“I…i…i…i… I’m soooo in love with you… whatever you waaaant to dooo… it’s alright with meeeee…!” – lyrics from the “Reverend of Soul” himself – Al Green.
It’s Valentine’s Day, love is in the air! So, we thought we’d shoot cupid’s arrow through this next post about data and measurement. Give it some “love”, so to speak.
If you’re heavy into Google Analytics, you might be “infatuated” with quantitative data - “views”, “visits”, “bounces”, etc. – and…ahem…”RAW” numbers. That’s only one “better half” though. That is, it’ll tell you “what” is happening on your site. However, what about the other half – “why”??? One way to answer that question is by “marrying” your quantitative analytics data with qualitative, “voice-of-customer” survey data.
“Why… why do people break up? Then turn around and make up… I just can’t seeeeeeee….”
Let’s take a statistic of love. Unfortunately, it looks like approximately 50% of marriages fail [Cupid, what the hec are you shooting at?] The Reverend of Soul, Al Green stated in his immortal lyrics, that he could see “what” was happening, but for the life of him, just couldn’t see “why” people break up!!!
This Valentine’s Day, let’s pretend to try to solve this urgent matter of the heart. WHY is this happening?! Is the aforementioned statistic enough for you to take action? Doesn’t look like it.
Those of you who’ve been through a tough time in your relationship know it’s not black and white – there could be a plethora of reasons:
You might have grown apart
Stresses like money could have strained the relationship
Communication could be missing
As any counselor would tell you, they wouldn’t just diagnose “what” is going on in a couple’s troubled relationship, then right away present solutions. In order to solve the issues, they would go into several deep counseling sessions so they can get to the nitty gritty of “why” this is happening.
Similarly, diagnosing “what” the issues are with your website is only part of the process. Voice-Of-Customer qualitative surveys could potentially give you insight into “why”, insight that may not be readily apparent from quantitative data.
“Let’s Stay Together” – Putting Voice-Of-Customer Together with Quantitative Data
You have several ad campaigns leading visitors to a landing page asking them to register for your event. As the example figure below indicates, your analytics may be telling you that your landing page is getting all the traffic you’re paying for, from Facebook/Google Adwords campaigns, etc. You’re spending good money, and your micro conversion, say an agenda for your event, is getting all the downloads you want. But according to your data, the bounce rate is really high and no one is registering for your conference. Why?!
We recently ran into a similar situation with a project our consultants were assessing, and tried to figure out the issue:
Was there not enough sales information? We listed all the bullet points…
Did clients not trust the organization/service? We listed impressive certifications and testimonials…
Was the registration call-to-action button not clear enough? It’s big and yellow, and it looks like people are clicking on it according to our data…Just not completing registration
At this point, even if you had all the unsampled data in the world from Google Analytics Premium, you’d still be stuck. There’s always an option of implementing A/B testing, but that would take time and coding. Plus, what do you start testing? You can make educated guesses, but you’re pretty much taking shots in the dark (like cupid).
So even before we explored A/B testing, we tried implementing Qualaroo – an awesome, quick, non-invasive survey that quietly pops up based on criteria you set (ex. 30 seconds on the page, after 2 pages have been visited, etc.). You can ask any question – open-ended, multiple-choice, etc. And after each survey is complete, get reports in the native interface or download reports into .xls for deeper crunching.
So we asked – “Second thoughts about registering? Why?”
Sample responses were as follows:
As you can see from the responses (after ensuring we had enough replies for an acceptable confidence level/ statistical significance…), it was pretty much unanimous – pricing was the issue!
It would have been extremely hard to conclude that with just the quantitative data. We may have stumbled upon this after some A/B testing, however, after marrying the qualitative, it pointed us towards a pretty reliable direction in a quick and efficient manner. Even if we wanted to verify using A/B testing, we now have an idea of where to start. They lowered the pricing and registrations started rolling in!
So when you’re having dinner by candlelight tonight, gazing into your lover’s eyes… slowly move in close, and whisper ever so gently… “My quantitative is incomplete without your qualitative…” <3
When Google Analytics makes changes to their platform, it’s usually a good thing, and helps users navigate through the dashboard easier, offers a more powerful data experience and overall is seen as beneficial to the user.
Google Analytics did just that this time around, as they rolled out some improved features earlier this month. We at E-Nor dove right into the changes and have been loving them.
The first change you notice when logged into Google Analytics is there are less tabs at the top of the screen. Just the simple Reporting, Customization, Admin and Help tabs are now available here. This area had been freshened up a bit, and some of the reports here have been moved to the left sidebar. We’ve noticed this definitely makes more sense, and offers up a more unified placement for the tools. Plus, the top orange navigation bar floats as the user scrolls down the page. Pretty cool!
