Roundup: Key Analytics Takeaways From SMX Advanced

At this week’s SMX Advanced show, several sessions touched on a variety of advanced analytics theories and tactical tools to measure the impact of your website traffic, and improve ROI and user engagement metrics. Here’s a quick review of the key issues being discussed.

Google Analytics Pilot Integration With Webmaster Tools

Generally, there was excitement among the crowd when word spread on Tuesday following a Google Analytics blog post that announced a limited pilot integration would finally begin between the two services.

For many, it will a welcomed feature; but you do need to wait a little longer until it becomes available to all – to sign up to request access in the pilot test. According to the blog post, those accepted into the pilot program will see:

“a set of reports in Google Analytics using search data from Google Webmaster Tools. This includes query information, clicks, impressions, clickthrough rate, and average position. You’ll also be able to use Google Analytics advanced data filtering and visualizations with this data.”

Overlooked & Under-Appreciated Analytics

An entire session was dedicated to thinking beyond simple numbers, and included panelists Madan Bharadwaj of Visual IQ, Khalid Saleh of Invesp, Phil Mui of Google and Allison Hartsoe of Semphonic. Along the lines of the Google Analytics – Webmaster Tools integration, Phil Mui also confirmed Google +1 Analytics are coming soon, as we’d previously reported. Also, Google Analytics V5 continues to evolve and every social network and button type will soon be supported at least in basic ways – visit to sign up.

From Susan Esparza’s live blog coverage, another key takeaway may be this point from Madan:

Entire consumer experience = entire engagement stack.  They look at every single user, not just converting users.

“A click is not a click is not a click.” — A click on display is not the same thing as a click on search. In display, it makes sense to measure conversion rate against clicks because you’re paying for it. Clicking on a search query is very different. You need to analyze the holistic experience to understand what a click means in each channel.

As we’ve covered in both columns Analyze This and Credit Is Due columns, going the next step beyond simple metrics to expand ROI attribution models beyond the last click.

Tactically, Allison Hartsoe had several great tool suggestions:

  • ROI Revolution GARE Greasemonkey script on Firefox to uncover hidden dimensions in GA. (Note: script doesn’t currently work in v5.)
  • Use GraphEdge for Twitter for Follows, Unfollows, see impact over time.
    • Tag your links w/ campaign codes and use URL shorteners to track conversions with, 6 month cookie.
  • Facebook Google Analytics Tracker (FBGAT) extension.

Milestone Internet also blogged a couple of notable points from the session:

  1. pre-product page abandonment rate (goal is to keep this <25% & increase flow)
    • # of visitors who make their way to the product page/total visitors
  2. bounce around effect (want to see <20% bounce rate)
    • # of visitors who navigate to a parent category/total visitors who land on category
  3. product page effectiveness rate (aim for rate of 10%-15%)
    • # of visitors who click on the add to cart button/total visitors who visit product page (the higher the average order value, the more people will hesitate)

Advanced PPC Analytics & Reporting

Since this really isn’t my area of expertise, I truly have to defer to other sources on this session. Interestingly, the Microsoft Advertising blog had the best summary of Wister Walcott’s key takeways for paid search forecasting:

  • Predict clicks, conversions & profit for different CPA/margin targets
  • Bid to an overall spending target (budget-based bidding)
  • Find optimal CPA to balance conversion volume and cost
  • Maximize profit
  • Target specific positions
  • Maximize revenue for a CPA target

For more detailed live blog coverage, check out Click2Rank (also, they deserve props for hosting #EpicDinner) and

Competitive Intelligence & Analysis

Thinking well beyond keyword discovery and viewing competitor backlinks, competitive intelligence activities have a lot to offer in terms of looking at the broader competitive landscape.

Seth Besmertnik of Conductor made an interesting comment regarding how you analyze the external can impact your strategy:

Competitor trending: Follow ranking shifts of competitors to identify aggressive movement either positively or negatively.  You can learn just as much from the people doing poorly as the people doing well. Find strategies that DON’T work that you’re also employing.

Tactically, John Straw of LinkDex presented an excellent case study since the initial JCPenney debacle using Majestic SEO link data to discover links found since then for both JCP and their main competitors and filtered those by influence, relevance and by links to other competitors and curated it by blog, wikis, forums, directories, social, PR sites and article sites. The result is a deeper understanding of each’s linking strategy and specific targets.

Lisa Barone’s live blog coverage of the SEO & Competitive Intelligence goes into this in much more depth.

SMX Analytics A-Ha Tweets

Here’s a summary of analytics & a-ha moment tweets that happened during and after this year’s show.

What did I miss? Please post in the comments below.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Search & Analytics


About The Author: is Director of Audience Development for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. She is responsible for increasing readership through owned, earned and paid media channels. In addition, she assists in programming sessions at Third Door Media's Search Marketing Expo conference series and manages speaking engagements for editorial staff. Follow her on Twitter @elisabethos.

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  • Dave

    These are some awesome features Elisabeth!
    “A click is not a click is not a click.”
    How very true! There is so much that goes behind when and where somebody clicks on either and ad or search result.


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