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Segmenting Google Analytics by Session Frequency

Segmenting-Sessions

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

data-processing-blog

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

Moz-Con

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.

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Making the Case for Tag Firing Priority in Google Tag Manager

Tag-Firing

A great new feature, Tag Firing Priority was rolled out inside of Google Tag Manager around July 1 along with the updated and redesigned debug mode. It is seemingly a small feature, located under the ‘Advanced Settings’ in the Tag (see below).

TagManager_AdvancedSettings

It’s an exciting update not only because of the application of setting priority, but also because it proves the direction Tag Manager has been heading – toward giving marketers and analysts more comprehensive control over the Tags they load on their site. Without any extra coding on the site, users can now control the firing priority of their Tags within Google Tag Manager’s interface.

Priority affects Tags that have the same firing Rule and is especially relevant for sites that have many Tags and third-party scripts like DoubleClick, Bounce Exchange, and search conversions that fire when the page loads. Tags marked with a higher priority are fired first, followed by lower priority Tags.

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Optimize Internal Site Search Conversion Rates with Google Tag Manager

sitesearch

Often overlooked, Internal Site Search’s importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Recently, as I was exploring our company’s website, I noticed that our internal search results weren’t as helpful as I anticipated.

I conducted a search on our site for “google analytics”, a term very significant to us at LunaMetrics. I was shocked to see that all the top listed results were blog posts.

While blogging is important to us, it’s also important for our visitors to know that we offer trainings around the country and Google Analytics services to clients. All the relative content we had created through our blog was coming back and actually overpowering our other results, hardly an ideal situation.

We, as marketers, do a lot to get people to our site. From search engine marketing to analysis of internal analytics, we make it a top priority to ensure our website is extremely visible across all channels of the internet. Why then does it seem that we tend to slack when it comes to internal search results of our own site?

Not being able to quickly see our Google Analytics trainings after my query was a definite problem. If you’re in a similar position, here’s how I sought out to address it. Read More…

Dynamic Data Viz: A Better Way to Plot Rows in Google Analytics

Have you ever tried to use the “plot rows” feature in Google Analytics and it literally falls flat?

It happens because you can’t keep the chart from graphing the metric total. That thick blue line across the top of your chart flattens everything else. It keeps the size of the chart static, rendering it useless.
Drink me potion and key on table next to miniature door

Wouldn’t it be great if you could graph only the rows you want and the chart would dynamically resize?

Here’s the key to turning those flat, plotted rows into dynamic data visualizations: motion charts. Read More…

6 SEO Myths The Pros Are A Little Tired Of Debunking

Grinds-My-SEO-Gears

You know what’s been grinding my gears lately? No matter how long I’ve been in the search field, or what happens out there in the industry, some myths continue to persist. Wishful thinking? Lack of education? I say both.

Let’s clear up some common misconceptions with the help of some industry experts from Google+. If you’re an average web user, Google+ probably doesn’t have a place in your life. However, I’ve found it to be a thriving locale for search industry discussion! Add one of these experts to your circles and join the conversation today.
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7-Minute User Experience (UX) Audit for Landing Pages

A fellow LunaMetrician recently returned from SMX Advanced and said it was refreshing to hear how much user experience (UX) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) were included in the SEO conversation this year.

The days of simply ranking for a high-volume keyword or getting visitors to the site have been eclipsed by metrics that more closely resemble offline business objectives. Now SEOs think in terms of sales leads and keep a close eye on landing page bounce rates, conversion rates and direct impact to the bottom line.

But before diving into the world of A/B and multivariate testing, it’s crucial to know where you stand. This 7-minute UX audit for landing pages should be the first step.

LandingPageAudit

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How a Local Business in Seattle Can Gain Street Level Insight in Google Analytics

Street-level

Did you ever want micro-level geographic information inside Google Analytics? What if you really need “street level” knowledge about your users; like where are they, what neighborhood are they in? Often, when we talk and write about Google Analytics we’re thinking about the big guys. National or even International traffic, filtering by country, comparing one region to another. We’re thinking macro, not micro.

I wrote previously comparing DMA areas to gain insight, but that’s really only helpful if you have a true national or bigger presence. What if you’re just a local Seattle business, and don’t really have much call for looking at traffic outside the Seattle-Tacoma metro area?

Well, first thing you should do is think about taking our Seattle Google Analytics, AdWords, and Tag Manager Training (shameless plug). Second, read on…

Seattle is actually ahead of the game when it comes to data, which is the real reason I’m using them as an example. The city has a Chief Technology Officer, and data.seattle.gov was started in 2010 as a central hub for all local Seattle data. In fact, a number of businesses claimed that the use of this local data helped them with their businesses.

How so? Well, if you’re a local business then the traffic from, and information about, the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle might be more important to you than Downtown or Riverview.

But how can you use Google Analytics to help you on this sort of granular level? Also what if you DO care about national level data, but you care about it on a very granular local level as well, maybe looking for interest in your brand to help place billboards, or expand your franchising? The truth is that you can’t, at least not right out of the box. But with a few very easy additions, you can start getting some great local data that can let you make street level decisions about your business in Google Analytics. Read More…

Duplicate Transactions in Google Analytics – The Check and the Fix

duplicate-trans-big

By far the most common issue I’ve come across with ecommerce sites; duplicate transactions can inflate revenue and ecommerce metrics, altering your attribution reports and making you question your data integrity.

When talking about where to put the ecommerce tracking code, Google suggests the following for Universal Analytics:

… If successful, the server redirects the user to a “Thank You” or receipt page with transaction details and a receipt of the purchase. You can use the analytics.js library to send the ecommerce data from the “Thank You” page to Google Analytics.”

The missing step here is to ensure that either A) the user cannot access the page more than once or B) you have logic in place to make sure the transaction is only sent once. The biggest issues I’ve seen are when this receipt page is automatically emailed to the customer, with the ability for them to return as frequently as they please, each time sending a duplicate transaction.
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