Increasing Conversions with Google Analytics

Google Analytics funnel
visualization helps you see
where your users are dropping out
of the checkout flow.
One of the key benefits of digital publishing with Tizra is that you have direct access to exceptionally detailed information about how people are interacting with your content using standard web analytics tools.  Because Tizra treats every page of every document as a separate web page, you know not only which publications are popular, but which PARTS of those publications are getting the most traffic.

It’s a great opportunity to learn more about your users, and to understand the basic forces driving the success of your online publishing efforts.  Plus it’s easy (not to mention addictive), and there are some great free tools available to help.

In this post, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on setting up Google Analytics to work with your Tizra account, and drill down on the Google Analytics Goals features that are particularly useful in measuring the success of your promotional efforts. 

In case you’re not familiar with web analytics, it's basically about recording and analyzing information that web browsers send when they request content from a website.  Some of the key metrics you can track include… 
  • Pages viewed: Lets you see the relative popularity of each page on your site.  This is where Tizra’s highly granular content delivery provides special advantages.
  • Visits: Number of visits (or more precisely, user sessions)  on your site within a given period. 
  • Visitors: Number of individual people (browsers). 
  • Pageviews: Total number of pages viewed by users. 
  • Pages/Visit: Average number of pages requested each time someone visits your site. Useful in determining how engaged users are with your content. 
  • Sources: How people are finding their way to your site, including links from other sites, social media and search engines like Google. 
Of course, the most important metric for many publishers is, How many users are buying my content, or registering on my site?  To help with this, Google Analytics has a powerful feature called Goals.  Goals make it easy for you to keep track of these key measures of success, and help you backtrack so you can understand where your successes are coming from, and pinpoint problems that may be preventing users from converting.

So, for example, a Goals report might show that 100 users landed on an offer page for a particular ebook. From there, three users added the offer to their shopping cart; two initiated a credit card purchase; and one sale went all the way through. With these analytics in hand, Tizra’s flexibility then makes it easy for you to improve whatever part of the process is not working.

For example, maybe you want to experiment with changing the aforementioned offer so that more visits to the ebook’s offer are converted into sales. You might decide to experiment with a 3-tiered pricing structure: one price for one month of online access; another price for one year of online access; and a third price for perpetual online access with a PDF chapter download included. Whatever types of changes you decide to make, Tizra makes them easy to do quickly, and Analytics Goals help you continue to make informed decisions about what changes are most effective.

Setting Up Google Analytics -- Step-by-Step
  1. Visit Google Analytics website to sign up for a new account. Click the Create Account button and follow the on-screen instructions.

  2. After you’ve filled out all the fields on the What would you like to track screen, click the Get Tracking ID button at the bottom of the page.

  3. Copy the Google Analytics Tracking ID onto the clipboard.
    The Tracking ID is formatted as: UA-XXXXXXXX-Y.

    : Once your Google Analytics Account is set up, you can find the Tracking ID by clicking the Admin button in the upper right corner of any Google Analytics screen, then selecting the appropriate Google Analytics account property, and then clicking the Tracking Info tab.
  4. Next, open up Tizra and from the control panel, go to REPORTING > Google Analytics Reporting.
  5. Take what you copied in step 3 and paste it into the Tracking Code field.
    Optionally, you can add a Description to the Tracking Code, which might include information about who set up the account and when.

    Note: Tizra can be set up to support tracking from multiple Google Analytics Account Profiles, which is useful if there are different departments within your organization that need separate access to data. 

    Bear in mind that when you add new Profiles, they don't include retrospective data, so you'll want to have at least one with continuity all the way back to the beginning.
  6. Click Save at the bottom of the Tizra screen.
    Google Analytics will typically have reporting available within 24 hours.

Setting Up Google Analytics Goals
  1. Click the Admin button at the top right of any Google Analytics screen.
  2. On the Account Administration screen, click the appropriate Account name.
    If you have a lot of Accounts or Properties, use the search field above the Account name(s).
  3. From the list of Account Properties, select the appropriate Property.
    When you set up your new Account, you also added the web site Property you wished to see reports for. You can optionally add additional Properties.

