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Posts Tagged ‘Web Analytics’
They say change is a good thing, but it isn’t always easy. SEOs everywhere are experiencing the big change taking place with Google phasing out the old version of Google Analytics. It seems like Google is itching for the “old version” of Analytics to go away. The only way to even get to the old version currently is by clicking the link in the footer. There’s no telling when that link will go away, so make the switch ASAP if you haven’t already.
Google recently sent out emails alerting everyone that the old version of Analytics reporting will end in June 2012. We see the good in the new Analytics and there is a lot more data to play with. However, this is a headache because all of the automatic reports you set up in the old Analytics will need to be made again in the new Analytics. This is good news and bad news. It’s good because it gives you the opportunity to revisit your dashboard and customize it. Unfortunately for agencies this is bad news because all of the hundreds of reports we have automated will be gone! We encourage our clients to log into their Analytics and get familiar with the data. This is the perfect time for them to customize their dashboards to display the data they’re most interested in seeing.
If you need a little help getting started we’ve simplified it for you — 3 Quick Steps to Set Up Email Reports in the New Google Analytics
He offered useful insight for successful marketing, some of it surprisingly simple. For example, recording and listening to phone calls: if your sales people give inaccurate information or fail in some other way to appropriately respond to potential customers, it really doesn’t matter if your marketing campaign generates 100 leads from Fortune 500 companies – the sales people are not converting the leads.
He also touched on the hot topic of Organic vs. Paid advertising. Agreeing with a study by Google showing that 89% of the clicks generated by paid ads would not be generated by organic search*, he recommends maintaining a PPC campaign even when your Organic rank is high.
The idea is explained by the basic psychological principle that humans prefer familiar things – the more times customers see or hear about a product or company the more likely they are to trust or prefer it.
Think of Billboard charts: the average song increases in popularity for about 6 or 7 weeks, meaning that people like it more as they become more familiar with it. For brands and companies familiarity drives brand equity: the recession resulted in a 30% earnings decline for companies overall, whereas familiar, trusted Best Global Brands saw only a 4% decline in earnings.
In other words:
People need to see your company lots of times, in lots of places (PPC and search lists), and they need to keep seeing your company show up over time.
* Clearly Google is incentivized to present their findings in a way that encourages companies to pay for advertising, and indeed analysts point out the limitations of Google’s interpretation of their results (Google presents an average rate of Incremental Ad Clicks unique to PPC, and doesn’t explicitly talk about the fact that lower IAC means your PPC is “cannibalizing” more of your organic clicks). In general though, there’s over half a century of robust research demonstrating the familiarity effect, so shelling out for those paid ads is probably worth it for your company.
Over the past few weeks there have been some great articles published in the SEM world that you may have missed. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel, we wanted to share them here so you can stay up to date on the latest news and thoughts from the search engine marketing world.
Google uses site speed in rankings – we’ve known for a while that Google was headed in this direction, and they finally made it official. Site speed is now counted, though it’s more of a tie-breaker than anything. Check out the full article. There, Matt Cutts points out that in addition to helping you in the rankings, speeding up your site will also please your visitors. Win-Win.
The So What test to Analytics reporting – This is a favorite topic of mine. While Google Analytics and other tools offer you a sea of reporting options, very few of those give you actionable steps to improve your site’s KPIs. Avinash Kaushik offers a few examples of how asking “So What?” can improve your reporting efficiency and save you time, energy, and help move you closer to your online goals. Take some time to read it and then look at the reports you usually review and ask, So What?
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Previously you could only have 4 goals per profile. Now you can have up to twenty, made up of 4 sets of 5 goals. Additionally, you can now setup Engagement Goals which allow you to use Time on Site and Pages per Visit as goal-capturing metrics. This is valuable for many types of sites (like Blogs!) that may consider a Goal accomplished without actually capturing contact information or making a sale.
Advanced Filters allow you to create single one-off filters for different reports. Currently, you would need to use the Advanced Segments to accomplish this. Now, filtering top landing pages with over 10 visits and bounce rates over 80% is a snap. This will help you find the pain points in your site and make positive changes. This can also help you identify your top performing keywords and markets.
Automatic and Custom Alerts
If you use Google Alerts then you know how valuable it is to have this kind of automation. These alerts will allow you to track increases in certain activities or to certain pages on your site. They will be very useful when tracking different campaigns and when monitoring the effects of social media. These alerts can be viewed and grouped by date or by type, so you can create clear reports for the things you need to watch, and they can be emailed to you automatically. Alerts are not available yet but should be out by the end of the month.
Many of these features are available today and the rest will be rolled out very soon. Check back with us at theSEMblog for more tips on how to use these great new tools.