the fat guide to google analytics
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

the fat guide to google analytics

on

  • 1,257 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,257
Views on SlideShare
1,257
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
5
Downloads
50
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

the fat guide to google analytics the fat guide to google analytics Presentation Transcript

  • The Fat-Free Guide to Google Analytics Using Google Analytics for Business Analytics By Ian Lurie Portent Interactive Conversation Marketing
  • Legal, Notes and Other Stuff© 2010, The Written Word, Inc. d/b/a Portent Interactive and Ian Lurie. This work islicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works3.0 United States License.Click here to read the license.That’s a fancy way of saying: Ian scrapes out a living writing and selling books like these.Please, buy a copy.If you like this book, you might want to check out Ian’s blog atwww.ConversationMarketing.com, and his company, at www.portent.com.If you want to talk to Ian, you can reach him at ian@portent.com or on Twitter at@portentintFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 2
  • Table of ContentsThe  Cure  For  Analytics  Phobia ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6  A  Business  Analytics  System ............................................................................................................................................................................. 7   A  Business  Analytics  System:  B2B.................................................................................................................................................................................. 8   A  Business  Analytics  System:  Charities........................................................................................................................................................................ 9   A  Business  Analytics  System:  News ............................................................................................................................................................................... 9  1.   How  to:  Install  Google  Analytics.............................................................................................................................................................10   Resources:  Google  Analytics  Install.............................................................................................................................................................................15  2.   Setting  up  and  tracking  goals..................................................................................................................................................................16   Figuring  out  your  goal  and  goal  page..........................................................................................................................................................................17   Example:  A  membership  site .........................................................................................................................................................................................19   Setting  up  a  page-­based  goal  in  Google  Analytics...................................................................................................................................................21   Setting  up  a  non-­page-­based  goal  in  Google  Analytics..........................................................................................................................................25   Lots  of  goals .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................28  3.   Calculating  &  Applying  Value..................................................................................................................................................................29   Customer  value:  E-­commerce........................................................................................................................................................................................32   Customer  value:  Lead  generation ................................................................................................................................................................................32   Customer  value:  Publishing ...........................................................................................................................................................................................33   Customer  value:  Anything  else......................................................................................................................................................................................35   Lead  conversion  rate........................................................................................................................................................................................................36   Click  conversion  rate........................................................................................................................................................................................................38  From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 3
  • Click  value:  An  e-­commerce  site ...................................................................................................................................................................................40   Click  value:  A  business-­to-­business  site ....................................................................................................................................................................41   Fudging  it..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................42   Sample  data .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................44   Resources:  Value  Calculation ........................................................................................................................................................................................45  4.   