Veridian’s Diary: Identifying the number of views for specific titles in Google Analytics

Google Analytics can be a useful tool to understand how your audience engages with your digital collection. Many Veridian client collections include a wide range of titles, and within Google Analytics you can identify the number of searches for specific titles.

There are two methods to achieve this:

1. In a more ad hoc way

First we need to determine the publication code for the titles we are interested in. When viewing a newspaper issue for a particular title, if we look at the web browser URL for a pattern like ...?a=d&d=NVS19071207... the publication code for this title will be the capital letters after "&d=", in this case NVS

Using Google Analytics, we can view the following report: Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages.

We can then filter this report to match issue-level pages for specific title(s) we are interested in, e.g. Click "advanced" and add a filter: Include -> Page -> Matching Regexp a=d&d=(NVS|TDS|TSU). Then click "Apply". Note that the publication code for these titles is NVS, TDS, etc.

 google analytics titles filter

From this, we get a report of pages and Pageviews for the filtered titles.

2. In a systematic way

Google Analytics offers ‘Content Grouping’, where it is possible to set up special data gathering behavior in your Veridian collection to record when certain titles or a specific set of titles are displayed. If this is set up, it should be possible to view a report that lists hits by title. If not set up in your collection, further development work would be required to set it up.

Disclaimer: Please note that these statistics are (in general) not perfect representations of the truth, and their accuracy is affected by many factors in web technology, including privacy, security, and permissions settings on user browsers. In particular, the gradually increasing trend to provide more options for users for privacy and security is gradually reducing the clarity and accuracy of information available in systems such as Google Analytics.