Archives: Analysis

I recently discussed how to diagnose inconsistent performance across devices. If you performed this exercise and determined that your site is under-performing on certain devices, now is the time to figure out which elements are failing and how you can fix them in order to improve the site experience. There are a couple of tools you can use to do this and the best news is…THEY ARE FREE!

diagnosing device problemsWith the increase in mobile device use comes a few challenges for web developers and marketers. Because visitors are coming to your site from a variety of devices, businesses have to accommodate an increasing number of user experience scenarios. This isn’t news — I’m sure your website is responsive and you’ve made all of the adjustments required for a good user experience across devices. However, unexpected problems arise and it’s possible that your visitors / customers might get hung up on an issue occurring in the checkout process on mobile or a page that is failing on tablet devices.

This is a situation where Google Analytics (GA) segments are useful. By applying segments to your reports in GA that compares performance across devices, you can examine where browsing or conversion experiences are interrupted. Here’s how:

This past week, Fred Vallaeys, a Google AdWords evangelist held a Hangout discussing how to use Google Analytics (GA) and AdWords together to improve AdWords performance and reporting. If you are currently investing in AdWords and are responsible for reporting, I encourage you to watch the video. It’s a little over thirty minutes and covers the following topics:

  • How to link GA and AdWords
  • Viewing GA data in AdWords
  • Three ways to optimize your AdWords campaigns based on GA data
  • Tracking offline activities such as phone calls and offline sales
  • Importing Goals from GA into AdWords
  • Using GA to see how AdWords campaigns are impacting each of your conversions
  • How to use filtering parameters to see the behavior of users acquired by specific keywords
  • How to interpret the keyword position report
  • Attributing revenue evenly to conversion sources using the Conversion Attribution Models tool
  • Using segments to view the behaviors of users from segmented AdWords campaigns / keywords
  • Building highly targeted remarketing lists

This presentation provides a great guide to anyone managing AdWords campaigns. The reporting recommendations Vallaeys offers are a great starting point if you want to dig deep into the performance of your ads and the behaviors and value of the users driven to your site through paid promotion.


If you didn’t catch my last post, I discussed the Six Areas of Performance to monitor when measuring your content marketing performance. For those who missed it, here they are:

  1. Conversions
  2. Site Engagement
  3. Shareability
  4. Retention
  5. Traffic Sources
  6. Visits

Conversion tracking is the first area of performance I want to discuss. In my opinion, it is best to start by measuring metrics related to your main objective, and in marketing, conversions are the main objective.

Ms. Jackson if You're NastyI am admittedly a HUGE Janet Jackson fan. When interviewing for my first job, the potential employer asked, “What job would you have if you could have any job?” I answered, “Back up dancer for Janet Jackson.” I think they hired me with the hope that I would endlessly entertain them with random fits of dancing. Their hopes were satisfied.

While I’m not sure how much Ms. Jackson cares about content marketing, she does inspire the question, “what have you done for me lately?” This is a question you should constantly demand of your content marketing efforts. Answering that question requires setting expectations, monitoring performance, and refining efforts to get closer to achieving goals. Like many marketers, I monitor performance by referring to the areas I think are most important and looking at the key performance indicators (KPIs) within those areas to find out what is working and what could use more attention.

Frequently, I encounter confusion when I walk someone through building custom reports in Google Analytics (GA) for the first time. I’ve noticed that many times, the problem is confusion caused by dimensions and metrics. The lack of understanding makes it difficult to define a report clearly.

Without the understanding of these two fundamental pieces of analytics, it is difficult to get any real value out of your analytics tool.

As I mentioned in my last post, over the next month, I will be illustrating ways to use the updated segments tool in Google Analytics (GA). My first example focuses on studying a very specific target market to inform and improve your online marketing efforts.

For every business, there are ideal customers. These are the people who fall within your target market, have great brand loyalty, who are likely to make repeat purchases. Your business likely wants to acquire and keep as many of these as possible.

To do that, it’s important to ensure that their experience on your website is a simple and enjoyable one.  Thanks to GA’s new segments tool, we can examine the site behaviors of this segment and their sources.

In my latest post, I explored Google Analytics’ new custom segment tool and provided details on ways to compare segments and access libraries of pre-built segments. While important, these recommendations barely scratched the surface of the capabilities of the tool. There are a number of other ways to segment your data, using the new segments.

Two additional uses for the tool include creating your own custom segment based on standard dimensions and creating a custom segment using unique conditions or happy holidayssequences. These methods can be somewhat complex. Below, I walk through both, using a holiday themed campaign example. It is the most wonderful time of the year, after all.

Let’s get started!

If you have had the chance to dig into the Google Analytics updates, you’ve likely noticed quite a few changes. The structure of Standard Reports has changed, and several new reports and dimensions were added.

This recent change in the GA dashboard appears to target marketers and bring conversions to the forefront. Reports are now organized with a focus on business goals — Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. This is a huge improvement that replaces a number of custom reports I was using.

Here’s something sneaky that many people using Google Analytics (GA) might not think about — visits made by internal sources, (e.g., staff, consultants, designers, management) should not be reported. Obviously, a site manager will make hundreds of visits to their website in a week. Including this behavior in your reporting degrades the quality of the data.

To ensure that visits to your site from internal sources are not included in the Google Analytics reports, you must filter them out.