Using Google Analytics To Improve Online Marketing

Seven Steps to Success Guide
Author: Dr Dave Chaffey Published: June 2011

Using Google Analytics To Improve Online Marketing
Seven Steps to Success Guide

Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking

Contents
03 Introduction 06 Step 1. Setup and customisation 35 Step 2. Campaign tracking 41 Step 3. Working with reports to find opportunities and problems 48 Step 4. Understanding your visitors 59 Step 5. Improving reach 68 Step 6. Improving journeys and site engagement 76 Step 7. Improving conversion to lead and sale

Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing
© Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Please go to www.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides.

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Introduction
About this guide
Setup and customisation

Google Analytics is a fantastic tool from the moment you arrange to have the tracking code installed and you experience the thrill of your first reports appearing showing how real people are interacting with your online business. Most of this report will show you how to take advantage of the standard features and reports, but to get the maximum from Google Analytics, we recommend you also arrange for some additional setup and configuration. This will help the reports fit your business better, so that you can review performance and really drive results. There are actually so many customisation options that you really need a strategy of what to customise, particularly if there are several team members using the account.

Campaign Tracking

Why another guide on Google Analytics?
Well, because it’s different – this isn’t a simple guide on where to find the menus and reports. Instead, it’s a complete toolkit, a system for site owners and marketers who don’t see themselves as analysts, but they have this nagging suspicion that they, and their organisation should get much more from their Google Analytics. As we talk to site owners and marketers we find that although most users love Google Analytics, there is a feeling that it’s not used enough and many of the insights in its reports are being wasted. We think this is because there is limited guidance within the system. To use it to the max you need to use it regularly so you know the right questions to ask and know where to find the answers. We’re here to help you tap into the insight so you don’t miss the opportunity by stepping you through the questions you should be asking and pointing you to where to find the relevant answer. This guide shows you how to get the most from Google Analytics “out-of-the-box” using the standard reports available in the latest update Unlike most guides, we’re not going to start with the setup, the config, the reports, metrics (although we cover those too :) ). Instead we’re going to start with what we think matters most to marketers – how to use Google Analytics to help my business to perform better.

Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement

How is this guide structured?
Here are the highlights of each of the 7 Steps þ Step 1. Setup and customization - we start our guide with a section reviewing setup of a site since we find many companies fail to tailor it to their business. We also show you how to setup Google Analytics from scratch. þ Step 2. Campaign tracking – understanding the effectiveness of your campaigns sending traffic to your site starts with tagging them right, here we show you how. þ Step 3. Working with report s to find opportunities and problems – now we get down to the business of improving results showing you how to use the reports in a smarter way þ Step 4. Understanding visitor types – marketing is all about understanding and meeting the needs of customers, so we show how you can understand your customer behaviours better

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Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

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Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing
© Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Please go to www.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides.

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How can we improve conversion? We look at techniques to boost conversion for all types of site. When starting out with Google Analytics or any other web analytics tool. we’d like to introduce our approach to using Google Analytics. But this is a big improvement on the the non-value related measures like visits. Ultimately what the CxOs and financial controllers care most about is profit generated by online activities. We have more advice in our 7 Steps to Goal-setting for digital marketing Guide. Strategy Recommendation 1 Ensure you can measure the business value created in your online marketing through Google Analytics Google Analytics has measures of value generated for all types of visitor. Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Where to find the value in Google Analytics. Please go to www.. Improving reach – expanding your audience and driving more visitors and customers to your site þ Step 6. pageviews or conversion rate that are so often reported in dashboard summaries from analytics. Once you’re reporting on value you can then start to find the ‘value levers’ . need to see the return on this investment and page views and bounce rates just don’t cut it.which referring traffic sources. Setup and customisation Increasing Visitor Value – the key to improving business success with Google Analytics r Q.smartinsights. Improving journeys and site engagement – engaging visitors with content and getting them on the path to purchase þ Step 7. pages and conversion pathways are generating value and which aren’t so you can take action. Which measures? In Google Analytics. ! . 4 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. They want.. it’s currently only possible to import cost data for Google Adwords. For us. but you have to work hard to find them. but most will enable you to show revenue if configured right. “Show me the value!” should also be the mantra when creating actionable summaries and dashboards within Google Analytics or your monthly reports. This is more readily available in some analytics systems if you can import cost data about each transaction. You also have to be clear on your business goals and how you report performance. Value is THE measure that our senior colleagues who fund the investment in analytics and digital marketing activities can relate to. Improving conversion to lead and sale.. so it’s a great place to start defining or reassessing your approach. our digital marketing generate value for our business? Your whole digital marketing strategy should be based on this.com to feedback or access our other guides. Have we reviewed how we can create more business value? Before we get to the first step. so the value across all of online marketing has to be shown in the form of revenue. one of the very first questions you should ask is how does our website.The final steps of the guide look at how you can review your analytics in depth to market better þ Step 5./l. you have to start with how you’re using Google Analytics to improve results and for us this is all about value.

You can then compared actual value to target value if you have targets set.a handy application of custom reports. Because both of these are a little hidden. If you have a value assigned to your conversion goals this shows you the Total Goal Value for your reports.com to feedback or access our other guides. $Index value.The 3 key value measures within Google Analytics The three main value measures in Google Analytics (aside from Adwords generated value which uses cost data) are: 1.. It’s a little hidden since you have to select the “Goal Set” tabs within these reports.smartinsights. 3. This show the influence of pages in generating value either through Ecommerce transactions or conversion goals with a value assigned. So you will see that goal value pages or checkout pages always have the highest $Index value. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. It shows you the influence of particular pages in generating value if they were part of the path to purchase on the site. You can see Per Visit Value measures within Traffic sources on the Ecommerce tab if you have Ecommerce tracking enabled. 5 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. ! . Please go to www. so it’s useful for comparing the value generated by other sites and your search campaigns. but you can evaluate the relative influence of category or product pages within the journey too. Per Visit Value. Per Visit Goal Value. I’d recommend surfacing them within custom reports which can also show variation in value generated across days or weeks . It’s reported within the Traffic Sources reports for Referring sites. $Index value is available within the Top content reports. It’s calculated by summing Ecommerce Revenue + Total Goal Value divided by the number of Unique Pageviews for a given page in a visitor session as explained by this chart: 2./l. Search Engines and Keywords.

/l. for example: ý Not setting up on-site search so you don’t know how many are searching are for what.com to feedback or access our other guides. 6 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. We have a separate customisation audit template you can use to review customisation or you can work through the checkboxes in this section. Please go to www. so I believe you really need a strategy of what to customise. ! . You can use this guide for first time setup or reviewing an existing setup. we will step you through different customisation options. Strategy Recommendation 2 Customise Google Analytics for your business Take time to review the customisation options so you can better understand user behaviour In this section. Google Analytics customisation reviewed? You can certainly get a lot of value from reporting and analysis using the standard setup of Google Analytics and we’ll show you how in this guide. ý Not excluding ployees so these numbers skew reports (a particular issue for small companies with relatively few visitors) ý Not recording information about documents downloaded which can be important for business-to-business sites ý User interactions not recorded with interactive options like videos or application processed which don’t involve a separate page being created ý Automatic alerts not setup so time wasted looking for significant changes With each passing month there are more customisation options available in Google Analytics. but to really drive results for your business. particularly if there are several team members using the account. We’ve seen lots of companies where there hasn’t been any customisation that can give problems of accuracy or mean that time is wasted.smartinsights. Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Finding problems and opportunities Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking 1 Understanding how Google Analytics can customise setup for different sites Before we review the different customisation steps it’s useful to have an idea of how Google structures information.. This section gives our recommendations on a customisation strategy based on consulting work I have done and typical usage of Google Analytics by attendees on training courses. you’re much better off spending some time on customisation.Step 1 Setup and customisation r Q. This diagram shows that it’s a tree-like structure: Improving conversion to lead and sale.

e. such as a subfolder for a blog or product category þ to add information about the domain name to reports when the same tracking code is used across several sites which will make it difficult to distinguish between pages with common names on different profiles. Filter Include or exclude certain types of traffic to one or more profile Include information for single site or part of site./l.. Analytics account. If the business has different sites for different countries or a blog. so it’s worth planning the common features they need like Advanced Segments and Custom Alerts. that’s our overview of the way Google reports information for different parts of the site. typically for different company sites in Google Analytics. It can be sometimes useful to setup different accounts for different country sites for a large business 2.g. The most common uses of filters are: þ to exclude employee site access from statistics þ to limit data reported to part of a site. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Here is a summary of the most common ways you will use these features to customise Google Analytics: Scope Account Typically one company with one or more web properties Main customisations available Time zone Improving reach Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 1 Data sharing Account id has common 8 digits X UAXXXXXXXX-Y plus each web property is unique because of additional id Y Goals. User customisations like Advanced Segments. Improving conversion to lead and sale. Best Practice Tip 1 Consider features you want to setup for different groups of users at the profile level Users are assigned access to Google Analytics reports and features at a profile level. Exclude employees So. This is most often used for a single business. Users are given access at this level and different Google Analytics features are applied at this level. so it’s worth thinking through the options for different groups of users.1. Profiles are specific to a site. 3. 7 ! . even if it has multiple websites. Please go to www. Now let’s look at the different customisation or setup steps we recommend. then these are contained within the single account.com to feedback or access our other guides. Annotations and Custom Alerts are applied at this level Improving journeys and site engagement Profile Different report scope. Profile or web property. Each web property has one or more profiles. funnels. Filters can be applied to include or exclude data to a single profile or multiple profiles as shown in the diagram above.smartinsights. a country site or part of a site such as a blog in a sub-folder typically. Filter. on-site search are setup at this level.

it makes sense to create your Analytics account within Google Adwords account administration to link tracking. This is how you add a new account: Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 1 As you complete the New Account Administration Screen make sure you use these options: Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.Step 1. To create an account./l.. But you should pause for thought at this point if you are using Google Adwords. In the unlikely situation that you are not using Google Analytics with Adwords it’s best to create your Google Analytics account through Google Adwords so that tracking is linked. view the Account Settings to 8 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Please go to www.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides. ! . Note that Google Analytics inherits time zone settings from Adwords. If you want to review an account that has already been setup. so make sure those are set to your time zone. simply click the “+ New Account” button from the Account Administration Screen which you access using the “cog button” top right. Strategy Recommendation 3 Ensure your Google Analytics account is linked to Google Adwords correctly If you’re using Google Adwords. Create New Account / Review account settings r Q. Set or reviewed time zone and data sharing settings for the account? Account creation is relatively straightforward if you have a single site or a limited number of sites operating in a single country.

You can also change this for each web property within your account. The other main type of setting is set for each profile. Although it may suggest all data is shared. Tracking code added (including domains and sub-domains if appropriate)? Google Analytics prompts you with the relevant tracking code to add to pages after you have created a new account. 1 Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Step 2. 1. if your account is linked to Google Adwords this time zone will be used. We recommend that you select both of these options. by Viewings the Source and searching for “trackPageview”. meaning that the data is shared with other similar types of site within the sector. Time zone. this will enable you to compare information with other sites using the benchmarking option. Data sharing settings. that there are two versions of the Google Analytics tracking code. which is asynchronous tracking code was introduced in 2010 and is the default for sites which are newly tagged. as it’s known. The current form of tracking. it’s important to note at this point. The Async tracking codes start with _gaq. It’s important to select your local time zone for meaningful tracking of response through the day. as shown in this example snippet of tracking code: Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. As noted above. it’s usually straightforward to include the identical tracking code in all page templates used on the site. you should upgrade your site to this for page download speed improvements as recommended in the Google site migration guide.. your site won’t enable others to directly compare to your site – it’s anonymous. Account name and website URL./l. ! . These are self-explanatory.com to feedback or access our other guides. Best Practice Tip 2 Set up anonymous data sharing for benchmarking If you enable data sharing with Google and others. Add tracking code to pages r Q. makes it quicker for pages to download so you should plan to migrate to this if you haven’t as have many sites which were tagged before 2010.� Strategy Recommendation 4 Consider updating your site to asynchronous tracking code Async tracking. If you’re using a content management or blogging system. 2.Push (). It may make sense to do this when there is a major refresh to your site. use the relevant brand names for clarity. 3.change the Account Name and Data Sharing settings. 9 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. If you’re not using this. However. Please go to www.smartinsights. You can check the code you are using.

Now it is recommend that you include it at the top of page. ! . 10 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. You can also review your recommended tracking code on the Advanced tab of the Account Name settings page: Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.smartinsights.Setup and customisation 1 Where to place the tracking code Before Asynchronous tracking was introduced. Please go to www. Best Practice Tip 3 Insert tracking code at the top of the web page If you’re using Asynchronous tracking.. then this tracking code should be before the end of the </head> section of code. Google advised entering tracking code at the foot of the page./l.com to feedback or access our other guides.

com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer. Create profiles r Q.google. true]). 1 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Special case 3 for tracking code: custom variables Custom variables are an advanced techniques which are used to store information about the type of visitors. then this is a special case and then additional lines are added to the tracking code: Setup and customisation Strategy Recommendation 5 You need a special version of tracking code if you use subdomains or multiple top-level domains Check that if you have different sites that the correct versions of the tracking code are used. here Account Name Improving conversion to lead and sale. If you have multiple domains or subdomains. NB. that if you have a single domain site then this is straightforward since there is a simple version of the tracking code. subdomain or subfolder. it’s important to change the hyperlinks between sites and also add a filter to identify the separate domains for the case when file names are the same. Improving journeys and site engagement Step 3.be sure to check your web developers have read this. Profiles reviewed? A Google Analytics profile will typically be used to produce reports limited to an individual site. This is explained in subtle link given with Additional Steps1 .this is particularly important where pages such as the home page have the same name – otherwise they will all be grouped together. ‘none’]).. but not relevant to all types of site we describe this in a separate step – Step 9.push([‘_setDomainName’.push([‘_setDomainName’. Please go to www. 11 ! .py?answer=175538&hl=en_ US&utm_id=ad Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. _gaq. For one domain with multiple subdomains. Special case 2 for tracking code: Ecommerce tracking The reports summarising E-commerce transactions and revenue within Google Analytics require inclusion of additional tracking code on the checkout completion page specifying order and product information.push([‘_setAllowLinker’.Special case 1 for tracking code: If your site contains multiple domains or subdomains You can see from the screen and examples above.com to feedback or access our other guides. In this second case. 1 https://www. and for multiple top-level domains (and subdomains): _gaq.smartinsights. Since this is a major step. this line is added to the code: _gaq. you also have to changes links between sites and create a filter to show domain names . We cover them in Step 10. ‘none’]). If you have multiple top-level domains that you want to share data for. To create new profiles you have to click on name of web property./l.

