Using Map Analytics
As a nuCloud map user, you have access to an important feature that you can use to your advantage to both understand how users are using your map, and where you might might need to make improvements as your map evolves and grows. We accomplish this through the use of Google Analytics integration – provided as a standard feature to all map clients – which ships map usage information directly to your own analytics account for you to review.
Getting started with Google Analytics for your map is very simple. First, you just need to log into the map editor, select your map on the list, and click on the map settings button in the toolbar. You’ll find the field for your Google Analytics ID on the bottom of the first tab in the settings dialog box. You’ll want to put your full profile ID in that field (e.g. UA-1234567-1) and save the changes, then republish your map to push the settings out live. Once that is done, your map will immediately start collecting usage data, and you should usually see it showing up in your dashboard reports within about 15 minutes.
From this point, the rest of the work is handled from within your Google Analytics profile reports (we don’t capture your data, you retain full control and can turn off the functionality at any point by removing your profile ID from the map). In this case, we log activity on maps into events – specifically, each map you have is its own event category, with each stop on that map constituting an event label. If you aren’t familiar with the events reports, you can start by looking for the header under the the Content menu, under events Events submenu. Start by selecting the Top Events report.
This report will list out all of your top event categories that you’re tracking on your profile – hopefully you’ll see your map listed right at the top, though keep in mind you might have other categories you’re tracking on your site as well, so this would be one more in the list. Your map category name will follow the pattern of “Map [Map Name],” where the “map name” is what you titled it in the map editor backend. At this point, you’ll likely be seeing the total number of events in the whole category for the past month. Once you click into the category, you’ll get a more detailed, granular view of the map activity itself.
This is where the meat and potatoes are for your map. The list you’re presented with is a listing of each stop on your map in order of the number of views that they’ve gotten, allowing you to see which stops get more visits than others. Each time a user opens a stop on the map, it will trigger the appropriate event label, incrementing it by one. As a result, you can see which stops draw the most attention, versus the ones that people aren’t paying as much attention to. What you do with that information is up to you, such as maybe providing better imagery or video for the lesser seen stops, or looking at your default zoom level or where stops themselves are positioned. Perhaps you have too many stops on a map, so people aren’t staying long enough to look at ones later in the cycle. Whatever the issue, it’s always a good idea to keep informed about how visitors are using interactive tools on your site.
Once this data is in the system, you can slice and dice it a number of ways, such as comparing the views against secondary dimensions that are important to you, or setting up goals around it. Another common option is to look at how it factors into Advanced Segments. For instance, perhaps you specifically want to see how map usage rates for repeat visitors to your site. While you’re on the report, you can look under the header in the upper left and click on the Advanced Segments button. You’ll be given a number of options, including the ability to make a custom segment. For now, we’ll just try a stock one – the Returning Visitors segment. Once you apply the segment, the report below is automatically customized to reflect just that part of your audience. You can also apply other segments simultaneously to see how they compare side by side. This is just another way to glean useful information from your analytics on how tools on your site are used.
We will be continuing to improve and extend the capabilities of our map analytics, so please refer to this page any time you have questions. You can also contact us with additional questions or requests any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.