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Introducing the Multi-Channel Funnels Reporting API

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Measuring how marketing efforts influence conversions can be difficult, especially when your customers interact with multiple marketing channels over time before converting. Last fall, we launched Multi-Channel Funnels in Google Analytics, a new set of reports that help shed light on the full path users follow to conversion, rather than just the last click. One request we’ve had since the beginning was to make this data available via an API to allow developers to extend and automate use cases with the data. So today we’re releasing the new Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels Reporting API.

The API allows you to query for metrics like Assisted Conversions, First Interactions Conversions, and Last Interaction conversions, as well as Top Paths, Path Length and Time Lag, to incorporate conversion path data into your applications. Key use cases we’ve seen so far involve combining this conversion path data with other data sources, such as cost data, creating new visualizations, as well as using this data to automate processes such as bidding.

For example, Cardinal Path used the new Multi-Channel Funnels API, Analytics Canvas ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and Tableau Software to help their client, C3 Presents, uncover how time and channels affected Lollapalooza ticket sales in an analysis dubbed “MCF DNA.” The outcome was a new visualization, similar to a DNA graph, that helped shed light on how channels appeared throughout the conversion funnel.

MCF DNA Visualization in Tableu Software

In another case, Mazeberry, an analytics company from France, helped their client 123Fleurs decrease customer acquisition costs by 20% by integrating data from the Multi-Channel Funnels API into a new reporting framework. Their application, Mazeberry Express, combines media cost and full conversion path data to provide new Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and Return on Investment (ROI) metrics that provide a more complete understanding of how online channels are working together to influence conversions.

Mazeberry Express Screenshot - Focus on a Channel

Please note that this functionality only works with the new v3.0 API libraries, so you should upgrade now if you haven’t already (see our migration guide). We look forward to seeing how you make use of this new data source.

A simpler way to re-connect with your website visitors

Friday, 27 July 2012

Google Analytics has always provided powerful tools to help you better understand your website visitors and improve their experience. Some of you have also started using insights from your website to optimize your remarketing campaigns and re-engage customers who have visited your site. But this has traditionally required you to add a second tag to your site for remarketing, in addition to your existing Google Analytics tag. To simplify the process, we’re rolling out Remarketing with Google Analytics in beta, to help you make the most of those valuable insights.

Remarketing with Google Analytics helps you create remarketing lists based on certain audiences who visit your website and show interest in your products, without having to tag your site twice. This can help you more easily create remarketing campaigns to show ads across the Google Display Network (GDN). 

We’ll be rolling this beta feature out in waves by the end of the summer to all Google Analytics users who are account administrators with at least one linked Google AdWords account. Once the feature is available to you, you can learn about the steps to enable it in your account by clicking on the "Admin" tab in the upper right corner of Google Analytics, then look for the tab for "Remarketing Lists.”

Remarketing can help improve the relevancy of the ads that users see online. We’re also committed to giving users increased control over the ads they see on Google and across the web with tools like Mute This Ad, the Ads Preferences Manager, and the Google Analytics Opt-out.

To learn more about Google’s suite of remarketing tools, please visit the AdWords blog here.

Happy analyzing... and happy remarketing!

Posted by Jesse Savage, Product Manager

Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni Answers Your Burning Questions (Part 2)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A version of the following post originally appeared on Justin Cutroni’s Analytics Talk blog.

It’s that time again! Time to take your analytics questions (via Google+) and provide a useful answer.

This edition includes information about such topics as:
  • Tracking across an iFrame
  • A bug with the Ad Content secondary dimension
  • Integrating Google Analytics and Google AdSense
  • Ecommerce reporting based on item category/group
Your Analytics Questions, answered:
Cross-Domain iFrame Question from Michael Walker:

Implementation Question – I have 2x domains lets call them dom1.comand dom2.com – each have a their own Google Analytics (GA) account.

The problem I am having though is that is as follows – we have a form on dom1.com that is pulled in from dom2 via an i-frame. the code within the form fires off 2x custom variables to its dom2 GA account. The outer frame on dom1 fires off all the incoming traffic sources and more importantly the campaign data.

