Custom Dimensions: The Sequel

December 4, 2014
Comments Off on Custom Dimensions: The Sequel

By Thijs de Valk

Custom Dimensions

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about custom dimensions and which custom dimensions we’ve already preset for you in our Google Analytics by Yoast Premium plugin. I started explaining two of those custom dimensions.

This post will divulge on the remaining 3 custom dimensions that are currently set up in our plugin. This will soon become a larger list than just five, so don’t worry!

If you’re reading this post first, and you’re not sure what custom dimensions are, please read my previous post on custom dimensions. All the examples in this post and the previous post are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more you can do with it! But, to give you a head start, let me give you some basic examples.

Post Type

The first custom dimension I’ll go into is Post Type. Post Type was already shown a bit in the last post. It shows you the traffic for the different post types you have. This actually already supports custom post types as well, as you can see:

Post Type Google Analytics

This is quite informational in and of itself, because it shows you which parts of your website are actually drawing the most visitors. So it shows you where you have the most room for improvement, and what has the most impact on traffic. In our case, that’s definitely blog posts. As you can see, the blog posts rake in the most traffic, so blogging more would probably have the most effect on the amount of visitors and pageviews.

If you want to be really specific about it, you can even set your second dimension to Source / Medium. This allows you to see where the people visiting each post type actually came from:

Post_Type_-_Google_Analytics

This shows you that most of our traffic is coming from Google. This isn’t a surprise to us, since that’s kind of our job 😉 But it also shows that quite a lot of the traffic to the posts comes from within our WordPress SEO metabox, where people optimize their posts for SEO. So quite a lot of people click on the links we’ve added there to get more information. This tells us that these links are there for a reason, and they actually work.

So are you directing (some of) your customers to certain post types on your website? This custom dimension will tell you how you’re doing and whether it’s actually working as you expected!

Logged In

The Logged In custom dimensions shows you just that: how much of your traffic was logged in to your WordPress install and how much was not logged in. This is mostly useful for people who let their customers create accounts on their WordPress site, for instance:

Logged_In_-_Google_Analytics

Note that users you’ve ignored in the General settings of our Google Analytics by Yoast plugin obviously won’t be included here either.

You might’ve noticed, we basically don’t have any traffic that’s logged in, because our customers don’t create user accounts on yoast.com (and we ignore most users that are logged in). However, if you do have customers creating accounts on your site, let me show you a few things this custom dimension can do for you.

The first thing you can try is combining this custom dimension with a secondary dimension from the drop down. The first thing I’d try is the Landing Page secondary dimension:

Logged_In_-_Google_Analytics

This will give you a list of the pages where people enter your site, where the audience is broken down by logged in or not logged in. This will help you pinpoint whether there are pages that attract mostly logged in users. This is really a must know, because you’ll then be able to change the tone of those pages to suit people who already know more about your business.

Obviously, you could also find pages where you expected your logged in users would go to, only to find that’s not the case at all. That tells you something about your customers and even your funnelling. If you want your logged in users to go to a certain page, and they’re not getting there, there’s something in your funnel that needs to change.

Published At

Lastly, the Published At custom dimension is quite clear as well. It shows you the traffic of your pages and posts grouped by publication date:

Publication_Date_Time_-_Google_Analytics

As you can see, this only gives you the publication date of the post or page. So you might be wondering which one of your posts or pages this actually is. However, if you use “Destination Page” as a secondary dimension, this will quickly become clear:

Publication_Date_Time_-_Google_Analytics

Once this is clear, the real fun can start! Want to know which of your posts from 2008, for example, are still getting traffic nowadays? Just add a filter that includes only those publication dates that contain ‘2008′:

Publication_Date_Time_-_Google_Analytics

This will give you a list of the posts and pages you’ve created in 2008, and how much traffic they’ve gotten in the time frame you’ve set. The downside here is that you can’t filter out just your pages, posts or other (custom) post types, since Google Analytics only allows for two dimensions in a dataset. Here it really helps if you have a decent permalink structure, because that’ll tell you which kind it is, most of the time:

Publication Date Time Google Analytics

So now you know which pages and posts from way back when are still getting traffic! Are there any pages or posts in there that you haven’t updated in a while? Maybe even since you published it? These are the parts of your site that would definitely need a revisit. For instance, because we know our WordPress SEO article gets so much traffic, we try to keep it up to date as much as possible. And that’s exactly what you should be doing, both for your visitors and if you want to make sure this page or post keeps ranking. And using this custom dimension is by far the easiest solution to find those “golden oldies”!

Get the Google Analytics by Yoast Premium plugin

These are just the first 5 custom dimensions that are supported in our Google Analytics by Yoast Premium plugin. And on top of that there’s a lot of other exciting features coming your way in that plugin! So you should really check the plugin out and see for yourself how awesome it is!

Have you found any other cool ways to use custom dimensions? Let us know!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

Source:: SEO