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August 7, 2012 at 5:16 am #979310::
Hi guys, I started a new company this week full time (sold my web design business). My new company is a small business reporting app called Web Control Room.
It’s going to be a huge challenge to build a business out of a free (soon to be freemium) application so I wanted to be sure I had the tracking set up well before I did too much else so that has been my focus this week.
Here is a summary – if you are are across the goals / campaigns etc skip to the Advanced Segments which are going to be really powerful for me.
Set up goals
The first thing was setting up a goal for my site. I’d be wasting my time if all I was looking at was traffic (more on this later). I need to know what traffic is converting.
In my case because it’s a free product (it’s not even possible to pay me for it yet) my goal was clear, get people to sign up for the app.
So that goal has been set up in Analytics so when people sign up it registers as a conversion.
The next thing is I’ve set up campaigns so I can compare which marketing efforts are (1) bringing me traffic and (2) bringing me traffic that converts into users.
This is pretty easy but can only really be done for marketing efforts where you have control over the URL (i.e. footer links in forums, links on other websites, adwords etc).
The steps are easy:
- Go to the Google Analytics URL Builder and enter the info to get your trackable link.
- Use this link in your marketing
In cases where people will be able to see the link that is being used (i.e. the link on your Twitter profile you can’t change the anchor) you can set up a 301 re-direct using this simple plugin in WordPress so you can make a page on your site say called yoursite.com/twitter then set up a re-direct from there to the trackable link in analytics.
So you can now look at the campaigns sources in Analytics to look at what campaigns are sending you traffic and they will also appear in the sources in your conversions area so you can tell which campaigns are converting the best.
I can’t overstate the importance of this. Some campaigns might be very effective in bringing you traffic but it might be the wrong traffic. Here are 2 examples from the last month on my site:
- My Twitter auto follow strategy and partner strategy brought in 117 visits
- My Adwords experiment (I wont be using Adwords) brought in 268 visits – more than double.
However the Twitter / Partner strategy brought me 7 conversions – a conversion rate of almost 6% (and it was free). Adwords brought in 0 conversions and cost me $380.
This example illustrates if you aren’t using goals and trackable campaigns then you are crazy!
It doesn’t end there though, there are a few issues with the Analytics standard reports. I mentioned one of them above – campaigns can only be used for strategies where you have control over the URLs. So you can’t just use campaigns, you have to also look at sources and there are always too many of these to group them meaningfully.
Another potentially major issue is you probably have a decent chunk of your traffic going to Google and just putting in your brand name to find your site (cause they forgot the address). Analytics will attribute this as ‘Google traffic’ but really it’s lazy direct traffic.
These issues are solved with Advanced Custom Segments which enable you to ‘group’ different types of traffic into more meaningful groups.
I have written a very detailed post on this, it’s too long for this post you can see it here. If you have any questions about custom segments please let me know I will answer them in this thread.
If you are spending a lot of time on traffic it’s definitely worth setting them up. It took me about 2 hours to set mine up initially and I’ll also have to do a little bit of maintenance on them as I add new initiatives etc.
Hope that helps someone.August 7, 2012 at 11:16 am #1113454AnonymousGuest
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Thanks Dan – I’m sure that will be very handy info for a few people.
Congratulations on selling your business too.
Love your work!
JayneAugust 7, 2012 at 11:39 am #1113455::
Oh you deleted that spam post? Damn I was going to have some fun with thatAugust 7, 2012 at 11:41 am #1113456AnonymousGuest
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Sorry to ruin your fun Dan :pAugust 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm #1113457tmerrillMember
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Thanks for the post. I have been meaning to set up goals and campaigns for a while now. You have re-inspired me to actually do something!August 8, 2012 at 10:49 am #1113458August 9, 2012 at 2:03 am #1113459August 9, 2012 at 2:59 am #1113460::
Oh cool, the iOS app needs a lot of work the web app is going to be updated in the next few days. Would love your feedback if you have anyAugust 9, 2012 at 3:46 am #1113461GeronimoParticipant
- Total posts: 237
That’s great advice. I posted asking about how to better use Analytics a while ago, and this is brilliant.
On another topic, was it a marketing choice to use an American accent when you made your video, or just a factor of who produced it? I’ll be doing a product video soon, so am interested in your reasoning.August 9, 2012 at 7:45 am #1113462::
Most of my customers are from e US yes but it was also a $5 fiverr deal he heJune 13, 2013 at 12:45 am #1113463James RayersMember
- Total posts: 268
Sorry to dredge up an old thread.
I’ve been working on getting Goals set up in a client Analytics account and wanted to share my experience.
On many sites there are no sign-ups or direct sales to track. For anyone struggling to define a worthy action to track; the most useful thing to track is going to be submissions on the contact form.
To do so you need to first create an Analytics ‘event’ which occurs when somebody clicks the Submit button on your contact form. RavenTools have a useful setup tool which I used – http://gaconfig.com/google-analytics-event-tracking/.
You basically then assign a monetary value to an event and compare it against your targets to create a Goal.
It seems a bit complex at first but if you set aside an hour or so to get your head around it, your daily Analytics visit will be much more exciting.June 16, 2013 at 2:14 am #1113464::
There’s no easier way than that. Make your contact form redirect to a page (say success.htm) then in analytics create a goal for anyone who visits success.htm
The problem is though that a lot of the time a completion of a contact form isn’t a very good measure of conversion. I don’t even have one. They often get more spam or cold emails from vendors so they stats get killed. Email optin works well. If you are getting enough traffic and converting enough of it then the data is pretty good.
Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2June 16, 2013 at 10:19 am #1113465JohnWMember
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I’ve just gone through an exercise of analysing a client’s Analytics traffic reports.
The client has been using an SEO service that is simply targeting the rankings of frequently used keywords.
The problem is that strategy has mostly generateed the wrong sort of visitors. They are from the wrong locations or they are consumers, not from the commercial market segment.
When I go through the client’s Analytics reports I need reports for:
- Visits to specific pages by people from a specific city location.
- SE referrals that assess search phrases that contain specific words in search phrases – by city and the numbers of unique keywords that contained the words.
I would need to track perhaps a score of specific words (using stemming) to report on the second parameter.
Can your system generate these sorts of reports?
JohnWJune 17, 2013 at 3:53 am #1113466::
Hey John. No it doesn’t. I’m not really sure how you would do that I’ve never really delved too much into locations. It might be possible to make an advanced segment that just includes visits from a certain location. They you could select that segment and look at the keyword reports.
Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2June 17, 2013 at 7:59 am #1113467JohnWMember
::websitedesigner, post: 164407 wrote:Hey John. No it doesn’t. I’m not really sure how you would do that I’ve never really delved too much into locations. It might be possible to make an advanced segment that just includes visits from a certain location. They you could select that segment and look at the keyword reports.
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Sent from my GT-N7100 using Tapatalk 2Hi Dan,
That’s a shame.
I think it is fair to say that most small businesses need to be location targeted. That would include all trades, retail and most service industries.
SE referral analysis needs to go way beyond looking at numbers of referrals and rankings for keywords. These are secondary metrics.
I have just spent many hours assessing a client’s G Analytics reports to find that after spending a lot of money on SEO that it was targeting the wrong clients for the wrong services.
In this example, only 4% of visitors were from the target city and driving visitors to the “service” pages that the client wants to promote.
The client has previously been advised to target search phrases because of their volume of usage. My analysis suggests this is a poor reward strategy.
If you had software that could speed up this type of analytics reporting, you would have me as a client and I don’t know of anyone else who offers reports like this.
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