Analytics – Basic Help We all Need

Analytics, it all sounds rather easy, but where do you start? Everyone should always be testing. But you need to start with the idea of a scent, and grow from there. Let’s take a look. Summit online marketing our Liverpool based SEO company, has always tried to provide tips for our readers. Read this post for some basic Analytics help.

Tip Focus on the high traffic areas with big revenue potentials: landing pages, site overall, internal site search pages, and leaky funnels.

How do you know if the page is actually broken, or the keywords?

Lets start with a metaphor: Imagine a map of Liverpool. Now you’ve just been hired you to minimise traffic accidents in the city. What will you do first? Look for: where is most of the traffic? Where are the most accidents occurring? Do we have wrong or no street signs? Seasonality issues like rain or snow? Timing: any events going on at the Echo arena?

It also helps to know your website. Maybe you want to watch a friend click about, and navigate through your site.

I know from experience that when you start going into the reports, the data is overwhelming.

Have a look at a standard Google Analytics report. Look across the top at the traffic over time for a selected date range. Do you know what bounce rate is? It’s when people leave right after coming to your website. Below that, we tell you geographically where people come from, and then virtually where people come from. On the left side navigation, we start with the visitors, the content, the goals, then the e-commerce.

Understanding that mental model and applying it can really help.

The most relevant part of the reports is in the content section. Any one of those sections will have great data for you to look at. Number of entrances and landing pages, bounces and bounce rate. Bounce rates are a big opportunity.

Next is funnel reports, one of my favorites, do you know about this? People can enter through the center or side of funnels and you want to look at where people are leaving the funnels, the leaky pages. It’s valuable to know something about your site. Where people are exiting is a great place to start.

Then I have a look at site overlays, where people are clicking, converting, buying. It’s very useful. Just looking at this you can come up with some great ideas. Maybe switch placements of products or services on the page. It will give you some ideas.

Internal site search: basically, if you have a search box on your website, are people using search within your website? We have a whole section of reports on site search. Where did visitors start their searches and which page did visitors find?

Back to the question: how do you know if it’s the ad or the page?

We have Analytics pages on landing page optimisations: shows keywords and entrances. You select “non-paid” keywords, and take a look at the bounce rates. Take a look to see if the page is the problem. Select “paid” keywords, and it tells you 0% bounce rate! So that means it’s not the ad copy that needs rewriting, it’s the page that needs attention.

One practical tip: I’ve worked for small and big companies; sometimes in a small company you can go to the main point of the website. But in a big company you sometimes need some consensus building: I believe in something but I really needed my client to believe in it. So start small, focus on improving one area of the site.

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Banners for (SEM Dummies) Part 2

Basics: What is a Third-Party Ad Server?

In the beginning of display advertising over a decade ago, advertisers sent in their banners in the same way traditional marketers traffic ads to magazines or television stations. Publishing sites would “paste” these ads up and then deliver post campaign results. There were some obvious inefficiencies in this method. As the technologies and methodologies evolved, advertisers could send in “tags,” which aren’t actual ads, but rather “placeholders” which would pull these ads from the advertisers’ own tool call the third party ad server. This is a superior adaptation as now advertisers get real time data of their ads, can serve targeted ads each time the tag is pulled by the publisher, and can perform many other vital operations.

Here are some of the basic features that most third party ad servers can bring to a display campaign and now can be used for Content Campaigns in Google (via certified tools):

Rules: When a banner tag is “pulled” by a publisher site to load on a page, the third party ad server is passed limited anonymous user data such as the location of the user’s IP address, what language their browser is set for, whether they’re using a Mac or PC, etc. Rules can be set to send the appropriate creative every time. So, for example, you can serve a Spanish ad to Spanish speakers. You can also send a user in Liverpool a specialised ad vs. a user in Manchester. This higher relevancy generally increases CTRs and conversion rates.

Frequency capping/storyboarding: Not only is anonymous user data passed in milliseconds to the ad server, but also user cookie info. Using this information, the ad server knows if this user has seen your ad before and how many times. Over time, you can develop a strategy to frequency cap and not show anymore to users who don’t click your ads (thereby not wasting CPM purchased impressions). As well, you can storyboard, which means you can start serving different ads to users based on how many times they’ve already been exposed. So, for example, you could have general creative out there (example: “10% off), and then, if the ad server detects a user who hasn’t clicked after seeing your ad five times, you can start serving an ad with a stronger message (example: “25% off if you act now”) and so on.

Reach and frequency reporting: Provides insight into the number of people who have seen an ad campaign, and how many times, on average, people are seeing these ads. This is important in understanding how users are interacting with your ads and finding the ‘sweet spot’ to just how many ads you need to buy in order to get your message out to a good percentage of your target audience. As well, a Reach report may show you that buying on football Website A may not be needed because a high percentage of the same users are being exposed to your ads on Football Website B, which you are purchasing at a much lower rate.

View-through conversions: As stated above, once a user is served an ad, they are cookied. So, unlike search, if a user converts after seeing your ad (but not clicking an ad), you will have that insight. This is huge because you’re lucky to get more than a .3% or .4% CTR on your ads…that means if you run 1,000,000 impressions, you may only get 3,000 clicks. However, the other 996,000 ads do have an effect in the marketplace and you can measure that when those users come back and convert.

All of these features may not be immediately available to advertisers. However, Google Content is one of the largest (if not the largest) ad network in terms of volume and these tools are going to help you get the most out of them.

Totally Unrelated Free Tool: HTML That Every Online Marketer Should Know


Tired of “viewing source” of an HTML page and thinking it looks more like ancient Greek than a real language? Online marketers are always checking out web pages to see if their tracking tags are there, checking navigation/link structure, reading competitor metatags for keyword ideas, etc. Understanding HTML is a good skill to have.

Check out Dave’s HTML Interactive Tutorial for Beginners (find it using Google Instant). Sure, there’s a ton of spamvertising, but I’ve literally sent dozens of folks there and they’ve all come out the other end of the seventeen mini-chapter tutorial with a good HTML foundation. Check it out!

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