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Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

Hands Free Google Analytics – “OK GA”

What do you do if you need to use Google Analytics, but you have a broken hand (or two)?

broken hands
This is the problem we were faced with last year, as two of our analysts were involved in separate bicycle accidents. Using a mouse and keyboard to navigate the reports in Google Analytics proved difficult, if not impossible, with hunks of plaster covering our hands and fingers. (more…)

W3C Customer Experience Data Specification Released

If you use Google Tag Manager or another tag management tool, you’re probably already familiar with the idea of a data layer. It’s basically a centralized place for information about the page to be passed to analytics and other measurement tools.

tag-management-data-layerUp to now, there have been some informal conventions in tools like GTM. But it would help us all to have some standard guidelines, for interoperability between tools. So, if you need to switch from one tool to another, you can easily do that without rearranging the data. Or, if you build a plugin for a content management system, you can build to the standard and not worry about which tool it will be used with.

So a W3C Community Group was assembled to tackle this problem, including 56+ organizations (including Google Tag Manager) providing input on a specification that is standardized enough to provide interoperability, without being too rigid to represent many different industries and websites. (LunaMetrics also participated in the development of the specification.)

After much deliberation, version 1.0 of this specification has been published. Let’s take a look at what it says and does.
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GA Summit 2018 – 14 Announcements from the Future

The future of Google AnalyticsA lot has been written about this year’s Google Analytics Summit, which was held last week at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. There were 14 major public announcements, over a dozen speakers, and a boatload of cool new features that were triumphantly revealed on day 1, or quietly implied behind closed doors on day 2.

I had the opportunity to attend this year’s GA Summit. For two days, we sat on the cutting edge of the industry, and it was nothing short of amazing. The venue, the theme, the speakers… the roadmap. You think 14 announcements were cool — just wait ’til you see what’s next.

Somewhere atop the Santa Cruz Mountains, late in the evening, I found myself dreaming of what the GA Summit might look like five years from now. It would definitely be even more international: this year’s Summit attendees already represented 47 different countries! It would definitely be more popular: yes, we were a trending hashtag on Twitter this year, but that’s just the start. What else?

GA Summit 2013This year’s three major themes were “Access. Empower. Act.” I imagined 2018′s keynote Googler pacing the stage, broadcast live across YouTube to Google Glass, Android devices and Google TVs around the world. What would her three themes be? “Act?” That’s perennial. “Predict?” GA is definitely headed in that direction. “Engage?” “Track hoverboard users?” Obviously.

What would her 14 announcements be in 2018?
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3 Ways to Build a Trust-centered Consulting Practice

pieTwo cops walk into a diner and sit down for a piece of pie and a cuppa coffee. “How’s the strawberry rhubarb tonight?” the first cop asks the waitress. “Hmmmmm ” she says. “We’ll, I think you would be better off with the apple pie, ” she finally answers.  ”Is there anything else you’d recommend?” asks the second cop. “Well, the ice cream always makes the pie taste even better — I recommend the cinnamon — and I can heat up the pie to be sure it really is awesome. Instead of the same old joe, you might consider our latte. Expensive, I know, but so much better than the house brew.” They bought everything she recommended and left a nice tip. And they came back after their shift the next week and made sure to sit in her section of the diner.

This kind of thing happens because the waitress created trust and credibility from the moment she answered their first question. She could so easily have taken their order — after all, not many people say no to the sale. Instead, she gave them an honest answer, and it was obvious that it was her own opinion. When she suggested the expensive latte, they didn’t blanche — she had already proven that she wasn’t going to steer them in the wrong direction. (more…)

Google Analytics Premium & BigQuery: Access Raw Data in Seconds

Big Muppet and Little Muppet

One of the advantages of Google Analytics Premium is that you can get unsampled data, but it’s still processed data. Have you dreamed of getting access to your raw GA data?

Those dreams are about to come true. Announced today at Google I/O: later this year BigQuery will be available to users of Google Analytics Premium.

Query hit-level data at interactive speed

BigQuery is a web service that lets you query billions of rows, a.k.a. Big Data, with a response time in seconds. Without Google Analytics Premium, you upload some data first and then run your queries.

With Google Analytics Premium, your hit-level GA data will be available for the same type of interactive ad hoc queries. Pose a question, get an answer. Does that lead to another question? Rinse and repeat! You can batch queries, too.

Build complex queries and join data sets

Direct granular access to your GA data opens the door for all kinds of complex queries. You’ll also be able to combine data sets from other sources for powerful business insights.

