Just when you thought that you already know Google Analytics, you missed an important part
Welcome back to the Get Optimized second series, where we invited eight of the best experts in the Philippine digital marketing scene and ask them eight industry related questions that challenges them to share their expert opinion, tips and strategies. This post will go through the sixth question and takes our guests to the world of Analytics.
Here is our eight collaborators:
We already published five questions, here’s the rundown:
1. Meet The Experts: Share your link building strategy that doesn’t need a content.
2. Share your link building strategy where you used content as bait.
3. The future of guest blogging
4. The Penguin 2.0 – Tips & Tricks
5. SMB Challenge: 300$ marketing budget for a coffee business
Authors note: This question was asked a month ago, Google recently made huge changes on their product – Google Analytics and was announced at GASummit 2013. Therefore some people might find the answers below outdated. Please bear with us – I can guarantee you that you will learn a lot of things reading this post.
Assisted Conversions. It’s one of the best features from Google Analytics (GA) that can help marketers understand what types of brand mentions and links are really capable of driving conversions.
Having better understanding of what sorts of links are able to attract potential customers can really improve how you approach link building as a whole.
This actually allowed me to have solid standards/metrics of what links and domains to aim for. Because these types of links have already proven their value and are helping the campaign achieve business-related goals.
Once you know the attributes of links that make them really work, it’ll be easier to create a replicable process that can help you earn more high-value links (that you can also consider business assets).
For e-commerce or a lead generation website, it is the marketing channel funnel that leads to the conversions across digital media. Most of the time, we tend to focus more on a last click conversion or the last channel that delivers the goal. This is because it is the last channel that brings about the conversion that gets all the credit.
However, in reality, it takes more than just one digital media distribution channel to make that conversion happen. Basically, if you want to see a distribution channel that assists the goal, so that you can identify how they interact and then leverage that, I would definitely advise you to use this GA feature to discover untapped opportunities.
I also want to add the In-Page Analytics. It could be good for the publisher and for other type of website as well. It is a very powerful Google Analytics feature that identifies the behaviour of the users and how they interact visually. You can check this through Standard Reporting, under the content section.
The multi-site Google Analytics tracking in one profile can be challenging. We had to resort to the old script just to recover from the things we were not able to track when the suggested script didn’t worked for us.
I think, at the end of the day, your Google Analytics will show how you are improving in terms of building your brand identity. I look forward to the day when our traffic will mostly come from direct visitors as we reach higher numbers and recurring visitors continuously coming back to learn more.
Especially with our free E-Commerce Boot Camp (http://ecommercebootcamp.digitalfilipino.com) and Digital Influencer Boot Camp (http://influencerbootcamp.digitalfilipino.com) being continuously built and promoted gradually.
Google Analytics is a robust source of data and information. A lot of businesses fail to use Analytics as part of Business Intelligence. Key decisions on operations, strategies and even budget allocation may be taken from looking at the data provided by Analytics.
Let’s take website maintenance for instance. If you are looking at the data below, would you schedule site maintenance on a Tuesday around 2 or 3PM?
See screenshots below:
Or maybe the website takes a 4-step process to complete a transaction (please see screenshot below). By looking at how site visits engage with the website and proceed with the purchase process, businesses are able to determine the failure points of the process and identify items that need intervention and action.
With Web Analytics, businesses are able to make sound and informed decisions with better tracking and performance monitoring. If decision makers are able to make sense of the Google Analytics reports, they know that site maintenance are better scheduled at the time and day of the week with the least impact to the website performance or that they will know that the site managers and developers should look into that 2nd page of the website transaction process need some intervention and attention.
1. Data Hub Activity
If you need to monitor conversations and events for free via Google Analytics like Google Plus, you might want to use Data Hub Activity. This has some limitations such as Twitter and Facebook activities but of course, I would assume that you already have lots of free and paid tools to monitor the two mentioned major social media sites.