  4. From the Profiles list, select the Profile you want to add the Goal to.

    Note: A Profile lets you "define which data is available from your web site Property, and also specify a list of users who can see that data in reports. The first Profile that Analytics creates for a web site Property has no filters, so all  your data is available in at least one profile. Create additional profiles and filter the data for those profiles as necessary."
  5. Click the Goals tab from the Profiles menu.
  6. Click +Goal to add a goal to one of the Goal sets.
  7. Enter the values in the fields as listed (and pictured) below:
    Goal Name: Successfully Complete Purchase
    Goal Type: URL
    Goal URL:
    Match Type:
    Head Match
    Case Sensitive:
    Goal Value:
     <leave blank>

    Note: If you would like to track conversions for a particular purchase Offer, you can append the Offer ID to the end of the Goal URL.  For example, if the Offer ID was 1234, the Goal URL would be /commerce/success/1234.  (The Offer ID can be found on the Offer Properties screen in parentheses.)
  8. Enter the values in the fields as listed (and pictured) below: 
    URL: /commerce/step1Name: 1-Arrive at Payment Form
    Required step:
     <check the box>

  9. Click +Goal Funnel Step.
  10. Complete the newly displayed Step 2 fields as follows:
    URL: /commerce/step2Name: 2-Arrive at Confirmation Page
  11. Click the Save button to save your Goal and two Funnels.
  12. To view your Goals Analytics, click the Standard Reporting tab and ten click the Conversions section of the left-hand menu. Select from that menu the Goal Reporting you'd like to view.

Our Superficial Review of Surface: It Works with Tizra!

The new Microsoft Surface tablet was on the doorstep at Tizra HQ this morning, and we took a little time to run it through some basic tests.  Overall, our feeling was in line with the reviews: Nice hardware, and potentially attractive for those looking for a more mobile way to use MS Office.  Still a ways to go on software, though.

We tried the Windows RT version of Internet Explorer 10 on a few Tizra sites, and overall they worked as expected, though interactions with the new reading interface we've just developed (more on this soon) were sluggish.  Part of it may be incompatibility with some underlying scripts, which will be tuned as IE 10 becomes more of a factor.  Part of it was probably just our unfamiliarity with new Metro interface.

So for now, our minds are open on Surface as a device, but more importantly, we're thrilled to see another major player striving mightily to develop better ways for users to interact with the great content our customers deliver through Tizra.

Tizra Gets Logical

As those who regularly commute between the worlds of print and digital are painfully aware, important things are often lost in translation.  For example, digital people tend to think in terms of "physical" page numbers (the ones you see in your text editor as a document scrolls by on screen), whereas print people tend to think in terms of "logical" page numbers (Roman numerals for introduction and other front matter, Arabic for the rest, like you see in books).

For many of our customers, this hasn't been a problem, in part because we make it so easy for users to deep link directly to specific pages using standard URLs.

But for others, it can cause real confusion. Think of teachers assigning reading to their classes using multiple pagination schemes.

Now Tizra's added the ability for publishers to have it both ways: every page is linkable as always, but logical page numbering is also supported. That means when the teacher says "go to page viii in your textbook," it means the same thing as when they post this link in their Learning Management System.

The feature is simple to use, because it takes advantage of the page numbering features already built into the standards for the PDF file format. Once the feature is activated on your Tizra site, any PDF you load with logical page numbering in it will automatically be displayed with that numbering in Tizra's online reader and tables of contents.

How you get the required information into your PDFs will depend on your software, but it's generally a matter of a few clicks. For example in Adobe Acrobat, you can select a range of pages in the thumbnail view, then right click to pop up the page numbering dialog, which lets you specify how those pages should be numbered.

