The ROI Revolution Blog

Are Long Page Load Times Driving Your Visitors Away?

November 25, 2009

You're making my Mee-Maw sadYou’re always checking on your landing pages, right? You read the blogs, run experiments, and generally try to make your site as user-friendly as possible.

But chances are, if you’re reading the ROI Revolution blog, you’re on a high speed internet connection. If your webpages are loading in nanoseconds with your T1, how are they faring for those visitors who aren’t as lucky as you? You know, the ones on crappy cable modems and DSL and (gasp!) the dreaded dial-up?

Does it matter? Well, it depends. If you’re a gaming website or Internet marketing blog, most of your audience is probably on broadband. But if you’re running a site for a retirement community in Florida, then my grandma is hitting your Flash-encrusted site in her AOL browser and she’s waiting. And waiting. And waiting. She’s a patient old gal, my Meemaw, but she’s not going to wait all day. She’s going to point her browser and her pension elsewhere.

Aside from your visitors, your site’s load time is also important to Google. Not only does page load time affect your AdWords Quality Score, but according to Matt Cutts, it’s going to be playing a bigger role in the organic search ranking.

So read on to learn how to optimize your landing pages’ load times, and maybe make a few bucks off my Meemaw.

Search is from Mars, Content is from Venus

November 20, 2009

SearchContent.PNGGoogle’s search and content networks are both great sources of profitable traffic, but they are very different from one another. And in the same way that you wouldn’t want unrelated keywords grouped together in your account, you’re going to want to keep search and content in their own distinct campaigns.

But what is it that makes them so different?

Audience:
Traffic from the search network is coming from an active group of prospects. This is exactly what makes paid search advertising so unique: you get to show your ad to a prospect at the precise moment that they are seeking your product or service (depending on your keyword list of course).

On the other hand, traffic from the content network is much more passive. You’re getting your ad served at a moment when their attention is elsewhere, focused on the content of the site they’re on.

Funnels on the Fly in Google Analytics

November 18, 2009

So there you are – you’re all ready to put more oil in your car, or maybe you’re trying to fill your sugar jar. Maybe you’re all set to do some ironing, but you need to put some water in the iron. Whatever the reason, it immediately hits you that you’ll be needing a funnel – but… OH SNAP!

You don’t have one. Or you can’t find it. What do you do? You improvise of course!

MacGyver kitteh

Quickly and with a MacGyver-like moment of inspiration, you grab a 2-liter bottle from your recycling bin and cut the top off. Phew – that was a close one! Now you won’t have oil on your driveway, or water all over your bedroom carpet, and you can go about your day feeling like a secret genius.

Now, a funnel would have still been the best tool for the job, but sometimes it’s just not available. What the heck does this have to do with Google Analytics?

Well, Google Analytics has a great built-in Funnel Visualization report, but the problem is that it only works if you have the foresight to build it ahead of time. Funnels are never retroactive – they will only start working the moment you create them. What if you have multiple landing pages? Moreover, what if you only want to look at AdWords traffic? Well, you would need a separate profile in addition to a properly set up funnel, and all of this has to be set up ahead of time.

The problem is that often you won’t know what kind of funnel you need until it’s too late. Having 20 goals in Google Analytics is great, but you could have a million and it wouldn’t make a difference.

The good news is there’s hope. That hope is called Advanced Segments. Here’s how you do it:

Geotargeting: Do your ads accurately reflect your service area?

November 11, 2009

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Determining where you want to have your ads show is, surprisingly, often neglected. We often times see when conducting our AdWords account audit and strategy sessions, or when beginning work with a new client that geographic targeting is set up incorrectly. This is primarily due to new Google AdWords campaigns automatically adding Canada as a target country.

If your product or service is not available in Canada, be sure to remove it from your geo-targeting list once your campaign is uploaded.

Now, moving beyond this quick tip, there are a number of slightly more advanced geographic targeting features that are very helpful for advertisers.

In order to focus on specific cities, states, regions, etc you must select which campaign you would like to work on.

7 Common (Newbie) Google Analytics Mistakes

November 9, 2009

noob_small.jpgEveryone’s new at some point right? Well if you’re just starting out with Google Analytics, here are a few things you can watch out for to stay ahead of the game.

1. Missing Page Tags
Probably one of the most common mistakes that can cause problems in your Google Analytics data is missing page tags. Yes, the Google Analytics code needs to be on all pages of the site. It doesn’t matter that someone in sales told you that “all we need are metrics from one or two pages.” You’re setting up Google Analytics already, so you might as well do it right and get accurate data. If any of your sites pages are missing the Google Analytics Tracking Code, you’ll start seeing self referrals (where the real source information is overwritten with your site information) and a variety of other issues will occur as well. Comb through the site a few times and make sure you aren’t skipping any pages and that every page will register with Google Analytics.

2. Mixing urchin.js and ga.js code002_apples_and_oranges.jpg
For those of you inheriting Google Analytics projects, you may be faced with the task of maintaining or updating a site that was previously tracked using the urchin.js version of the tracking code. Although Google states it is possible to use both the urchin and ga versions of the code as long as they aren’t on the same page, my suggestion is to update the entire site to the new ga.js version of the tracking code. Mixing the two can cause some complications that are better left avoided. Save yourself some future headaches and update everything at once. Plus you’ll get some cool new features with ga.js anyway, so why wouldn’t you want to upgrade?

Need Your Own Google Analytics Greasemonkey Script?

November 9, 2009

support I write most of my Greasemonkey scripts with the idea that they will be useful to as many Google Analytics admins and users as possible.

But what if you need a script that’s very specific to your business needs? Or maybe you’ve heard about the Google Analytics API and you’d like to use it to tie your Google Analytics report data with data from your back end. You might even just need some custom modifications to your Google Analytics Tracking Code and general setup to get that one bit of data that can make or break your business.

At ROI Revolution, we offer support plans that can be used for nearly any type of Google Analytics project you can think up. You can also use your support time to have us help you effectively configure optimal tracking for your business goals, get a second opinion on that those thorny configuration issues, or just to audit your Google Analytics account setup and make sure everything’s working just as it should.

And if you just want your own Greasemonkey script, we can make that happen too.

Learn more about our Google Analytics technical support offerings.

Bid for Profitability, not Pride

November 5, 2009

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Every company wants to be at the front of the pack, leaving their competitors in the dust.

To beat the competition in PPC advertising, your first instinct might be to outbid competitors and get your ad into the top few positions, often located directly above the organic results.

With your ad gloriously perched atop the search results, surely you’re at a competitive advantage compared to all those lowly ads on the right side of the page…right?mtn_goat.jpg

Well, not necessarily.

With PPC, you don’t always get the gold for being in first place. While having your ad in higher positions tends to yield more clicks and therefore more conversions than lower spots, it doesn’t always ensure the best return on investment.

If you have to pay twice as much per click to get your ad to the top position but find that it only gets you a few more sales and ultimately cuts into your profits, then you probably wouldn’t want to continue that strategy.

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