Measuring  and  Building  Growth ............................................................................................................................................................46   Tracking  content  performance:  A  quick  trick..........................................................................................................................................................48   Tracking  traffic  sources ..................................................................................................................................................................................................49   Tracking  traffic  sources:  Referring  sites ...................................................................................................................................................................52   Referring  sites:  An  example ...........................................................................................................................................................................................53   Tracking  traffic  sources:  Keywords ............................................................................................................................................................................56   Improving  growth  using  traffic  sources:  Examples ...............................................................................................................................................64   Tracking  content  performance .....................................................................................................................................................................................65   Tracking  content  performance:  Context  matters ...................................................................................................................................................69   Finding  high-­performing  content ................................................................................................................................................................................70   Other  ways  to  find  ‘good’  content.................................................................................................................................................................................73   Improving  growth  by  finding  ‘good’  content:  E-­commerce .................................................................................................................................74   Finding  and  improving  poor-­performing  content..................................................................................................................................................75   Final  points  about  growth ..............................................................................................................................................................................................82  5.   What’s  next....................................................................................................................................................................................................83   Additional  resources ........................................................................................................................................................................................................85   About  Ian  Lurie  &  Portent  Interactive........................................................................................................................................................................86  Other  stuff  by  Ian  Lurie.....................................................................................................................................................................................87   Contacting  Ian  Lurie .........................................................................................................................................................................................................87  From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 4
  • Google  Analytics  Scares  the  Snot  Out  of  You  You’re not alone.It’s a great program. But withdozens of metrics and dozensmore possible ways to view them,there are literally thousands ofpossible reports, data pointsand other goodies in youranalytics report.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 5
  • The Cure For Analytics PhobiaGoogle Analytics is overwhelming becausepeople often let the reports drive theirresearch & strategy. So they clickaround, trying to take in every last digit.The cure? Have a goals-focusedmethod for using Google Analytics.That will help you pick and choosewhich reports to use and when,and keep you from getting lost in the data.You need a business analytics system.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 6
  • A Business Analytics SystemYou need to perform business analytics.You can do that by focusing on what really matters to your business: Things thatgenerate value and improve growth.Value comes from whatever generates bottom-line dollars or results for yourorganization. Value = the value of one click that brings a visitor to your site. It’sthe King (Queen) of all analytics. Without it, nothing else matters.Growth is all about reach and audience access. Growth is what you get when youcan bring more visitors and introduce them to the pipeline. The pipeline onlyimproves if your visitors want what you’re offering and find it when they arriveon your site. Growth is all about visit source and quality: Where visitors comefrom, how long they stay on your site, how many pages they look at, and howengaged they really are.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 7
  • That value-growth duo is what drives your business, whether you know it or not.If you use it when you look at Google Analytics, it’ll keep you focused on yourbusiness, instead of the reports.As you read this e-book, you’re going to create an at-a-glance system that’ll letyou do this efficiently day-to-day. Web analytics can work that way, if you use itright.This system will work whether you’re in an e-commerce business or not. Here aresome examples: A Business Analytics System: B2BIf you’re a purely business-to-business, lead-driven company, then your valuecomes from leads.Your growth opportunities come from expanded company reach (more peoplefinding you online), and from more, higher-quality visitors to your site.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 8
  • A Business Analytics System: CharitiesIf you’re a charity and/or a non-profit, your value comes from funding andgrants, as well as subscribers and supporters you recruit online.Your growth opportunities come from reach, much like B2B. But in this case,you’re attracting potential donors. A Business Analytics System: NewsIf you’re a news site or other publication, your value comes from pageviews youcan turn into advertising sales.Growth results from additional readers who find their way to your site. Yourbusiness improves when those potential readers look at more pages per visit andspend more time on your site. It also improves when readers subscribe to yoursite’s RSS feed or newsletter, or pass stories along to friends.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 9
  • 1. How to: Install Google Analytics It’s easy! If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your site yet, this is where you start. Otherwise, skip ahead to Calculating & Applying Value.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 10
