The ROI Revolution Blog

Desktop Widget for Google Analytics

April 30, 2007

vivalytics.gifWhile the ROI team were out at Mountain View last month, enjoying our training session with the Google Analytics team, we got the chance to meet Michael Whitaker of Monitus, LLC for sushi. Michael is the brains behind the Monitus Yahoo! Store Tools, which includes a really cool Web Analytics Connector that actually makes Google Analytics possible with Yahoo! Stores.

It was great to actually put a face to Michael’s great reputation in the Yahoo! Store development field.

vivalytics2.gifMichael surprised us, though, with a sneak peek at his cool new VivAlytics Widget. This little tool allows you to track defined Key Performance Indicators for multiple Google Analytics accounts, profiles, reports, whatever. Find out whether a specific metric has increased or decreased over a given week or month. It’s a really great resource for people who might be too busy to log into their Google Analytics account every day, but who still want to see how their websites are performing.

Not too long after we got back to Raleigh, Michael quietly made Vivalytics public over at www.vivalytics.com. It’s a free download, it’s cross-platform (Mac and PC), and just requires the (also free) Yahoo! Widget Engine. Do yourself a favor and take it for a test drive.

Exact Keyword Tracking with Google Analytics, Revisited

April 23, 2007

title.gifUPDATE: We have posted a new version of the script mentioned in this article at Exact Keyword Tracking for ga.js.

Last November, Jim Newsome of Omega Digital Media and the
GA Experts blog, posted a really clever trick on how to view detailed keyword information within Google Analytics. If you’ve ever searched through your AdWords Bid Terms and wondered what the actual Search Terms were, then you know why such a filter was in great demand. For PPC marketers, it’s a great opportunity to weed out ineffectual broad match keyword phrases, and hone in on the most popular user search queries.

Here’s an example: you’ve got a shoe store and you’re running Broad Match AdWords ads for “shoes”. When a visitor searches Google for “blue suede shoes”, your ad shows up. This is all well and good, but what if you don’t sell blue suede shoes?

Read on to find out how to track exactly what your visitors are searching for before they see your PPC ad and click on over to your site…

Google Analytics: Get It Right the First Time

April 19, 2007

Bad Google Analytics Source DataWe have a client that recently came on board with us after having installed Google Analytics themselves nearly a year ago. Back then, they were skeptical about our services: "Do people really need help setting up Google Analytics? It’s so easy!" We had to agree that, yes, for a lot of sites, this is true: configuration is easy. Sign up, take the script, put it on all of your pages, and then sit back and start collecting data.

Unfortunately, its simplicity can be a little deceiving. There are a lot of little ifs and buts with Google Analytics. If you set up your Google Analytics profile incorrectly, it can mean huge repercussions for your data, weeks, months, even years down the road.

So when Client X finally hired us, we hopped right into their account and audited their Google Analytics profiles. What we found just further confirmed what any Google Analytics Authorized Consultant already know: setting up Google Analytics is not always a cakewalk.

Here’s what happened, and let it stand as a warning to ye who may venture forth in similar fashion. Our client has a single site with multiple subdomains. For those playing along at home, this requires the addition of a parameter to tell Google Analytics how to assign and manage cookie data.

Bryan Eisenberg Interviews Tom Leung about Google Website Optimizer

April 16, 2007

TomLeung.jpg
Nice interview here by Future Now’s Bryan Eisenberg of Tom Leung, the Google Website Optimizer product business manager.

Tom discusses how Google’s free tool helps to overcome the guessing prevalent in most companies as it pertains to how webpages get designed (I like to call it the HIPPO syndrome…Highest Paid Person’s Opinion):

Let’s say you had a bicycle Web site, and you sold bicycle accessories online. The way you’d design some of those pages is that, for the most part, you’d work with a Web designer. They come back with a few design mockups, and you kind of point at the one you think would work best. You would base that largely on your gut feel, or opinion. In some cases, whoever is the most senior person in the room will just tell you, “I like that one,” and you go with it. This scenario is wrought with a lot of guessing and opinions. What we’re doing is trying to change that with Google Website Optimizer.

