Posts Tagged ‘Web Analytics’

PPC Ad Performance by Page Location

Written by Debra Leitl on November 15, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

PPC Ad Performance by Page LocationPPC ad placement takes on two different forms which include top ad placement and side ad placement.  Top ad placement means that your ad appears on the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Side ad placement refers to where your ad appears on the side of the page of the search engine results.

If you have a top ad versus a side ad there is a difference in the results you get in terms of the number of click throughs you receive.  Typically the ads at the top of the SERP will produce better results than the ads on the side of the page.  For this reason, Google recently implemented report segments which allow you to compare the progress of your ads on the top of the page versus your ads on the side of the page.

Google PPC Call Tracking

Written by Debra Leitl on November 3, 2011. Posted in Search Engine Marketing

Google PPC Call trackingWith the increased use of mobile devices Google PPC Call Tracking is becoming an essential tool for businesses to include in their marketing arsenal.  As a business owner you will find that some of your potential customers may prefer to fill out a lead generation form where others prefer to call if there is a number available to them.  This is especially true for the mobile consumer.

So exactly what is PPC Call Tracking and how does it work?

PPC Call Tracking provides you with a way to reach your offline audience while you track the origin of phone calls you receive to your business number from PPC campaigns.  In the case of Google PPC advertising you can keep track of phone calls through your Google AdWords account the same way as you would with visitors that click on your PPC ad.

How Google PPC Call Tracking Works 

When you run PPC ads using Google AdWords you can discover what marketing channels are generating leads via telephone.  By tracking these leads you are ensuring that you are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to measuring your return on investment.

Excel Add-in: Next Analytics Dashboard

Written by Debra Leitl on November 2, 2011. Posted in Social Media Marketing

Excel Add-In Next analyticsWhen you use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter in addition to your main website and blog, trying to keep track of your progress can be a daunting task to say the least.  If you are an avid user of Excel for analyzing marketing campaigns, keyword research, and other tools you use for your business, now you can automate Excel reports in a suite for Facebook Twitter, and Google Analytics.

Facebook Fan Page Analysis 

Next Analytics allows you to analyze your Facebook visitor demographics to improve campaign effectiveness.  This function allows you to segment your data to view total visits to your fan page, visit by age category, gender, and location.  You simply download this function and open it in Microsoft Excel, enter your Facebook fan page ID and then click on Refresh.

How To: Using UTM Tags for Email Content Tracking

Written by Debra Leitl on October 24, 2011. Posted in Email Marketing

When you are monitoring the progress of your email campaigns it is also possible to track how your readers are interacting with content you provide in the messages.  This is accomplished through the use of UTM tags.  UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and is a tool which is provided by Google which allows you to add additional information to the links you create in email content.

By using Google UTM tags the extra information you add will be tracked in the reports feature under Traffic Sources in Google Analytics.  The information is capable of tracking a single step or multiple steps taken within email content.

How To: Use Heat Maps to Improve Your Site’s Messaging

Written by Debra Leitl on June 3, 2011. Posted in Web Operations

When you analyze the activity on your website you will notice that there are specific parts of each page that perform better than others in terms of visitor response and activity.  Using a heat map can help you to see where the weak points are so you can make the necessary improvements in your site’s performance. If you are unfamiliar with heat maps, here is a quick overview of what they are and how they are used to improve your website. 

Heat Map Definition

A heat map is an illustration that allows you to easily see what your website visitors do when they view the content on your web page. Heat maps originate from market research when pupil tracking devices were used to illustrate a consumer’s eye movements when introduced to a promotion or other type of visual content.

When used for a website the heat map illustrates locations on your web pages that are most frequently viewed by your visitors. 

How a Heat Map is Used

Each website on the Internet works differently depending upon the type of content they offer on their sites.  When you use a heat map it requires extensive experimentation to discover where the successful points on your site are located and the areas that could use improvement.  Instead of tracking eye movement like the original heat maps do, a website heat map is determined by the locations where visitors click on a page. 

Heat maps use a variety of colors to illustrate the successful parts of a web page and will vary according to the content.  For example, if you are using red and yellow the heat map will demonstrate where 80 to 100 percent of the activity is on your page by outlining it in red.  A yellow color may represent where 60 to 70 percent of visitor activity is located. 

The primary portion of your website activity will be shown in the red zones on the heat map.  This provides you with the information you need to decide how to maximize your conversion rates by determining what conversion techniques you should use in the primary zones which are displayed on the heat map. 

Where to Find a Heat Map

There is a feature in Google Analytics called Site Overlay that functions similarly to a heat map.  Site Overlay is located on the dashboard in your Google Analytics account and is not as graphic as a typical website heat map however; it will provide you with enough useful information to help you improve your site conversion rate. 

You can also use an open source heat map generator such as ClickHeat which provides you a heat map package that you upload to your website host server.  Once you upload the package you are walked through a set of instructions and when the process is complete you simply copy and paste the script code into your website code. 

A heat map is a handy tool for increasing your site’s message as well as your conversion rate.  In most cases, it only takes one or two tweaks that are based on the results of a heat map to make a dramatic difference in the performance of your website.

