Will "the Mighty" Strohl

DotNetNuke Professional Edition’s Google Analytics Pro

I was one of the many people who watched Nik Kalyani’s first webinar, showcasing the anticipated Professional Edition version of DotNetNuke® version 5.01.00.  As always, he did a fantastic job of presenting his topic to us.  I really enjoy his talks.  This blog is coming a bit late, as the webcast was last Wednesday.

I do want to calm any conspiracy theorists first though.  The only affiliation I have with the DotNetNuke Corporation is that I am on the Media Module project team.  They are in no way asking me to review DNN PE (which I do not have a copy of), and they might even be unhappy about it since they have a Marketing team who is dedicated to speak about such things.  I am just like most of you.  I am on the side lines, but unlike many of you, I am also a prospective customer.  You may or may not know that my day job is as the Technology Director for RezHub.com.  Our business relies 100% on DotNetNuke®.

In his talk, Nik highlighted both the Text/HTML Pro Module, and the Google Analytics Pro Module  (GAP module) for DotNetNuke® version 5.01.00 PE.  We will be talking about the Google Analytics Pro Module for right now.  There are some slight differences between the Community Edition and Professional Edition of the Google Analytics module that DNN includes now.  First of all, the module is indeed labeled differently in PE.

DNN PE: Admin Menu > Google Analytics Pro

Once you choose the Google Analytics Pro page, the module interface is pretty simple.  You can immediately tell though, that it includes some additional functionality that an Enterprise-level website would need.  The Rules section below the Update button are not available in the Community Edition.

DNN PE: Google Analytics Pro Module

The Rules section allows an Administrator to very easily add Segmentation Rules to the GAP module.  What are these for?  Simple…  They help a website administrator or a marketing team to better analyze traffic in a more granular way.  Such a feature would only need to be available to a website team that had someone dedicated to this task.  Generating the workflow, data, and analyzing that data is literally a full time job.  That doesn’t even get us to the part of using the knowledge gained from that data.

DNN PE: Google Analytics Pro HTML SourceIf you simply add the Tracking ID that Google assigned to you and click Update, your HTML source will look the same as with any other Google Analytics (GA) solution that already exists.

Nik can certain explain it more eloquently, but adding the Segmentation Rules greatly increases your ability to track your visitors and customers.  This tracking ability allows you to more efficiently determine things such as if your workflow patterns are working, where your conversion paths are failing, where your visitor came from, and where they left.  There are so many more possibilities too.

In looking at Nik’s example, he was tracking visitors that were sent to the site from a trade show.  He added a rule to track visitors who entered the site as a result of attending a trade show.

DNN PE: Google Analytics Pro > Segmentation Rules

When the source for the site is view again, our HTML will have changed just a bit.

DNN PE: Google Analytics Pro > Segmentation Rules (HTML Source)

This may not look so useful right now, but if you were to check your Google Analytics account after at least a day of this Segmentation Rule being rolled out, you will have a much more granular way to look at and analyze your website’s traffic.  Think about it for a moment… All of the things that you already know and love about Google Analytics would still be available, and now you’d be able to look at the same information for a valuable subset of your visitors.  I don’t know about you, but if my website is supposed to make money, that data is incredibly valuable to me.

Overall Impression

Just looking at what I have just showed you, the Google Analytics Pro Module may not excite you like it does me.  However, I am not looking at this for my personal, small business, or catalog websites.  I am looking at this from how such a feature would not only benefit me now, but also the upgrades to this core PE module going forward, should I make the switch to becoming a Professional Edition subscriber.  Nik made it clear during the webinar that more features for this module are already in the road map that will take advantage of more of the Google API features.

I am impressed right now with their simple user interface.  This is a necessity, especially for Enterprise customers.  It seems that the more money a company makes, the less their staff truly understands software.  At least, that’s been my experience.  I think this module and the webinar in general both give us a very good peek into the future of DNN PE, in how they are approaching PE features. 

I was going to post a link to the webinar for you to see everything for yourselves, but the webinar recording is not listed right now for some reason.  I have a direct link to the WMV, but I do not think I am supposed to hand that out.  Sorry…  You can check out their webinars page to see if it gets posted.

I am excited to see more, and I am sure you are too, if you’ve made it this far into my blog post.  Next, I will give you a peek at the Text/HTML Pro module.  That is, as long as I do not get flogged for this post. ;)

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