In this article we are going to help you create a Web Analytics Dashboard using Google Data Studio, traffic data from Google Analytics and WordLift.
We constantly work for content-rich websites where sometimes hundreds of new articles are published on a daily basis. Analyzing traffic trends on these large properties and creating actionable reports is still time-consuming and inefficient. This is also very true for businesses investing in content marketing that need to dissect their traffic and evaluate their marketing efforts against concrete business goals (i.e. increasing subscriptions, improving e-commerce sales and so on).
As result of this experience, I am happy to share with you a Google Data Studio report that you can copy and personalize for your own needs.
|Jump directly to the dashboard for Google Data Studio: Semantic Analytics by WordLift|
Data is meant to help transform organizations by providing them with answers to pressing business questions and uncovering previously unseen trends. This is particularly true when your biggest asset is the content that you produce.
With the ongoing growth of digitized data and the explosion of web metrics, organizations usually face two challenges:
- Finding what is truly relevant to untap a new business opportunity.
- Make it simpler for the business user to prepare and share the data, without being a data scientist.
Semantic Web Analytics is about delivering on these promises; empowering business users and let them uncover new insights – from the analysis of the traffic of their website.
We are super lucky to have a community of fantastic clients that help us shape our product and keep pushing us ahead of the curve.
Before enabling this feature, both the team at Salzburgerland Tourismus and the team at TheNextWeb had already improved their Google Analytics tracking code to store entity data as events. This allowed us to experiment, ahead of time, with this functionality before making it available to all other subscribers.
What is Semantic Web Analytics?
Semantic Web Analytics is the use of named entities and linked vocabularies such as schema.org to analyze the traffic of a website.
The natural language processing that WordLift uses to markup the content with linked entities enables us to classify articles and pages in Google Analytics with – real-world objects, events, situations or even abstract concepts.
How to activate Semantic Web Analytics?
Starting with WordLift 3.20, entities annotated in webpages can also be sent to Google Analytics by enabling the feature in the WordLift’s Settings panel.
You can also define the dimensions in Google Analytics to store entity data, this is particularly useful if you are already using custom dimensions.
As soon as the data starts flowing you will see a new category under Behaviour > Events in your Google Analytics.
WordLift will trigger an event labeled with the title of the entity, every time a page containing an annotation with that entity is open.
Using these new events we can look at how content is consumed not only in terms of URLs and site categories but also in terms of entities. Moreover, we can investigate how articles are connected with entities and how entities are connected with articles.
Show me how this can impact my business
Making sense of data for a business user is about unlocking its power with interactive dashboards and beautiful reports. To inspire our clients, and once again with the help of online marketing ninjas like Martin Reichhart and Rainer Edlinger from Salzburgerland, we have built a dashboard using Google Data Studio – a free tool that helps you create comprehensive reports using data from different sources.
Using this dashboard we can immediately see, for each section of the website, what are the concepts driving the traffic, what articles are associated with these concepts and where the traffic is coming from.
We can also see, what are the entities associated with a given article. Here below you can see the entities mentioned in the article: Implementing Structured Data for SEO with Bill Slawski.
This helps publishers and business owners analyze the value behind a given topic. It can be precious to analyze the behaviors and interests of a specific user group. For example, on travel websites, we can immediately see what are the most relevant topics for let’s say Italian speaking and German speaking travelers.
WordLift’s clients in the news and media sector are also using this data to build new relationships with advertisers and affiliated businesses. They can finally bring in meetings the exact volumes they have for – let’s say – content that mentions a specific product or a category of products. This helps them calculate in advance how this traffic can be monetized.
Are you ready to make sense of your Google Analytics data? Contact us and let’s get started!
Here is the recipe for a Semantic Web Analytics dashboard in Google Data Studio
With unlimited, free reports, it’s time to start playing immediately with Data Studio and entity data and see if and how it meets your organization’s needs.
To help with that, you can use as a starting point the report I have just created. Create your own interactive report and share with colleagues and partners (even if they don’t have direct access to your Google Analytics).
Simply take this report, make a copy, and replace with your own data!
1. Make a Copy of this file
Go to the File menu and click to make a copy of the report. If you have never used Data Studio before, click to accept the terms and conditions, and then redo this step.
2. Do Not Request Access
Click “Maybe Later” when Data Studio warns you that data sources are not attached. If you click “Resolve” by mistake, do not click to request access – instead, click “Done”.
3. Switch Edit Toggle On
Make sure the “Edit” toggle is switched on. Click the text link to view the current page settings. The GA Demo Account data will appear as an “Unknown” data source there.
4. Create A New Data Source
If you have not created any data sources yet, you’ll see only sample data under “Available Data Sources” – in that case, scroll down and click “Create New Data Source” to add your own GA data to the available list.
5. Select Your Google Analytics View
Choose the Google Analytics connector, and authorize access if you aren’t signed in to GA already. Then select your desired GA account, property, and the view from each column.
6. Connect to Your GA Data
Name your data source (at the top left), or let it default to the name of the GA view. Click the blue “Connect” button at the top right.
Are you ready to build you first Semantic Dashboard? Add me on LinkedIn and let’s get started!