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European Google Analytics User Conference in Belgium, Sweden and Spain

Friday, 27 April 2012

We’re excited to announce 3 upcoming Google Analytics User Conferences in Europe. The first will be in Brussels on May 3rd, the second will be in Stockholm on May 8th and the third will be in Barcelona on May 10th.

You can find further information, such as the agenda and speakers, on the links below. In our experience these events quickly sell out. So act fast if you want to take part, otherwise it is possible that you have to wait another year for the next event!

Key benefits of attending a Google Analytics User Conference:
  • Meet members of the Google Analytics team, experts, and other users like you
  • Learn through tangible examples how to measurably impact your business
  • Find out how others solve the challenges you are facing today
  • Have your business questions addressed by Google and Google Analytics Certified Partners
View the full agenda and register at www.gabc.be

This is the first Belgian User Conference! You will get to hear from some of our local Belgian Partners as well as Google speakers. Topics will range from learning how to take action using diverse data sets, creating tailor made dashboards, how to optimize your ROI with advanced campaign tracking, to measuring the value of social analytics.

View the full agenda and register at www.analyticsconference.se 

This is the second Google Analytics User Conference in Sweden. You’ll learn from national and international Google Analytics specialists to use the tool for maximum impact. You will meet speakers from Google as well as speakers from Google Analytics Certified Partners such as inUse Insights, Klikki, iProspect, Guava, and Relevant Traffic.

View the full agenda and register at www.googleanalyticsconference.es 

Building on the successful User Conference last year in Madrid, some of our Spanish partners have decided to do the same in Barcelona! Meet and share your experiences with other users of the tool, experts in the field of Analytics, and of course meet the Google speakers. Make sure not to miss the hands-on workshops that are being offered! 

User Conferences are part of a global series of events hosted by Google Analytics Certified Partners. This series brings together Partners from each region to present content that is relevant to local Google Analytics users.

We look forward to seeing you there!

More ways to measure your website's performance with User Timings

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

As part of our mission to make the web faster, Google Analytics provides Site Speed reports to analyze your site’s page load times. To help you measure and diagnose the speed of your pages in a finer grain, we’re happy to extend the collection of Site Speed reports in Google Analytics with User Timings.

With User Timings, you can track and visualize user defined custom timings about websites. The report shows the execution speed or load time of any discrete hit, event, or user interaction that you want to track. This can include measuring how quickly specific images and/or resources load, how long it takes for your site to respond to specific button clicks, timings for AJAX actions before and after onLoad event, etc. User timings will not alter your pageview count, hence,  makes it the preferred method for tracking a variety of timings for actions in your site.

To collect User Timings data, you'll need to add JavaScript timing code to the interactions you want to track using the new _trackTiming API included in ga.js (version 5.2.6+) for reporting custom timings. This API allows you to track timings of visitor actions that don't correspond directly to pageviews (like Event Tracking).  User timings are defined using a set of Categories, Variables, and optional Labels for better organization. You can create various categories and track several timings for each of these categories. Please refer to the developers guide for more details about the _trackTiming API.

Here are some sample use cases for User Timings
  • To track timings for AJAX actions before and after onLoad event. 
  • A site can have their own definition of “User Perceived Load Time”, which can be recorded and tracked with user timings.  As an example, news websites can record time for showing the above fold content as their main metric instead of onLoad time. 
  • Detailed performance measurement and optimization of sub components on a page, such as time to load all images, CSS or Javascript, download PDF files and time it takes to upload a file.
Want to check out User Timings Report in your account?
Go to the content section and click the User Timings report under Content section. There are three tabs within the User Timings report for you to review: Explorer, Performance, & Map Overlay. Each provides a slightly different view of user timings reported.

