- Online Marketing
I found a great article online about common issues with GA reporting and if you are using UTM strings it’s even more important to understand these issues. Thank you crazyegg!
No tag on a page = no data for that page
If you only have a 5 page website, you can easily check if the script is present manually. If you have 100′s or 1000′s of pages, it’s difficult if not impossible to check for the Google Analytics tracking code on all your pages.
But there are tools you can use to verify that your pages are tagged and find the ones that aren’t. Rachel Gerson from SEER Interactive details the use of Screaming Frog SEO spider tool to search every page for the presence of the same Google Analytics code in this article.
Website owners are concerned about page load speed on their websites, and they should be.
As a result many web developers place code like the Google Analytics tracking code just above the </body> tag so that the visual elements of the website can load before the code executes (presumably increasing page load speed.)
However, placing the tracking code at the end of the <body> code will miss visitors that click quickly through pages on your site before the Google Analytics tracking code executes.
Google Analytics tracking code loads asynchronously and therefore doesn’t slow down page loading. It’s best to place the tracking code at the top of the page before the </head> tag.
I once had a client that had a 3% Bounce Rate on his website. I couldn’t believe it.
Turns out he had put two Google Analytics tracking codes on his pages.
2 Tracking Scripts on page = messed up data
The Google Analytics Overlay Report is inaccurate for a number of reasons. Here are three big ones,
The solution to this is simple — use Crazy Egg for your Overlay Reporting and you’ll also get the Heat Map, Confetti Map, Scroll Map and List View Reports.
Ok, so these are things you can’t do anything about but they will absolutely help you better understand your data. So, pay attention.
Here are 9 ways your Google Analytics data might be inaccurate that you have little or no control over:
Yahoo! published data that shows that this problem is minimal.
Google Analytics doesn’t track a visitor unless it can accept a cookie. Cookies are important because they are used to tag a visitor and aggregate that visitors behavior over the course of multiple visits.
No cookie = no data
There are a number of different ways cookies can cause problems:
There are probably a dozen other ways cookies can be removed. If you have some good ones, put them in the comments.
By the way, this is one of the reasons that search engine spiders don’t register in your Google Analytics — the spider doesn’t accept cookies.
Google Analytics uses two different types of cookies:
This begs the question: What happens if someone:
I’m glad you asked.
Google Analytics ends a visitor session after 30 minutes of inactivity. In the scenario described above, a new session cookie would be placed when the visitor starts browsing again. This will be considered a brand new session by Google Analyticcs.
Browser inactive for > 30 minutes = messed up data
Actually, in this data hound’s opinion this isn’t messing up the data. Thirty minutes of inactivity should warrant a new session. But it is certainly a special circumstance.
This one is best illustrated by example,
These should be counted as two separate visits, but the unique visitor is tied to the cookie and the cookie is tied to the device.
Therefore these will be considered visits from the same “unique” person.
Visitors sharing devices = messed up data
Once again an example is best to illustrate this,
In a perfect world, Jane’s behavior would be tracked as she switches devices. As it is, the purchase will be attributed to a brand new visit.
Multiple devices = messed up data
And this behavior is more prevalent than you might think. This is a portion of an infographic we created about the use of mobile in the marketplace,
Let’s say you have been tracking data using Google Analytics for two years.
You then decide to set up a Goal Funnel.
Google Analytics will not retroactively apply your funnel to the data it has. This is just too much to ask of a free service that is processing the massive amount of data that GA processes every day.
In the scenario above, your Goal Funnel will be visible from the time you set it up forward but no data will be available before that time.
Google Analytics isn’t real time, although there is some limited real-time data you can get through the Real Time reports.
For all other data, it’s best to assume that Google Analytics is 24 hours behind. That being said, most small to average websites are safe to assume that Google Analytics is 6 to 8 hours behind.
Read more at crazyegg!
Being a small business, especially one that is just trying to get started online, can take a lot of investment of both time and money. So many small businesses get involved in AdWords because they know it will bring them traffic. Perhaps they’ve heard of PPC working for others or maybe they received a $100 coupon from Google for AdWords Express.
