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Understand Member Engagement with Google Analytics

As we wind down from the holiday season and start to settle back in, It really hits me that we’ve moved into a new year once I get comfortable adjusting dates from ‘/13’ to ‘/14’.


By then I’ve started to think about goals or resolutions for the New Year. I’d like to encourage all of you to add one simple but important resolution to your list– use Google Analytics to track member engagement. This goes deeper than simply looking at page views to determine what pages or categories are your most valuable. The goal of tracking member behavior and activity is to have tangible data on why your members sign up for conferences, take action on association initiatives, and ultimately renew their membership. To accomplish this you will need to do two things- optimize and segment.


It all starts with having a good foundation. Before we implement customizations to track Member Engagement you’ll want to take a look at your analytics account and ensure that you are tracking site search, have google analytics goals that classify as engagement, and set up at least one funnel for a member specific activity that you’ll expect all members to take in 2014. A funnel will give you a clear picture on where members enter and exit a process.


Once you have the foundation configured to track engagement, the next step is to modify your login routine to drop a custom variable that tracks member activity. An advantage to setting custom variables is that you will be able to track specific membership types. Now you will know just what committee members are looking for as compared to student members. We can customize this further to track activities at a session or visitor level.

With this information you will be able to configure various segments between members and nonmembers. The next step is to analyze this data and use Ektron CMS to improve the member experience through targeted content.

Mike Groh

Written by Mike Groh