The real reason Google Analytics launched multi-channel funnels

  • September 5, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
Forget all the fancy new report capabilities…the real reason why Google Analytics launched multi-channel funnels is because they got tired of having to explain why Google Analytics showed fewer conversions than Google Adwords reporting. OK I made that up, but in my years of doing web analytics this is probably THE number one question I get and I am glad I can now point folks to this post. Despite the fact that Google Analytics and Adwords use different tracking approaches and attribution models I guess it feels “wrong” to many people that Google Analytics would show different/fewer conversions than Adwords. Read More

Session definition updated in Google Analytics

  • August 18, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
On August 11 Google Analytics changed their attribution model and it’s had a bit of a dramatic effect in some accounts. Visits are way up, and metrics that depend on visits such as e-commerce conversion rate are consequently affected as well. There was a bug that was fixed on August 17 that did inflate visits even when the campaign source did not change, but visits seem to be back to “normal”. Read More

Segmented data in context

  • July 11, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
Segmentation is great, but segmentation in context is even better. Just wanted to point out one subtle update in the new version of Google Analytics. Let’s say I want to compare engagement metrics for two different segments. Specifically, I want to compare buyers vs non-buyers who have viewed more than 20 pageviews in their visit. Here is what it looks like in the “old” version of GA: And here it is in the new version: Read More

Tracking social buttons

  • July 8, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
In general you should be particularly concerned with tracking elements on your site where your visitors (hopefully) take action, such as adding an item to cart or filling out a form. Same thing with social buttons – you want to know if visitors click your Like button. These are mini-goals and should be tracked. So it’s great to see that Google Analytics now has a dedicated report for tracking social plugins, but it might be even better if you could add goal tracking to Social Actions, just like they did with event tracking. Read More

Site Speed analysis in Google Analytics

  • June 7, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
The Site Speed report in Google Analytics was announced about a month ago, so how about doing some analysis now that we have gathered some data? First off some background. Load times are still only collected for Internet Explorer and Chrome, and the data is sampled to the tune of about 3% of pageviews for IE and 9% of Chrome. I don’t have a problem with sampling at all, but since the metric of interest is average page load time it would be nice to know a little bit about how the data is distributed. Read More

Comparing future date ranges in Google Analytics

  • May 31, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
Date comparisons are great and allow you to see trends over time. As web analytics we care about trends rather than absolute values, right? However in Google Analytics, by default you are comparing your selected date range to a date range in the past, but there are cases where you’d want to compare the data to a range in the future. It’s basically a different perspective, similar to saying that 20 is 100% larger than 10 (basis 10), as opposed to 10 being 50% smaller than 20 (basis 20). Read More

New Google Analytics

  • April 6, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
It may be a bit premature to write about one’s impressions of the new Google Analytics because features that one is used to from the current version could be added back gradually rather than officially removed. For example, I miss weighted sort and I hope it’s just a temporary omission. GA also recently updated in-page Analytics and it’s nowhere to be found. Gone is also the $ Index metric for the Page type reports. Read More

Speaker diversity at conferences

  • March 24, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
I enjoyed going to the Conversion Conference recently in San Francisco and picked up a few great nuggets to try out on my sites. I especially like it when speakers approach conversion rate optimization from a different perspective than AB or Multivariate testing. Michael Summers‘ presentation on eye tracking was quite literally an eye-opener for me. I also appreciate hearing directly from retailers and practitioners doing conversion optimization, rather than consultants doing CRO for retailers. Read More

Adwords keywords and matched search queries in Google Analytics

  • February 25, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
There is a wealth of data in the dedicated Adwords report section in Google Analytics. One of the key additions is the ability to see the matched search queries for your keywords. Remember that the paid keywords you see in your normal Keywords report in the Traffic Sources section do not show the matched search queries from Adwords. That’s why our friends at ROI Revolution created a cool hack to show them in Google Analytics. Read More

Landing Pages and what people actually buy

  • February 15, 2011
  • Michael Whitaker
Of course you know what your top landing pages are But if you haven’t already done so, create an advanced segment for each of your main landing pages, including the homepage. Then apply each segment in turn and make a note of **what products visitors actually bought **in the Ecommerce section. It can be quite eye-opening, as was the case in my example. Your data may look completely different, but the analysis is valuable all the same. Read More