Regardless of what convinced them to give it a try, most times these businesses only have a small budget for online advertising and want to stretch their ad dollars as far as possible.
While I’ve always been intrigued by the different and seemingly unending array of research tools that are available, I was recently drawn back to Google’s Insights for Search since they released their snazzy Real-Time Insights Finder as part of their new Think Insights Trend & Research Hub.
Although Insights for Search definitely won’t replace your Google Keyword Tool or Traffic Estimator, it does some things fairly quickly that can offer useful knowledge when feeling out a new topic for advertising.
But let’s take a brief step back for a moment. Every Sunday night this fall, I’ve been turning off the football game and becoming addicted to.. err.. secretly watching the ABC show “PanAm”. I know, I know, but cut me some slack! Apart from the ever gorgeous Christina Ricci, the show prominently features the vintage uniforms and luggage bags of the once beloved airline.
When I initially went searching to see if the blue Defiance bags were available to purchase or just props for the show, I found a lot of resellers were already cramming the AdWords market.
What if you’re a reseller or affiliate that wants to sell a product based upon a recent pop culture topic but don’t have a lot of capital to get going? Insights for Search could actually help you out quite a bit in deciding where your dollars would best be spent.
Insights for Search allows you to compare searches over time and filter down through its taxonomy of advertising categories by locale. For this example, I used searches on the brand name vs. items in the Apparel category.
This lets you know the percentages of overall searches for the keywords you enter that that belong to your category of choice and also lays a timeline of peak interest. This will give you that data as recently as 2 days prior.
While this might not be groundbreaking news and is information you can get from mining other sources, there is something appealing about the immediacy of the drop-down segmentation coupled with the way you can see the data as a trend without Excel.
However, the Regional Interest that this toolset provides is what’s most intriguing. Those of you who use Google’s Keyword Tool exclusively know that you can only drop down to the country level for location info and while the Google Search Estimator lets you drill down further, unless you’re looking up something very popular or very broad, you still don’t get a clear view by region.
One backlash of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) revelation that its online services business lost $2.6 billion in the last fiscal year is that it had financial pundits calling for not only CEO Steve Ballmer’s resignation, but for the Redmond, Wash., software giant to dump the main culprit: Bing.
Reuters Breakingviews columnists Robert Cyran and Martin Hutchinson July 24 called for Microsoft to shed its search business for cash. Cyran said:
Microsoft needs to concentrate on a different kind of search: finding a buyer for Bing, its online search business. Bing is the industry’s distant No. 2 after Google. It has become a distraction for the software giant—one that costs shareholders dearly. The division that houses Bing lost $2.6 billion in the latest fiscal year. Facebook, or even Apple, might make a better home for Bing. A sale would be a boon for Microsoft’s investors.
This prompted a public relations reaction from Microsoft, which quickly seeded The New York Times with an insider’s piece on Bing. Microsoft granted the Times rare access to Bing leader Qi Lu, whom the software giant lured from Yahoo three years ago to power Bing. Lu talks about the need for a decision engine to make search more intuitive for users.
Analyst David Card, who recently became GigaOm Research’s director, said ridding itself of Bing would be a bad idea for Microsoft.
“Microsoft must have a credible search-engine business to defend its core platforms and APIs, as well as keep its biggest rival, Google, honest by forcing Google to create sustainable business models in competitive markets like applications and mobile,” Card wrote. “And a somewhat more successful search engine would solidify Microsoft’s own ad business and open emerging revenue streams.”
In other words, without Bing, Microsoft lacks the necessary firepower to counter Google online. Facebook enjoys a growing social display-ad business, but it hasn’t quite taken off the way experts believe it should or will. There really are no other formidable challengers, not only to keep Google “honest,” but also to keep the dominant search engine from resting on its laurels. That’s prone to happen in the Internet era; see Yahoo for reference No. 1.
Indeed, Google has accelerated its pace of innovation. Perhaps Google’s biggest search innovation since Bing formally launched in June 2009 came in the form of Google Instant predictive-search technology in September 2010.