The Explorer tab on the User Timings report shows the following metrics by Timing Category, Timing Variable, or Timing Label (all of which you define in your timing code).
  • Avg. User Timing—the average amount of time (in seconds) it takes for the timed code to execute
  • User Timing Sample—the number of samples taken
The Explorer tab also provides controls that you can use to change the tabular data. For example, you can choose a secondary dimension—such as browser— to get an idea of how speed changes by browser.

To learn more about which timings are most common for user timings, switch to the Performance tab. This tab shows timing buckets, providing you with more insight into how speed can vary for user reported timings for selected category, variable and label combinations. You may switch to Performance tab at any point of navigation in the Explorer tab, such as after drilling down on a specific category and variable, to visualize distribution of user reported timings.  The bucket boundaries for histograms in Performance Tab are chosen to be flexible so that users can analyze data at low values ranging from 10 milliseconds granularity to 1 minute granularity with addition of sub-bucketing for further analysis.

The Map Overlay tab provides a view of your site speed experienced by users in different geographical regions (cities, countries, continents).

-  Satish Kambala & Mustafa M. Tikir, Google Analytics team

Using Google Analytics Social Reports To Measure Your Website Content And Engagement in Google+

Monday, 23 April 2012

The following is a guest post contributed by Daniel Waisberg, Owner of Conversion Journey, a Google Analytics Certified Partner, and Founder of Online Behavior, a Marketing Measurement and Optimization portal.

Google Analytics has recently launched a new set of reports called Social reports, which can be used to analyze on-site and off-site interactions with social networks in reference to your own website content. The reports’ ultimate goal is to enable brands to measure the return on investment for social media activities and make more accurate, data-driven decisions about social. 

The most significant change that it brings to the game is we are now able to better tie social activities (on and off-site) to online behavior and revenue. This is especially accentuated for the Social Data Hub Partners, a group of networks that use the platform provided by Google Analytics; for all these networks we can learn deep information about off-site behavior. 

I have recently written a guide to Google+ Analytics, where I discussed how to use Google Analytics in order to understand Google+ on-site interactions (e.g. +1 button clicks) and off-site interactions (e.g. comments, posts, shares that happened on Google+). In this post I will recap the main points of that guide and add actionable tips that will help marketers and analysts use these reports effectively.

Setting Up Goals - First Step to Social Media Measurement
Before using the Social reports, it is essential to configure your website goals on Google Analytics, otherwise the reports won't be as useful (here is a step-by-step guide). Thomas Carlyle wrote: "A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder." The same is true for Google Analytics accounts: if a goal is not configured, the stats will not help improving the performance of websites, no matter how good the reports are.

Google+ Social Referral Traffic - Quantity and Quality

According to Google Analytics, the Social Sources report, the first in the list of Social reports, is described as follows:
The Sources report shows engagement metrics (Pageviews, Avg. Time on Site, Pages/Visit) for traffic from each social network. This report is also enhanced with off-site data for Social Data Hub partner networks. Click on a partner network to see the URLs that were shared on that site, how they were shared (for example, via a "+1" or "reshare" action), and the public conversations that took place about your content.

In this report we will see the number of visitors that came through Google+, the number of pageviews that they saw, time on site and number of pages per visit. Nothing surprising.  However, since Google+ is part of the Social Data Hub, we can click through to get more detailed data on what kinds of interactions happened off-site, i.e. on plus.google.com

As you will see, when clicking through to the Google+ row (see screenshot above) we will have two reports on the Social Referral tab: Google+ Shared URL and Google+ Social Network and Action (the tabs can be found above the graph, and the reports below the graph).

Google+ Shared URL

The Google+ Shared URL report shows which URLs were shared in Google+ and what traffic they drove. It will also provide a Data Hub Activities metric, which tells how many interactions they drove on Google+ including: +1, post, comment and reshare.  

Actionable Tip: use this report to find out which content drives the most social activity on Google+. Based on that, you might consider increasing the exposure of this content on prominent website real estate.

Google+ Social Network and Action

If you click on the link to Social Network and Action (see arrow above), you will be able to see all interactions performed on Google+, segmented by action type. 

