The ROI Revolution Blog
Last Chance To Attend Miami Google™ Analytics Seminars For Success!
May 31, 2009
Register Before Midnight on Tuesday, June 9th To Save YOUR Seat For The Miami Google Analytics Classroom Training!
One last post before our June 10-11, 2009 seminars in Miami, to remind you that there is still time to take advantage of Seminars for Success, where we share our Google Analytics knowledge with you in person!
Which Google Analytics seminar day is for you?
The Introduction and User Training, on Wednesday, June 10th, is for you if you generate and interpret the reports in Analytics and would like some in depth user training so you can better understand how to really leverage Google Analytics as a powerful website and online marketing reporting tool.
There will be plenty of time for Q&A so you can get all your questions answered in a dedicated learning environment.
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Resellers Rejoice: Google Relaxes U.S. Trademark Policy
May 30, 2009
To the delight of many, Google announced an update in their AdWords trademark policy that will go live on June 15th for advertisers in the U.S. only.
In short, a few categories of advertisers who were previously unable to use a trademarked term in their ad text will be allowed to do so - even if they don't own the trademark or have explicit approval from the trademark owner to use it.
These lucky advertisers include the following:
- Resellers of the trademarked goods or services
- Sellers of components, replacement parts or compatible products corresponding to a trademark
- Informational/review sites that provide non-competitive and informative details about the goods or services corresponding to the trademarked term.
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How To Use Google Search Suggest's New Enhancements To Monitor Your Brand and Keywords
May 29, 2009
Google wants you to find the information you're looking for fast, without having to search multiple times to get what you want.
While I won't bore you with all the details of what's changed, I'll briefly summarize the main changes: Google has added AdWords ads to the Google Suggest box, tries to point searchers of "navigational queries" directly to the website, and makes suggestions not just on the homepage of Google.com, but on the search results page as well.
An example of a search suggestion box showing a navigational link and an AdWords ad is below:
Pretty cool, huh?
Well, I'll give you some ideas on how you can use this new tool to research variations of major keywords, observe what customers are saying about you and your brand, and see what people think of your competitors.
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Understanding Correlations in Google Analytics
May 28, 2009
Website traffic does not exist in a vacuum. Here's a simple example: Jack comes to your website on Monday after seeing one of your AdWords content ads and he likes what he sees. He's a careful shopper though, so he's not ready to commit quite yet and leaves the site for the day. He takes some time and does some comparison shopping throughout the week, talks to some of his friends and comes back to your site again after typing your company name into Google and clicking on an organic result. He sees an offer for a 10% off coupon if he signs up for your newsletter, so he does, and then leaves the site again. In a week, he gets an email about a sale you are having, and clicks on a link within the email, finally making a purchase on this, his third visit.
So the big question is - how does this show up in Google Analytics? Does AdWords get any credit for the sale? The simple answer is no. Depending on if you are tracking your emails in Google Analytics (and how you are doing it), you'll either see a conversion for the email, the organic branded search or even a direct visit. Wouldn't it be nice to know that at one point AdWords had something to do with the sale? Better yet, wouldn't you like to know the Campaign, Ad Group and Keyword that was responsible?
Jack's example is a very common one, and pretty simple in comparison to the way a lot of people use the Internet, so it is important to try and understand the relationships between your different traffic sources.
Still don't care? Let me give you a real-world example of what can happen if you ignore it:
Case Study: A company that deals in a software product noticed that it was getting what looked like a pretty poor return on Content Network traffic from AdWords (responsible for what Google Analytics reported as roughly 5% of daily revenue). In an attempt to reduce costs, they decided to pause this traffic completely. The result was that almost immediately they noticed a 15-20% drop in daily revenue!
What the heck happened? Well, it turns out a large percentage of that content traffic was coming back as either organic branded traffic or direct traffic. They never bothered to look at the relationship between their content traffic and other traffic sources, and it cost them.
Conversely, by understanding this relationship, they have been able to not only gain back the 15-20% that they lost, but improve the return even further!
So how can you learn from their mistake? Here are a few things you can do, ranging from fairly simple to more complex, to help you grasp the relationship between your marketing sources and mediums:
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Tracking Transactions back to the Initial Referrer with Google Analytics
May 21, 2009
Google Analytics, by default, will attribute transactions to the last referrer. While this is all fine and good, there are some situations where you would really like to be able to track these transactions back to the initial referrer rather than the last referrer.
For example, you may be spending money on AdWords traffic to get visitors to the site initially, but many of the actual transactions aren't occurring until later when they've returned to the site organically. You can change your Google Analytics Tracking Code so that it credits these transactions to the initial referrer rather than the last referrer, allowing you to get a better handle on the return for your paid marketing efforts.
One issue with changing your Google Analytics code so that it gives transaction credit to the first referrer rather than the last referrer, however, is that this is a permanent change affecting all profiles. You can't have one profile that gives first referrer credit and another profile that gives last referrer credit because both profiles will use the same set of cookies, even if those profiles use separate account numbers.
You can work around this, however, by using a local, modified version of ga.js. The original ga.js modification and idea comes from John Henson at Lunametrics, though I've tweaked a few things for my own purposes. His post that I'm referencing isn't directly related to this modification, but there are some tie-ins to the overall idea of using different cookies.
If you want to switch all of your profiles over to track initial referrer rather than last referrer, you can just use the following code:
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5 Advanced Segments for Ecommerce Analysis
May 15, 2009
Back in the day when I was but a wee web analyst, if I wanted to segment my website traffic data with Google Analytics, I had to use filters. This meant a lot of upfront work, a flimsy and fragile analysis environment, and way too many profiles.
It was also pretty limited. I could segment by dimensions and a select handful of metrics only. If I wanted to see only the traffic that came from a specific source and then bought a high priced item from my online store, I was out of luck.
Now, though... Now we have Advanced Segments. You kids are so lucky these days with your iPhones and text messages and Advanced Segments. Why, in my time we had to work for our segmentation.
Instead of complaining about the past, though, I guess I'll just look to the future with five advanced segments that can help you breeze through your own analytics ecommerce data. Hit the jump for more information on how you can start slicing and dicing your way toward better insights about your sales.
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Google AdWords New Display Ad Builder Webinar
May 14, 2009
There's an awesome new Display Ad Builder available in AdWords!
On Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 2:00pm EST (1:00pm CST / 12:00pm MST / 11:00am PST),
Timothy Seward, CEO of ROI Revolution, Inc. and Ben Ronnenberg, PPC Account Manager at ROI Revolution will host a 60 minute presenation on the new Display Ad Builder with Special Guest: Ryan Hayward, Google AdWords Product Marketing Manager.
We've been using it for a few months and wanted you to know how you can use it to increase your profits, just like we've done for our clients. Check out the top new features:
Don't worry about learning the ins and outs of Photoshop. Google now offers pre-made templates of animated, eye-catching display ads that quickly allow you to add your own custom images and text to suit your business' needs.
This feature is so powerful that it allowed us to recently double clickthrough rate and increase conversion rates by 33% for one client.
You can easily differentiate your product or service from competitors by utilizing your company logo, brand colors, and product images in display ads.
The Display Ad Builder gives you the ability to create ads with enhanced user functionality, so you can include coupon codes, user interaction, and navigation between images, tabs, & video within your ads.
It's fast and free! The Display Ad Builder is free to all AdWords advertisers. Within minutes you can have an ad created and running to test various messages, color schemes, and images at no cost.
In summary, you'll see how the new Display Ad Builder can save you time and money all while boosting your profits!
Don't delay -- this webinar is limited to 1,000 attendees.
Reserve Your Spot for this Complimentary Webinar
Power Using the New AdWords Interface, Part 1: Integrated Search Query Reports
May 13, 2009
As many of you are probably aware, whether through your own experiences with AdWords or from my colleague Katherine Anderson's article last month, AdWords has recently launched a shiny new user interface (UI), and with it several new toys for advertisers to play with.
All of the added features in the new UI are aimed at making the day-to-day work involved with managing an AdWords account faster, simpler, and better integrated. And while the list of changes made from the old AdWords interface is pretty comprehensive, there are 2 new features that warrant special mention: Integrated Search Query Reports and its content network cousin, Integrated Placement Performance Reports.
These two tools work together as a one-two punch that allows you to micro manage your ads' presence on both the AdWords search and content networks. Essentially, they provide you with on the fly insight into how AdWords is matching your keywords to search queries and website content in the interface itself, without forcing you to the reports tab, leaving your work on a separate page. With these updates, Google has taken 2 of the most powerful reports available in the reports center, and integrated them directly into the interface's control bar.
Over the course of this two part series, I'll show you how to use both of these reports in the new UI to increase traffic, decrease wasteful spend, and get you more bang for your AdWords buck.
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Stressing About Your Google Analytics Ecommerce Variables?
May 7, 2009
Whether or not you have the pressure of reporting revenue information to others, if you're running an ecommerce site you should be tracking your ecommerce with Google Analytics. What the helpful articles on setting up ecommerce don't tell you, is that if you use 3rd party shopping carts or CMS' - setting up ecommerce can be quite a challenging task.
Google Analytics provides you with the ecommerce template that is used to pass data to the reports. What it doesn't give you is a breakdown of the necessary pieces - what's required and what isn't? Before we jump into that, lets first take a look at the Google Analytics ecommerce code:
pageTracker._addTrans("order-id", "affiliate", "total", "tax", "shipping", "city", "state", "country");
pageTracker._addItem("order-id", "SKU", "product name", "category", "price", "quantity");
That's a lot of information! 13 separate pieces of information you need about your customer and their transaction! If you use an internal or in-house shopping cart, getting the actual transaction variables to pass in should be fairly easy. But instead let's say you're using a 3rd party shopping cart that doesn't offer an easy plug-in. What variables do you need to pass to this ecommerce code on the thank you page to get the data you need into Google Analytics? Let's break down the two methods of the Google Analytics ecommerce script: the addTrans method and the addItem method.
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Advanced Bid Management Tactics
May 5, 2009
Search Engine Land just published a new article of mine on AdWords bid management. In the article I put a new spin on tracking conversion values in AdWords. I also touch on the advantage of ad group level bid management.
Have a read if you want to learn more about how lifetime customer value can be recorded in AdWords and how to do "portfolio" bid management to make decisions on groups of low-volume keywords.
Make Sure Your Excluded Placements Are Actually Being Excluded
May 4, 2009
Excluded placements, negative sites, blocked domains... call 'em what you want; the point is, sometimes you don't want your ads showing up on certain websites on Google's Content Network because they're costly, they're not converting well, and/or they're just irrelevant to your offer.
Be absolutely sure to exclude unwanted sites.
Just recently, I was analyzing the performance of a Content campaign where I already had "www.myspace.com" blocked as a placement previously, as I found it to be a waste of money. However, the performance of my campaign hadn't improved. After running a domain-level placement performance report, I saw that I was still showing up on MySpace and accruing clicks and ad spend (with no conversions, unsurprisingly). I thought to myself, doth my eyes deceive me?
Only after analyzing the URLs of that particular "blocked" domain and a quick email exchange with my friendly Google rep did I finally find the real reason my ads were still showing. So no, my eyes weren't playing tricks on me—let me explain.
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