As web analysts, internet marketing managers, or web consultants, we’re all looking to prove our worth daily. Hell, everyone who cares about their livelihood is. So one of the things we, as a group, are leaning towards is prognostication. And that’s a dangerous line of thinking. Continue reading “Web Analytics and the Nostradamus Effect” »
I write a fairly geeky blog here. No, it’s not about World of Warcraft or Diablo 3 (PWNage), but it caters to people who are likely a bit on the tech savvy side. So most of those folks are logged into a Google Account while they’re on their PCs.
What that means to me is that I don’t get to see the search terms they used to find my blog. I just get a big <not provided> notice in all my web analytics tools. And it’s bad for me, and worse for companies trying to do business on the web. Those search terms are how we make our living. Continue reading “The Real Problem with Not Provided–SSL Encrypted Search” »
Google Analytics is great for tracking how your visitors came into your site, but did you know you can also use it to track what people search for once they land on your site? I recently set this up on my Wine Club site, and explained what it is and how to do it. Take less than 5 minutes out of your day, watch the video, and implement Site Search Tracking on your site. Continue reading “Track Site Search in Google Analytics” »
I was fortunate enough to have an article published on ReveNews.org yesterday. It’s the arm of ReveNews that focuses on utilizing the internet to build a not for profit or charitable organization. In this case, I discuss the basic beginning steps for using web analytics to understand your audience. Measuring the Success of Your Nonprofit Website with Google Analytics.
The Horror. Precious data taken from our fingertips.
On the 16th of October, Google launched secure search for anyone logged in to their Google accounts, which mean analysts everywhere started seeing (not provided) as a keyword in their reports, even though we clearly hadn’t SEO’d for it (yet).
A full discussion on it, and some ways to analyze its impact can be found on Avinash Kaushik’s blog. So read that first, and report back here when you’re done. The post below is the results of a thought process I came up with after reading his post, so it’s important to get his background. He’s also a lot smarter than me, so that’s a second good reason to read his first.
But I digress.
As soon as the option became available in Google Analytics to connect to my Google Webmaster tools account, I took advantage. And I think it was fortuitous in this particular instance. What I propose here is that we use the new SEO Reports as a benchmark to check for changes in our incoming keyword volume that might be hidden in (not provided).
I sent out a tweet last night about my upcoming e-book on local business web analytics, and I happened to see an interesting response this morning from a well respected member of the web analytics community. Jacques Warren ( blog, twitter) pointed out through an image that my book landing page showed the book title, Web Analytics for Brick and Mortar, but that the actual text of the page explained simply that it was a guide to Google Analytics for small, local business.
His tweet asked if semantically, these days, was Google Analytics = Web Analytics. And when he says EQAUL TO, he essentially means the end all and be all, as my web page text accidentally indicated.
I responded back saying of course that I didn’t feel that way, and that in fact the book covers other things. The exchange got me thinking though. What IS web analytics these days?
That’s what it means to me, anyways.
Web Analytics is no longer (and hasn’t been for a while now) a pretty, soft edged graph version of our web logs.
Web analytics instead has become a serious and massive aggregation of available information about the living, breathing web, and a subsequent dissection and understanding of where our website and brand fits into that biosphere.
We no longer limit ourselves to worrying about Page Hits, or Bounce Rates, or even ultimate conversions.
We now look at how social media perceives us, and what different sets of people, from different sets of places do with our content, our products, and ultimately us as an organization.
We may even agree that we can learn more about our customers by how they talk about us in social media than what they buy, or do, or ask us about on our own web pages.
I think we can DEFINITELY agree that analytics, especially for large organization, changed instantly and dramatically the moment we stopped putting our own URLs at the bottom of our television commercials, and instead started advertising our Facebook pages.
The venue for customer interaction had changed, and web analytics had to grow and change with it.
So in the final analysis, it’s not ever safe to say that web analytics is equal to Google Analytics, despite it’s popularity. In fact, it’s no longer safe to say that web analytics is any one piece of software, web service, or funnel.
Web analytics is indeed an understanding of the web and how it relates to our business. I may now have to re-think how I position the book. That, or more accurately describe its contents, which indeed heavily Google Analytics related.