Create Your Own Custom Dashboard
We all have our own preferences, right? So too is the case when working with Google Analytics, and the gurus at Google have figured that out! The platform now offers new enhanced personalized dashboards. Users can choose from a variety of layouts, giving them a handful of options available. This feature expands the way the dashboard is laid out, and how users can see their data.
1. Advanced Segments
Anyone who works regularly in Google Analytic is aware of the Advanced Segments feature. Well, thanks to this most recent round of changes, this tool has been added to the dashboard. (Yay!) Users can find this button in the upper left section of the dashboard near the Audience Overview header.
2. New Widgets
The Geo Maps and Bars widgets are both new additions to the Google Analytics dashboards. You will also find the Geo Maps have been added for custom reports. These are available on the improved dashboard, and provide yet another set of data gathering tools that help users. The Geo Maps widget allows users to color code data by country, state and so on. The Bars widget give more advanced graphic data abilities.
Examples of Widgets
So if you haven’t already noticed the improvements to the Google Analytics interface, now is a good time to jump in and check them out.
We at E-Nor have found these new and/or revised features and tools highly beneficial, and love the fact that they allow us to continue to provide top-notch analytic services to our clients. We hope you enjoy the changes too!
There are so many screens, features, tools, filters, searches, etc. For the heavy data cruncher, it’s always nice to have a set of shortcuts for quick execution of common tasks. In case you couldn’t find it on the Google Analytics Blog, we laid them out for you.
Here are a list of keyboard shortcuts in Google Analytics:
Date Range Shortcuts
Set date range to TODAY
Set date range to YESTERDAY
Set date range to LAST WEEK
Set date range to LAST MONTH
Toggle date comparison mode (to the previous period of whatever you are looking at. Example, if you’re looking at 6 days, this will compare it to the 6 days before it)
Toggle date comparison mode (to the previous year of the period you are looking at)
Open keyboard shortcut help
Search help center
open account panel
shift + a
Go to account list
shift + d
Go to the default dashboard of the current profile
Some of them not working? If you’re a genius like me, it’s probably because you pressed one of the keys on accident and it took you to the search box. Make sure you are out of the search box when you try these.
Do You See What I See?
As an analytics consultant, it’s important – strike that – mission critical, to make sure you understand how your customer uses data. Sometimes we have a tendency to assume our clients look at and interpret data the same way we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. All customers look at data differently, and uncover insights that we might consider surprising or unexpected. We owe it to our customers to ask the right questions and best understand not only what’s being measured and reported on, but how that data is being consumed and interpreted.
reCAPTCHA = evil
A recent experience highlighted the importance of understanding how a customer looks at data.
I received a request from a customer asking me to QA some Google Analytics tracking code that had been deployed to a page. In order to test this scenario, I needed to go to the page, fill out a form and submit. If all went well in my testing, I would see a hit sent to Google Analytics via my HTTP header monitoring tool.
Seems straightforward and easy enough right? Sure… except that I wasn’t able to submit the form. Huh??? Yeah you read that right – I wasn’t able to complete and submit the form. Not once, not twice, but 30 times I tried and failed! What in the darkest depths of Middle Earth (Yes, I loved The Hobbit, and watched it recently, as you might guess), would cause this issue, you ask? The culprit was that most dreaded of all online phenomena – the reCAPTCHA!
First, let me state my complete and utter disdain for reCAPTCHA. I hate it, and consider it amongst the darkest of evils on this planet. Why do I hate reCAPTCHA so much? That’s easy I certainly understand the benefits gained by reCAPTCHA. It blocks spam form submissions and only allows legitimate human submissions. Yadda yadda yadda I’ve heard it all. Still hate it! Some of those alphanumeric combinations are so out of this world that no human could ever read them.
reCAPTCHA is a marketer’s worst nightmare. Web forms are sort of like Cookie Monster “More cookies…more cookies!”. All they want is for users to fill them out. Cookie Monster is cute, and simply wants more cookies. Sure, he leaves a mess of crumbs behind, but I’ve never heard him complain about the quality of the cookies he consumes.
reCAPTCHA takes an innocent, unassuming, cute and cuddly puppet like Cookie Monster and turns him into…the Soup Nazi! For those of you who didn’t catch the reference, or were deprived of the wonders of Seinfeld, check out this link to learn more. The Soup Nazi makes you stand in line (quietly), and only gives you a very measured amount of soup. Don’t you dare look at him the wrong way, or “No Soup for you” will echo in your ear drums. The mere presence of the Soup Nazi strikes fear into the hearts of the most brave of people, and renders them the likeness of jello – jittery and paranoid. reCAPTCHA has the same impact on web forms by making conversion significantly more complicated, and frustrating the user beyond compare.