Once that's done, Tizra can import the logical page numbers and display them on your site, as in the table of contents below (Figure 1).
Figure 1

Click on the table of contents heading Introduction (Figure 1, above) and the Tizra online content reader (Figure 2, below) displays Page iii (of 10), where "iii" is the logical/printed page number and "10" is the total number of pages in the PDF. 
Note the printed page number circled in the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

Figure 2

You can even jump to logical page numbers (as always, if users have access to the page). For example: entering "iv"  in the Go field (Figure 3) will bring the reader to logical/printed page number iv.

Figure 3
To get started with logical page numbering, please contact Tizra.

Tizra is at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair

Tizra is in Germany!  On Tuesday, October 9th, we are at the Tools of Change Frankfurt Conference. 

For the rest of the week -- Wednesday, October 10th through Sunday, October 14th -- you can find us at the Frankfurt Book Fair, at the American Collective Stand - Hall 8.0 S949. 

If you are also in Frankfurt, we'd love to connect!  Please email or call us at +1 401-400-2989 and we'll happily set up some time.

Hope to see you there.

Entrance to the Frankfurt Book Fair "Festhalle."

Make Your Own Marketing Widgets!

How LAB-AIDS is using the new widgets.
Tizra now offers a Widget viewing mode that lets you embed your content in just about any standard web page just by inserting a little blob of HTML code.  It's great for letting users "leaf through" samples of your content without interrupting what they're doing...whether that's perusing your online book catalog, reading a review, or as you'll see below, enjoying a fascinating blog post like this!  It enables you to disseminate promotional samples widely via viral or conventional marketing campaigns, and to make the online shopping and buying experience as seamless and integrated as possible.

For example, say you were a well-known Tizra customer like LAB-AIDS. You could give bloggers a simple snippet of code that would let them show their readers a thumbnail-sized sample of one of your beautiful books like this...

All that's needed to embed the above sample is a little blob of code like this...
<iframe src="" style="background-color: white; border: 1px solid black; height: 326px; overflow: hidden; width: 240px;"></iframe>
The web monkeys among you will immediately recognize it as plain old HTML that'll work just about anywhere.  This means it's easy for anyone with minimal web skills to spread the word about your content.

It also means web designers can customize the widgets without learning anything new.  With a few tweaks, samples can be made bigger, smaller, given decorative borders, or otherwise tailored to fit their surroundings.  Say you wanted to distribute a bigger sample, like this from Goodheart-Willcox, and frame it in orange...

Cooking Up Your Own Widgets

To create one of these blobs of code, you start with a pair of standard iframe tags, like this...
To indicate which content you want included in the sample, you use a special version of the Tizra URL for that content (to open up access to the content, you'll need admin privileges on a Tizra account and knowledge of the basic access control tools).  The URL is similar to the ones used to preview content in the private staging area of a Tizra site, but with a slight twist.  If the staging variant looked like this...
...the version to use in your widget would look like this...
...with the only difference being that "sample" is used in place of "preview."

Once you have the URL, you stick it into the iframe markup like this...
<iframe src=""></iframe>
From here, it's all about tweaking the cosmetics.  First you'll probably want to set the size of the iframe (essentially the window inside which your content will be displayed).  You can do that through standard HTML.  For example, you'd set it to 240 pixels wide by 326 pixels wide like this...
<iframe src="" style="width: 240pxheight: 326px;"></iframe>
You can change the size of the page images that appear inside the iframe by adding a zoom factor to the end of the URL like this...

<iframe src="" style="width: 240px; height: 326px;"></iframe>
Increment the number up for bigger, down for smaller.  

Then you can decorate to your heart's content, say by adding a white background to bleed out to the edge of the iframe, and a nice crisp black border...

<iframe src="" style="width: 240px; height: 326px; background-color: white; border: 1px solid black;"></iframe>

Customizable RSS Feeds

Do you use RSS feeds? Then you know how useful they can be when you want alerts to newly published online information that applies to you: professionally or personally. This kind of targeted, agile publishing is exactly what Tizra is all about and, as you'd expect, we offer simple yet flexible features that let you get the most relevant updates out to your most interested users.