  • First step: If you don’t have a Google Account, get one. 1. Go to www.google.com/accounts 2. Click ‘Create an account now’: 3. Fill out the form. All done.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 11
  • Next: Set up your Google Analytics account. 1. Go to www.google.com/analytics. 2. Click ‘Sign up Now’. 3. Log in using your Google Accounts password (you set that up on page 11). 4. Click ‘Sign Up’, and you’re ready to set up your first site.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 12
  • Once you click ‘sign up’ you’ll see the form below:You can track multiple sites in a single Google Analytics account. This form setsup your first one.For Website’s URL, enter the exact address of your site. That means, if yoursite is at www.gibblegibbet.com, include the ‘www’. If your site address doesn’tinclude ‘www’, use gibblegibbet.com. Account Name will automatically reflectthe site address. If you’re going to manage multiple sites, you might want toFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 13
  • change this to something you’ll recognize. Select your time zone and country, andclick ‘Continue’.Finally, grab the code that Google Analytics provides and paste it into your website per their instructions. In about 24 hours, you’ll start seeing data. Woo hoo!You’re off and running.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 14
  • Resources: Google Analytics InstallA few resources you can use to help you install Google Analytics:I did a video tutorial:http://bit.ly/dh8zPsAnd, of course, Google’s own tutorial ain’t bad:http://bit.ly/9yTERyFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 15
  • 2. Setting up and tracking goals Every business web site has one or more goals: An action they’d like every visitor to take. That action might be a purchase, or a vote, or a simple, “Hmmm, that’s interesting”. Before you can start applying value and measuring growth, you have to set up Google Analytics to measure those goals.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 16
  • Once you’ve got your Google Analytics account and code set up, setting up andtracking goals is straightforward. You just need to know your business goals andgoal page for each one. Figuring out your goal and goal pageA goal page is whatever page a visitor lands on after they’ve taken a desiredaction.  If you sell online, your goal is a sale and the goal page is the ‘thank you for your order’ page at the end of the checkout process.  If you’re building an e-mail list, your goal is a signup and the goal page is the subscription confirmation.  If you’re generating leads, your goal is a lead and the goal page is whatever shows up after a visitor clicks ‘submit’ on the sales request form.  If you run a publication, it gets a little trickier. A ‘goal’ may mean a visitor reads more than 5 pages during their last visit. Luckily, Google Analytics accounts for this. More in a moment.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 17
  • Most businesses have multiple goals: An e-commerce company obviously wantsto build sales. But it also probably has a ‘special offers’ e-mail list. Building thatlist is a goal in itself. Great customer support may be another goal, measured bythe number of people who indicate they are satisfied with the help they got.You should be able to come up with 2-3 goals without much effort. Write down allof the goals, first. These should be business goals, not necessarily specific pageson your web site.Once you have those, find the goal page that best tracks the business goal andwrite that down, too.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 18
  • Example: A membership siteI run a membership, subscription-based training site called the Fat Free Guide toInternet Marketing. My goal: Get subscriptions! When someone decides to signup for the Fat Free Guide, they start on this page:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 19
  • That’s not my goal page, though. The goal page is the ‘success’ page – it appears ifsomeone fills out the form on the ‘join’ page and then makes their first payment:The address of my goal page is fatfreeguide.com/success/ - you can see thatin the screen capture above. I’ve got my goal and goal page. Now it’s time to setthem up in Google Analytics.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 20
  • Setting up a page-based goal in Google AnalyticsOnce you have the goal page’s address (also called a URL, if you want to get geekyabout it) the rest is easy: 1. Log into Google Analytics. 2. Find the web site profile to which you want to add the goal. 3. Click Edit: 4. Under Goals, click Add Goal. Don’t let the form that appears scare you. 5. Enter a name you’ll remember for the goal name. 6. Set Active Goal to ‘on’.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 21
  • 7. Leave the Goal Position as-is for now. Goal position is strictly for organization – you can move stuff around later if you need to. 8. Leave the goal type set to ‘URL destination’. That’s the goal page address we just figured out in Figuring out your goal and goal page. 9. Under Goal Details, set the Match Type to Head Match. 10. For the Goal URL, type in everything but your web site address. If your site is mysite.com, and your goal page is mysite.com/asf.html, then your goal URL is /asf.html. In my case, the goal page address is a folder, so I typed in /success/. 11. Enter the value of a single goal accomplished for the Goal Value. If you don’t know it yet, don’t worry – we’re going to get very specific about it in the next chapter. Just save the goal and move on.Once you’re done, you should have something that looks like the image on thenext page:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 22
  • From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 23
  • Click Save Goal. All done! Within about 24 hours, you’ll start seeing goal data. Google Analytics also has e-commerce tracking, which will record the value of each purchase, as well as the individual products purchased. I’m not going to go into that here. If you want to learn how to set it up, you can read Google’s documentation. It also has funnel tracking, which lets you track each step in a multi-step process like a shopping cart’s checkout. Again, don’t worry about this yet. It’ll be in a future e-book.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 24
  • Setting up a non-page-based goal in Google AnalyticsIf you’re a publisher, your biggest ‘goal’ may be to generate pageviews. You selladvertising based on those pageviews. In that case, every page on your site is atheoretical goal page. Your real goal is to make sure visitors stay on the site formore than n pageviews.Google thought of that. Remember the ‘goal type’ field in goal setup? Change thatto ‘pages/visit’:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 25