reCAPTCHA sits at the forefront of the classic battle between IT and Marketing. Both sides have valid arguments as to it’s usefulness, and as much as I dislike it, reCAPTCHA obviously does filter out spam. At what cost though? Are legitimate customers jumping ship out of sheer frustration? Let’s see what the data has to say…
Data’s Turn to Talk
When I was unable to complete the form, I started thinking how this must be affecting other users. Surely, this must be giving other users the same headache it gave me. Luckily we were tracking all sorts of details about the form, so the answer was in the data. Time to dive in
In this type of analysis, it would be good to look at:
Percentage of users running into reCAPTCHA errors
How many users are receiving multiple reCAPTCHA errors?
Here’s what I found: (all data referenced below is for a period of one month)
# of times the form was viewed:
# of times the form was submitted:
Unique # of times a recaptcha error occurred:
# of times multiple recaptcha’s were encountered:
What stands out from looking at the data above? 1. There were more reCAPTCHA errors (270,969) than submissions (241,803)!!! That means the problem is very widespread, and means that a majority of people are running into this problem. In fact many are hitting multiple reCAPTCHA errors. 2. 76% of form submissions resulted in reCAPTCHA errors!!! This was nothing short of shocking for me. 76%??? That’s insanely high! I happily wrote an email to my customer, full of excitement at what I’d found. I received a prompt reply thanking me for the analysis. The marketing team was also flabbergasted by these results and understandably wanted the reCAPTCHA removed.
Wait…A Different Perspective?
A few days later I received a call from an IT manager in the same organization. First he asked to verify how I had come up with this data. Upon confirming its validity, he also thanked me and said this data was immensely useful for them. He then went on to point out that their reCAPTCHA error rates are inline with industry standards and he wanted to make this a monthly report that he could trend with the intent of making sure the rate isn’t going down. Not going down??? What? You see he was in IT, and his focus was to make sure the reCAPTCHA was doing what it’s designed to do. The harder it is to read those ridiculous patterns, the more effectively it must be working. I thought they would be motivated to remove the reCAPTCHA, and instead they want to make it harder!!!
Always understand how your client will use data. It’s of critical importance and helps you provide meaningful insight, and ensure that data is actually being used to impact the business.
Thoughts, comments? I’d love to hear your perspective!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Do you know which social media channels impact your ROI? Wonder no more!
Today Google Analytics announced a new set of Social reports within Google Analytics which takes us from the social conversations to the impact on our investments. This social reporting suite delivers marketers the final puzzle piece to make informed social media decisions based on results. Finally the social engagement and impact metrics we have all been waiting for!
The reports are based on pages or content social media visitors access during their visits. The above report gives a macro view into how social media delivers or does not deliver value based on outcomes. We can quickly see in the overview report a high level picture of social value.
Digging a little deeper, we want to see how each social channel is measuring up and contributing to conversions. Thus we turn to the Social Sources report. By Social Source we are able to track the conversions by social media source and the conversion value associated with each. These reports will be available under the standard reporting tab.
A couple of Details:
The social reports are based on participants in the Social Data Hub. These reports will be rolled out in the next few weeks, so keep checking back and share your thoughts with us as you gain access to the social ROI insights!
Included reports are:
Overview Report: see your social performance overview
Conversions Report: see your goals and how being impacted by social media
Social Sources: see how visitors behave differently between social souces
Social Plugins: see which content is being used socially
Activity Stream: see offsite social activity in Google Analytics
Today we announced our fifth strategic agreement with Google, enhancing E-Nor’s enterprise service offerings to include Google Analytics Premium. This is exciting news we wanted to share with you.
Google Analytics Premium, a paid analytics offering, contains more processing power, advanced analysis tools, and dedicated support. This new offering is a welcome addition to the already awesome features available in the Google Analytics Standard Edition – awesome just got super awesome!
Both Premium and Standard Editions of Google Analytics will receive many great feature enhancements going forward, with many coming out in the near future. E-Nor can help determine which edition is right for you and how to implement the best option for your organization.
We have supported many of Silicon Valley’s Fortune 500 companies realize tangible business results by leveraging E-Nor’s Digital Marketing Optimization Framework to drive analytics strategic planning, solution integration, advanced analytics implementations, and knowledge transfer. We look forward to working with you!