Archive for the ‘Google Analytics’ Category
As the avid users of AdWords know, Google Analytics has a great report that pulls in cost data from AdWords. If you have an ecommerce site or currency values assigned to your goal conversions, it’ll even calculate ROI.
A while back, Google Analytics announced new support for importing cost data from other sources: think Bing Ads, Facebook advertising, etc. This is great! It puts all the power of those AdWords reports to work on your data from any kind of advertising. (more…)
Every Monday, I run through a checklist for each of my SEO clients. The goal is to discover issues that don’t warrant same-day response time, but should still be addressed in a timely manner. There’s slight variations from client to client, and I sometimes use paid tools, but below is the basic template, featuring my 3 favorite free SEO tools: Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools, and Google Analytics.
SEO Health Checklist
- Google Webmaster Tools: Check Crawl Errors, Index Status, and Messages.
- Bing Webmaster Tools: Check Site Activity Screen, Crawl Information, and SEO Reports.
- Google Analytics Reports: Review Keywords, Landing Pages, Sources, SEO traffic numbers and engagement.
- Google Analytics Alerts: Review Custom Alerts and Automatic Alerts. Review other reports as needed.
A disclaimer: This checklist is best used in proper scope in conjunction with other intelligence-gathering methods. Other recommended methods include: Google Custom Alerts, Webmaster Tools notifications, and Daily peaks at Google Analytics Dashboard.
The main purpose of this checklist is to fill as much remaining insight as possible in fifteen minutes. It helps me catch SEO problems and opportunities earlier, and informs me on how I need to adjust weekly SEO workflow. It really makes my job easier.
It might take a bit of time to set things up and get used to finding everything, but once you have it down, and you know what your metrics should look like, you’ll soon be gettin’ her down to 10-15 minutes on average.
Below are details on each step. (more…)
In parts one and two, I wrote about using both sides of your brain to do analysis and walked through a simple example of analysis. Now I’d like to turn to something complex, or at least with the potential for complexity: keyword analysis.
Keywords can be a rich source of visitor intent. I’m talking about search queries that lead to visits, as well as terms entered in site search after visitors arrive.
But looking at the top 100 or even top 1,000 keywords (ranked by your favorite metric: bounce rate, conversion rate, or whatever you like) won’t necessarily lead to the most accurate analysis because it neglects information in the long tail, which may be on the order of tens of thousands or more keywords.
If you’ve spent any time examining keyword data, you’ve observed similar terms dispersed throughout the long tail. I want to group those terms and analyze each group’s aggregated data to give a more complete picture. So what’s the best way to do that?
“There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.”
The saying “location, location, location” has been attributed to a few different people (primarily Lord Harold Samuel and William Dillard), with apparently no clear indication of who said it first, though the paper of record found the term “location, location, location” in a real estate ad in the Chicago Tribune listed before either man had exited puberty. Given the word “location” is a direct adoption from latin, it’s possible that thousands of years ago a Roman real estate magnate when asked why the Hippodrome was doing so well replied “location, location, location” verbatim. (more…)
As a followup to my post on interpreting Language data in Google Analytics, here’s some insight into locations as well.
You can find the Locations report under Demographics in the Audience section. Google Analytics determines locations from a visitor’s IP addresses and where internet service providers assign those ranges. (If you remember the dark old days of web analytics when you could look at a report like this and you saw that 80% of US web traffic came from Virginia — because that’s where AOL was located — you can rejoice that these reports are much more accurate.) (more…)
A while back, analytics aficionados hailed the return of Google Analytics Page Value, formerly known as $ Index, one of the fastest ways to figure out which pages get more visitors to convert.
Observational biases often infect analysis, and can convince businesses to make incorrect assessments of their website data. In 2010, David H. Freedman coined the term “Streetlight Effect” for an observational bias represented in an old humorous science anecdote. This Streetlight Effect can very easily affect the insight gained from Google Analytics, should you not be aware of it, and not take measures to properly shed light on your data.
What is the Streetlight Effect?
The “Streetlight Effect” is named after an old late night parable told by scientists gathered ’round the flickering bunsen burner’. It goes as such: Late one night, a rookie police officer came across a stumbling visibly drunk man in a parking lot, intently examining the ground. “What are you doing, drunk man,” asked the police officer. “I dropped my wallet,” the drunk man slurred back at the police officer, reeking of gin and stale cigarette smoke. (blog author note: I’m trying to give the story a little more character than it normally gets) The police officer looks around and seeing no wallet asks, “Are you sure you lost your wallet here?” The drunk looks at the officer and belches out ”No, actually I dropped it over in that dark alley.” The rookie officer is stunned. “If you dropped your wallet in the alley, why are you looking for it here in the parking lot?” he asked incredulously. “The light here’s better,” hiccuped the drunk. (more…)
The Languages report is among the most cryptic of the reports in Google Analytics. It looks like you need a secret decoder ring to figure out what it’s telling you. Here’s some guidance on what those codes are and what they mean.
What are they?
These language codes represent a language and optional country variant. (We’ll look at where GA gets these momentarily.)
The codes aren’t specific to Google Analytics; in fact, they’re based on two ISO standard specifications: (more…)
Have you ever set up a goal in Google Analytics, and later wanted to delete the goal from your profile? You go into the Admin section, click into the Goals tab for the profile, and search for the “delete” button. But you don’t find it.
That’s because it doesn’t exist.
This is a common question that’s been asked before, and it recently came up at our Google Analytics training last week.
In Google Analytics, you have four sets of goals, each with five goal slots available. Hence, you can create a total of 20 goals per profile.
Goals let you define success for your website. You tell Google Analytics what you want people to do on your site, and when they do it, it counts as a goal. You can even tell Google Analytics how valuable the goal is to you. (more…)
Where do visitors go after using your internal site search? How quickly does site search lead visitors to conversion pages? Do specific search terms lead to unexpected pages, for better or worse?
The answers are in your Google Analytics data, but not in the regular Site Search reports. Allow me to introduce Site Search Flow in Google Analytics: a way to use Visitors Flow for site search insight.
In the regular Site Search reports, you get useful data like which search terms resulted in immediate exits and which terms kept visitors engaged or even led to conversions. To see which pages visitors chose, go to the Visitors Flow report instead.
Turn Visitors Flow into Site Search Flow in 3 easy steps: