WebiMax is dedicated to bettering the online presence of our clients with best practice onsite and offsite marketing. However, our marketing efforts are only as valuable as the data and tracking information we use to mark the progress of our campaigns. Most online companies do use a form of data tracking; in fact, more than 17 million websites have Google Analytic accounts. But, my questions are:
1. Are business owners taking full advantage of their Google Analytics account?
2. Do they understand how to turn data into marketing success?
Below is a collection of five Google Analytics enhancements and capabilities to help business owners gain more insight into their overall online performance.
Real-time Visitor Information
Real-Time provides the capability of viewing how many people are currently visiting your website. Reports are generated constantly and each page view is updated just seconds after it occurs on your site. For example, you can see:
• # of people live on the site
• Geographic locations
• Where the traffic sources were referred
• Onsite page views
With Real-Time, you can immediately and continuously monitor the impact that new campaigns and site changes have on your traffic. Here are a few of the ways you might use Real-Time:
• Monitoring whether new and changed content on your site is being viewed
• See whether a one-day promotion is driving traffic to your site, and see which pages these visitors are viewing
• Monitor the immediate impact on traffic from a blog/social network post or tweet
• Immediately verify that the tracking code is working on your site
Insight Analytics (Heat Mapping)
Insight analytics allows for investigation of how users are interacting with your website. You can learn how they navigate your website and this can help with conversions. The overlay displays:
• Percentage of on page traffic that clicked to another page
• Per page metrics
• Browser size on link click-through rates
Insight Analytics can be used for:
• Exploration of visitor flow
• Impact of user technology level on click-through rate
• Effectiveness of location sensitive elements, such as ads or social media buttons
The five Multi-Channel Funnel report provides you with the channels your customers interacted with during the 30 day period that lead up to their purchase. These reports provide essential metrics such as:
• Assisted conversions shows when different channels impacted a conversion
• Time to conversion
• Path length shows you the number of interactions before a conversion
• Top conversion paths illustrate customer pathways
Why use Multi-Channel Funnels?
• View all of your digital marketing channels in one place
• Helps you understand the value of your marketing efforts
• See a complete picture of the steps your customers take before purchasing or converting
• Improve your marketing based on channel performance
• Make the right digital marketing budgeting decisions
Enhanced Visitor Flow Optimizations
Visitor flow allows you to probe the total user paths throughout your website, and you can use several different dimensions as the source point. Visitor flow can:
• Evaluate per page actions
• Advanced segments show data beyond simple user flow
• Highlight traffic paths through pages
Visitor flow can be used to:
• Analyze keyword- to-user path success or failure
• Impact of social media on user flow
• Mobile user flow
Social Media Tracking
Through social media tracking you can monitor the success of your current social media strategies. This will help you mold your future strategies by analyzing your inbound visitors and seeing if that traffic is converting.
• Tracks general search metrics and dimensions for social sources
• Shows individual visitor flow from each network through the site
• Provides performance of social buttons on page
Social media tracking can help gauge:
• Success of social media campaigns
• Effectiveness of social media contests that drive to specific pages
• Effectiveness of social media button placement
A/B Split Testing
A/B testing eliminates the need for guess work in your marketing decisions. Through testing, you can definitively point out what works better.
• A/B testing provides variant pages to users for the same URL and collects data for each
• Based on data collected, decisions can be made to move or change elements based on success
• Effectiveness of social media button placement
A/B testing allows for data-driven testing of:
• Placement of location sensitive elements, such as ads
• Effect of aesthetic choices on user time on page, bounce rate, and conversion
• Below and above the fold placement of elements
Website management can be an incredibly tricky business for any webmaster or site owner. Although creating a site from scratch can be difficult enough, it’s getting web traffic and conversion rates that ultimately becomes the greatest challenge for so many of us in the industry. Startup company and small business owners in particular tend to lack the tools and knowledge necessary to turn a failing website into something which a person can be proud of. The whole dilemma can be a bit disheartening to those company owners who just want to be able to get their businesses up and running instead of having to fiddle with page attributes and social media campaigns.
