Posts Tagged ‘adwords’

Jan 10

I have recently guest-authored a series of posts on mobile analytics strategy on the Google Analytics blog. Each of the three posts highlights simple yet key steps for marketers to track their mobile traffic and improve their returns.

For those of you on the go, here’s a quick glance at the material I covered.  Try to make time to read each post in-depth, even if you have to read it on your smart phone!


1 – Look for Mobile Trends

In the first post, I detail how to monitor and analyze mobile traffic using key performance indicators. This is best done by customizing your GA settings to receive mobile traffic reports, custom alerts, and for the enthusiast, using the Google Analytics data export API.

2 – Give Your Reports More Dollar Power

So you’re mobile trends are positive, do you just throw the data to your boss? No. You always want to give your reports more dollar power. The second post centers on the power of presentation. If you’re CEO can easily connect the dots, two bottoms will be covered — your company’s and yours! :)

3 – Act on Your ROI

The average analytics guy will stop at step 2, but the third post encourages you to do more. Additional segmentation and leveraging  AdWords’ reports will allow you the much needed visibility into campaign performance to maximize your results.


And There’s More!

For tor the technically inclined, and to get a more comprehensive perspective on your mobile presence, there is more you can do. Check out the code site page on mobile to:

  • Track native iPhone or Android applications
  • Track activities on websites from low-end mobile devices

And be on the lookout for  niche analytics solutions specifically built for mobile.

Remember, it’s never too late to start maximizing your company’s mobile investment and implementation. Be sure to check out each post for more details and practical tips.

For more analytics tips and insights, follow @ferasa on twitter.  Happy analyzing!

Nov 20

It is a crime to have your AdWords campaigns on auto-pilot! :)

Google AdWords Alert functionality allows you to proactively monitor your AdWords campaigns with custom alerts. Set your campaign criteria via custom alerts and AdWords will notify you within the account or via email.

Log into AdWords and Alerts will greet you and you are presented with changes to key performance indicators at a glance.

Increase Traffic with New Keywords Alert

Please note the keyword suggestions need careful review. Please take the time to review the keywords before adding, also consider giving feedback to AdWords regarding the relevancy of suggestions.

Custom Alerts

To support active monitoring of KPI fluctuations you want to track and take action on, email yourself the Alert. In the office or on the go, use the powerful AdWords Alerts to stay plugged in to your campaign performance.

Similar to the Google Analytics intelligence alerts, AdWords offers customizable alerts – thirteen alert types!

From Impressions to Conversion metrics, you can choose:

  • metric
  • operator
  • comparison timeframe
  • frequency of alert
  • method of delivery

Powerful data formally requiring a manual investigation is now neatly delivered to your AdWords interface or email for quick action! :)

If you have a MCC, hang on because there is no alert access via MCC yet; you will have to log in to each account for Alert control.

See AdWords Alert blog post more details. This functionality is only available in the USA and a few other locations for now.

Happy Optimization! :)

Oct 13

I’m at the Googleplex this week participating in a summit. One of the keynotes is Dan Siroker, Former Director of Analytics for the Obama Presidential Campaign and is currently co-founder of CarrotSticks, a website aiming to improve math skills in kids.

Yes the election is over and this might sound like an out of the date post, but actually the message here is that Dan went on to found a start-up with the knowledge and expertise he gained from the Obama campaign. What he accomplished and learned in the political campaign is very applicable to the private sector and hopefully we can all learn a thing or two.

Some interesting facts about Obama is he out-performed McCain in the “new media” category significantly, in terms of Facebook friends, YouTube views, and website unique visitors, as well as the very important aspect of fund raising. The money raised for Obama was $656 million versus $201 millionfor McCain (not counting the Federal funds). Out of the $656 million, a staggering $500 million was raised online.

Analytics Lessons Learned

  1. Define success and also define quantifiable success measures.Metrics, like cost per click, email sign up rate, and revenue per email recipient. In Dan’s startup, he is now measuring: cost per click, cost per playing user (free account), revenue per paying user (paid account). So when the revenue per paying user exceeds the cost per playing user, they make money! :)
  2. Question assumptions.Testing is king, A/B and multivariate testing both play a key role in deciding what call to action, what creative, and other aspects work best!
  3. Divide and conquer.Segment users, for example, those that never signed up, those signed up but never donated, and those that previously donated.
  4. Don’t reinvent the wheel.Use available and free tools like Google Apps, Google Websize Optimizer, and Google Analytics.
  5. Take advanatage of circumstances.Whether it is internal to your business or something external (economy, competitiion, etc), give your visitors current and relevant content.

