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Another Holiday Gift For The Practitioner

Thursday, 30 December 2010

As you may know, you can create your own reports within Google Analytics. Here's a help article from our blog explaining how. In Avinash's typical style, he makes powerful analysis techniques accessible and understandable, and the best part is that he's created the reports for you allowing you to take action right away. You can click on a link that populates the report template right within your Google Analytics profile. Thanks for the holiday gift Avinash.
To give you a sneak peak and get you salivating to read Avinash's post, the three reports are:
  • Page Efficiency Analysis Report
  • Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis Report.
  • Paid Search Performance Analysis Micro-Ecosystem!
If you're doing web analytics, these reports will be of use both educationally, and practically. Enjoy, and stay tuned for one more gift from Avinash.

First Holiday Gift: iGoogle Gadget

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The holidays are here, true believer. And we're stuffing your stocking with 3 posts-containing-gifts, and this is the first. The other two will come next week and are delivered by our very own Santavinash Claus.

Close your eyes and get ready - wait, don't close them actually - keep reading, because here it is: a gadget, because you love gadgets. But not just any gadget....As part of our efforts to make your analytics data more accessible, we are announcing the release of the Official Google Analytics Gadget. With it, you can get a quick snapshot of your website traffic and marketing effectiveness directly from your iGoogle homepage. Access any of your analytics profiles and view any of these standard reports, including Visitors, Traffic Sources, Content and Goals, in 7, 30 and 90 day periods.

It's a handy dashboard for Google Analytics.

Users can now add the Official Google Analytics Gadget to their iGoogle homepage here, or by searching the iGoogle Gadgets Directory.

The gadget can also be added multiple times within your iGoogle homepage to view multiple reports at once.

We must thank CPG Brand Marketers for encouraging the development of this iGoogle Analytics Gadget. They are using iGoogle as a Brand Digital Dashboard to mine search trends, news, consumer feedback, and more, in order to help make strategic investment decisions. Now they can easily add Google Analytics data to their brand digital dashboards.

Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Patrick Tedjamulia, Google CPG Team and Jeff Gillis, Google Analytics Team

Last Web Analytics TV For 2010 - Out With A Bang

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Well, it’s the last episode of Web Analytics TV for 2010. In this series with Avinash Kaushik and Nick Mihailovski, you ask and vote on your favorite web analytics questions via the Google Analytics Google Moderator site and we answer them.

In this episode, we award Lloyd in Capetown for his great question on how bounce rate is calculated and how AJAX sites can effect it. Lloyd, just send us an email and we’ll send you an autographed, personalized, copy of Web Analytics 2.0.

Here is the list of last weeks questions which we answered this week.

In this action-packed episode we discuss:
  • (0:27) How you can see the top landing page report by keyword.
  • (1:22) Calculating Avg Time to complete a goal.
  • (2:11) The recommended way to do internal campaign tracking.
  • (3:17) Creating funnel reports for different user types.
  • (5:19) How page title and URL are used in unique pageview calculations.
  • (6:40) Why you see google as a referral in Google Analytics.
  • (8:25) Can you use GA to track social networking links without link shorteners?
  • (9:28) Using canonical URLs to differentiate multiple links on a page.
  • (10:52) Calculating bounce rate for AJAX sites.
  • (13:34) Getting campaign data into Google Analytics without using URL parameters.
  • (14:43) Google Analytics campaign attribution and direct traffic.
  • (15:54) Working with Custom Variables in website templates.
  • (17:07) Using Ecommerce tracking for tracking conversions.
  • (19:02) Is there a way to see data broken down by day of the week?
  • (19:48) How tabbed navigation effects funnel abandonment.
  • (21:21) How to track various form selections.
  • (22:23) Fnding Average number of items per order in Google Analytics.

Here are the links to the topics we discuss:
As always, if you need help setting up Google Analytics or leveraging the advanced configuration options, we recommend hiring a Google Analytics Certified Partner.

