Archive for the 'Google Analytics' Category

Nov, 8th, 2012

Infographic: Analytics is about analysis, not data!

Published by under Google Analytics

Analytics: It's about analysis, not data

Accurate tracking, understanding web analytics and gaining real actionable insights are core challenges among many businesses we talk to. They have the data, and they need to know what it means in order to make data-driven decisions. We are undertaking more and more analytics work, doing exactly that – helping organisations understand and interpret analytics data.

FIRST is a Google Analytics Certified Partner with a team of 10+ in-house Google Analytics experts. We love data and the stories it tells.

If you would like experts to find insights in your data, please give us a call 09 920 1740, and we’ll take you for a no obligation coffee to discuss (our shout).

We created this visual as an initial talking point with businesses.(click for full image)

Analytics: It's about analysis, not data

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Nov, 8th, 2012

Google Analytics Summit 2012: Introducing Universal Analytics

Google Analytics Summit 2012

Each year Certified Google Partners are invited to attend the Google Analytics Partner Summit in Mountain View. This event is a chance for Google to announce a range of new tools, features and plans for the Analytics product, and partners to meet. FIRST is one of only two Google Certified Partners in New Zealand, and this year I was lucky enough to represent FIRST at the event.

The Analytics team have been working hard, with the main focus was around making Analytics more powerful, while staying easy to use. This year a huge upcoming change was announced – a full overhaul of how Analytics tracks. Currently, at its lowest levels Analytics is still based on the Urchin system, which required large amounts of client side data retention and limited visitor level tracking as a result. A number of other tracking providers overcame these issues by doing a lot more of their processing server side, and Google is finally making this shift as well.

Google are calling this next generation of the service “Universal Analytics”. This means the new release of Analytics can be built into or bolted on to any device or system. Google has identified that the majority of businesses who use their systems are not just simple online only setups. Conversions happen across multiple devices, on and offline, and in a range of different formats. By creating a system that can also be integrated into other systems, like CRM setups, they can begin to track far more of the whole image than just what happens on the site.

An example: imagine you work at a bank, and you are in charge of AdWords for the home loans division. Conversion rates would be almost non-existent – nobody completes the full conversion process for something as complicated as a home loan just through the website. By integrating Universal Analytics into your CRM you can trigger goals or conversion points as their status is updated in internal systems. When a user completes the home loan process in their local branch, its tied back to their original AdWords click through their customer ID, and the conversion can be correctly attributed.

There were a range of other features that were announced, including the ability to import other visitor level data into custom dimensions and metrics, and platform flow analysis.

The speakers and topics raised throughout the Summit were fantastic, especially Avinash , and its great to be in the presence of so many people who are on the cutting edge of the Analytics and Web tracking scene.

Google Analytics Summit - Avinash

A chance to explore Google’s home town of Mountain View and to see the campus (from the outside – still weren’t really allowed in), and the Bay Area added to a fantastic couple of days.

Simon at Google HQ

I learned a huge amount not only from the speakers, but the other attendees, and can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings for our favourite web tracking system!

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May, 8th, 2012

Know your Best Converting Periods for Increased ROI

What is the best time to reach your audience through advertising?

You may say “Well, I want my products to be seen anytime, anywhere!” However, that may not be the smartest use of your limited marketing budget, and in many cases too much exposure (through commercials or product placements) may actually generate a negative impact on the attitude towards the brand[1]. Even big brands such as Coca-Cola, which you are exposed every day have moderated their mass advertising to target their audience more wisely, with specific strategies for each medium (street banners, newspapers, TV, radio, Internet, Mobile Apps, etc.)[2].

So what is the best time to reach your audience? And how can you know it?

The first thing to understand clearly is the goal you are wanting to achieve. Visits or conversions? And from which visitors segment? New or returning visitors? Once you have clearly defined your goal, Google Analytics will provide you with useful insights to understand your visitors’ behaviour and the best period to engage with then and convert them.

Traffic per Day of the Week and Hour of the Day

Even if weekdays, lunch and after dinner times are the periods we intuitively think will bring the highest peaks in visits/conversions, it can vary considerably based on your industry and behaviour of your audience.

The chart below shows that for an entertainment website, the traffic peak occurs on Thursday, i.e. the day where new movies come out in theatres in New Zealand. However, the days with the highest conversion rate are Monday and Tuesday.

