Articles written in October, 2012

October 17 2012

Create Shortcuts to See Your Wanted Data, Sooner

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Google Analytics recently released Shortcuts to help you access your saved data reports more efficiently. Want to see a particular report with specific secondary dimensions for a set of campaigns? Instead of navigating to the Campaign report, adding said secondary dimensions and then layering the report with advanced filters, you can create the report once and save it as a Shortcut, so that it’s easily accessible every time you log into the Home tab of Google Analytics.

Once you’ve created your desired report and have customized it to your liking, select the Shortcut button in your utility bar. See screenshot below for Shortcut link.

A new window will appear prompting you to save your recently created Shortcut.

As soon as you save the Shortcut, you’ll be able to access it via the “Shortcuts” section in the Home tab. You can easily change the date range of your saved Shortcut to be able to look at data for different time periods.

Your saved Shortcuts can be emailed and exported, or even added to your Dashboard. Shortcuts are only applied at the profile level and must be reproduced to be viewed in other profiles you have access to.

October 16 2012

Product Listing Ads – Identifying Revenue Through Google Analytics

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This week Google will finalize the transition requiring a link between its Merchant Center offering and AdWords interface for the previously free Product Listing Ads. Though they’ve alluded to this change since early summer, the official deadline was posted on their blog earlier in the month. The shift to a commercialized model will reshape the Product Listing Ad experience. The shopping ads online retailers once benefited from for free will no longer run unless connected to an AdWords account.

Since the announcement, many ecommerce businesses have questioned whether or not to make the switch. Some have struggled to identify the ROI needed to rationalize the additional ad budget and account maintenance expenses. However, the true revenue from these powerful paid ads is right at their fingertips using Google Analytics.
Follow these steps to identify your Ad Revenue in Google Analytics:

1. Log in to Google Analytics
2. Identify a time period.
3. In the left-hand navigation, click Traffic Sources > All Traffic.
4. Using the search feature, narrow the traffic result to Googlebase / base. This is the name used by the Google Shopping Feed. Click the magnifying glass to execute the search.

5. Once the results are displayed, click the Ecommerce filter. Revenue will be listed below the graph.

In this example, the company would stand to lose over a million dollars in online sales by not moving to AdWords. It’s important to note that an effective Product Listing Campaign can run for as little as $3,000 a month– generating an unbelievable return on investment.

October 2 2012

Search Referrers in a Privacy Minded World

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Shortly after the iPhone 5 release and the iOS6 software update, it was discovered that the default browser (Safari) uses Google’s Secure Search. This means that any keywords being searched for on the iOS6 platform will not be available to those who use Google Analytics to track organic traffic data. This keyword is known as a search referrer. If your website garners a lot of organic mobile traffic, this can be a very daunting issue. No longer will you be able to see what a user typed into their iPhone in order to find your website, if they are using iOS6 and Safari.

For the time being, the issue with Safari is not a big one. However, it speaks to a much larger issue that is steaming full force ahead. This is the line being drawn between privacy and data on the internet. Marketers and business owners are becoming increasingly knowledgeable about who visits their websites. This data is often pulled through site usage and Google search data. Searchers increasingly want more privacy, and business owners want to understand their online users and customers better.

Google is also taking an increasingly conservative view on the stance of search privacy. They are creating more and more scenarios in which a searcher’s keyword can not be tracked in Google Analytics. If a user is signed in to any Google account or they are using a Google Secure Search enabled browser, then their search referrer will not be passed to the website’s Google Analytics account. However, Google garners a vast majority of their revenue from AdWords advertising. They have decided to allow search referrer data to be passed through clicks on AdWords advertisements.

This creates a bit of a paradox. On the one hand Google wants to be more privacy oriented and not pass as much data to website owners who are using their services. On the other hand, if the website owner is paying Google to advertise on their search engine it is acceptable.

It is a two sided battle between website owners who want to cater to their users better and website visitors who want to retain more privacy. No matter your view, many search engines and browsers are beginning to look into privacy protection more seriously. It is becoming increasingly important to use multiple sources to understand your website’s user rather than relying solely on the keyword that brought them to the website in the first place.

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