What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

HM5 served us well, now its time has come and it has been replaced... If you have HM5 questions, please post them here.

Moderators: Alexander Halser, Tim Green

What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

I am already using Google Analytics for Webhelp
11
20%
I consider using it
8
15%
If it was easy to implement, I would definitely do it
21
38%
I doubt that the results are useful
3
5%
I would never give Google any insight to our Webhelp traffic
12
22%
 
Total votes : 55

What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:44 am

A help system is only as good as your users can find the information they are looking for. To measure the effectiveness of your Webhelp system and improve it where necessary, it makes sense to track usage so that you can see what your users are searching for and finding.

Google Analytics (GA) is an enterprise-class web analytics solution that gives you rich insights into your Webhelp traffic. By integrating Google Analytics, you can track how the content of your Webhelp system is used. Powerful, flexible and easy-to-use features let you see and analyze your traffic data in an entirely new way. Google Analytics gives you the information you need to write better help.

This is one argument. The other argument is privacy concerns. By using GA you give Google insight to your Webhelp traffic. On the other hand, most Webhelp systems are public and are designed to be indexed and found by search engines. So the privacy concern is a relatively weak point in this case.
Alexander Halser
Senior Software Architect, EC Software GmbH
User avatar
Alexander Halser
EC-Software Support
 
Posts: 3728
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 7:24 pm
Location: Salzburg, Austria

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Winsteps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:01 am

Alexander, a major reason we put our Webhelp files online is as a sales tool. The Help webpages contain every feature of our software products, so, if someone Googles for software with one of our more obscure features, they will find our Webhelp page, and so one of our products.

But we have never tried to track this, nor to discover which obscure features are big attractants. Google Analytics sounds like a tool we should be using. BTW, our problem is not privacy, but lack of suitable public exposure!
User avatar
Winsteps
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:34 am

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby John Waller » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:23 am

Will Google Analytics work on an intranet? or only on the web?
Regards

John Waller
v.6.2.2 Build 2636
User avatar
John Waller
 
Posts: 827
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Winsteps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:29 am

Alexander, what did I do wrong? Thought I followed the instructions, but the Analytics javascript was not on the published HM 5.5 Webhelp pages. Are we supposed to edit the Analytics javascript into our HTML templates?

Have now put the Analytics javascript on all my webpages by means of PowerGrep.
User avatar
Winsteps
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:34 am

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:52 am

Analytics javascript was not on the published HM 5.5 Webhelp pages

The actual page tracker script is implemented in <projectname>_navigation.js - it is a function called "track(event, data)" that is called from every topic page, after synchronization of the TOC. If you put an "alert(event, data);" into the track function, you get a dialog box as feedback for every tracking action.

We use a central page tracking object, to avoid duplicate tracking of topics when a topic is opened directly and, well, it's cleaner code :-)
Alexander Halser
Senior Software Architect, EC Software GmbH
User avatar
Alexander Halser
EC-Software Support
 
Posts: 3728
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 7:24 pm
Location: Salzburg, Austria

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:01 pm

Will Google Analytics work on an intranet?

It needs Internet access to report to Google, but that part is clear, isn't it?
Yes, it should work on an intranet, too.

We don't simply put a GA pagetracker script into each topic, but do the reporting manually, once the page tracker is instantiated. A page view, for instance, is tracked in <projectname>_navigation.js in the script "track()" as a "topic" tracking event. The script receives the full url of the topic and removes everything before the first slash "/" to report the remaining url as a page view. One could easily tweak this here.

When your Webhelp is, for instance on http://192.0.0.5/local/help/index.html, you might want to not only strip "http://192.0.0.5" from the location that is tracked, but rather the entire location "http://192.0.0.5/local/help". That could be done by tweaking the script above.

One thing I do not know yet, however, is whether Google checks if the script is running on the web or locally. GA could refuse to track anything that comes from a different location than the url you specify in your GA account. I am not sure about this. Has anyone tried it?
Alexander Halser
Senior Software Architect, EC Software GmbH
User avatar
Alexander Halser
EC-Software Support
 
Posts: 3728
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 7:24 pm
Location: Salzburg, Austria

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Winsteps » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:25 pm

Thank you, Alexander. Yes, the UA- code is in <projectname>_navigation.js

Alexander: a request: please have HM automatically add code like this to Webhelp links for PDFs etc.
<a href="http://www.example.com/files/map.pdf" onClick="javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview('/downloads/map'); ">
See http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55529
User avatar
Winsteps
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:34 am

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:12 am

please have HM automatically add code like this to Webhelp links for PDFs etc.

File links and external web links are tracked as "events". You find them in the events category in GA.
Alexander Halser
Senior Software Architect, EC Software GmbH
User avatar
Alexander Halser
EC-Software Support
 
Posts: 3728
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 7:24 pm
Location: Salzburg, Austria

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby kualoa1 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:15 pm

I am already using google analytics w/HM5pro but checked the 'would be willing to use it' box. my review of the beta version, though not used, is that it is too involved to use. for me, I cannot see the advantages over my present 'paste google code' into skins. also if the same skin is then reused, that 'pasting' just needs to be done once. thank you for the development; I think it is definitely the right way to go and look forward to next iterations.
kualoa1
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:02 pm

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Tim Green » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:22 am

kualoa1 wrote: I cannot see the advantages over my present 'paste google code' into skins.

The advantage is that you will get significantly better results. Among other things, for example, you will get precise tracking of the keyword index terms clicked and the search terms entered, not just a simple counter of the number of times the search feature or the index page were visited.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.
User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19485
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Alexander Halser » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:21 am

I agree that you can simply copy and paste GA code into your template/skin to make it work. This is one of the advantages of the open architecture of Help & Manual. Our first approach to GA was exactly that: drop GA code into the topic template and go...

Then we realized, that tracking of full-text search, clicks on index keywords, direct calls of topics and tracking of download files and exiting links is not that simple. So we went on looking on how we could integrate this deeper into Help & Manual, and make it dead-easy to use for everybody. And there you go.
Alexander Halser
Senior Software Architect, EC Software GmbH
User avatar
Alexander Halser
EC-Software Support
 
Posts: 3728
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 7:24 pm
Location: Salzburg, Austria

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Winsteps » Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:37 am

Alexander: thank you. GA is very easy to implement, and also very effective. In the first 24 hours, almost 5% of our WebHelp visitors went to one obscure Help page. Now to find out why ..... :?
User avatar
Winsteps
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 7:34 am

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Roy Henry » Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:46 pm

We don't currently put our help out on the web. Would Google Analytics also work through a web site that requires authentication to access?
Roy Henry
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: What do you think of using Google Analytics for Webhelp?

Unread postby Tim Green » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:01 am

Hi Roy,

Roy Henry wrote:We don't currently put our help out on the web. Would Google Analytics also work through a web site that requires authentication to access?

Authentication is not the problem as long as you have the code on your pages. You can use Google Analytics on intranets but you must satisfy some requirements from Google, including allowing access to the Google site hosting the Analytics script and having a fully-qualified local domain. See Google Help for details.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

Private support:
Please do not email or PM me with private support requests -- post to the forum directly.
User avatar
Tim Green
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19485
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 9:11 am
Location: Bruehl, Germany


Return to Help & Manual 5 Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest

cron