Magento Google Analytics Funnel for Tracking Each Step of One Page Checkout

Magento Google Analytics – I have spent the entire afternoon working on a client’s Magento website. As an update to my previous post “Magento One Page Checkout vs. Multipage Checkout“, I needed to set up a Google Analytics funnel to accurately track each step of the One Page Checkout process. Because it obviously only uses one page and AJAX, the default Google Analytics configuration is not able to track each of the six steps of the checkout process to determine where the visitors are abandoning their transactions. Clearly, it is very valuable to have that information available. Luckily for us, we are able to do just that. Here are the steps:

1. Open up the template file /app/design/frontend/default/YOURTEMPLATENAME/template/checkout/onepage.phtml in a text editor or WYSIWYG web editor such as Dreamweaver.

2. Paste the following code to the very bottom of the onepage.phtml file (You may have to replace the quotes in plaintext for it to work, fyi):

<script type=”text/javascript”>
Checkout.prototype.gotoSection = function(section) {
try {
pageTracker._trackPageview(‘<?php echo $this->getUrl(‘checkout/onepage’) ?>’ + section + ‘/’);
} catch(err) { }

section = $(‘opc-‘+section);
section.addClassName(‘allow’);
this.accordion.openSection(section);
};
</script>

3. Save and upload the template file and you are done with the hard part and you will now be able to track the views of each of the six steps!

4. Now if you want to set up the Google Analytics conversion tracking and funnel to determine where the users are dropping off, you can do so by creating a new Goal in Google Analytics and by using the following settings:

Goal Type: URL Destination
Match Type: Head Match
Goal URL: /checkout/onepage/success/

Funnel Steps:

Step 1: /checkout/onepage/
Step 2: /checkout/onepage/billing/
Step 3: /checkout/onepage/shipping/
Step 4: /checkout/onepage/shipping_method/
Step 5: /checkout/onepage/payment/
Step 6: /checkout/onepage/review/

And that’s it!

Magento One Page Checkout vs. Multipage Checkout

Anybody have any info on whether the Magento One Page Checkout is better than the Multipage Checkout? I think as a user and as someone who deals with conversion rate optimization on a daily basis, I would normally prefer the One Page Checkout 99% of the time. However, I have been looking through the GetClicky stats for one of my client’s websites and there seems to be a fairly high rate of shopping cart abandonment on the Onepage checkout. It could certainly mean there is a technical error of some kind that I have yet to find but I keep trying to recreate the error and have had no such luck. I may set up an A/B Split Test to compare the One Page Checkout vs. the Multi Page Checkout. Let me know if there are any Magento developers out there that have noticed some weird issues going on with their shopping carts.

Alexa Toolbar Removal Tool – Uninstall Alexa Tool Bar

There is really no need for a specialized Alexa Toolbar Removal Tool. Just follow these instructions for removing the Alexa Toolbar from Internet Explorer if you are getting the errors “alexa user info tracking detected” from Symantec or McAfee. Luckily, all versions of the Alexa Toolbar come with an uninstall option. You either click on the down arrow by the Alexa logo and select Uninstall from the drop down menu. Or you can simply go to the Windows Start Menu and uninstall it via the Add/Remove Programs feature. That should take care of it.

Now that you have removed the Alexa Toolbar, now your best bet is to never install it again! Apparently some other software programs include it as part of their package so make sure to uncheck the Alexa option during the initial installation.

Market Samurai Review Video

Market Samurai Review Video – So I downloaded a program called Market Samurai and to be honest, it is probably the best and most comprehensive tool for search engine marketing as well as just overall online marketing. Most of the work I do is done manually so I guess I am pretty old school. I have tried so-called “SEO Software” such as Web Position Gold, Advanced Web Ranking, SEONuke, Keyword Elite, IBP, WebCEO, etc. etc. and a lot of them simply are basically obsolete nowadays and most of them just didn’t really have everything I was looking for, especially if the software was not available for free. But I’ve been trying out Market Samurai and it really is pretty sweet. I will post a Market Samurai Review Video coming up shortly.

Alexa vs Compete vs Quantcast vs ComScore vs Hitwise vs Nielsen

All of these third-party analytic services are terribly inaccurate but will continue to be used until a more accurate tool is available. Below is an overview of the methodologies used for collecting data for each of these services:

Alexa
Methodology: Captures traffic data from users who download and use the Alexa Toolbar in their web browser. They also claim to use other “diverse traffic data sources”, which is very vague.

Sample Size: There is no known number of current Alexa Toolbar users, but it is said to be in the “millions.” I would bet that size continues to decline as more and more spyware programs flag the Alexa Toolbar as spyware/adware and either uninstall or completely block installation of the toolbar in the first place.

Problems: Well, there are a few:

1. Easily skewed – Since the Alexa Ranking is determined by users who have the Alexa toolbar installed, it is often in the interests of a website owner to install the Alexa toolbar themselves to increase their own Alexa ranking. And that is precisely the case. That is why you will see most webmaster forums and SEO blogs have high Alexa rankings, even if they don’t get much traffic overall.