Google+ Conversations - Activity Stream

Moving over to real interactions with real people, Activity Streams allow us to see the conversations as they happened inside Google+ (for activities that have occurred publicly). The conversations are organized starting from the newest and we can do the following actions for each conversation:
  1. Page Analytics: leads to more information regarding traffic that was resulted from the post.
  2. View Ripple: leads to the post Ripple, an interactive visualization of the public shares of the post
  3. View Page: leads to the website page that was shared
  4. View Activity: leads to the actual publicly-shared post on Google+ 
Actionable Tip: use this report to discover people that are evangelizing your brand on Google+ and interact with them. Once you find those people, create a circle with them (call it "Evangelists") and start interacting with them in an ongoing basis.

Google+ Conversion Rates - Assisted vs. Last Interaction Analysis

This report uses the same functionality as the Multi-Channel Funnels reports. It provides both the last touch interaction value (i.e. conversions that happened in a visit attributed to Google+) and also the assisted value (i.e. conversions that happened in a visit following the visit from Google+). Above is a screenshot of how it looks and the explanation given by Google about the metrics in the chart. 

Assisted Conversions and Assisted Conversion Value: This is the number (and monetary value) of sales and conversions the social network assisted. An assist occurs when someone visits your site, leaves without converting, but returns later to convert during a subsequent visit. The higher these numbers, the more important the assist role of the social network. 

Last Interaction Conversions and Last Interaction Conversion Value: This is the number (and monetary value) of last click sales and conversions. When someone visits your site and converts, the visit is considered a last click. The higher these numbers, the more important the social network’s role in driving completion of sales and conversions. 

Assisted/Last Interaction Conversions: This ratio summarizes the social network’s overall role. A value close to 0 indicates that the social network functioned primarily in a last click capacity. A value close to 1 indicates that the social network functioned equally in an assist and a last click capacity. The more this value exceeds 1, the more the social network functioned in an assist capacity.

Actionable Tip: use this report to understand where in the buying cycle is your Social Media traffic. This may help you understand which kind of offers will be most effective on Social Networks.

Google+ Social Plugin - On-site Interactions

The Social Plugins report provides an account of the social actions that happened inside the website and in which pages they occur. +1 buttons spread in the website content will be available in this report automagically (for other social buttons, coding is required). 

Actionable Tip: use this report to understand which content is being +1'ed in-site. This will help you optimize the position of +1 buttons to increase exposure through Google+.

Google+ Visitors Flow

This report uses the same functionality used in the flow visualization report released by Google in 2011. Basically, it provides the path through which visitors experienced the website. In this report we will be able to segment just by visits originating from Google+. You can find the report at http://onbe.co/GXYQMN  
Actionable Tip: use this report to understand how well optimized your site is for social traffic. If you find a page that is receiving large amounts of social traffic and is not persuading visitors to click-through (i.e. high drop rate), you might consider testing that page.

Concluding Thoughts
As seen above, Google Analytics has created robust tracking and analysis abilities for Google+, which puts Google+ in an excellent position when it comes to other Social Networks. In general, many other social sites don’t provide detailed metrics into what happens inside their walls, which makes investments less measurable. If marketers can easily measure how well each social networks perform, more resources might be devoted to them.

Posted by Daniel Waisberg, Conversion Journey

Webinar: Marketing Attribution: Insights from Google Analytics and Econsultancy

Friday, 20 April 2012

Please join us next Thursday for a webinar on marketing attribution featuring Bill Kee, our Product Manager for Attribution, and Stefan Tornquist, VP for Research at Econsultancy.

Stefan will talk about insights from the recent Attribution whitepaper by Econsultancy and Google Analytics, and Bill will discuss Google’s approach to attribution and some of the tools we offer, including Search Funnels in AdWords and Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics. Plus, he’ll demo the Attribution Modeling Tool in Google Analytics Premium.

