5 Simple Ways To Debug Your Google Analytics Installation

As you might guess, we QA a lot of Google Analytics installs. It is often a maddening task that makes you want to "gaq." However, there are some nice tools that go a long way toward making life easier. If you are questioning the data you're getting out of Google Analytics; if your e-commerce reporting doesn't match your sales; if you really thought there'd be more downloads of your whitepaper on the fonts used in movie credits; then you can use these tools to find out if Google Analytics is broken or if the error lies somewhere else. This is how we do it. Things That Go Wrong Typos [...]


How Enhanced Campaigns May Affect Your Analytics

You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but it’s true: enhanced campaigns are going to impact your ability to structure, segment, and optimize campaigns. Whether it’s in a positive or negative way is up for debate. Regardless, I hope you have done your research and understand the transition -- how it affects you, your business and campaign management. If not, numerous articles have been written on the topic so there’s a bevy of available content. That said, little has been divulged about how your analytics will be impacted by the enhanced rollout. So, I’d like to share a few tho [...]


Drilling Into Top Conversion Paths For Valuable Insights

Getting the whole story from your analytics is always a work in progress. Not only do we need to look at user behaviors (or the lack thereof), we need to look at user experience interaction as well as revenues. One mistake I see many novice and new-to-analytics marketers fall into is ending their research path at the Revenue report in the E-commerce section of Google Analytics. While knowing how much revenue your products are generating is important, there's more than just direct revenue. While the argument can, and should, be made for engagement being a form of ROI, I'm actually referring [...]


Google Analytics Rolls Out Solutions Gallery

The quest for the right Google Analytics dashboard, custom report or advanced segment generally begins with a problem that you cannot solve. Until now, you searched for others with your same problem and hoped they shared the solution in a blog post so you didn't have to figure it out all by yourself. While there's real value in solving your own issues, that take so much time to figure out; whereas, finding a solution that others have created is a win in my book. Google Analytics Solution Gallery Last week, Google announced an effort to make finding such solutions even more easily available [...]


Analytics For The New Social Media Manager

I have been astounded at the number of social media jobs brands large and small have created over the last year. With each month, more brands realize that Social media isn't an afterthought; it's something that takes time, strategy, attention and even aggression to keep ahead of the pack. With all of these new positions come a large number of employees who are making their first foray into the world of Social Media. They may have been promoted from within, from another department, or maybe they previously handled SEO or paid search ads within the marketing department. Many companies ta [...]


Will [Not Provided] Ever Reach 100% In Web Analytics?

not-provided-featured With the news today that Chrome is moving to secure search, marketers may be wondering about the larger picture of using search data in Web analytics. The searches people do that lead them to a site is valuable data to an organization. What other data source do we have that gives us direct access to our customers' wants and needs? Sure, we can ask them, but customers can lie. Or choose not to answer. By looking at exactly what visitors have searched for, we can learn a lot about who our customers are, what they really want, and if we're providing it to them. Search marketers have valued [...]


Analytics Matched Search Queries Vs. AdWords Keyword Details Report

A question recently came across my desk regarding the use of the Matched Search Queries Report in Analytics when compared to the Keyword Details Report in AdWords. The inquirer was interested in the benefits or drawbacks to both reports, also asking if they were interchangeable. I figured this was a great question to answer in the Search & Analytics field, so I'll do my best to define and give my opinion regarding the pros, cons and interchangeability of these two complex reports. First, we need to understand what each report provides data-wise. Let's take a look at the basic data av [...]


7 Secrets For Dealing With Quality Score

I’m back to writing my own controversial thoughts this month; although, if you didn’t check out the interview I did last month with Andrew Goodman and Matt van Wagner, you should, those are smart guys. Since I was thinking about PPC and how incredibly mixed up and difficult it has become, it seemed like a good time to write about it. My team and I are trying to figure out ways to look at PPC campaigns differently, finding a way to automate some of the grunt work while still delivering great campaigns. I know everyone and their brother has done this, but we’re convinced we can do it [...]


Reporting On Social Media Engagement

I was in this industry when people were starting to throw around the phrase Web 2.0. Video marketing was in its infancy, Facebook was only for college students, and MySpace was where you sold things to a 12-year-old. Along with my time in the industry, social media has grown from a conversation we had with clients, but didn't really worry about, to an intensely competitive and important form of marketing. As we traveled through the lifespan of social media marketing to date, we heard and said a bunch of phrases like, "revenue tracking isn't really possible here" and "your revenue is in [...]


Study: 39% Of Google Search Referrers Now “Not Provided”

not-provided-featured It is just over a year since Google began encrypting search by default for signed-in users. A new study finds that as a result, 39% search-related traffic from Google to web sites now has search terms withheld. Optify conducted a study over eleven months with 424 web sites, involving 17,143,603 visits and 7,241,093 referring keywords, to see how serious the "not provided" issue is. "Not Provided" is what Google Analytics shows in cases where Google no longer reports a search term due to encryption (other analytics programs may use other phrases). The study found that 39% of terms ar [...]