  • Now you get a whole different goal setup form:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 26
  • Enter the number of pages you per visit you’d like to see. Click Save Goal andyou’re all set.You can also track time on site. That’s useful if you’re running, say, a podcast, ora chat room, or some other service where attendance is more important thanpageviews.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 27
  • Lots of goalsThere’s no end to the types of goals you can track. Anything you can measure as apage view can become a goal and have a value attached to it. To start, keep itsimple. Remember: Avoid overload.But later on, add as many goals as you want. You can have 4 sets of 5 goals each –that’s 20 different things you can measure in a single web site profile. Goodmarketing is all about testing. Take advantage of goal tracking to make testingeasy.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 28
  • 3. Calculating & Applying Value Last chapter, you learned to set up goals. That’s great, but a goal, when accomplished, delivers value. Value is real cash generated, not ‘attention’ or ‘eyeballs’. If you can’t calculate value, goals data is one more distracting bar chart.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 29
  • Goal measurement as defined by Google Analytics gives a deceptive picture ofvalue. Say you run an e-commerce site and you know a customer will place anaverage of 3 more orders after their first purchase. The value of whatevergenerated that first purchase – and Adwords ad, or your SEO campaign, orwhatever else – is significantly higher than the purchase price.So, the trick is figuring out just what the value of that goal really is. Then youhave to convert that to a value per click.I can practically hear you flinching right now. Don’t panic! It’s just basic math: value/click = customer value * lead conversion rate * click conversion rateHere’s what all that stuff means:Value/Click is just that: The dollar value of a single click to your web site. Inthis context, a ‘click’ means ‘a visit’ - a person clicking an ad, or a search listing,or a link in an e-mail, or some other link on the internet, and landing on yourFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 30
  • site. You spend money to get those clicks. You should know what they’re worth toyou.Note that I’m talking about ‘visits’, not ‘unique visitors’. We need to know whatthose clicks are ultimately worth, whether 10 clicks are generated by 10 differentpeople or by one person. So we’re not using unique visitors to figure out value.Customer value is the lifetime value of a single customer. If you don’t alreadyknow this and are running a marketing campaign, now is a good time to figure itout. You can’t conduct a smart internet marketing campaign (or run a business!)without knowing this number. If you don’t know it, here’s a formula to get arough number you can work with: customer value = value generated / trafficFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 31
  • Customer value: E-commerceIf you’re an e-commerce business, take total sales over the last 12 months anddivide by total unique visitors. So a site that got 10,000 unique visitors over ayear, and sold $10,000 worth of goods, has: $10,000 total sales / 10,000 unique visitors = $1/customer Why did I pick 1 year? Why not 6 months, or 6 years? 1 year should cover any seasonal fluctuations, while minimizing ‘noise’ from major changes to your business. When you collect this data, though, you must use common sense: Use sales and traffic data that will provide a clear picture of your current business. Customer value: Lead generationIf your business is focused on lead generation, then you use your site togenerate leads, and turn those leads into customers after that. Replace uniquevisitors with your actual, total customer count for the time period in question.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 32
  • So, if you had a total of 1,000 customers over a year (including old customers youkept), and generated $10,000 in sales, your customer value is: $10,000 total sales / 1,000 customers = $10/customer Customer value: PublishingIf your business is built around selling advertising (if you’re a publication, forexample), it gets a little trickier. In your case, one customer is actually one visit.You need to convert each customer to a unit of advertising. Assuming you sell adsusing a pageview model, use this formula: cost per pageview for ads * pageviews per visit = visit (customer) valueSelling ads based on pageviews means you’re selling on a CPM (cost per thousandpageviews) basis. Your cost per pageview is your CPM price divided by 1000. IfFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 33
  • you are selling ads at $45 CPM, then your cost per pageview is $45/1000, or$.045.You can find pageviews per visit - the average number of pages a visitor looks atin a single visit to your site - in your analytics software.And, as a publication, your ‘customer’ is actually a reader. So we need to know theaverage value of a reader when they come to your site.So, if I have an online newspaper that generates 10 pageviews per visit, and I’mselling ads for $45 CPM, my average customer value is: $.045 * 10 pageviews/visit = $.45/visitFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 34
  • Customer value: Anything elseIf your business model isn’t built around sales, leads or advertising, you’ll need todo a bit of figuring to find the right customer value. Here are some hints:If you’re a non-profit or a political campaign, dollar value is represented bydonations. “Customer” value is built around the donations made by individualsduring their relationship with your organization.If you’re simply driving foot traffic to a restaurant, a movie theater or some otherbrick-and-mortar business, dollar value is represented by each person that walksin your door. There’s no easy way to tell which customer found you online andwhich didn’t. So figure out the average value of any customer who walks in yourdoor by dividing total sales by total transactions. If you’ve got a trickier one, please e-mail it to me at ian@portent.com. I’ll write a blog post about it and get you an answer. Plus you’ll help all the other folks who undoubtedly have the same question.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 35
