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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Measuring Content with the New Google Analytics

Measuring Content with the New Google Analytics

There’s a new version of Google Analytics just released, and am starting to become familiar with the new functionality. Google’s updates are:

  • A completely redesigned, faster interface
  • Multiple dashboards—build a custom dashboard for each department
  • Event Goals! Track your PDFs with events, or configure 2 minutes play time on a video as a goal.
  • More powerful custom reports

Let’s talk about the new Event Goals.  Events can now be tracked as conversion goals.  Previously we were just able to track page URLs and engagement goals like time spent on site and number of pages viewed. Each goal was assigned an optional goal value. Goal values are a way to “prioritize” conversions.  For example, web form submissions would have a high value, but a view of the “about us” page on your site may have no value, as far as page conversions goals go.

Event Goals give value to those activities or links that are clicked on but don’t necessarily direct traffic to another page on your site. Examples of these events are video views, podcast listens, content downloads, social media shares, and links to external pages or PDFs (if you have an offsite blog, for example). These activities also contribute to site engagement. Of course the outcomes for measuring events and engagement is the continuing task of tracking keywords, mediums, referral sites with regard to quality traffic analysis. It provides an analysis of which events or content pieces work better in attracting interested prospects.  For instance, if your white paper is deemed more important as an event than your case study as a download, each of those content assets can now be given unique values, with the white paper a higher value.

Here’s an example of how goal conversions work utilizing a mix of page URLs, engagement goals, and event goals with values; let’s assume a scale of 1-10.

Contact Us-Thank You Page:  10

Product X quote request:  9

ROI White Paper download:   8

Blog Page Viewed:   7

5 minutes on site:    6

Case Study Z download:  5

Video viewed for over 1 minute:  4

Facebook “Like”: 2

Now, here’s a quick sample of an analysis:

Keyword or Site                 Visits            Completed Conversion Goals         Per Visit Goal Value

XXXXX                                        50                                   5                                      .86

YYYYY                                      30                                    4                                      .53

Keyword or referral site XXXXX has a lower conversion rate than YYYYY, but XXXXX visitors showed higher engagement, because the per visit goal value is higher.  Per Visit Goal Value is calculated by multiplying the number of conversion goals by the value of each goal, then dividing by the visits.  Therefore in my analysis, XXXXX is performing better than YYYY because of the increased engagement with the site.

Google Analytics Help has comprehensive details on how to track events.

Click Here for Overview

Click Here for Details on Coding

But here’s a quick primer.

First, you (or your tech guy) need to implement Google Analytics event tracking into the pages and within the code where those events occur on your site. Below is the code utilizing onclick protocol, which tells Google Analytics to measure a click on the event.

Onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','category', 'action', 'label', 'value'];”)

Then, you need to replace the placeholders “Category,” “Action,” “Label,” and “Value” with actual events. It would help to have a spreadsheet handy to make a list.

Categories (A group of objects you want to track):

Video

Audio

Download

Social Share

Actions (Paired with categories, but describes the specific event):

White Paper

Case Study

PDF

Webinar

Like

Labels (Optional) (Provides additional detail on the event):

Increase ROI

Marketing with social media podcast

Capabilities brief

Value (Optional) (Provides a numerical value to an event)

Downloadable content values (8, 15, 20)

Video or audio time spent (3 for 3 minutes, for example)

Once you have your master list of event codes ready, get your developer or programmer to embed these event tracking codes into the site as described above.  Now we’re ready to track event goals.

First, click on your website profile, and click Goals

Then, set up your event goal details, and provide a value that meets those event conditions. You can use the actual value from the code per above, or overwrite the actual value with a constant value.

Ok, you witnessed above a short example of how event goals, conversions and values can be measured.  Here’s a little more. We can evaluate the behavior of specific audience segments, with the goal to analyze what kinds of event behaviors lead to form submit or purchase conversions.

Here’s a custom audience segment that lets me track how many people viewed my ultimate conversion (web form Thank you page) and that downloaded the Increase ROI white paper.  We don’t have to go that far; we can stop at download (How many audiences downloaded something/anything, and converted to a web form submission) or stop at all audiences who downloaded white papers.  With this, we can then track what keywords or referral sites brought high quality, engaged traffic who were interested in my content.

Here’s one more.

I am tracking New Visitors to the website, and combining overall conversion goal values (over 20) and event values (over 10).  My goal again is to measure what keywords, adgroups, and sites bring me quality traffic so I can make marketing decisions; not just on media and keyword, but also what content is attractive.

It’s safe to say there are many ways to slice the data. It’s important to have these goals and audience segments planned out, and have a real strategy on what your goal outcomes should be, and what reports are really needed to make actionable decisions.  The above are not real-world, but examples of the capabilities for site engagement measurement.  Now if only the new Google Analytics can return the PDF export reports……

Location Targeting Options: Google Adwords

There’s a new Google search setting option; worthy enough to write a summary about. It’s called Location Targeting. With Google’s new options, it gives me a chance to fine—tune how I want to target audiences geographically.