Now what I need to do is I need to have the dom2′s GA account filled with the same campaign values – so that I can tie the campaign names to the 2x custom variables. Now I do have some restrictions that forbid me to set the custom variables to dom1′s GA account as even though this would be the simplest way.

So which of the following options should I go down.

1) Set up on the master frame – a second tracker that fires off the campaign data to dom2′s GA account. Leaving dom1′s GA code in place. Also leaving the code in the dom2s frame as is and hope that the custom variables get set as they are ?

2) Attempt when calling the i-frame page to pass all the campaign data in the URL string and hope that the GA code within dom2 recognises it and passes the campaign data?
I have tried using the GA help + forums to no avail and am really stumped on this one.

Please help Justin… even if its the worst set up ever I have to get it working :-(

Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Michael.

So it sounds like you need to have the campaign data and the custom variable data together, in one account. I’m assuming that the custom variables are visitor level custom variables and are stored in a cookie (which makes it hard to combine them with the other GA data).

The problem with option #1 is that you’ll start to inflate the data in the dom2.com GA account. You’ll have 2 sets of cookies for dom2, thus doubling your visits and visitors.

You could go with option #2: cross domain tracking through an iFrame. But it can be very hard to do because you need to P3P header.

What about an alternate solution? Kind of a “hybrid” solution. Why not pass some special query parameters in the iFrame URL for dom2 and then tweak the GA tracking code on dom2.com to use those parameters?

You can create three query parameters that represent the campaign information in Google Analytics. You can name the parameters anything you want, maybe camp, med and source. You’ll have to populate the variables dynamically. You can mine the data from the the __utmz tracking cookie.

This method will help you avoid cross domain tracking via an iFrame and the overcounting issue.
Canonical URL Tracking Question from Alex Rapp:

What is the best method to track canonical URLs through GA? Utilizing the (opt_pageURL) function or _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', canonical_link]);?

I feel as though they may accomplish the same end result, but seem to go about it in a different manner.

Thanks for your help.

Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Alex.

For those that don’t know what a canonical URL is the one true URL for a piece of content. Many times large sites might have multiple versions of a URL for the same content. Sometimes this can be caused by tracking parameters or other query parameters.

Alex, your idea of passing a URI into the _trackPageview method is a very good one. And it’s a solution that people use all the time. One way that I’ve seen it done is that people will include the URI value in a data layer, then pull that value into the _trackPageview call. It’s a scalable solution that normalizes data.

I’ve also seen people use an Advanced Filter to capture the canonical parts of a URL and re-write the data in Google Analytics. For example, if you’ve got a lot of query parameters, and this causes a lot of duplicate URLs, then you can use an advanced filter, like the one in the image below, to normalize your URLs.

Google Analytics Advanced Filter for normalizing a URL
I personally like the data layer/code approach. It’s more scalable and less susceptible to breaking. But ultimately you’ll need to pick the solution that you can implement.
Ecommerce Tracking Question from Alex Rapp:

I’m having an issue with an ecommerce implementation. During the test phase, I am able to pass through values from the “add_trans” portion of the code, such as: order id & total.

However, I am not seeing anything populate from the “add_item” portion, mainly SKU & quantity.

What am I doing wrong?
Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Alex.

The _addItem code should send back gif requests, one for each item. I would first check the actual gif requests using some type of tool, like Charles, or a browser extension, like the developer tools in Chrome.

Look for GIF requests with utmt=item, this is the item data being sent to Google Analytics.

If you’re not seeing the correct GIF requests sent to the Google Analytics servers then check for syntax errors in the JavaScript. I’ve seen code where a missing comma or some other character will break the JavaScript.
Also make sure that you’re not calling the _trackTrans method before the _addItem method.
Content Grouping Question from Christopher Johnson:

We would like to track page views for individual meta tags on the page, for example, we have a index.html page tagged with Corn, Soybeans and Wheat. What’s the best way to run a report showing all page views for pages tagged with Corn?

We have looked at custom variables but might have pages with 5-10 tags per page.
Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Christopher.

One answer would be to take a look at Google Analytics Premium which provides 50 custom variables.

Another way is, if you need to attach more information to a page, and custom variables are not scaling, you could try to use events or you could add more information into the URL.

