Tag Archive for Google Analytics

StumbleUpon Custom Tracking for Your Campaigns

Paid Discovery LogoIn a move that will take StumbleUpon from a trial platform for delivering traffic to your site or content maybe now a suitable alternative to Facebook Ads for business.  They have recently improved their account management platform so you can edit all your account URLs in a single page. They have improved the scalability of running multiple campaigns while controlling daily budgets but also smart enough to hide all URLs that don’t have an active campaign.

Account Management Made Easier: Introducing the Manage Page

Account Management Made Easier: Introducing the Manage Page

Last week StumbleUpon announced a move that will equip marketers with much better data so they are able to ensure their campaigns are leading them in the right direction with a move that allows marketers to tag their sponsored pages with custom tracking parameters. The new beta feature is being rolled out for all advertisers eventually but is initially just a beta program that requires you to complete a wait list request. The testing program will be progressively adding new advertisers into their Custom Tracking beta program on a weekly basis.

Omniture & Custom Tracking for Your Campaigns

Omniture & Custom Tracking for Your Campaigns

Their Custom Tracking feature is designed for all advertisers who are using web analytics solutions such as Google Analytics or Omniture and allows them to add a custom tracking parameter so you can track all your URLs in the way that works best for you.  You can choose to use StumbleUpon Paid Discovery with or without parameters so if you have any questions ping them on Twitter @PaidDiscovery and sign-up to their a beta wait list request.

Adobe flash cash to buy omniture

omnitureThe world’s leading web analytics company Omniture was purchased last week by Adobe Systems for US$1.8 billion.

The move has sent shockwaves among the web analytics community as it is likely this will begin a stream of consolidation in the industry and limit alternative solutions. The next likely web analytics providers which could be purchased include: Coremetrics, webtrends, Lyris.

The web analytics purchase supports Adobe in their ability to better optimise its suite of content creation tools.  Adobe can use now use Omniture within its software to perform better analysis and content optimisation leading to improved user experience.

Typically flash has been difficult to track and optimise for search and Adobe now has a vested interest in making it work for business. Because of the now open access to Adobe IP the Omniture development team is in a strong position to provide the best flash tracking solutions.

Adobe already has several established products which allow for creation, deliver and user engagement.

  • Flash (Web Apps)
  • Acrobat (PDFs)
  • Air (Desktop Apps)

Adobe can now examine the use of benchmarking usage of web or desktop applications and measure user activity or track campaign success.  Using a benchmark system powered by Omniture, developers can potentially have the ability to rate their Flash/Air applications usage and revenue by categories such as industry or demographic.

This better feedback will allow companies to build larger more complex projects based around Adobe technologies.  Adobe can also extend the potential revenue stream by closing the loop and advertisers can now begin to explore how to track campaigns beyond the web to desktop/mobiles.

The purchase places Google in an interesting position with a heavy dependence on Flash within its own web analytics platform and even across its ad network. Does Google have the resources to replace flash with AJAX/Java as used in its Google Apps suite?

Google Analytics has previously had the advantage over Omniture because it’s free but Adobe also built its market dominance on that same freeware concept. Based on past Adobe product launches they will release an Omniture Lite that just offers reporting similar to Google Analytics soon.

Free Web Analytics Reports by Industry

Earlier this year I prepared some research material looking into the worlds use of web analytics solutions, most of this data was captured in February and processed by March 2009.  Since many corporate websites appear to be rarely updated the data is likely to be consistent, if there has been any change it is usually the addition of another secondary analytics package is added. The world’s top 1200 public listed corporations were reviewed and studied if they use web analytics.

The Canadian auto industry use of web analytics has be studied in more detail by Stéphane Hamel on his blog and is worthwhile reading to get an understanding of how local operations compare to corporate websites. It was a common trend that local operations often differed from global sites and were often more proactive regarding web analytics.

I have been working to complete some more of these reports and have had requests to publish some of these.  I will try and get some more industries analysed over the next few months and they will be added to the list.

The report was prepared with the assistance of WASP, the world’s leading web analytics profiler and debugger plugin.

Google Analytics Pivot Tables

google analytics logoGoogle Analytics continues to add and test new features to its free web analytics package but these are often not rolled out immediately as they need to be tested and evaluated.

This new data view feature does not appear to be available on all accounts but will likely be rolled out as there is some real benefit for better understanding your web analytics data. The benefit of Pivot Tables are they allow you to summarise hundreds of thousands rows of data in seconds.

Typically Pivot tables are used in applications such as Excel but many people don’t know how to make best use of them.  They can also be complex to construct but Google Analytics generates them in seconds using your account data with a single click.

What is an Pivot Table?

  • A pivot table is an interactive table that provides a powerful tool for summarising large amounts of tabular data easily.
  • Similar to a cross-tab table, the pivot table classifies numeric data in a list based on field selected.

What can you do with Pivot Tables?

  • You can quickly summarise existing data from your web analytics account
  • You can visualise visits, pages/visited, counts, avg time on site, % of new visits, bounce rate.
  • You can then export this data to generate charts

The image below shows how quickly and easily using pivot tables you can view how many visitors are driven to particular cities by the top 3 search engines.  While this is not of as much value in Australia where Google has around 87-92% of the total market.  For international clients/campaigns it can show how in Chinese locations search engines such as Baidu perform against Google based on factors such as page views or time on site.
google-analytics-pivot-basic

The Google Analytics Pivot data by options include all the standard visitor and traffic metrics such as

  • Source/Campaign/Keyword
  • Visitor type
  • Landing page
  • Language
  • Geographic
  • Browser capabilities
  • Network properties

The advantages of using Google Analytics Pivot Tables for your data analysis is

  1. Pivot tables are interactive
  2. Pivot tables are dynamic
  3. Pivot tables update automatically with new data

google-analytics-pivot

You can see from the screen shot that we can quickly analyse our visitors based on city locations and how search engines differ between locations. Using various metrics such as keywords you can quickly understand how your brand or generic keywords perform in particular cities.  Within the one screen you can also further refine this by using the advanced search filter to only include those with bounce rates over 50% to be shown in the table. The only point is that this advanced filter at this stage only works on the “totals” not the sub groups generated by the pivot table, this would be a great future feature to be able to filter this pivot table data.

While these pivot tables are an amazing addition to the report view options, it would be useful if Google Analytics allowed for automatic or manual resizing of the columns.  The current tables seem to waste too much screen space and cannot display more than a few sets of data.  So if you cant see these new features in your account yet, stay tuned and keep an eye on the official Google Analytics Blogspot, and we look forward to more cool features such as advanced filters.

Google Analytics Advanced Filter

google analytics logoGoogle Analytics continues to add and test new features to its free web analytics package but these are often not rolled out immediately as they need to be tested and evaluated. One of the issues with the existing search filter at the bottom of each page is that it is limited and often cannot easily provide more advanced search patterns. This search feature offers the ability to quickly check or search for data captured in a particular report.

This new advanced filter feature does not appear to be available on all accounts but will likely be rolled out as there is some real benefit for better understanding your web analytics data. The search feature is useful for when you are searching for particular data or keywords displayed in the report but need to find this quickly before using long term solutions such as setting up advanced segmentation.

The “advanced filter” is shown at the bottom of certain report pages within Google Analytics replacing the existing search box.  The example below shows that you can quickly search for text contained in the page title, but the real benefit is that you can also apply metric filters to this search.  The improvement is that you can quickly search for particular pages by setting conditions such as only those with less than 100 pages to filter out highly trafficked pages and also those with low bounce rates. You can add multiple conditions to further refine this on the fly to include conditions such as goal conversion on certain reports.

google-analytics-filters2google-analytics-filters3

While these advanced filters are an amazing upgrade to the current search features, the only disappointment is that it doesn’t use the “search as you type” available in advanced segmentation.  While this is likely because it works differently it might be a nice touch. So if you cant see these new features in your account yet, stay tuned and keep an eye on the official Google Analytics Blogspot, and we look forward to more cool features such as pivot tables.

p style=”text-align:center;”>If you want to learn more about Web Analytics we suggest you check out the following books on Amazon as their authors are well respected and very knowledgeable.

Reverse goal path report will be going away?

Google Analytics is a great web analytics package and is usually very proactive regarding updates and changes to its standard functions and reporting.  The product team at do a wonderful job with detailed blog announcements at the Google Analytics Blog with exceptional videos, screen shots and reasons behind the change and how it will benefit or improve the experience.

This happy world was shaken recently after logging into a client account to see a small notification showing a message that one of the best features of the goal tracking would be vanishing soon.  The screenshot below shows a help icon, but it contained no link or more detailed information about why this was happening, would it be improved or even when it would be occurring. There is a small statement from the Google Community blog, and a tweet from last week, but outside that no other reaction even from some of the leading GAAC blogs such as EpikOne’s Analytics Talk or Mangold Sengers. These GAAC blogs are usually the first to break new features and discuss retirements of existing or legacy features so what is happening is there something better coming?

google-analytics-reverse-goal-path

This post will help explain the benefit of the Reverse Goal Path report and why it will be missed by many web analytics professionals such as The Lost Agency.  Reverse goal paths can help you understand if particular pages are encouraging higher conversions.  It is also more useful than the funnel visualisation to understand longer but successful paths to conversion. While many people may not be taking advantage of this wonderful feature it can be very useful for usability analysis and working to lift conversion rates for your clients.

An example is that a majority of the conversions might go from A to B to C, but it is likely that not everyone may follow that path, and with reverse goal path report you can clearly see how many sit outside the basic ABC path.  This can be useful for understand if changes to page navigation may need to be improved and it can also be useful for identification as to which pages can add value. Another powerful use is to identify common “engagement” points along goal paths that don’t typically get captured in a standard goal path.

All these navigational changes to you website can be tested using Website Optimiser to confirm and measure the increase in conversions. It is a shame if the Reverse Goal Path report vanishes and is not replaced with something that is bigger and better. The Google Analytics Blog also has a great recent post 60 seconds using Website Optimiser & Google Analytics together.

If you want to learn more about Web Analytics we suggest you check out the following books on Amazon as their authors are well respected and very knowledgeable.

Google’s Marketing Cycle helps Business

Google has also recently tried to help kick start small business with a $75 AdWords stimulus package.  They understand that in this current economy advertising is becoming exponentially harder for marketers.  Google has also helped with a newly released portal Google for Advertisers where they help educate SME business about the benefits of online marketing.

Google has started to work to help SME business use their AdWords systems with a fun “worst case” case study pet stick.  This “worst case” case study website covers the typical marketing cycle a business would experience if using Google for their online marketing campaign.

worst case study

Google for Advertisers start with helping business defining their marketing strategy, where they can define objectives, audience and message.  Google offers SME some tools to provide insight into what people are searching for, what sites visited and what they do on your site.  There are other online solutions and specialist marketing organisations who can provide more consumer details combined with demographic and other profiling data, but Google provides a good base level.

campaign circles

Google then moves to the next step in the cycle providing SME with the tools to create ads using their Display Ad Builder.  This tool provides some standard and basic templates for creating some interactive ads it does not take the place of a marketing agency or a creative graphic designer.  The Display Ad Builder tool makes the options for building ads to display on the content network quick and painless.

The next step in the marketing cycle is the media planning and buying options for your campaign.  Media buying is where Google uses its extensive user data to allow business to hyper-target specific media channels or networks.  This does not take the place of specialist marketing agencies or media buying agencies that provide much more detail and you can benefit from their experience.the marketing cycle

The final step in the marketing cycle is optimising and tweaking your campaign to ensure the maximum return on investment.  Google provides some of the industries leading technology which provides marketers the ability to optimise campaigns by offering a number of tools such as Google Analytics and Website Optimiser.  These tools offer a number of advanced features that often require a web analytics specialist to setup and configure to ensure you get the most out of your data.  Many digital agencies employ staff with experience setting up complex features such as tracking flash & video, ecommerce transactions and advanced tracking, so if you are unsure speak with them.  Another option for small business is to buy a book to teach yourself more about Web Analytics.

google search consideration funnel

Google for Advertisers presents the campaign information in a fun colour coded timeline that allows for simple and quick navigation.  Each part of the campaign process contains links to related Google product’s and a quick link for more detailed information.

Overall the site does a wonderful job in organising all Google’s solutions, marketing products and up to date information in one location.  It also has a great section where advertisers can stay in touch, with product news, help forums, email, webinars and blogs.

While Google for Advertisers does help to educate business and marketers more about Google products and online marketing it does not replace the added value provided by Search Marketing Companies and Digital Advertising Agencies.  Many marketing agencies have contacts and account managers within Google that assist them when they are planning, designing or launching your campaign.  So if you find that your online strategy is not performing maybe its time to speak with your marketing agency and find out how they can help your business.

So if you want to learn about Google for Advertisers before Google launches their new portal AgencyLand later this year.