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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Web Analytics. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Web Analytics. Sort by date Show all posts

Friday, September 2


Having worked in online marketing and web analytics for nearly a decade, I’ve heard it all when it comes to myths passed around small and large companies alike. Here is a top 10 list of my favorite web analytics myths and practical advice on how to dispel them.

1. Free Analytics Software is Just as Good as Enterprise Analytics

There are several reasons why free software is never the best solution. Some of my favorite retorts to “why do we use Omniture rather than Google Analytics” often involve witty comebacks like “because I have to pay the bills” or “because my boss said so.” If that doesn’t work (and it never does), the primary reasons to go with enterprise analytics are:
  • Service Level Agreements: What happens if your software fails? If you pay for analytics, you have a neck to choke; if not, you have to wait it out and pray nothing is lost.
  • Data ownership: Free doesn’t mean consequence-free. Someone is paying the bill. Free software is often offered “at no cost to you.” Enterprise solutions enable you to take your data with you, should you so desire. 
  • Privacy: Enterprise solutions offer security and privacy through non-disclosure agreements protecting both sides of the contract. 
  • Customization: Hacking free solutions like Google Analytics is possible, but only to a certain degree. Enterprise solutions are built for customization with business objectives in mind.

2. Bounce Rate (or “Insert Metric Here”) is the Best Metric

Avinash Kaushik calls it the sexiest metric, but it’s not the best because there is no “best” metric. I know of several companies that employ teams of analysts whose sole responsibility it is to monitor a “God metric,” but rarely do these stand the test of time. It’s best to focus on a handful of metrics that actually drive profitable insights.

3. Everything Avinash Kaushik, Jim Sterne, or Eric Peterson Says is Gold

Don’t get me wrong, Avinash is brilliant, but none of the experts in analytics know your business well enough to provide a plug-and-play measurement strategy. On a high level, their best practices are indeed gold, but nothing beats digging into your data and creating an analytics playbook of your own.

4. Dashboards or Reports Should Have 4 Quadrants and Only a Handful of Data

Although it’s a lofty goal to aim for when producing any content (resumes, menus, etc.), it’s extremely difficult to integrate the data, insights and visuals on a single page that caters to everyone on a distribution list. A good strategy is to start bigger than necessary to showcase your capabilities, get the attention of several stakeholders in your organization, consult with unique business units, and fine tune custom reports for each audience.

5. Insights are More Important Than Data

Sometimes key data is all your executives need to make a decision. Should your company officially support IE6 for our next redesign? If only 2 percent of visits to your site for the last six months came from IE6 and incorporating development and testing for an application would cost several million dollars, the answer is easy!

6. Unique Visitors are Real People

Unique visitors is perhaps the single most abused metric in history. If you really think about it, the metric known as unique visitors is no more than: count of persistent cookies dropped in a browser. Unique visitors do not equal browsers, individual people, or computers.

7. Analytics Code Degrades Site Performance

All code degrades site performance. If you had a single webpage with nothing on it, adding any code to it would increase load and execution time. That being said, there are customizations that add considerable bloat to your JavaScript files supporting web analytics data collection. As with any code added to a page, try to measure the benefit of adding additional code versus the cost of not having it on a page.

8. Web Analytics is the Responsibility of Marketing/Research/Communications/Operations/IT/etc.

Web analytics is the responsibility of a data-driven organization. If your website influences your business in any way, it’s everyone’s responsibility within your organization to take a portion of the responsibility for coming up with actionable business insights that increases revenue, decreases cost, takes advantage of opportunity, or mitigates risk.

9. Metrics From Different Web Analytics Vendors, Web Logs, and Databases Should Match

Web analytics is inherently inaccurate and practitioners are rarely adequately versed in statistical theory, so to argue that any one data collection source should match another is futile. There are several factors that contribute to inaccuracies in web analytics data including:
  • Browser compatibility with JavaScript code employed by any given vendor. 
  • Cookie acceptance.
  • Data corruption: receiving, executing, and transmitting.
  • Server-side caching, scripting or configuration issues.
  • Filters and processing rules: reverse DNS inaccuracies, data sampling, data encoding.
Look past the numbers and analyze trends, ensure your findings are statistically significant before coming to a conclusion, and always be transparent about web analytics limitations.

10. Insights From Web Analytics is Free

Nothing is free. Adding JavaScript code to a site requires time and effort, analyzing reports and deep-diving may entail hard costs and additional access to tools, and the practice of web analytics itself comes at an opportunity cost to the organization that must be considered just like any other capability.