I like the event option. You’ve got almost a limitless number of events available and you can create a custom hierarchy that will help you segment the data in different ways. Look to use the Category, Action and Label attributes in creative ways to group your data logically.

I also want to mention that this is a very common request. There are a lot of users, some ecommerce, some publishers, that need to ability to group their content together. And while Custom Vars exist you are limited to 5 per page. The 
Google Analytics team is looking at ways to make this type of functionality better in Google Analytics.

Filtering Question from Eric Bryant:

Is there a glitch in the new Analytics that throws that error when you try to filter by Ad Content? It happens especially when the Primary Dimension is a City or Landing Page, I think.

Justin’s Answer:

Thank for the question Eric.

YES, looks like this is be a bug. Hopefully it will be resolved ASAP.

“Resource Not Available” Question from Dean Shaw:

Justin -
We have been seeing increasing incidences of GA not being available. The exact language is “Resource is not available. Please try again later”.

Related, we have also seen that time out messages when we try and pull data for time-lines longer than a few months.
Finally, when we drill-down on reports we will encounter a flat-line.

This is all in the new interface and cannot be replicated in the old interface where we don’t encounter any of these issues.

Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Dean.

Whenever you query a large date range, and you have a very high volume of data, you might see some of the effects that you’ve mentioned. The Resource not Available message, while delightfully vague, usually indicates that you’re requesting a HUGE volume of data and that the query is taking a long time to retrieve that information.

I should note that there are a lot of improvements that are happening at Google Analytics right now, many of them have to do with the processing of the data and report generation. Hopefully Resource Not Found will begin to appear less frequently.

(not set) Question from Alaa Batayneh:

I have 2 questions.

1) Why do I very often see (not set) whether in traffic sources or any other sections.

2) Is it true that Google Analytics does not record 40% of traffic coming to a site, since it consists of hackers, comment spammers, page scrapper …etc ?


Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Alaa.

Question #1: The value (not set) indicates that a certain dimension of data, like keyword, city, region, etc. can not be identified. For example, if Google Analytics tries to identify a city based on the visitor’s IP address, but the lookup fails, the report will contain a line item for (not set).

Here’s a quick, partial, list of where you might see (not set) and what it means:
  • Geographic reports: (not set) indicates that Google Analytics could not identify the visitor’s geographic location
  • All Traffic Sources: (not set) may indicate that some link tagging parameters are not present. For example, Feedburner often automatically tags links with a source of Feedburner but often omits a medium, thus causing (not set)
  • Page Titles Report: (not set) indicates that the document.title DOM object is not set. This means that GA can not collect the title for the page
  • Devices: (not set) indicates that there is no User Agent that GA can use to identify the device
In addition to “missing” data, (not set) can also indicate that you are trying to combine two dimensions that don’t have any true relationship.

For example, if you are looking at the All Traffic report, and you try to set a secondary Dimension of Keyword, you’ll get (not set) for all of those rows that are not search related (ie referrals, direct, etc.)

Question #2: No, that is not correct. Google Analytics will track the traffic to your site as long as it executes JavaScript tracking code. There are some sampling limits that are imposed on large sites. For example, you are limited to 10M hits/month in the free version of Google Analytics). But Google Analytics does not “pre-qualify” the traffic and drop 40%.

0 Result Searches Question from José Dávila:

Hi Justin,
I hope you are doing well and enjoying your time at Google. I have a couple of questions:

1) Do you know if GA regular expressions support negative look ahead? I am talking about something such as: ^(?!.*string-here)

When I tested it you get an alert. However some forums mention it is possible.

2) How would you track “zero results” searches when you use Google Site Search, given that the CSE results are loaded on an iframe with content from a different domain, so not accessible by traversing the DOM. I have an idea for a solution, however I wanted to know if there is an easier way to do it.


Justin's Answer:

Thanks for the question Jose.

Question #1: Unfortunately this is not fully supported in the entire Google Analytics interface. And things that are not fully supportedI’d avoid it and look for an alternate solution.

Question #2: This is a hard one. I’m going to assume you’re using a fairly standard implementation of theGoogle Custom Search Engine and that you’re also using the automatic Google Analytics integration.

I believe the Google Custom Search engine uses a dynamically generated DIV, not an iFrame.

When you use the Google CSE and Google Analytics integration the CSE code will generate a virtual pageview for the current page. This virtual pageview will include a query parameter for the search term. You could try to untangle all of the CSE JavaScript code and look for the line that generates the virtual pageview. Unfortunately wading through all the CSE code can be a lot of work!

Another option would be to parse the DOM when a search happens on your site.

When the Google CSE returns zero results there is normally an HTML DIV tag that looks something like this:
No Results

You need to dynamically parse the DOM when someone submits a search and identify the above DIV. You can probably simplify this by using JQuery. If you find the above code then you can send off some data to Google Analytics and record the zero-result search.

In this case, I would probably create an Event rather than use the zero-result tracking technique. The reason is that sending a virtual pageview, with a parameter for the zero-result search, will generate an additional search in the Google Analytics reports. You’ll be double-counting some searches.
Sorry I don’t have the exact code for you. I’d love to hear your solution as well!

Product Reporting Question from Steven Domingue:

I have a question about regular expressions in the Product Performance Report in GA. Is there a character limit in the field where you place the RegEx? I am attempting to do some reporting on product sales associated with emails, banners on my site, etc., and some of the product groupings we feature are basically mini catalogs with 200+ SKUs. I wanted to make sure that if I dump a list of 300 SKUs (between 2500 and 3000 characters) it will capture them all in the report.

Justin’s Answer:

Well, that’s actually a hard question to answer. The standard table filter will not take a regular expression. So you need to use the Advanced filter. This field will take a max of 20 characters. But you can add up to 50 conditions to your filter.
To be honest, creating large, complicated regular expressions in Google Analytics is not scalable. While you can use it for a quick ad-hoc analysis, I would look for a more permanent solution.

What about using the Product Category dimensions rather than the product ID? It obviously depends on if you are setting the product category, but it would totally work.

Google Analytics Product Performance By Category with a Source/Medium secondary Dimension.
Another option might be using a page level custom variable to group your products together into groups? Then use the custom variable in the Product Performance report. It will require some coding, but if you are looking to do this type of analysis a lot it may be worthwhile.

Cross Domain Tracking Question from Rasmus Sellberg:

We’re about to cross-domain track a very short and good domain name with multiple subdomains, e.g. www.xx.yy, forum.xx.yy, and so on.

We use _setDomainName(“xx.yy”), and it works like a charm on all browsers but IE.

Unfortunately, IE does not allow cookies on short domains on the form xx.yy (to avoid security issues on all .co.uk sites, for instance). No data at all is recorded for IE browsers…

If we use _setDomainName(“www.xx.yy”), the cookies aren’t available on forum.xx.yy, and vice versa.

What should we do, given that neither using _link everywhere nor changing the domain name is an option? Any best practices for really short domain names?


Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Rasmus.

Yes, this is a known issue and unfortunately there is no good solution. It’s a limitation of Internet Explorer…. insert snarky comment here.

Unfortunately you don’t have many options. You can use _link on all of the URLs. And if it’s a big site you may want to use some type of JQuery auto tagging script. Or the other solution is to move the sub-domain content to subdirectories on the main domain. This may be very hard to do, but at least you avoid all the JavaScript coding.

I also want to mention that the Google Analytics team is working on a new solution to cross domain tracking that will solve this problem. It will also make cross-domain tracking better for the entire world :)

AdWords Metrics Question from Ties.com:

When viewing our adwords campaign data in Google analytics our Advertising Cost metric is reporting correctly, but when we try to create a custom keyword level report in GA the cost metric is all zeros? Are we unable to track adwords cost data at the keyword level in GA? 

Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question.

You should be able to use AdWords metrics, like cost, CTR and CPC, in GA custom reports. I’ve done it as recently as today.

BUT, cost metrics can only work with a few dimensions, mostly the AdWords related dimensions. If you are trying to use any dimensions that are NOT AdWords dimensions you might get all zeros.