If you found this post or video helpful, we'd love to hear your comments. Please share them via the comment form below. And, if you have a question you would like us to answer, please submit a question and vote for your favorite question in our public Google Moderator site. Avinash and I will answer your latest questions in a couple of weeks with yet another entertaining video.

Optimize And Analyze For Mobile, part 3

Monday, 20 December 2010

This is part 3 of a timely 3 part guest post on mobile analytics strategy and implementation by Feras Alhlou at E-Nor, a Certified Partner in Northern California. Here's part 1, which explained how to look for trends in mobile traffic to your website, and here's part 2 about giving your reports more dollar power.

3. Act on your ROI
At this point, you are equipped with your positive trends and the (hopefully high!) revenue numbers generated on mobile devices. You’ll hopefully get additional time/resources to better assess and improve your mobile presence and mobile marketing initiatives.

But, we still have some more ground to cover, including more segmentation. Let's ratchet up your insights:

More Segmentation.
For your mobile traffic (viewable via an advanced segment or a profile you make specifically for mobile traffic), segment by medium (traffic channel) or campaign (e.g. Back To School Campaign). Take a look at these two metrics:

Bounce rate by medium:

click to enlarge

And conversion rate by medium:

click to enlarge

Do more with Google AdWords.
You notice in the reports above that your cpc (paid-search) traffic from mobile devices is not as prevalent as other mediums. Your results show that your mobile site is experiencing a high bounce rate and a low conversion rate - a good indicator that something is very wrong either on your landing page, or in your ads. Either your ads are not bringing in the right traffic, or you're scaring traffic away.

What you're most likely doing is proving that your site is not optimized for mobile device visits.

Fortunately, you can further back this data up within AdWords. Google AdWords now allows more visibility into campaign performance from different devices. In AdWords, in your Campaign reports, click on ‘Device’ in the Segment drop-down.

click to enlarge

In this situation, in the last cell in the rightmost column, you notice a 0.03% conversion rate for your mobile devices (compared to 0.52% on the non-mobile devices) and you know exactly where the problem is.

To fix the awfulness in the conversion rates, here are a few tips:
  • create a separate campaign for your mobile devices
  • send traffic to a custom landing page (or to your mobile site if you have one),
  • and/or better target the mobile traffic (by device, or using the click-to-call feature).
Last but not least and for tor the technically inclined, and to get a more comprehensive perspective on your mobile presence, take a look at the code site page on mobile. If you're developing for a mobile platform, you can use Google Analytics to track the following:
  • Activity on websites specially tailored for low-end mobile devices
  • Activity on standard websites accessed from high-end mobile devices
  • User engagement with a native iOS or Android application (using the Google Analytics mobile SDK)
In addition, there are a number of new niche analytics solutions specifically built for mobile, so keep on the lookout, and see if a specific tool has a feature that you really need. And, for more analytics tips and insights, follow @ferasa on twitter or check out the E-Nor blog.

Happy Analyzing!

Custom Variables For Your Android Applications

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

With the power of the Google Analytics Mobile SDK, you can track activity within your mobile applications the same way you track activity on websites. In fact, this SDK turns Google Analytics into a great tool for analyzing mobile application usage, with the option to use many of the same great features like advanced segments, goals, and custom reporting. However, you could not apply custom variables to the pageviews and events you sent from your mobile application to Analytics... until now. Get ready for a holiday present.

We’re pleased to announce the addition of custom variables to the Mobile Analytics SDK for Android. Using the same simple interface, you can now apply custom variables to your mobile usage data, making for dead-easy segmenting of that data when it comes time to analyze usage and optimize your mobile application.