Jun 08

Urchin 6.6 has just been rolled out and you will want to get your hands on it right away! Although this is a point release (from 6.5 to 6.6), the Urchin 6.6 feature list is quite impressive. The folks at Google must have been burning the midnight oil to get these many features packed up in this one release. :) Here are the highlights:

  • Deep, deep, deep integration with Google AdWords
  • Data Export API
  • External Authentication (LDAP)
  • Auto CPC cost data import from Yahoo
  • A number of Admin, Log Processing, Security and Utilities bug fixes and enhancements

If the above has piqued your interest, then read more below. :)

Urchin Integration with AdWords

  • Budget Alerts: Notification when AdWords campaign budget is about to expire.
  • Keyword Generation Tool: Addition of the Keyword Generation tool in Urchin, add & delete keywords in your AdWords campaigns.
  • Direct Access to AdWords: Skip the AdWords login process, directly link from Urchin to AdWords after proper set up, save time.
  • Dynamic Keyword Insertion: Import cost data simply from AdWords with this new feature which inserts a dynamic keyword insertion tag {keyword} in ad destination URLs.
  • AdWords Optimizer: Optimize AdWords campaigns in Urchin & those changes are automatically applied in AdWords.
  • Copy Campaign Tool: Copy campaigns from other ad networks into AdWords.

New Urchin Metrics & Reports

  • Performance Comparison: Compare & Analyze campaign performance from all sources & mediums.
  • Time on Site: Dig into customer engagement with visitor time on site information.
  • Campaign & Keyword Views: Reports display paid campaign & keyword data.

Urchin API

  • Export your data from Urchin and run your own application. Protocols supported: SOAP 1.x & REST

Other Enhancements & Bug Fixes

  • Demo license change. Profiles & log sources now have a limit of 5 each. No other limits have been implemented.

Go to our Urchin sofware page to download the new Urchin files. For additional information about Urchin, contact one of our Urchin experts.

Related Posts

Feb 25

Integrating lead information from one system such as Google Adwords into a CRM like Salesforce is definitely not a new topic, especially since the Salesforce-Google Adwords integration has been announced for a while now.

I want to highlight the steps required for a seamless integration, as well as a few additional pro-active steps you want to take to keep your Google Analytics data clean. The same concept would apply to other analytics tools you might be running. As Avinash always reminds us, data accuracy is always one of the biggest challenges in web analytics.

Here are my steps:

  1. Create Adwords and Salesforce accounts.
  2. Link Google AdWords with Salesforce.
  3. Exclude SalesForce parameters from Google Analytics.
  4. Set up AdWords lead tracking.
  5. View report.

1) Create Adwords and Salesforce accounts

You need to have a Google AdWords account and a Salesforce account before you can integrate them.

2) Link Google AdWords with Salesforce

  • In Salesforce, click the Google AdWords Setup tab.

  • Enter your AdWords customer ID and login e-mail.

3) Exclude SalesForce Parameters from Google Analytics

When Salesforce performs its integration with AdWords, it appends parameters (_kk and _kt) to all destination URLs in your AdWords account. We suggest that you strip these query parameters out of URL to insure no duplicate entries in your Top Content report.

To strip the query parameters, please follow these steps:

*A note for AdWords managers. Keep in mind that when Salesforce appends the destination URLs with its _kk parameters, this is actually “editing” your AdWords ads and the stats associated with these ads will now reset, according to how Google AdWords works.

4) Set up AdWords Lead Tracking

  1. Back in SalesForce, click on the Google AdWords Setup tab.
  2. Click on the “Set up Lead Tracking” button.

i – Create a Web-to-Lead Form

  • Click on the “Create Web-to-Lead Form” button

  • Add the form to your page
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-type" CONTENT="text/html;
<form action="
encoding=UTF-8" method="POST">

<input type=hidden name="oid" value="xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx">

<input type=hidden name="retURL"

<label for="first_name">First Name</label><input id="first_name"
maxlength="40" name="first_name" size="20" type="text" /><br>

<label for="last_name">Last Name</label><input id="last_name"
maxlength="80" name="last_name" size="20" type="text" /><br>

<label for="email">Email</label><input id="email" maxlength="80"
name="email" size="20" type="text" /><br>

