Kickstarter and Google Analytics (A guide for Kickstarter Campaigns)
If you have come to this page looking for assistance with Google Analytics or any other marketing issue, please feel free to reach out and see how we can help!
Kickstarter recently released the ability to use custom Google Analytics tracking for your account. What does this mean for you? It means you can see each and every visitor that hits your Kickstarter page in a super granular manner. Want to know where they came from? What page they sat on? How long they sat on it? When and how they backed your project?
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Here are the basics:
Go to www.google.com/analytics and sign up for an account (you will be prompted to use your Google account):
Once you create your account, you will be welcomed with a screen like this:
Just click sign up and go through the process, it is pretty painless. Once you set up your account, you will hit a screen with a bunch options, but you will not have any data in your account yet:
So, now is when you need to insert your unique tracking code into the pages you want to track. Google Analytics uses a piece of script that captures a users actions as they interact with your site. You can put this on your website and instantly have all kinds of data available at your fingertips. Want to see how many users visit your page from Kansas? No problem, just go to Overview>Geo>Location and view it on the map!
This is where things get interesting – You can use Google custom URLs to tag certain traffic. I know it sounds confusing, but bare with me. Lets say you have a link you want to share on Facebook, and a link you want to share on Twitter. Normally you would share these links and it would be anyones guess where that traffic came from. Not anymore! Now you can tag each URL you share separately and mark them as referring from Facebook or Twitter. Further, you can even tag them with special attributes! Lets say you have one link you shared on Facebook with your personal group, and another link you shared in a different group. You can tag each URL differently and track both of them at the same time; all of this while viewing the detailed metrics from above.
Now you are getting the picture – Seeing where your users are coming from, tagging the URLs you share to track data, and watching how users interact with your page is incredibly valuable. So now for the fun stuff.
Kickstarter recently integrated Google Analytics with their platform. This means you can view all of this juicy data, but for your Kickstarter campaign page!
Now you don’t have to use tools like Bit.ly or Hootsuite to tag URLs and track them with a third party, you can tag each url individually and view the metrics raw within Google Analytics! Even better! You can set up a conversion goal in GA and see how many people actually back your project from a certain referral source or link! The fun never stops!
Implementing GA on your Kickstarter Page
So how do we implement this magical device? It is easy. First, go to your campaign page on Kickstarter and click Check Dashboard:
Once there, navigate down the page to the Google Analytics Tracking ID section. Here you will see an option to enter your UA (Universal Analytics) number and submit:
To find this number, simply go into your Google Analytics account and click on the Admin tab on the top of the screen:
Once there, go to the middle section and select Tracking Info:
When you select Tracking Code it will expand with a mini-menu. Select the Tracking Code option in that menu:
Now you will see some silly code, but ignore that. All you need is the UA number display at the top of your page:
Copy this UA number completely and take it back over to the Kickstarter Google Analytics section and paste it. Once you confirm your code, you will now be sending traffic data from your Kickstarter page to your Google Analytics account. Congratulations, you have now integrated Google Analytics with your Kickstarter Campaign!
Tracking Traffic On Your Campaign Page
Now, lets see how to use this to our advantage. Lets go over making a custom URL:
If you simply search Google for “Custom URL Builder” you will find their help document that has the builder in it, but I will share the link here for your convenience:
Now, don’t be alarmed. This page has a lot of stuff that probably doesn’t mean anything to you, but I am here to help. This is the page you will be greeted with:
There are only a few mandatory fields you have to fill in, and it will all make sense once you generate and implement one of these links. For starters, put in the website URL for the page you want to track (this means if you want to track your Kickstarter Campaign page, you would put in your campaign URL.)
Next is Campaign Source – This is a mandatory field but you generate the content. Normally the source will be the website you are posting the link to, so in this case, lets say it is a Facebook link.
Next is Medium – this is the delivery method for the link and can be tagged as anything you want. In this case, lets say we are sharing this link on a specific Facebook group, and we want to track traffic from that group. We will put in “Board Game Group” for the Medium.
There are also some additional fields that you can fill out if you like, this will add further granularity to your link when you are looking in Google Analytics (think of them like tags on a blog, you can filter by a certain “tag” within Analytics.)
Finally enter a campaign name for this link. This will be the parent category that the link is found under in Google Analytics, so in this case we will put in Kickstarter Page.
After all of that is done, you should have something like this:
Now all you do is hit submit and the tool will do the work for you! You will be greeted with your newly minted custom URL:
Notice that this URL has all of the important variables we defined earlier. When a user clicks on this link, they will be directed to your Kickstarter page, and then it will tell the page that they came from *whatever variables you defined*. Doesn’t seem too hard now, does it? Now, just share this link in the appropriate place just like you would for your normal campaign link – it will point the user to your campaign page with the additional variables in their URL.
So how do you view this data? Go into your GA account and click on the Reporting tab at the top. Once there go to the Acquisition section on the left side and select All Traffic. This will expand out with several more options. Now select Source/Medium:
You will want to make sure your date is filtered for the range you want. In GA you can even compare day to day or week to week! To set your day filter, go to the upper right hand corner of your screen and you will see a date:
Select that date and it will balloon out with a calendar where you can select your options. First select your start date, and then end date. If you want the same date, just click the date twice:
If you want to compare a certain date in a range, just select compare and a separate date range box will pop up underneath it. Select the comparison range and you are set!
Now, back to that data!
Once you select Acquisition>All Traffic>Source/Medium, you will see a list of all of the pages that sent your Kickstarter Campaign traffic. This will include places like Board Game Geek, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You will notice that the custom URL we built earlier is also sending data to this page:
Now, there are a lot of marketing terms here that would take a while to cover fully, but here is the primer:
- Sessions: The number of unique users that visited a page.