  • Now you know your customer value. That was the hard part. On to the twoconversion rate numbers. Lead conversion rateYou only need lead conversion rate if you have multiple stages in yourconversion process. For example, if visitors to your site complete a requestinformation form, that converts them from visitors to prospects. You still need toknow how many of those prospects will become leads.A prospect is someone who’s just gotten in touch with you for the first time. Youdon’t know if they’re serious potential customers, filled out the form thinking itwas something else, or want to get a brochure but have no intention of buying.A prospect only becomes a lead if, upon following up, you find out they really areinterested. They want a proposal, or more information about your product, orhave other questions. That site visitor has progressed from being just anothervisitor to a real potential sale. They’re now a lead.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 36
  • Lead conversion rate is the number of leads divided by the number ofprospects: leads / prospects = lead conversion rateIf I receive 50 information requests from my web site, and 5 of those requestspick up the phone when I call them and start a larger conversation with me aboutmy services or product, then my lead conversion rate is: 5 leads / 50 prospects = 10% lead conversion rateIf you are an e-commerce site, then your lead conversion rate is always 1. Ifsomeone makes a purchase, they’ve jumped from visitor to sale in one step. Thereis no intermediate step. The same goes for publications that sell advertising bythe pageview.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 37
  • Click conversion rateClick conversion rate is the number of site visitors who take the next step, orconvert from visitors to prospects or customers: conversions / total visits = click conversion rateIf your site generates leads, then the click conversion rate is the number of peoplewho complete that information request form or call you directly from the website. If my site gets 10000 visits per year, and 100 of those visitors complete myinformation request form, then my click conversion rate is 1%: 100 conversions / 10,000 total visits = 1% Not sure which phone calls come from your internet marketing campaign? Use a separate phone number on your web site. That way you can track phone calls generated by the site.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 38
  • If your site is an e-commerce site, your click conversion rate is total number oforders divided by visits. So an online store with 10,000 visits and 100 orders hasa click conversion rate of 1%: 100 conversions / 10,000 total visits = 1%If your site is a publication and your only goal is to acquire readers, then everyvisit converts, so your click conversion rate is 1. If you need subscribers, thencalculate that, instead. If your site is based on some other conversion, use the same formula, and substitute your own conversion: A donation, a whitepaper download, or something else.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 39
  • Click value: An e-commerce siteTime to put it all together. Here’s an example using an e-commerce site:  Site gets 10,000 visitors per month.  100 of those visitors convert, for a click conversion rate of 1%, or .01  It’s an e-commerce site, so the lead conversion rate is 100%, or 1.The average customer buys $20 worth of stuff per month, so: Customer value = $20/month value/click = .01 * 1 * $20 value/click = $.20So, if this e-commerce site is yours, you can afford to spend some fraction of $.20to get one visitor to your site. If you spend more than $.20, you’d better have agood reason, because you’re losing money.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 40
  • Click value: A business-to-business siteAnother example, this time using a business-to-business lead generation site:  Site gets 5,000 visitors per month.  25 of those visitors become leads, by filling out a ‘request more information’ form. That’s a click conversion rate of .5%, or .005.  Of those 25 leads, 5 become clients, for a lead conversion rate of 20% or .2.The average customer spends $12,000/year, or $1,000 per month: Customer value = $1000/month value/click = 1000* .2 * .005 value/click = $1So, if this is your company, you can afford to spend some fraction of $1 to get onevisitor to your site. If you spend more than $1, you’d better have a good reason,because you’re losing money.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 41
  • Fudging itCalculating value is critical to your campaign.Analytics won’t give you much useful data if oh, sure.you can’t figure this out. mock the fudge.However, there’s a chicken-and-egg problem.If you don’t have analytics properly set up,chances are you don’t know your click orlead conversion rate.But if you don’t know your click or leadconversion rate, you can’t calculate value,so you can’t set up analytics, which meansyou can’t figure out your click or lead conversion rate...Yikes.Don’t panic - there’s a solution. It’s called ‘fudging it’.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 42
  • You can get an approximate click value by tapping resources you’ve already got: 1. Ask your salespeople: How many leads or folks who enter the store buy? An estimate is fine, and you can use that to get your click or lead conversion rate. 2. What’s the average value of an offline customer? You can use that as a starting point for average online customer value. 3. Gut instinct may work. If you’ve been running your own business for 10 years, you can probably pull a decent estimate of conversion rate and customer value out of your experience.It’s not as critical to have a perfect click value number as it is to start with someclick value number.The moment you start getting data, you can adjust your assumptions.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 43
  • Sample dataFor the purposes of the rest of this book, assume that the average value of a singleclick to Conversation Marketing (my blog, and the main example I’ll use) is $.50.My blog earns money through advertising, by generating new business forPortent Interactive (my company) and by helping to sell ebooks and such. I won’tattach specific numbers to those, but keep those three basic goals in mind as Imove through the examples in the rest of this book.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 44
  • Resources: Value CalculationA few resources you can use to help calculate the value of a click:A nice Google Spreadsheet that you can copy and then use:http://bit.ly/clickworthAnd, an oldie but a goodie - my old ‘What’s a click worth’ tool:http://www.conversationmarketing.com/clickworth.htmlFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 45
  • 4. Measuring and Building Growth Time to apply all that cool stuff you just learned. In this section, you’ll match value to specific sources, and tie them together with goal measurement.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 46
