Web Analytics Software Comparison: Identifying The Right Web Analytics Tools For Your Business

If you’re considering using an analytics platform other than, or in addition to, Google Analytics, it can be a bit difficult to determine what the best alternative will be. Search Engine Land compiled a great buyers guide to enterprise web analytics tools, but what if you’re in the market for a free to mid-level tool, or don’t even know yet exactly what type of software you need? Analytics Software Solutions Below is a brief overview of 25 analytics software options (and one add-on) that should give you an idea of what each tool costs and what functionality each offers. Before you chec [...]


Using Advanced Segments & Scroll Depth To Test Content Types In Analytics

sel_advanced_segment_10 Last month, I gave readers some tips on measuring engagement using Google Analytics and WordPress. This month, I want to dig deeper into how you can use content scroll depth to help craft a strategy for your future content curating efforts. Creating a website that attracts visitors via search engine optimization is one part of the equation; engaging the users to read your content, search and come back for more is another facet of online marketing. As I explained last week, I do think how well people engage with your content may be, or may become, a type of ranking factor. It would at least [...]


How “Not Provided” May Make BuzzFeed Think Google’s Search Traffic To News Sites Is Down

not-provided-featured Well look at that! Search traffic to news sites has dropped over the past eight months, according to how BuzzFeed tracks referrals to sites within its network. A change of user behavior? Or perhaps more the result of "Dark Google" and "Not Provided?" Come on, I'll explain how Google may be making itself look like it's in decline. Where Has All The Google Traffic Gone? BuzzFeed said that it looked at traffic to 200 publishers in its network and found a marked decline in Google traffic from September 2012 onward. The network includes sites like Rolling Stone and The Huffington Post. My mind is [...]


Google Analytics Releases “Customer Journey To Online Purchase” Report

google-analytics-square-logo Google is introducing "The Customer Journey to Online Purchase" analytics report today, a new benchmarking tool that provides insight into the various elements impacting a single campaign. You can learn more about it in a short write-up at our sister site, Marketing Land: New Google Analytics Path To Purchase Report Provides Benchmark Data On 11 Different Industries. [...]


From 3rd Party To 1st Party: The Evolution Of The Google Advertising Toolset

A year ago, I was firmly anti-Google. Not in the sense that I disliked Google -- I just felt that Google did not provide the best tools in the business to analyze and make decisions on their own advertising placements. When asked if an advertiser should consider a 3rd party technology to help manage ad spend, I would undoubtedly say "yes" because Google Analytics, AdWords, and Merchant Center were (and remain) imperfectly bound systems requiring a lot of proprietary work to merge and make informed decisions. Much has changed in the last year. Google has made some significant changes (PLA [...]


How To Measure Content Engagement And Effectiveness With Analytics & WordPress

For many of us that own blogs and generate excellent relatable content, engagement seems to linger just beyond our reach. We write well, there's praise, tweets, shares, +1's – but just how much of your content is being read? Going beyond the search and keyword into how those keywords bring the visitor into content they either read or don't read, is the next step beyond basic Google Analytics. Many in the industry believe a fast bounce from your page back to the search results is a negative in Google's eyes. That user is basically voting your content down, saying "this isn't what I wanted [...]


Google’s April Fools’ Day 2013 Joke-A-Thon: YouTube Shutdown, Google Nose & More

google-jokes-funny-april-fools-featured April Fool's Day is pretty much like a national ... err, international holiday for everyone that works for Google. It seems that nobody else on the Web takes the tradition of pranks and jokes as seriously as Google does -- just see our coverage from the last few April Fool's Days for proof: Google's Gags Go Worldwide For April Fool's Day 2012 It's Over: Google Has Already Won April Fools Day 2011 Google Books, Google Maps Get 3D View – But Only For April Fool's Day April Fools' Day 2009: Google CADIE & More From Search Industry It may still be March 31st for me, and maybe [...]


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 [...]


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