AdSense Question from Reid Simonton:

I may be a bit late, but have to ask as this is an issue I’ve been struggling with for 2+ years – linking our AdSense account to our Analytics account. I understand the process, however here’s what I actually see:

1. Go to Content > AdSense > Overview in GA, see “This report requires AdSense to be enabled for this profile”. Hmm, I’ve already done that.

2. But I’ll try again – click the link provided there for the instructions. Instructions state, “Open either the Overview or Advanced Reports page, and find the link that invites you to integrate your accounts”, but there is no such link in the AdSense panel (presumably because I’ve previously gone through this step). Instead I see a link in the upper right corner of AdSense stating, ” View performance in Google Analytics”. Would seem to indicate the accounts are linked, right?

3. Click that link, it takes me to my Analytics home page (showing my two profiles). I go into the one I’ve attempted previously tried to link w/ AdSense, and (repeat step 1, above).
Something’s clearly broken. Been trying to resolve this for years, have posted bunches of forum posts, etc., but no luck. Incredibly frustrating! Any assistance would be enormously appreciated.

Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the question Reid.

I’ve seen that problem before. An infinite loop and it can be frustrating!

1. Log into GA. Make sure you log in with the same account that you use to access AdSense.
2. Go to the Admin section
3. Click on the Data Sources tab for your account and look for the AdSense section.
4. Click on the Link Account button. You should get a little window that asks which account and profiles you want to apply your AdSense data to.

Connecting Google AdSense and Google Analytics
The AdSense code and Analytics code MUST be installed on all the same pages. If you do not have the Google Analytics Tracking code on all pages that have the Adsense code, page impressions and clicks cannot be accurately recorded.

AdWords Auto Tagging Question from Steven Nguyen:


I have 2 questions on about Analytics.

1. I have autotagging set up and someone wants to add parameters to the ad as well. Would the new parameters override the autotagging or mess up the reporting in anyway?

2. I want to track lead submissions, sign ups, etc…but it does not redirect you to a “thank you” page after you complete the action, a dialog box pops up. I want to use a destination goal but the dialog box does not change URLs. Is there a way to track it as a goal without adding a “thank you” page?
If you could help, that would be great. Thanks.


Justin’s Answer:

Thanks for the questions Steven.

Question #1. No, AdWords auto-tagging will work with your existing parameters. The Google Analytics auto-tagging parameter, named gclid, will play nice with your existing query parameters :)

Question #2. Yes, there are ways to work around a thank-you page that does not have a unique URL.

I’m going to make the assumption that when someone submits a form the page does change. It’s just the URL that stays the same. In this scenario you have a couple of options. Choose the one that works best for you.

You can use an Event to track this new window, and then set that event up as a goal. An event is a way to track visitor interactions with your site.

You’ll need to add some additional JavaScript to track when the window pops open. It might look something like this:
_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Goals’, ‘Submit Form’, ‘Lead Form’, 100]);

In the above code the value of 100 is the value of the lead form. That’s something that I arbitrarily chose. But if you can do some lead scoring, and enter that data into the code, then you’ll get some AMAZING revenue metrics in Google Analytics.

Once you have the code on your site you can use the Event data to your goal. For the above event, the goal settings would be something like this:
Setting up an Event as a Google Analytics Goal
Thanks everyone! Those were great. What a variety of questions. Stay tuned, we’ll do this again next month -- be sure to circle Google Analytics on Google+ to find out when you can ask a question.

Posted by Google Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni

Tracking Adjusted Bounce Rate In Google Analytics

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Have you ever wondered how many visitors really pay attention to your website before exiting the page? Have you wondered how many of those “bounced” visitors will remember where they’ve been in future? How many of them are totally useless, how many are not?

There is a way to track this!

Bounce rate” in Google Analytics is one of the key metrics that helps to evaluate the quality of your traffic. “Bounce” happens when the visitor exited the website right from the landing page, without going to any other page. This is a great indication on how relevant the content was for the user and how engaged they were with your website.

While working perfect for most websites, there are categories of sites where this metric is not enough. 

Imagine you’re promoting a blog post that describes all the benefits of your company. The visitor might read the whole post and remember your company and products really well - they might even go to search for your product on one of the search engines straight away. However, since the visitor only looked at 1 page (exactly where the blog post is) they will be recorded as bounced visitor.