Instant was first used for search results, but is now also employed for actual Web pages for which users are searching. The idea is to speed up the pace at which users search for and land on information they are seeking. Google believes this will save its 1 billion Web searchers countless hours of time.
IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds also said that Bing is better for Google, Microsoft and the rest of the world. Reynolds suggests that the reward for success—new business in software and services for social, mobile and local territory—could be bigger than Office for Microsoft at some point in the future.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA–(Marketwire – Aug 8, 2011) – Elance, the leading platform for online employment, released its quarterly Online Employment Report today, revealing strong momentum in online work during a tumultuous summer for the U.S. and global economy. With a current run rate of 600,000 jobs posted per year, demand for talent from companies ranging from startups to enterprises have increased over 61% year over year. Online contractors earned a record $34.3 million, up from $30.7 million in the previous quarter. Businesses hiring online and freelance professionals sparked a 23% increase in a single quarter in both the population of contractors and employers working online.
“Companies are gaining agility by hiring in the cloud and working with contractors anywhere at any time,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “At the same time, professionals who work online are finding more opportunities to follow their passion while remaining independent.”
The record setting amount of work completed was fueled by increasing demand across the board, including content creators such as Illustrators, Designers, Writers, Content Moderators and Programmers with hot skills such as Android, WordPress and Magento. To review the full Elance Online Employment Report, please click here.
Notable hiring trends this past quarter include:
It’s High Tide for Content Creators
The proliferation of digital businesses, in social media, search engine optimization and online marketing, continues to drive demand for high quality content that increases customer acquisition and engagement. The demand for Business Writers is peaking this summer with a 21% increase, jumping 9 spots on the charts to #23. Blog Writing also saw a 9% increase in demand as businesses look to keep customers engaged in unique ways.
Infographics are the New Black
Demand for Infographics jumped a whopping 148% in one quarter. This growing trend of visual representation led Illustrators to a 27% increase in demand, causing a 9-position climb in Q2, and Photographers saw a 30% growth in demand.
WordPress Presses its Lead in the Content Management Race
More people than ever are turning to robust Content Management Systems (CMS) as their platform of choice when creating a new website for business. While demand for Drupal and Joomla! Programmers both saw a 5% increase in demand, WordPress Programmers accelerated their lead with a very strong 11% growth and maintained the #2 slot on Elance for the third consecutive quarter.
Gearing up for the Holiday Season
Even though the summer heat still lingers on, some businesses already have their sights set for the holiday season and are now expanding their online stores by hiring a multitude of Ecommerce Experts. Magento, recently acquired by eBay, is one of the fastest growing, open source Ecommerce platforms in the market. On Elance, Magento Programmers moved up 10 slots to #48 with a 21% jump in demand in Q2.
Casual gaming has accelerated its popularity, causing a surge in the number of Game Development and Game Programming jobs posted on Elance. Demand for Game Developers and Programmers jumped 29% in Q2.
Mobile Battleground: Apple on Fire
Demand for Android skills rose by 15% while the demand for Blackberry skills increased slightly by 3% and Windows Phone declined by 37%. However, the big winner this quarter appears to be Apple, as demand for iOS Programmers and Xcode skills showed impressive increases of 20% and 35% respectively. It’s possible that the recent announcements at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) contributed to the increase in demand.
News and camera crews line the curb outside Wall Street to cover the financial meltdown, but ad industry execs want to remain positive after Standard & Poor’s cut the United States’ perfect AAA credit rating last week, reflecting a faltering economic outlook and Washington’s inability to work through challenges.
WordStream Founder and CTO Larry Kim points to what he calls a “disconnect” between his company’s sales performance supporting small businesses, and today’s stock market crash and doomsday predictions. Even on Monday, he said the company continues to sign up new advertising customers in record numbers.
“I haven’t heard from anyone saying they’re less interested in growing their businesses in light of the S&P downgrade, and search is still the cost-effective and targeted marketing vehicle it was a month ago,” he said. “So overall, while this S&P downgrade is making huge headlines and stocks are getting killed, I think it’s still more or less business as usual in terms of search engine marketing ad spend for the average SMB.”
On Monday, stocks continued their slide from Friday, sending Google from the $562.98 per share open to $556.29 at around 11 a.m. PST. Diversity in businesses could help Microsoft’s stock take a less-severe drop. By midday, the company had sunk to $24.73 per share, just under its $25.02 open. Banking and commodities were the most sensitive to the change.
Market gyrations are a sequel of what DataPop CEO Jason Lehmbeck experienced the year he co-founded the company. “The 2008 financial crisis created a bunch of uncertainty across the ad landscape, but direct-response advertising, especially paid search, saw a surge in spend as marketers looked for safer bets,” he said. Lehmbeck anticipates marketers will continue to seek search as a safe haven. In fact, he’s already seeing an uptick in demand.
“I don’t expect much of a dent in ad spending,” said Rob Griffin, EVP and global director of product development at Havas Digital. “If anything, I’d bet the IPO pace would slow down a bit.”
Numerous companies went public this year, such as social network LinkedIn, Yandex, and Responsys, and many more filed for an IPO, such as casual game maker Zynga.
Looking at properties as individual assets is not how Forbes looks at net worth, why should Google be any different?
We continue to hear about Facebook’s 700 million users, on the way to a billion worldwide. According to comScore Google is already there, at least looking across all its websites.
The chart below, provided to us from comScore, shows the number of unique visitors that went to each company’s network of web sites over the past year:
comScore gets its data from a global panel of roughly two million internet users from which it extrapolates findings to the entire online population. This sampling methodology has been much criticized but remains the standard in the industry.
The visitors that comScore counts aren’t the same as the active visitor numbers that Facebook self-reports (see Has Facebook’s Active User Growth Dropped 25% to 50%? for more on that), but the numbers do seem to be close to Facebook’s own statistics.
Yesterday the FCC issued a report saying that, despite that Internet thing with all those “websites,” there’s less news being created at the local level. But you already knew that, right? (The report was also supposed to give recommendations for righting the trend, but it didn’t really.)
So just how bad is it? Let’s take a look at some of the numbers contained in that 470-plus-page—1.8 inches-thick—study on shrinkage.
“It has been tempting to think that Americans are paying less for content.”
But in 2003, people spent on average $740 a year to consume media and information—on cable and Internet service bills, for print, and on their mobile packages. In 2008, that went up to $882. Most of the increase comes from paying more for TV and radio—about $130 more, on average—as well as some from rising spending on cell phones. So it’s the mobile service providers, cable companies and Internet-providing cable companies who are getting the largest portion of the money for content.
Newspaper advertising revenue in 2005: $48,435 million.
In 2010? $25,838 million.
The good news: Between 2005 and 2009, newspapers’ online traffic went from 1.6 billion page views a month to 3 billion.
Yes, people are going online more to access their news instead of whatever those flimsy, flappy things were. And what does this mean? Ads! Newspapers made $716 million more from online ads over those four years; local TV stations’ online ad revenue went up between 2008 and 2009 too, even though most ads now appear in search engine results.
The bad: But ad rates for primetime broadcast news and larger market newspapers pay about seven times as much as an online ad.
What does this mean? $716 million don’t make up for the $22.5 billion print ad revenue drop. Which means, budget cuts.
13,400 newspaper newsroom jobs were lost in the past four years.
And over 60 percent of local TV newsroom staffs were fired.
And half of some of the “hottest start-ups” make less than $50K in annual revenue.
They aren’t making bubkis. The report points out that ad rates for primetime broadcast news and larger market newspapers pay about seven times as much as an online ad. For bloggers with 100,000 pageviews on their sites, seven times less money for an ad is the difference between a hobby and a job. (But that’s not what Patch.com is complaining about.)
“The bundle is broken.”
The thing about the Internet is that instead of buying the entire paper for that one story about your friend’s kid doing something almost interesting and therefore effectively paying the newspaper for the services of that reporter as well as for all the other reporters writing about important topics, you can now go online and get that single story and not really pay anyone.
