Fast Five in Search – Week 12, 2014

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This week I’ve been madly studying in preparation to take the Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ) Exam.

I’d heard the degree of difficulty for the exam had been ratcheted up a notch or two since I last took it, PLUS additional questions have been added to cover the new features of Analytics (such as Multi-Channel Funnels and Attribution Modeling), so I wanted to make sure I was extra prepared.

My studies provided handy fodder for this week’s Fast Five. So I present: Five Useful Resources to Help you Pass the Google Analytics Individual Qualification Exam.

Here they are:

1) Digital Analytics Fundamentals by Analytics Academy. This is your first stop on the exam cram journey. This 6 unit course consists of over 20 short videos explaining all the basic features of Google Analytics, including brand new features recently added in the latest version. The course includes a 20 question final assessment with content taken from a random selection of topics included in the videos. I recommend taking this assessment twice – once when you start cramming and again just before you take the GAIQ exam.

2) Google Analytics Resources by Google Analytics. This is the main hub for official Analytics help – including supporting documenation, FAQs, YouTube Videos, developer notes, online courses, blogs and technical manuals. Anything you need clarification on can be found here.

3) Google Analytics Test by Various Contributors. This wonderful site is a free Community Learning Project put together by various marketers, analysts and Google Analytics specialists around the world. It consists of over 300 sample questions about Google Analytics that you can use to test your Analytics knowledge in random samples of 5, 10, 20 or more questions at a time.

I thought I had a very good knowledge benchmark of Analytics until I took my first couple of tests from this site. Ouch. Needless to say, I spent a LOT of time here. Some of the questions are stale as they are based on previous versions of Google Analytics, but you are able to comment on the questions and suggest reviews. I learned more from some of the question comment threads than the questions themselves!

4) How to Pass the Google Analytics IQ Test in Two Days by Jatin Sharma. In this detailed blog post, Jatin shares his tips for passing the GAIQ Exam with a high score in just 2 days. The post includes detail about the test experience and links to resources he used to cram.

and finally…

5) Google Analytics Reference Guide (PDF) by Blast Analytics and Marketing. There are a few Analytics *Cheat Sheets* around, but I like this one because the layout is crystal clear, the topic headings are in logical sequence and it includes a page of RegEx shorthand, meta-characters and wild-cards that don’t make my eyes cross.

Happy cramming!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 10, 2014

fast-five

 

Hi folks. Running late today, so let’s get straight to the good stuff. This week’s Fast Five in Search is all about web analytics. Enjoy…

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) 8 Custom Reports from the Google Analytics Solutions Gallery by Rachelle Maisner in the Google Analytics blog. If you regularly get lost in your Google Analytics, but have a hard time extracting the right data to show the right people, you’ll LOVE this post. The Solutions Gallery is a free and public platform that allows users to share custom reports, segments and dashboards. In this post, Rachelle introduces us to the Gallery and shares 5 of her own custom Google Analytics report templates that you can import into your own Analytics account with one click. Invaluable stuff.

2) Top 10 Social Media Analytics Tools by Devindra Hardawar of Venture Beat. Most people now use tools to analyze the impact of their social media activities. But which ones are the best? In this post, Devindra makes a start on a top 10 list of the best social media analytics tools on the Web and asks for your input to grow the list further.

3) Introduction to Google Tag Manager (video) by Google Analytics. For those of you not using it yet, Google Tag Manager is a free tool that makes it easy for marketers to add and update website tags including conversion tracking, site analytics and remarketing, without needing to edit your website code. This video shows you how to set up an account and manage your tags.

4) Conversion Tracking with Campaign Analytics by Bing Ads. This tutorial explains step-by-step how to set up Bing Ads conversion tracking using their Campaign Analytics tool.

and finally…

5) 10 Web Analytics Trends for 2014 by Mark Ryan of Mashable. Here Mark outlines the major advancements in analytics that were made in 2013 and sets the scene for what we can expect in 2014 in terms of improvements and new features to help us better understand our web audiences.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

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Google Analytics in Real Life (Videos)

These days I’m doing quite a bit of online and in-person training in Google Analytics. The tool has become so sophisticated that people are struggling with the idea of where to start with Analytics and what meaningful metrics to look at on a regular basis.

In my training sessions, I like to mix things up a bit with case studies, whiteboard exercises and videos. It prevents *death by PowerPoint* and stops people from becoming overwhelmed with information in a short space of time.