Fortunately, proper SEO behaviors are becoming increasingly accessible to anyone with at least some limited eCommerce or web design experience. These days many SEO services are within the reach of SMB owners, but it’s always important to start one’s site maintenance with a fair dose of monitoring and self-evaluation. SEO consultants often extol the benefits of due diligence when it comes to website management. With the right tools, a watchful eye can truly make all the difference.
The Tools for the Task at Hand
Keeping up with a website’s traffic and overall SERP ranking is made all the easier when using top quality analytic software. Although there are numerous companies out there today that offer tools for site performance monitoring, it’s the Google Analytics toolset that is the most widely recommended. Since this set of tools is built directly into the company’s network, many novice webmasters rely on them when first starting out. Readers can find the official website for Google Analytics here.
Are your Pages Being Indexed?
A common issue for many websites comes from being improperly indexed. Many inexperienced site owners don’t realize that sometimes errors occur and search engines may miss (or actively ignore) portions of their website. If a page is seeing almost nonexistent traffic, then chances are that it may not be showing up on SERPs. When in doubt, conduct a search for your page. This can be done by going to Google and searching for the name of your site as: site:www.sitename.com
If you find that certain important pages are missing from the results, then it’s time to readdress the reasons possible for that. More often than not, black hat SEO tactics and generally poor content tend to be the leading causes behind not being indexed. Webmasters can resolve this situation by rebuilding pages with the qualities that search engines such as Google want: original content, outbound links and the distribution of relevant keywords.
Of course, there are many other reasons for de-indexes or imprecise search engine results. By registering for Google Analytics, webmasters can take a bit of control into their own hands and correct any issues that may have developed. For additional information about indexing practices, I can be contacted at email@example.com.
Social media should be a part of any successful Internet marketing campaign, but measuring the impact of your efforts previously required additional tools or creating advanced segments in Google Analytics. Now, social media traffic is much more accessible to the more casual GA user.
In March, Google announced their new Social Media conversion tracking tool within Google Analytics that did not seem to get much attention. The past few months have been interesting for the SEO community with a barrage of Google updates, blog network take downs and a record 700,000 Webmaster Tool notifications.
Much like the other forms of traffic data, social media traffic data in Google Analytics contains important information about sources, such as Twitter and Facebook, engagement, goal influence and user behavior.
There is even social plugin (Facebook Like, Google +1, Twitter Retweet, etc.) engagement data (a great resource if you’re testing optimal share locations). As link-building continues transforming into relationship building, monitoring social traffic sources may become as common in your SEO campaign as keyword research.
This addition to Google Analytics as well as the recent algorithm changes reinforces our stance that traffic and conversions, not rank, should be the measure of a successful campaign.
Announced today, Google will be adding “Google Webmaster Tools” data directly to their Analytics platform. This is a big deal for SEO companies as a new section titled “Traffic Sources” and “Search Engine Optimization” with sub-sections displaying data of summary, queries, and landing pages.
With this, people will be able to see how many impressions and clicks through, in addition to comparing impressions and clicks to conversions directly from the search results.
The company is fully devoted to continuing to enhance their analytics platform. During April, the company updated their platform to let users view real-time data.
This information was also reported today on the official Google Analytics Blog.
The newest addition to Google’s Analytics platform is the ability to track page load speed. This is HUGE! Improving site load speed is absolutely vital to websites (not to mention search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns).
No one wants to visit a site that takes extreme time to load. We see this often with amateur sites or sites that have an extravagant flash player at start-up. Those sorts of attributes can turn someone off real fast. Who wants to wait to see how long it takes for your site to load?
Special thanks to Google who maintains the position that they want to only provide good, quality content, at fast speeds. In the official Google Analytics blog, they state “At Google, we are passionate about speed and making the web faster”.
In order to apply the change, you need to inset the following in to your code: