Thank Goodness for Google Analytics

- July 9, 2008

“What happened, I don’t understand what’s going on?” These were the first words I heard from my co-worker one morning. “Look at the Google Analytics,” she said. As I looked at her screen I saw the Google Analytics line chart heading south and then hitting a plateau. The chart was showing that the client had consistently been at 200 clicks for the month and then the clicks had dropped down to the 100’s and stayed there for the last week of the month.

I started thinking of everything that could have caused the client’s clicks to be cut in half. We had lowered the budget because the client was trending to go over, paused keywords that the client had felt were unproductive and removed certain geo-targeted states, but nothing was able to account for the significant decrease in clicks. As I looked at the Google Analytics chart it showed that the decrease in clicks had occurred on a certain date and then the next day it had hit a plateau. Whatever had caused the decrease had remained consistent because the clicks were still in the hundreds.

We pulled the Google Analytics data from the month before and the clicks were all in the 200’s. So what caused the drop?

I keep notes on the changes I make to client’s campaigns. That way I can go back and track what worked better for a client or what had no affect. Based on Google Analytics, the changed had started on one of the last Thursdays in the month. I went back and checked my notes. I had lowered the budget, but I had also changed the keyword type from broad match to phrase match. Bingo! That’s what caused the change. I went in and changed the keywords back to broad match and sure enough the clicks went back up to 200. Whew! Thank goodness for Google Analytics. What would have happened if we didn’t utilize Google Analytics? We would probably still be trying to figure out what caused the change. Moral of the story, you should have Google Analytics or some analytics program in place, as you never know when it’s going to answer the famed questions of Why, When, What & How?

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