Posts Tagged ‘google analytics’
Monday, December 23rd, 2013
Google Analytics is rolling out a new feature. It’s called Content Grouping.
I like this. You simple take a collection of URLs and group them into a content grouping category so that you can view aggregated metrics and analyze them. In other words, you won’t be able to see website traffic and other stats on each page, but you will be able to see the important metrics on the entire group. If you’re wondering how that will help you, visualize this.
You have several hundred blog posts that address a specific topic from a variety of angles. Most of those blog posts are buried way down in the search rankings and aren’t getting much traffic. But you still blog about that topic.
By being able to follow the metrics for the entire content group, you can see how your readers engage with that content across all of those URLs. If your content group is getting good reach and engagement overall, then you can start sharing some of those old, buried blog posts to get them some renewed interest. If you find that the content grouping isn’t that popular, then stop blogging on that topic.
This should give you a much more realistic view about the value of a particular topic as opposed to simply following keyword data.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
I’m not suggesting you should give up on Google Analytics, especially now that they are in the process of rolling out Universal Analytics, but if you do decide to look around for other analytics services, here are five free alternatives to Google Analytics you might consider.
- Clicky – Clicky is one of the more popular Google Analytics alternatives. The free version provides basic features like content, search, and referral tracking. For the best features you’ll have to upgrade.
- Mixpanel – Mixpanel offers analytics for events management. Instead of just gauging traffic visits, Mixpanel gives you a picture of what people actually do on your website.
- Piwik – Piwik is a robust alternative to Google Analytics that you install on your own servers and you can track unlimited websites. They also offer a WordPress plug-in for tracking your WordPress website metrics.
- Inspectlet - You get 100 session recordings for free and a visitor-oriented analytics package/
- Open Web Analytics – Another open source analytics package that you upload to your server. You can track mouse movements, conversion statistics, and see heatmaps. Plus, it supports WordPress.
More and more webmasters are moving away from Google Analytics even as Google improves its analytics performance. If you’re one of them, try one of these alternatives – or try them all and let us know which one you like the most.
Friday, July 5th, 2013
You’ve likely heard of A/B and multivariate testing. There is another way to test your web pages now, courtesy of Google Analytics. But in case you aren’t familiar with the two recognized ways to test pages, I’ll give you a brief explanation.
- A/B testing – A/B testing is a way to test two different versions of the same web page. The two pages can be completely different or they could be nearly the same with a single element that is different. A/B testing works well when you change a single element on the page and test that element against an alternative.
- Multivariate testing – Multivariate testing allows you to test multiple variables on the same web page. For instance, you want to test the headline, the placement of an image, and the layout of your content section. You can create your web page with two versions of each of these elements and test them to see which version of each element results in more positive results.
- Content Experiments – Content Experiments is a new feature within Google Analytics that allows you test up to five full versions of the same web page. It’s a good alternative to multivariate testing. Suppose you want to test five different versions of your headline. You can do that with Content Experiments. No need to run five separate A/B tests. Then you can pit five versions of your layout against each other. See which one leads to more positive results.
Web page testing is a very important part of the website development process. Now you can do it with 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.