If you want to know your site’s content scrapers simply, delve into the network part of your Analytics. Some scrapers simply copy the entire code of your site including your Google Analytics ID. You can find these violators under Hostname tab.
3. Use Filters – Have a clean Analytics Data
If you want to mess up the Analytics data of an undiscerning competitor, copy their Analytics ID and embed it on a useless website say a p#%n site, use Mechanical Turks or Fiverr to drive traffic to the fake/p$@n site or you can use some scripts to do this one. It happens. It is real. But here is a solution to combat this type. Use filters.
Pro Tip: You can further protect your site using htaccess to block “violator referrers”.
4. Use model comparison tool (bonus)
Attribution across marketing efforts is worth looking. In order for you to know where you get the most bang of your spending or what channels needs to be improved, I advise you use Model Comparison Tool.
I think that this would highly depend on the nature of your business. For example, in my SEO Hacker blog, I would have an aspect of Google Analytics that I often overlook while I do not at all overlook that aspect with my SEO Hacker school’s Google Analytics data.
In any case so as not to complicate things, I’ll derive my example from the Google Analytics data of the SEO Hacker blog. I think that one of the most overlooked sections of Google Analytics is events tracking. It has some code involved but this Google Analytics Events Tracking tutorial should make it a piece of cake for you.
I track these events to see how well I’m able to engage my audience and what actions they take in the form of leads to show how well our content strategy is doing. Some of the events there such as ‘outbound-article’ can be broken down to show exactly what outbound link they clicked in my website.
This also helps me out to know which of my social profile links or my lead generation links are performing (hence I should keep them in my sidebar) and which ones are unperforming (so I take them off).
With the advancement of tools these days, many people do not rely on Google Analytics alone as the only data set you look at. There are rank checking tools, PPC tools, backlink reporting tools, eye tracking, click tracking, multivariate testing tools, multi-attribution tracking and more tools that can consolidate the data sets, run some correlations, use business intelligence tools, come up with your analysis and strategize from there.
But if you want to talk only about Google Analytics, I would say segmenting traffic by keyword categories and doing long tail analysis can be something that is overlooked. Let’s try to explain this in an over simplistic hypothetical example.
Let’s say GA says 10,000 keywords are giving 500,000 visits in a month. And keyword phrase “Blue Widgets” gives 3,000 visits. And the keyword phrase “Blue Gadgets” generates 1,000 visits. Then most people would think definitely Blue Widgets is the most important keyword in the whole wide universe and the company says… let’s hit blue widgets hard with TV commercials, radio ads, print ads, PPC, online display ads, etc.
Now what if long tail analysis on segmented keyword categories were done, maybe the story is not the same? Let’s say you look at all keywords that contain “Blue Widgets” and you find “Great Blue Widgets, Big Blue Widgets, Blue Widgets are Fun, and collectively these longer tail variations of Blue Widgets now give 3,900 visits. You do the same test on Blue Gadgets and you realize there are about 3,000+ keyword variations that give a total amount of traffic of 50,000 visits!
Even if this is fictitious data, let’s see if this table can help explain what I was talking about.
Visitors flow – Optimization should be aligned in the behavior of your prospect clients. If you successfully bring them to your site, good job! But that is just the beginning; you still need to tweak the components of your site once they are already in your lawn picking flowers.
I want to say thank you to the 8 collaborators of this work. Sir Benj Arriola, Ms. Janette Toral, Sheila Dela Pena, Jason Acidre, Sean Si, Gary Viray, Jon Edward Santillan and Gary Lacanilao.
For people who are reading this series, this is a month long work for these people so don’t forget to say thank you on the comment section if you feel that you have learned something new. Follow them on twitter: @BenjArriola, (Sheila Dela Pena @Kutitap), @JonSantillan, Gary Viray @GaryShack, Janette Toral @DigitalFilipino, @JasonAcidre, @SeanSi, Gary L @SEOBlackSmith
The last two questions will showcase google penalty and our eight collaborators influencers
Feel free to ask anything to these experts about Google Analytics by leaving a comment below.
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