In case you're unfamiliar with RSS, it's basically a way of formatting information so that people can subscribe to and view it in feed reading software (Details from Wikipedia).  RSS means users save time because they're notified of anything new at their favorite sites without needing to visit them.
Tizra RSS feeds can be linked to from the homepage of your Tizra site, or any other web page.
By default, Tizra sites include an RSS feed that updates subscribers every time any new Document is added.  For example, here's a feed that'll update you any time Columbia University Press adds a book to the CUPOLA site they run on Tizra...

The recipe for this is simple: Just take the domain name for the site ( and add ~rss at the end.

Customizing RSS Feeds:
You can customize the default feed just by adding a few parameters at the end of its URL.  Following are a few examples.

Collection Feed
Say you're only interested in Columbia's Business and Economics collection.  You'd start with the URL for the collection ( and add the ~rss to get...

Excerpt Feed
One of the really interesting things about the way Tizra lets you work with content is that you can unbundle Documents into shorter chunks called Excerpts, which can then be rebundled with other content.  These Excerpts can be the basis of feeds, too.  For example, The Association of Research Libraries breaks up each issue of its publication Research Library Issues into Excerpts—one for each article—and generates a feed like this...

By adding ?metaTypeName=PageRange at the end, the feed is switched to list Excerpts, rather than whole Documents.  This makes sense in a lot of cases like this, where users will probably find it more interesting to see the titles of each article in their feed reader, rather than just being informed that a new issue has come out.  Note: It's also possible to generate an Excerpt feed by using the Collection approach above.  Just configure the Collection to include Excerpts (or a combination of Excerpts & Documents) and the feed that's created by adding ~rss to the URL will include whatever's in the Collection.

Tag-Based Feed
You can also create a more free-form feed that will update users any time you apply a certain tag to your content.  For example, here's a feed containing everything with the "Automotive" tag on the Goodheart-Willcox Online Textbooks site...

These are just a few no means comprehensive.  You could also do things like generate a feed with all the works of a particular author, update conference participants any time new items are added to a particular session, limit the number of items in a feed.  Drop us a note, and we'll be glad to discuss in more detail.

Look...up in the sky! It's Super Tagger!

The Super Tagger feature gives you superhero-like powers to update -- in bulk -- the metadata properties of the content you manage in Tizra, including Documents, Excerpts, Collections, Virtual Collections, Static Pages and Offers.

It also gives you the all too human power to change your mind, make mistakes, and learn as you go.  Because it lets you make large-scale changes after you load your content, you no longer have to worry so much about getting your metadata just right beforehand.  If you suddenly realize you'd like to bundle your recipes by main ingredient, or your conference papers by first author's organization, you don't have to start over, you can Super Tag them!

It can be especially useful for educational publishers working to make use of the new metadata standards being proposed by the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative and the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

For example, one of the proposed LRMI standards is to include the typical age range of the content’s intended end user. You could add a metadata field to your Documents called "Typical Age Range," filter on all types of Content for a particular age range, and then use the Super Tagger to add the age range to all the applicable Documents.

Step-by-step instructions for using the Super Tagger:

Note: If you want to populate a new metadata field using the Super Tagger feature, be sure to add that metadata field to your Documents, Excerpts, Collections, etc. using the New Property feature before proceeding with these instructions.
  1. From the Tizra Control Panel click on CONTENT and then go to Documents, Excerpts, Collections, Virtual Collections, Static Pages, Offers, or Excerpt Offers.
  2. Filter on the Content (Documents, Excerpts, Collections, etc.) you wish to update (only filter if you are not updating ALL of this particular type of Content).

    Filtering is useful when your Tizra Publisher site has hundreds or thousands of content items, because it enables you to narrow the list to just the items you want to work with.
  3. Select the empty box at the top of the Content List to select all.

  4. Click the Super Tagger button.

  5. The Super Tagger dialog box will open, displaying all metadata fields for the selected Content type (Documents, Excerpts, Collections, etc.). Use the scroll bar on the right-hand side of the dialog box to see additional metadata fields.