  • Phew. Value was a tough section. From here on, it gets easier: You know thatvalue is important. You’re tracking the goals that measure value. Now you have toknow how to track the data that will help you determine value.But what to track? There are thousands of possible metrics.Dang it, Ian, I thought you said you’d simplify things for me!!!!I will. You need to track the things that drive or limit growth. Just track:  Traffic sources  Best-performing content on your site  Worst-performing content on your siteThat’s it. Don’t overcomplicate it. You will, however, need to analyze it.This section will take you through digging up the right data, and then help youextract useful, actionable information from it.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 47
  • Tracking content performance: A quick trickIn Calculating & Applying Value, we figured out how much one visitor’s worth.Throughout this section, I’ll be talking about pageviews. So you need a way to tievisitor value to pageview value.You can figure out the value of a pageview by dividing the value/visit bypageviews/visit to get value/pageview.So, if Conversation Marketing visitors average 1.49 pageviews per visit, and areworth $.50 per visit: $.5/1.49 = $.33 per pageviewFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 48
  • Tracking traffic sourcesTraffic sources are known as referrers. They’re external sites that send visitorsto your site. In Google Analytics, you can find them under ‘Traffic Sources’:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 49
  • Traffic sources are broken into several categories, but the ones I watch the mostare:  Referring Sites, which tells me non-search sites that are driving traffic to me; and  Keywords, which tells me what search phrases folks use to find me via search engines.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 50
  • The other referring sources are useful, but you can explore them on your own. Ifyou’re suffering from analytics overload, stick to referring sites and keywords andyou’ll have plenty to work with.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 51
  • Tracking traffic sources: Referring sitesThe Referring Sites report tells you the top web sites that are driving traffic toyou. By default, it’ll show you:  Total visits from each referring site;  Pageviews/visit for visitors from those sites. That’s an important measure of visit quality;  Average time spent on your site by visitors from those sites. That’s another great quality metric;  The number of new visitors from each site; and  The bounce rate for those visitors.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 52
  • Referring sites: An exampleThe report below is from the Google Analytics report for Conversation Marketing.I get a lot of traffic from StumbleUpon: 6,589 visits in about 20 days. Pages/visitare slightly below my site average of 1.49, and below the average for otherreferring sites (1.47). Average time on site is only 53 seconds, far below the siteaverage of 1:13. But I also get a lot of new visitors: 93% of all StumbleUponvisitors are new. That’s good – StumbleUpon is spreading the word.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 53
  • Bounce rate is low (which is good). A bounce is any visitor who comes to mysite, looks at the page on which they landed, and then leaves without clicking toany other site page. Bounces are, in most cases, a bad thing.My site average bounce rate is 75%. The bounce rate from StumbleUpon, though,is only 65%. That’s a nice improvement. So, StumbleUpon is bringing me a lot ofnew visitors, and a lot of those new visitors stick around to read other posts andarticles. I like StumbleUpon, and it likes me!From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 54
  • There is no ‘good’ bounce rate, time on site or anything else. There are no absolute values for all web sites. If you want a ‘good’ bounce rate, find a way to reduce your current bounce rate. Now it’s ‘good’, compared to the old bounce rate.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 55
  • Tracking traffic sources: KeywordsThis is my favorite report. A lot of folks obsess about search engine rankings, butreally, who cares if I rank #1 for ‘hobbits’, if I get zero useful traffic from it?I want to see the actual keywords and phrases that are sending me visitors. Forexample, who could’ve predicted that I’d get traffic from people searching on‘monster trucks’ and, in fact, ‘hobbits’?The keywords report is your best indicator of what people are looking for whenthey find you, and what they expect to see when they arrive on your site. Thisreport makes it pretty clear that a lot of folks come looking for me when they havequestions about social media.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 56
  • They also tend to stop by when they want help with Google Analytics.If I apply the same analysis as I did to referring sites, it’s pretty easy to see that:  ‘Social media manager’ is a solid phrase, with high time on site, high pageviews/visit and a low bounce rate.  ‘Google analytics tutorial’ is a good one, too, plus it’s a more ‘niche’ phrase. It’s easier to market to folks looking for ‘google analytics tutorial’ because it’s nice and specific.Maybe I should write an ebook about Google Analytics. Hmmmm...From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 57
  • ‘Hobbits’ on the other hand, is just awful. Whatever folks were expecting whenthey searched for ‘hobbits’, they sure didn’t find it on my site. They spent anaverage of 3 seconds on my site, and 76% of them ‘bounced’.But I’m curious. What page ranks for ‘hobbits’? This is where Google Analyticsreally starts to shine. I’ll click the drop-down next to ‘Keyword’ and select anotherdimension for my table:For the second dimension, I’ll pick ‘Landing Page’:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 58
  • Well, look at that. I actually wrote a post in 2008 that had ‘hobbits’ in the title.That’s where folks are ending up when they find my site under a search for‘hobbits’.Doesn’t matter where I’m ranking, in this case, since the traffic is so low-quality ithas no purpose.But, it gave me a chance to show you how you can cut across your data usingmultiple dimensions. How cool is that?From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 59
  • You’ve got a lot of other options by using that second dimension:You can split out your keyword traffic by search engine if you pick Source; lookat which cities or other locations are driving search traffic on a specific phrase; orcompare paid versus organic search traffic by selecting Medium.Take a little time to click around. If you start to feel overwhelmed, though,remember: The basic report is all you need to get started. Don’t think youhave to review all of these dimensions whenever you open Google Analytics.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 60
  • By the way, when you use the keywords report, you can show only paid or non-paid traffic by selecting the relevant option:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 61
