In my last post I quickly discussed that the new Universal Analytics code was in beta. You can read that write-up here.
Now I wanted to go over how Universal Analytics actually works. Its brand new code to us all, looking and working completely differently to the previous versions. However, it is possible to de-mystify the code and gain a better understanding of how it works.
The way in which the web is used has changed. The main window into an online world in the past was through a desktop computer, but with the advent of mobiles, tablets and the vast array of other internet enabled devices (Nest central heating anyone?!), things have changed. With this comes exciting opportunities that will revolutionise the way in which the world works. However, it also brings about some obstacles. One of which is tracking.
Google has recently released the latest version of its Analytics code, called Universal Analytics. It is currently in open Beta and it completely redefines the way in which we can track users. It also opens up a whole world of possibilities within analysing the data that it provides.
At the tail end of 2011, Google announced that they would stop providing the keywords of logged-in user’s searches to webmasters. The main reason this was done was in the name of privacy; Google are making the assumption that users searching “securely” would not want their search term to be passed on to the destination site.
The impact of this change has started off small with the original release of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) version of search. As the updates have come in one by one, the snowball that is “(Not Provided)” continues to gain in both size and momentum as it travels down the digital mountainside.
Receiving a Google penalty warning can strike fear amongst digital marketers and webmaster’s alike, but it’s important to remember the silver lining. You have a clear indication that your websites profile has crossed over Google Webmaster regulations and in that respect at least you have hard evidence as to why your rankings may be affected, or in some cases if your website traffic has been drastically affected.
You also have a clear platform from which to start cleaning up your backlink profile, without fearing that removing some of the low quality links may affect your current rankings.
I have recently been using the standard Google tools far more frequently in the lead up to Christmas, analysing user behaviour and retention, tools like Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are still really quite remarkable for studying metrics. Although quite daunting for a novice user, the updated interface earlier this year has made the navigation cleaner and more linear.
This short post is just to outline how free Google tools like Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools can be so important to your campaigns. With such accurate data and insightful metrics it almost goes without saying that these effective tools are essential for any successful website.
I’ve highlighted several areas that can be hugely beneficial to monitor as they will improve either user journey and/or site optimisation:
One of the real benefits of operating a digital business is simply how much data we can glean about our site visitors and customers. Modern visitor tracking services like Google Analytics give us unprecedented visibility as to the activity our visitors take but diving head-first into this data can be an intimidating prospect.
Without a detailed knowledge of GA it can be difficult to know how to find, interpret and apply all the data you have at your fingertips to a commercial situation.
Most search & display marketers focus on driving large volumes of traffic to a site. Site traffic can be driven through SEO, paid search, display advertising, email marketing and many other channels.
The best online marketers aim to increase the quality of traffic as well as increasing the quantity of traffic. This can be achieved through better audience targeting, careful geo-targeting, timing campaigns carefully, more contextual, selective target keyword strategies and using the correct language for the target audience.
This episode of the Internet Marketing Podcast is particular timely, since we’ve recently launched our own in-depth Analytics and Insights service and have written this blog post about passing the Google Analytics IQ Exam. Kelvin is interviewing Eric Fettman who is sharing insight on how to practice for the test, different areas in which to specialise, and the major topics you’ll need to be familiar with in order to become a certified expert in Google Analytics. You can visit his site to hone your skills!
In this episode of the Internet Marketing Podcast, Kelvin is interviewing Dara Fitzgerald, Head of Insight at Fresh Egg. They’re talking about the new Updated Google Analytics including the best new features like funnels and paths which make it easy to determine dropping off points, and visitor segmentation. They’re also discussing how you can see your traffic’s user journey and experience, how to improve your conversion optimisation, and the challenges with tracking codes alongside any implementation issues.