We'll also provide a few tips for how to get started with attribution. This webinar will be the first in a series on attribution -- so please stay tuned for future installments!

Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET
Click here to register

We hope you’ll be able to join the live webinar, but for those who can’t make it, we’ll be sharing a recording after the event.

Global Site Speed Overview: How Fast Are Websites Around The World?

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Luckily, the Site Speed reports in Google Analytics provide most of this data to us already. The new Web Timing standard, which is already implemented by most modern browsers, allows Google Analytics to gather detailed latency data for a sample of requests across a dozen different dimensions. To see this data for your site, navigate to your Google Analytics account and look for the new “Site Speed” reports under the “Content” section - there is no additional instrumentation required on your behalf. This article describes the details about the speed metrics.

A frequently asked question we hear is: how do I know if my site is fast enough? The answer, of course, depends on the nature of the site, the content, and the type of interactions your users perform on the site. However, to help us establish a baseline, let us take a look at some aggregate speed data for the web as seen by Google Analytics and shared by opted-in web publishers:

Mobile internet is growing at an incredible rate and as we can see from the data above, mobile experience is about 1.5x slower than desktop experience. That’s a very big difference, and that is even taking into account that many popular sites are already optimizing for the mobile visitor: fewer resources, smaller resources, and smarter caching strategies.

Let’s take a closer look at web performance for a few specific countries:

The following interactive world map presents the page load times for desktop in seconds for the complete list of countries with enough samples for accurate measurement:

The following map presents the corresponding data for mobile.

Note that there are many factors that play a role in overall speed of web pages as experienced by users. The browser, the network connection, the client hardware (processing power), the content of the web page, and the hosting location of the web site relative to the user all impact the speed of an individual page load. As a result, the country aggregates listed above depend on all those factors as well.

Finally, let’s take a look at relative page speeds across some of the popular verticals:

How does your site stack up?

Learn at the Google Analytics User Conference in Mexico City

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Buenos dias analistas!

Mexico City is hosting its first Google Analytics User Conference next week on Wednesday, April 25th. This event will be a full day of valuable sessions by leaders in the Latin American web analytics market and members of the Google Analytics product team. You can view the full agenda and register at www.gauc.mx

Our readers can get 10% off with the discount code: GAUC_GABLOG. The first two people to use that code will get a free ticket, so act fast!

Attendees will find helpful content regardless of their skill level. Beginners and experts alike will benefit from hearing about the many new and amazing features recently released in Google Analytics. You can also choose the track that is most relevant to your role. From fundamental concepts for making analytics produce better results for your business, to tips on how to use features like Custom Variables or Campaign Tracking more effectively, there's something for everyone at this event. 

Topics will include:
  • What's New & Fantastic in Google Analytics
  • Web Analytics Measurement Planning
  • Tag Management for Google Analytics
  • Separate Tracks for Business & Strategy, Analysis & Optimization, and Technical Aspects
  • Panels, Q&A sessions, and Help Desk breaks
This User Conference is part of a global series of events hosted by Google Analytics Certified Partners. This series brings together Partners from each region to present content that is relevant to local Google Analytics users. This event is being hosted by Certified Partners in Mexico (C√≥dice), Colombia (MarketView), and Argentina (Intellignos). Sessions will be presented in a mix of English & Spanish. 

Tickets are still on sale and don’t forget to use the discount code GAUC_GABLOG to receive a 10% discount. We hope to see you there.

Jesse Nichols, Google Analytics team

Get A Free Mobile Site With GoMo ...And Measure It With Google Analytics

Monday, 16 April 2012

According to a survey from Limelight Networks, 80% of customers abandon a mobile site if they have a bad user experience. You might be seeing this yourself if you look at your mobile reports within Google Analytics and notice a high bounce rate from visitors using mobile devices. Here at Google, we’re very conscious of the shift to mobile and want to make it easy for you to provide a great mobile experience to customers, and of course measure the results.