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Ecommerce Testing: Shopping Cart Checkout Button Recommendations

Written by Debra Leitl on May 18, 2011. Posted in Ecommerce Marketing

Part of funneling your traffic through to completing the sale requires a lot of testing, analyzing, and consideration.  The shopping cart is factored into this equation and often determines whether your customers will follow through with the sale or they will abandon their cart when they reach the checkout process.  Although it is important to keep testing and tweaking your sales process there are a few buttons that you can add to the checkout process from the get go that will encourage your customers to follow through with the sale. 

Automatic Sales Tax Calculator 

Sales tax can come as a big surprise when the customer is presented with the grand total and can cause them to abandon the checkout process.  Provide a button where they can see exactly what they will be paying in sales tax ahead of time before they get to the last step of following through with the sale.  The sales tax button automatically calculates sales tax based on geographic location. 

Built-In Shipping Calculator 

The shipping calculator works in the same manner as the sales tax calculator and allows the customer to obtain an estimate of shipping costs to ship an item to their geographical area.  The button usually provides a drop down menu of options or will automatically calculate shipping when you select the type of shipping you want and your geographical area.

Discount Calculator

If you are running a special sales promotion that provides the customer with a discount you can use a button that allows the customer to enter their promotion code and then automatically subtract the discount from the price of the item.  You can also use a button that automatically displays the discount in the shopping cart as the customer is adding items to the cart. 

Checkout without Registration

You may hear conflicting views on providing a button that allows customers to checkout without registration.  However, many customers are afraid of being inundated with spam or they are just not comfortable signing up for an account with your store if it is their first purchase with you.  The checkout without registration button will ease their concerns and prevent them from abandoning their cart and chances are if you offer quality they will return in the future.  You will also have their customer information on record when they purchase so all is not lost. 

Easy Checkout

Provide your customers with the option for easy checkout that can be done in one page.  Sometimes if there are too many steps involved the customer will get impatient especially if the page refreshes too many times.  It is best to play it safe and make the checkout process as seamless as possible.

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Google Analytics: Using UTM Tags to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Written by Debra Leitl on January 28, 2011. Posted in Web Operations

Google URL Builder is a great way to stay on top of your website activity through tracking and analysis of website traffic.  With URL Builder you can make better decisions according to the activity of your traffic for each advertising source including offline advertising.

How Google URL Builder Works

You may be asking yourself what URL Builder is and how it works so let’s define it before we discuss UTM tags.  Google URL Builder provides you with a way to distinguish one link from another and where the traffic came from for that specific link.

For example, if you created a link in the URL Builder tool you can also designate the campaign source, the medium that you used such as email or social media, and the name of the campaign, then generate the link for tracking and analysis.  This also works for offline advertising if you choose to advertise in publications related to the topic of your business, through posters, business cards, or any other type of offline advertising that you set up.

Using UTM Tags

UTM stands for “Urchin Tracking Modules” which help you to track individual marketing campaigns by tagging different values to each campaign.  For example, if you create multiple marketing campaigns how are you going to determine which ones are working and which ones need improvement?  This is where UTM tags come in handy to help you distinguish and analyze the results for each campaign.

By using UTM tags you can measure the results by adding the tags on the end of each campaign link.  This means that you must use a landing page for each URL and implement Google Analytics on each landing page to obtain tracking reports.

Let’s say you are conducting an email campaign. The UTM tags will look something like this when you add them to the landing page URL:

Although this link can look intimidating Google URL Builder will walk you through every step of the process for creating UTM tags and identifying your campaigns.  The link and tags identify the landing page, where your traffic came from, the campaign, and the medium you used such as pay per click advertising, email, or other.  Once you set up the links with UTM tags you can view the results under Traffic Sources in Google Analytics.

Link Sharing with UTM Tags

As an added note on UTM tags, you have to be careful when sharing links that have UTM tags attached.  Most people assume that all of the symbols and words in the tags are part of the link so they will share the entire link with others.  This can lead to incorrect analysis reports in Google Analytics.  The best way around this is to monitor where people are sharing your links and the method they are using for link sharing.  You can also tell your audience to omit the UTM tags when sharing your links with others.

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Google Analytics: Listen to Your Bounce Rate, Take Action

Written by Debra Leitl on January 27, 2011. Posted in Web Operations

A bounce rate refers to the number of visitors that leave your site as soon as they arrive. The key to customer retention on your website is to control the bounce rate by monitoring analytics data for your website on a consistent basis. By analyzing bounce rate data you can keep the percentage of the bounce rate as low as possible and improve customer retention.

High Quality Content

The type of content you offer on your site has a lot to do with the percentage of your bounce rate.  Offering great content that retains your visitors means you must know your market and the reason for their search.  If you offer content that is useful to your visitor they will tend to stick around longer than if you offer inferior quality content.

Internal Links

Internal links that relate to the information your visitor sees on the page will help to reduce your bounce rate.  Internal links help your visitor to find information they are seeking and can lead the visitor to more details related to the topic they are interested in.

