Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Google Analytics

Understanding Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to identify, measure and compare the performance of search engines, campaigns and mediums. It allows you to determine how profitable your keywords are across different search engines and to review performance of your online campaigns.

Online campaigns may include: email newsletter, affiliate network campaigns, referral sites, as well as paid for keywords and those found in natural search. Suprisingly Google Analytics will also let you track conversions from third party sites including Yahoo Stores and Ebay (see the Google Adwords conversion tracking guide).

Along with measuring the performance of your customers online journey, you can also identify where your best online customers come from and which target audiences are the most profitable.

Value of conversions

If you understand what value a conversion is to your business, and the percentage of pay per click customers who do convert (conversion ratio) this makes it easy to calculate your return on investment (ROI) for your Google Adwords campaigns.

For a positive ROI you are looking at the following equation:

Conversion amount * Conversion Ratio > than Average CPC

£10 * 3% = 0.30

If average CPC is 0.20 then this is a positive CPC.

Implementing Google Conversion tracking

Google supply a special tracking code that can be added to the result pages on your site.

To enable Conversion Tracking for your website, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Google AdWords account.
  2. Click the link that says Conversion Tracking
  3. On the page that follows, click the button that says Start Tracking Conversions.
  4. Once Conversion Tracking is setup, you have to get the code to insert into your site.

How it works in Adwords

When a potential customer clicks on one of your Adwords ads, Google then places a cookie on their computer to track there customer journey.

When this potential customer arrives at a conversion page decided by you (ie: order confirmation) then a conversion is recorded and reported within Adwords.

As part of the tracking: Google notifies users that they are being tracked, this notification is supplied by the Google code you enter at the results page. The tracked user then sees a message titled Google Site Stats with a “send feedback” link when the results page is opened. This allows users to find out more about Google’s Privacy Policy. At this stage users can reject the Google tracking cookie if they wish (meaning you loose that conversion data).

Cross channel conversion tracking

As well as measuring success from Google, the cross channel conversion tracking feature within Analytics allows you to see conversion traffic coming into your web properties from other advertising networks ie: Yahoo, MSN.

As well as tracking conversion to campaigns & keywords you can also get loyalty and engagement metrics. You can also determine which pages, categories on your website where you are loosing the most of your online customers – this feature is called Funnel Visualisation which tracks a users journey to the conversion page. This is useful feature in deciding whether improvements are needed to your site navigation.

For more information on Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics/


Points to note

Inaccuracies

If inaccuracies do occur in tracking conversation via backend systems and analytics, it could be due to one of the below:

Obvious one: Tracking code is at the bottom of page, user gets bored clicks on another page and tracking code isn’t’ logged (as page not fully loaded)

There has been a restructure of the site navigation and conversion funnels not been updated (conversion tracking is broken in Analytics)

If "No Referrers" appears in the conversion/order confirmation page? This may be because people are book-marking the site from that page or they are using their History file which may show that as the most recent, so every-time they visit the page it is throwing off conversion data.

R
outine quality checks

It is always worthwhile to conduct a few days' worth of extensive tests to ensure tracking properly installed.

1 comment:

SarahG said...

http://analytics.blogspot.com/2008/03/google-analytics-integrates-with-google.html