.

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Some years ago, I wrote a post on how to track cross-domain iframes when using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. That solution relied on hitCallback to decorate the iframe, and now that I look back on it, it has its shortcomings. For one, the older solution used hitCallback which, while being reliable in that Google Analytics has definitely loaded with the linker plugin when the method is called, doesn’t take into account the possible race condition of the script running before the iframe has been loaded.

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In Google Analytics, the concept of a session is the key aggregation unit of all the data you work with. It’s so central to all the key metrics you use (Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, Session Duration, Landing Page), and yet there’s an underlying complexity that I’m pretty certain is unrecognized by many of GA’s users. And yet, since this idea of a session is so focal to GA (to the point of being overbearing), it’s annoying that the browser isn’t privy to any of the sessionization parameters that Google Analytics applies to the hits sent from the browser to its servers.

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Simo Ahava

Husband | Father | Analytics developer
simo (at) simoahava.com

Senior Data Advocate at Reaktor

Finland