Source: www.searchenginewatch.com
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Thursday, December 29


Around the same time last year, we discussed how businesses were finally investing heavily in the tools, people, and processes required when operating data-driven organizations.
This year, an eConsultancy report estimates the UK web analytics technology and services sector alone to be worth more than £100 million annually. If we assume this number can be applied relative to GDP, that would put the web analytics technology and services sector well above $4 billion globally.
But as with anything web analytics related, sometimes concentrating on the numbers are not as important as the trend! The trend for total spend on internal staff, third party agencies and total vendor revenues appears to have grown by 12 percent year over year, certainly in the realm of “significant.”
These were the top stories and trends of 2011.


Online & Offline Data Integration

What good is online intelligence without offline context? The integration of online and offline data was a focus for many organizations in 2011 because without this connection, it’s hard to understand the online contribution of marketing, channel of preference for task-level customer and prospect interaction, and customer satisfaction across channels. Without making this connection, it is nearly impossible to optimize online experience for lifetime value.

Social Media Analytics

Social media analytics diversifies with emphasis on business requirements. Many vendors and agencies started diversifying their service portfolios to cater to varied business and social media goals in 2011.
The industry gained a little clarity this year when several vendors started clearly categorizing their social media analytics into several use cases such as:
  1. Monitoring and trend analysis.
  2. Sentiment analysis and reputation management.
  3. Workflow management.
  4. Integrated social insights.
Although this sub-sector of analytics is far from mature, several large-scale companies are taking major steps to bridge the gap between social media analytics and cross-channel product offerings. Look for significant moves in this area for 2012.

Omniture SiteCatalyst Launches

Adobe announced the launch of Omniture SiteCatalyst 15  at the Omniture Summit in March this year. For those of us fortunate enough to be in attendance, it felt as if we were strapped into a fighter jet and just engaged afterburners. Adobe has done a great job integrating Omniture into their product portfolio, and the wow-factor for their presentation was nothing short of awe-inspiring.
I’ve always had a healthy love-hate relationship with Omniture, so luckily for them the hype associated with V15 was warranted! Some of my favorite features include real-time segmentation, a new bounce rate metric, ad-hoc unique visitor counts, and a new processing rules feature that makes server-side implementation tweaks very easy.

Salesforce.com Buys Radian6

Salesforce.com bought Radian6 for $326 million and brought cloud computing to a whole new level. What I like most about this deal is how naturally this acquisition can be folded into Salesforce’s CRM product.

‘Super Cookies’

Unfortunately it’s not all good news this year, as several companies (most notably Kissmetrics) were the recipients of some serious bad press and legal action for use of so-called “Super cookies” in July. These Flash-based cookies were blamed for a number of privacy concerns including cross-domain and cross-client visitor identification and re-spawning traditional cookies after being cleared from user browsers.

Mobile Analytics

This year marked the dawn of mobile analytics, especially after Apple rewrote their third-party tracking policies towards the end of 2010. As the mobile market continues to mature with increased pressure from the almost limitless supply of new Android handsets and operating systems, look for mobile analytics to take a larger share of attention in 2012.

Google Analytics Real-Time

Google Analytics Real-time debuted in the fall of this year, enabling millions of site owners across the globe watch user interaction as it happens, which is an exciting prospect for many. Although this feature set has been around for a while from vendors such as Woopra, it’s remarkable that Google would offer such a robust feature at no cost.

Google Encrypts Search Data

Almost immediately after any positive sentiment had tapered off from the introduction of real-time analytics, Google must have decided to test the waters with a carefully-measured negative announcement that they would be removing search query parameters for users of their secure (SSL) search results. The news didn’t go over too well amongst the online marketing community, and to this day the analytics community is still relatively sore on the subject, so don’t bring it up with your web analyst at the holiday party.

Google Chrome Passes Mozilla Firefox

More good news for Google surfaced in November when Google Chrome surpassed Mozilla Firefox in global browser share  for the first time in history. Although it is too soon to tell what the effect will be on the analytics industry, one thing is certain: ensure your quality assurance and browser compatibility testing includes all three browser minorities.
Here’s to a safe and happy holidays and prosperous New Year!

Source:www.searchenginewatch.com
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Wednesday, January 20

Google Analytics provides some great preconfigured reports to work with out of the box, but the ability to customize and build your own reports from scratch is what allows marketers to gain truly valuable insights from the tool.
Thankfully, Google Analytics experts have taken the time to create templates for the custom reports they find most valuable and make them available for anyone to install via the Solutions Gallery.
Not only is this a huge time saver, it’s also a great way to get ideas for reports you might not otherwise think to create. After all, you’ve got access to the templates and systems that some of the best thinkers in analytics use on a day-to-day basis, and you can customize them even further according to your needs!
In this article I’ll review 12 custom reports that pretty much all marketers will want in their toolbox. (Note: I’ve left out paid search and ecommerce reports because they’re both areas I don’t have much experience in, and I don’t want to recommend reports whose value I can’t gauge accurately. If you search “PPC” or “ecommerce” in the Solutions Gallery you’ll find lots of good reports you can install!)
Several excellent guides on how to set up custom reports have already been published, so I’m going to skip the basics and dive right into my list of must-have custom reports.
Let’s get started!

