Articles written in June, 2011

June 27 2011

Tracking Mobile Users with Google Analytics

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Think for a second of what you would do if you were a customer looking for your products or services on your favorite ________ (fill in your handheld device here — we know you have one). Your company’s page begins to load and then — gasp – something goes wrong. Maybe the page stops loading, maybe it isn’t sized for easy viewing, maybe there is too much content on the page and your phone is overloaded or you have to scroll to the south poll to find the content you want. You click away. In this theoretical example, you may have reached your company’s website, but the poor user experience drove you away. Don’t let this happen to your customers!

Google Analytics can identify which mobile devices are accessing your website right now. If you currently have Google Analytics installed, you can access this information in just a few clicks. The mobile section in Google Analytics (in both the current and New Version) will enable you to delve into the data of website viewers on the go.

The Mobile Devices / Mobile dashboards default to organizing your data by Operating System (iPod, iPhone, iPad, Windows, BlackBerry, Android, etc.) You can then segment your data by a second dimension as the following screenshot shows.

Designers and developers may be interested in diving deeper into Screen Colors, Screen Resolution, Flash Version, Java Support, and other dimensions pertinent to their work. By digging into your mobile user data, you can answer some overarching questions and some very specific ones:

Q: How much of my incoming traffic is from mobile?
Q: What is the traffic breakdown between mobile devices?
Q: Is mobile traffic as a whole performing well for conversions or goal completions? Is there one specific Operating System that is delivering better traffic than others?
Q: Has my website been tested on all of these mobile device platforms for user experience?
Q: Is my website designed to be functional for visitors who have smaller screen resolutions? Mobile flash versions? No Java Script?

Your team can customize the experience of visitors to your website from a mobile device. Customized user experience is the future of mobile websites.

Keep monitoring MoreVisibility’s Analytics blog for information on Google’s just released new mobile report features!

Posted in: Google Analytics

June 23 2011

Improvements to your mobile analytics data

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The Google Analytics team has had their hands full this year, and we’re not even half-way through 2011! So far this year, you’ve been witnessto ground-breaking improvements in our industry, such as:

And that’s just a taste of what you’ve seen so far this year!

Today, we’re going to continue to enhance your analytics palette. The mobile reporting section within Google Analytics is being super-sized to accommodate the rapid mobile device adoption rates that we’ve all seen in our professional and personal lives. Mobile – formerly found within the Technology sub-section inside the Visitors navigation menu – is now its own stand-alone sub-section within the main Visitors report section on the left-hand side on the navigation menu.

The Mobile section will now have two reports: A new Overview report (for top-level summary data) and a new Devices report (for granular, report-level data). Within the Devices report, you can expect to find the following dimensions to segment your mobile data by:

  • Mobile Device Info: This will show you the mobile device (phone or tablet) that your visitors used to access your website. You will also see a small camera icon next to each device name – clicking on that icon will bring up images of the mobile device.
  • Mobile Device Branding: This will show you the company that made the device. For example, you will see a listing for Apple (which can be clicked so that you can see a breakdown between the iPhone, iPad, and iPod), as well as listings for all other mobile device manufacturers that have resulted in at least one visit to your website during your selected date-range.
  • Service Provider: This will show you the internet service provider that a mobile visitor is using to get online and access your website.
  • Mobile Input Selector: This shows you if your visitor’s mobile devices use touchscreens, clickwheels, joysticks, or stylus’s.
  • Operating System: Each mobile device has its own operating system, just like your traditional desktop computer, and this dimension will provide that breakdown for you.
  • Screen Resolution: The pixel-by-pixel dimensions of your visitor’s mobile device screen sizes.

As a Google Analytics Certified Partner, we can safely report to you that these enhancements are only the beginning – these great updates to your mobile analytics data are only the first step in a series of developments that you can expect to see coming down the pike during the rest of the year.

We hope you enjoy your new and improved mobile data, and we look forward to sharing more updates with you as they come about!

June 16 2011

12 easy tools, add-ons, and resources to troubleshoot your web analytics implementation

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A clean, proper, and accurate web analytics implementation equals a happy marketer, analyst and website owner.

