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:

Analytics-online-checkout-video-sml

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:

Analytics-landing-page-video-sml

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:

Analytics-in-site-search-video-sml

Enjoy!

 

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Twitter Wins the US Election By a Landslide

Despite the final vote tally, Twitter was the clear winner of the 2012 US Presidential election.

No matter what your political bias, the Twitter feed for the past 24 hours has captured the highest and lowest points, the heckling, the gags, the tantrums and the vote count. Once again, Twitter was the place to be to get the most up to date vote tally as State by State fell to each of the candidates. With news agencies reporting inconsistent or biased results, confused voters turned to Twitter to get faster updates via the hashtags #Election2012, #USElection and #USAElection.

According to Twitter staff, election conversation saw Twitter reach a peak of 327,452 Tweets per minute this evening, with not a single Fail Whale in sight – something Twitter staff were extremely proud of.  The company has clearly improved on their server load contingency plan since the last election.

And just as well too, because newly re-elected President Obama (@BarackObama) chose Twitter as the medium for his first acknowledgements of victory:

President Obama claims victory on Twitter

More than half a million people retweeted President Obama’s victorious “Four More Years” photo tweet.

Four More Years for Obama

However, not everyone was happy with the election outcome. Outspoken Republican Donald Trump (@realdonaldtrump) surprised everyone with his vitriolic, bizarre and seemingly unpatriotic stream of tweets immediately following Obama’s victory:

Trump Tantrum

Possibly the most amusing point about this epic tantrum was Trump’s incorrect assumption that Romney had won the popular vote and that the world was laughing at America because of a miscarriage of democracy caused by the electoral college system.

The tweets highlighted with the green pepper were actually deleted from Trump’s feed within an hour of them being posted, suggesting that Trump’s minders may have stepped in to prevent him from further embarrassment.

Trump’s tantrum prompted a wave of hilarious responses from the Twitterverse, some of which are highlighted in the images below.

Trumps Tantrum Trumps All
But for those of us who stayed on Twitter during President Obama’s victory speech, the hilarity continued. About halfway during his speech, someone on Twitter pointed out that the woman in the crowd directly over the President’s left shoulder had decided to stick her US flag into her hair and was waving it about with great enthusiasm.

hairflag FTW

The gesture generated an instant Twitter meme, similar to the one NASA employee @tweetsoutloud prompted when his space-influenced mohawk was spotted on camera during the recent Mars Rover landing.

Within a minute or two, the hashtag #hairflag was born, with witty tweets temporarily hijacking responses to the President’s moving and heartfelt speech.

Hairflag wins best meme

I couldn’t resist a #hairflag tweet of my own! By the time President Obama walked offstage, the #hairflag meme was in full swing, with inspirational posters, Facebook pages and parody Twitter accounts.

So Election Day closes with 31 million tweets posted and Twitter a clear winner, once again. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

 

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Google Delights Trekkies with Interactive Star Trek Doodle

Star Trek anniversary Google doodleAs soon as I laid eyes on today’s Google Doodle I knew it was going to be my favorite so far. I’m a huge Star Trek fan, so my heart started racing when I typed in Google.com and recognized the familiar uniforms from the Starship Enterprise adorning the letters in the GOOGLE logo. But it’s a far cry from your regular doodle. Today’s Google Doodle is a fully interactive game of sorts.

To mark the 46th anniversary of the iconic TV series Star Trek, Google has put together a really fun commemorative doodle. Ryan Germick, Google doodler and keen Trekkie, led a team of animators to create the multi-scene Star Trek animation to celebrate the show’s launch 46 years ago.Google Doodle Star Trek anniversary

My initial delight in spotting the doodle grew as I discovered the incorporated interactive elements. Clicking on highlighted areas of the Google logo triggers a series of tributes to iconic Star Trek episodes, including “The Trouble With Tribbles” and pilot episode “The Man Trap”, which aired on Sept. 8, 1966. Various letters from the Google logo play the crew of the starship Enterprise. Captain James T. Kirk is played by the central “o” in Google.

There are a few different scenes with various highlighted areas you can click on to make the scene play out. My favorite is the tribbles hiding in the ceiling of the Transporter Room. How many others can you find? After the final animation plays out, Google redirects you to search results for Star Trek the Original Series.

I declare this to be Google’s Best Doodle Ever!  You can watch a full video of the interactions below :

 

 

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Find Ms Parker July Competition

Hey guys

To spice things up a bit during what can be an otherwise boring time of year, we’re resurrecting the monthly Find Ms Parker competition on Search Engine Wiki.

Find Ms Parker is a good old fashioned hide and seek competition, with regular clues posted on our Facebook page and tweeted via @sewiki. Your task is to Find Ms Parker – our resident librarian – who is hiding on a page somewhere in our resources library at Search Engine Wiki. There’s a picture of her in this post so you know what she looks like.

It’s easy to win. Just find a pic of Ms Parker somewhere on Search Engine Wiki and tweet @sewiki with the page URL and *I found Ms Parker!* in your tweet, as well as the hashtag #FindMsParker so we can track it. If you don’t have a Twitter account, send the URL to us via our Contact Form and put *I found Ms Parker!* as your subject line.

The first person to find her and notify us as per the rules receives a training voucher to the value of USD395 to use towards any course/s at Search Engine College.

So what are you waiting for? Go find Ms Parker!

CLUE #1 : I keep a diary with entries typically displayed in reverse chronological order.

Update 2 July 2012: Ms Parker has been found! Congratulations to David Gall in Brisbane, who found her lurking here. Well done David, your training voucher will be sent out shortly.

 

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Google Celebrates Art Clokey’s Birthday

gumby-doodleNot many people will recognize the name Art Clokey. But a lot more people will recognize the green clay animated character Gumby that he created.

Art Clokey was the pioneer of stop motion clay animation, bringing to life Gumby and his horse Pokey, who first appeared on the American kid’s show Howdy Doody. Art Clokey died last year, but to celebrate what would have been Clokey’s 90th birthday yesterday, Google’s home page featured the tribute doodle you see pictured.

The initial image shows a toy block and 5 balls of colored clay representing the letters in GOOGLE. Clicking on any one of the clay balls launches a delightful animation of the clay taking the shape of one of Clokey’s famous animated characters. A link above the doodle takes you to SERPs for Art Clokey and his life.

One of Google’s better doodles!

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