Keyword Optimization

Optimize the pages of your website with the keywords that your visitors use to find your site and then make sure the content topic is specific to the keyword or keyword combinations your visitors use in their organic search.

Promote Interaction

Provide a way for your visitors to interact on your blog or website.  If your visitors feel like they are a part of a community they will be more likely to spend more time on the website and return to interact in the future.  You can encourage interaction by creating a comment section, providing links to your blog, inviting them to follow you in social media, or by creating a membership community.

Implement Videos

Placing a video on your website provides visitors with a simulation of face-to-face interaction as soon as they arrive on your page.  Many website owners use a video to introduce themselves to their visitors.  This has a much stronger impact on customer retention and builds the trust factor a lot faster.

These are examples of a few ways that you can lower bounce rate percentage.  Each business and target market is different.  The more you know your target market the better your chances are of keeping the bounce rate on your website at a minimum.  What’s more keep listening to your bounce rate and then act upon events as they occur.

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Google Analytics: KPI’s from Dashboard to Action

Written by Debra Leitl on January 26, 2011. Posted in Web Operations

Google Analytics is a tool that makes tracking the progress of your business a lot easier by accessing website data on a dashboard.  You can view all types of data related to your website traffic however, it is the actionable web data that allows you to make adjustments and changes based on the information you analyze.  So what types of information is considered a key performance indicator and what is actionable web data you can use to optimize your website?

Website Entrance Location

If you have a website with multiple pages Web Analytics will tell you where your visitors are entering your site.  Depending upon how they found your site not all of your visitors will enter through the home page.  This is actionable web data that will that will help you to know where you need to make modifications to get the most out of your website traffic.

Method of Entrance

Web Analytics will provide data on how your visitors are arriving at your site.  The data is broken down into traffic from pay per click ads, organic searches, content marketing, social media, and any other methods you use for driving traffic to your website.  Because the data is itemized you can take action on the source that has the least amount of traffic flow as well as optimize other traffic sources for maximum results.

Visitor Actions

Once your visitors enter your website you can view the dashboard in Web Analytics to see exactly where they are going once they arrive at your site.  This is actionable web data that will help you to fix any leaks in your website.  For example, if you have a funnel system on your landing page that leads your visitors to take a certain action you can see where they are dropping out in the process and then make improvements.  This information helps you to act upon it to optimize the landing page to produce the best results.

Time Spent

The amount of time your visitors spend on your website is actionable web data that will help you give your target market exactly what they are looking for when they arrive at your site.  If a visitor only spends a few seconds on your website then you are not delivering what they are looking for.  On the other hand, if they remain for a few minutes before they leave then your site may be close to what your visitors are looking for however there may be something that is missing or causing your visitors to lose confidence and leave.

These are just a few examples of actionable web data that are key performance indicators for your website.  Being able to see what your visitors are doing and where they are coming from in addition to other behaviors is measurable data that you can use to achieve optimum results for your site.

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Google Analytics: Putting Alerts to Good Use

Written by Debra Leitl on January 25, 2011. Posted in Web Operations

Google Analytics alerts is a useful tool when implemented properly.  If you are a “checking stats junkie” you can put alerts to good use and save time while not missing out on the sudden spike in traffic and other key performance indicators.

So exactly how do you use Google Analytics alerts to save time and stay on top of the latest developments in your business?  First you should determine what your key performance indicators are and some of the goals you want to achieve by using Google Analytics.  That said you can then begin to put the alert system into place.  Let’s cite a few examples:

Spikes and Dips in Traffic

The methods you use to drive traffic to your website are the single most important part of your online business so this would be a key performance indicator you will want to set up Google Analytics alerts.  Setting up the alert system is a fairly simple process and one that you can easily set up within a matter of minutes.

Simply create two new alerts which will notify you when there has been a significant increase in traffic and when there has been a decrease in traffic.  When you create the alerts you simply name the type of alert, customize your benchmarks, and then create the alert.  Once you have created the alert you will be notified via email when there has been a change in the traffic to your website.

Monitoring and Managing

You can set up alerts to monitor a campaign where your targeted traffic goes to a specific landing page.  Once visitors arrive on the page your job isn’t finished because you will want to know what is working and what isn’t.

For example, you can create an alert that reviews traffic and alerts you when there is a sudden increase in the bounce rate.  You can configure the alert to a certain percentage so when that number is reached you will receive an alert.  If you receive the alert it will tell you that there is activity occurring with your landing page that is causing an increase in the bounce rate.

Weekly Goals

Let’s say you have set a weekly revenue goal.  You can set up the alert and designate the goal you have set for each week.  When that threshold is reached you will receive an alert that you have reached your weekly revenue goal.

If you have designed a campaign and set goals for the number of new visitors you want to receive on a daily basis you can set up an alert that will notify you when you have reached your daily goal.  You could also set up an alert if there is a decrease in visits so you can act on it promptly.

The main idea is to think about the alerts that will help you the most and then set them up accordingly.  You can also use alerts for more than just your campaigns such as monitoring keyword traffic and importing custom alerts from other profiles you may have so you can take advantage of conversion opportunities.

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