Another example if you have a description of the product right on the landing page, and your phone number on the same page. The visitor might study the description and call straight away - again, they will be recorded as a bounced visitor, as only 1 page was viewed. There are many more examples, and even traditional websites may benefit from the method described below as opposed to the standard bounce rate.

There is a solution to this - something that we call “Adjusted bounce rate”. You implement a small tweak to your Google Analytics code, which executes an event when a user has spent over a certain amount of time on the webpage. Depending on the website, the time can range from 10 seconds to few minutes - you should decide for yourself the amount of time you consider the user to be sufficiently engaged with your website or product.

Once the event is executed, the visitor is no longer counted as “bounce,” even though no additional pageview is recorded. This will mean your bounce rate will show users who have not spent a required “minimal time” on your website - the ones who have really bounced. Here is a modification to the Google Analytics code that you need to make (on the example of the latest, asynchronous code):

<script type="text/javascript">

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXXXX-1']);
  setTimeout("_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', '15_seconds', 'read'])",15000);

  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);


The setTimeout function is the one that does the trick here, and you can set it up to whatever delay you wish (in this case, it is 15 seconds).

Moreover, since the event is created once 15 seconds lapse, you can define this event as a goal in Google Analytics, and even import this goal as a conversion to AdWords, provided the conditions are met.

We hope this small fix will allow you to track and understand the users’ behavior and quality of the traffic coming to your website more accurately, and make more informed decisions. One thing website owners should be vary of, though, that not only the function may slow down the users' experience, even insignificantly, but will also increase the volume of hits your site sends to Google Analytics, which might bring your usage over the limit (currently set at 10 mln hits per month). As such, this fix should only be applied when necessary and justified by the concept of the website and the landing pages.

Posted by Alexey Petrov, Google Analytics Insights Team

Understanding And Using Page Value

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

When Google launched Google Analytics many moons ago (2005 to be exact) there was a metric named $Index. It wasn’t your standard analytics metric, like pageviews or visits. It was a calculated metric to help businesses understand value of content. Unfortunately $Index was removed from Google Analytics version 5 due to some technical limitations.

But now it’s back as a new metric named Page Value!

How Page Value Is Calculated
Page Value is calculated using the value of your transactions and your goals. So even if you don’t have an ecommerce website you can still use Page Value. Just make sure you have defined some goals and assigned them a value. (If you need more information about defining and tracking conversions check out our Getting Started Fast with Google Analytics webinar).

Here’s the exact formula of how Page Value is calculated:

Page Value = (Transaction Revenue + Total Goal Value) / Unique Pageviews for the page

Page Value can also be calculated for a group of pages, like a directory. In that case the definition changes slightly.

Page Value = (Transaction Revenue + Total Goal Value) / Total unique Pageviews for the group of pages

Remember, a unique pageview is just a count of visits that include the page. If a page is viewed five times in a single visit, Google Analytics will count five pageviews but one unique pageview.

Now there are a couple of things to be aware of. The calculation does not include all transaction and goal revenue for the entire visit. It’s only the goal conversions and transactions that happen after the page is viewed, not before the page is viewed.

Enough of the math and description, let’s look at an example. 

Here are two hypothetical visits:

Visit #1 activity:

Visit #2 activity:

Here’s how Google Analytics would calculate the value of Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3.

Page 1: ($100 revenue + $40 revenue + $0 goal value) / 2 unique pageviews = $70
Page 2: ($100 revenue + $40 revenue + $0 goal value) / 2 unique pageviews = $70
Page 3: ($100 transaction revenue + $0 goal value) / 1 unique pageviews = $100

How to Use Page Value
Page value is a measure of influence. It’s a single number that can help you better understand which pages on your site drive conversions and revenue. Pages with a high Page Value are more influential than pages with a low Page Value.

Get started by reviewing the Page Value column in the Content > All Pages report.

Your site probably has a lot of pages. Here’s a tip, use the Advanced Table Filter in the content report to remove some of the noise from this data. You can set up a filter to exclude pages with a Page Value of 0 or less than 30 pageviews. 

