Archive for 2012
Join E-Nor’s Principal Consultant, Feras Alhlou, at the upcoming SES conference in San Francisco as he leads a roundtable forum on both Tuesday, August 14th and Wednesday, August 15th. In these “Meet the Experts” sessions, Feras will provide insight on new features in Google analytics as well as Google Analytics Premium, and answer your questions on all things Google analytics, conversion, testing and multi-touch attribution. These roundtable discussions allow for participants to learn, network and share information amongst the attendees.
If you haven’t yet registered for SES, do it now and take advantage of a 15% discount by using this special promo code: SPKRFA.
SES San Francisco is a leading industry conference geared towards marketers and SEO professionals. This 3-day conference brings people together to network and learn about topics such as PPC management, keyword research, SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, video optimization, usability and more. The conference takes place at Moscone West.
Again, register now, and use the promo code SPKRFA to take advantage of the 15% discount.
Updated: Google Analytics Solidifies Lead in Fortune 500 Adoption in 2013
Last year Google Analytics announced Google Analytics Premium, so that enterprises could derive benefit from dedicated support, more horsepower and services they require from an analytics solution. Just last week EConsultancy published a report indicating that 5% of Google Analytics users they surveyed were using Google Analytics Premium. Many people wonder, who is using Google Analytics Premium? While there isn’t a published list, a good indicator of Google Analytics Premium’s success, could be gleaned from looking at the adoption of analytics platforms by Fortune 500 companies in relation to Google Analytics market share.
In October of 2011, our friend Stéphane Hamel wrote a blog post announcing that Google Analytics was installed on 45% of Fortune 500 websites. Another post by TechCrunch highlighted that Google Analytics is used by more than 55% of the top 10,000 websites. Both of these confirm that Google Analytics is the dominant measurement platform used across the web.
Usage in Fortune 500
I collected data over the past few months and have documented which Analytics tools each of the Fortune 500 corporations are using on their main website. Google Analytics is now in use on 51% of Fortune 500 websites. This is an increase from previously reported data showing a 45% market share. More than half of Fortune 500 companies are now using Google Analytics or Google Analytics Premium and 30 new enterprises have switched to or added Google Analytics in the past 9 months.
Not Slowing Down
The above images illustrate that Google Analytics is on the rise within Fortune 500 Enterprise. I attribute this to the aggressive improvements Google has been making over the past 12 months. We have seen Real-Time Reports, Multi-Channel Funnel, Google Analytics Premium, Content Experiments, Attribution Modeling, and Social Reports just to name a few. Google Analytics is showing continued signs of growth with a brand new Mobile SDK and completely new Mobile Reports coming later this summer. This is all likely to lead to expanded adoption of Google Analytics Premium, due to the ever increasing sources of data, or Big Data I should say, and the ever increasing need for smart people to transform the data into actionable insights.
Method: Data collected using Ghostery and analyzing the main website for each Fortune 500 company. Numbers in the bar chart add up to over 100%, due to some companies deploying 2 or 3 Analytics Tools.
How smart are you when it comes to Google Analytics? Okay, let’s put that to the test! Literally.
So in no way is this an “official” IQ test for Google Analytics. But according to the developers of the Google Analytics Test site, with more than 5,000 tests completed since last year’s launch, it’s gaining recognition as a great resource for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Test. This is just one online source for testing your knowledge of Google Analytics. There are others out there, but let me tell you why I recommend this one.
So You Think You’re a Google Analytics Expert?
The Google Analytics Test is based on the new version of Google Analytics (v5). The program allows you to choose from a variety of subject areas including Custom Reports and In-Page Analytics, to Traffic Sources and Campaigns. In addition, there are related subjects such as Search Engine Optimization, Google AdWords and Regular Expressions. There are 28 categories in all that allow you to challenge yourself. After choosing the specific categories, you then determine how many questions you would like to take within that test. The program automatically shows you how many questions are available, and you choose from there. Within the program there are 200 multiple-choice and true-and-false questions to evaluate your knowledge. Questions developed for the program are based on real-world scenarios. So you’re answering questions that truly do arise.
Customized Testing, Immediate Results
What’s nice about the Google Analytics Test, is that while choosing the tests, you don’t have to answer all questions available. Users have an unlimited number of tests they can take. Plus, you don’t have to take the entire test all in one sitting. Users can stop and come back at a later time. Tests are not timed, so there is no limit to how long you spend in a test session. Another benefit includes having the ability to go back and change any existing answers, or answer any questions that may have been passed over the first time.
Once you are finished with the test, you can see the results immediately. Users are given the overall score and shown a recap of the test question again. To see why a question was answered incorrectly, simply click on the question and you’re directed to the page with a thorough answer explanation, along with carefully annotated screenshots of that scenario. Users also have the ability to comment on the question.
The Google Analytics Test offers the testing program to users who want to explore the site with or without logging in. It also has the ability to create a profile with a personal page, so you can either review or retake tests previously taken. You can save test results for future reference, and as stated previously, you can take the test an unlimited number of times. Users who have completed at least one test can add questions to the testing program, and those who choose to log in before taking tests are able to see their test results via email.
Jump on the Bandwagon
This site is intended for intermediate to advanced users, but can also be useful as a framework to beginners. Those who have been deeply involved in Google Analytics for many years can use this program to challenge their knowledge. While those just learning the ins-and-outs of it can use this resource to learn even more.
According to Eric Fettman, Google Analytics Test Developer, the number of people taking advantage of this learning tool, is quickly growing.
“People have begun to take advantage of googleanalyticstest.com for practical Google Analytics lessons in general and for GAIQ preparation specifically. The feedback has been very positive, and almost 5,500 tests have been completed so far! I am grateful for the challenging questions and very perceptive comments that participants have posted, and I hope that the site continues to grow as a forum that helps to support the evolving Google Analytics community.”
As a member of the content development committee, I have been able to see the site form and evolve, and am excited to see the number of users growing each week. It has been a great experience being involved in the development of the Google Analytics Test, and working alongside some very knowledgeable committee members. I think this site is an exceptional tool for anyone looking to learn more about Google Analytics.
The Google Analytics Test is unique in that it offers social features such as commenting, posting and the ability for adding questions. The category selections within the test also make for a useful tool that cannot be found in other testing sites. As popularity of the site continues to grow, the more positive response it seems to get. According to one user, it’s very similar to an actual Google exam, while others boast about coming back again and again to utilize this great tool and sharing it with others.
So whether you want to learn more about Google Analytics, are interested in preparing for the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Test, or just just looking for a great resource, check out the Google Analytics Test. It’s free, it’s fun and it will show you how smart you really are… well, in the Google Analytics world that is!
Google Analytics In-House Training
For those of us using Yahoo! Web Analytics (YWA), on Tuesday Yahoo announced the discontinuation of this product for analytics-only customer accounts and the Yahoo! Web Analytics Consultant Network. If you have a Yahoo! Store using the analytics platform, you are still supported.
We want to take this opportunity to thank Dennis Mortensen, the Yahoo! Web Analytics team, and the YWA Consultants Network for their contributions to the analytics and marketing community over the years.
Most of the analytics-only customer accounts will be discontinued on August 31st, 2012 and current YWA users are assessing the impact and looking for guidance.
Don’t worry, you are not stuck. We will help you migrate to Google Analytics and make sure the data you were measuring is captured, the reports you need, and key performance indicators (KPIs) you rely on are available to you in GA. We have a digital marketing optimization framework and a proven methodology ready to assist you in a hassle free migration. In addition, you’ll benefit from the plethora of new reports and enterprise-class measurement features available in the Google Analytics Standard and Google Analytics Premium Editions.
We’ve assisted some very well-known brands successfully migrate from SiteCatalyst, WebTrends and YWA to Google Analytics so connect with us for any questions you may have and we’ll be glad to help you plan and execute your analytics migration project.
Introducing Google Big Query
With Google BigQuery publicly available, all businesses can combine large data sets with amazing speed and do analytics in the cloud.
What Kinds of Questions Can You Answer With Google BigQuery?
Let’s say you are the marketing manager of a large B2C business that is driving traffic to your site through many channels including paid search, affiliates, email, and some offline campaigns as well. You really want to tie the campaign cost data all the way to your qualified leads, opportunities, and sales data, which typically resides in a CRM system, such as SalesForce, SugarCRM, or the like.
But why stop there? You also want to throw in your web analytics data and get engagement metrics in the mix. Last but not least, you’ve done your homework and implemented an integration strategy to tie all this data together (e.g. using a primary key).
You want to produce a very actionable report that shows:
- Campaign cost data
- Web analytics data
- CRM data
- A super actionable metric cost per qualified lead, broken down by campaign!
In the above report, the cost per qualified lead for the Software Demo campaign in Google Adwords was just a little bit over $30, and you can start trending and optimizing accordingly. Run experiments and gather user feedback to bring that cost down!
Other Useful Features
- Metrics like cost per qualified lead can be recalculated with amazing speed as often as the data is refreshed.
- Results like this can be saved as a table, allowing you to build up layers of useful reports and then combine them to build even more useful reports.
- Reports can be downloaded in CSV format for integration with Excel, PowerPoint, or whatever presentation and integration tools your business might use.
- Unsampled reports from large data sets in Google Analytics Premium are the perfect kind of data set to upload to Google BigQuery.
Technical Details about Google BigQuery
- Google BigQuery is a tool which allows businesses to gain insights from large data sets without any initial hardware purchases or software investments.
- The BigQuery service is an online analytical processing (OLAP) system designed for terabyte-scale datasets.
- The service supports SQL-like queries against those massive datasets.
- BigQuery is surprisingly developer friendly, as it supports the straight forward REST (REpresentational State Transfer) Web service for pushing data to Google’s cloud and then querying it.
- Google BigQuery can be accessed through a web tool or programmatically through the REST interface.
- The web tool might be useful in visually identifying relationship and building queries, while the REST interface lets your developers get at the data in the most efficient way.
What Are the Possibilities?
Contact E-Nor for more information on how we can help you leverage Google BigQuery to answer business questions and improve your bottom line.
If you have been around marketing and analytics for a while, you know that getting a solid reading of your analytics and optimization is a journey, not a destination. You understand that data is not clean, and 100% accuracy is not attainable. So I think the most we can ask for is to establish processes and educate people on how to keep things under control and still have faith in their data.
This post addresses practical analytics processes to maintain and improve the quality of your data when upgrading or redesigning a site, or migrating to a site/new content management system. While the examples in this post are Google Analytics specific, the approach is applicable to other analytics solutions.
The old adage of Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance is so very true here. Those 5 P’s can make a world of difference before a site migration or upgrade.
You definitely don’t want to end up with this scenario (no data)
If you have done your analytics implementation right, you should have maintained different documents; a reporting/metrics doc (marketers) and a solution design or an analytics technical specs doc. In such documents you define what code to add, what custom tracking you are doing, where customization have been implemented, etc. When you plan to migrate or upgrade your site, it’s time to clean the dust off these documents and put them to work for you again!
1- Site Migration/Upgrade Analytics Planning – Marketing
First of all, review your site goals, and ask questions such as:
- What micro conversion am I tracking now and do you want to track on the new site?
- Video/multimedia user actions (play, forward, stop, etc.)
- Have a new blog and I want to measure comment submissions
- I really want to get an understanding of social interactions on my site
- Are my macro conversions changing?
- I didn’t have e-commerce, now I do
- The site didn’t accept paypal/google checkout, but now we need to track it
- I am using a marketing automation platform with tens of landing pages and lead capture forms. How do I want to see lead conversions in my reports?
- Any custom segments that you track closely?
- Your reports might include members vs. non-members segments, member classification, user segments, time-stamped user actions, content groups, etc. this type of data is typically available in your reports based on GA customization and need to be discussed with your technical team
- Make a note of this type of data and ensure this customization is carried over to the new site
- Third-party System Integration
- Identify parameters you are passing to third party systems or integrations you’ve done CRM solutions (e.g. SalesForce.com), or other rich data integration work you’ve done (and rightfully got recognize for!)
- Social: this post would be not as popular if it doesn’t have the word “social” . Look for how your are measuring your socially active users. You might be using GA’s social tracker natively or you might have integrated with AddThis or ShareThis
- Mobile: if you, like many, are launching a mobile site, add your measurement plan for your mobile site to the to-do list. And don’t forget about any niche mobile analytics tools that you have previously implemented (and actively using)
- In addition to your web analytics solution, review the long list of tags/pixels you currently have on your conversion pages such as AdWords conversion tracker and other pay-per-click tags, doubleclick, affiliate, or maybe a niche heatmap tag, or a phone tracking tag, or the testing code such as the Google Website Optimizer (and the list goes on and on, I know)
- If you are using a Tag Management System (TMS), you’ll have less issues with migrating your tags, but then add an item on your to-do list to engage your TMS vendor and seek their support during the planning and implementation of your new site
Have your new or updated goals list ready and then reach out to your friendly webmaster/analyst/consultant to help you implement.
2- Site Migration/Upgrade Analytics Planning – Technical
Sit down with your developer and go over:
- Your standard GATC
- In most cases, you’ll use the same GA account (same UA number). I have seen situations where clients prefer to start a new GA account altogether (with a new UA number) especially if the historic data is a bit messy and they want to have a fresh start
- Any code customizations you have done
- If your current site has sub-domains or you have cross-domain tracking, assess how the new site will be structured and if the domain/sub-domain structure will be intact or is changing
- If you are using events or firing virtual pageviews, look for code updates necessary to maintain the same data collection method
- If your URL structure and page naming convention is changing, document impact on:
- Filters, Goals, E-commerce variables, Custom variables, Advanced segments (that your users are actively reporting on), Custom Alerts, Custom reports with filters, Dashboards with filters
- URL Redirects: redirects are very useful and commonly used on websites. However, they are real culprits if not properly set up and cause all sort of issues such as breaking sessions, dropping parameters or linking to older posts. And while you’re at it, review your URL query parameters and decide what you want to exclude in your GA/Profile Settings.