How, you ask, can custom variables be used to optimize an Android application? The same way they help you optimize web applications: by providing actionable context. Some starter ideas for how to segment your Android application users:
  • Free vs Paid users: What percentage of users went from demo to full version? How long did it take them?
  • Application Version: What version of your app gained the most users? Which version lost some users? Look at where things went wrong and fix them. Fast.
  • Platform version: Would bumping up the minimum version of your application cost you some percentage of your user base? Should you stay backwards compatible with cupcake, or focus on the juicy new features?
You can also use custom variables to tell how users interact with your application:
  • Modes of interaction: UI-wise, do your users use menu-items or long-presses more often?
  • Help/Tutorial: How many features of your application are explored by users who finished the built-in tutorial? How many get used by those who didn’t? What’s the conversion rate to paid users?
  • Portrait vs landscape: What mode are people in during most of their interaction with your application?
Thanks to the flexibility of the Google Analytics platform, this information is now available to include in your Android applications. And because it’s Google Analytics, you still have the advantage of analyzing all this data with our web interface, as well as all the data analysis and visualization tools provided by our ridiculously awesome community.

From all of us on the Google Analytics team, we hope you enjoy!

Welcome, Google Apps users!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Google Analytics is now available to Google Apps users with their Apps accounts, along with dozens of other services as part of a recently launched improvement.

Google Apps is Google’s suite of cloud-based messaging and collaboration apps, including Gmail, calendar, documents, spreadsheets, and more, specifically optimized for use in organizations. These services, which run entirely in the cloud, are used by over 30 million users in small and large businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world. You can learn more about how Google Apps can lower IT costs and improve productivity and collaboration at your organization at google.com/apps.

For those users who have a Google Apps account, if your administrator has already transitioned your organization to the new infrastructure, you can start using Google Analytics by signing in at google.com/analytics with your existing Apps account.

For more details, read the complete post on the Google Enterprise blog and follow all the updates on other newly available services for Google Apps users.

GA As Networking Tool

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Talk about organic...Read about incredible organic growth below, and how Analytics helped enable it. We love to share these types of stories because they show practical usage cases of finding success with analytics. Enjoy.

Turning a hobby into a full-time job isn’t always an easy feat. Zach Weiner started drawing comics in high school and he never expected he’d make a career of his clever anecdotes. When his talent agency coworker asked him why he didn’t do his comics full-time, Weiner was inspired. He quit the agency a few months later to launch Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC). The daily webcomic now has over 150,000 daily visits.

Weiner uses Google Analytics to better understand those 150,000+ daily visitors. After founding SMBC in 2005, Weiner installed Google Analytics in 2008. "At that time, my traffic was starting to take off, and my old trackers couldn't keep up," says Weiner. "And the other trackers we used couldn't keep up with the quantity of visitors and began reporting absurd numbers. I had heard good things about Analytics so I decided to switch over."

Since making the switch to Google Analytics, Weiner has used the information to track the referral path to his site. By analyzing referrals to his site, he ensures he is not missing out on business opportunities. Because the livelihood of the comic is completely dependent on visitation, it’s crucial for Weiner to open as many doors as possible.

"I have enough traffic now that I might miss the fact that a large blog linked me," says Weiner. "With Analytics, I can find those sorts of links and make contact with the Blogger." In this way, Weiner is able to build relationships with key Bloggers. As an example, Weiner noticed that Reddit.com was routing a significant amount of traffic to SMBC and he gave Reddit a shout out on his blog. Soon after, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian contacted Weiner and is now his publisher. Who knew Analytics could also be a networking tool?

Weiner also uses the Analytics data to build out new entry points. "I can find out which aggregators people use and try to make these aggregators more accessible. For example, I recently added a simple Facebook button under each comic after noticing how much of my traffic arrives from Facebook." To collect this information, Weiner checks the last year of referrals day over day to see what sources are spiking or dwindling.

Weiner’s attention to his Analytics data has also allowed him to make changes to his AdWords targeting. "I recently found that, for reasons unclear to me, Anime blogs tend to produce high quality traffic to SMBC," says Weiner. "I recently ran ads on an Anime site that, according to Analytics, sent about 35 page views per visitor!"

The author of SMBC is now a self-admitted Analytics addict -- he has to give himself a limit on the amount of time he spends in Analytics each day. By monitoring Analytics for crucial information about referral sites, Weiner has been able to open several new doors to his site and he’s built new relationships with other members of the online comic world. Make sure you get your daily dose of cereal!


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