- % New Sessions: This is the percentage of new sessions that visited your page within your selected time frame (so, over the course of my 2 days selected, 95.5% of the traffic was from new users.)
- New Users: This is how many unique new users that visited a page. (surprise)
- Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is a marketing term that indicates how many people visited only a certain page on your site, and then left. In the case of a Kickstarter campaign, Bounce Rate can be very important because it shows us how many users just hit your page and then went back, compared to how many users hit your page and finished through the funding process.
- Avg. Session Duration: This is the average duration of a user on your page.
So we can see the traffic from our custom URL, now what? Now we can dig into a ton of different metrics. Want to see how many people came to your campaign page from where? Go to Acquisition>All Traffic>Referrals. This will provide you with a full list of referring pages and all of their metrics:
This is the *very* watered down version of what the Google Analytics tool is capable of, but it should give you an idea.
But now the best part is saved for last. How do we track Conversions, as in, people that back our project?
Tracking Conversions/Backers In Analytics
At the time of writing this primer it was necessary to use goals to track conversions in GA. Since then, Kickstarter has started sending transaction data to Google Analytics. The good news for you is that this simplifies the conversion tracking element and removes a lot of the room for error in regard to capturing and tracking your backers! This feature is called Ecommerce Tracking within GA and it is pretty easy to set up:
Navigate to your Admin tab at the top of the page. Once there, navigate to the Ecommerce Settings section on the right side:
Once there you will see an Enable Ecommerce option. Turn it on by selecting the slider and hitting next step. You will see an option for “Enable Related Products” once you enable tracking, but for our purposes we will just keep it off:
After you select next step you will be given the option to enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting. Ensure that this option is off before you submit. Kickstarter does not currently support this functionality since it uses a different method to capture and submit transaction data. If you turn this on you will not be able to see ecommerce data for your account.
To view the ecommerce data you will go to Conversions>Ecommerce:
On this page you will see the transaction data that Kickstarter is sending to GA. As usual with any changes, it can take up to 24 hours to start seeing these metrics, so don’t be scared if you don’t see them right away!
I don’t happen to have ecommerce data on the example below, but this is what the page looks like:
Once you enable ecommerce tracking, Kickstarter will automatically begin sending transaction data to your GA account. This means that, once the reporting is enabled, you will be able to see metrics like average order value, and transactions. You can usually view ecommerce transactions as a conversion metric in the same place you can see goals:
Now, there are some limitations to ecommerce tracking and while it will display similar metrics, it is not the same as a goal. Ecommerce will give you more granular data about transactions, but you are not able to segment this transaction data in the same way as a goal. That is a little advanced for our purposes, but the short version is this: I suggest setting up goals (detailed below), as well as ecommerce tracking. Once ecommerce reporting is enabled, you will pass transaction data through to goals as well. This means that the “value” section of your conversion goal will show the actual $ value of that conversion. This will also allow you to use some advanced segmentation (like goal funnels), and see real time metrics for your conversions.
If you are only interested in the basics and don’t plan on digging into the metrics too deep, ecommerce tracking alone should be sufficient. If you plan on looking at advanced segmentation and using some of the more complicated facets of GA, I highly suggest setting up a conversion goal as well.
There is a little set up involved in tracking conversions, but it is pretty easy. First, go to the Admin tab at the top of the page again. Once there you will want to navigate to the Goals section on the right side of the page:
Click on Goals and you will be greeted with a blank page. Click the +NEW GOAL button on this page:
Once we select NEW GOAL, we will be presented with a menu. Select the Buy Merchandise option under the Revenue section and click Next Step:
On the next step, enter the name for your goal. In this case, lets call it Kickstarter Backer Conversion. Select Destination as your type for the goal and hit next step:
Now, go to the Destination dropdown box and select Regular Expression, and then in the content field enter this string of characters: \/thanks(\?.*(event=create)+|$)
You can assign a Value to this goal (your pledge level, etc) or a conversion funnel (advanced tactics.) For now I suggest keeping both of them off. Once you are done, hit create goal and you will see your newly minted goal in your list of Goals!
You can select the Verify this goal link and it will attempt to reference the data you currently have available with your current goal, but it is not very accurate unless you have a lot of conversion data in your account. It is pretty common for conversions to take up to 24 hours to post in Google Analytics unfortunately.
Now, once you have set up your goals and you have confirmed they are capturing, you can view their data in your account. Remember the page with all of the metrics earlier? If you look on the far right, you can see there are columns for the goals we created earlier. We can also view these goals in analytics under the Conversions>Goals>Overview section:
You will be able to filter all of the data available in relation to the goals you selected. This means that you can go to the referral page we covered earlier and see how many referrals you had from your Facebook page link, or your Twitter link. You can see how many conversions you have had from a certain state. You can even view the time of day when users interacted with your page!
Play around with the platform and see what options are available. You may not understand everything, but it is unlikely that you will break anything either.
View It All In Real-Time!
So now, truly the best for last. You can view all of this awesome data IN REAL TIME!
Under the Reporting tab, select Real-Time, and then Overview:
This will show you actual, real time users as they interact with your page. Where they are coming from, what page they are on, where in the world they are at, etc. With the other options under the Real-Time section, you can view which pages users are interacting with, the referral sources, and conversion metrics all in real time!
This is definitely not the end all be all guide to implementing Google Analytics, but it should be enough of a primer to get you started on your campaign page right now!
If you have any questions about this stuff, feel free to reach out:
Thanks for reading
P.S. Shameless plug – If you found this information useful, please check out our campaign for Foe Hunters: a co-op fantasy adventure deckbuilding game. If you like what you see, please consider pre-ordering below or sharing the campaign!
Check out the campaign here: