Google Analytics Made Simple with Mobile App

The Google Analytics mobile app makes a complicated platform much easier to use and incredibly useful, especially for business owners and managers.  Last week we reported on the release of the Google Analytics iPhone app, and this week I’m here to tell you why this might save your life if you are a business owner or manager. [Read more…]

Google Releases Analytics iPhone App

Google Analytics iOS AppThis past week Google Analytics, the lifeblood of the SEO industry, was released onto Apple’s iDevices for the first time in a condensed and simple to read format. The Google Analytics app actually makes it easier to understand the most important metrics of your site’s performance, especially if you aren’t a wizard with the desktop version of Analytics.

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Burner – Google Account Verification Made Easy

logo for the burner phone appAs an agency we are constantly creating new Google accounts for clients.  With the limits Google sets on how many accounts can be verified by one phone number, Google account verification can become a real chore.  I know I have verified as many accounts as possible via my work phone, my cell phone, and my Google voice number.  In the past, I have tried online methods for creating new phone numbers without much success.  By far the best solution has been the Burner phone app.

This method isn’t free (well the first number is), but it is very inexpensive.  Three credits ($1.99 or less depending on how many credits you buy at a time) will create a phone number for 14 days with 60 texts.  With Burner, you can name phone numbers, so you know which number is used for what if you have multiple numbers at the same time.

Big Game Marketing Analytics on the Horizon!

Google has been on a shopping spree as of late, purchasing robot manufacturers and the people to program those robots, but this week Google turned its wallet on the attribution-based company, Adometry.  This is good news for any company engaged in online marketing.  Why?  Because we may have some big and powerful marketing analytics in our hands soon.

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Google Analytics Update and Site Security as a Ranking Factor?

This week, we look at the sneaky change Google made to Google Analytics and how that affects the way you view very common data. We then follow up with an interesting response from Google to the Heart Bleed Bug that may affect your future rankings, as well as a battle between machines for supremacy over our mobile devices…and our hearts.  To wrap it all up, we see Facebook launch an app to find friends in the material plane instead of just the virtual world. [Read more…]

How Google Analytics Can Help You Choose Blog Topics

analyzing your traffic to make blogging decisionsAs part of my recent decision to focus on blogging more frequently, I’ve been looking around for things to help me find inspiration for topics. Of course, I’m subscribed to several marketing and tech news sites, and those are great sources of ideas, but they are not always inspiring or the most relevant to what we do. Because I’m generally an Analytics geek, I decided today to look at our Google Analytics account, and as usual I found some great information. There are a few places you can look in Analytics to learn more about your blog. Two of the most useful areas are your content report, and your keyword report.

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Keywords “Not Provided:” What Encrypted Search Means for Your Marketing Analytics

One of the many ways that marketing analytics can help you develop a smart SEO plan is by telling you which keywords bring the most visitors to your site, and more specifically which keywords bring in the customers who are the most engaged in your site. If you’ve looked at your keywords report in Analytics recently (and you should!) you’ve probably noticed a larger than usual number of visits entered as (not provided) and may have wondered what that means. [Read more…]

Google Analytics Real-Time Offers Live Data

Google announced the launching of a number of new tools for Google Analytics over the past few days, including Google Analytics Real-Time, Google Analytics Premium and a new Google Analytics Interface. Today I will fill you in on the details of Real-Time and how it lets you access your data in (you guessed it) real time in order to enhance your online marketing and social media marketing strategies.
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Marketing Analytics Metrics to Watch

I was asked recently asked to contribute to a discussion on the most important metrics for marketers to watch. Since a lot of my work involves tracking website usage and helping clients optimize their websites to meet their goals, I chose to focus on important site usage metrics for marketers to watch. To follow the rest of the discussion, and to learn about some important metrics to watch in E-mail marketing, check out this post by Lisa Cramer.

As I thought about which metrics were the most important to focus on, the answer was almost always “it depends.” The most important metrics to watch in how people are using your site are pieces of information you can act on. The most important question in web analytics is “So what?” The most important metrics in marketing analytics can answer this question. They are the indicators that let you know how an ad campaign you’ve started is performing and how you should focus it, or tell you where you need to reorganize or update your site.