Imagine having data at your fingertips to solve problems like these: (more…)

Congratulations Semphonic!!

semphonicI don’t blog much anymore (and aren’t you all lucky that I don’t, I would be taking up a “blog slot” from all the people at Luna who have real talent.) But I cut the line so that I could congratulate our friends at Semphonic, with special call outs to Gary Angel, Joel Hadary and Phil Kemelor.  As many readers probably know already, they were purchased by Ernst & Young on Friday.

Semphonic isn’t the first analytics firm to be purchased.  Certainly, EpicOne did it a few years ago when they sold themselves to a company, local to their market, who specializes in automotive sites. There are probably quite a few others that I don’t even know about. But Semphonic did something really special .  This was a strategic sale of a boutique consultancy to an international accounting and consulting firm, and it was enormously important for our industry.

The sales we’ve been seeing in our industry almost always carry strong intellectual property with them. Adobe purchased Omniture and its software suite, Sitecatalyst/Test&Target/Discover. IBM purchased Coremetrics, as well as companies like Pittsburgh-based Vivisimo. We consulting companies bring different opportunities to the table. Sure, we have great branding and awesome links/rankings and a kick-ass client roster. But mostly, we bring know-how.

And it’s so clear that the rest of the world has sat up and noticed. If you read Gary Angel’s blogpost, you’ll see that Semphonic had “two handfuls” of offers (so I suppose that means in the neighborhood of ten?) They were in the enviable position of being able to choose their acquirer.

Best of luck to the Semphonic team on its new journey!

Robbin

Introducing Google Tag Manager

Have you ever needed to make a tiny change to your Google Analytics tracking code, but your IT team told you it would be 6 weeks until the next code refresh? What if you could just log into a tool, make the change, and have it go live immediately – without IT involvement? Now you can.

Google Tag Manager

Google announced the launch of Google Tag Manager this morning at the eMetrics conference in Boston. Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free tool that lets you manage the marketing and measurement tags for your web site in one place. This means no more scattering scripts across your pages and waiting on IT to track them down.

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4 Ways to Use Bing Webmaster Tools for SEO

4 helpful Bing Webmaster Tools Features for SEO

On June 6, Bing announced significant and awesome upgrades to Bing Webmaster Tools. This may be news to you, as Bing has a tendency to fly under the radar. Indeed, it seems these exciting, free features are hardly getting the attention they should at the moment. Which is a shame, because Bing Webmaster Tools has a hell of a lot to offer.

Below are four specific ways you can use Bing Webmaster Tools to improve your SEO endeavors.
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Bing’s 3 Recent Reminders that Bing Matters

Many webmasters and web marketers have been sleeping on Bing for the last few months. However, Bing has shaken the game up considerably thus far in June. In no more than 7 days, Bing has launched 3 significant updates. Let us review.

Bing Incorporates Encyclopedia Snippets into Search Results Page

Less than a month after Google launched its Knowledge Graph snippets, Bing has replied by incorporating informational snippets from the Encyclopedia Britannica directly into their search results page. Introduced by Bing on June 7, the new feature is dubbed Britannica Online Encyclopedia Answers and is triggered by searches for certain people, places and things.

bing brittanica snippet

 

Certainly, Britannica Online Encyclopedia Answers does not exhibit the power and scope of Google’s Knowledge Graph, as the Bing feature affect less queries and taps into a smaller base of knowledge. On the other hand, information from Encyclopedia Britannica is more credible than Wikipedia and Freebase, two main sources of data powering Google’s Knowledge Graph. Further, the move shows that Bing is also evolving its search capabilities beyond merely matching pages with search terms to provide relevant information directly on the search results page by understanding how pieces of information relate to each other.

Bing Webmaster Tools Turns Amazing

One day prior, on June 6, Bing announced the addition of a slew of ridiculously helpful features to Bing Webmaster Tools. Dubbed the “Phoenix Update”, this group of improvements effectively upgrades Bing Webmaster Tools from an “interesting” tool to an essential part of the SEO and website analysis toolkit.
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Making Sense of Google’s “Knowledge Graph”

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Google’s release of its most recent major innovation to search, the “Knowledge Graph.” Announced last week, the knowledge graph is an interconnected semantic web of data, and Google will now display relevant pieces of it in response to certain search queries to help users “discover new information quickly and easily.”

When I first learned of this new development, I had quite a few questions. What do the Knowledge Graph snippets look like? When do the snippets show up? Where does the data come from? Why is Google doing this? Who cares? So I decided to find the answers… and share them with you.

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