Umbraco and uMarketingSuite – analytics, profiles & debugging

This is the 3rd instalment in a blog series on Umbraco and uMarketingSuite. Across this series we will be looking at how to use these platforms to build and deliver website personalisation, testing, analytics and all that good stuff. This final post will cover how to use uMarketingSuite analytics, profiles and the awesome debugging tool called ‘Cockpit’. If you are new to Umbraco and uMarketingSuite, please start with the first two blog posts.

This article was originally posted on aceik.com.au

Let’s look at the setup steps involved, using the Aceik website (aceik.com.au) as an example.

Analytics

uMarketingSuite generates both serverside (out-of-the-box) and clientside (via additional script) analytics. If you are familiar with Google Analytics, the breadth and type of analytics in uMarketingSuite will be easy to navigate. It has all the main types of reporting a website marketer will expect.

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I like how Analytics can be accessed from a central location within the Marketing menu but also specific to each content node as well.

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Additional data insight you get at the content node level is heatmaps. This report shows a visual representation of the scroll depth of users on each page.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any way to export website analytics data out of Umbraco nor can you combine any offline or external data sources with your website data. Although there is an existing bridging javascript file for classic Google Analytics events, I have not been able to determine if there are currently or plans to be able to integrate Google Analytics 4 events into uMarketingSuite. This would be a handy feature.

Profiles

uMarketingSuite Profiles provides you with an overview of all the visitors that visited your website. This is kind of like a mini, simplified, and streamlined CDP (customer data platform). In Profiles, you can see the activity of each visitor, including whether they have identified or not, the goals they have completed, pages they have visited, and so forth. A visitor becomes identified when they submit any Umbraco form on your website containing identifying information such as name and email.

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Similarly to Analytics, it does not appear that you can do much with this profile data beyond the reports that are provided. You cannot export or integrate this data beyond the uMarketingSuite platform.

Settings

There are several configuration settings you can modify concerning the uMarketingSuite. Many of these options will be familiar to you based on Google Analytics. For example, you can set site cookie details, sub-domain options, site search settings, and IP filters for excluding internal site visitors. There are fewer options than what comes with Google Analytics, but they are easy to access and modify within a couple of screens.

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Debugging with Cockpit

One of the stand-out features of using uMarketingSuite for personalisation and testing is the debugging tool called Cockpit. Once cockpit is activated, it will appear as a widget whenever you are logged in to Umbraco and browsing your website.

Using cockpit you can

  • See live analytics data as it’s recorded while you browse
  • Delete uMarketingSuite cookies with 1 click
  • See live Persona, Journey and Segment data update in real-time as you browse
  • Click through to see your current Profile as recorded in Umbraco
  • Visit the website as any existing segment
  • Click through to edit any content node

What this means in practice is that debugging and previewing personalisations and tests in real-time is super easy. If something is not working as expected, it is easy to determine what is wrong. If you need to review any particular experience, it is quick to do.

Throughout any reasonably-sized optimisation project, this tool alone will save you hours, compared to manual testing and validating each variation.

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Using this tool, I realised that uMarketingSuite uses ‘control’ groups who do not see any particular test and personalisation even when their scores meet the threshold. In my experience, this is the reason 90% of the time why an experience is not appearing when you expect it to. If you find yourself in a control group, simply clear the uMarketingSuite cookie to reset this.

The other thing to note with uMarketingSuite personalisations is that visitors can only be active within 1 persona and journey group at a time. If you need users to be active across multiple personas, you will need to separate them into different groups.

Conclusion

Across these 3 short blog posts, we have covered the foundation work to set up and implement personalisation, A/B tests, analytics, profiles and more across your website using Umbraco and uMarketingSuite.

I hope this has been a useful series and if you want to talk more about your website optimisation needs, please feel free to get in touch!

Umbraco and uMarketingSuite – personalisation and A/B testing

This is the 2nd of a 3-part blog series on Umbraco and uMarketingSuite. Across this series we will be looking at how to use these platforms to build and deliver website personalisation, testing, analytics and all that good stuff. This 2nd post is on getting personalisation and testing up and running. If you are new to Umbraco and uMarketingSuite, please start on the first post.