Reports for Measuring Site Performance & Acquisition Patterns

1. Browser Report

As Peep Laja points out, one of the most common money leaks on websites is incompatibility with certain browsers. He suggests creating a custom report showing conversions per browser and segmenting the report by device (mobile, desktop, tablet) so as not to skew your numbers.
Search Engine Watch links to a similar pre-made report in their list of time-saving custom reports. If you’re not selling products on your site you can swap out Revenue and Unique Purchases for conversion and goal value-related metrics. And don’t forget to segment by device!
browser report

 

2. Visitor Acquisition Efficiency Analysis Report

Avinash’s goal with this report was to organize key metrics that reveal the efficiency and performance of each stream of traffic to a website. You’ll see total sessions, unique users, new users, goal conversion rate and goal value per session, all organized by source and medium.

 

3. Customer Behavior Report

This report was created by Peter Van Klinken as part of a contest organized by Avinash Kaushik––Peter’s report was called out as the best, and he won a signed copy of Avinash’s book Web Analytics 2.0. The report reveals how behavior varies between new and returning users in terms of overall traffic, conversion patterns and event completion.
customer behavior report

 

4. Mobile Performance Report

This report is ideal for understanding how well your site is optimized for mobile and where you need to make improvements. For example, the site pictured below has a super-high bounce rate for Android; the site’s developers have got some work to do!
mobile report avinash
The report is part of a bundle of dashboards and reports created by Avinash Kaushik. >> Get it here.

 

5. Site Diagnostics: Page Timing Report

Rachelle Maisner, an Account Manager at the agency Digitaria, was invited to contribute a list of her top custom reports to the Google Analytics Blog. I love this report in particular because it instantly reveals problematic pages that need your attention. You’ll discover which pages are taking extra long to load as well as which have an uncomfortably-high bounce rate.
Rachelle recommends that you switch from the “data” table view to the “comparison” table view in order to compare load time to bounce rate; this allows you to view the bounce rate for each page against the site average.

Reports That Tell You How Your Content is Doing

6. Hours & Days Report

The Hours & Days Report by Dan Barker shows you which day of the week and at what time of the day your website receives the most traffic. If you set a large time span––say a couple of months––you can use this data to guide experiments with blog post times.
hour day report dan barker
Image source: Dan Barker

7.  Referring Sites Report

This report by Anna Lewis is great for identifying the referring sites that provide the most value. It tells you not only which referring sites are generating the most traffic but also how they’re contributing to goal conversions.

 

8. Content Efficiency Report

Avinash Kaushik created this report to focus on key metrics that will help you identify which pages are performing the best and which need a little optimization. It’s especially useful for sites that produce a lot of content; as Avinash points out, it can help marketers answer important questions like:
  • Which content is most engaging?
  • Which subject matter experts should we hire more of?
  • What type of content (videos, demos, pictures, reviews etc.) do visitors value more?
  • Which content delivers business or non-profit value?
Avinash explains the logic behind this report here.
content analysis report avinash

 

9. Traffic Acquisition from Social Media Report

This report shows you not only which social media channels are driving the most traffic to your site but also whether or not that traffic is translating into tangible results for your business. Metrics like Goal Conversion Rate and Goal Value will tell you which social media sites you should pay more attention to.

 

Reports for SEO

10. SEO: Referring Pages Report

This one comes with the Google Analytics starter bundle, and it’s a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your link building efforts and track the top referring links to your website. The “Referral Path” column will tell you exactly which page your links are coming from (not just which website). Bounce Rate and Avg. Session Duration will indicate which links are high-quality, and Per Session Value will tell you which links are generating real business results.
seo refferal report

 

11. SEO Insights for Google Organic (not provided) Report

The Google Organic Insights Custom Report provides insights for your “(not provided)” keywords. Showing the landing page URLs along with their page titles gives you a sense of the general keyword themes that people are searching for on Google before arriving at your site.

 

12. Keyword Analysis Report

This report, which I found via Econsultancy, lists your most popular keywords (excluding the ones encrypted by Google, of course) alongside visitor metrics, conversion rates, goal completions and page load time for each one. There’s also a tab measuring engagement for each keyword, which is interesting for content marketers, and a tab showing revenue metrics.

Source:  https://blog.kissmetrics.com/expert-google-analytics-reports/
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