Posts Tagged ‘google analytics’
Friday, December 28th, 2012
For the longest time Google Analytics was the only free open source analytics program. At the very least, it was the best of breed so to use any other was virtual suicide. Many online marketers opted to use a paid analytics program so they could keep their information private and away from Google’s eyes, or they had other reasons. But there is a new alternative to Google Analytics that is free and open source and is picking up speed.
It’s called Piwik.
Piwik has some pretty awesome features that should make any online marketer jump at the chance to demo the software. Features include:
- Full ownership of your data
- Ability to generate e-mail reports in HTML and PDF formats
- Unlimited users, unlimited websites
- Custom login panel
- Delete old data you don’t use
- URL and IP blocking
- First party and third party cookies available
- Export your data in a variety of formats, including Excel, PHP, Json, and XML
- Compatible with a variety of servers, including Windows, Apache, Linux, IIS, MacOS, Solaris, and more
Piwik is so flexible you can install it on your own server or host it on Piwik’s servers. They also have a Developer Zone and a community forum, so you can get technical help when you need it.
Am I saying Piwik is the solution you need? No. I am saying it’s a useful alternative to Google Analytics, if you are in the market for one.
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012
Google is always making new changes to improve its way of operating, and I don’t just mean to its search product. However, two of the changes I’ll mention do affect search. Without further ado, I’ll jump right into the changes.
- Webmaster Tools-Google Analytics integration – This one is hardly new. Google has been working on it for about a year now, but they’ve recently completed the changeover. Webmaster Tools is being faded out and moved into Google Analytics. This is more significant than it sounds. If you are one of the many webmasters who use Webmaster Tools but not Google Analytics, you’ll now have to sign up for a Google Analytics account or you won’t be able to manage your web properties through Webmaster Tools.
- Google Local and Google+ integration – Google is consolidating. They want everyone using Google+. Google Local is the latest push to get as many people as possible to sign up for a Google+ account. It’s actually not a bad idea.
- Stars removed from Google Local reviews - This is an interesting one because it means that your Google Local listing will likely receive fewer reviews, but that may not be a bad thing. You’ll just have to focus on improving your content and claiming authorship, which you should have been doing anyway.
I’m a little bit anxious to see what other changes Google will be making this year. It appears that they are serious about integrating all of their services. What do you think? Are these positive changes?
Saturday, February 12th, 2011
There have been several significant improvements made to Google’s Webmaster Tools over this past week. One feature that has been added is the ability to link your Google Analytics data to your Webmaster Tools account. This enables a webmaster to view analytics for their sites without having to switch between Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.
It may only be a convenience issue, but for those business owners who manage their own sites, time is always an issue – hopefully this will make life a little easier. What may be of more interest to users of Webmaster Tools is the increased data available on search queries used to find their pages.
In the past, Webmaster Tools only displayed results for the top 100 queries. The data was also fairly restricted showing only average search positions, the number of impressions, and the number of click-throughs. You can now see all search queries related to your pages, although you are still restricted to viewing 100 queries at any one time.
What webmasters may find interesting is the statistical appearance of their search queries in mobile searches. You may be surprised to find how often your pages do appear in search results, and how those listings are clicked on. Is your web site optimized for mobile? If not, you may find click-throughs increasing and that traffic from mobile searches interact a little more often.
Analytics are an important tool for all webmasters. By regularly checking your search positions, the number of times your pages appear in search results, and the click-through rate, you can gain a fair indication as to whether or not your online marketing is having any effect on organic search results.
Thursday, December 10th, 2009
The folks at Google Analytics are always trying to improve, and they usually find a way to do it. This time they’ve come up with a nifty little tool called Annotations. It’s simple, really.
Annotations allows any user with access to a Google Analytics profile to leave shared or private notes right on the over-time graph.
Why? Why would you want to do that?
Well, let’s say Bob in marketing decided to build a new landing page. He did and after publishing the landing page there was a slight drop in traffic to a previous landing page that had been doing well. If he was able to Annotate the exact date he created the landing page and the time it was published then you could see if there might be a possible connection between the publication of your new landing page and the loss in traffic to your other page. If the new page was published at 11:59 a.m. on December 26, 2008 and your traffic for the previous landing page begin to drop at 11:03 a.m. on the same day then you can determine that the publication of the landing page was not the reason for your traffic drop.
Annotations gives you the ability to make notes on key events in your marketing execution. Anyone who can access your Google Analytics account can make an annotation and that helps the whole team. Not a bad idea.
Sunday, December 6th, 2009
It looks like Google may start putting more emphasis on page load times. Already, Google likes sites that load faster and if your site loads faster than your competition’s you will probably rank higher. In the future, if you have huge lag times in your page load time then you may get penalized or perhaps, if it is serious enough, even de-listed.
Why do I say this? Google Analytics has recently announced a new tracking code called asynchronous tracking.
