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Summer Excuses?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Google Analytics workshops and seminars are happening everywhere this summer! If you've had excuses in the past, there's now no excuse not to take a day of training to become an expert and get a leg up. Chances are there's one happening near you when you're available -- just take a look at the Google Analytics seminars offered on the Seminars For Success portal. These are one day seminars, either beginner or advanced, where you'll ramp up into a high proficiency or fine tune your knowledge with fantastic instructors. Over the next 3 months, they are happening in:
  • Berkeley, CA
  • Austin, TX
  • Washington, DC
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Dallas, TX
And internationally, you can attend seminars in Glasgow, Manchester, London, Melbourne or Sydney. They're inexpensive, and you'll get a lot of bang for your buck, including hands on instruction, an AdWords credit, educational materials and some more good stuff. Take a look and register!

And then, after the Summer ends, there will be more opportunities to learn about Google Analytics, and here's one we want to highlight. The SMX East conference is a fantastic place to bone up on the latest in the world of SEM, SEO, social media marketing, analytics and more. In partnership with SMX East, Feras Alhlou, Principal Marketing Consultant @ E-Nor (a Google Analytics Certified Partner) will be conducting a full day workshop on Google Analytics at the conference. When registering at this page, you'll see a workshops option, including Google Analytics - that's the one you want.

Whether you are a marketer or a webmaster, this workshop will help you help give you more clarity and help you take the right action. I've attended Feras' workshops before, and they're insightful, practical, inspiring and helpful.

Here's the workshop agenda:

Morning Session – Marketer/Business Focus – Strategy & Planning
  • Web Analytics Strategy – approach, opportunities and limitations
  • How It Works – overview, accuracy and privacy implications, integrating with other data
  • Practical – understanding the user interface
  • Advanced Features Overview – clever stuff you can do with Google Analytics
Afternoon Session – Webmaster/Technical Focus – Implementation
  • Accounts & Profiles, Filters & Goals – structure your data properly
  • External Campaign Tracking – measure performance of search, email & banner campaigns
  • Reporting – dashboards & insights
  • Advanced Segmentation & Custom Reports – powerful ways to find insights
Need more incentive? Register before July 30 and save money on the Super Early Bird Special. That's not enough? Here is a discount code for $100 discount: smx100gaw (case sensitive) or simply you can use this URL: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/east10?discountcode=smx100gaw

Get your analytics expertise in shape and you'll be ahead of the curve in no time, building practical skills in a tool near and dear to our hearts.

A Shout Out About Annotations

Friday, 16 July 2010

A few months ago at the Google I/O conference, we were approached by Zach Steindler, a co-founder at Olark (a way to gain customer insight and sell better through live chat) who was raving about Google Analytics Annotations. He had such a great business case, we decided to let him rave here. Enjoy, and thanks Zach.

Making good business decisions is hard, and making the right one is even harder. At Google I/O I realized many people use Google Analytics but they aren’t familiar with the recent annotations feature that has helped us make smarter business decisions.

When we look at our Google Analytics, we don’t really care if our numbers are up or down; what we really want to know is why. This means asking a lot of questions, particularly questions about what happened when, like:

“How long has that ad trial been running?”
“When did we release that update to the website?”
“What happened after that last blog post?”

To answer these questions I might have to dig through e-mails, commit logs, and probably end up pestering my teammates for an hour while we try to figure out what happened when. But this is serious stuff; if our numbers went up 50% in a week, you better believe we want to know why so we can do more of it!

Annotations are exactly the tool we needed to answer these questions without having to pester teammates and dig through the past. If you don't know, basically, they allow you to add notes of what events happened on a particular day. These notes are then visible for the different views in Google Analytics, so you can see how the events impacted your page views, goals, or whatever else you are tracking.

You can annotate whatever you want; we annotate things like external publicity, major updates to our site, blog posts, even service issues, to see how all these events are impacting our business.

We’re big believers in the power of open data; everyone on the team has access to Google Analytics and can contribute events they think are important. This has been incredibly useful for us. Now I can answer many why questions for myself, just by looking at the data other people have contributed. When I do need to interrupt the team, it’s because I have big-picture questions, not because I need them to help me track down dates. Also, you start to notice a rhythm of events, and if that rhythm changes, how it impacts your business. As a bonus, now we have this cool timeline of events the team thought was important, which is useful for retrospectives and end-of-period reports.

We’re far from being able to make perfect decisions with perfect knowledge, but annotations have made it much easier to answer the why questions so we can make good business decisions.

Will Using Google Analytics Have A Negative Effect On My Ranking?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Good news from the horse’s mouth. We don’t mean to call Matt Cutts a horse, but, well, if you know him, you know what we mean. Matt heads the webspam team here at Google and also speaks on behalf of Google answering questions about ranking and results on Google’s search engine. When people have questions about things Google-search-related, Matt is the one who answers.

He posts regular video blogs to the Google Webmaster Help channel answering your questions. So we were very pleased when he recently answered the question, “Will using Google Analytics have a negative effect on my ranking?” In short, the answer is no, especially now that we’ve launched the asynch tracking code . Take a look at the short video:

Thanks Matt!


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