Search & Analytics provides readers with tips and techniques for utilizing web search analytics and measurement tools to define and manage success metrics from (organic and paid) search driven traffic. Columnists write about the basics of implementing analytics software, covering tagging and tracking search traffic to more advanced issues and topics such as ROI and conversion tracking, as well as how to gain greater insight and develop actionable strategies from your search analytics data.

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 To Determine Your Mobile & Geo Bid Multipliers For Enhanced Campaigns

As every search marketer should be aware by now, AdWords enhanced campaigns now allow you to set campaign-level bid multipliers for your mobile impressions, and also by geo. While mobile bid multipliers seem to be more of a step backward compared to mobile targeted campaigns, geo bid multipliers are actually a nice feature and definitely a step forward in terms of control and transparency. Anyway, this post is about helping search marketers determine those mobile and geo bid multipliers based on historical data. 1. Pulling The Data From AdWords In AdWords, first go to the ‘Dimensions [...]

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 [...]

How To Get Full Referral & Content URLs From Google Analytics

While cruising through the standard reports in Google Analytics (GA), you may have noticed that you can only get URIs (the part of the URL that follows the domain, AKA hostname). You can’t get the full URLs. That can be pretty unhelpful. So, I’m going to show you some tricks to pull full URLs into your GA reports in an export-friendly format. Helpful Export Tip Before you even get started creating these reports, you’ll need to know how to get all of the rows from your report into your export. The GA interface caps you out at 500 rows. However, to get more, just look at the bottom-right [...]

How To Use Regression Analysis To Estimate Incremental Revenue Opportunities

My previous article was about estimating the potential for growth for those paid search campaigns capped due to insufficient budget. This was definitely the easy part since the logic behind the assumptions involved in the calculation was fairly simple. Now, we can address those paid search campaigns capped due to insufficient rank – and there are going to be more assumptions involved since all metrics are going to be impacted: the rank obviously, then the CTR, CPC, and pretty much everything else as a result. This article goes beyond impression share (IS) analysis and is actually mostl [...]

How To Get Analytics Right With PLAs

More so than any other product in the AdWords suite, managing, reporting on, and making sense out of Product Listing Ads (PLAs) extends beyond the toolsets provided in AdWords. The levers that we can push and pull exist within two unique systems -- AdWords and Merchant Center -- and, as a result, we need to do some internal legwork in order to effectively merge the inputs and outputs and come up with actionable analytics to optimize on. At my agency, we’ve been working on some different ways to more effectively work with PLAs, given the available analytics and levers for optimization. [...]

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 [...]

A Foolproof Approach To Writing Complex Excel Formulas

There comes a time in a marketer’s life when making pretty charts with a predefined dataset just doesn’t cut it. And finding the sum and average of a column of data just doesn’t satisfy you anymore. Eventually — and it's really inevitable — you will actually have to dive deep into the data and cull out a smaller dataset or manipulate it in some way to make it cough up what you need. And, as freaking intimidating as they can be, formulas become your lifeline in these moments. Admittedly, the learning curve with formulas can be pretty steep, but the only way they'll become intuit [...]

How To Estimate Incremental Revenue Opportunities With Impression Share Data

When looking for opportunities for growth, most search marketers try to find ways to estimate how much they can scale up their paid search effort, and what would be the impact on ad spend, revenue volume, and efficiency. There are lots of different ways to go about this – one way I’d like to cover in this post is to leverage impression share data. We’ll see how to aggregate and dig into impression share data, and how to estimate incremental revenue opportunities based on those impressions missed due to insufficient budget. Due to the length of this post, I thought I’d cover those im [...]

Can TV Advertising Really Impact Search Performance?