2. Easily manipulated – Even though Alexa claims they have since added measures to prevent intentional manipulation of their rankings, it is still possibly to increase your own Alexa ranking by installing the toolbar and visiting your own site. Try it out for 7 days straight and I guarantee your Alexa ranking will increase significantly.

3. Catch 22 – Most webmasters nowadays are aware that the Alexa ranking is often inaccurate and thus say “oh the Alexa ranking doesn’t mean anything.” But in reality, most of them do care about it because many advertisers use Alexa ranking data to determine which websites they want to advertise on. And people looking to buy a domain name or website will often do the same in determining the value of a site. So it’s a Catch 22 – the webmaster knows the data is inaccurate and shouldn’t care about it, but they do care about it because advertisers care about it. And that will continue to be the case until more accurate data is available.

Compete
Methodology: Captures traffic data from “diverse sources” such as the Compete Toolbar and ISP logs.

Sample Size: Approximately 2,000,000 U.S. users, or 1% of total market

Problems: While not as easily skewed or manipulable as Alexa, the sample size is so small that the data is often wildly inaccurate.

Quantcast
Methodology: Quantcast measures websites that have installed their tracking code directly in the HTML of the website

Sample Size: They claim to have 80,000 “Quantified Publishers” who have installed the tracking code across 10 million websites.

Problems: Again, the sample size. The majority of websites do not have the QuantCast tag installed on their site so it is impossible to compare the traffic of a website that is able to be directly tracked with their tracking code and ones that are not.

ComScore, Nielsen, HitWise (I am lumping these three together for the time being)
Methodology : Most of these get their data from willing participants. Their users agree to install survey software on their computers to track their usage. These companies also get data from ISPs.

Sample Size: 2 million to 10 million in the US

Problems : Sample size, sample size, sample size!

(I will continue this post later, I just had to get something written since I’ve been meaning to for quite some time!)

Treadmill Desk vs. Exercise Bike Desk

I am trying to decide between buying or building a treadmill desk or an exercise bike desk. Since I work from my home office, I don’t have the benefit of actually walking around much at all and thus don’t burn as many calories as I would actually having to walk to my car and walk to and from the office, which is something that most people probably take for granted. So if I’m not careful, I could easily put on a lot of weight even if I eat the exact same thing I always do and even if I do the exact same amount of exercise as I always do, simply because I don’t actually walk much further than my bedroom downstairs to my home office, the kitchen for lunch, and occasionally the bathroom which happens to be right next to my office, during a typical weekday.

So, I got the crazy idea to look into getting one of those sit down exercise bikes that have the computer monitors in front of them, like you find at the gym. That would be ideal because I would be sitting back in a comfortable position in which I could easily do hours worth of work while burning calories at the same time. The ones I found online were crazy expensive, but I saw some related products, such as the portable “bike” from Brookstone that you put under your desk, which looks like a piece of junk. Not to mention it requires a comfortable chair to use since I don’t find myself using my actual desk chair when I’m pedaling furiously. There are also exercise bike desks that have the regular stand up bike but I can’t imagine that would be too comfortable for a long period of time.

So, then I came across treadmill desks or “walking desks.” I didn’t realize how many people have had the same idea and there’s actually kind of a big market for these things. Some of them are thousands of dollars, which I’m not really looking for since I already own a treadmill, which I do use on a regular basis, just not when I’m actually working on the computer. I also came across several homemade treadmill desks that look intriguing so I may have to try those out. I just think I would only use it for an hour or so a day, mostly because I would be tired from standing up that long, haha. So we’ll see, I think I do need to do something though…

So, does anybody have any experience with treadmill desks or exercise bike desks? Or any other kind of office exercise tips to help keep me from gaining 20 pounds of disgusting flab? 🙂

PHP Contact Form Script Generator

I am thinking about creating a PHP contact form script generator since pretty much every single website I work on uses a contact form in one way or another. The majority of the time I simply just copy and paste the same basic contact form template over and over, but it gets messy when older versions of the form tend to break or get flooded with spam, so I constantly have to add spam validation measures to various websites.  Most of the free contact form scripts available on the web are extremely outdated and don’t use any kind of validation to prevent the spambots from flooding them with gibberish. Yes, I know there are a ton of “new” contact form scripts out there, but it just seems that none of them are exactly what I want. Some of them are just way too slow because they include way too many validation measures which ends up taking 10 seconds for the form to be processed, which of course is very bad website usability and negatively affects conversion rates.

So my PHP contact form script will be very lightweight and thus very fast. It will be simple to set up and customize. It will also have a nice design feature so it doesn’t look like a boring old form or just look plain ugly. It will automatically include some PHP code on the script processing side to filter out spam on the backend along with maybe some JavaScript and clever CSS code to prevent spam on the frontend. Oh, and there definitely will not be any kind of CAPTCHA or other “are you a human?” related question, that’s for sure! I cannot stand those!

Anyways, stay tuned as I work on building the “perfect” PHP Contact From Script Generator, which will probably take months before I forget about it altogether. 😛

Bulk Domain Name Checker

I have been using this bulk domain name checker a lot recently for finding [exact match] keyword domain names (which I have had a lot of success with for SEO.) Check it out at http://www.domaintools.com/bulk-check/.