If you’re an ecommerce company you’ll immediately notice that the most valuable pages on your site are your checkout pages. This makes sense because everyone needs to view the checkout pages before converting.

Start by looking for pages that get a lot of traffic (pageviews) but have a low Page Value. Why don’t these pages help conversion? Should they? Use some of the other metrics, like Avg. Time on Page, Bounce Rate  or Exit Rate to get a better picture of the user experience on this page. 

If people are using the page, but not ultimately converting you may want to use some of the other content tools, like Flow Visualization, to get a better understanding of their experience after using a piece of content. 

Also look for pages that get a low volume of traffic but have a high Page Value. These pages are influential but don’t get a lot of attention. You might consider promoting them more via an external marketing campaign (email, PPC, social media) or an internal campaign (homepage banner, etc.).

If you work in SEO then you should definitely check out the Page Value for the content you are optimizing.

Page Value is not a silver bullet. It does not magically generate more conversions for your business. But it is an actionable metric that can help you understand the behavior of your visitors.

Posted by Google Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni

Making Google Analytics Content Experiments Even Better

Monday, 23 July 2012

A few weeks ago, we announced Google Analytics Content Experiments.  Since our announcement, we have been busy making Content Experiments available to Google Analytics users and improving it based on your feedback.  We'd like to tell you about a few changes that we have recently introduced:

Content Experiments available to everyone. Every Google Analytics user can now access Content Experiments. You can find this feature under "Experiments" in the "Content" section of your Standard Reports.

Support for relative URLs. Using relative URLs affords you increased flexibility when defining the location of variations.  This is particularly useful if you have experiments running on multiple domains, subdomains, or pages. You can learn more about using relative URLs in Content Experiments by reading our Help Center article.

Ability to copy experiments. You can now copy experiments by clicking the Copy experiment button on the Edit Settings screen of the experiment you want to copy. If you are running an experiment on a page, this allows you to run additional experiments after the original one finishes without having to add experiment code to your page or otherwise modify it.

Improvements to the experiments report
. We've added regular Analytics-report capabilities to the experiment report, such as: Site Usage, Goal Set, and Ecommerce tabs, and the option to choose which variations you want to plot in the graph.

Click the above image to view the full report

We hope that you find these improvements useful. Our team is working hard to make Content Experiments in Google Analytics even better. Stay tuned for more news!

Posted by Inna Weiner, Software Engineer

Let Us Know How To Make Social More Useful For You

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Google Analytics users are a digitally savvy bunch. As such we’re lucky to have a passionate community of marketers, analysts and developers that follow us across social platforms. Thousands of you read our blog posts, Tweets, and Google+ updates daily and we always use engagement data to refine what we share (and how we share it).

However, in social numbers are best paired with qualitative feedback and understanding more about who you, our most passionate users are. That’s why for the first time we’re taking feedback directly from you on how we can make our social participation even more useful.

Want more tips? More trends and opinion pieces? Video guides? Let us know and we’ll try and fulfill it. 

As a thank you for your time, we’ll be shipping 50 random respondents who complete the entire survey Google Analytics t-shirts. 

Posted by Adam Singer, Google Analytics Team

Update: this survey is now closed and we've removed the link -- thanks everyone for your feedback! We'll be using your ideas to improve how we participate in social.

Moving Google Analytics Forward - Retiring The Old Version

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

After a year of supporting both the old and new versions of Analytics, we are now fully transitioning and leaving the old version behind. This means that as of tomorrow we’ll be removing the link to the previous version which sits at the bottom of Google Analytics pages and all your analysis will take place in the new version.

It’s been a long journey to this point, and we hope you’ll find value in all of the features that the new version of Google Analytics offers. And our help center is a great resource to be sure you’re getting the most out of these new features and reports. The new version has been completely rebuilt on a more powerful platform that lets us move faster and develop more amazing features including these recent launches:

  • Real-Time shows you what’s happening on your site as it happens. Immediately see the impact that online campaigns, TV ads, or mentions at a live event can have on engagement with your website.
  • Multi-Channel Funnels provides insight on the full path to conversion over a 30 day period. The variety of marketing channels used to find your website, and not simply the last click, so you can make better decisions on your marketing investments.
  • Social Reports help you measure the impact of your social marketing initiatives and evaluate the effect social media has on the metrics which matter to your business.
  • Mobile Reports show how visitors from mobile devices and AdWords mobile campaigns engage with your website. See how many pages they visit, how much time they spend, as well as conversion and ecommerce insights to help you optimize your mobile strategies.
  • Content Experiments enables you to show different versions of a page to different visitors, then using a new advanced statistical engine measures the results of each to determine which is the most effective version.