My favorite 3) videos to show in the Google Analytics workshops are the Google Analytics in Real Life series, developed by Google as a humorous way to understand the frustrations experienced by visitors to your web site and how these would play out in real life. These always trigger laughter around the room, but they are also a fantastic way of bridging the gap between using Analytics to monitor customer activity on a web site and knowing what to tweak to improve the customer experience.

Ready to chuckle?

1) The Online Checkout

This video highlights common problems people have with the online checkout process – from trouble logging in, to being forced to enter ridiculous CAPTCHAs and being charged confusing shipping rates:

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2) Landing Page Optimization

This video demonstrates what can happen if you interrupt the conversion process by placing distractions for visitors on your sales landing pages:

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3) Internal Site Search

This last funny video shows how frustrating it can be for your site visitors when your internal site search functionality is counter-intuitive or just plain broken:

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Enjoy!

 

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Google Launches Analytics App for Android

Attention Android fans, Google has just launched a Google Analytics App for Android-enabled mobile phones.

Google Analytics App for Android  is a mobile app that delivers essential analytics data to you anytime, anywhere, provided you have an Android-enabled phone. In a meeting and need traffic or sales figures quickly? No more having to wait until you can access your desktop PC to see important stats – with the Analytics App, they are all now at your fingertips.

You can see real time statistics, customizable dashboards and intelligence reports directly on your phone with the Google Analytics App. It allows you to access the same accounts and profiles you see when you open Analytics from a desktop browser, but the reports are delivered in an optimized format for your phone.

The following *swipe through* reports are available:

  •     Real-Time: See the number of visitors you currently have and a list of the pages (for websites) or screens (for apps) that are currently popular.
  •     Dashboard: Monitor the KPIs and user metrics you care about the most. By default, you’ll see your Daily Unique Visitors and your Goal Conversion Rate, but you can customize the dashboard to change which reports, metrics, or segments you see.
  •     Automatic and Customized Alerts: Google Analytics detects statistical anomalies in your data and can send you an alert when something unusual happens. See automatic alerts, or customize your settings to send alerts based on your own benchmarks.

The Google Analytics app is available from here and currently has an average user rating of 4 stars, based on over 400 reviews.

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Q and A: How do I prove my SEO work contributed to company sales?

QuestionHello Kalena

I’m a past graduate of Search Engine College (Class of 2009, Woo!) and I’ve been working with a few different companies since then. I’ve recently started to take on private clients so that I can move towards setting up my own freelance SEO business and things are going well.

One of my private clients is an affiliate company that works mainly off lead generation. I’ve been tracking the SEO work I’ve done for them in Google Analytics and produced reports showing a marked increase in traffic from organic search results. They’re happy with that, but the CEO wants me to show a dollar figure of how much SEO has contributed to the company’s bottom line.

I can get the monthly affiliate sales figures from their marketing team and I can set up funnel tracking to see the path taken by organic search referrers towards the shopping cart, but all the purchasing is actually done on a 3rd party shopping cart site and I don’t have access to that information. Also, those figures don’t take into account the brand exposure my work provides for the company by continually getting their name in front of eyeballs. Some of these people may go directly to the shopping cart site later after comparison shopping and buy as a result. How can I track these post-search sales?

Thanks
Louise

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Hi Louise

Tracking the effectiveness of SEO activity for ecommerce and lead generation sites can be tricky. I also have ecommerce sites as clients and I feel your frustration!

Is each customer sent to a *thank you for purchasing* page after purchase? If so, you can add Google conversion tracking code to that page and set up each visit to that page as defining a single conversion, even if that activity happens off the main site. Then you can accurately measure conversions within Google Analytics. Measuring conversions that happen later should also be possible, depending on the way visitors are tracked and cookies stored. Integrating Google Analytics asynchronous tracking code will make that job easier.

Juggling the shifting priorities of various stakeholders aside, most clients just want to see that the money they are channeling into SEO or Pay Per Click efforts is justified. Often, preparing detailed Google Analytics reports and financial spreadsheets can be a waste of time because few staff will look at them. You want to be able to prove, quickly, that your work is cost-effective and making a direct impact on sales.

Ian Lurie of Search Engine Land has written a brilliant article on this very topic this week, called The Challenge of Justifying Enterprise SEO. In the article, Ian tackles the problem of justifying SEO for lead generation sites. He says you just need to know three things to report for such sites:

To make this work, you need three pieces of data:

  • The number of Web leads that become customers.
  • The average lifetime value of a customer (LTV).
  • The referring source, even if it’s a phone call.

Then, Ian says, it’s just a matter of math and a very simple graphic. Read the article for the full story and let me know if it works for you!

Kalena

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