Most frequent mistakes in Web Analytics : Don't trust your Analytics
DON’T TRUST YOUR ANALYTICSEven though … it’s your Best Friend
Who am I?• Since 2000 : freelance webmaster, researcher, teacher…• 2006 – 2009: Google Search Quality and Google Analytics teams (Dublin, Ireland)• Since 2009: SEO in France. Founder of the SEO Agency Woptimo• 2011 : Co-founder of Search Quality Alliance
Agenda1. Data gathering and accuracy2. Keywords3. Beyond your website
Zero Bounce Rate !! Bounce rate below 10% is almost impossible The blogger had the GA code 2 times in the source …
DATA GATHERING ANDACCURACY1. Data collection2. Visits, PageViews, Unique Visitors : what’s the best choice?3. Returning visitors4. Too much traffic?5. GWT and GA6. Negative Analytics & Stupidity
What tool do you use? Is your tool server-side or client-side?Number of hits ≠ Number of visits Each tool has its own definition of visits, PageViews, Bounce rate…
Accuracy Is your tool accurate?Check your data with several sources Actual sale vs Analytics Number of PageViews vs ads impression Adwords data vs Analytics dataOr just use 2 Web Analytics tools
What metric to chose?It depends on what you want to achieve !
What do you want to do ?Check notoriety and engagement Unique Visitors and Returning Visitors Impress your boss / ads PageViews (or even go for server publisher hits!) Daily check Number of visits segmented per source of traffic
Ghost visitors … Have you ever noticed- Visits from an Adwords campaign you stopped ages ago ?- Huge number of visits for a very long tail keywords?
Master your source attributionIf a visitor comes to your site from a defined source oftraffic (Google organic, Google Adwords, referring sites…)Next times he’ll visit entering urls or via bookmarks Itwon’t count as direct traffic but GA will use the originalsource !A keywords entered one time in Google can lead tohundreds of visits by the same browser ! To avoid this, segment only New Visitors from Organic
Visit’s durationA new visit is counted every time you leave the site for 30 minutesor more and come back to itLet’s say you have a Flash game site that do not need to refreshbetween 2 games…Every time a user visits another page ater playing games (to savehis score for example), a new visit will be recorded.Your organic landing pages can be a page that is not even indexed !! (Link)
Negative Analytics and Stupidity Evil Black-Hat technique Evil competitors can use your tracking code on other websites, or just send http request with our GA code … Stupid webmasters can also make a copy-paste mistakes…
Work-aroundCheck hostname in your reportCreate a filter including only your hostname
Too much traffic? If you have more than 10K visits a day, your GA will get really slower and advanced segments won’t be accurate. Do not rely on number of visits for big websites’ segments. Only check big pictures
Work around Create several profiles using include filters Check you data on a smallest time range
Webmaster ToolsOn GA don’t confuse Webmaster Toolsreport and GA reports !
RECHECK YOURKEYWORDS• Broad , Exact, Phrase?• Adwords vs SEO• Adwords reports• Ranking• Keywords and « not provided »• Universal Search
Keywords Search Volume Use broad for very specific keywords Use phrase for expression and compare with exact it gives you an idea of the long tail potential of this expression Use Exact for most keywords but keep in mind that 0 does not mean this keyword is totally useless.
Adwords and SEO If you don’t properly tag your campaign or link Adwords to GA : your Adwords keywords will show up in organic search ! Check your current data and your past data Check if you have several Adwords accounts. You can now link several Adwords to 1 GA account.
Adwords Keywords ≠ Matched Search Query may be one of the most efficient report for Adwords. Check keywords actually searched, and not just the keyword you targeted
Keywords ranking Ranking in which city? Universal ranking or web ranking? Who’s ranking before you? Is there any Adwords?
Keywords ranking Good tips on what happens in Google SERP but should not be your SEO main objective. However, ….
Not provided : a threat for good SEO Up to 50% SEO visits impacted It’s a Google Search policy, not a GA : all tools are impacted Only way to work around is checking landing pages and … check the ranking
Universal Search in GA Everything is merged into one keyword report. Whether you come from Images, Maps, News, Shopping … Filters can be used for news.gg / shopping.gg No filters possible for integrated universal search (except for images) Universal search merged in Webmaster Tools too…
BEYOND YOUR WEBSITE1. Referral2. Number of backlinks3. PageRank4. Alexa and alii
Referral on GA You don’t have parameters of the referral url ! Can be very annoying Work around with a filter « exact referral »
PageRank Toolbar PageRank is not the actual PageRank No frequent update Not inline with ranking or link quality
Number of backlinks Number of backlinks is quite useless Number of domain is a little more clever Quick change can be due to tools update rather than actual changes Try to measure backlinks quality rather than focusing on quantity
Beware of Alexa and tools like that Some interesting data for big websites, but don’t rely on it too much if you have less than 500K visits a month Don’t install Alexa toolbar on your computer !!!
If we still have more timeOther common mistakes• GA code only on some pages• No tracking in your e-mail• Your office IP not excluded• Your GA code twice• Goal configuration • « useless » Goals • Goals counted twice