  • And, you can look at change in traffic over time for a specific keyword by clickingthat keyword. That’s helpful if you’re trying to decide on a change in strategyaround one phrase.For example, this graph shows declining traffic for ‘google analytics tutorial’.Maybe writing an e-book isn’t such a great idea.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 62
  • Oh, and I just snuck in another Google Analytics feature. I changed the daterange for my report, and changed the graph points to months instead of days:From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 63
  • Improving growth using traffic sources: ExamplesIf you know which keywords and sites are generating the best quality visitors toyour site, you can improve growth by:  Spending money on pay-per-click advertising for specific keywords;  Carrying out a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign focused on those keywords;  Buying advertising on sites that generate quality visitors;  Reducing investment in ads/sites/keywords that send a lot of traffic, but generate little value;  Finding additional sites similar to existing, good traffic sources and getting placement on them, too.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 64
  • Tracking content performanceEnough with traffic sources. Time to look at content performance.You use traffic sources to see which messages perform best when folks arelooking for you on other web sites. Use content performance to find the best-performing messages on your own site.I’m going to keep picking on the hobbits article. Given its awful performance withsearch-driven traffic, I wonder if I should just delete that page from my site. noooooo...From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 65
  • I need to figure out if this article is as poor a performer as it seems to be, or if it’sonly performing poorly when folks find it via a search for the word ‘hobbits’. Todo that:I go to Content > Top Content:But that shows me a whole bunch of pages, none of which are my hobbits article.To fix that, I’ll use the Filter Page feature in Google Analytics. You’ll want toFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 66
  • make sure you remember this one: All I do is type in ‘hobbits’, since that’s oneword in the page URL. Then I click ‘Go’...From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 67
  • ...and voila! There’s the page I was looking for.Looking at it more carefully, I don’t think it deserves deletion. Across allreferrers, it performs OK. Not great, but OK: About 1 minute average time onpage, and it actually has a better bounce rate than the site average. So I’ll leave itin place. If I didn’t find the article using ‘Filter Page’, I could have switched to the ‘Content by title’ report and filtered there, instead.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 68
  • Tracking content performance: Context mattersThe hobbits article example is a very important lesson. Never, ever forget aboutcontext. People clearly didn’t like the article when they found it based on asearch for the word ‘hobbits’. But can you blame them? They probably wantedpictures of Frodo Baggins. Instead, they got an article about internet marketing.If I had based my decision on that one context, I would have deleted an articlethat performs pretty well. That would’ve been bad, since the article actuallyperforms OK. you can say that again!From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 69
  • Finding high-performing contentNow, I’m going to look for the best-performing content on my site. ‘Bestperforming’ can mean a lot of things: 1. If you’re running an e-commerce site, it usually means $ index. That’s the value of a pageview on that page; 2. If you’re running a blog, then it may just mean average time on page, or subscriptions from that page, or something else; 3. If you’re running a business, it may mean leads generated from that page.You get the idea. I’m a blogger, so for me ‘good’ means ‘gets attention, acquiresfans, keeps my readers informed and entertained’. I’m not psychic, but I can lookat page views, average time on page, bounce rate and exit rate to see which pagesperform best.To start, go back to the unfiltered ‘top content’ list.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 70
  • Now, take a look at my top 9 pages by pageview. First thing I look at is the busiestpage: That’s an article called 22 Things You Don’t Know About Your Customers.It’s a great performer - more pageviews than my home page; higher-than-averagetime on page; lower-than-average bounce rate.It does have a higher-than-average exit rate, but if folks read the whole articleand leave, I’m happy with that. If they liked what they read, they’ll be back.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 71
  • I know what you’re thinking: So what? What can I do with this information? Lots.  I can write more articles like the 22 Things piece.  I can take each of the 22 things in that article and do a separate post about each one.  I could even promote that article a little bit: Contact other bloggers and tell them I’ve seen a lot of interest around this one post, or send an email to my clients about it.  Or, I can take a totally different approach, expand the article into a longer whitepaper or ebook, and then offer it to other sites as a link-building exercise.Most important, we’re going to eventually check how we can use good content toget more high-value clicks and improve value.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 72
  • Other ways to find ‘good’ contentThere are other ways to track ‘good’ content:  Check which pages generate the most Adsense revenue, if you’re using Adsense;  Look at which pages generate goal conversions, if you’re tracking goals (more about that later);  If you want to really get fancy, you can use a tool like ClickTale or CrazyEgg to track exactly how folks move around on each page, and then take that and use it to figure out which pages are keeping attention where it belongs.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 73
  • Improving growth by finding ‘good’ content: E-commerceThis ‘good content’ strategy really shines in e-commerce. If you’re running anonline store, you can:  Find the product pages that perform best and improve the call to action on those pages, or compare them to other pages and improve those.  Track the non-product content that performs best, and link directly to related products from those pages.  Use content performance data to determine which styles/colors/products have the best potential.  Feature best-performing product pages on the home page, to further boost their sales.  Combine high-performing products into sets.And so on.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 74