That’s why we’re pleased to announce that GoMo (a Google-led initiative dedicated to helping businesses “Go Mobile”) and DudaMobile have joined forces to make it easy for small businesses to create a mobile-friendly website at howtogomo.com. This do-it-yourself site builder, customized specifically for GoMo users, easily converts regular websites into mobile-friendly sites in five simple steps. And it allows you to add features like a click-to-call button, mobile maps and Google AdSense. Sites that are created with the GoMo-DudaMobile tool will be hosted free for one year. 

And of course, your mobile site traffic will be measured for you to analyze in Google Analytics. If you sign up for the DudaMobile service offered on the GoMo site, you can easily add your existing GA tracking code via "site settings” option. 

Please note that DudaMobile’s technology is best for converting simple sites. If your site uses a lot of Flash content, framesets or e-commerce, we suggest that you Go Mobile by talking to your agency or working with one of the developers here.

Many people think mobile is the future of computing. It’s actually the present. We live in a multi-platform, multi-device world and continue to be trending to an “always on” society where users expect to be able to access information, websites and apps wherever they go. Ready to get started? Find out more by visiting the GoMo website.

Better results, (still) early adoption: Marketing attribution in a complex digital landscape

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Today, we’re sharing some research on marketing attribution that we conducted in partnership with Econsultancy, a leading digital market research firm. The insights -- Marketing Attribution: Valuing the Customer Journey -- provide a snapshot of how marketers and agencies are conducting attribution, the impact it has, and the barriers holding them back.

If you’re not familiar with digital attribution, it’s about distributing credit to all of the elements of your digital marketing program, so you can gauge the impact of customer marketing interactions on your sales results and make more accurate investment decisions. Here are a few snippets from the report that we found interesting:

It’s still a new craft, but early results show positive impact
Although digital attribution is still relatively new -- 83% of practitioners we surveyed have been using it for less than 2 years -- it clearly has a positive impact on businesses that employ it. 72% agree that it leads to better budget allocations, 63% gained a better understanding of how digital channels work together, and 58% had clearer insights into their audience: 

Attribution leads to improved ROI, better budgeting

Last click attribution dominates; agencies are leading the way in experimentation
Most digital marketers run multiple campaigns, each with different strategies and objectives. For instance, display campaigns that are designed to generate awareness will have a different impact on sales than paid search campaigns designed to bring in buyers. Yet most marketers today still use attribution models that do not account for these differences in strategy. Although only 14% of respondents consider “last click” attribution to be “very effective,” it remains common; most likely because marketers haven't yet found or mastered the right attribution tools. Digital marketing agencies have done more with sophisticated attribution methods and technologies:

Robust attribution leads to confident digital decisions
For organizations that use attribution, it often leads to greater confidence in marketing choices: if you know the impact of your programs, it’s easier to budget for them. As one online retailer commented, “Attribution was the missing piece to our campaign analysis. Now we don’t run a campaign without learning something about how our marketing affects the buying cycle, and then testing to see whether it applies in the long run.”

Performing marketing attribution with Google
Here at Google we spend our time building intuitive tools to make measurement easier, so that you can really use your data to make smarter decisions. That’s why we provide several important tools for marketing attribution, including Search Funnels in AdWords and Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics. And check out our Attribution Modeling tool in Google Analytics Premium, which includes five standard attribution models plus a custom model builder, so you can create and customize attribution models in minutes, and see data instantly. Learn more in our Attribution Playbook.

Join us for an Attribution Hangout
If you’re available this Friday, April 6, at 9:00am PDT, please join Bill Kee, Product Manager for Attribution, and Justin Cutroni, Analytics Advocate, for a Google+ Hangout. Bill will talk about the research and give a demo of the Attribution tool in Google Analytics Premium, as well as discussing Multi-Channel Funnels and AdWords Search Funnels, two complementary features.