This article was originally posted onĀ Aceik.com.au

Let’s look at the setup steps involved, using the Aceik website (aceik.com.au) as an example.

Personalization

Scenario 1

When a visitor comes to our site and views content relating to working with Aceik, they should then experience personalised content as a potential future Aceik employee.

In the previous post in this series, we outlined the 3 pages of content that we would score with our ‘Clive the future colleague’ profile. A visitor who viewed these 3 pages would be profiled with this persona, as the value threshold of 25 is reached. This persona is used as the basis of a visitor segment called ‘Clive’. For all ‘Clive’ visitors, we want to show them a personalised welcome message on the homepage.

To do this, we navigate to the Home page in our content tree and go to Personalization and ‘Add a personalized variant’. Select our Clive segment to personalize for and give it a name. On the screen that follows, we can create modifications to our new home page variant, side-by-side with the Default experience. Umbraco makes it easy to copy components from the Default across to the Variant, and then modify them.

In our case, we want to modify the Header Banner message from the default of “Forward Thinking Digital” to “Work with us. We think you are great”. We also want to change the background image and call-to-action button. These modifications can all be made within the one Header Banner component.

Whilst of course this may not necessarily win us any new employees, we believe it demonstrates the point of easy personalisation using uMarketingSuitešŸ™‚

Default homepage

Personalised homepage for Clive segment

Of course, we can create similar variants for our other Personas/Visitor segments. In addition to modifying the content components on the page, you can also add custom CSS and JavaScript for each variant. This effectively provides unlimited ability to personalise the experience based on your user experience requirements.

Scenario 2

When a visitor comes to our Services page from a targeted online campaign, we should show them information specific to the digital service they are interested in.

This time, we will personalise the Services page based on an Explicit parameter. We have created a segment for all visitors who arrive on our site with the UTM campaign value of ‘promotion’.

Using that segment, we will create a personalised variant of our Services page. 

Assuming the promotion relates to Aceik’s website optimisation services, the variant will include modifications to the Head banner to change the hero image and text accordingly.

Default experience

Personalised experience for promotion visitors

A/B Testing

uMarketingSuite supports various kinds of A/B testing. You can test single pages, multiple pages at once or entire document types (to test global changes).

One of the goals of the Aceik website is to have visitors view the work we’ve delivered. We can create a simple sing page A/B test to measure how effective different headlines, images and calls-to-action are in generating views of our Work pages. To measure the effectiveness, we will use Goals, as set up in our first blog post in this series.

To do this, we navigate to the Work page in our content tree, go to A/B tests and Start a test.

As you can see in the screenshot, we have various parts to configure. Note you can include multiple page variants if you wish. We have selected the goal of ‘View our work pages’. This goal is set to fire when any of the sub-pages within Work are viewed. 

The modification of each test variant happens in the same way as each personalisation. You edit each variant alongside the default experience and modify the elements required.

Once the test is set to run, you can view data on how the test is progressing. The length of the test will vary depending on the volume of visitors/participants in the test. The variant with the highest conversion rate will be the winner.

Previewing changes

uMarketingSuite makes it easy to preview both personalisations and A/B tests at any point. There are prominent Preview links in appropriate locations for both. You can use these links to preview any changes before publishing or to review the current personalisations/tests once live also.

A topic for our next post in this series is the excellent de-bugger and preview tool that comes with uMarketingSuite. This tool, called ‘Cockpit’, makes it incredibly quick and easy to preview the site using any available Segments. It also lets you see lots of other cool things. Next post coming soon…

Umbraco and uMarketingSuite – personas, journeys, goals, segments and scoring

This is the first of a 3-part blog series on Umbraco and uMarketingSuite. Across this series, we will be looking at how to use these platforms to build and deliver website personalisation, testing, analytics and all that good stuff. This first post is on setting up the necessary foundation and will cover personas, journeys, goals, segments and scoring. Post 2 will be on the actual personalisation and testing. The 3rd post will be on debugging, analytics, profiles and other settings.

Let’s look at the setup steps involved, using the Aceik website as an example. This article was originally posted on Aceik.com.au

Personas

Firstly, let’s create a persona group. Our persona group is called ‘Visitors’ as it will contain personas of different types of website visitors. Check the Advanced settings of your persona group. Note the default Threshold value of 25. This score needs to be reached before our visitor profiles become active. Note also the Maximum points to score of 10. This is the maximum amount that any individual item can score towards activating our profiles. These details become important later on.

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Next, we create 3 personas. These personas need to represent typical users of our website. For Aceik, let’s create:

  1. Clive, the future colleague (prospective employee)
  2. Chloe, the competitor (from another digital consultancy)
  3. Clara, the customer (interested in our digital services)
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Journeys

uMarketingSuite comes with 1 default customer journey, based on a model developed by Google. You can customise this or create your own from scratch. The customer journey step is about establishing a broad sequence of phases that we want our visitors to progress through. For the Aceik website, the default journey works well; we want our visitors to

  1. Become aware of Aceik (See)
  2. Consider Aceik (Think)
  3. Interact with Aceik (Do)
  4. Partner with us (Care)
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Goals

Website goals are a must-have. What is the purpose of your website? What actions do you want visitors to your website to take? What will you track and measure to understand if your website is performing correctly? What must you focus on if you wish to continuously improve your website? Goals, Goals, Goals.

And more specifically concerning personalisation and testing, if you don’t have goals in place, how will you know if your optimisations are effective and successful? Without goals, the whole activity loses meaning and value.

Goals are easy to set up in uMarketingSuite. The easiest kind of goal is based on pageview, but you can also configure goals based on events or custom code. For Aceik, we want our website visitors to view our work, and make contact. Our website goals relate to specific pages of content we want them to view and ‘thank you’ pages relating to successfully submitted contact forms.

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Segments

Segments are subsets of your website visitors. Segments are the basis upon which you deliver personalised experiences. Segments can utilise the implicit data generated by the personas and journeys we have just set up. Segment can also use explicit data based on actual visitor information (e.g. browser type, time of day, number of sessions etc).

uMarketingSuite allows for the creation of temporary (time-relevant) segments (e.g. relating to a campaign) or core segments (ongoing). We will create 6 core segments for Aceik.com.au

  1. Clive – all visitors who match our Clive persona
  2. Chole – all visitors who match our Chloe persona
  3. Clara – all visitors who match our Clara persona
  4. All users who have completed a contact form on our website
  5. Visitors who visit our site via a promotional campaign link
  6. Visitors browsing our website before 12 noon

We will use all 6 of these segments in the personalisations to come. The uMarketingSuite segment builder is simple yet powerful. The parameters are differentiated by whether they are implicit or explicit. Normally, you would create these segments once you had determined exactly the personalisations you wanted to deliver. In our case, we will get to that in part 2 of this blog series.

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Score content, campaigns, referrals

The final step in establishing the foundations for personalisation and testing is scoring. In uMarketingSuite we can score content, campaigns and referrals. Scoring is where the threshold values and maximum points from earlier become relevant. Essentially, this step is about scoring each element of the website experience with respect to a relevant persona or journey. Each item can receive a score of up to 10, and once a threshold of 25 is reached, the visitor will be assigned to that particular persona or journey. For example, on the Aceik website, we have content that is written for prospective employees. We need to score that content highly regarding our Clive persona. Our Content scoring for Clive is as follows:

  • Visitor views ‘Contact us’ page. Score = 5
  • Visitor views ‘Work for us’ page. Score = 10
  • Visitor views blog post ‘Come and work with the A team’. Score = 10

These 3 content scores give us a total of 25. If a visitor views all 3 pages, their profile will be assigned a persona of Clive. This will then put that visitor in our related Segment. And Personalisations can be activated off that segment šŸ™‚

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Similarly, links from referring websites or campaigns can be scored. For example, if a visitor to the Aceik website comes from a link on Seek.com.au, that referral should be scored as a 10 against our Clive persona. Alternatively, we might tag any job links posted on Linkedin with a UTM campaign value of “positions-vacant”. These campaign links would also be scored highly against our Clive persona.

That’s it for the setup steps. Now with these things in place, we can start to build our tests and personalisation. The next post in this series coming soon…