51Degrees WordPress plugin for marketers


2/7/2022 11:10 AM

Analytics WordPress Device Detection Analysis

Expand your analytics data with our new WordPress plugin

Monitoring the analytics for your web properties is a huge part of marketing. Like most marketers, you’ve probably used Google Analytics at least once, and you may still be using it today.

And we can see why. It’s a great starting point as it’s free and it gives you a good handle on some of your audience demographics. But... it's not all that detailed.

Using real-time data, our new Optimize by Device & Location WordPress plugin can enhance your analytics reporting with more detail on your website visitors than Google Analytics originally provides.

Download the plugin for free

What information can I get with the plugin?

For every visit to your web properties, we can add over 270 extra bits of information to that visit. This can include device capabilities from our comprehensive device database, well beyond the device information you already get in Google Analytics. Plus, we can provide additional information on the device, including battery capacities, video and audio codecs, and keyboard usage.

Geolocation information can also be augmented with closer segmenting, including town, state, country, and zip code. You can even go one step further and transform the latitude and longitude information into a speedy autofill of the user's street address within a shipping form.

All the above is used to add depth and intelligence to your existing reports and analytics; augmenting what you already have with extra information. For a full list of the real-time data we can provide, our Property Dictionary is the place to go. As the device world expands with new releases, we will continue to update our database with new properties, so stay tuned!

How does the plugin work?

The 51Degrees WordPress plugin integrates WordPress, Google Analytics, and the 51Degrees Pipeline API to help you add all that extra real-time data to your reporting.

The first step is to install the plugin and go through the simple setup process. To keep it brief, you will need to:

  1. Install the plugin. Follow the link, or go to your WordPress admin console, click ‘Plugins’, ‘Add New’ and search for ‘51Degrees’. The plugin is called 51Degrees - Optimize by Device & Location.
  2. Choose your device properties in our Cloud Configurator for all the things you want to add to your reports. You’ll receive a unique Resource Key.
  3. Copy and paste your Resource Key into the plugin.
  4. Sign into Google Analytics and allow the plugin access to your Google Analytics account, so the 51Degrees properties can be added.

(There is a much more detailed walkthrough on the ‘Help’ tab found within the plugin!)

What all of this does, importantly, is add the 51Degrees extra features that you chose as custom dimensions. That means that you can segment and report all your analytic data with this additional information.

Do I really need this additional information?

As we mentioned in the announcement blog of the 51Degrees plugin, the possibilities for your company are endless with additional data – it all depends on you and your specific use cases.

As a few examples, you can delve deeper into your bounce rate to see whether the higher rates are caused by a certain type of device, perhaps one with older hardware capabilities. Or you could look for usage from long-tail consumers on smartwatches or games consoles. As a final example, if you are an e-commerce site, you may want to know how many of your users complete a purchase using a mobile device versus a desktop computer. This can help you to capture whether any incomplete purchases were due to a poor user experience.

Think about what type of data will benefit your business the most and add those properties to your Resource Key when you create it in our Cloud Configurator. The properties will be created as custom dimensions in Google Analytics.

We built this plugin after we ourselves discovered how useful this additional information can be when analyzing our analytics. 

For example, we found that the 51Degrees website would get an unexplained amount of traffic on an irregular basis. We suspected this was caused by spam bots, but we couldn’t find any characteristics in our analytics platform that would certify whether it was bot traffic.

However, once we added the additional device information of BrowserReleaseAge and BrowserDiscontinuedAge as a custom dimension, we spotted that the unusual traffic always came from bots simulating older browsers, such as a version of Firefox from 2015.

So, using our own device detection APIs, we were able to analyze the traffic to decorate each request in our analytics with the age of the represented browser. This then made it easy to build reports which excluded these unusual older browser requests.

The bottom line is, when we filtered out this traffic, our analytics data became more stable and reliable as the unusual increase in traffic was removed. Kirstin explains it in more detail in our blog ‘How to filter bots from your analytics platform with User Agent data’.

As you can see in the below graph, the blue line represents Google Analytic's own bot detection when enabled. The orange line is Google Analytics bot detection enhanced with the 51Degrees bot filter. See how smooth the overall traffic trend is, now that fluctuations caused by spam traffic are removed.

Source: our own analytics traffic

If you have your own detailed server logging, then you can use the device detection APIs to help analyze that data, but with Google Analytics it's much easier to add that information as the data is stored, rather than trying to add it afterwards.

That's why the 51Degrees WordPress plugin exists; you can create custom dimensions for any of the detailed information that 51Degrees can provide and then slice and dice the data inside your Google Analytics reports as you choose.

To do as we did in the example above, you'd install the WordPress plugin and use it to record the properties ‘BrowserReleaseAge’ and ‘BrowserDiscontinuedAge’ for every request. Inside Google Analytics, you can then create a filter to exclude all requests with an age of your choosing and then these bots are excluded from your results.

Choosing the BrowserReleaseAge and BrowserDiscontinuedAge in the configurator.
The two properties added as custom dimensions in Google Analytics.

The 51Degrees Optimize by Device & Location WordPress plugin is your gateway to improving your web offerings with enhanced data. Once you have the analytics data you need, you can be confident in your marketing decisions. Download the plugin for free today and see how our real-time data can boost your business.

Download the plugin for free