It’s relatively easy to report what happened in an ad campaign, but much more difficult to understand why things happen. Visits or conversions might go up or down, but why? It could be some form of seasonality or maybe your latest review hit the front page of Reddit. The mysteries of consumer behavior like to be hidden in the shadows of other events that have happened prior to and during the timeframe in question. Connecting Online & Offline Advertising Drawing connections between online and offline advertising efforts is full of externalities and question marks. Seasonality, sales, bu [...]

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 [...]

Advanced Filters: Excel’s Amazing Alternative To Regex

One thing I've never understood about Excel is why it doesn't support regular expressions (which the cool kids call regex). Regex allows you to do advanced sorting and filtering. The SeoTools plugin for Excel supports regex, but it — like most cool resources for Excel — is PC-swim only. For those of us red-headed stepchildren Mac users, that blows. (Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with the SeoTools plugin in any way.) However, as it turns out, Excel offers an alternative to regex that gives you all the same functionality — and is available on all operating systems. They're called a [...]

Search & Analytics Year In Review

As we head into the holidays, we're looking back at our own metrics for top posts of the year, and we wanted to share a recap of the most read stories in several categories on Search Engine Land. In the Search & Analytics column, our experts cover everything from the basic installation of tracking codes and tags, to advanced statistical analysis to measure the success of your organic SEO activities, paid search campaigns, social media efforts and everything in between. In 2012, search marketers were also faced with some bigger topics related to data analysis - with 'big data' being a [...]

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 [...]

How To Make Google Analytics Talk To Excel, In Plain English

I'm spoiled now. I rarely go into the Google Analytics (GA) interface anymore. You know why? There are cool Excel plugins that will pull your data right into Excel. Of course, most of them are PC-swim only. Sorry, Mac users. I'm going to be testing out the only one I know of for Mac, but I can't verify how good it is. (Disclaimer: I'm not in any way associated with any of the GA plugins for Excel or their manufacturers.) Before jumping in, let's talk about some basics that you will need to understand to navigate the API. Learning The Language Of The API The trickiest part about using t [...]

Using Time To Stop Undervaluing Channel Performance

Standard channel performance analysis makes the assumption that a click from all channels behaves the same way. Picture your weekly performance report - in a given week you observe x clicks and y conversions coming from a given channel (eg PPC, Organic search, Display, Remarketing Facebook, etc). If one channel looks better than the others you shift budgets or bids accordingly. It’s standard practice but is it the complete picture? What if all channels aren’t equal? A click from one channel might be worth more than a click from another channel, especially over longer periods of time. A [...]

How To Gather Evidence To Help Determine If It’s Time For A Mobile Website

Is t time for a mobile website? I was talking to some clients a few weeks ago and in separate conversations, both asked me if it was time for a mobile website. Their current websites rendered okay on a smartphone, but they noticed a lack of conversions for mobile users, as well as a high bounce rate. Generally, a page that can be enlarged can be read on a mobile device. What you run into for the user is a lack of functionality and interaction with the site. Dropdown or slide out navigation is nearly impossible to click on; if you're using video or Ajax functionality it can be lost or not n [...]

How To Use Macros You Find Online In 6 Easy Steps

Have you ever done a search to find out how to do something in Excel, just to find the search results littered with macro options? I used to avoid those results like the plague because I found macros (at least those beyond what I could create with the Macros Recorder) really intimidating. And I’m writing this post because I'm assuming that I’m not the only one who has done that. Amiright? So I’m going to show you how to take a macro you find online or get from a trusted source and add it to your workbook and run it — on both a PC and Mac. If you want to follow along, you can down [...]

Keys To Projecting Latent Value In Visitors

One of the most difficult and valuable exercises in quarterly planning is forecasting. Many companies require budgets to be set well in advance, and as a result, analysts often prepare conservative projections in order to remain cautious and not setup their marketing colleagues to under-deliver. The byproduct of conservative projections is more difficult forecasting mid quarter as it becomes apparent that not all referring traffic sources are equal in traffic and value. The inevitable question comes up: how much more revenue can be delivered from channel X with additional budget? To a [...]

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