The following chart shows that traffic is relatively steady from 9a.m. to 10p.m., with a slight peak during late afternoon while the best conversion rates occur at lunch time:

To create these charts, use ‘custom reports’ in Google Analytics to cross ‘Day of week’ and ‘Hour of Day’ dimensions with visits, revenue, conversion rate or any other metrics that you identified as your goal (can be the number of pages per visit, the time on site, etc). You also may want to apply this report to a specific visitor segment (new visitors don’t behave the same than your regular customers) or a specific traffic source (organic, paid, Facebook, eDMs, etc). For it to be statistically significant, you may need to take a long period of time (at least one month).

Once you have this data, you can go a little further to obtain a nice visualisation of the best converting times:

To create this kind of visualisation, just gather your data for each hour of each day of the week and use the ‘Conditional Formatting’ function in Excel.
This analysis will provide you actionable insights on when and how effectively target the right people while optimising your budget. Here are some questions that can be answered with these reports:

  • When should I have a 100% impression share on Google Adwords?
  • What is the best day/time to send my newsletter?
  • Do our TV ads trigger visits to our website?
  • Real-Time Traffic

    As its name suggests, the Real-time Analytics feature shows the number of active visitors, where they came from and what they are viewing IN REAL-TIME. This is quite amazing to see. To enhance the real time traffic reports even further I would like to see Google would be to provide a real-time heatmaps tracking.

    With this Real-Time reports, you can directly see impact of your marketing messages displayed right now on TV, radio, eDMs, Press releases and of course Social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc).

    Ultimately, analysing your best converting periods will allow you to benchmark and tune your marketing campaigns to reach your goals effectively and make the most of your marketing budgets.

    Tip: Keep in mind the time zone you have set up for your Google Analytics profile when analysing your traffic, otherwise combining international visitors with local traffic, may skew your findings…


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    Mar, 28th, 2012

    Get increased Results and ROI from Analytics Analysis.

    Published by under Google Analytics

    One of the biggest online marketing failures we see organisations make is the lack of importance placed on tracking marketing activities, analysing results and then acting on insights gained.

    Do you realise and understand that Analytics data can be your most valuable marketing asset?

    In fact, CMOs are well aware they will have to be much more financially accountable in the future. In fact, 63 percent of respondents believe marketing ROI will become the most important measure of success over the next three to five years.” (IBM Global CMO study, 2011).

    Through analytics analysis and acting on insights you can gain

    • A better understanding of your customers
    • Increased results
    • Higher ROI
    • Smarter systems for decision making

    You are likely to be using Analytics to measure the performance your website as standard, but are you also using analytics to measure:

    • the effectiveness of your online advertising,
    • your mobile platform
    • your social platforms (Facebook, YouTube etc) and social marketing

    Ongoing Analysis of your Analytics will help you to understand

    • What content is most valuable to users – to then develop more valuable content
    • How various market segments differ in behaviour – to then tailor the asset / website / marketing to these audiences
    • How customers use of multiple channels by customers before purchase (including offline and mobile) – to ensure visibility and encourage conversion through the whole process
    • How you can improve conversion and return from your marketing dollar, giving you more to reinvest and grow, as well as ensuring you are providing a great product and service.
    • What marketing channels should take priority when budgets are limited – both to achieve growth goals, and ROI metrics
    • Customer trends around products and preferences – allowing a faster response to changing needs.

    Analytics tools are constantly evolving and providing valuable new insights, which also should be quickly explored and utilised. For Example – are you using Real Time Analytics, Visitor Flows, Multi-channel Funnels, Assisted Conversion Paths?

    A Caution… it is possible to drown in data, and Analytics data is absolutely useless unless it is acted on.  Appropriate resource (internal or 3rd party) and a process must be put in place where insights from the data is regularly evaluated to influence business decisions, marketing tactics, and development decisions.

    A Secret.. We have found that the secret to effective analytics implementation is the planning and requirements capture.  Only once you have evaluated your business and marketing goals, objectives and KPIs can you develop an appropriate measurement framework to deliver the intelligence needed. Additionally, a more advanced custom solution may be required to maximise commercial benefit. Then you can be assured your marketing is on a solid foundation and can evolve as quickly as your customers do.

    Should you be leveraging your Analytics more? Contact Us – we would love to help!

    FIRST is Google’s first trans-tasman Google Analytics Certified Partner. With a smart team of more than 15 Google Analytics Qualified individuals, you can be sure of sound advice, great technical expertise and brilliant actionable insights that will make a positive difference in your marketing strategy.

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