Interestingly, asynchronous tracking is based on page load times. The code itself is supposed to make your pages load faster. Which is a welcome relief for many webmasters because most of us already know that too much code, or too much of the wrong code, can slow down your page load time. If Google Analytics is building new code to make your site load faster, I think that’s a sign.
What about you? Do you think page load time is about to become more important at Google?
Sunday, October 25th, 2009
Google Analytics is one of the Web’s easiest and most important tools for webmasters. You can have your account set up, literally, within minutes and be tracking your website statistics within a day. Just go to the Google Analytics website at http://www.google.com/analytics/ and click the link labeled “Sign Up Now”. You’ll find it under the blue button labeled “Access Analytics”.
Once you’ve signed up for your account you should get an e-mail with an activation link in it. Click the activation link. You won’t be able to access your account at Google Analytics until you do.
Once inside Google Analytics, click the button labeled “Get Started” and follow the directions to setting up your website for tracking. You can have more than one website, but I recommend starting with just one. At the end of the set up process you’ll be given some code that includes your website’s unique tracking identification number. Add the code to each page of your website in the footer, just before the end body tag. Remember, each page of your site must have the code or you won’t be able to track statistics for that page.
That’s it. Once you have the code in place you’ll be able to track website statistics through Google Analytics. It will take about 24 hours before you see any stats as they will appear for the previous day.
Friday, May 22nd, 2009
Do you know what your goals are? Have you let Google know? You should.
Google Analytics allows you to establish goals for your website and will even measure your goals for you so you can determine how successful you are. If you need actionable data, you can get it by measuring your goals and using the information to make necessary changes regarding how you track and measure data and how you act on the data you track and measure.
Your sales funnel is an integral part of that process. By knowing how your traffic flow should result in a sale, you can place the proper metrics where they need to be in order to tell you where in the process you are not meeting your goals. Then you can take that information and make the necessary tweaks and changes to improve the sales process. But it all begins with tracking. Google Analytics is a great tool. You can learn more about setting goals through Google Analytics here.
Saturday, April 18th, 2009
There are a ton of analytics packages out there. Many of them are premium paid packages and they are very good. I wouldn’t down talk them at all. But there are just as many free ones. The one I’d recommend (if you’re going to go free) is Google Analytics. Even if you are considering one of the paid analytics packages, Google Analytics can stand on its own against most of them.
While there are some specific data that Google Analytics doesn’t track. For instance, it won’t tell you which specific link people are clicking on to go from page A to page B. But it will allow you to see which pages people navigate from and to within your website. For most small business, that’s enough.
But Google Analytics has other cool features too, including:
- Site Overlay – a cool feature so you can see what percentage of visitors click all of your links
- Benchmarking – You can see how you stack up against the general competition in your field
- Browser Percentages – You can see what percentage of your visitors use Firefox, IE, or any other browser
- Traffic Sources – You can view where your traffic is coming from
- Custom Reports – Create your own reports based on data that is important to you
- Set Goals – Meaure your success against your own goals
- Top Content – See which content is getting viewed the most
Google Analytics has plenty more great features as well. If you are a small business owner you can do well with Google Analytics. You don’t need fancy software that costs a lot of money. If you do then you know you do. If you’re not sure, Google Analytics is probably enough.
Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
So many small businesses pay a service to create their website, and they think they can place a big check list beside that to-do item and never think about it again. So wrong. Everything online is a process, and thank goodness it is. You can always update your site, add content, tweak your profile and improve your Google rank.
The good news is that there are some great online tracking tools that can help you improve your site, draw viewers, and know which of your webpages draws them in–and which ones are tanking. Knowing your bounce rate can make all the difference.
What’s a bounce rate?
It’s not how fast you can jump on a trampoline–it’s when someone visits your site and literally bounces in–and bounces out. They don’t go any further. They’re a one page wonder. Usually that means they either thought your site was about something else, or you didn’t hold their interest.
When measuring your bounce rate on Google Analytics, be sure to check several things:
Your Page Visits
Time on Site
Each tells you something different. For example, if a new visitor comes to your site, stays less than 30 seconds to a minute and leaves, you’ve got a bit of a problem. It may be in your title, your keywords, or with the graphics of your site, lack of content…in other words, you failed to hook your viewer. Consider making some changes.
If a new visitor comes to your site and stays more than a minute, you can consider this somewhat of a success. Even if they didn’t click to other pages, you held their interest. Perhaps they’ll revisit later. I call this “circling the camp.” Oftentimes, a visitor is itchy–they’re not ready to commit, they want to know what else is out there, but they did circle the perimiter–they know who you are and where you are. Success.
How to improve your bounce rate?
Make sure you page is navigable. Can they find where to click through easily? Are you links underlined and a contrasting color? Is your site too jumbled? Has it been a while since you added new content?
Try improving just one of these areas and watch your bounce rate for improvement.
Be sure to check out your content report and analyze every page of your website. Chances are, you’ve got a wink link. Find out where you’re losing your viewers, and you just figured out where to start implementing a few changes.