How To Turn (Not Provided) Into Useful, Actionable Data

We've all seen it, lurking in our Analytics reports, nearly always at the top, sucking a huge chunk of data into a black hole of uncertainty and uselessness. Not provided was predicted as having a single-digit impact on sites. In my research, I've found it to have upwards of a 40% impact, especially on smaller traffic sites. In conversations with clients, and looking at my own sites, I knew the numbers had to be better – but what do you tell a client when chunks of data, in some cases over 30%, are attributed to (not provided) instead of the keywords you've given time, attention and te [...]


Happy Birthday “Not Provided” – One Year Since Google Began Withholding Search Terms

google-not-provided A year ago (and a day), Google began encrypting searches for signed-in users, so that the terms they searched for were no longer passed to publishers, except for advertisers. The "single digit" withholding predicted by Google at launch has turned into more than 50% of terms being withheld, in some cases. I explore how things have unfolded over the past year in the search marketing column on our Marketing Land sister-site today. It's written for both those new to the concept of how terms began being withheld as well for search marketing vets who are regular Search Engine Land readers. Be su [...]


How An iOS 6 Change Makes It Seem Like Google Traffic From Safari Has Disappeared

Mobil Safari Icon A change in iOS 6 made by Apple and not anticipated by Google means that for the past week or so -- and likely for some weeks to come -- those reaching web sites from Google's search engine after doing searches from within Safari will be counted as "direct" traffic rather than "search" traffic. As we reported last week, those using the built-in search box within Safari are now having their searches sent though Google SSL Search, if they use iOS 6. Apple apparently made this change in order to increase privacy for searchers. It won't officially confirm that but neither is it saying that [...]


Safari Shifts To Google Secure Search in iOS 6, Causing Search Referrer Data To Disappear

apple-safari-featured Another source of Google search referrer data appears lost. Searches through Google that happen in Apple's Safari browser search box in iOS 6, Apple's latest mobile operating system, no longer pass along search terms to publishers. For those unfamiliar, "referrer" data is information a browser passes along to a publisher about the last page you were on. When you do a search on a search engine, this means what you searched for -- the exact words -- are passed along as part of the referrer. The change, as we've learned as this story has developed, is because Apple apparently -- as part of [...]


How To: Google Analytics Installation For Novices & Beginners

If you're an intermediate to advanced Google Analytics user, this article will probably be of little interest to you personally. I suggest you bookmark it anyway as a reference for clients or friends who are just starting out with Analytics. As a long-time agency employee, I see many clients, prospects and even casual acquaintances with websites that feature absolutely no Analytics data. They have no idea what is going on, or what they're missing because the visitors that come to their site disappear into a vacuum. This article is meant to walk first-time installers through the process, [...]


A Primer On AdWords Remarketing Using Google Analytics

Remarketing has been around for quite a while as part of the Google AdWords suite of tools. Remarketing works by creating a "list" or "audience" within Google AdWords. The pages that are pertinent to that audience are tagged with special code that allows Google to place a cookie in the browser of anyone who visits that page. It's a great way for you to get your brand out there in front of your website visitors, even when they're not thinking about shopping and buying from your site. There are tons of ways for you to segment your website to serve remarketing ads; you can even get as granular [...]


Figure Out What Is Important, Then Measure It

As search marketers, we are constantly digging around in analytics, finding data, thinking it looks neat, then stepping back and saying, "But is this important?" I've done this a million times, and recently came across a quote that put some of what I'm always looking for into perspective. Don't make the measurable things important but make the important things measurable. The data you have is not necessarily the data you need to succeed. I think we go about this all wrong sometimes. Instead of finding data in Google Analytics or some other tracking program and trying to figure out if [...]


Google Tests Adding Analytics Data To AdWords

You've long been able to see AdWords account data in Google Analytics, but many marketers have longed for GA data in their AdWords account, as well. Google is currently testing such a feature in a limited number of accounts, as first noted by Periscopix. Google isn't saying much about it but a spokesperson sent me a statement saying, "We are currently conducting a small beta test to provide advertisers with more insight into campaign effectiveness." Though I'm not seeing this in my AdWords account, Periscopix says the metrics now appear in the Campaigns tab under Columns, where you can c [...]


Virtual Pageviews Or Event Tracking – Which Is Right For You?

An interesting challenge came across my desk this week. A site owner had installed a new contact form plugin on their WordPress website and they were struggling with tracking the submissions. The form submit button triggered some JavaScript and didn't then open its own thank you page within the site. The problem? Virtual Pageviews were previously chosen as the necessary method of seeing submissions. The new form was not recording those Virtual Pageviews. Something was wrong with the tracking setup when using the new contact form handling system. Unfortunately, the need for this new [...]


Using Google Analytics To Collect & Benefit From AdWords Position ROI

As an agency, we talk a lot about client expectations and understanding. Reality and actuality sometimes don’t start off in the same place, or even the same hemisphere. When we talk about Google AdWords, clients sometimes expect a few hours of education on how the setup of a campaign works, and then they’re off and running – generating thousands of dollars with minimal involvement. That’s their expectation. The reality is AdWords for even a moderate budget could really be a full-time, 40-hour-per-week job. There are many intricacies in an AdWords account, and it’s becoming more co [...]


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