<input type="submit" name="submit">

ii – Add the Salesforce Tracking Code to the Website

Typescript,Computer Graphic,Text,Single Word,Article,Newspaper Headline,Information Medium,Newspaper,Printed Media,Print Media,The Media,Folded,Report,Business,Finance,Banking,Document,Paper,Printing Out,Printout,Print

Add the following tracking code to every page of your site right before the </BODY> tag

<!-- Begin Salesforce Tracking Code -->
<SCRIPT type="text/javascript" src="">
<SCRIPT type="text/javascript">__sfga();</SCRIPT>
<!-- End Salesforce Tracking Code -->

iii – Test Your SalesForce installation

By clicking the “Test your Setup” you will be able to test the installation of the codes in step i and ii

5) View report

This report gives an overview of the leads submitted to SalesForce from your website

For more detailed information, click on each lead and learn more about the lead source

Dec 19

Urchin 6.5 was just released and we recommend you upgrade to take advantage of these new features:

  • The best new feature: a Pay-per-Click (PPC) data manager lets you create PPC sources that automatically import cost data from Google Adwords.
    • These PPC sources can then be applied to profiles as easily as you would apply log sources and filters!
    • Currently, this feature does not work with the autotagging feature of Google Adwords.
  • Urchin has been updated to show Chrome as a browser and Android as an operating system.
  • The installer has been improved to make for a more seamless installation or upgrade.
  • The Urchin configuration management utility has had its functionality extended.
  • The geo database has been updated to December 2008 data.
  • Some localization issues have been fixed.
  • Urchin help topics (both internal to the application and in the online Urchin Help Center) have been updated.

Feel free to contact us for all your Urchin consulting needs.
You can also download Urchin from our Urchin software page.

Sep 23

At a recent speaking engagement on analytics, I was asked some questions on what appears to be discrepancies between search marketing platforms (such as Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing) and the data in the Google Analytics. I didn’t get a chance to answer these questions in details but here are some pointers on where to start your investigation!

In Adwords, ensure that your “auto-tagging” feature is enabled under account preferences.

Ensure proper URL tagging for all your PPC traffic. A useful tool to help you set up your URL tags is the Google URL builder. For tips on tagging Yahoo Search Marketing campaigns and MSN adCenter PPC campaign, check our earlier post.

Another area where problems may occur is URL redirects. Check our earlier post on this subject for more details.
So assuming you have turned on auto-tagging or your URLs are manually tagged, you will still see a discrepancy but don’t panic! Some Google Analytics help posts come to the rescue and explain why your “click” and “visit” numbers won’t match :( .

Click on the the following thumbnail to view the full screenshot. It shows Adwords clicks and Google Analytics visits.
Adwords clicks vs GA visits

Now you have something to go back to your customer with (if you are a consultant) or to your boss (if you are an in-house analyst) and let them that the culprit wasn’t you. It isn’t Adwords, it isn’t Google Analytics, it is just how things are when looking at data from two different systems. Instead, we want to examine trends and not just absolute numbers (easier said than done :) ).

Aug 22

Strategy, Techniques, and Track it all with Google Analytics

So you are the resident pay-per-click (PPC) guru, you have your campaigns running in Google Adwords, your metrics are looking good, your cost per acquisition is looking great, your post-click metrics in Google Analytics are just shining, and your return on your marketing spend is just outstanding. Your boss, or your client if you are an online marketing agency, says: “bring me more (and dangling the promotion/bonus carrot)!” And being the good sport you are, you say with confidence, “of course!”

You know Google is king when it comes to traffic volume, but you more or less exhausted your creative ideas to drive additional traffic through Adwords – what do you do? It is now time to explore other search engines, Yahoo! Search Marketing, MSN adCenter, and maybe some vertical or secondary search engines.

In this blog post, I’ll cover some PPC implementation techniques to optimize your paid search marketing across multiple search engines, especially Google Adwords and MSN adCenter, while ensuring your PPC post-click metrics are properly tracked in Google Analytics.

The process of transferring campaigns from one search engine to another can be very time consuming and tiring, especially when you have a big account with a large number of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. A frequent problem popping up on the web these days is the ability to transferring campaigns from your Google Adwords account into your MSN adCenter account. In this post I hope to to answer this question and a little more.

  • We first advise that you optimize your campaigns in Google Adwords, allowing enough time for testing different ad variations, adding relevant and negative keywords, and applying other PPC optimization techniques. You can even go further and test few landing pages and pick the best performing ones. When you feel satisfied with the performance in Google Adwords, you can now start planning to migrate them into your MSN adCenter account.
  • You need to create and run an ad performance report in Adwords to get the needed information to transfer into your adCenter account. Our friends at Affiliate-Blog have came up with a clean and straightforward way to create this report and transfer it into your adCenter account.