Three options are available:

a. By Physical Location
b. By Search Intent
c. A combination

There are also geographic exclusion options.

Let’s look at an example to see how the options work. Let’s say I am searching for a caterer in Philadelphia.

Target Method: Physical Location Only: Ads shown only to searchers in the target area. If a searcher includes a geographic term in the query, and those geographic terms do not fall into the market area of a searcher’s physical location, the ads won’t show.
• Adwords targeted location: Philadelphia metro area
• Keyword bidding on: “Wedding caterers”
• Searcher’s physical location: New York
• Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers in Philadelphia”
o Does the ad show?: No, because the searcher is in New York

• Searcher’s physical location: Philadelphia
• Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers”
o Does the ad show?: Yes, because you’re targeting the market area of the user’s location

Why should I choose this? I only want to target audiences in my geographic area.
What this means? Before, when searchers would include a geographic term in their query, your ads would show to them no matter where they were, besides the targeted Adwords location setting. Now, my ads won’t reach those “outside of market” searchers.

Target Method: Search Intent: Ads are only shown when geographic terms are used in queries, no matter the physical location of the searcher.
• Adwords targeted location: Philadelphia metro area
• Keyword bidding on: “Wedding caterers”
• Searcher’s physical location: New York
• Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers in Philadelphia”
o Does the ad show?: Yes, because of a geographic reference in the query

• Searcher’s physical location: Philadelphia
• Searcher’s query: “Wedding caterers”
o Does the ad show?: No, because no geographic reference was in the query

Why should I choose this? I only want to target audiences who include geographic terms in their queries.
What this means? No matter where people are, my ads and keywords need to target audiences looking for my product/service in my targeted area.

Target Method: Either of the Above: Ads will show in both scenarios. This is Google’s recommended setting to cover all options.

Exclusion Methods: Ads can now be targeted more specifically to audiences outside of physical locations or search intent.

Exclusion Method: Physical Location Only: Ads are shown to audiences outside of your excluded geography in Adwords.

• Adwords targeted location: New York and Pennsylvania, but Philadelphia excluded
• Keyword bidding on: “Wedding caterers”
• Searcher’s physical location: New York
• Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers in Philadelphia” or “wedding caterers”
o Does the ad show?: Yes, because the searcher’s location is outside of Philadelphia

• Searcher’s physical location: Philadelphia
• Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers in Philadelphia”
o Does the ad show?: No, because the searcher’s location is in Philadelphia

Why should I choose this? I don’t want to target my excluded area, but I do want to target audiences outside the area that use my excluded area in their search queries. (may be useful for travel or destination advertisers for example)

Exclusion Method: Physical Location or Search Intent: Ads won’t show to users in your excluded area OR won’t show to any user who uses a geographic term in their query.
• Adwords targeted location: New York and Pennsylvania, but Philadelphia excluded
• Keyword bidding on: “Wedding caterers in Philadelphia”
• Searcher’s physical location: New York
o Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers in Philadelphia”
o Does the ad show?: No, because of the geographic term in the query
But, if the query were “wedding caterers” your ad would show.

• Searcher’s physical location: Philadelphia
• Searcher’s query: “wedding caterers”
o Does the ad show?: No, because the searcher’s location is in Philadelphia

Why should I choose this? I don’t want to target my excluded area, I don’t want to target searchers who use geographic terms in my market area, but I do want to target my ads to everyone else or those who don’t use geographic terms in their queries.

The above will take a little time to get used to, but it does bring up some questions to consider when creating campaigns for clients. Ideally, we go through the above “checklist” with a client, and make sure our targeting objectives are met.

New eBook: A Practical Guide to Lead Generation with Social Media

Why social media participation is still misunderstood with many companies is because the roles of sales and marketing blur. Social Media is actually an ideal communications medium to align both sales and marketing with the goal to generate quality prospects and sales-accepted leads by being helpful and providing interesting content.
Here are some of the issues that firms struggle with:
a. We read that sharing content is essential for social media effectiveness. Marketing writes and produces the content, but do sales people promote that content?
b. Who’s responsible for finding prospects with social media, sales or marketing? Are roles defined?
c. How do you know if you’re taking advantage of the tools available to make your efforts more successful, and are you willing to commit to the time and effort?
d. How do you know your efforts are successful in the long-run?

Our new eBook available for free attempts to answer the questions:
a. How to attract social media users to lead-generating landing pages
b. How to use social media to learn about target industries, trends, and target audiences
c. How sales and marketing can work together to promote blog posts and lead-generating content
d. How social media participation improves website rankings, meaning more quality leads
e. How to take advantage of the LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook tools to find prospects
f. How relevant, engaging content should be distributed within social media
g. How to utilize LinkedIn as a CRM, or how to upload contacts to your own CRM
h. How to measure the effectiveness if your social media efforts

The NuSpark Marketing eBook: A Practical Guide to Lead Generation with Social Media is available for download here: CLICK HERE

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