Upcoming LunaMetrics Seminars
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Technical and Webmaster Guidelines for HTTPS

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Spurred on by the Edward Snowden revelations, Google has begun taking security more seriously. After the revelations came out, Google quickly secured and patched their own weaknesses. Now they are pushing to encrypt all internet activity by incentivizing websites that use SSL certificates by giving them a boost in rankings.

During a Google I/O presentation this year called HTTPS Everywhere, speakers Ilya Grigorik and Pierre Far made it clear that this move is not just about encrypting the data being passed between server to browser, but also to protect users from having the meta data surrounding those requests collected.

Though the meta data collected by visiting a single unencrypted website is benign, when you aggregate that data it can pose serious security risk for the user. Thus by incentivizing HTTPS, Google has begun to eliminate instances on the web where users could be vulnerable to having information unknowingly collected about them.

I will give you the spark notes version of the HTTPS Everywhere presentation, but even that will warrant a TL;DR stamp. My hope is that this outline and the resource links contained within it give you a hub you can use when evaluating and implementing HTTPS on your site. Read More…

Use Excel to Analyze Keywords That Rank for Multiple Pages

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Here’s a quick tutorial on how to use Excel to analyze the keywords that have more than one of your site’s pages ranking in Google organic search results.

Your site may have plenty of keywords that have more than one landing page ranking for a variety of reasons. For example, when someone googles “Google Analytics Training”, there are many different LunaMetrics pages that might display, based largely on where the user is located.

Let’s look at how we can break these out and analyze them further. Read More…

Access 404 Error Metrics Using Google Tag Manager

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As analysts and marketers, we always want to track positive performance metrics and conversions in Google Analytics. However, tracking errors is also important to monitor the health of your site and keep track of signals indicating a negative user experience.

Accessing this data gives us a better idea of what’s causing users to get lost and wander into the dark, unattached voids of your domain. Knowing where these problem spots are makes it easier to fix internal links or set redirects.

I’ll show you different ways to view where people are hitting these error pages and where they are coming from, either through your existing setup or by using Google Tag Manager to fire events or virtual pageviews. Read More…

8 Essential Tips for Great Business Phone Call Etiquette

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Raise your hand if you’ve heard a co-worker say “Ugh, I’ve gotta jump on a call”! Most people don’t look forward to phone calls with clients. There’s the inherent fear that you’re not prepared (It’s hard to imagine the audience in their underpants when you’re only calling one person across the country), or that you don’t have the right report or solution lined up.

If you work in the Search & Analytics fields like we do at our office, it’s quite possible that you have not and will not meet certain clients face-to-face due to distance, so building rapport can be a challenge. You just don’t get to shoot the breeze on the phone like you might during an on-site visit or lunch with your client.

In fact, relationship building is my favorite part of working with clients. Helping them succeed and meet their objectives helps me succeed and meet mine, so I invest in good client relationships wherever I can.

If you don’t share my excitement over client calls, I’ve assembled the following presentation to help you ease any fears when preparing for and executing your next client call.

Read More…

Understanding Bot and Spider Filtering from Google Analytics

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On July 30th, 2014, Google Analytics announced a new feature to automatically exclude bots and spiders from your data. In the view level of the admin area, you now have the option to check a box labeled “Exclude traffic from known bots and spiders”.

Most of the posts I’ve read on the topic are simply mirroring the announcement, and not really talking about why you want to check the box. Maybe a more interesting question would be why would you NOT want to? Still, for most people you’re going to want to ultimately check this box. I’ll tell you why, but also how to test it beforehand. Read More…

20 Google Facts & Stats that Every Marketer Should Know

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No company dictates the online marketing industry and all of our careers like Google. Regardless of whether you use the company’s products, your customers do and that leaves you no choice but to become a Google expert.

This post outlines 20 things that every marketer should know about Google. Some are huge (and somewhat unimaginable) dollar figures. Others are market share percentages. The one thing they all have in common: you need to know them.

If we missed any important facts, please let us know in the comments. Read More…

Easy Cohort Analysis for Blogs and Articles

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It’s now easier than ever to track and compare performance between articles and blogs. While Google Analytics shows you pageviews and other key metrics, frequent content comparisons are made difficult by the shifting time frames.

How can I compare a blog post that was published this month vs. a blog post that was posted last month? Sure, we can run two different reports, pull it into Excel and start crunching the numbers, but there’s gotta be a better way!

blog-cohort-applesEnter Cohort Analysis. You may have heard this term thrown around before, usually in relation to users on your site and when they first became users. The idea here is to group users or sessions into common groups, like who first visited in January or first-month visitors. Avinash and Justin Cutroni both love cohorts, so obviously we should, too!

In this case, we’re going to use Google Tag Manager to put content into cohorts so we can analyze how they performed in similar time frames. We’ll pass these into Google Analytics as Custom Dimensions so they’re available for analysis. It’s actually much easier than it sounds! Read More…

Segmenting Google Analytics by Session Frequency

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Segments are one of the most powerful features of Google Analytics, and they are often useful for zeroing in on the sets of users who are most valuable to us.

One way of looking at potentially valuable users is to look at the frequency with which they visit the website. Let’s look at a couple of ways to do that in GA.

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Data Processing Options for Google Analytics and Big Query Export

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In this blog post, I evaluate several of the numerous (and potentially overwhelming) options for the processing and reporting of Google Analytics data. The default  Google Analytics web interface is great for quick ad hoc data exploration, but limited for deeper analysis and the development of automated reports.

Whether we’re mining for hidden trends or trying to report on hard-to-extract dimensions, there are a number of third-party tools out there can that help ease the burden.

In the first half of this article, I explain the difference between the two types of Google Analytics data: what’s available from the standard interface and what’s available through the BigQuery export.

The second half of this article is an evaluation of three different solutions for processing, visualizing, and reporting on Google Analytics/GA BigQuery data. I evaluate these three solutions (ShufflePoint, Tableau, and R) based on objective features and my subjective scoring of performance.

I only evaluate three data processing solutions in this article. Think I missed a good one? Let me know!! We all have a different background in data analysis tools, and I would love this conversation to continue in the comments section.
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MozCon 2014 Recap: What I Learned

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A holistic industry transformation was the tone at MozCon this year and Erica McGillivray and team did a fantastic job getting speakers that supported this theme. Those chosen for the conference are experts in their fields, pushing conventional wisdom and challenging us with new ways to tackle old problems. Each spoke on different topics, but to the same point.

MozCon started with a presentation from our fearless SEO leader, the Wizard of Moz himself, Rand Fishkin. Rand started off the conference by reflecting on the past year in search and framing his vision for the future. He highlighted 5 big trends from the past year.

Read More…