- Site Search (or Internal Search): if your internal site search has changed along with the site upgrade, then update the search query parameter in your Admin/Profile Settings
3- Post-Launch Analytics Validation – Technical
Webmasters & Developers
- Ensure your GATC is on all your pages and then run your favorite site scan software
- Ensure you are collecting data only from your production web properties. Look for development and staging environment domains. Review your hostname reports and filter out what doesn’t belong there.
- Pay extra attention to key pages
- Landing page/static pages that are not part of your site template
- Conversion pages (thank you pages, form completion pages, e-commerce purchase complete pages, etc.)
- Site Speed Report (under Content) will be your best friend after site launch. Look for Average Load Time, Page download time and other related metrics and spot any spikes and investigate root causes, with pages, server or redirection time
Don’t forget to plan your configuration changes across all your profiles and not just the main profile.
4- Post-Launch Analytics Validation – Marketing
One quick way to see the before and after is to set up a date range comparison (equal number of days, and days of week before and after launch), then monitor the following:
- Run a quick report on traffic/key metrics/conversion by browser. Also, review your mobile traffic and behavior on various devices. If you see significant variances in any of your key metrics pre/post launch, let your designer and webmaster know immediately. The new site might be experiencing browser/device compatibility issues.
- Traffic Sources
- Look for new traffic sources that didn’t exist before (new self referring sources?)
- Look for a sudden spike/drop in direct or referring traffic
- Review your Pages report, is the reported page names what you would expect to see?
- Setup a report on your 404 page and have it emailed to you/your webmaster on a daily basis
- Review your reports on any internal (on-site) campaigns
- Goals, e-commerce numbers look ok?
- In our Analytics Reporting Framework, step #6 was about “automation” and automation comes very handy here
- Set up Auto Alerts (intelligence) on all vital metrics
- Look for abnormalities in your default alerts
- Do take a minute to add an annotation when the site goes live and include a meaningful description of major changes (page names, goals, etc.). Trust me, the person who comes after your will love you for helping them making sense of all these changes (when they come back few months down the road and no one is around to tell him what happened that day)
- It’s not uncommon that site migration has an impact on ranking and organic traffic. The idea here is to be aware of the changes and communicate findings with your SEO team so they can monitor and update as needed. Look for the Organic Traffic Report and drill down when you see issues.
So there you have it. Preparing yourself before updating your website will lead to less headache in the long run. By following these suggestions, your site will not only have that fresh new look you develop, but also have the functionality for ease-of-use for visitors and the ability to track the necessary data for you.
PS. Proper planning for a site migration includes SEO considerations and PPC considerations, content and many technical aspects but that’s something I’ll leave for another time (and probably to someone else)!
Related Posts & Articles
Today we are happy to announce Manhattan based Imerex is now a division of E-Nor, further expanding E-Nor’s services into the East Coast and Eastern Canada. Our combined teams offer comprehensive digital expertise in Web Analytics, Digital Marketing Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. We have partnered together for many years and welcome this growth and expansion.
Feras commented, “We have seen real growth in the digital analytics field and a surging demand for web analytics that integrate marketing channels into one place. As analytics experts, we’ve shown our clients how insightful and powerful actionable data can be. Once they have that visibility, the next logical step for them is to ask how they can improve their marketing efforts. Having Imerex as part of our company allows us to provide key strategic and executional expertise on the marketing side which, when combined with our advanced analytics consulting and implementation, can make the most of our client’s marketing dollars.”
We are very excited about this expansion and enhancing our capabilities to better support the growing analytics needs .
Some of the world’s most recognized brands in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout North American have relied on E-Nor’s team and analytics framework to deliver results and actionable insights to positively impact the business. With offices in the heart of Silicon Valley, Southern California, Alberta, Canada, and now New York, we are well-positioned to service organizations aspiring to be more data-driven, as well as Google Analytics Premium clients looking for our elite support, deeper analysis and more analytics horsepower.
Stay tuned for more exciting news!!!
Today is the second last day to buy Urchin Software. Google will stop issuing licenses tomorrow, Wednesday March 28, 2012, at noon PST.
Reasons to buy Urchin 7:
- Great complement to Google Analytics and other web analytics tools.
- Loved by IT teams for its easy configuration and by marketers for its useful reports.
- Works with intranets and sites that cannot send visitor data outside the company.
- Allows for tracking of individual visitors.
- With the ability to export data by CSV, you can combine visitor data from Urchin with other tools like Salesforce and ecommerce systems to look at the big picture.
- Scales well with computer system power.
We will continue to support our Urchin clients with training, reporting, and analysis. If you have a previous version of Urchin, you can upgrade to Urchin 7 with credit for any amount you have already paid.
If you have any questions, now is the time to ask. Send us a message or give us a call at (866) 638-7367. Get your copy of Urchin software before time runs out!