Adding the campaigns in adCenter is one thing, but to be able to see campaign data and more in Google Analytics requires a little more work. It is time to tag those URLs! Here are few tips that will help you tag your URLs properly so that the data shows up in a clear and consistent manner. You can use the Google URL builder to create custom tags for your adCenter destination URLs.

Here is a list of the elements you needs to tag.

  1. Campaign Source: msn
  2. Campaign Medium: cpc
  3. Campaign Term: {QueryString}
    Adding this parameter will allow you to track all your keywords in Google Analytics without having to type each keyword manually.
  4. Campaign Content: (used to differentiate ads)
  5. Campaign Name: (whatever the campaign name is)


For more details, check out this article written by our friends at PPC Hero

Few Suggestions:

  • I recommend you use a unique naming convention to make it easier for you to identify your adCenter campaigns in Google Analytics reports. For example, I want to set up a campaign to market E-nor’s Google Analytics services. In Google Adwords, the campaign name can be g_GAServices and for an adCenter campaign you can name it m_GAServices. Using this naming convention will make it very easy for you to visually identify which PPC system the campaign belongs to.
  • I would recommend you import one campaign to adCenter and allow enough time to test it. Check the results in GA to make sure your URL tagging was thorough. If everything goes smoothly, then start transferring the rest of the campaigns after following the same steps we mentioned earlier.

Have a great day transferring and tagging your campaigns! ;-)

Jul 25

Have you ever experienced a call transfer from one department to another while you were calling to troubleshoot a problem in your machine or report a credit card fraud?

This annoying experience is similar to what we experience in web analytics when we deal with URL redirects. You request one URL and end up at another! Misconfigured URL redirects can cause data loss such as not seeing any data from one or more sources in your web analytics reports

It is common practice in many sites, especially e-commerce sites, to use redirect pages to track campaign performance. The problem is that the redirect usually removes extra parameters from URLs – parameters which are necessary for proper tracking in Google AdWords and Google Analytics.

In order to identify a visitor as a paid visitor in Google Analytics, AdWords auto-tagging adds a parameter to the end of any AdWords destination URL. This parameter is called gclid.

In a normal situation with no URL redirects, when people click on a paid ad with a destination URL such as

the URL that they are supposed to go to might end up looking like this

If there was a poorly configured redirect at this point, the visitor might end up at this URL: *

* Note that the gclid parameter is gone and Google Analytics will consider the click as an organic visit and not as a paid visit.

Suggested solutions to this problem:

  1. Ask your webmaster to configure the redirect page to pass any parameters to the final URL. This is will allow you to maintain your internal redirects and properly segment your visitors.
  2. Tag your destination URLs manually:
    • utm_source = google
    • utm_medium = cpc
    • utm_term = your AdWords keyword (ex. e-nor blog)
    • utm_campaign = your AdWords campaign (ex. blog campaign)

    The final URL will look like this now:

  3. The best solution: do not use redirects at all!  My colleague at E-Nor, senior web analyst Rehan Asif, suggests not to use redirect at all. He says, “configure Google AdWords to send visitors straight to the landing page. Add whatever internal tracking scripts you want to us on the actual landing page.” (ex. of the reasons we usually suggest avoiding URL redirects is because of our concern about the keyword Quality Score. Page load time and number of redirects are an important factor in determining the Quality Score. Redirects could be slow at times which would lead to long page load times which would lead to low Quality Scores.

Thank you,

Oct 30

Yesterday I attended the Conversion University conference at Google here in Mountain View. Avinash had a couple of very informative sessions on creating a “data driven” culture in your organization (or your clients’ organization). I really recommend you get his book, Web Analytics – An Hour A Day, if you haven’t done so.

These sessions will soon be available on YouTube and the sessions from the previous Conversion University Day have been available for a while now. Even if you are not using Google Analytics, the sessions are still very applicable.

There were a number of very informative sessions on Adwords, Google Website Optimizer (GWO), GA Hacks , a number of case studies, as well as a review of the new features that will be rolled out soon in Google Analytics.

There were also a number of very friendly and helpful Google engineers and specialists that were around to answer questions from the audience in the breaks and in the lab time.

Many thanks to Brett, Jeff, and the others who put this event together.

PS. Lunch was excellent too! :)