GA Flash Audit – Joy
31/10/2011 | Written by | Categories: GA Flash Audit

Joy Homepage

This is a Google Analytics Flash Audit performed on the Joy website.  It evaluates their implementation of Google Analytics and makes some suggestions as to what can be done to improve the usefulness of the data via the configuration or an improved implementation.

Joy currently has a basic implementation of Google Analytics although they may be using ClickTracks as their primary web analytics tool.  They will experience issues in understanding performance through a lack of hierarchy in page names (can be improved in the configuration) with a serious issue due to no visibility of visitor behaviour within the checkout process.  The Add to Basket action is also not tracked meaning it is not possible to analyse performance through the full ecommerce funnel or create a Merchandising report.

If you would like a free Flash Audit performed on your website, please contact Peter on 07843617347 or via  A copy of the audit can be downloaded at the end of this post.

Basic Details

Company Name: Joy


Visits: 31,000 (Sept 2011)

UK Visits: 24,000 (Sept 2011)

Code on Website

Joy is using the traditional version of Google Analytics.

They also have code for the following web analytics tools on their website:

  • ClickTracks

Joy does not have code for any other tools on their website.

Google Analytics code

Standard Code

The only pages found that do not contain Google Analytics code were within the /blog subdirectory.  However there is a big issue with the Checkout process as all information and navigation between sections occurs on a single page.  Therefore there is no way to tell, based on standard page tags, where visitors encounter issues with this process.

The GA account number was consistent across all pages.

The Joy website does not require any sub domain or cross domain tracking.  However there was code identified that affects cookies:

  • pageTracker._initData();
    • This line of code is not required and can be deleted
    • It should not have any negative impact on tracking in the meantime

No pages viewed contained virtual page names (where the page name is overwritten in the code).

Additional Variables

No custom variables were encountered during the exploration of the Joy website.

No events were encountered during the exploration of the website.

No virtual pages were encountered during the exploration of the website.

Marketing Campaign parameters

Joy has been identified as using a number of marketing channels including Twitter, Facebook and email.  None of the Social Media links are tagged with GA campaign parameters that will enable this marketing to be identified within Google Analytics.  It is unclear if emails are tagged as no email has been received yet through subscribing to the Joy mailing list.

Potential Configuration of Google Analytics

Internal (Site) Search

Joy is able to set-up Internal Search reporting.  They need to specify the search URL parameter as SearchTerm.

Page Names

To maximise the usefulness of web analytics reporting and analysis, page names should be recognisable as relating to a particular page on the website and follow a hierarchical structure.  If they do not naturally follow a strong naming convention, pages can be renamed as part of the configuration of Google Analytics.  For an ecommerce website, pages are grouped into three sections: ecommerce pages, checkout process (Basket page through to Order Confirmation page) and non-ecommerce pages.

Ecommerce pages

There are some pages in this section which do not follow a strong page naming convention.  Pages that should be renamed in the configuration are:

  • Department pages
    • Apply a profile filter that renames the specific department pages as /department/<department name> e.g.
      • Field A -> /c-[0-9]+-(new-in|women|men|etc).aspx
      • Output -> /department/$A1
  • Product List pages
    • Apply a profile filter that renames all product list pages (whether at Category or Sub Category level) as /product-list/<product list name> e.g.
      • Field A -> /c-[0-9]+-([a-z-]+).aspx
      • Output -> /product-list/$A1
  • Product Detail pages
    • Apply a profile filter that renames product pages as /product-details/<product name> e.g.
      • Field A -> /p-[0-9]+-([a-z-0-9]+).aspx
      • Output -> /product-details/$A1

These profile filters would result in usable page names.  However, if Joy wished to have a great page naming convention, they could take advantage of their existing breadcrumb.  This breadcrumb has a strong page naming convention using a nice hierarchical structure.  Virtual page names could be dynamically generated based on the breadcrumb for each page.

Joy Ecommerce Page Naming Convention

Checkout Process pages

The pages in Checkout Process are not tracked in Google Analytics as all visitor interactions occur within a single page.

