AD Blockers and Site Analytics

Today we’ve traveled to the Search Analytics and Social Conference at Manchester University. There’s been a number of good sessions so far but one in particular has led to the creation of this post.  The  session covered the topic of AD blockers  and the knock on effect to Analytics programmes.

If we look at the Google trend data shown in figure 1 for the term AD blocker we see a major increase in search traffic against the term and there popularity is only going to increase as businesses try to capture our attention on websites and search engines to return to their websites.

AD BLocker Google Trends Data
Figure 1: UK Market search data for term AD Blocker

The article from Deliberately Digital provides an overview of the issue and you can read the authors thought here.  If Pierre Far is correct then Google Analytics tracking code is being blocked by a number of the key pieces of software in this space, giving inaccurate results in the analytic data.

A quick Google search for the topic comes back with a number of articles with methods to identify the percentage of visitors to the website that make use of AD Blocking software.  To effectively measure effectiveness of website traffic and actions understanding the difference between visitors will become increasingly important as AD blocking software becomes more widespread.

To read how to split the traffic and filter in Analytics see this article from  BuySellAds.

I’m currently integrating into a number of websites to see how it works.  Once we have some useful data we’ll post the results.

Understanding business objectives and there importance when marketing online

After a few weeks delivering a number of google analytics and search optimisation courses it’s becoming more apparent that the vast majority of companies launch into the online activities without actually thinking of the linkage across to business activities.

I’ve had the opportuinity this week of speaking at a mobile event in regards to email marketing and best practice.  I posed a question to the audience focusing on the need to track and measure effectiveness of email marketing.

Everyone present was busy operating email campaigns however when asked into how many could quantify the results in relation to engagement on the corresponding website, the whole room remained silent.  It’s amazing that even larger companies are lacking in these areas.

Tracking email effectiveness relies in understanding the core areas of google analytics and also being able to plane the associated activities to ensure that the email, website and relevant social media activities are all aligned and flow into each other.

Understanding analytics and also planning can be taught.  If you need more information look at our inhouse anaytics courses with a view to getting the skills you need to make onkine marketing useful.

Unlock the potential in your online marketing with Google Analytics Training

Over the past few weeks I’ve started receiving a number of requests for Google Analytics training.  As more and more people are starting to look at making more from the website, Analytics is becoming a key area of interest.

Whilst working with a client this week, a simple goal report looking at potential customers adding courses to the checkout showed 28 potential customers lost.  This may not seem a lot but roll that across the year it equates to nearly £500,000 in lost revenue for this particular business.  This brought a level of focus to the meeting and the need to fix / change / replace the current website.

Analytics if set up correctly gives very useful insights into all the activities being operated within a business that result in someone accessing the website.

I’m already running a number of course in the Coventry and Birmingham area on Google Analytics through various organisations such as the National B2B Centre, Coventry Chamber of Commerce and Birmingham Chamber.

What’s good for me is that the requests are for in-house training for a team of people involved with the companies online activities.

Very often it can be more beneficial to undertake an in-house course as this enable you to include more people at a lower cost than sending 1/2 people onto a full day training course.

If you’re interested in finding out more then take a look at our Google Analytics training course overview page and get in touch.

Review page on the p-tech ltd website.

Changes to Keywords in Google Analytics

Do you make use of the keyword report in Google Analytics to look at keywords that reach your website? If so you may be seeing a number of changes to the data.

You’ll start to see times when the keyword is represented as ‘not provided’. In reality it’s all down to how google passes referrer data from a Google search result provided to a signed in user. Its all done to privacy and hiding the actual keyword string searched and passing it across as a secure connection to your website.

Will this really cause an issue to the operation of the site. It’s been reported that it will effect around 10% of the organic traffic to a website and a number of people have tested this and agree through looking at the traffic to the site.

If your running PPC ads then the data is still passed across. Some will argue that this is Google providing a better service to its paying customers and the easy answer is, Yes they are.

This will change the way we collect data, but from what Ive read you’ll still get an idea of the search phrases where your site appears through the Webmasters interface and Adwords reports.

If you want to read a more in depth article on this topic, take a look at the following site

Digital Marketing and a lot more – Free Workshops

Spent this evening finalising a workshop for deliver at the University of Warwick.  The National B2B Centre have won a contract to deliver a number of workshops on a range of subjects and Gareth Edwards and myself are due to deliver the first workshop tomorrow.  We’re hopning for an interactive session that will enable the attendees to go away with their questions answered.  The course will be running again in November and you can book for free at the following website.

What will we be talking about?  In effect everything to do with on-line marketing such as:

  • Planning your on-line activities
  • Search Engine Optimisation and topics such as keyword research, canonicalisation, cannibalisation and latent semantic indexing…..
  • Social Media, how to use to grow your business
  • PPC and on-line advertising, the basics to maximize conversions and reduce expenditure
  • Measurement of all areas to understand where best to spend your money

It’s a lot for one day and the aim is that you take away the basics and then come back for more through one of the more in-depth sessions arranged by the B2B Centre.  To see a list of B2B Courses follow this link to the website.

Going beyond the basics in Google Analytics

How can you make Google Analytics provide more information about your website? If you want to get a better understanding of how users interact you’ll need to start looking at event tracking.

Event tracking enables you as the user to start tracking every click on the website and separating them into distinct areas. It may be a text link or a graphic to highlight a new area of the site or an offer. Event tracking gives you the power to tag links in different areas of the page to identify the traffic and how it interacts.