To watch the Hangout on Air, tune into Justin’s Google+ Page on Friday. If you have a question that you would like us to discuss, please enter it in this this form -- and we’ll invite five of you to join the Hangout live to ask your questions.

We look forward to seeing you at the Hangout on Friday!

Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager, Conversion and Attribution

Share reports by email and export to PDF: now live in the new Google Analytics

Monday, 2 April 2012

The new Google Analytics has come a long way since it was first unveiled last March. Between multi-channel funnels, real time, flow visualization, premium, and a whole host of other incredible features, it is hard to believe that only a year has gone by.

We are excited to announce that Analytics reports can now be automatically sent to yourself or other members of your team from within the new Google Analytics. These reports can be set up to email at a variety of regularly scheduled times, including daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Reports can also be exported to PDF allowing you to save or share the insights you’ve found using Google Analytics.

Where to find Email and PDF export
Look in the newly-redesigned Utility Bar located at the top of your favorite reports for Email and PDF Export options:

In order to provide maximum flexibility, this functionality is available on standard reports, custom reports, and dashboards. Clicking on the "Email" button on a dashboard pulls up the same email scheduling dialog as in standard reports and offers the same feature set:

Why "beta"?
For those who have used the email scheduler in the old interface, this new emailer system operates independently and has enhancements in reliability and ease of use. We are putting the finishing touches on the look and feel of exported reports, and anticipate that these will be finalized soon.

Part of the transition to the new emailing system is an opportunity to "reset" your scheduled emails. Consider which scheduled emails have been most helpful and be sure to recreate those in the new interface. The new Google Analytics has some reporting differences and additional metrics that you may want to take advantage of when drafting new scheduled emails. We will provide ample notice before scheduled emails from the old Google Analytics are sunset later this year.

We would love to hear how the release of these features helps you to be efficient and derive valuable insights. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Happy exporting!

Interplanetary Reporting Comes To Google Analytics

Sunday, 1 April 2012

At Google we like to create solutions for the future. And we imagine a future where web use won’t be restricted simply to Earth. Rather, people will want to visit their favorite sites while cruising around the rings of Saturn with friends or relaxing at the (inevitable) Mercury tanning facility.

When the galaxy is our playground, marketers, analysts and webmasters will want to understand location use beyond Earth. For example, if you had a chain of taco stands and noticed many users visiting your website from the Mars outpost, well, that might help you make a business case to begin expanding your business to serve Mars colonists.

That’s why today we’re announcing a sneak preview of our new Interplanetary Reports. While currently you only get a partial picture of website visitor location, we want to expand beyond Earth to help you understand visitor activities from neighboring stars and planets. You’ll also be able to drill down on each planet to see greater detail. For example, which colony or outpost your visitors came from similar to the city drill down available for Earth today. 

In order to help you improve slow interplanetary site speed we’re also adding an average page load time to this report to help you understand latency issues caused by distances between planets. 

When you slice and dice the data from these new reports, you might discover some interesting things. For example, we noticed a direct correlation between gravity and site bounce rate. Visitors coming from the moon bounced 6 times higher than those from earth.

We figured you might have questions. So, following is a quick FAQ for current Google Analytics users:

When will the new reports be released?
The new reports are scheduled to be released to all users starting in the year 2030, when we anticipate local space travel becomes widespread. 

How far across space will the new reports track?
We’ll start by tracking location from as far away as the Andromeda Galaxy, however as light speed travel becomes more widespread we’ll be integrating new (patent-pending) technologies to track visitors from greater locations.

Does Google Analytics plan to also segment traffic by species?
Non-human traffic is something we’ve been thinking about. As we work together with our space-faring friends, we’ll be introducing a new section within demographics to take into account any new species discovered. 

We hope you’re as excited as we are to explore the galaxy and also keep connected to the web. After all, updating your space logs (slogs) should be a social activity that users from across the galaxy can comment on, share, and of course measure.

- The Google Analytics team

photo courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

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