Non ecommerce pages

Pages in this section naturally follow a strong page naming convention.  It could be enhanced slightly for many of the standard website pages by using a profile filter that renames some of these pages as /website/<page name> e.g.

  • Field A -> /t-([a-z]+).aspx
  • Output -> /website/$A1


It is recommended that if not already set-up, Goals are created for the following website actions based on the existing implementation and previously suggested configuration:

Macro Conversion Events

  • Place Order
    • With a funnel for the stages of the ecommerce funnel

Micro Conversion Events

  • Contact Joy
    • The thank you page for submitting the contact form
  • Sign up to Newsletter
    • The thank you page for signing up
  • View Gift Voucher page
  • View Store Locator

Stages of the Ecommerce Funnel

  • View Ecommerce page
    • Any of Department, Product List, Product Details or Search pages
  • View Product List page
  • View Basket Page (as a proxy for create basket which cannot be tracked)
  • Commence Checkout

Joy Product Details page

Recommendations for an Enhanced Implementation

Customisation of Cookies

Joy has no need to add code to customise cookies.  Instead the _initData() line should be removed.  Ideally they would switch to Google Analytics asynchronous code at the same time.  If so, their standard page tag should be placed just before the </head> tag and would be:

    <script type="text/javascript">
      var _gaq = _gaq || [];
      _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-7354804-1']);
      (function() {
        var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type =
        'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
        ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' :
        'http://www') + '';
        var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
        s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

Custom Variables

It is recommended that the following custom variables are tracked:

  • Visitor
    • Customer
      • set when a purchase is made or when a visitor logs in to the website and is recognised as having previously made a purchase
  • Page View
    • On the Product Details page
      • Availability
      • On Sale flag
      • Method used to access product details page
        • E.g. Product List page, Search Results, “Try these too”, “Don’t forget”
    • On the Search Results page
      • Number of search results returned
    • On Blog posts
      • Age of article e.g. this week, this month, 6 months, this year, older


It is recommended that the following actions on the Joy website are tracked as events:

  • Visitor login
    • Include method of logging in, number of previous orders and their value
  • View Product Info & Care and Delivery & Returns tabs on Product Details pages
  • Clicks on product images on Product Details pages
  • Clicks on internal promotional boxes/links on the Homepage
  • Clicks out to Social Media networks
    • Using Social Events as appropriate

Virtual Page Views

It is recommended that the following actions on the Joy website are tracked as virtual page views:

Add to Basket

When a visitor currently adds a product to basket, there is nothing to indicate that a product has been added to the basket.  A virtual page name should be generated to indicate that an Add to Basket action has occurred.  The page name would be for this visitor action would be:

  • /add_to_basket/<product name>

Checkout Process pages

Joy Checkout Process

As mentioned, the sections within the Checkout Process are not tracked within GA.  Instead there is only a single page view of /checkout1.aspx?checkout=true.  It is likely there is a new page view for the order confirmation page but as an order was not completed, this cannot be verified.  The solution is to generate a virtual page view for each section of the checkout process that the visitor views.  This measurement would be triggered as each section of the checkout process is exposed.  The naming convention should be

  • /checkout/<section name>

Key Ecommerce Investigations

Analyse the Ecommerce Funnel

Not all stages of the ecommerce funnel can currently be identified and reported on.  The stage which cannot be measured is:

  • Create Basket
    • No measurement is recorded when a product is added to the basket

Analyse the Checkout Process

As previously stated, it is not possible to analyse the checkout process as no measurements are triggered as the visitor progresses through the process.

Create a Merchandising Report

It is not possible to create a Merchandising report for Joy due to no measurements being captured when visitors add a product to their basket.

Analyse Performance by Entry Point

With the recommended configuration in place for department, product list and product pages, it will be possible to create a report comparing % Entries, Bounce Rate and Conversion Rate for different website entry points and different traffic sources.

Download Guide to Google Analytics Flash Audit

Download Joy Flash Audit

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