  • Finding and improving poor-performing contentNow it’s time to find the under-performing pages. Content may perform poorlyfor a lot of reasons, including:  No one can find it;  Something’s wrong with the page, so it doesn’t display properly or doesn’t display at all;  It contains outdated or incorrect information;  It’s just not what your audience wants.Or, of course, it may perform poorly in one context but not in another. Welearned that in Tracking content performance: Context matters.Finding underperforming content is a lot harder than finding the good stuff.  You can’t just look for pages with the least pageviews. A page that gets 2 pageviews but lands you $10,000 in sales could be a great performer.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 75
  •  Pages with high bounce rates but a low number of pageviews may look bad because of one visitor who viewed and immediately left the page.  A page with a low $ index may be contributing to overall visitor interest, and sending people to another page, where they immediately buy.Go back to the top content report. Then sort by bounce rate, for starters.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 76
  • Unfortunately, it’s not very helpful. I don’t care if I have a high bounce rate onpages that get 1 pageview per month. I’d love to get more views to those pages,but that’s a very difficult way to try and generate more value.You’ll have to do a bit of digging to make sure you’ve got the right information.Luckily, that gives me a chance to show you another cool feature in GoogleAnalytics: The advanced filter.Here’s how you use an advanced filter. 1. At the bottom of the page, click Advanced Filter. 2. Select Metric >> Pageviews and set it to ‘greater than or equal to’. I then use the average pageviews/page, which I get by dividing total pageviews for the month by the number of pages: 63,692/1052 = 60. Not scientific, but it works. 3. Click Add new condition.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 77
  • 4. Select Metric >> Pageviews and set this one to ‘average time on page’. Set that to the average time on page as noted by Google Analytics in the Top Content report. Note that Google’s advanced filter requires that you enter the time in seconds, so you have to convert the minutes:seconds notation to seconds. Annoying, but doable. 5. Click Apply Filter. Sort that report by bounce rate and you can see pages that get decent traffic and a fair amount of attention but still cause most visitors to ‘bounce’.Sort the resulting report by bounce rate and you’ll have a great list of pages that:  Get a fair number of pageviews per month;From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 78
  •  And solid average time on the page;  But are still causing visitors to bounce - they’re leaving your site without taking any other action.This is a huge opportunity. If you can improve those pages by:  Updating the content;  Adding a clear call to action that invites readers to do more;  Doing some conversion rate optimization on them.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 79
  • …you can instantly add value. The report on the previous page showed myStreaming Video article is a big opportunity: Lots of traffic, but a very highbounce rate.I’ve got plenty of options here. Readers spend six minutes on that page. I havetheir attention.If I want a quick win, I can try inserting an ad for one of my books on the page. Icould also add an invitation to contact me for a free initial consult. Or, I can setFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 80
  • up a uStream package for my company, and invite folks to buy it right from thepost.Instant benefits. As long as whatever I try to do costs less than the value/click onmy site, I’m playing it very safe. Since all of the above options cost only time, thispage is a great opportunity for me to build value.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 81
  • Final points about growthAlways remember that the value of a pageview expands the deeper you can drawsomeone into your site, because every visitor’s click makes that visitor more likelyto stick around and view another page after that.The changes I make may seem tiny - if I take a page that gets 1000 pageviews buthas a 95% bounce rate, and reduce the bounce rate to 60%, that means I’ll get atleast 300 more visitors clicking their way deeper into my site.At $.33/pageview, that’s about $99. Whoopee.But it adds up because each click increases the chance of the next. And, of course,if I can make changes across 10 pages that have the same effect, I just added$990. If I can make a change to an entire 100-page section that has the sameeffect, I just added $9900. Get it?From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 82
  • 5. What’s nextFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 83
  • This little book gives you the tools to start productively using Google Analytics.But Google’s reporting tool has a lot more power than I’ve shown you. You can:  Track unique events within any page or application;  Track form ‘bail out’ and optimize forms;  Segment your audience by demographics or behavior;  Generate automated alerts;  Optimize your shopping cart checkout process;  Access data via an API for your own custom tools.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 84
  • Additional resourcesIf you want to learn more, have a look at a few sites:ConversationMarketing.com – That’s me. I also have a Vimeo channel where Iput video tutorials on Google Analytics.SEOMoz.org – A great resource for learning SEO and SEO-specific analyticstechniques.Avinash Kaushik’s blog, Occam’s Razor – Avinash the the ‘it’ guy in analytics.Read his blog to learn not just about Google Analytics, but analytics in general.Justin Cotroni’s Analytics Talk – Packed with Google Analytics tips and tricks.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 85
  • About Ian Lurie & Portent InteractiveIan Lurie is an internet marketer and president of Portent Interactive. He startedthe company in 1995. Portent Interactive is a full-service internet marketingagency in Seattle, WA. Portent helps companies optimize:  Web site e-commerce and lead generation conversion rates;  Search engine rankings;  Paid search and overall online ad spend.Portent’s clients include Advertising Age Magazine, AutoWeek, Princess andLucky Brand Jeans.From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 86
  • Other stuff by Ian LurieThe Fat-Free Guide to SEO CopywritingThe Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for DummiesConversation MarketingThe Fat Free Guide to Internet Marketing (subscription-based)From Google Analytics to Business Analytics 87
  • Contacting Ian Lurie E-mail: ian@portent.com Twitter: @portentint Blog: www.ConversationMarketing.comFrom Google Analytics to Business Analytics 88