See Google Analytics Help on Filters. Understanding your visitors Once a profile is created. For users who are assigned a profile to review marketing activity there are these common assets that can be shared between multiple users at Profile level: Best Practice Tip 1 Best Practice Tip 2 Best Practice Tip 3 þ Advanced segments Annotations Custom alerts 1 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities þ There is also a fourth type of asset..com to feedback or access our other guides. ! . there are additional optional setup stages including: þ Setting up on-site search þ Turning on Ecommerce tracking We will look at these as separate steps since we want to highlight the importance of creating filters to apply to the profile first. Improving conversion to lead and sale. such as a subfolder for a blog or product category þ to add information about the domain name to reports when the same tracking code is used across several sites which will make it difficult to distinguish between pages with common names on different profiles. a test profile and a reporting profile. Please go to www. 12 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. but these aren’t viewable within the Profile setup – you have to select the custom report tab. This can be created as an include or exclude filter. Filters reviewed? A Google Analytics filter is applied to modify data from one or more profiles so that it shows a subset of data within the profile. þ Use of these assets should be reviewed in profile setup./l. The most common uses of filters are: þ to exclude employee site access from statistics þ to limit data reported to part of a site.smartinsights. so that we are only collecting the data we need. which is a Custom report.Setup and customisation Since there is a risk of making errors within data it is good practice to have a master profile to which no filters are applied. Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Step 4 Create and apply filters r Q. Best Practice Tip 4 Define common approaches for data integrity within each profile Each profile should have a master profile which has no filters applied.

. 13 ! . then the tracking in Google Analytics of sales transaction is almost always setup by the Ecommerce provider. 3.Excluding employees r Q. Both strategies are explained below: § Google Analytics Help – Excluding internal traffic / Employees Improving journeys and site engagement Step 5 Setup Goals and funnels r Q.smartinsights.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer. Exclude by cookie Improving reach Alternatively./l. then setting a custom variable on a page used by staff only (e. Goal-tracking for Ecommerce sites If you’re running an Ecommerce site selling online. We have taken steps to exclude employees? This configuration is relatively simple if you have a single office IP address. Use the IP address tool and instructions here2.com to feedback or access our other guides. although there are 2 http://www. You don’t want visitors from a company skewing the results. Please go to www. Single IP address þ Select Filter Manager þ Select “exclude all traffic from IP address” as follows: 1 Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 2. This is a detailed section since it’s so important to get this right. if staff have a range of IP addressses or dynamic IP addresses when working out of the office. Goals and funnels setup to track business contribution? We’ll look at Google Analytics setup separately for transactional Ecommerce sites and other types of sites which don’t don’t have a checkout or application process. Intranet home page or login page) can be used to update a cookie to filter staff out.google. Range of IPs A filter can also be created to exclude a range of IP addresses for company employees and contractors working in different offices.py?answer=55572 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. so these should be excluded unless you want to artificially boost your visitor numbers and have difficultly understanding visitor behaviour. Improving conversion to lead and sale.g.

As a result we often see that. Please go to www. for example: þ Browse products þ Search products þ Add to basket þ Start checkout þ Individual checkout steps These are sometimes known as micro-conversion steps. they’re often not setup.com to feedback or access our other guides. This graphic presented by retailer Koodos shows steps at different steps in the funnel nicely: Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Setup and customisation 1 This shows how this looks in Google Analytics: Improving journeys and site engagement Goal-tracking for non-Ecommerce sites For non Ecommerce sites it’s more difficult to think of different goal types. Improving conversion to lead and sale. Through improving micro-conversion rates we increase overall conversion rates.smartinsights. it’s a sale registered through the checkout completion page. so you also need goals for other points in the funnel. But in the example belows will see that goals can and should be set for all types of site. ! . 14 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited./l. For an Ecommerce site. Q.often teething problems with accuracy or managing international sites. But that’s the end of the funnel process.. What is it? Micro-conversion An intermediate step on the path to purchase. including non-Ecommerce sites. your main goal is simple. If you need to know about Ecommerce tracking this is the relevant GA help page� or feel free to ask questions online. What is a goal in Google Analytics? A goal is a record of a page you specify being viewed which shows that a visitor has engaged with your website showing interest in your products and services. Strategy Recommendation 6 Goals should be setup for all site types Visits to page types which indicate a visitor has engaged with your site (or brand) and progressed along the path to purchase should be setup for all types of site.

Contact Us thank you page goal? r Q. Do we have goals for Email communications r Q.smartinsights. but currently 20 are available and they can be grouped. Why do I need to setup goals in Google Analytics? I find that often.com to feedback or access our other guides. Q./l. How do you justify this? For us. Since you can group goals in Google Analytics. Best Practice Tip 5 Group your Google Analytics goals Logical grouping of goals will help when you review them. 1 Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Q. Which types of goals can we use? Different goal types to consider which are shown in the example above are prompted by these questions: Q. goals aren’t set in Google Analytics since they do require some configuration. 15 ! . Please go to www. we recommend you group your goals in a logical way. setting up goals in Google Analytics is indispensable for any business looking to get the most from their digital marketing since you can: þ Go beyond measuring visits to events happening on the site that show that customers have engaged with your business þ Track the value the site is generating for your business from these events þ See which traffic sources you’ve invested marketing in give rise to these goals þ Review which content types and customer journeys on the site are helping achieve the goals Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.. So it will need some time to set them up. This example shows one suggestion for a grouping. Lead-generation thank you page goal? Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.Google Analytics originally included just 5 goals per profile.

16 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. so you should assess the success of the site in getting visitors to these types of goals r Q. For example. Please go to www. if product pages include /product_id or products they will be relatively easy to identify within a goal Q. Time on site engagement goals? r Q.Q. r Q. e. the percentage of members of an e-mail list that click on the e-mail within a 90-day period. Category page viewed? r Q./l. credit card payment? r Q.smartinsights. As an example. or the number of customers that have made a second purchase. Intermediate steps as part of checkout process. Start checkout goal? r Q.com to feedback or access our other guides. Add to basket goal? r Q. Goals in this category to set or track include: r Blog comments r Product comments.g. Checkout complete goal? Improving conversion to lead and sale. ! . Product search page viewed? r Q.. 1 Best Practice Tip 6 Set hurdle rates for engagement Hurdle rates are the proportion of customers or prospects that fall within a particular level of activity. reviews and ratings r Favouriting or sharing of pages through social bookmarking r Linking through to social presence like Facebook. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Q. Product page viewed? Understanding your visitors Finding problems and opportunities How easy it is to set these up will depend upon the URL structure used as part of the site’s specification. Social engagement or participation goals Encouraging participation helps social proof of new visits. Pages viewed engagement goals? These are a special class of Google Analytics goal where you can set ‘hurdle rates’ for engagement. Do we have checkout process goals? The need for goals for checkout may be obvious but are often not setup since Ecommerce sales can be tracked without goals being setup. Do we have top of funnel product engagement goals? If you can encourage site visitors to view product-related pages they’re closer to buying. Twitter or Linked In Improving journeys and site engagement Improving reach Q. Do we have site engagement goals r Q. But goals are essential to create a purchase funnel.

17 ! . For example. but you may not in this case since you can’t really attribute it to business value. Setup and customisation 1 Q. as with an enewsletter signup. but events can be tracked as goals. if you’re setting a value event for a lead such as a brochure or PDF download and you know the value of each lead on average is $100. but it’s not that important for comparing relative value. Customisation instructions – assigning value to your conversion goals þ To assign value to conversion goals you should again go to Analytics Settings and then assign the value? þ Relevant Google Analytics Help page: GA Help page Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Let’s take the example of a brochure download. if you set a value you’ll then be able to report the value your site is generating to your colleagues. As we’ll see in the next section. you know that the average order value is £$100 and that if conversion from Add to Basket to Sale is 10%. we have reviewed online events. If you’re not sure what value to set. even if it’s a non-commercial site! You’ll also be able to compare how good your different traffic sources or pages are at generating value so you can boost the good value sources and fix the poor ones. The best way to set a value is to work back from a business event which you can put a value on. Since no new page view is produced these can’t be tracked as a goal. Setting the precise value is difficult. give the goal a name and your goal is set up. You may think that Google Analytics Eventtracking could be used for tracking these “Add-to-baskets” and you’d be right. Have we included offline events? r Offline events included? Campaign Tracking Up to this point. Q. then set this at that level. You should aim to track these through using unique phone numbers. then we recommend setting it to a nominal value of $1 if you want to include that in a value calculation. Best Practice Tip 8 Track offline sales Remember to take into account telephone sales influenced by the website when assessing a site’s contribution to a business. Worked example of goal setup for a Google Analytics page Let’s bring all these ideas together with an example..Best Practice Tip 7 Use Virtual Page Views to record Add to Basket Goals or social engagement Oftentimes. and following best practice. Please go to www. But don’t forget value events such as sales generated by phone numbers. then you would set the “Add to Basket” conversion goal at £$10. but often not set a value against it based on the conversion of brochure Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.com to feedback or access our other guides. Many will do this.smartinsights. Have we assigned value to our goals? r Value assigned to goals? Once you have worked out which are the best goals for you. the next step is to assign a monetary value to them. here you simply specify the thank you page address. sites are designed such that adding a product to a basket dynamically updates a basket showing the product added./l. Similarly. perhaps for different parts of the site. if you’re looking to set a value for “Add to Basket”.

smartinsights. so think this through carefully. I have often seen that goals grow organically if this doesn’t occur. but be as explicit as possible to make it obvious to others what it refers to.com to feedback or access our other guides. R Goal name. Here are the three steps for goal setup we recommend and our tips of the common traps to avoid. This will usually be the default of the URL destination like the thank you page after the page has been downloaded Second Step. 1 Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach First Step. ! . 18 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. It helps to plan goals and group them logically as the example above shows.downloaders to sale and average order value. Again straightforward. set to On for goal information to be collected R Goal Position. R Active Goal. Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. How to setup goals the right way We’ve seen many cases when goals aren’t setup the right way. Choose from one of 4 sets as shown in the example at the start of this topic.. although the form is quite straightforward./l. Goal details. Enter Goal information. Straightforward. Please go to www. R Goal Type. so don’t make it too short. This is where it starts getting tricky and where mistakes are commonly made.

use a “head match” which will include the first part of a URL and page name. The best way to set a value is to work back from a business event which you can put a value on. Setting the precise value is difficult. for example with additional tracking parameters in the URL query string to a landing page.com/category-pages. For a “thank you page” this will simply be the web address of the landing page. for example.. ! . you are best to avoid the “Exact match” option since this could exclude pages. þ Goal URL. it’s best to apply it for major goals such as leads from brochure downloads since it will five you an idea of the differences in value generated through different traffic sources (through the Goal Value per Visit metric) and different page types (through the $Index value metric). This tells Google Analytics to record a goal for a condition when the page viewed by the site visitor matches your goal URL. þ Goal Value. Generally it is best to avoid the case sensitive option since this may exclude some pages. Understanding your visitors þ Match Type. This is often not set. confusingly the match type also effects what the URLs for the third step of the goal funnel. þ Case Sensitive. so check what you chose works here also.smartinsights. Instead. setting a lead goal to an arbitrary value of £10 can be useful to understand value. http://domain. Even if this isn’t possible. Remember that.com to feedback or access our other guides./l.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities 1 Here are some of the fields to pay particular attention to on the goal setup form. but if there are other parameters such as ?campaign_id=email then the page will still be included. 19 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. it could be the first part of the URL. Please go to www. but it’s not that important for comparing relative value. Ideally. If you want to include several pages within a head match. you should base the value on a known calculation of conversion rate from lead to sale with an average order value. Several options are available here to give you flexibility to match a single URL which is most common for a thank you page after a form submission or a range of pages such as product pages. Generally. For example. but as we have explained. Including a trailing slash page/ can exclude URLs without a trailing slash. so it’s best not to include this to capture all goals. if you’re looking to set a value for “Add to Basket”. you know that the average order value is £$100 and that Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.

But confusingly checking Required Step doesn’t affect the number of goals recorded. so start with /<page> ý Gotchas 3. Options reviewed for monitoring interactions and goals that don’t involve a page view? We have shown how goals are used to record outcomes where an action is completed such as completing a brochure download form or checkout which involves a page being viewed. then we recommend setting it to a nominal value of $1 if you want to include that in a value calculation. Missing/wrongly assigning goal value. 20 ! . Gotchas 5. but you can use it if you only want to show visitors that included this point in the funnel. This is usually left unchecked. ý Gotchas 4.com to feedback or access our other guides.. Goal funnel Here you enter a series of up to 10 URLs to explain the number of a steps in a conversion process such as check out. ý Gotchas 2. then set this at that level. Including a trailing slash / can exclude URLs without a trailing slash. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.if conversion from Add to Basket to Sale is 10%. You need to specify a single URL which is the signup form page. The only complexity is the “Required Step” check box. this is relatively straightforward. The match type also applies to the funnel. Please go to www. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Mistakes to watch out for As a summary of the common errors we have made./l. Required step may exclude some behaviour e. so it’s best not to include this to capture all goals. here are common mistakes to avoid: ý Gotchas 1. Not actually referencing for URL correctly.g. if you’re setting a value event for a lead such as a brochure or PDF download and you know the value of each lead on average is $100.smartinsights. entry deeper into funnel and cause confusion in the funnel visualisation. but you may not in this case since you can’t really attribute it to business value. contact us or enewsletter signup page. but it does happen. so take care if using exact match. In a brochure download. only the funnel visualisation. You know we’re keen on assigning values to key goals. Similarly. It is most commonly used to make the first step in the funnel mandatory.. so simply specify this URL. then you would set the “Add to Basket” conversion goal at £$10. Event Goals and Virtual Page Views r Q. 1 Step 6 Setup tracking for interactions and goals that don’t involve a page view using Event tracking. Third Step. as with an enewsletter signup. If you have more than 10 steps you may as well give up and go home. If you’re not sure what value to set..

Identifying engagement with different navigation elements linking to the same page. 21 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.. Interaction with rich media r 1. r 2. The original example in Google. r 4. Buttons and links vs banners. Check that you are using event tracking or virtual page views to do this./l. they cover different types from blog to retail sites. With event tracking. In fact. ! . Strategy Recommendation 7 Review tracking of additional interactions of a user with a site that don’t involve page views To truly understand user behaviour and the effectiveness of your communications on the site you have to record other significant user interactions. there are many more types of interaction it’s useful to measure: here is a checklist: Finding problems and opportunities Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation 1 Checklist – tracking interactions and goals that don’t involve a page view Here we list 17 different interactions which you should consider measuring. When a landing page has a tabbed widget event-tracking has to be used to see who is clicking on which tab. you can’t isolate which is gaining you the most clicks through a In-page Analytics overlay or navigation summary (although you could append tracking to the query string this isn’t a great idea since then you can’t review top content page views so readily.com to feedback or access our other guides. Response to call-to-action r 5. we may have goals involving: þ A stage in an application process for which there is no corresponding page since the content on an existing page is refreshed þ An item is added to the shopping basket þ Video or rich media interactions þ PDF downloads or emails from mailto: links on pages þ Outbound or external links. For example. which is appropriate since the user has engaged. Interaction with navigation r 3. so that’s what I should optimise.smartinsights. For example. Video plays and duration. Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. in our right sidebar we have a link to Econsultancy in different formats and through Event tracking I know that the MPU format get’s 70%+ of the links.While this works fine for these types of interaction. For example. you now know which options are popular since you can fire an event when they’re viewed or the panel is clicked upon. For example. a video on a landing page with traffic on Adwords it’s important to know if someone engages with the ad. there are many different types of interaction a user may have on a site when they engage with a site where there isn’t a page served to tell us about the interaction. A subtle benefit of creating events is that when you trigger an event within code the visit is no longer counted as a bounce. A carousel with different panels as often used on home pages. Please go to www. if you have a link to a page in the top nav and an editorial hyperlink within copy to the same page. Tabbed navigation options.

so if they are setup.Social sharing and user-generated content r 6. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. As in the example above where there was an application quote with pages with the same address. Here are two of the best established options for recording these events3 Ecommerce processes Last. The different networks an item is shared through a widget like AddThis. this can now be analysed as an Event goal. This was originally implemented through generating additional or “virtual” page views.com can be recorded. If you are offering Word or Powerpoint documents for download for example. r 7. r 11. 1 3 http://gaaddons. Add-to-basket Crucial for retail sites of course. Mail To Links Not so important for most. so session Add-to-Basket conversion can be recorded more readily in the new version. Comments on a blog. but care has to be taken that these don’t contribute to the overall event title. PDF downloads An important one for professional B2B sites offering many PDF downloads. r 15. Our example at the start of the article. Simple! r 10. Events apply to interactions with content made by visitors.com to feedback or access our other guides. Usually an additional script is required for tracking downloads and outbound links. r 9. Join a social network button.advanced-web-metrics. they are found within the Content reports section of Google Analytics. What is it? Event tracking A method of tracking user interactions when they click on links or buttons within Google Analytics.. Document downloads. 22 ! .smartinsights. r 12. but not least. Again you can write the item downloaded as a label for the event. Share button for page. Options for tracking non-page outcomes 1 – Event tracking r Q./l. Steps in a checkout when page addresses aren’t updated since the same pages is updated dynamically. Please go to www. Register an event when these are clicked and add the product name or SKU to the event label. r 16. Form-field error messages These can be written to an Event with a label.com/ and http://www. Form field abandonment You can trigger an event when a user interacts with each new field showing our far they have progressed through the form. we have: r 13. I’ve grouped this here since often included in scripts to make it easier to track PDFs.com/blog/auto-tracking-filedownloads-outbound-links/ Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. r 17. Login button This is particularly useful when linking to a domain tracked separately since this would be recorded as a bounce even though someone has engaged. r 14. r 8. Product or article star reviews or ratings. Have we reviewed options for event tracking? Within Google Analytics.

where on Smart Insights we used Events to track the relatively popularity and growth of shares to social networks through the buttons at the bottom of this panel. In this case you’re still best using virtual page views which are described in the following section. in this case “Twitter” Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 1 Best Practice Tip 7 Values (optional)– Not used in this case./l. 23 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Here is an example. Please go to www. Without Event tracking this would be tracked as a bounce..When you use events. Best Practice Tip 4 Categories (required) – Here. the top level grouping of events “Social Media” related to social media interactions with the site Best Practice Tip 5 Best Practice Tip 6 Actions (required) – Here “External link” Event labels (optional)– The type of link clicked.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides. It’s useful for Adwords if you’re sending visitors to a landing page where a video is played. The Google documentation shows that Event Tracking can be specified with different parameters to the _trackEvent() method values of which then appear in the Analytics Reports interface under content. but it’s not with Event tracking which is right since the user has engaged with the site. Take the example of a visitor hitting a landing page and then playing a video tracked as an Event. ! . þ There is still the limitation that Events can’t be used as funnel stages though. Another useful application is when a visitor clicks a log-in button that takes them to another company site which is tracked independently. þ In the previous version of Google. it’s worth being aware of these implications: þ When an event is recorded a visit will not be recorded as a bounce. In the new version this is possible as described in the next section on Event Goals. Events couldn’t be recorded as Goals since no page specification was possible. but could be used to record the value of an item added to a shopping basket for example Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.

Using this approach enabled us to see which is popular through Google Analytics – here’s how they’re shown in the new (in 2011) Google Analytics: Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities 1 Clicking on the category of social media then shows the breakdown of different events. ! . It involves taking the hyperlink reference and adding a Javascript “onClick” function which has a specific order of parameters as shown above. we are just using the first 3 parameters: <a href=”http://www. ‘External link’. This is a further example from Google help: Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. but if it’s part of code on the server it may need an IT request to make it. Please go to www.. Understanding your visitors Improving reach To create an Event that will be recorded in Google Analytics.e. ‘Social media’. is relatively straightforward. 24 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.” >Follow us on Twitter</a> Adding the event to the HTML code of a site can sometimes be made within a Content Management system if it is a simple link within the body copy of an article. ‘Twitter’]).com to feedback or access our other guides. þ Categories (required) þ Actions (required) þ Event labels (optional) þ Values (optional) In our example./l.com/smartinsights” title=”Follow us on Twitter” onClick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’.twitter. i.smartinsights.

Google has added a fourth goal type “Event” to it’s goals creation form.top Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited./l.google. As the screengrab below shows. you may want to assign a PDF download a nominal value of 1 so that you can then see which media and pages are contributing as assists to generate this value. Play as the Action._trackEvent(‘Videos’. You can also attach a value associated which the goal. Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. You can read more on the technical implementation in the Google Documentation4. To record an event you have already setup as a goal is straightforward. Be aware though.smartinsights.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/eventTrackerGuide. in that case you will still have to use our third option of Virtual Page Views.”>Play</a> In this case. That’s what we have done here – by selecting a category of “social media” this includes all visits to different social media sites from our sites. 25 ! .<a href=”#” onClick=”pageTracker. so grouping them together. ‘Play’. such as a PDF download are assigned to a Goal with a value if required.html . a previous limitation. and Baby’s First Birthday as the Label.com to feedback or access our other guides. For example. ‘Baby\’s First Birthday’). Options for tracking non-page outcomes 3 – Virtual page views r Q. Options for tracking non-page outcomes 2 – Event goals r Q.. This is helpful in situations such as recording PDF downloads or Shopping Cart Adds as a goal you want to report on – both common situations. Have we reviewed event goals? Event goals are a new feature introduced into Google Analytics in the 2011 interface revision which enable events to be recorded as Goals. Finding problems and opportunities Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation 1 What is it? Event goals Event goals are a specific class of goals where an Event which doesn’t generate a page view on a site. the reports for Events would display Videos as the Category. Have we reviewed options for virtual page views? 4 http://code. Please go to www. it gives you the opportunity to enter the group or specific you want to be recorded as a goal The method of setting up Event Goals is very flexible in that you can specify an individual goal with a label or a group of goals indicated by an Action or Category. When you select Event. that you still can’t use events as part of a funnel.

we can track a click on our link to Twitter using: <a href=”http://www. Please go to www. but take care with accessing the reports. The reason we recommend this is that is possible to delete all data or corrupt data collected if filters and profiles are not used correctly.com/smartinsights” title=”Follow us on Twitter” onClick=”_gaq./l. In this example this is misleading since a page isn’t being viewed rather a link is being clicked..We have seen that Event tracking has some limitations which make it difficult to visualise funnels. There are two types of users: Users and Administrators. We recommend assigning all users to User level only unless they have been trained in managing profiles. filters. You invite new users to use the system using the “Users” tab of the Profiles page as shown below: Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. ! .smartinsights. User access setup? Once you have the core tracking features of your profile setup you should then setup access for different types of employees and agencies. Best Practice Tip 8 If you use Virtual Page Views be aware of the impact on increasing page views to the site You may choose to remove additional page views using a filter in conjunction with different profiles if you feel they are misleading If this is a concern then you will have to create a separate profile with a filter to applied to include these. However. One limitation. goals and funnels as described in earlier steps. 26 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.push([‘_trackPageView’. To create Virtual Page Views (VPVs) requires a similar approach to creating an Event. They can be created by calling the Google Analytics _trackPageview function which is part of the code snippet on every page when a page is loaded.twitter. this will create a new page view using this folder structure. webmaster or marketer is managing the site then you will want to have full Administrator access. where a single business owner. or rather feature of virtual page views you need to be aware of is that these will inflate your page view figures. What is it? Virtual page views A page view is simulated within Google Analytics for an interaction with the site that doesn’t naturally create a page view. Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Step 7 Setup users and personalised reporting features Setting up user access r Q. For this reason many still prefer to use “Virtual Page Views (VPVs)”.com to feedback or access our other guides. In a smaller business though.” >Follow us on Twitter</a> When a site visitor clicks on these links. when a visitor downloads a file like a PDF you may consider that the PDF download is equivalent to a page view. Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation 1 Using our example from Event tracking. ‘/Social_media/External link/Twitter’]).

blogspot. Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities These shared reporting techniques include: Best Practice Tip 9 Advanced segments Best Practice Tip 10 Custom alerts (part of Google Analytics Intelligence) Best Practice Tip 11 Annotations These are accessed through the generically named “Assets” feature in Google Analytics: Understanding your visitors Improving reach Another shared reporting feature isn’t listed here. 27 ! . This can help novice users take advantage of some of the more powerful features of Google Analytics which can be setup by “power users”. you can show new campaigns. Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.com/2010/01/annotations-now-available-in-all. Shared reporting option 1: Advanced Segments r Q.smartinsights. This is Custom reports. 2. 5 http://analytics. but is shareable in a similar way. Annotations setup? Annotations are feature introduced in 20105 overlaid on the graph on each report. Shared reporting option 2: Annotations r Q. We cover how these can be used in depth on Step 4 on Understanding Visitors and Step 5 Improving Reach. Please go to www. Strategy Recommendation 8 Give access to shared reporting assets for users To help get value from Google Analytics provide arrange for shared reporting techniques for different users. We’ll now look at these four options in turn: 1. They are created for used on a single profile or can also be shared with other profiles when saved.Setup and customisation 1 Setting up shared customised reporting “assets” r Q..html Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.com to feedback or access our other guides./l. For instance. Options for shared reporting for Google analytics users setup? Users can share different ways of customising reports for their organisations. Advanced segments setup? Advanced Segments give a powerful way of identifying the behaviour and business contribution of different types of visitors from different sources. new content or new publicity and relate it to changes in traffic or conversion.

Instead it’s best to setup some custom alerts and then you can be emailed when there is a problem. Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. 28 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. ! . unless you reduce the sensitivity which is worth experimenting with. To review annotations. Please go to www. 3. þ Enter the date and comment þ Set to shared – for other users in the profile./l.What is it? Annotations Annotations are ideal for overlaying a reminder of the start of new marketing activities to jog your memory or to share with colleagues.com to feedback or access our other guides. Custom alerts setup? Google Analytics Intelligence is a useful new feature introduced in the October 2009 Google Analytics update which looked helpful to combat the “information overload” from web analytics through alerts intended to “provide automatic alerts of significant changes in the data patterns of your site metrics and dimensions over daily. Shared reporting option 3: Custom alerts (Google Analytics Intelligence) r Q. What is it? Custom Analytics Intelligence The Intelligence feature of Google Analytics currently gives you automated or custom alerts of changes in visitors from different sources like an individual country. for example for a single city or country. Setup and customisation The method of selecting annotations are subtle – you have to be aware that the pull-down arrow at the base of the trend line can be clicked on to reveal the box for adding a new annotation: 1 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors So the steps to create an annotation are simply: þ Pull down the annotation editing box using the arrow at the base of the chart. weekly and monthly periods”.. a lot of spurious reports can be generated. search engine or another site.smartinsights. or Private – just for you. While the automated intelligence alerts are useful. simply click on them or pulldown the annotation bar.

For example. Please go to www. Its purpose is to show engagement in different countries and then enables drilldown to see different further information about each: Improving conversion to lead and sale.Strategy Recommendation 9 Setup Google Custom Alerts to save time and identify problems Create custom alerts to email you or colleagues about major problems or opportunities indicated by week-on-week or day-on-day changes Setup and customisation Examples of useful custom alerts are: þ All Traffic. Shared reporting option 4: Custom reports r Q. 1 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement 4. so it makes sense to do a week on week comparison./l.com to feedback or access our other guides. Visits – increase or decease of more than 10% week-on-week þ Natural Search – overall or strategic keyword increase or decrease by more than 5% daily þ Paid Search – increase or decrease by more than 5% daily. you need to see when the value decreases by an amount compared to the same day over the previous week. Here is an example of a simple custom report. You setup Custom alerts for each profile from the Assets tab. Goal conversion rate – decreases by 5% daily All traffic visits will be subject to daily spikes. Strategy Recommendation 10 Create relevant custom reports for your business Custom reports are one of the best ways to make Google Analytics more actionable by applying reports to the way your business works. This example shows the most useful type of alert – when you have a problem such as with traffic or conversion. for example when a newsletter is sent.. Custom reports setup? Custom reports enable you to produce different reports from the standard reports to customise them to your business. ! . 29 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.smartinsights.

Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities 1 This report is created using this Edit form: Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Features available in custom reports are: 30 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited./l..com to feedback or access our other guides. Please go to www.smartinsights. ! .

2. Value reporting. 7. Here are some reports to consider which aren’t readily available in the main reports of Google Analytics: 1.. we drill down by Keyword to find keywords used in each country. the biggest challenge with custom reporting is thinking through the right type of report. Drilldown through Explorer tables. Role-based reporting. Alternatively you can use standard “Flat Tables”. Time reporting. Improving conversion to lead and sale. They can be shared amongst other profiles by using the Sharing button at the bottom of the edit page. Filters. Setup different tabs for different types of people or marketing activity This post by Google Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik may also inspire further ideas for custom reports6. In this case. Within each tab you can have additional reports or if you prefer “groups of measures” (New in the May 2011 version of Google Analytics) 3. etc (May 2011 version of Google Analytics). Reports have separate tabs in which you can have separate reports with different information grouped for different people. You have to migrate existing reports to the new (May 2011 version of Google Analytics) Types of custom reports Understanding your visitors Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities 1 Often. On-site search setup? 6 http://www. for example first time visitors./l.kaushik. Use a dimension of week/month to compare performance over time more easily 2. Report the value of different contributors: – – – – Keywords Landing pages Product categories Countries Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement 3. Please go to www. Metric Groups. Migrating previous reports. Sharing custom reports.1. Step 8 Setup on site search (if relevant) r Q. in Explorer tables you can click on a row and then finding out more information through considering a different segment. Tabs. The choice is similar to that which you have for Advanced Segments. ! . Unlike many other reports in Google Analytics. Segments.net/avinash/2010/02/leverage-custom-web-analytics-reports-insights. html 31 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. The green-colour coded segments describe how you break down the data. 6. In this example we’re breaking it down by Country – Google Analytics is relatively limited in reports with this type of breakdown. 4. 5. You can apply a filter.com to feedback or access our other guides. for example to just look at data for a visitor segment. individual countries.smartinsights.

. Please go to www. ! . my sites use the Google custom search engine which like Google. This is achieved through profile settings for each profile: Improving conversion to lead and sale.com uses the search parameter ‘q’. many sites won’t include this. 1 Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach We have more information on how to use this in our Site Design 7 Steps Guide and in Step 7 of this guide. Once you have on-site search setup you will be able to access the report from the Content Menu. Tell Google to enable Ecommerce reports.On-site search is relevant to most sites. Ecommerce tracking setup (if relevant)? Although this is a crucial step for transactional sites. On site search reports on searches performed in the search box on your site.com to feedback or access our other guides. Two main actions are necessary to track an Ecommerce site: 1.smartinsights. This is not setup as often as would be expected in my experience. so it’s an optional step. 32 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Improving journeys and site engagement Step 9 Setup on Ecommerce setup (if relevant) r Q./l. For example. But it is usually easy – you simply specify the search parameter which is a text string used to tell the search engine what the query term is.

Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors

1

2. Add special Ecommerce tracking code to the transaction completion page. This tells Google Analytics when the order was placed and the items that were ordered and their value so that the transaction information can be included in the Ecommerce reports of Google Analytics.

Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

If you are coding this or inserting manually (e.g. for event tracking), in addition to the standard tracking code, the order details _addTrans() and line item _addItem() Javascript func-

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Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing
© Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Please go to www.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides.

!

tions need to be included on the page as in this example from Google7

Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities

1

If you are managing an international Ecommerce site then there is a limitation to be aware of if using profiles to report transactions for an individual country. You can’t use filters for transactions as you can for pages. So instead, you have to filter with affiliation or Order ID by writing a unique identifier for each country to that field. Alternatively you can choose to create a separate Google Analytics account for each country and then create an aggregate rolled-up account using a separate web property id. You also need to consider how currency will be treated in Google Analytics since the information is only recorded as a number, not in a particular denomination. If you want to report in a single currency, then you will need to convert to this currency before writing the value to the page. If this issue is important to you, we recommend review of these 3 options by Google. You can see that each method has it’s own limitations8.

Understanding your visitors Improving reach

Step 10 Setup custom variables
r Q. Custom variables setup?

Improving journeys and site engagement

Custom variables apply to Visitors, so they are found within the Visitor reports section if they have been implemented. In our experience they are rarely used since they need careful consideration to see how to best use them and need to be implemented on the server requiring input. That said, custom variables are powerful since they enable us to learn more about visitor characteristics. For example, how does customer behaviour differ from non-customer. What are the demographics of different users? Care must be taken not to store information about individuals, since this is against Google’s terms of service for privacy purposes.

Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

7 http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/asyncMigrationExamples.html 8 http://conversionroom.blogspot.com/2010/03/google-analytics-reporting-for_10.html
Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing
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Strategy Recommendation 11 Use custom variables to find out more about customers Custom variables enable you to distinguish between customers with different characteristics rather than treating all visitors as anonymous. Options for setting these variables include: þ Customer vs non-customer þ Different customer segments or demographic profile variables like male or female or membership levels for a membership site. þ Segmenting visitors according to landing page. þ Recording referral source attribution. þ Categorising different content types Custom variables were originally specified through a call to a function called _setVar, but are set through _setCustomVar. This post gives the relevant function specification from Google.9
Campaign Tracking

Setup and customisation

1

They are most often used for defining specific segments based on the profile detail identified through a form or consuming particular content. This post from US analytics specialist E-Nor gives great detail on how a retailer can review different customer types.10

Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

9 http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/gaTrackingCustomVariables.html 10 http://www.e-nor.com/blog/index.php/web-analytics/google-analytics-gift-to-humanitymultiple-custom-variables/
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Step 2

Campaign tracking
r Q. Marketing campaign setup reviewed? Today there is an incredible range of different media that can be bought online and offline. From traditional TV and print ads to Google Adwords ads and video ads there is no shortage of choice. Ideally, to check the return on investment in your promotional efforts, these need to be reviewed for effectiveness. Although digital media have been called “the most measurable ever” extra effort is still required to setup campaign tracking. Defining a standard set of online marketing source codes is essential to determining the value of different referral sources such as ad campaigns or email campaigns. Strategy Recommendation 12 Set standard marketing source codes for use in reporting Through using standard marketing source codes you can get a much better idea of where to focus your marketing campaign spend. What does Google track by default? When you select the Traffic Sources overview, you get a good idea of what Google Analytics can tell you about traffic sources. 2
Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach

out the type of marketing which is sending or referring visits to your site:

Improving journeys and site engagement

The four main traffic sources reported at this level in Google Analytics are: þ Search traffic – This groups both natural and paid search (Adwords) þ Referral traffic – This is traffic from other sites which have direct links to your site þ Direct traffic – Direct traffic results from URL type ins, bookmarks or when email marketing isn’t tracked. þ Campaigns – Campaigns include Adwords when linked to the Google Account and any other campaigns like affiliates, display ads and email campaigns when these have had marketing campaign tags attached. Google Analytics gives you good search campaign tracking by default. Most companies using

Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

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Adwords will track it through its automated integration enabled from Google AdWords. This reports on paid search and your natural search is tracked also by default and you will see these when you select “incoming sources”. Both of these forms of search marketing can be reviewed through advanced segments. You can get more detailed tracking information on campaign source in Google Analytics by adding additional marketing source codes. Here’s how.
Setup and customisation

Using Google Analytics marketing source codes
r Q. Marketing source codes used in Google Analytics? To track other (non-search) campaigns requires you to use a standard notation which needs to be defined and then added to all links involving media placements or campaigns.

Campaign Tracking

Google Analytics uses 5 standard dimensions for a campaign which need to be incorporated into the query string of the URL for each ad placement as this example shows: http://www.domain.com/landing_page.php?utm_campaign=spring-sale&utm_ medium=banner&utm_source=handbag.com The campaigns report in Google Analytics will then enable you to compare media. The table explains each of these 5 dimensions which refers to this example: Variable utm_campaign Recommended utm_medium Required What is the ‘distribution method’ that is used to get our message out to our clients? Who are you partnering with to push your message. A publisher such as handbag.com, or for paid search, Google, Bing, etc The version of the ad (used for A/B testing) or in AdWords. You can identify two versions of the same ad using this variable. This is not always used and is NOT included in the above example. The search term purchased (if the link refers to keywords). This is not always used and is NOT included in the above example. Explanation The name of the marketing campaign, e.g. Spring Campaign. Media channel (i.e. email, banner, CPC, etc).

2

Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors

utm_source Required utm_content Optional utm_term Optional

Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement

To understand the way this works, we recommend you use the Google URL Builder11 that can help with creating these links. Best Practice Tip 12 Use the Google URL builder and spreadsheets to create campaign source codes Use the URL builder to setup campaign tracking on one-off campaigns. For more regular activity, use a spreadsheet to automatically create the URL strings. For other types of vendor tools used to create and manage campaigns, the marketing source codes can be added automatically if you enable this option. This is worth researching when 11 http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55578&cbid =t375m2oo67as&src=cb&lev=topic
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Improving conversion to lead and sale.,/l.

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Some will argue that this isn’t worthwhile since so few use the URL.you get new systems or ask your existing providers of support for: þ Afiliate marketing þ Display advertising þ Email marketing þ Social media marketing To summarise this section. Triggered./l.Display ad. content and term are flexible with how they can be used.. Offline campaigns tracked? Campaign Social media Social network name Referring site Offer Search term used by user User search or Search term triggering ad Product 2 Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Campaign name Campaign name Ad placement or testing version Location of link in email or offer if testing Offer? Ad identifier Subject Line Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Campaign name Name of message To track offline campaign effectiveness ideally requires use of a specific campaign URL within offline communications like Print or TV ads. e. 38 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.g. Social media marketing Offline campaigns r Q.smartinsights. But we would argue that it’s still worthwhile since: þ You get a good idea of the relative effectiveness of campaigns þ It stops offline media being grouped within the “Direct” category There are several choices with which URL to use. ! . this is our summary of how campaign tracking codes can be used – these are only suggestions – campaign.Affiliate keting network. Please go to www. Digital media channel Medium Source (Site name) Search engine name Search engine name Campaign Content Term Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation (Media channel) Natural search Organic (label within segments) Paid search cpc (Campaign name) Not used Not used Adwords campaign name Ad version Affiliate Marketing Affiliate mar. Enewsletter.Ad network tising vertising or publisher name Email Marketing Email marketing Email type. aggregator or voucher site Display adver.com to feedback or access our other guides. here are the advantages and disadvantages: Improving conversion to lead and sale.

2. The trick here to tracking is that when the redirect happens. but many marketers argue that it’s their preferred method since it gets the primary URL in the prospects mind and so few remember and type the URL anyway.g. the same campaign tracking codes format should be used as for other sources as explained in this post on online campaign tracking. For example. Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking 2 39 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Campaign landing pages are more effective. Although you can review an increase in direct traffic arriving at this URL through a segmented landing page report. Direct Mail and TV campaigns to make it easy for the customers to fulfil the offer. A 301 redirect should be created by the server administrator so that the visitor is automatically redirected to the landing page. Spring Campaign.com/<campaign-name> In this case. Static campaign specific URL. Example: http://www. where a promotional URLs or so-called vanity URL is used in offline Print ad. ! . TV or direct mail Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. offline campaign tracking should use standard codes for medium. For an offline campaign this should be print. but the server setup is different.domain. e.domain. Please go to www. the URL is the same as the previous two examples. Redirecting campaign specific folder URL with Google Analytics tracking codes Example: http://www. I would argue that it will be less effective since the design of most home pages will make it difficult for the users to find the offer. so conversion rate will drop. The table explains each of the 5 dimensions referring to an offline campaign example: Variable utm_campaign Recommended utm_medium Required Explanation The name of the marketing campaign. The main disadvantage from a measurement point-of-view is that there is no way to directly track this.com/<value-offered> 3. source and campaign name. The standard home page address.smartinsights.com/<campaign-name> The use of a campaign URL (‘CURL”) is a common approach. Example: http://www. Example: http://www. Best Practice Tip 13 Encourage use of vanity URLs through a specific offer Use a value offer within the campaign URL to encourage type-in and make it memorable.com This is a common approach by advertisers since it’s the simplest.1./l. “freememory” for a computer retailer. From a marketing point-of-view this also has the disadvantage that their is no value indicated in the URL to encourage the clickthrough So for a major campaign it’s best to avoid this. As with digital campaign tracking.domain..com to feedback or access our other guides.domain.

such as “magazine”. but could be used for offer code.quotemehappy.com/content/topics/segtopic.. it can take the search engines a long-time to include in the index meaning that searchers look for the campaign name will be forced to use the paid search ad since there isn’t a natural listing. The core technique is to use a 301 redirect which appends a campaign code. 1. He describes the example of http://www. For example.mysite.* RewriteRule . unless you have a specific code for each publisher such as “Forbes”. Brian Clifton’s whitepaper on Tracking Offline marketing with Google Analytics is an adaptation of Chapter 11 from his book .aspx/tv?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&keycode=6Vc 94&DGVCode=TV&dgc=TV&cid=11510&lid=985367 4. <VirtualHost> RewriteEngine on RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} .smartinsights.com for it’s campaign that redirected to a landing page on the main site. some time ago.AdvancedWeb Metrics with Google Analytics.dell. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking This example of the server code for a print ad is taken from Brian Clifton’s whitepaper and book listed below which I recommend for delving into the details./l.dell. 2 Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. However.com to feedback or access our other guides.com/?utm_source=magazine&utm_medium=print& utm_campaign=March%20print%20ad [R=301. We recommend a redirection since if a new separate domain is used. Defining a standard set of online marketing source codes is essential to determining the value of different referral sources such as ad campaigns or email campaigns. but could be used for offer code. It will typically generic. Again not usually used in offline campaigns. Redirecting campaign-specific domain name The approach here is similar to the third approach. Please go to www. The campaigns report in Google Analytics will then enable you to compare media. second edition by Brian Clifton (Wiley 2010). Offline or multichannel tracking was also explained well by Avinash in his 2008 post: Multichannel Analytics: Tracking Online Impact Of Offline Campaigns. insurer Aviva used the URL http://www. Not usually used in offline campaigns.com/tv which redirects and appends a (non Google Analytics) tracking code referencing TV: http://www. ! .* http://www. if the campaign page is within an existing site it should naturally be at the top of the natural listings.QSA] </VirtualHost> Other sources to find out more about offline campaign tracking.utm_source Required utm_content Optional utm_term Optional Who are you partnering with to push your message. 40 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. but this time a completely new campaign URL is used.

Selecting and comparing different time periods þ C. It’s worth getting to know them well since there are a lot of short-cuts to save time and find opportunities where you should focus your efforts.Step 3 Working with reports to find opportunities and problems r Q. so we thought it would be helpful to summarise them in the context of what you scan on screen: 3 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale./l. Overview of reporting Reports are where all the analysis action happens in Google Analytics. ! . A fair few changes were made to the reports in new 2011 version of Google Analytics..com to feedback or access our other guides. Using reporting Views including Pivots þ D. Please go to www. Overview of reporting and working with data tables þ B.smartinsights. 41 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Google also has an excellent animated tutorial on using the interface you can view�. Using Filters or “Searches” to narrow results þ E. In this step we’ll cover: þ A. Methods of reviewing reports improved? This is a short step since Google Analytics is easy to use in comparison to many Analytics tools. Using custom reports Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities A.

Feature 1 Purpose Tips Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Date selector Select fixed periods of weeks or months or custom periods. Here is our summary of how to use the different report elements highlighting tips to get the most from each.smartinsights. For some reports: Pages. 2 We have more information below on how to use this for time period comparison below. Improving conversion to lead and sale. Explorer report: Select report types Report variation in dimension by site usage or commercial performance (goals or Ecommerce).Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 3 Many of the features you will know. 12 and 18 aren’t used so much because you have to seek them out. ! ..com to feedback or access our other guides. Landing pages there is an additional choice of report type that is useful for analysis of an individual page (Navigation Summary and Entrance Paths). 10. We find 2. or they are self-explanatory. NB. Please go to www. This is a good short cut to see which dimensions are. 42 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited./l. New. 8. but there may be some you do not know about.

this also offers the “Mo. Comparisons views. 3 43 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. when you have comparison selected. Measures in Measures listed in order of the Change column selection by clicking on table column selected./l. Also compare to site averages when an individual page or referrer is selected. Measures The measures reported in the Click on the column heading to order by table. the column heading 14.or changes to AdWords accounts. Graph mode Apart from the standard Line Motion charts work best for interpretachart. Page selector Scroll through the pages Best to increase “Show rows” 19 when reviewing Pages or Keywords. find opportunities for example. Compare Select from the list to compare Often useful to compare volume against metric to another measure engagement.com to feedback or access our other guides. Search Filters the results to those Think of this as a filter. Annotations Add annotations as personal Examples might be campaign start date reminders or to share with col. New Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.smartinsights. this measure. month. Trendline Performance of the primary You can compare the primary measure measure for the table. this example. 18. in this case to bounce rate. compared as line graphs using referrers.. ! .to give details on this page. now you ure only have to select “Navigation Summary” from the Explorer area: 2. highest volume pages with the highest bounce rate. Plots the rows selected in 15. Can be useful to matching criteria. Secondary This inserts an additional col.tion over a longer period of week or * New tion chart” or X-Y format. Please go to www. New. primary dimension further. to another using the Compare metric option 6. and pie-charts can be useful though. Primary diDrilldown to get data with When reviewing Content clicking used mension same measures on this meas.Feature 3 Summary measures Purpose Tips 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 These are the headline figures Watch the % variations between periods for this report. the pivot table arguably gives a dimension umn for you to break down the better visualisation for this. Plot Rows. Useful for isolating problems pages or referrers.For us. Select Plot Tick the boxes for these to be Useful for isolating problems pages or Rows. View Changes from the standard We think the Pivot table is the most table view to graphical or pivot useful alternative view. Graph By Used for selecting Day. Week Week and month are best for evaluating or Month long-term trends. leagues Viewing The primary dimension can be For example can change to medium in changed.

smartinsights. Changing time units. Showing yearto-date takes a while though.com/analytics/report-finder. but many managers want to see trends across weeks or months.Feature 19 20 Show Rows.html Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. By default the time units are daily. Select the page./l. Tips Best to use 50 or 100 for analysis of pages or keywords. 44 ! . Setup and customisation Different types of reports If you’re migrating from the Google Analytics old reports to the new reports we recommend using the Report Finder12. B. You should also take care with today’s date… Best Practice Tip 14 Know how to show today’s date Improving conversion to lead and sale.google. Selecting different time periods The most basic customisation you can do is to change the way default reports are displayed. Go to available. Please go to www. 3 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Using the calendar / time period options The calendar time period options are easy to use: Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement You can select the current month by clicking on the month above all the dates.com to feedback or access our other guides. To change these simply select the “Graph By” option on the right of the screen. For example.. 12 http://www. but we suspect this isn’t used much. changing or comparing time periods or variables or the number of results displayed. Report page display number Purpose Number of rows to display in table. Most readers will be doing this already because the system is intuitive and you have to use it for basic analysis.

. 45 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Data. 5. To display this you have to click on it within the time-selection widget. We this this is the most useful of the Data View Tool. But it’s always worth checking that each time period starts on the same day. Term Cloud./l.Unlike other systems. You select “Views” using the option on the Right Side of the interface: 3 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Let’s have a quick look at each view and what it works best for: 1. 3. But there’s hidden gold in the different views and especially Pivots. Google Analytics isn’t a real-time system that displays information about current users straightaway. A Secondary dimension is selected using the “Pivot By” Box. so for this reason Google doesn’t show today’s date. Also of limited value. Percentage. Pivot.com). Creates a pie chart for the primary measure. Comparison. Presents a bar chart for the primary dimension. used for comparing different metrics in different columns 2. ! . After 1 and 6 this is the most useful of the data view options we think. Tends only to be useful for referrers. 6.chartbeat. Campaign Tracking C. The default view.com to feedback or access our other guides. Performance. Using reporting Views including Pivots Finding problems and opportunities We have separated “Views” as one of the main reporting features to learn about since we’ve found that many just go with the default data table view.smartinsights. Instead there is a lag of several (around 3 hours). Best Practice Tip 15 Learn how to use Google Analytics Views and especially the Pivot view The Pivot view enables you to compare performance of different dimensions through breaking them down further. 4. Please go to www. Comparing time periods Comparing time periods is a breeze – just select the “Compare to past” box and select the time period. Mainly of value for Keywords under Search. Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Setup and customisation If you need real-time analytics we recommend Chartbeat (www. Here it’s a Monday.

46 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. 3 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. ! . Best Practice Tip 16 Use Filters or “Searches” to identify opportunities The Search option enables you just to show the results for similar pages or keywords and then isolate the most important or those with scope for improvement. the Search option which is number 11 in the graphic at the start of this section is useful for zooming in on problem pages which are your opportunities. This example shows how… The drop down box is used to select Pages containing the term “dimension”. Please go to www.com to feedback or access our other guides. effectively filtering on this. The blue box is used to filter on a value – in this case the most popular pages.smartinsights. then this can be combined with popularity to find the biggest opportunities. If such filters are used to select pages or referrers which are performing poorly since they have a high bounce rate or low value. Using Filters or “Searches” to narrow results When working with reports./l. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities D..In this example we are pivoting by a secondary dimension of Country/Territory to better see the sources of traffic for the top keywords.

com to feedback or access our other guides.smartinsights./l. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. We describe these in the first Step under “4. Please go to www. 3 47 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.E.. Using custom reports The other type of report we wanted to flag up in this section are the customised reports you set up for your business. Shared reporting option 4: Custom reports”. ! .

The best way to think about most of these segments is as behavioural segments rather than demographic segments. this is the way we suggest you think about your segments. 48 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. but it requires a different way of looking at segments and you need to know where to look. Improving conversion to lead and sale. There are lots of characteristics of visitors that are collected by default by Google Analytics. But the difficulty is knowing which segments are most relevant. If you’re new to segments. we can access demographic segments too. Opportunities of Advanced Segments reviewed? As with traditional customer segments. Please go to www. Google Analytics can be frustrating for marketing since there isn’t an obvious report about customers. although as we’ll see. in Google Analytics./l. paid or non-paid search þ Platform – mobile platform This example shows how the standard or default segments can be presented to show paid and non-paid search traffic by ticking the Paid Search and Non-paid search traffic boxes. Behaviour and conversion of different visitor types reviewed? The best marketers put effort into understanding their customers’ behaviours. Where is the information about our different segments you ask? In fact. 4 Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Putting advanced segments to work r Q. The closest we can get is visitors who seem anonymous and undifferentiated. What is it? Advanced segments Different types of site visitors can be isolated to compare in their volume and quality to others. The place to look is the Advanced Segments menu option in the top left of the reporting area.com to feedback or access our other guides. so at first glance. from details about their browsers and screen sizes to the sites that they come from and the types of pages they view. segments group visitors who share common characteristics. Google Analytics provides great information on customer segments.Step 4 Understanding your site visitors r Q.. ! .smartinsights. You can select from standard segments or define custom segments Common standard advanced segments you will use are: þ Visitor type – new or returning þ Visitor source – direct.

Choose “Medium” to see more clarity through selecting Medium. 49 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.We’ll also show where to find information about these segments from the standard left sidebar navigation without accessing advanced segments.com to feedback or access our other guides. Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement 4 By default the Source/Medium are shown together. You can find these from the Traffic Sources menu. ! .smartinsights.. Segmentation by Referrer / Traffic source (offsite customer behaviour) r Q. you can see how these visitor types differ in their journeys through the site and the value they generate: þ Email campaigns and enewsletters þ Social media sites (a custom segment of all social media sites or an individual site like Facebook) þ Affiliates Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation þ Display þ Direct traffic þ Search engine marketing Within Google Analytics the different types of referrer are known as the “Medium” and different sites are known as the “Source”. Improving conversion to lead and sale. Behaviour and conversion by traffic source reviewed? For example. if you have campaign tracking setup. Please go to www. 1./l.

Safari browser (see below) Through the main menu you can access New and Returning visitors from the Visitors.. þ Significant high volume phrases or terms including a significant keyword 4 Understanding your visitors Improving reach 2. Segmentation by Visitor Type (visitor with brand) r Q. Behaviour tab: Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Please go to www. common visitor types to segment are: þ New visitor vs returning visitor þ Non-registered vs registered visitor (requires use of custom variables) þ Non-customer vs customer (requires use of custom variables) þ Technology platform used. We’ll show how to Setting up custom advanced segments shortly./l. ! .smartinsights.g. iPhone. Behaviour and conversion by visitor relationship? For example. It’s important to isolate brand searches since it’s the non-brand searches that are hardest to attract and most important to incremental business. 50 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Since search is such a major potential contributor for most sites. e.com to feedback or access our other guides. it’s laso important to break this down further using these segments: þ Paid search (standard segment ‘Paid Search Traffic) þ Natural (standard segment ‘Non-paid Search Traffic) or I sometimes setup a segment for “Google SEO traffic” since that’s what matters most þ Paid and natural brand and non-brand keyphrases (Requires custom segment including or excluding keywords which contain variants of the brand).

under the Visitors main menu there is also this option to get this visualisation of visitors by country: 4 Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Please go to www. 51 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. However. Segmentation by Location / Geography (Visitor characteristic) r Q.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 3.. ! .com to feedback or access our other guides. Behaviour and conversion by visitor location reviewed? A company will want to see how its performance varies in it’s main markets such as: þ UK þ US þ FIGS þ ROW Creating a custom report is often a better way to show this breakdown using the dimension “Country/Territory”.smartinsights./l.

! .com to feedback or access our other guides. you can review forward paths from this point understanding the most popular type of content reviewed and how many visitors convert. Behaviour and conversion by landing page type reviewed? If you segment by landing page type.. or you can understand related pages they view: þ Key landing page þ Product page þ Checkout complete þ Folders for large organisation 5. Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.smartinsights./l. Segmentation by Landing Page Type (combination of off-site and on-site customer behaviour) r Q. Behaviour and conversion by content viewed reviewed? Visitors who have seen a particular page type may be more likely to buy. Segmentation by Content Viewed (on-site customer behaviour) r Q. 52 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. You could argue this form of segmentation is pointless since the navigation summary could be used to find similar insights.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach 4 4. Please go to www.

Segmentation by Engagement r Q. > 1 7. but everyone will be able to see the benefit of identifying the source and customer journeys of your most valuable customers. 8. You’ll only be able to do this if you have setup Google Analytics to track value (see steps X and Y) for conversion goals and E-commerce. and you shouldn’t. Behaviour and conversion by engagement with site reviewed? 53 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. If you don’t want to do this. Gender for business-to-consumer þ Business size. 6. Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. performing a search or buying a product. sector or person role type for business-to-user You’ll only be able to do this if you have setup Google Analytics setting custom variables in the Google cookie when a visitor takes and action such as completing a form with profile information or similar to segment type 6. See Step 1 Setup custom variables. It requires you to use custom variables to record customers who have provided information about their characteristics such as: þ Age.smartinsights.Different types of landing pages you could use for this approach are: þ Adwords landing pages þ The home page þ Category pages þ Other significant entry pages Best Practice Tip 17 Review categories of content through a common string You can review behaviour across a page type such as all category pages. Segmentation by demographics r Q. Segmentation by value r Q. Behaviour and conversion by visitor value reviewed? This is a more classic segmentation technique used by email and direct marketers. Behaviour and conversion by action taken reviewed? This is similar to segmentation by content viewed in that it highlights specific behaviours.. Please go to www.e. (on-site customer behaviour) r Q. You will then create a custom segment showing visits where the value is above a certain value. Sex. Note that you can’t add the email address or any unique customer identifier which is personally identifiable information into this cookie otherwise you are breaking Google Analytics terms of service. browsing a category. Behaviour and conversion by demographics reviewed? Another segmentation approach marketers will be familiar with. i./l. Segmentation by action taken – conversion goals and E-commerce. ! . your only option is to use another analytics systems. Finding problems and opportunities Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking þ Segmentation by conversion types þ Segmentation by quantity purchased. all pages within a category or all product pages by specifying a range of pages which contain the relevant string. 4 9...com to feedback or access our other guides. but I’ve left it to near the end since it’s tricky to setup.

Setup and customisation 10.. Questions to ask: þ Are you supporting the observed users of browsers and screen resolutions (for example. Segmentation by Technology platform (visitor device characteristics) r Q. it was common for sites not to support Firefox well. Blackberry and Android models) are available. for example. These can be setup as custom segments or using goals in the new (Oct 2009) Engagement segments and then created as a custom segments.smartinsights. but today it may be Safari or Chrome. þ Are the number of mobile users significant? You can also review technology segments through the Visitors./l. Behaviour and conversion by technology platform reviewed? þ Browser type and version þ Screen resolution þ Mobile platforms (for example iPhone. Please go to www. Mobile as shown here: 4 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.com to feedback or access our other guides. 54 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. ! . different levels of customer engagement with the site include: þ 5 pages þ <3 pages þ 10 seconds þ < 10 seconds This allows you to filter out more or less advanced segments. Technology tab.For example.

you still only have around 800 pixels to target.When planning visits site upgrades it’s also important to know which Technology to support. ! .smartinsights. typically despite larger format screens. Structured use of segments to improve acquisition. Browser & OS menu option and then a secondary dimension of “Browser version”. Choose the Technology.. Please go to www./l.com to feedback or access our other guides. Using segments to improve results r Q. conversion and retention? 55 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. it’s useful to review Screen resolution to know which to target: 4 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. You can see that. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Similarly.

Select “Create a new advanced segment” from the Advanced segments box top right or click on the Advanced Segment menu option in the left sidebar and chose “+ New custom segment” 4 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Please go to www. þ Natural search visits NOT including brand. The short answer is that you to try to find more of the high value visitors that contribute to your goals by converting and find ways to persuade the lower value visitors to convert or don’t invest in them. we can ask the important questions about customers. but we’ve put them in rough order of importance and ease of setup.e. I’ll use my “brand name” from my site since I can’t use client data to illustrate this.. we recommend setting up 4 custom advanced segments. How do we find more prospects like these? Tactics to review include. Step 1. It just takes a few seconds to set each one up. i. Once visitor or customer grouping are identified. þ Nurturing. The most important ones will vary by your business.So there you have it. 56 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Setting up custom advanced segments r Q. I’ll show you how for an advanced segment for natural search visits containing the brand name. attracting more visitors searching for similar things or through advertising or partnering on similar sites. custom segments in any of the 10 areas above can be used. Custom segments reviewed? To understand the interaction of paid and natural brand phrases.. How can we persuade more prospects to act like these? Tactics to review include presenting relevant messages and offers to similar customers to encourage them to convert. some of the most important are related to search marketing. ! . How can we persuade visitors who don’t convert first time to act like these.com to feedback or access our other guides. This might include tactics like email marketing or retargeting. there certainly isn’t a shortage of options to segment. Creating other GA custom segments to help with search r Q. I advise setting them up and labelling them as follows: þ Natural search visits including brand. but for us. Custom segments reviewed? Well. þ Traffic building../l. þ Conversion.smartinsights. þ Paid search visits including brand name(s). þ Paid search visits NOT including brand name(s). so we’ll illustrate how to setup custom advanced segments through these.

/l. Step 4 Choose a name for your segment and press the “Preview segment” option to make sure you have it right first.com to feedback or access our other guides. Also.Step 2. Starbucks|Star Bucks. This will match “organic”. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.. Step 5 Finally you can apply your advanced segments to the report by selecting the segments you want from the Advanced Segments box on the top left as shown in the first screengrab. select the green box “Keyword” as the dimension to segment on. easy. For example. This example shows a high level view of the breakdown of search traffic. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors In many cases. Easy. Improving conversion to lead and sale. you will want to include some variants of the brand... 57 ! .smartinsights. Please go to www. First. Next filter by entering the brand name by choosing “contains” <brand name>. Paid is “cpc”. Best Practice Tip 18 Use regular expressions to include brand name alternatives Regular expressions are selected for custom advanced segments are selected using “Match Regexp” 4 Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Step 3 Next segment by natural search choosing a segment dimension as “and” : Add “AND” statement as shown in the screengrab above. although contains “bucks” would be easier. You do this using the pipe symbol and selecting “regular expression” rather than “contains”.

clothing and shoes. For high volume phrases it can be worth setting up a contains “high volume keyword” so that you can analyse that in depth. review these reports taking note of the balance between the different types of phrase. You can review the proportion to the ratio available from the Google Keyword Tool if you’re really into the details. A. The obvious place to start – you’ll see the proportion of each type of search. Content drilldown effectively aggregates across similar types of pages if you have a logical directory structure. you could setup an advanced segment for each. then you can add further selects to limit the search terms to these. Landing page reports.. so review how the percentage brand/non-brand split varies for different product categories. I’ve added some of the things to watch for. i. you’ll often see some performing better than others. or your clients are mainly interested in specific search engine. C. D. especially for SEO to see the amount of incremental traffic you’re attracting. Of course you’ll want to compare bounce rates to see how the different segments are performing depending on routeing of visitors to the right page and the content quality/persuasion of that page. For example. these were introduced in the customisation Step 1: Step 10 Setup custom variables. 58 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. You should report % non-brand routinely. Similarly this will show where there are problems with visitor routeing or engagement giving rise to high bounce rates.. Once you have set up the 4 segments. which is like a phrase match in Adwords should give a lot more search terms. check the Goals tab to see whether the different types of search keyword are delivering goals and value. You can also do a long-tail effectiveness review – for example – an exact match of “jeans” against contains “jeans” – the latter.com to feedback or access our other guides. if you’re a retailer and you have too main product categories.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking You can also use these segments within keyword reports to easily separate out brand and non brand keywords.smartinsights. Another approach I use is to segment on high volume/big money keywords./l. Goals report.e. Google and a specific market like the UK. Please go to www. If you want to know more about visitor quality beyond the initial bounce. If you.. 4 Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. B. Custom variables r Q. Keywords report. Use of custom-variables reviewed? Custom variables are another important technique for reviewing different customer segments. ! . Top content report or better content drilldown. again one for each of natural and paid search is best.

! . you need to turn to benchmarking services and compare number of visitors to your site with what you would expect given your knowledge of total sales of a competitor online or offline. You have to balance number of visits. Are the number of visitors we attract consistent with our brand strength? To answer this question. then this may mean they are more successful in SEO or social media for example. We have a more detailed review of these tools on our site�. Where the ratio differs.google. Overall level of traffic benchmarked? Finding problems and opportunities We review traffic numbers using visits (each session on a site) or visitors (individual visitors who may make several visits in the reporting time period. An extra level of sophistication is to use Google Trends or Google Insights for search to compare the relative number of brand searches against competitors with actual site visitors. To answer this question is a benchmarking activity which can’t really be completed within your analytics system alone..com) þ Alexa (www. We recommend these 3 questions you should ask: Q1. quality.com/adplanner) þ Google Trends for Websites (www. 5 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. content and cost doesn’t really help identify problems and opportunities.google. To do this we have to break down traffic into the different referrers like search marketing.com/trends) þ Compete (www. in general order of accuracy: þ Google or Doubleclick Adplanner (www. Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation Reviewing overall traffic volume r Q. social media and email marketing as we explained in Step 4 on advanced segments. 59 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.compete. Remember that just using Google Analytics to review overall numbers for traffic volume.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides. quantity. Please go to www. Opportunities for reaching more audience reviewed? When you think about success in driving traffic or improving reach. for example. Let’s look at each. if a competitor has more visits than you based on what you would expect from the number of brand searches. where there is often insufficient data). Questions to ask about traffic volume are all related to whether you are making the most of the opportunity to attract visitors given the scale of your brand and the size of the marketplace you operate in. against quality and cost. you have to look beyond pure numbers of visitors./l.Step 5 Improving reach to drive quality traffic r Q. Benchmarking is more difficult with companies that have competitors which offer a different range of products and services. so it’s best to apply to your direct competitors. For free tools to benchmark site size.com) Note that these tools work best for larger companies receiving high-levels of traffic (compared to smaller sites.alexa. we recommend.

e. These are: þ Bounce rate þ Average duration of site visit þ Pages per visit You can find out these value for the whole site or for individual pages and traffic sources. To assess initial engagement with the site there are three main measures you can use. 2. i. it’s reviewing the traffic quality which really indicates the success of your traffic-building. maybe as low as 10%.. Quality of different referrers reviewed? Although it’s great to measure traffic volume. Customer demand may increase for new products. For example. Reviewing your bounce rates If visitors are customers and know your site and brand. ! . Identify all target keyphrases for your company. do they stay on your site þ Do visitors convert to the outcomes you are looking for. Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. The stages of a gap analysis are: 1./l. Reviewing your traffi quality answers questions like: þ Do the visitors engage with your content. but that’s a difficult question to answer since engagement measures vary a lot between types of sites and for different visitors within the site. they’re likely visit it for a particular reason your site bounce rate will be very low. Compare actual number of searches you receive compared to customer demand. the volume of searches for ebooks and ebook readers has increased in recent years. Are our visitor numbers consistent with customer demand indicated by search behaviour? To answer this question. 3. A more sophisticated analysis compares searches from paid and natural sources as explained in depth in our 7 Step Guides to SEO and Adwords.smartinsights. To review performance against seasonal demand. Please go to www. holiday searches are always highest around the turn of the year. Q3. Are the number of visits consistent with seasonality? A search demand analysis is most accurate at a point in time since customer demand for products and services varies through time.com to feedback or access our other guides. To answer these questions Assessing engagement. you need to complete a search demand gap analysis. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors 5 60 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. How do we compare? What does a good bounce rate or a good duration look like? Naturally you want to know how you compare. Use a keyword research tool to assess total customer demand for each (we recommend using the Google Keyword tool with output reported as exact match. tools you can use include: þ Google Trends þ Google Insights for Search (includes “rising terms” which may highlight demand for new products or services Review quality for different referring traffic r Q. For example.Q2.

smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides.com/blog/conversion-optimisation/benchmark-engagement/ Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.But if visitor doesn’t know your brand and they are coming through from a search engine to a page that doesn’t engage them. their visit will be complete. Segmenting traffic quality A review of traffic quality becomes much more actionable when you break down bounce rates or conversion rates for different : þ Traffic sources including both sites and individual ads or links þ Keywords þ New vs returning visitors þ Landing pages þ Conversion paths – where multiple pages or from processes like add-to-basket. checkout or form completion lead to conversion. 5 61 ! . Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Length of Visit report.. Reviewing pages per visit This measure doesn’t give you a page level visit unless accessed as part of a custom report. We also have more detail on benchmarking engagement with your site13. Oftentimes you will you will see that a majority of sessions are less than 10 seconds./l. Please go to www. it maybe as high as 90%. you can use the benchmarking facility in Google Analytics compared to similar-sized sites within your sector. review the bar graph of site duration within the Visitor Loyalty. Reviewing visit duration Best Practice Tip 19 Chosing a suitable target visit duration To decide on a threshold for visit duration. þ Blogs or news pages where a visitor is interested in a single piece of news and advice and are less likely to browse other pages on the site þ Contact us pages or other pages where a single piece of information is needed To compare bounce rates. Page per visits is reported at the visit level so is available for the entire site or broken down by different traffic sources. 13 http://www. For example: þ Positive: Less than 40% þ Neutral: 40 to 60% þ Negative: More than 60% Remember that a high bounce rate or low duration isn’t necessarily negative depending on customer intent. We advise setting your own thresholds for bounce rate. So this if often used as a measure of engagement or reviewing quality traffic. The efficiency of each of these conversion contributors will affect conversions since each contributor affects part of the customer journey: Conversion rate = Traffic quality (including keywords) +Landing page quality + conversion path Recommendation: Review segmented bounce rates to identify inefficiencies in conversion. If they find it on the first page they land on. Pages which commonly have high bounce/low duration are: þ Customer service pages where visitors are seeking an answer to a question.smartinsights.

þ 3. This isn’t a meaningful number or index. Please go to www. multiplying by volume. keyword and landing pages to identify conversion contributors which are under-performing compared to other contributors. Higher volume conversion contributors which are relatively important by volume so it’s worth focusing your attention here. Calculate a conversion opportunity index to identify optimisation targets Identify conversion contributors which offer the most value in making improvements.com to feedback or access our other guides. This shows you the value you would receive if this element was of average efficiency. One method of calculating a conversion opportunity index is to simply multiply bounce rate by volume which gives higher values equating to bigger opportunities.smartinsights. Which marketing activities drive visitors to us? As we saw in Step 2. Here are two methods which combine 1 and 2 above to help you identify the conversion contributors which require the most attention or have the biggest potential! 1.What you need to identify. Using Advanced Filters to identify optimisation targets Use an Advanced filter in Google analytics reports for traffic sources. þ 2. when you select the Traffic Sources overview. Lower efficiency conversion contributors you control such as traffic source./l. A better measure is arguably obtained by subtracting conversion or bounce rate from the average and where positive. They can be individual contributors such as an individual page or keyphrase or part of a wider group – similar pages or keyphrases. you get a good idea of what Google Analytics can tell you about the type of marketing which is sending or referring visits to your site: Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Reviewing traffic mix r Q.. 2. ! . Higher value conversion contributors which will potentially bigger improvements in terms of revenue or profitability. so you can focus your attention on improving them are: þ 1. By low efficiency we mean these are under-performing compared to other similar elements in terms of bounce or conversion rates – they are not engaging visitors as well as others of their type. 5 62 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. keyword or landing page.

For example.. Improving conversion to lead and sale. display advertising. there are four main traffic sources reported at this level in Google Analytics are: þ Search traffic – This groups both natural and paid search (Adwords) þ Referral traffic – This is traffic from other sites which have direct links to your site þ Direct traffic – Direct traffic results from URL type ins. Is our traffic mix effective? You should look for a balanced traffic mix like that on the Left here. As mentioned at the start of the guide. if you don’t use campaign tracking you’re direct or referring sites may be overstated and campaigns understated. ! . How can we improve search marketing performance? Through their experience. as we saw in Step 2.smartinsights. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Q. Q. þ Campaigns – Campaigns include Adwords when linked to the Google Account and any other campaigns like affiliates. A is getting more referral traffic þ Less dependent on one source – it is risky if too many of your “eggs are in one basket” as in B. value per visit is the most effective KPI for measuring effectiveness. Best Practice Tip 20 Minimise Direct traffic Use campaign tracking to ensure affiliate marketing. display ads and email campaigns when these have hadRemember that. How much value do different visitor types generate? While it is difficult to get an idea of the cost effectiveness of different visitor types in Google Analytics we do get a good idea on the value generated.As we’ve seen earlier. bookmarks or when email marketing isn’t tracked. search marketing specialists know intuitively the questions to ask 63 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement 5 Q.com to feedback or access our other guides. social media and email marketing are included as campaign referrers. A balanced mix is preferable since: þ You’re more likely to be maximising different sources./l. Please go to www. Strategy Recommendation 13 Review Revenue per Visit or Goal Value per Visit Diving value generated by number of visits helps us see how effective different referrers and keywords are.

we illustrate this with Google Analytics. without drilling down into much detail about paid and natural search. If it’s higher than 100 then this is referring more value Where to find out in Google Analytics? The best place to find out the volumes and value is in the [Traffic Sources. How much value is search marketing contributing overall to our organisation? Finding problems and opportunities Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking By value. % Visits. Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Onto the questions: Q1. % Value referred by each type of search þ Efficiency: Index of 100 Search volume or value divided by all visit volume or value. Please go to www. KPIs: þ Volume: n. If it’s higher than 100 then this is referring more value. Goals or Ecommerce Transactions referred by search þ Value: £. ! . Search] report where it’s broken down by type of organic and natural. Q2. we mean the revenue generated through leads and sales or alternatively savings created through online service or document downloads.smartinsights. Does the proportion of paid and natural search fit with our search marketing strategy? If your strategy is to invest in both you should check whether the value you’re generating from each of paid and natural is consistent with your investment.com to feedback or access our other guides. then it may be that your SEO effectiveness needs reviewing KPIs: þ Volume: n. Where to find out in Google Analytics? You can see the paid vs natural search marketing mix several ways in [Traffic Sources. For example. This is a high-level review. % Visits. but you are investing a fair amount in SEO.to review and improve the contribution of search marketing to an organisation.. Paid and natural mix. so it looks at search overall./l. 5 64 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. the most popular analytics tool. An index is used to compare performance of search and other channels. We’ve designed the questions so they work both for a first time audit and a more regular weekly or monthly review to keep tabs on your performance. But what if you’re a business owner or marketer where search marketing is only a (small) part of what you do? Which questions should you be asking and where do look in your web analytics to find the answers? Our compilation of top-level questions is intended to give you a framework of questions to ask yourself or colleagues or agencies who are managing search engine marketing. An index is used to compare performance of search and other channels. You can see the trend through time and should setup alerts using Google Analytics Intelligence to see changes in contribution from SEO where algorithms or competitor actions can change. if paid search accounts for 70% of your referrers. Goals or Ecommerce Transactions referred by search broken down by paid and natural search þ Value: £. Search contribution to visits and goals. $. For each questions we also give you some pointers for where you can look to in your web analytics to find the answers. As always. $ Value referred by search þ Efficiency: Index of 100 Search volume or value divided by all visit volume or value.

Apply an Advanced Segment for paid and natural search from the Advanced Segments selector. Select Paid or Non Paid hyperlinks above the table. Are we attracting sufficient branded and non-branded search visits? Anyone who has ever reviewed the keywords attracting visitors to a site will have seen that brand search terms usually dominate. but again you can’t see percentages. KPIs: þ Volume: n. 2. % Visits. Apply the pivot table option for the keywords report (select the grid icon and then chose medium) to show a separate column for paid and natural).Search] report where it’s broken down by type of search engine.smartinsights. You also can’t readily compare the segments on a graph. There are a couple of alternatives to help.com to feedback or access our other guides. ! . An index is used to compare performance of search and other channels. Where to find out in Google Analytics? So it’s important to isolate non-brand search visits. For us. 65 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Top Left. Revenue or Transactions. this is the best option since it allow you to see trends in the chart at the top and display Visits. transactions or revenue. If it’s higher than 100 then this is referring more value. Techniques: 1. % Value referred by each type of search þ Efficiency: Index of 100 Search volume or value divided by all visit volume or value. 3. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Q3. this doesn’t give you the two side-by-side. This shows you a breakdown in each row of the report although annoyingly. Branded and non-branded mix. often accounting for more than 50% of search related visits for well-known brands. it doesn’t give you a percentage of each.. Please go to www. Goals or Ecommerce Transactions referred by search broken down by branded and non-branded search þ Value: £./l. If you chose the Ecommerce tab (if relevant) you can see visits. $. We looked at how to setup Advanced Custom Segments for this purpose in the section on Step 3 on creating other GA custom segments to help with search. so you can see the revenue. The problem is. 5 Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.

so showing sales growth potential. It’s often completed as part of a quarterly or annual review. Please go to www. Also measured by conversion rate to lead or sale. Improving conversion to lead and sale. What should you measure for a search gap analysis? As for the review of the performance of all traffic sources. We have a template to help you perform a gap analysis in Google Analytics. but due to seasonal fluctuations in search volumes and changes in Google’s ranking approaches and competitor activity it should also be completed more regularly. Compare actual number of searches you receive compared to customer demand. it doesn’t tend to cover natural search. lower if the quality is good. the main measures you need to look at are traffic volume. 3. 2. Target keyphrases. in this case related to LCD TVs. ! .Q4. 66 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. We have more detail on keyphrase analysis in our Seven Steps to SEO Success guide. we suggest monthly. Identify all target keyphrases for your company. The stages of a gap analysis are: 1. higher is better. Do we have defined. Which keyphrases are underperforming against potential volumes A search demand gap analysis is an essential part of a search engine marketing audit to check how well your search engine optimisation and/or pay-per-click marketing is working for your company. Benefits of a gap analysis Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement 5 A gap analysis will show you where you are underperforming for particular keyphrases or products and you can then set goals and then brief an agency or colleagues to take actions to improve performance in these areas. þ Traffic value – The value generated through sales or leads can be compared against the cost of search marketing.com to feedback or access our other guides. quality and cost: þ Traffic volume – measured through the number of actual visits from paid and natural search. Gap analysis./l. you can see it’s based around the main strategic high volume generic for a particular market..smartinsights. Use a keyword research tool to assess total customer demand for each (we recommend using the Google Keyword tool with output reported as exact match. Actual visits are then compared with potential visits þ Traffic quality – measured by bounce rate. or the integration between paid and natural search so well. The revenue per visit can be calculated for each keyphrase and for pay per click can be compared to visitor acquisition costs – amount bid. up-to-date target keyphrases for your audience? It may seem obvious that you should have a target list of keyphrases if you’re looking to boost your visits and sales from search marketing and indeed many companies do have a list. Understanding your visitors Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities It will show you the commercial opportunity available from search engine marketing and compare your current performance against this opportunity. Q5. Here’s an example of a gap analysis. As. But what we find is that although this list is usually managed well for paid search marketing through Adwords reporting.

What is our visibility for long-tail keyphrases? þ Search attribution. then there may be an opportunity to reduce paid performance. Poor value may also indicate a problem with the experience on the site. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities 5 67 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited./l. then this also suggests an opportunity for improvement. If the volume of visits from search is relatively low compared to the number of searches shown by a relatively low “share of search %” then ways of boosting the performance of the phrase should be reviewed..Acting on a gap analysis Each keyphrase should be reviewed for volume. If both paid and natural visits are high. The 7 Steps to SEO guide has additional guidance for getting more out of your SEO including: þ Country mix.smartinsights. þ Quality. This may indicate a problem with landing page routing – the visitor arrives on a page with a the wrong type of product information or a poor call-to-action. If natural visits are relatively low compared to paid visits for a keyphrase and particularly if there are a high volumes of clicks or conversions for that phrase then this suggests that keyphrase performance for this phrase should be improved. or it may simply be a relatively low value product. How does bounce rate and conversion vary by keyphrase? þ Long tail coverage. particularly if the volume is relatively high. þ Value. ! . If a phrase has a relatively high bounce rate and/or a relatively low conversion rate. Do country source reflect proportion of market interest? þ Conversion effectiveness. quality and value as follows: þ Volume.com to feedback or access our other guides. How many visitors are first-time visitors against returning visitors? How many multiple visits are there before conversion? Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Value generated for a keyword should be compared to the cost for pay per click. Please go to www.

smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides. Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. It’s not a KPI since it won’t change much through time. Which page types are most important for entries into our site? r Q. on understanding customer journeys. Please go to www. In some cases./l. it’s useful to start your understanding of customer behaviour with where visitors enter the site. It’s best to check it for different types of visitors. ! . as for a blog it can be lower than 20%.. Opportunities to improve customer journeys improved? In this step. This approach is based on 9 questions to review customer journeys: Setup and customisation Q1. I’ll take you through an approach you can use to review your current site effectiveness. using Google Analytics and so get better results. 68 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Although there tends to be a big focus on improving the home page. 6 Q2.We know how important our home page is compared to other page types and make adjustments accordingly The percentage of home page visits is a diagnostic measure for knowing how to improve a site.Step 6 Improving journeys and site engagement r Q. What percentage of visits start on the home page? r Q. this may not necessarily be where visitors enter the site. We’re clear where visitors enter our site and ensure we deliver the right messages and engagement devices to visitors? As we saw in Step 3.

Please go to www. Most are. Q4. it’s really helpful since it aggregates your visits across different types of page provided your site is nicely arranged in a hierarchical structure./l. A simple measure to help them question this is the % of visits that begin on the home page. ! . but your colleagues may not and think that conversion optimisation starts here. We know the most important types of pages across all journeys So how do you know which are the most important entry page types across journeys? Step forward the much neglected “Content drill-down” option. Which page types are most popular? r Q. If you don’t know this report.Best Practice Tip 21 Review % of entries for the home page and other page types by visitor type to see which pages you need to improve Visitor types you can review this for are new against returning visitors and visitors from search engines who type a specific phrase. but across all journeys we need to review a different type of report.. So if the home page isn’t so important.smartinsights.. We know the most important page entry types for different types of traffic The landing page report will show you this. which pages are? Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Q3. Which entry page types are most popular? r Q. You may know that the home page is most important. Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.. 6 69 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.com to feedback or access our other guides.

if you want to see behaviour relative to landing page. you need to complete a gap analysis for page performance – reviewing the potential of 70 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. The Top Content report doesn’t show you this. Please go to www. it’s also worth repeating this analysis for some of your top traffic sources or referrers using an Advanced Segment report. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking I often find when reviewing Ecommerce sites that this report shows the importance of product or category pages! Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach For further insight.. This shows that the Emarketing Glossary is an important category of page on my site even though I can’t see this from the Top Content report since each of the pages individually is insignificant. Adwords visitors or non-brand search visitors if you’re investing a lot in search marketing. Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. We know which page types are under-performing? Next. This will show you the combination of the most important landing pages and content.Best Practice Tip 22 Use Google Analytics Content Drilldown to find the most popular page types across the site The content drilldown enables you to see which pages types are most popular when grouped together.smartinsights. Here’s an example of the content drilldown report. Which page types have the biggest opportunity for improvement? r Q./l. Finally. I would recommend looking at New visitors only. create a Google Analytics pivot table pivoting by landing page.com to feedback or access our other guides. Pivoting by Visitor Type (new vs returning visitors) can also give you an idea of which are most important for the all important first time visitor. ! . 6 Q5.

But. Q6. the site owner likely won’t be so interested in bounce rates. Per Visit Goal Value (for non-Ecommerce sites which have value assigned to leads) 3. 6 71 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.smartinsights. Strategy Recommendation 14 Create models of the value of conversion optimisation Through creating a model of improvement you can then make the business case for investment in optimisation and prioritise optimisation activities on the areas that will potentially get you the biggest benefits. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. We have evaluated the relevance of AB and multivariate testing? Once you have used the techniques we have described above to identify the pages with the biggest potential improvements we recommend you invest in a structured improvement o Have above average exit rates for the type of page. þ Abandonment is best assessed through bounce or exit rate. Good measures to assess here which look at the commercial values of visitors: 1. There are different ways of tackling this. Are you testing different page alternatives? r Q. Q7.com to feedback or access our other guides. ! . so it’s best to compare these to the site average to calculate the potential sales improvement. $ Index value (which shows how different content types are contributing value – available in the Content Drilldown report. þ You can multiply 100. 2. but o Have below average engagement when they act as landing pages You want to find the combination of the popular pages which visitors encounter most often in their customer journey against those which aren’t effective so they cause visitors to abandon the site: þ Popularity is best measured using Unique Page Views since these are opportunities for unique visitors to convert./l. Using a “reverse path analysis” for a goal page using the individual page Navigation Summary in Google Analytics is another method to determine which pages influence sales the most. What is going to be the ROI of improving page types? r Q.Bounce rate against unique page views or use the new weighted sort in Google Analytics. Per Visit Value (for Ecommerce sites) I’ve explained how to use these value measures and how they’re calculated in more detail on Brian Clifton’s Advanced Web Metrics site. rather they will want to know how sales will increase.pages against what each page type of site section is delivering now. Please go to www. Through completing a basic quantitative analysis you can define a % improvement in reducing bounce or exit rate and so show how many additional visitors you may be able to convert. We know the ROI we will achieve from improving pages? Often.. essentially we’re looking to ask these additional question: R Which pages are most popular. Of course you’re never going to have a 0% bounce or exit rate.

programme if your site is big enough to warrant it. images or button against a control which is the original page.com provides a great summary. 72 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. the main cost is learning about the tools. Best Practice Tip 23 Use the right tools for managing page optimisation experiments Tools like GWO enable you to modify existing pages through Javascript while others such as ion Interactive and Unbounce manage the creation of landing pages also. Since some of the tools are free. This enables selection of the most effective combination of design elements to achieve the desired goal.prwd. We have reviewed the relevance of multivariate testing? Multivariate testing is more sophisticated than AB testing since all the different pages can be assessed simultaneously. messaging and offers in a structured way rather than based on gut feel and ad-hoc testing. so it could even be worthwhile for smaller sites. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Source: PRWD: http://blog. In this case it was found that the addition of additional bullet points on the right of the screen increased conversion. What is it? Multivariate testing Multivariate testing enables simultaneous testing pages for all combinations and variations of page elements that are being tested. What is it? AB testing AB testing refers to testing two (or more) different versions of a page which contain different page elements such as a heading. www. Please go to www.uk/usability/case-study-conversion-rate-improved-by86pc-with-google-website-optimiser Q8. Here is an example of the benefits of this form of testing where landing page conversion rates improved by 86 percent and acquisition costs were almost halved.co.smartinsights. Are you testing different page elements? r Q.com to feedback or access our other guides. it’s often best to use a relatively simple page like a 6 Improving conversion to lead and sale.whichmvt.. Strategy Recommendation 15 Invest time in structure experiments to improve pages AB and multivariate testing enables you to test improvements to site layout. ! ./l. To start with multivariate or AB testing. Individual contributions to conversion increase can be assessed unlike with AB testing where the source of improvements aren’t known.

Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Q9.com to feedback or access our other guides. So there is a fifth question which is.. ! . Has site search been reviewed r Site search reviewed? Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. “Which pages did they exit on?” What we don’t see from these 4 reports is anything about the actions visitors take.. although that’s certainly possible. Setup and customisation Simplifying Google Analytics to improve your site Google Analytics gives you hundreds of potential reports with incredibly detailed information. Please go to www. “Which pages did visitors land on?” þ 3. Best Practice Tip 24 Start testing with pages used by a relatively small audience Through testing initially with pages which aren’t seen by most visitors you can learn before rolling out testing to higher-volume pages like the home page or product pages. the actions you will care most about are did the visitor add a product to the basket or did the visitor buy? If you don’t run an Ecommerce site. “Where do visitors come from?” þ 2. but you will need to configure Google Analytics to get this information. “Which paths did they take through the site?” þ 4. these are the Ecommerce and conversion goals. 6 73 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.smartinsights. If we simplify the reports available to understand and improve visitor interaction with a site we actually have just 4 reports which answer just 4 questions.. But to optimise performance we need to sit back and take a higher level view of information about visitors. There are reports to help here also. þ 5.landing page or a forms page rather than a home page. then you may have other goals such as downloading a whitepaper or signing up for an enewsletter. These are: þ 1./l. “What action did they take on site (if any)?” If you run an Ecommerce site. for example about which smartphone screen resolutions are most popular.

. % Search refinements. This may again indicate an unsatisfactory search experience. This is the main measure which suggests an unsatisfactory search experience where people search and can’t find what they’re looking for. showing a diversity of keyphrases. but it’s one to watch after a site redesign. For an Ecommerce site. 3. if too many are refining. this may indicate the search box isn’t prominent or visitors prefer to browse. Google offers the option to find where visitors started their search which may indicate poor navigation options on a page. So if you have fewer searchers./l. While it’s natural for searchers to start with a more generic search to see what’s available. the proportion of visits with search will vary a lot depending on what the site offers. If this exceeds 30% this should be a concern and you should segment by this variable using an Advanced segment to see the results returned which prompted an exit due to lack of relevant products. Although users love to search. Relationship between search and content. This measure isn’t going to vary much over time. % Search exits. þ Common searches which don’t return results or products. 6 74 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. In our experience if % search refinements exceeds 30 to 40% then this may exceed a problem. published benchmarks from Coremetrics show us that around 30% of visits include a search. but two things to watch for are: þ Common searches which you may want to feature within the primary or secondary navigation or as links within the editorial if it’s a popular topic or product. or that visi- Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Google Analytics has a great set of reports to allow you tell whether you are making it easy for them.com to feedback or access our other guides. or if shown in the results unsatisfactory delivery or pricing information. The results often aren’t that illuminating. ! .What to look for in site search reports? Users love to search on site in the same way they love to Google! All sites will have users whose preferred mode of finding products or information is the on-site search engine and it’s your job to make it easy for them. Please go to www. % visits with search. 5. Search terms and categories. so suggesting an unmet need. You may want to offer products or information which are currently unavailable in this case. 4. it suggests unsatisfactory results are returned. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Here we’ll focus on the main reports to check out that can help you improve the search experience. Most marketers will want to start here to see what customers are demanding when searching for products or information. 1. 2.smartinsights.

/l. Goals and Ecommerce. A common finding from this analysis is that: þ Searchers are more likely to convert þ Value generated will be higher than for other visitors If you think why this is. and most importantly. You can also check whether relevant pages were found. 6. This finding again shows the value of encouraging search. Finally. Please go to www. ! . Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.smartinsights.. we can check whether searches generated business value by using the Goals and Ecommerce tab.tors have arrived on a site on an unwanted page.com to feedback or access our other guides. Setup and customisation 6 75 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. it’s simply because search visitors are more engaged on average and they have greater intent. The search results pages often make it easy to select and buy products from this point.

þ Every girl knows just how important her handbag is. When running through these recommendations we will work down the page from top to bottom: Q. ! . Do you put the emphasis on the benefits? It can be easy to focus on the product features rather than benefits. þ See what you can save on great toys for baby with our range of toys from birth to preschool Q. For example: “When you buy from the World’s No 1 Citrus fruit store. Many of the features of these pages are similar since we are deep within the site. Does your lead-in copy enhance your brand? In Flicks & Clicks copywriter Mel Hanson advises “An often over-looked use of category overviews is to help reinforce your brand”. checkout and forms. Use copywriting to blend the features and benefits. Opportunities to improve conversion rate reviewed? In the previous step. As in the previous step.. basket. for example as services. although they may be described differently. Q.com to feedback or access our other guides. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 76 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Product or service category pages optimised? r Q. Q.Step 7 How can we improve conversion? r Q. but where they differ. Does your lead-in copy engage? Avoid a drab “Welcome to our section category” Instead. particularly if they are contained within body text. we looked at ideas to improve conversion through improving customer journeys through a site.COM UK. it’s best to engage through the copy and reference your target keyword within the text as in these examples.smartinsights. you’re guaranteed that every segment is deliciously juicy”. Does our page work for SEO? Ensure your product pages follow the guidelines detailed in our Seven Steps for SEO guide. Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation Q./l. Please go to www. we will look at the category and product pages separately. In this step. Q. Depending on your E-commerce platform you may not be able to edit these. we present the ideas as a series of questions you can quickly review. you’ll find the best equipment for the job at SHOP. Category page templates optimised? Most sites have category or product pages. Do you link to related categories or products? Linking to related items will support the user and SEO. þ A plain T-shirt is an invaluable companion þ Whatever your television watching needs and habits. but it’s worth7 Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. we hope to give ideas to help you improve conversion towards the bottom of the funnel through optimising category and product pages.

þ Recommendations. or at the least will have to search for it actively. but it does over simplify. We like the mnemonic. but doesn’t use subsequent headings. Product or service pages optimised? Product or service page templates optimised? We like this product page advice to focus on the 3Ps of a product page – Picture.. Our plain-t shirts complement this jacket perfectly þ Up-sell. 7 Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. This isn’t a major factor. This is part of our great-value range. ! . We also offer designer t-shirts.com to feedback or access our other guides. instead of just finding it effortlessly.smartinsights. Put it too far away and there’s a risk they won’t see it. maybe the page heading is important for visitors arriving from search – and this also affects search marketing! Likewise a detailed product description and great copywriting can help improve the product page./l. They recommend clear images since these will attract attention first and that “Things that are shown together belong together”. Please go to www.while making these changes if possible: r Title tags include category or product name and variants if they can be edited r Category or product name is included with an <h1> tag r Sub-category or product names included within <h2> Setup and customisation r Links to related categories or products use effective anchor text. Campaign Tracking Q. Page intro and headline text optimised for search? Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Make sure your page heading has these characteristics: r Headline relevant for product or category r Synonyms added to headline or intro copy for search r Main heading defined as heading style 1 <h1> for relevance in SEO and Adwords quality score <1> r Additional headings on the page <h2>. which are similar across all pages. Here are some examples of using anchor text effectively: þ Cross-sell. So visitors will look for the price and the button in the near vicinity of the image. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 77 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. <h3> target synonyms or secondary keyphrases Amazon gets the <h1> right in this example. Price and “Putton”�. You may also like our winter coats. Page headline and intro copy relevant r Q. Best Practice Tip 25 Use relevant page heading(s) and intro text These are essential for search marketing and to reassure visitors they are in the right place Q.

7 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 78 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Still. Please go to www.co. ! . Try to remove fear. uncertainty and doubt! Brian Eisenberg calls these “Point of Action (POA) assurances../l.uk use an <h2> with this neat product Q&A feature Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. we prefer how Comet. These are even more important within the checkout processes. Make delivery and service messages clear r Service delivery messages clear Make sure the deal you offer is always clear. Q.com to feedback or access our other guides. Here the point-of-action is add-tobasket.smartinsights.

People and Process) should be constantly reviewed with plans to improve them compared to competitors. with clearly identified blocks on delivery and a great clear pricematch promise: Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Please go to www. Physical Evidence.smartinsights. key products need more copy and this can help with SEO Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 79 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Include: r Pricing? r Availability? r Delivery charges? r Reserve and collect option for multichannel retailers? r Returns policy? r Guarantees (if relevant)? Comet do this well also. Is our product information of sufficient quality? r Product copy and detail appropriate? Too little copy may be a problem since we can’t connect with the visitor if we just have 3 to 4 bullets. Promotion. Place. Ensure you harness all parts of the marketing mix to improve page performance.com to feedback or access our other guides./l.This isn’t a small tip. it’s so essential the key elements of the marketing mix (Product.. Price. Campaign Tracking Setup and customisation 7 Q. To encourage them to buy. Strategy Recommendation 16 Developing a compelling total shopping experience offer. ! .

Q. Strategy Recommendation 17 Review and improve the quality of your social proof and assess its effectiveness in increasing conversion Review the range of options available to engage customers in the page through interacting with the page and feeding back on it. Review the following for relevance: r Customer product reviews r Customer testimonials r Independent product reviews r Recommendations from staff r Social sharing.com to feedback or access our other guides. recommendations and testimonials) used? Yes. You’ll notice that Amazon use the classic green buttons and these have become a de facto standard since green often works best – green for go! Make sure that you check these for the ‘buy’ or ‘find out more’ buttons: r Buttons sufficiently prominent – size – large tends to perform better r Buttons contrast sufficiently – colour – this depends on the site.. but you do still see buttons which don’t work the best for the site owner because of their placement. often white on green for go performs r Buttons have the right type of call-to-action copy r Buttons are available both above and below the fold 7 Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Are our product visualisations of sufficient quality? r Product imagery and review images clear? It’s also worth thinking about how images support search – are they effective if they’re on a separate image server? Q. Amazon virtually invented it. ! . Improving error pages r Sources or errors reviewed and error pages improved? Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 80 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Social proof used to encourage purchase? r Social proof (product reviews.also.smartinsights. social proof used to be called testimonials. Please go to www. Are calls-to-action clear? r Calls-to-action effective? This is an obvious one. Q. size. but it’s an essential way to remind us that purchasers often trust what other customers say about a site more than us… So improving your social proof is an essential activity./l. Both Amazon and Comet do this well as shown in the previous examples. format or text. ratings. especially through Facebook and Twitter r Star ratings Improving reach Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors r Q&A about the product – see the comment example above Q.

! . We are most interested in the High potential type products. This is crucial for retailers since it will show issues with pricing and merchandising. the relative performance can be more usefully assessed against offline sales or general marketplace category popularity if known. but for transactional sites it’s crucial to get on top of these. Steps to think about are: þ Setup a custom error page if you don’t have one.It’s inevitable that users will experience errors on your site. Engagement can be measured through time on page or interaction with product descriptions or reviews.com/2011/05/18/optimizing-error-pages-creating-opportunities-out-of-mistakes Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 81 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.com to feedback or access our other guides. A basic way of doing this is looking at the % of sales or revenue generated for each category and products within. To give context. Best Practice Tip 27 Review relative add-to-basket conversion for products and categories You can identify underperforming products well through reviewing variance in add-to-basket conversion./l. but for all companies with products. What is the relative performance of categories and products? r Relative performance of different categories and products reviewed? To determine which categories or pages are important we should look at their relative performance.smashingmagazine. þ Improve the messaging on error pages to apologise and to help users on their journeys through links to support or through a search box. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Q. Please go to www.. Often these aren’t given enough attention. Best Practice Tip 26 Fix error pages Review the type and volume of errors to improve the customer experience and boost conversion. This article has excellent advice14. understanding the relative performance is insightful enabling changes in pages to be made. especially where content isn’t found because the URL is wrong as happens when a link is wrongly entered into the content management system on your site or a linking site. Strategy Recommendation 18 Review relative performance between products and categories Identify categories and pages that can be improved relative to the average. 7 14 http://www. Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. But what ultimately counts is add-to-basket conversion. A more advanced method is to review engagement by product type. This graphic shows the type of visualization you should try to build up.smartinsights.

as it doesn’t require any extra code.appliedwebanalytics.com).com to feedback or access our other guides. the next step is to find out why they’re being overlooked by potential customers. Often the reasons are very easy to fix.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking This graph shared by Logan Tod (www. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 82 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.smartinsights. just a few changes using your CMS or 7 Improving conversion to lead and sale.. Common problems./l.com) shows how this principle can be applied in practice. ! . He says: “Once you’ve discovered these high-converting categories. Usually this is easy and inexpensive. Please go to www. Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement A different way to approach optimisation of category pages is suggested by Dan CroxenJohn of Applied Web Analytics (www. are that the category is: ý buried deep in your navigation ý placed ‘below the fold’ ý only recently been added to your website As soon as you identify your high-converting categories you can develop promotions to start to drive your website visitors into these overlooked areas of the site.logantod. for example.

Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 83 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. we make recommendations on sales conversion optimisation from the point a product is added to the cart or basket. so encouraging additional purchase while making checkout options clear..some stronger call to action”.smartinsights. Does the shopping basket or cart make purchase straightforward? r Q. Simplified shopping basket approach? The most important aspect of shopping basket practice is arguably clearly showing items purchased without leaving the current page. Is our sales process optimised? For Ecommerce sites offering online sales./l. you may well reduce conversion – this is the one area of site design in particular where being different isn’t a good idea! Best Practice Tip 28 Use consistency in design with standard checkout conventions Use consistent symbols and processes within checkout Q. increasing funnel efficiency through the checkout is often the first place to look to improve conversion. Please go to www. Strategy Recommendation 19 Start your conversion enhancement with the checkout If you haven’t run previous conversion optimisation projects. ! . r Q. applications and form completion optimised? This step is all about increasing efficiency of the final bottleneck on the path to purchase and lead. Are forms-based processes like checkout.com to feedback or access our other guides. the checkout is often the best place to identify quick wins. Setup and customisation Q. If you don’t follow this approach. In our coverage here. We’ll start with checkout optimisation which is most relevant for retail and other transactional sites. Amazon is our example since this will give you an example you’re familiar with and has been optimised by Amazon over the years. Small changes within the funnel process can deliver instant enhancements to conversion and profitability. Have we optimised our online sales process? r Q. and then go onto forms completion best practice which is relevant for the majority of sites. Best Practice Tip 29 Ensure shopping basket updates dynamically Shopping basket updates with purchase and cost Amazon shows the updating of the shopping cart approach well: 7 Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale.

Steps in checkout clear and minimized? Once a customer checks out we have to “reduce the friction” to make this as easy as possible. Add to shopping basket button prominent above and below the fold on every page? r Q.this can be difficult without special coding since usually a new page isn’t created. Product added to shopping basket clear on every page (e. New vs existing customer options clear? 7 Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Add to basket doesn’t require registration? r Q. Are the steps in checkout clear and minimized? r Q.smartinsights./l. Is registration/log-in clear? r Q. Best Practice Tip 31 Minimise checkout steps and make them clear Ensure the number of steps is minimized and you make each step clear through a standard checkout thermometer. in right sidebar)? r Q. so instead a different approach has to be used. Best Practice Tip 30 Remember to track “Add-to-basket” events in analytics Using your analytics to track add-to-basket events can help evaluate overall conversion. ! .Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities The requirements for add to shopping basket or cart are ideally: r Q. Q. but also variation in product add-to-basket conversion that is important to review product-level merchandising. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 84 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.g. Q. Analytics tracks add-to-basket events? Don’t forget to check add-to-basket events . In Google Analytics we recommend event tracking or creation of a virtual page – a virtual page view in Google. Please go to www.com to feedback or access our other guides. Add to shopping basket updates dynamically without user leaving current page? r Q..

Best Practice Tip 33 Reduce bale out from forms Test layout. Have we simplified form completion? We have a separate section on form completion later in this section. ! . Please go to www. There is no complex rollover help against question marks here. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 85 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. so it’s best to make it simple to minimize attrition here. 7 Improving conversion to lead and sale. Form completion simplified? r Q. simply clear instructions next to each field where it is required.smartinsights. labels and help for form fields to minimize attrition This example shows that simple works best.com to feedback or access our other guides.This is the start of the check-in process. Providing a simple layout and making the meaning of form fields clear is the main aim here. Best Practice Tip 32 Use a classic 2 option sign-in The two options are for new and existing customers The Amazon approach works well… Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Another common approach is to use two separate boxes for new and existing customers: Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Q../l.

verisign. Trust symbols – www. These are the options to consider: r 1. Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 86 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Are we using trust marks to streamline the process? It’s particularly important for less well-known brands to reassure the customer that their purchase is guaranteed and their privacy is assured. McAfee Secure www.com r 3.truste. Verisign trusted www.org r 4.smartinsights. Are we reassuring customers through the checkout process? r Q. 7 Improving conversion to lead and sale.com to feedback or access our other guides. Best Practice Tip 35 Avoid cross-sell in the checkout It’s generally better to try to cross-sell within the product pages. Could recommendations work for us in the checkout? It’s generally recognised now that checkout is NOT the best place to cross-sell and especially up-sell.scanalert.org/isis (UK) Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Q.org r 2.. Please go to www.bbbonline. This is a better achieved through dynamic recommendations on the products page – you’ll be familiar with this from Amazon. BBBOnline Reliability programme www. ! . Internet Shopping is Safe Accredited Retailer? www./l.com r 5. Best Practice Tip 34 Use trust marks to reassure purchasers Use independent icons.imrg. testimonials and verification schemes to reassure purchasers their details will be safe.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Q. Are we recommending other products in the checkout? r Q.

Is payment straightforward? r Q. Are our forms optimised? r Q. Delivery options and charges clear and flexible? r Q. Make the delivery options clear and flexible to meet customer needs? Visitors in checkout don’t like nasty surprises. 7 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 87 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Please go to www. Are the right payment options available and are they clearly arranged? The payment options are usually dependent on your payment gateway provider. Are our lead generation forms optimised? Forms are important on almost all sites since they involve a customer or prospect enquiry which can be start of a relationship with a new customer or an existing customer.. What is it? Email welcome programme A series of emails to introduce new customers to a brand leading to satisfaction research and additional sales promotions Strategy Recommendation 21 Refine your email welcome programme Review the range and quality of welcome emails to meet your goals for new customer service quality and relationship development Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Email opt-in or social network sign-on maximised? Email is still effective in helping develop relationships with online customers. Do we have an effective email welcome programme? Many sites just use a simple welcome auto-response service email on confirmation. Do we encourage purchasers to opt-in to email marketing programmes or social networks? r Q. Q. ! . so make sure you make the most of the checkout process to encourage customers to opt-in. Strategy Recommendation 20 Ensure email opt-in and social sharing maximised on registration Review the wording and permission options to ensure customers can opt-in to the email programmes Q.smartinsights.com to feedback or access our other guides.Q. Does order confirmation trigger an email welcome programme? r Q./l. There are a clear set of choices here: Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Q.

net/psykoreactor/best-practices-for-form-design Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 88 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited.Q. Please go to www./l.smartinsights. or made clear which fields are mandatory? r Q5 Is context sensitive help used for fields where required? r Q6 Are form field validation messages clear? 7 Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. Field labelling reviewed for clarity Whole books have been written on form optimisation. ! .htm http://www.. 15 http://www.cxpartners.co. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach r Q1 Do we have a single column form layout? (Date and name fields can be on the same line) r Q2 Are related items grouped using headers? r Q3 Have we used left-aligned text which is generally clearer? r Q4 Have we minimised optional fields.slideshare. Is each field clear to maximise conversion? r Q. Small changes can make a big difference across many sessions.com to feedback or access our other guides.uk/thoughts/web_forms_design_guidelines_an_eyetracking_ study. We summarise the recommendations from these studies on eBay and other sites15.

These can be used for feedback on challenges of using field completion. Individual field barriers reviewed? Once you are following the best practices we’ve covered. relabel or remove fields to improve effectiveness Q.com to feedback or access our other guides./l. to improve conversion further it’s best to check at an individual field level which fields are causing you and your users a problem. Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Best Practice Tip 36 Use analytics and specialist tools to review form field completion Review the drop-out rate of individual fields to try to optimise performance and move. This is a good example of the benefits you can get with AB testing of forms. Forms tested through AB or multivariate testing? r Q. here PRWD used the Google Website Optimizer to review 3 different form layouts16. The winning recipe shown here required more content rather than imagery to encourage visitors to complete the form: Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. You can also use Google Analytics through Event tracking or creating Virtual Page Views�. 7 16 http://blog. Please go to www.prwd. We recommend Clicktale for this analysis�. ! . Form layout tested? We have seen how you can track completion of individual form fields.co.Q. design or messaging in the form isn’t working for you? To test the bigger picture. AB testing is a good approach. Field-level analysis of form completion reviewed? r Q. messaging or creative with AB Testing. Multivariate testing is less likely to help on sites where the number of visitors completing a form isn’t high enough for statistical significance..uk/usability/case-study-conversion-rate-improved-by-86pc-with-google-website-optimiser Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 89 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. Another approach is to use an unmoderated user testing tool� like WhatUsersDo or UserTesting�.smartinsights. but what if the overall layout. Best Practice Tip 37 Use AB testing to improve form conversion Test alternative form layouts.

com to feedback or access our other guides.Setup and customisation Campaign Tracking Finding problems and opportunities Understanding your visitors Improving reach Improving journeys and site engagement Improving conversion to lead and sale. 7 Seven Steps to Using Google Analytics to Improve Online Marketing 90 © Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Limited. ! ../l. Please go to www.smartinsights.

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