     Note: The type of metadata field (true/false, keyword list, string, etc.) will determine which Super Tagger options are available to you in the drop-down list underneath each metadata field.
  6. Leave the default selection of "ignore" if you do not wish to change that particular metadata field.
    Select one of the following options from the drop-down list.

    We've outlined the options for some of the more popular metadata types.

    For String fields:
    Select Replace from the drop-down list and then enter the new value in the blank field. Or, if you are working with Excerpts and you wish to pull the values in from each Excerpt's parent Document, simply select Add Values from Parent from the drop-down list.

    For True/False fields:
    Select Replace from the drop-down list and then select the Yes or No radio button. Or, if you are working with Excerpts and you wish to pull the True/False setting from each Excerpt's parent Document, simply select Add Values from Parent from the drop-down list.

    For Keyword Lists:The process for REPLACING Keyword List values is described step-by-step along with screen shots. The remaining Keyword List options: Add Values, Remove Values and Add Values from Parent are also described, but without screen shots, as the processes are similar.

    To REPLACE ALL existing Keyword values with a new value, select Replace from the drop-down list.

    Click into the blank field beneath the drop-down list.

    The Picker screen will open.

    Enter a New Value and then click the Add button.

    Click the X in the bottom right-hand corner to exit the Picker screen.

    The newly added value will display back on the Super Tagger dialog box.

    Proceed to Step 7 below.

    OR, if you wish  to ADD a new Keyword value to any existing values, select Add Values from the drop-down list.

    Click into the blank field to open the Picker screen; enter the New Value; click the Add button; click the X in the bottom right-hand corner to exit the Picker screen; and then proceed to Step 7 below.

    OR, if you wish to REMOVE any existing Keyword value(s), select RemoveValues from the drop-down list.

    Click into the blank field to open the Picker screen; click on any existing Value(s) you wish to remove; click the X in the bottom right-hand corner to exit the Picker screen; and then proceed to Step 7 below.

    Or, If you are working with Excerpts and you wish to pull the values in from each Excerpt's parent Document, simply select Add Values from Parent and then proceed to Step 7 below.

  7. Click the Update Fields button on the Super Tagger dialog box. All applicable metadata fields will be updated!

Tizra + iPad = Perfect

Tizra's new iOS reading interface lets you reach the fast-growing iPad audience with all the power of Tizra, including its well-established ability to help you publish to iPads in just seconds. Our Why Tizra is the Ultimate iPad Publishing Platform Top Five List!
  1. Great reading experience -- A newly enhanced mobile web interface that's optimized for iOS touchscreens, with quick page flips at the swipe of a finger, and specifically tuned search and navigation.
  2. Amazing flexibility -- Unbundle & remix content to create new products. Sell chapters, articles & topical collections.
  3. Always up-to-date -- New content is instantly available on users' devices. No waiting for apps to sync.
  4. No App Store Middlemen -- Keep 100% of your revenue...and skip the slow approval process.
  5. No Custom Software Costs -- Tizra's iOS reader is regularly upgraded by Tizra at no additional charge to our subscribers. No need for expensive, unreliable custom code!

The Numbers Tell It All
iPad use is growing at a staggering rate across the web, but on Tizra-hosted sites, it's growing even faster. Just two years after the tablet's debut, our analytics show it accounts for nearly 8% of all visits to sites our customers run on the Tizra platform. Compare this to less than 2.5% on typical sites, according to comScore.

Tizra iPad Visits -- Mar 2010 - Feb 2012

The Best Platform is Cross Platform
The best thing about Tizra's new iPad-optimized reading experience is that it's not just for the iPad. The same open standards based web technology we used to create it will soon be enhancing the way users interact with content on their PCs, Macs, Android tablets, Linux boxes, etc. It's part of our ongoing commitment to helping you create online reading experiences -- and great customer relationships that build your band and your business.