How the Drupal Kit does analytics

You’ve built your shiny new Drupal Kit website. You’ve launched it, to roaring intradepartmental applause. But now your boss wants metrics on who’s accessing what. You’ll need some kind of analytics tool.

Since this desire for site statistics is so ubiquitous, we decided to bake it into the UT Drupal Kit. For some time now, the most widely adopted solution — both on campus and in general — has been Google Analytics, and we saw no reason to diverge from this. The Drupal Kit is thus set up to send tracking data to a user-created Google Analytics account. It also integrates with Google’s next-gen analytics tool, Tag Manager, which significantly widens the ambit of site metrics.

How is Google Tag Manager different from Google Analytics?

Google Analytics allows you to track page visits. It does this very well, and provides ways to drill down those visits by demographic, browser, device, operating system, and page engagement. But it only gives data on entire pages.

Google Tag Manager is a layer of more finely-tuned page insight that sits on top of Analytics. With Tag Manager, you can track in-page elements, like how many users click on a certain button or link. Or you can create a tag for similar content across pages. You can set up various triggers for what constitutes a “hit”, and track engagement, campaign-style. You can even track how many users download a file or watch an embedded video.

Sample use cases for Tag Manager

  • You’ve recently added several webpages for an upcoming consortium. Use Tag Manager to group these pages together so you can track aggregate engagement for the consortium.
  • You want to de-clutter your homepage, but you need to know which of its content people navigate to most. Set up tags for homepage content element. Then follow the metrics to your smart redesign.
  • You have an important file download that is linked from several pages on your site. Set up a tag so you can count total downloads.

Best of all, setup of tags and triggers is all done through your Google Tag Manager account, so you won’t need to wade into the Drupal Kit’s code.

How do I get set up?

Setup is an easy gambol through a couple of configuration pages. The short of it:

  1. Create a Google Analytics account and add an entry for your website URL.
  2. Create a Google Tag Manager account and connect it to your Google Analytics entry.
  3. Add the account code to your Drupal Kit at Configuration > Google Tag Manager.

On the configuration page, you can also tick whether you want to track Drupal’s administrative pages, unpublished pages, hits by logged-in users, and 403 (“Access Denied”) pages.

Standard page tracking data should start appearing in your Google Analytics account within 24 hours. If you don’t need the Tag Manager bells and whistles, you can stop there. Or go to town setting up your tags and triggers.

See our full Tag Manager configuration notes at the UT Drupal Kit wiki.

 

 

By Mark Fullmer

Mark Fullmer is a Principal Software Developer/Analyst for ITS Applications at the University of Texas at Austin.

One reply on “How the Drupal Kit does analytics”

Drupal Kit will also increase your vocabulary*: learned about “ambit” and “gambol” today ­čÖé

*if you seek the definitions

Great stuff Mark…┬íMuchas Gracias!

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