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We're pretty big on measurement on this blog, and we use analytics to identify key topics, improve our content, and prove our effectiveness.
To this end, we're big users of Google Analytics, supplemented by paid tools from Moz and others.
We use a bunch of custom reports, segments and dashboards for measurement but I've only recently come across the Google URL builder, thanks to our Head of Social Matt Owen.
So, for the uninitiated, here's a quick run through of how to use it, and a few suggested applications...
All digital marketing activity is measurable. Right?
It’s nice to think that’s the case and there are a lot of people who believe it, but unfortunately it’s simply not true.
The reasons for this are numerous, not least that companies are struggling to keep up with the constantly shifting digital landscape.
In the past digital analytics mainly focused on desktop activity, but now businesses have to employ a broader range of analytics products to measure activity across relatively new channels such as mobile and social.
The new Econsultancy/Lynchpin Measurement and Analytics Report examines the extent to which different analytics tool are used by surveying more than 1,000 digital professionals.
Launched during the Google Analytics’ partner summit, Google has taken a fairly huge step in customer understanding by releasing ‘Enhanced Ecommerce’ functionality across the platform.
This latest update is a major change to specifically understand customer behaviour and the effectiveness of merchandising efforts, away from attempting to understand products within GA using transactional data alone and covers a number of new opportunities.
The changes include a series of funnel based reports, widening of the use of the Product ID dimension and Google Tag Manager support for the new functionality, all available through any standard GA account (Universal Analytics only).
Once established, analytics data quality tends to be taken for granted. The site is tagged, the filters applied and the data is flowing in.
Battling the metrics then begins and the mind wanders off from auditing the data, but nothing can ruin your new staggering insight quicker than that dawning realisation that the data is flawed.
So many elements can affect the data flow. Sites change, pages are renamed, structures altered, processes amended, tags change, offices can change physical locations.
All can cause issues with implementations that may even have not been configured correctly in the first place.
The customisable features in Google Analytics are great for extracting maximum value from your data.
Here I've gathered together a selection of custom reports, dashboards and advanced segments to help you measure SEO efforts more effectively.
Some you'll need to create yourself, following the instructions, while the rest you can just click and download and save lots of time and effort.
Just click the download links when logged into you Google Analytics account to add them to your profile...
69% of marketers claim that they focus on conversion rates and performance metrics when coping with their loss of Google keyword data.
This comes from the 2014 Industry Survey published by Moz.
By moving towards making all searches secure, Google has taken away most of the organic search-term data from its Analytics tool, thereby leaving the rather cryptic ‘(not provided)’ as the top keyword in the search terms driving traffic to your site.
The phrase of the day is 'Big Data', everyone talks about how it can boost your business and make you a successful organization.
But how can big data help a small business? Can you still use it to drive decisions and optimize your business?
The answer is: yes you can! In this post I will provide a few tips that can help SMBs to get up and running with data analytics.
Because it can’t all be sunshine, lollipops, rainbows and Google Hummingbirds.
We at Econsultancy consider ourselves as promoters of best practice. ‘Achieve Digital Excellence’ reads our brand new strapline in the big red dot up there, and with this modus operandi we carry a great responsibility.
The responsibility of wading through the darkest digital waters (confusing and potentially dangerous metaphor alert) and remaining constantly poised to spear the very best of the internet. We do so in order to bring you the most considered insight, through research, practice, good old fashioned investigation and occasionally asking Twitter for help.
Of course for every tasty salmon we catch, we also have a net-full of bottom feeding suction eels too. We don’t really know what to do with them and they’re piling up around the floor of the boat.
So let us unburden our unpleasant haul upon you, with this round-up of the worst things to happen to the internet in 2013:
Custom reports are perhaps the most useful feature in Google Analytics, as they enable you to find the data and presentation that best suits your business goals.
I'm no big Google Analytics expert, instead I've picked it up and figured things out as I've gone along, mainly with the aim of understanding our users' behaviour and improving this blog.
I explain more of my approach to measuring and optimising this blog here, but I wanted to provide a beginner's guide to creating custom reports.
If this is too basic for you, or I've made any glaring errors, please forgive me (and put me right in the comments), but I hope this will be useful for you.
So here's how to create a basic custom report from scratch...
Since it's free, and ubiquitous, small businesses are likely to be relying on Google Analytics for online measurement.
Indeed, our Online Measurement and Strategy Report 2013 found that 56% of businesses rely exclusively on Google for data analytics, while others use GA in conjunction with paid analytics services.
Even if you're no data expert, you can still find some valuable insight from the basic reports in GA, which can be very useful for your business.
Also, ready-made custom reports and dashboards can save you a lot of time.
As the UK is celebrating its first Small Business Saturday on 7th December 2013, I've rounded up some useful examples which should be helpful for SMEs.
(By the way, if you don't have Google Analytics, read this post by Google's Daniel Waisberg on setting up and using Google Analytics).
The value in web analytics comes not from the tool but from using the data it provides.
Web analytics can be an amazing driver of business performance when it's supplying insights that are used to inform business actions. For this, you need more than the technology, you need the people and the processes as well.
Let’s narrow our focus though to just the web analytics tool, whether a (technically) free solution such as Google Analytics or the paid solutions such as Adobe Analytics, Webtrends, etc.
So many companies say they are doing web analytics because they have a tool installed. Simply adding the basic page tag to your website is not enough to give you useful insights.
There's plenty of good stuff I've had to leave out, but the posts I've included below will bring you some new best practice, insightful opinion, and some coverage of October's biggest events in marketing, ecommerce, big brand land and GAFA World (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple).
I hope you'll enjoy the best from our myriad of authors.