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+1 reporting in Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Cross-posted from the AdSense and Google Webmaster blogs.

It’s been a busy week for us here at the Googleplex. First we released +1 buttons to Google search sites globally, then we announced the beginning of the Google+ project.

The +1 button and the Google+ project are both about making it easier to connect with the people you trust online. For the +1 button, that means bringing advice from trusted friends and contacts right into Google search, letting the users who love your web content recommend it at the moment of decision.

But when you’re managing a website, it's usually not real until you can measure it. So we’re happy to say we’ve got one more announcement to make -- today we’re releasing reports that show you the value +1 buttons bring to your site.

First, +1 metrics in Google Webmaster Tools can show you how the +1 button affects the traffic coming to your pages:

  • The Search Impact report gives you an idea of how +1‘s affect your organic search traffic. You can find out if your clickthrough rate changes when personalized recommendations help your content stand out. Do this by comparing clicks and impressions on search results with and without +1 annotations. We’ll only show statistics on clickthrough rate changes when you have enough impressions for a meaningful comparison.
  • The Activity report shows you how many times your pages have been +1’d, from buttons both on your site and on other pages (such as Google search).
  • Finally, the Audience report shows you aggregate geographic and demographic information about the Google users who’ve +1’d your pages. To protect privacy, we’ll only show audience information when a significant number of users have +1’d pages from your site.
Use the +1 Metrics menu on the side of the page to view your reports. If you haven’t yet verified your site on Google Webmaster Tools, you can follow these instructions to get access.

Finally, you can also see how users share your content using other buttons besides +1 by using Social Plugin Analytics in Google Analytics. Once you configure the JavaScript for Analytics, the Social Engagement reports help you compare the various types of sharing actions that occur on your pages.

  • The Social Engagement report lets you see how site behavior changes for visits that include clicks on +1 buttons or other social actions. This allows you to determine, for example, whether people who +1 your pages during a visit are likely to spend more time on your site than people who don’t.
  • The Social Actions report lets you analyse the number of social actions (+1 clicks, Tweets, etc) taken on your site, all in one place.
  • The Social Pages report allows you to compare the pages on your site to see which are driving the highest the number of social actions.
Over the next few days (and if you’re using the default version of the latest Google Analytics tracking code), if you’ve added +1 buttons to your site we’ll automatically enable Social Plugin Analytics for +1 in your account. You can enable analytics for other social plugins in just a few simple steps.

Social reporting is just getting started. As people continue to find new ways to interact across the web, we look forward to new reports that help business owners understand the value that social actions are providing to their business. So +1 to data!

UPDATE: 7/8/11 5:30pm PST, corrected references to the social plugin analytics feature.

New Google Analytics: Improvements in Mobile Reporting

Thursday, 23 June 2011

This is part of our series of posts highlighting the new Google Analytics. The new version of Google Analytics is currently available in beta to all Analytics users. And follow Google Analytics on Twitter for the latest updates. This week, we’ll discuss some recent improvements to mobile reporting in Google Analytics.

Internet traffic from mobile devices is growing rapidly with smartphones and tablets expected to outsell computers this year. Google Analytics already provides a number of ways to track this growing mobile Internet usage from standard tracking on smartphones to SDKs for embedding Google Analytics into applications in iOS and Android. We’re hard at work at delivering more.

Today you'll see small first step along our path to improve mobile reporting inside Google Analytics: a new Mobile section in Visitors reporting.

Inside the Mobile section you’ll find two new reports. The first is a Mobile Overview report, which shows the simple breakdown between mobile traffic and non-mobile traffic.

The second report is the Devices report, which provides information about the various mobile devices that visit your site. As part of this report, we’ve added three new dimensions: Mobile Device Info, Mobile Device Branding, and Mobile Input Selector. Data for all these dimensions is available starting from June 6, 2011.

Mobile Device Info is the actual hardware that visited your site. One of the nice benefits of this report is you can quickly see a picture of any device. While you’ve probably seen an iPhone in person and have an idea about how your site will look on one, that might not be the case for less common devices like for example, the Nokia E63. Click the camera icon next to any device to see pictures of it.

Mobile Device Branding lets you see the brand associated with the phone. Depending on the device this might be the manufacturer or the carrier. Mobile Input Selector shows the primary input method for the device, whether it’s a touch screen, a clickwheel (like you’ll find on a Blackberry), or even a stylus.

And if you haven’t tried out the improvements to map overlay reports that we talked about last week, give them a try in the Mobile reports to visualize where your mobile traffic is coming from.

Web Analytics TV #19 - The Most Productive Episode

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Welcome to one of our most productive episodes of Web Analytics TV yet! We had so much fun doing this one, you are going to have a blast as well.

Web Analytics TV, as you well know by now, is powered by your questions. In this episode we had questions from Australia, Brazil, India, Denmark, England, Netherlands and so many other places. Y’all rock!

If you’re new to this show, our process for this show is simple.

Step 1: You ask, or vote on, your favorite web analytics questions. Vote on next week’s questions using this Web Analytics TV Google Moderator site.

Step 2: From a secret undisclosed location at the Googleplex Avinash Kaushik & Nick Mihailovski answer them. : )

In this episode we bring back the “Ninja of the Episode” and award it to Aaron from Tasmania, Australia. Really great questions Aaron. Just email us and we’ll send you a signed copy of Web analytics 2.0.

Here is the list of last weeks questions.

In this action packed episode we discuss:
  • (1:36) Cookies and laws (and milk)
  • (2:28) Setting multiple conditions for goals via Advanced Segments
  • (4:45) Using event tracking and custom reports to track calendars
  • (6:45) Getting site link data in Google Analytics
  • (7:37) Tracking conversions for individual products
  • (9:25) Best practices for setting up Google Analytics for different clients
  • (10:35) Tracking shopping carts on different domains
  • (11:54) Tracking internal site search on AJAX-type site search
  • (13:50) Combining referrals from different sites
  • (15:30) Implementing cross domain tracking with the async-tracking code
  • (17:05) How to determine when data is sampled
  • (19:42) Browser support for page speed reports
  • (22:08) Getting the name of each configured goal via the API
  • (23:16) When the GAIQ test will include version 5 content
  • (24:08) Getting hourly overview metrics in Google Analytics
  • (25:11) Differences between webmaster tools clicks and visits in GA
  • (26:18) How much income should you have to employee a web analyst
  • (30:06) Goal completions by different landing pages
  • (31:19) Visit duration calculation in Google Analytics
  • (32:53) Where to find e-commerce city and region data in Google Analytics
  • (34:02) Stopping other sites from sending fake traffic
  • (34:55) Virtual page views showing up in custom reports

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.

This series would not be possible without your awesome questions. Please submit them on our public Google Moderator site, and while you are there don’t forget to vote for your favourite questions. Avinash and I will answer them in a couple of weeks with yet another entertaining video.

New Google Analytics: Improvements in Map Overlay reports

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

This is part of our series of posts highlighting the new Google Analytics. The new version of Google Analytics is currently available in beta to all Analytics users. And follow Google Analytics on Twitter for the latest updates. This week, a few engineers from our team are sharing improvements they’ve made to Map Overlay reports.

In GA, we're always looking for ways to improve existing reports. For example, we noticed that you can only see state (i.e. province/region) breakdowns if you're looking at the United States. Surely, this information ought to be available for other parts of the world?!

It seemed like something that could be done in a short amount of time and yield a big win for our users. So, we're glad to announce that as of this week's release, you can now see region level maps of over 170 countries!

To try it out, simply go to the Location report (under Visitors > Demographics) and click a country. We'll try France:

Voila! We can see at a glance that Ile-de-France sends the most visits to our site. To see cities, just click City in the Viewing: list immediately below the map. Once you're on the cities view, you can try out another feature we rolled out recently -- a magnifying glass that appears when cities are clustered closely together.

Enjoy the new features in your maps. We hope they speed you on your way to gaining actionable insights and metrics. Happy analyzing!

P.S. Did you know you get map overlay in more places than just the Visitors > Demographics > Location report? Take a look at the tab on the Visitors > Technology > Mobile report

Posted by Eyal, Jerry, Yinnon, and Brian, Google Analytics Frontend Team

Summer time and the learning's easy!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Our Google Analytics Certified Partners (GACPs) are busy over the summer making sure Google Analytics and Website Optimizer users have plenty of opportunities to learn the basics, deep-dive the data, master the technical stuff and tune for conversions!

So if you're in need of some fast-track training, why not join them? Here's the June schedule for US and Europe:

Tue-Fri, June 14-17, 2011Dallas, TX
Wed-Fri, Jun 22-24, 2011San Diego, CA
Tue-Fri, June 28-July 1 2011London, UK
Wed-Thur, July 6-7, 2011Glassgow, Scotland
Tue-Thur July 12-14, 2011Philadelphia, PA
Wed-Fri July 13-15, 2011 Boston MA

If these dates don’t work for you, see the complete Seminars for Success schedule.

This is what you’ll learn by attending a seminar with one of our GACPs:

Whether you’re just getting started or have been involved with Google Analytics for a while, if you’re looking for a thorough training in all of the reports Google Analytics provides, this is the course for you. First, you’ll get a detailed background in the web analytics industry. Then you’ll go through a detailed examination of all of the reports Google Analytics has to offer, with real-world examples of how they can help you. You’ll also learn how to segment your site’s users, spot key trends, and of course, how to take your web analytics data and use it to your advantage.

If you’re already familiar with the basics of Google Analytics and are looking to become more sophisticated in your analysis, this course will show you how to do just that. Whether your business goals are user engagement, lead generation, or e-commerce, you’ll benefit from learning how to use the most advanced analysis features of Google Analytics, like Intelligence and Advanced Segmentation.

For those who are comfortable with Google Analytics but want to dive deeper into the technical side of GA, this advanced technical implementation course is for you. This training is tailored a bit more toward the tech-savvy, but is extremely valuable to anyone who wants to learn what Google Analytics can do when taken beyond the “plain vanilla” implementation. You’ll go “under the hood” of Google Analytics and learn about filter configuration and setup, opportunities for advanced, custom implementations, as well as the newest beta features that are rolling out.

Once you’ve nailed down your Google Analytics implementation, you’re ready to start taking action on your data by testing your website. This interactive training in Google Website Optimizer teaches you how to test your site to improve your users’ experience and your business’s bottom line. Attendees will receive a strong background in landing page testing and testing best practices, many real-world case studies, and an optional, hands-on lab experience in starting both A/B and Multivariate tests.

If you've been wanting to increase your knowledge on Google Analytics, Seminars are one of the best ways. Seminars are going on across the United States and Europe. If these days don't work for you check out the full seminar schedule.

Pilot the Webmaster Tools in Google Analytics integration

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools, which tool should you use? For many webmasters and online marketers, the answer is both. Much of the data in Google Analytics is about what happens after a user chooses to visit your site; whereas, Webmaster Tools reports are more focused on data from before the user makes that choice.

We’ve heard from many of you that an integration between Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics is at the top of your wishlists. So, today we’re happy to announce that we’re starting a limited pilot of just such an integration.

The initial release will be a set of reports in Google Analytics using search data from Google Webmaster Tools. This includes query information, clicks, impressions, clickthrough rate, and average position. You’ll also be able to use Google Analytics advanced data filtering and visualizations with this data.

We hope this will be the first of many ways to surface Webmaster Tools data in Google Analytics to give you a more thorough picture of your site’s performance. We’re looking forward to working with members of the pilot to help us identify the best ways to make this happen. If you’re interested in using these reports, please sign up for the pilot (see below).

Update July 15th, 2011, 2:25pm PST: We've closed the sign up sheet for the pilot for now. We'll update you when we open up sign ups again.

Custom Variables: Fairmont and Swissotel use-cases

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The introduction of custom variables to Google Analytics opened up many possibilities in measurement for site owners. It allows you to extend the dimensions tracked by Google Analytics to include facets that are meaningful to your business. For example, wouldn’t you like to know how your logged in members behaved differently than your casual visitors? Or which categories of content your visitors are consuming?

Barbara Pezzi, Director of Analytics and Search Optimisation, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, has been kind enough to share her use-cases for the different types of custom variables. Head on over to the APAC Conversion Room blog to find out more about:
  • Visitor-level custom variables: Swissotel were able to segment their visitors based on membership levels, understand their preferences, and then target their marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Session-level custom variables: Fairmont measured which booking method (i.e. single vs multiple) was more popular on their booking engine; and were able to understand which method appealed to which types of customers.
  • Page-level custom variables: Swissotel used page-level custom variables to group pages according to the language of the content. With these groupings they were able to conveniently analyse the behaviour patterns and preferences of visitors according to the language of content consumed.
We would also love to hear how you use custom variables. If you have any tips or suggestions, please leave them in the comments of Barbara’s articles.

The Making of Google Analytics v5

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

This is part of our series of posts highlighting the new Google Analytics. The new version of Google Analytics is currently available in beta to all Analytics users. And follow Google Analytics on Twitter for the latest updates. This week we’re sharing a few new features in our Intelligence reports.

Since we launched the new Google Analytics, we've been talking to many of you about the new version, and getting your feedback. One question we got was about our goals for the new version and why we made the changes we did. So, we got a few members of the Google Analytics team together to share their stories of how the new version began, our approach, and our goals in building it. Along the way, they also share a bit about what you can expect in the future from Google Analytics.

The Making of Google Analytics v5

We also put together a second video where the team runs through a few of the many new features in Google Analytics v5:

What’s New in Google Analytics v5

You can find more information on many of these in the New Google Analytics blog series including a few that aren’t mentioned in the video like Site Speed and new overview reports. And like Sagnik says at the end of the video, there’s much more to come in Google Analytics. Stay tuned!


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