Picture this scenario; On your website you have both a textual link and a graphic link to the same page of the site. How can you distinguish if your user responds to the text link or the graphic. Event tracking enables this action and user response to be tracked. Is it complex and does it involve extensive changes to the tracking code being used?

No is the simple answer, it all revolves around the way you construct the link. Event tracking on links requires the inclusion of an ‘onclick’ action to be placed against the link with a number of parameters to specify the link and action taken within Analytics.

If you wish to know more take a read of this article on Search Engine Land to get a more depth analysis.

Do you make full use of google Analytics – new feature

New feature in my Google Analytics interface today. Been waiting for it to appear and it’s there now. What is it? Search Engine Optimisation. It links the search queries shown in Google Webmasters to a view within Google Analytics. What does this mean for you and me?

When you login take a look under the Traffic Sources tag in the new version of Analytics. At the bottom you’ll see a link title Search Engine Optimisation. When clicked if you have Webmasters set up then you can click through and link the two tools together.

This then pulls through the webmaster data relating to search queries and ranking positions into the Analytics interface, providing a full view of how the site is performing within the search engine and then access to the metrics relating to conversions.

Picture this, I was working with a client today and we viewed this report and saw that they had 200 impressions for the keyword phrase ‘disabled clothing’. Of this 35 people clicked through to the website. By reviewing the search engine keywords report it would be then be possible to pull a report showing the conversion and sales relating to this traffic.

What is good is that when you use this search phrase in Google the site appears number one, achieved through, good page titles and site content.

Focus on these areas and start seeing your site improve in the search results.

Measuring Social Media Engagement in Analytics

With the rise in businesses starting to venture into the realms of social media how can you actually start measuring the benefits of all the posts and information being put to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN.  The rise of the  ‘Add This’ button and Facebook Likes needs to be tracked effectively.

These tools are growing in usage and the inclusion of social sharing tools to products and pages within websites are becoming key traffic generates due to the spread of information across a clients social network.

Typically tagging the links placed on the various networks using the Google URL builder assisted with tracking but can be a bit of a pain going and running every URL through the tool. This however only dealt with traffic coming into the website from other sources, what about when the content is shared from your website.

To ease the pain Google have introduced a Social Engagement section within Analytics, which should if used correctly show where your site has been +1’d or Facebook Liked or shared to Twitter.

Following various links, I found the page on the AddThis website detailing how to get this working for those of use who make use of there very good Social Media Widget.  It all seems farily straight forward and hopefully in the necxt 24 hours I’ll start seeing the date being tracked.  A small insertion of code into the page and away you go.  The only downside to the article is the lack of exactly where to put the code.  I went for the bottem of the header section and only time will tell if I’ve done it correctly.

The code is fairly straightforward – just  a few lines…..

<script type="text/javascript">
     var addthis_config = {
        /* your GA property ID goes here: */
        data_ga_property: 'UA-123456-1',
        /* set to true to enable social tracking
        data_ga_social : true
     };
</script>

If you don’t use the ‘AddThis’ tools then you can create your own links using the event method within your website for tracking through to Analytics, the support documents can be found here.

Focusing on traffic or Focusing on Conversion

Is it better to focus on number of visitors or quality of visitors? Is the ultimate aim of a website converting visitors into customers?

Is there a right or wrong answer to both questions?

In reality we look at building websites that engage and encourage the user to either carryout a conversion act or engage with the website. Are we building lasting relationships that look at engagements further down the road.

The starting point with any website should be the developement of objectives from a business perspective. Ask yourself the question;

What should the website be doing in order to support the key business objectives?

Then try;

Does my website support and enhance my business objectives?

Very often a website is seen as a completely new part of the marketing activities which is often seen as a specialist area that the technical people are responsible for, resulting in a business spending money and not really understanding what part it plays within the marketing activities.

A website is just an extension of the marketing activities and should been seen as another channel to market. It should be measured and changes to how it works modified to ensure it supports the various aspects of the business it has been developed to highlight and complement.

In real terms most websites focus on nothing because the fundamental objectives have not been developed and put in place which results in a poor website meeting no key objectives. The content is typically weak and unfocused resulting in low traffic volumes, low visibility in search and ultimately no engagement and definitely no conversions.

If your website get neither traffic or conversions then take a backward step and take a long look at what it says about your business. Is it reflecting your services and value add? Does it tell your customers why your good at what you do?

If your unsure, contact me today and we can look at how you can make sensible changes to the website starting with the basis for developing a website and promoting your company online.

Google Analytics – Using Term Clouds to Assess Keywords

Working on updating the National B2B Centre Analytics Course for the latest version of Google Analytics.  Quite a few addins to make sure the delegates understand and can then go away and make use of them.  This post will focus on one in particular – Term Clouds.

Term Clouds for the majority of us are Tag Clouds, becoming very popular within blog tools to show the amount of views specific articles receive as well as the number of tagged keywords for articles.  Having missed this previously within the Analytics interface it’s worth a mention.

Accessing term clouds is through the view option in the table layout, if your unsure where this is then refer to the following diagram.

The interface allows you to display the data in the tables in the form of a Term Cloud, works very well for keywords with the addition of then browsing dependant on Pages/Visits or Bounce rate.  There are many additional options available and if the site is also tracking Goals / E-Commerce values by modifying the data views to e-commerce you can plot the phrases against revenue and conversion to assist in good keyword identification.

Here’s a screen capture of such a Term Cloud for you to view.

term_cloud_analytics

If your interested in reading more on this then here’s another good article.