We have received some really great feedback over the last year on what’s working and what’s not; we’ve been listening very closely and doing our best to incorporate the feedback and ideas.  We are continually working to improve upon Google Analytics and help provide you with tools to make better decisions for your website and marketing programs, so please keep providing the feedback.  You are our most important source of ideas for innovation!

Posted by Paul Muret, Director of Engineering, Google Analytics

Mobile Will Require Advertisers To Redefine How They Measure Success

Friday, 13 July 2012

The following post originally appeared on the Google Mobile Ads Blog.

Mobile introduces exciting new opportunities for measuring the success of marketing campaigns, but connecting consumers’ mobile activities with advertisers’ business outcomes can be challenging.  Increasingly, advertisers are redefining their direct response marketing strategies for mobile in order to more accurately measure the success of mobile campaigns.  We recently sat down with Kerri Smith, Director of Mobility at iProspect, a leading, global digital marketing agency to discuss this topic.

Google: How are you helping your clients to assign dollar values to mobile all along the funnel?

Kerri:  This really depends on the client.  In most cases, clients are assigning value based on a number of factors used to determine the lifetime value of a customer.  For example, one of our brands assigns an average order value (AOV) on app downloads based on the usage they’ve seen through analytics and resulting revenue from their aggregated app users.   For another brand, call extensions have proven very effective, though it’s been difficult to track conversions and resulting revenue as the consumer is taken offline.  Therefore, we use an equation that allows us to measure the likelihood of an actual conversion. Knowing the average call duration, which indicates level of interest, and the agent conversion rate, the brand helped to formulate the following equation:

          6 minute call duration = an interested consumer
          Agents convert 30% of interested consumers
          Interested Consumers * 30% = # of conversions

This allows us to quantify a return where 1-to-1 measurement is difficult, and to understand the impact the channel is having on the brand’s overall business.

Google: What types of clients have you seen be successful with understanding the value of these micro- conversions?

Kerri:  We’ve seen our retail brands be the first to embrace these micro-conversions - especially in the case of location-based responses, due in large part to the known “intent to visit” derived from these and previous testing.  We’ve been able to use coupons to measure the revenue opportunity in stores from mobile and to prove the value in attributing dollars to these actions.  Retailers have seen enough of these trends and subsequent lifts in revenue to value these actions.

Google: What success stories or best in class examples can you share?

Kerri:  One of our clients had a goal of directing mobile users to their app download page to increase conversions, and we worked with Google to help them run a two month test of Mobile App Extensions.  During the test, we disabled all sitelinks, location extensions and product extensions in order to focus on the primary goal of driving app downloads.  The test showed phenomenal results: 92 downloads, 89:1 ROI and a 334% lift in ROI when they began attributing value to app downloads.

Google: What's iProspect POV on where mobile is going?

Kerri:  Where is mobile not going?  Mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) have already become so ingrained in our everyday lives that the full impact is literally boundless.  Mobile is the channel that connects all others.  It doesn’t fit in the traditional conversion funnel -- it runs alongside it, involved at every stage.  This presents a challenge to brands who still segment advertising channels with separate budgets and directives instead of focusing on how they impact each other.  Mobile will highlight the need to evaluate all channels together to create a truly integrated approach - one that enhances the consumer’s interaction with the brand.  Applying a value to the multitude of “responses” available in mobile is just the first step.  Advertisers will also need to evaluate the impact of those responses relative to other brand initiatives (both online and offline) in order to determine the role each plays in contributing to their bottom line.  The ubiquity of mobile will force advertisers to redefine their approach and how they measure success.

Posted by Samantha Podos Nowak, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads

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