And what the tool does:

What the tool does is allow you to instrument the page so that you can test a whole variety of ideas. So you aren’t limited to picking just one of a few design mockups. You can literally test hundreds, if not thousands, of versions of a page. When a visitor arrives at your site, we’ll show them a specific version, and it tracks whether or not they convert, whether it’s purchasing a product, or signing up for a newsletter, or whatever you decide is a successful conversion. Then, it will report back to you which combination worked the best. It takes the guesswork out of marketing by letting customers tell you what works best for them by letting them vote with their clicks. You can constantly test new hunches, new ideas, and turn your Web site into a living laboratory.

I have had the pleasure of interacting with Tom as a part of the Website Optimizer BETA since almost the day he joined Google in December, 2006 (Tom worked previously at Microsoft). Tom is super fired up about Google Website Optimizer and completely committed to making the Internet a better (converting) place.

Elite Eight Contest Winner!

April 10, 2007

basketball.jpg Congratulations to our Elite Eight Contest winner Brian Saxe.

Brian was correct on 13 of his 15 selections, and is the lucky winner of the pearl necklace prize from Magnum’s Jewelers!

On average, contestants registered about 8.73 correct choices.

Please keep an eye out for any future contests!

Google Website Optimizer and Google Analytics: A Perfect Marriage

April 4, 2007

*Update May 12, 2008: This article is OUT OF DATE! The good news is that there is a brand-spanking-new version that is much easier to use! Click here to check out the new version!

gagwowed.jpgAlright everyone, you may want to grab a drink and a comfy seat before we begin – this article’s a whopper. So you may have heard about Google’s new Website Optimizer tool that is available through Google AdWords. Google Website Optimizer uses a single metric, conversion rate, to determine which combination of variations is king.

But what about other metrics that may be just as valuable, like Page Value, Avg. Time, Conversion Rates for multiple goals, Bounce Rate, Exit %, and Full Navigation Analysis? What if you want to segment your traffic or filter out internal hits? Well, now you can find out just about everything you want to know about combinations by using Google Analytics! We’re still just starting to understand how powerful this method is, but I can say that I’m extremely excited about it (hopefully not just because I developed it).

So kick back and read on to find out how…

Google Website Optimizer: Finally, it’s for Everyone!

April 4, 2007

4th_02.gifWhew! The announcement of Google’s new Website Optimizer tool now gives us the opportunity to spill the beans about our experiences with the Beta test, and tell you about our free webinar for those of you who are looking for more information about the tool.

My experience with the Website Optimizer has been a little up and down, but I’m happy to admit that I’ve ended on the upswing. The limitations and annoyances that were present in the tool at the very beginning of the Beta have since been either removed or fixed, leaving only an extremely powerful and easy-to-use tool that no website owner should be without.

Here’s the scoop:

FREE MONEY! (a.k.a. Google Website Optimizer)

April 4, 2007

Google just launched a wildly-super-awesome-incredibly-cool FREE application, the Google Website Optimizer. Can you tell I’m in love?

The stand-up comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, “I have a cheese shredder at home. That’s a positive name for a cheese shredder. They don’t call it by its negative name, because nobody would buy it: ‘sponge-ruiner.'”

Ok, in the same vein, the positive name for the Google Website Optimizer is ‘free money’, because if you use it that is what you are going to get. See why I’m in love?

The Many Faces of Content

April 2, 2007

threefaces.jpg

This is a follow-up to my last post, Testing AdWords Ads in Google Analytics. In that post, I talked about how you can cross-segment by Content in the AdWords Analysis report to find out more information about your AdWords ads (along with the limitations in doing so).

However, there are some more things this can show you, depending on the report you are viewing:

Top 3 Google Analytics FAQ

April 2, 2007

Teacher.jpg

We offer a free webinar and a free mini-course on Google Analytics, and we provide a space in the sign-up form for both where people can type in their most burning questions about Google Analytics.

This helps us to make sure we are providing information in the webinar and the mini-course that people want, but over time it also has ended up providing a sort of ‘Google Analytics Frequently Asked Questions’ compilation.

Here are three of the most frequently asked questions:

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