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The eternal battle: Members vs Guests

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dakis, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    We build communities for people that want to get involved in them, that is our Members.

    But, in reality, how much interest does a community draw from non-members? Or should I say "people that are not logged in" , as someone may be visiting the community as a guest, but may still have an account. Although I think with the cookies and all, most people are logged in when accessing a community if they have an account.

    So I did an interesting search at my google analytics and this is what I came up with for 2,5 months in 2013:


    Members 13 %
    Guests 87%



    Members 14
    Guests 4

    and therefore:


    Members 32%
    Guests 68%

  2. ProCom

    ProCom Active Member

    @Dakis this is a very interesting topic for me, sorry there haven't been any replies.

    I personally build for both "members" and "guests". Members help build the community, but generally it's the guests that click ads and pay the bills.

    A big question for you: how did you segment members vs. guests in google analytics?
  3. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    In vBulletin there was some sort of plugin I think (or some code manipulation or some VBseo magic) that did that.

    In xenForo I don't have that anymore :(

    I mean I do get some sort of segmentation but 90% is "unset", look:


    I'm not sure if there is a way in xenForo to do this, if there is it would be great if someone shared it!
  4. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    I am personally a believer in leaving websites open to guests. Nothing pisses me off more when someone links me to a website, only to find out that I can't even view the content without registering first.

    The worst is when people are asking for support... I don't want to register on your website.
    51463 and cdub like this.
  5. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    I completely agree with you jaxel. I always have my site available for guests. The issue here is if there is a way to track analytics segmented in guests and members.
  6. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    Add to the template "google_analytics":
    _gaq.push(["_setCustomVar", 1, "Registered", "{xen:if $visitor.user_id, 'member', 'guest'}", 1]);
    Then in google analytics go to Audience > Custom > User Defined. From there click on the segments bar (its the bar right below the sub-nav which has "customize | email | etc" on it).

    Click on "create new segment". Then click on Advanced > Conditions. Here, you can create custom conditions that put visitors into this new segment. Name this segment "Members", and on the custom condition pane, make it look like this:

    Custom Variable (Key 1) > exactly matches > Registered
    Custom Variable (Value 1) > exactly matches > member

    Then make one similar to this for "Guests".
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
    xIsabel38, Dakis and Matthew Hawley like this.
  7. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    That's awesome! Thanks I'll try it !
  8. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    Just a question @Jaxel , for the guests part, which custom variables do we use (do we just use key 2 and value 2), and how do we call their values in both cases?
  9. =MGN=RedEagle

    =MGN=RedEagle Well-Known Member

    How did you setup GA so it would show you that?

    Less SEO, more social traffic. I have been having almost as many members online as guests when I check.
  10. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    They all use key/value 1... thats the first number in the setCustomVar line.
  11. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    So what do we put in the values? "Guest" in both? or "Unregistered" and "guest"
  12. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    Custom Variable (Key 1) > exactly matches > Registered
    Custom Variable (Value 1) > exactly matches > guest
    Dakis likes this.
  13. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot I'm not very proficient with analytics :)

    I'll post results here after a few days we'll see how we go!
  14. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    I didn't do anything special, it just shows up. I'll see what happens after the changes I made now according to Jaxel's suggestions.

    I always have more guests online than members.
  15. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    I put the extra line of code in the analytics template inside the function, like so:

    <xen:if is="{$xenOptions.googleAnalyticsWebPropertyId}"><script>
        var _gaq = [['_setAccount', '{$xenOptions.googleAnalyticsWebPropertyId}'], ['_trackPageview']];
        !function(d, t)
            var g = d.createElement(t),
                s = d.getElementsByTagName(t)[0];   
            g.async = true;
            g.src = ('https:' == d.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
            s.parentNode.insertBefore(g, s);
            _gaq.push(["_setCustomVar", 1, "Registered", "{xen:if $visitor.user_id, 'member', 'guest'}", 1]);
        (document, 'script');
        </script><xen:comment><!--Adapted from http://mathiasbynens.be/notes/async-analytics-snippet--></xen:comment></xen:if>
    I hope this is correct!
  16. ProCom

    ProCom Active Member

    Wow I'm really glad I bumped this topic!

    @Dakis , as a "thank you", if you get it working, could you post a "how to track guests vs. members in GA for Dummies" step by step process? :D
  17. Dakis

    Dakis Well-Known Member

    Yep will do no worries.

    It's probably early after I did the changes but it doesn't look like it's working so far.
    ProCom likes this.
  18. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

  19. Moshe1010

    Moshe1010 Well-Known Member

    Whatever drastically changed the ratio for me was to limit guests to view up to 10 threads before limiting their access and require them to register.
  20. cdub

    cdub Well-Known Member

    Did that scare people away and cause people not to use the site? Did it have a negative affect on usage?

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