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Welcome to Josh Baker's Practical Advice for Optimizing Your Internet Marketing blog. Here you will find internet marketing optimization and online strategy articles full of tips, tricks, discussions, and thoughts to help you take your marketing and business to the next level of success.

Archive for Analytics

Google URL shortener and social media analytics

Google this week gave its URL shortener its own website location today at http://goo.gl,  allowing users now a direct way to access it.

Google defends the need for the Social Media users and world to have another URL shortener in their official Social Web Blog post Google URL Shortener Gets a Website that the difference is goo.gl will “focus on quality. With goo.gl, every time you shorten a URL, you know it will work, it will work fast, and it will keep working. You also know that when you click a goo.gl shortened URL, you’re protected against malware, phishing and spam using the same industry-leading technology we use in search and other products.”

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Categories : Analytics
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google_analytics_opt_out_browser_add_onBack on May 25th, Google released a browser add-on that stops (prevents) a users data from being sent from their computer when they visit a website that uses Google Analytics tracking. This add-on works for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Google’s own browser – Chrome.

Of course, Google wants to be in the forefront of user privacy and at the same time providing website owners with more data so they can spend more promotional money with Google such as on Google AdWords or enterprise versions of some of their other “products”.

Remember the pop-up window? It wasn’t too long before enough people complained and browsers started blocking pop-ups by default and of course many greedy or unethical website owners were using the pop-ups for evil as well.

Now, I am sure that many web surfers don’t know about this Google Analytics blocking add-on at this time, so not much to worry about today, but what it brings to my mind is that of what would happen if it became a default standard for browsers (or some advanced virus protection software) to block Google Analytics, Omniture, or any of the other common Analytics tracking programs, in the name of improving user privacy? What about if enough of a percentage, unknown to you choose this down the road, how reliable will your data be?

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Prevent Duplicate Line Items in Google Analytics Due to Mixed Case URLs with the Force Lowercase Google Analytics Filter

Google Analytics by default captures data just as it appears in a visitors browser. This being so, you can have two or more URLs that are the same but appear as separate entries due to different cases in the URLs, both lowercase and uppercase.

For Example:

  • /coffee/flavorA/index.html
  • /coffee/flavorA/INDEX.HTML

Although both will take you to the same page if you were to put them into your browser, Google Analytics will create separate line entries for each one leaving you to have to merge the two to get to the complete data for that URL. Imagine the pain if you had 100s, 1000s or more pages on your website with multiple line entries for the same URL.

However, Google Analytics allows you to apply a Custom Filter to remedy this problem. You can associate this filter on a profile by profile basis in case you have certain profiles that you do not want this applied to. One thing worth noting is that this won’t “fix” past data already in your reports, but anything going forward it will put into one line entry (either lowercase or uppercase depending on how you setup the Custom Filter.

Here are the easy steps to create the custom filter that will force the Request URI to lowercase or uppercase:

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google_analytics_app_for_iphoneThe best Google Analytics App available for the iPhone right now is in my opinion without a doubt (and simply named) Analytics App.

Analytics App gives you complete mobile access to your Google Analytics data from your iPhone. Whether you have just one site profile and one Google Analytics (GA) account, or multiple accounts with multiple profiles, this iPhone app is something I believe you will really be happy with.

For the past two months I have been using Analytics App at least a couple times per day, be it to answer questions on the go for others (i.e. HiPPOS) or even just simply playing around with it for fun to satisfy curiosities. It’s intuitively easy to use with virtually no learning curve for the app itself. Basically just click and there’s your data. I wouldn’t use this for actual data analysis (and this in part because of the limitations of the iPhone itself) but it’s extremely handy and fun to be able to have on the go with you.

Before I purchased it though, I thought it might be difficult to view analytics data on the iPhone due to the screen size, but the interface fits the iPhone perfectly and the data surprisingly is extremely easy to view with no straining on the eyes, even the charts it displays are easy to view.

More than 40 Reports Are Available to You

Analytics App has 9 standard Google Analytics Overview Reports:

  • Dashboard, Visitors Overview
  • Traffic Overview
  • Content Overview
  • Event Tracking Overview
  • E-Commerce Overview
  • Site Search Overview
  • Goals Overview
  • Quick access Dashboard for Today’s data.

Plus, more than 30 detailed reports you can view by drilling down in each of the areas, for example Keywords, Visitor Loyalty, Top Landing Pages, Top Content, Event Actions, and the ability to view your Custom Reports that have already set up inside your Google Analytics account.

Unfortunately, and unless I am missing something, you can’t click on individual referring sites themselves to view them in the iPhone browser. And, URL’s are limited to 22 characters so in the Top Content Reports  you’re not able see the entire URLS or click on them either, so if your URL’s are long and non-intuitive before the 22 characters are used up you may not be able to know which URL is being referred to (but you can always use the Content by Title report).

Viewing Multiple Accounts

I should note, that to view multiple accounts with Analytics App you’ll need to give access for one account to view the others – but this has to be done on GA website itself, or you do it the old fashioned way by logging-out and then log back in on the app for each account itself if you want to view different accounts (I want to emphasize this is for accounts, not profiles as all profiles under your account are visible and selectable when you launch the app).

Misc.

Security: Analytics App stores your GA username and password information locally on your iPhone for security reasons.

Date Ranges: I found that setting the dates to view your data for is actually easier than in Google Analytics using the standard iPhone scroll wheel (and setting it in GA is easy).

Cost

What impressed me the most before I purchased it was that not that it was only $5.99, or that its reviews were overall rather fantastic, but that they offered a money back guarantee via PayPal so I felt that the risk was minimal.  I’ve purchased many apps that have left me disappointed, so this was a motivating factor to purchase it on the spot without further consideration.

In Conclusion

So with nothing to lose (your money that is), I would definitely recommend checking the Analytics App out, or if you know someone who already has it to try theirs out – you’ll be glad you did, the app itself is really well produced.

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Apr
30

Segmenting Visitors for a Deeper Bounce Rate Insight

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bounce_rate_new_vs_returning_visitors

Bounce Rate by definition for a web page is the total number of visitors who enter your website through a particular page and then leave your site without viewing another page divided by the total number who visit that same page. Simplified, bounce rate is the percentage of people who enter your web site, visit only that single web page they entered on, and then leave – without viewing another page. The bounce rate of your high traffic or important web page’s is a highly actionable metric to know.

Although most web analytics tools make it simple to extract your websites or an individual web page’s bounce rate, looking at the bounce rate when presented in aggregate is definitely not as insightful or actionable as it could be and potentially lead to misinterpretation.

Let me explain – your bounce rate by default, without segmenting the data, is typically presenting a bounce rates determined from multiple visitor segments – both the good and the bad. Most likely then, you are then making possible inferences on that bounce rate to that page that could potentially affect all visitor segments – not just the ones that are bouncing.
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