If you’ve ever worked with Google Analytics, Omniture SiteCatalyst, WebTrends, Coremetrics, ClickTracks or IBM’s web analytics solutions, you probably realized at some point that implementing web analytics is much more than copying and pasting one snippet of JavaScript on all of your website pages. There are eProps, sVars, events, variables, customizations, conditions, dynamic values, and all kinds of mayhem that goes along with a healthy and robust web analytics implementation.

Before you send your next Email to your web developer or IT team asking for something to be repaired with your analytics platform, you can likely identify potential problems very easily, so that you can point your hard working tech team in the right direction. And, if you are in the IT team, you can use the following list of tools to troubleshoot an analytics implementation before you do any work.

So, have a gander at the following list of tools, and go install them today. They will definitely help identify errors, issues, bugs, missing snippets, and many other things to allow you to have the cleanest, most successful web analytics implementation possible!

1. HTTP Fox
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Firefox
Link: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/httpfox/

HTTP Fox is a bare essential for any web developer. This browser add on “...monitors and analyzes all incoming and outgoing HTTP traffic between the browser and the web servers.

2. Firebug
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Firefox (Full Version); Any browser (Lite Version)
Link (Full): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firebug/
Link (Lite): http://getfirebug.com/firebuglite

Firebug allows you to monitor, edit, and debug JavaScript (web analytics snippets), HTML, and CSS on any webpage.

3. WASP
Good for: Any web analytics platform (and other programs)
Supported Browsers: Firefox
Link: http://webanalyticssolutionprofiler.com/

The Web Analytics Solution Profiler (WASP) is a great web analytics specific Firefox add-on, providing data on any tool that sets cookies or sends server requests. It also measures conversion tracking snippets, behavioral targeting tools and voice-of-customer platforms.

4. Charles
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Internet Explorer and Firefox
Link: http://www.charlesproxy.com/download/

Charles is a web debugging proxy application for any operating system using Internet Explorer or Firefox.

5. Live HTTP Headers
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Firefox
Link: http://livehttpheaders.mozdev.org/installation.html

Live HTTP headers monitors and provides additional information on requests to and from web servers.

6. Fiddler
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Internet Explorer
Link: http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2/

Fiddler logs and records all HTTP traffic between your Internet Explorer browser and the internet.

7. Google Analytics Tracking Code Debugger
Good for: Google Analytics
Supported Browsers: Chrome
Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jnkmfdileelhofjcijamephohjechhna

This Chrome-only plug-in alerts you when a Google Analytics tracking code snippet is generating errors or is not functioning properly.

8. Omniture SiteCatalyst JavaScript Debugger
Good for: Omniture SiteCatalyst
Supported Browsers: Any browser
Link: http://www.webanalyticscentral.com/2009/12/09/how-to-set-up-the-omniture-debugger/

This resource from the Web Analytics Central blog shows you how to use the Omniture SiteCatalyst JavaScript debugger, as well as other tips and tricks for Site Catalyst users.

9. WebTrends Troubleshooting Guide
Good for: WebTrends
Supported Browsers: Any browser
Link: http://product.webtrends.com/WRC/7.1/Documents/Troubleshooting.pdf

This great troubleshooting guide from WebTrends will help you through any WebTrends-specific issue that you are experiencing.

10. Yahoo Web Analytics Troubleshooting
Good for: Yahoo Web Analytics (IndexTools)
Supported Browsers: Any browser
Link: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/ywa/troubleshooting/

Users of Yahoo Web Analytics (formerly IndexTools) will love this online troubleshooting guide, filled with great technical tips and tricks.

11. Built-in Developer Tools
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Chrome
Link: http://code.google.com/chrome/devtools/docs/overview.html

Google Chrome’s browser comes built-in with developer tools that analyze server requests and detects any page-level bugs, issues, or errors.

12. Built-in Activity Window
Good for: Any web analytics platform
Supported Browsers: Safari
Link: http://www.apple.com/safari/features.html

The Safari browser has a built-in activity measurement window, where you can see activity and potential errors in real-time.

Don’t forget – any browser will allow you to view a page’s code source, which in some cases, is the best overall tool to use!

What tools did we omit? Which guides do you use? What techniques do you employ? Please leave a comment and tell us about it!

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