An Ohio hospital paid local stations $100,000+ to air stories that benefited them.
For a small number of TV stations, the lack of money has meant that they’ve actually let advertisers dictate content. In addition to that Ohio TV station, the report documents a Wisconsin TV station that allowed a local hospital to pick two health stories a week in return for their advertising and a Florida morning show that solicited $2,500 from guests. Yes, this is only a few stations, but as the director of the Pew Project on Excellence in Journalism Tom Rosenstiel said, “The evidence we’ve seen suggests that this is much more widespread than a few years ago.” Burn.
eMarketer announced their updated advertising spending projections yesterday with some enlightening news about display ads. Within the next five years spend for display advertising is predicted to overtake search as the largest online spending category. Over the past year spending for display advertising has increased almost 5% more than search. Marketers are funneling nearly 25% more money to display than they were in 2010.
The unpredicted climb of online advertising spending for both search and display is detailed in eMarketer’s statement changing their projections from six months ago for the growth of the online advertising market from 10.5% to 20.2% by 2015.
Display ads are commonly known as banner ads but they account for any advertising where space is purchased on a webpage and an ad is placed in that space. This advertising can come in several different forms including graphic images, video, and text. They can be presented through rich media using motion to capture attention, static, and expandable designs.
Google (GOOG) is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google generates revenue primarily by delivering relevant, cost-effective online advertising. Businesses use Google’s Adwords program to promote their products and services with targeted advertising. In addition, third parties that comprise the Google Network use the AdSense program to deliver relevant ads.
Strong Global Brand
The very first web page was created in 1990 and by late 1992, there were only a mere 26 websites in the world. However, just a few years later, web pages numbered in the tens of millions and searching for information became challenging. To address that challenge, Stanford University graduate students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, starting from their dorm room built a search engine that used links to determine the importance of individual web pages. By 1998, they formalized their work and named their search engine Google, a play on the word, googol, which is the mathematical expression for a 1 followed by 100 zeroes. The name reflects the immense volume of information that exists and Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Today, the web has grown by a factor of 10,000 as has Google’s search index. Google serves users in nearly every country and 146 languages. Google’s strong global brand is one of the most recognized in the world as the number of people who use Google’s service every day is in the hundreds of millions with billions of people now having access to the Internet via computers and mobile phones.
Search results are no longer just web pages. They include images, videos, books, maps and more. In 2006, Google acquired YouTube, which lets billions of people watch and share original videos and professional content.
With searches increasingly coming from mobile devices such as smartphones, Google developed Android, a mobile operating system that allows open interoperation across carriers and manufacturers with over 350,000 Android devices activated daily.
To enable faster searches, Google launched a new web browser called Google Chrome with 160 million users. This browser makes it easier for folks to use their favorite Google products like Google Maps, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Translate, which allows users to instantly translate web pages and videos between any of 58 languages.
Social media sites have spent the better part of the last year drastically focusing on how their users can turn fellow users into customers.
Using digital advertising platforms are critical. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed recently that U.S. online advertising grew by 13.9% in 2010, reaching a record US$25.8 billion, as Fox Business reports. Globally 10.2% of the US$79-billion invested in online advertising next year will be in the social media space. Perhaps the most interesting of all these developments is the advertising that is not recorded amongst: growing number of businesses using social media as a free tool.
Small businesses once faced prohibitive barriers such as the high costs of using media outlets like local television networks and radio, which had little guarantee of reaching a target audience. It’s no surprise there has been an estimated 35% growth in Facebook ads in a single year. When businesses are not spending money, they are likely investing time, energy and ideas in generating interest. So how to you ensure you are effective and not simply present for the sake of it? Saving on costs and actually generating profit don’t go hand in hand without a couple of basic fundamentals to one’s strategy.
Russell Rothstein, the Founder and CEO of Sales Spider warns that while social media can create the buzz you are looking for, that in itself may not necessarily always translate to a better bottom line for your business.