One metric on its own can rarely do this, which is why the ability to segment and combine information in Google Analytics is so helpful. For example, is a high time on site important? Well that depends. You need to compare it to other metrics to get a full story. If your visitors are spending a long time on your e-commerce site, but your analytics tells you they’re not buying anything, this could be your clue that they can’t find the product or information on your site that they’re looking for. These two metrics are a signal that you need to dig deeper to find out what’s really going on. One way to do this would be to look at how they were finding your site. Were they search engine visitors? What keywords were they looking for? Were there some keywords that had a higher time on site? Did those keywords have a higher or lower number of sales than others? Or they could be spending a lot of time researching your product and may visit the site multiple times before they decide to buy it. Look at your average number of visits to purchase and average days to purchase to see how long visitors tend to spend considering their options before making a purchase.

That said, one metric I would point out for marketers to pay particular attention to is individual goals you can set up within analytics that can be customized for each client. Google Analytics allows you to define up to 20 individual goals. These goals are particular actions you want visitors to take on your website, and can be anything from looking at a particular page to signing up for a newsletter. Many companies have trouble defining and setting up helpful Analytics goals, so a marketer should spend some time talking to clients about what they hope visitors will do/look at/or take away from their website and helping them to set up Analytics goals that will accurately track these actions. Once you have those set up, don’t just look at their overall conversion rates. Dig a little deeper. Identify the traffic sources most likely to complete these goals. Is it search engine traffic? Facebook traffic? Are visitors from your paid ads completing these goals? (See this post to learn how to find out more about your PPC traffic). If they are completing goals, maybe it’s time to increase that budget. If not, it’s definitely time to start looking at how you can refine your ad campaign.

For a quick summary, when marketers are looking at web analytics, the most important things to look for are large changes in a particular metric like visitors, time on site, or views to a particular page. For any change in a metric you report on, try to explain why it changed. Also make sure to focus on metrics the client has expressed interest in. These are things your client has said are particularly important to them, so they should naturally be important to you in your reporting, as well. Most importantly, look for metrics you can take action on. It’s nice to be able to tell your client how people are using their site, but it’s much better if you can make real suggestions about how to improve their customer’s experience on the website.

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Google Adwords by itself will give you a lot of information about the impressions, click through rate and costs of your Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads. However, many businesses make the mistake of focusing too much on that information without looking at what else is available. Linking your AdWords and Analytics accounts opens up a ton of new information on site usage, goal conversion rates and ROI of your ad groups, ads and keywords. This is a powerful pay per click management tool that can help make sure you get the most out of your ad budget.

Linking your AdWords account to your Google Analytics is pretty simple. Sign into your AdWords account and select the “Reporting and Tools” tab in the top navigation bar. Select the “Google Analytics” option. It will give you a choice of either linking to an existing Analytics account or creating a new one. For help setting up a new account, see this guide. Once you have set this up, you will be able to easily access one account from the other, and your Google Analytics account will begin providing you with detailed information about when and how visitors from your paid ads interact with your website. You can find this information under “Traffic Sources” in a tab labeled “AdWords.”

Now that you’ve linked your accounts, look at your campaign report and click through to “Ad Groups.” Now you can see not only which of your campaigns brought the most visitors to your site, but how many transactions they led to, how much total revenue they brought in and what the average value of each visit was. You can see when they have completed any goals you have set up on your Analytics account. You can also find out which keywords and which versions of your ads lead to the most transactions, revenue or goals, as well as what time of day gives you the highest quality traffic.

One of the most useful sections is the ROI report. You can find this tab on your AdWords “Overview” page.

Clicking on this tab opens a report that shows you a daily graph of how your campaigns performed comparing them to the amount of money you spent on the ads. You can also sort which ad groups and keywords had the highest ROI.

All of these can help you target your budget to those ads, keywords, times and days where you’ll get the most benefit from them. So remember that while clicks and CTR are important, they are only a small part of planning a successful pay per click campaign.
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