Optimizing Default Channel Settings in Google Analytics

Getting the most out of your website reports

As a long-time user and implementer of Google Analytics, I tend to start out my visits to the reporting portal as such:

  1. Open GA
  2. Go directly to Traffic Sources report
  3. Look the the Default Channel traffic

I will go on to say it’s probably the most helpful report for everyday analysis out of all of them. But in order to get the most out of it, you need to make sure your Default Channel settings are customized to your business. This blog will not only help clarify how Google categorizes marketing channels, but also help you clean up and correctly attribute your traffic.

How to ... Run a Proper A/B Test

So you'll know a clear winner and loser

Everyone's all about the A/B test these days, whether it's a landing page, an email, or a piece of direct mail. And the concept is quite simple: pit two different creatives against each other and see which one wins. But is it REALLY that simple? Turns out, if you don't have your measurement plan set up correctly in the beginning, your results will tell you nothing substantial and the only thing you'll get is wasted time and money.

How to ... Measure User eXperience

Or at the very least, how to get started

As a skilled website analyst, I am often asked to help improve User eXperience (UX) through data analysis. This can be a fairly simple or complicated task, all hinging on one main question: What is the user SUPPOSED to do on the website? If you can’t define your expected UX through the website, you will never be able to measure your UX. Here are three steps to get you off and running.

Potential Pitfalls of Marketing Automation Platforms

Lately I’ve met with several mid-market companies looking to implement a marketing automation platform (MAP), similar to Marketo, Hubspot, or Salesforce. If you’re currently looking into implementing one of these services, make sure you are aware of the biggest pro and con:

PRO:

The beauty of these types of software packages is that they can help ease a potential consumer into an automated sales funnel without all the manual hours a marketing department is currently spending trying to do the same thing.

CON:

The pitfall of these types of a MAP is that you will need to be ALL IN. As in, at least one full-time employee running and managing the platform, and everyone in the marketing team dedicated to using and integrating the system, as well as everyone in the sales/lead tracking teams dedicated and using the system.

Mutually Exclusive Data in Tagging Parameters

or - How to Make URL Tagging Effective

So you know you need to tag your website URLs when placing ads digitally, but you aren't quite sure what to put in each placeholder. For example, Google Analytics can hold up to five tags for each website URL: campaign, medium, source, ad content, and keyword. The best way to use these placeholders is with high- and low-level data that can help optimize and report for both business and campaign objectives. In order to do THAT you MUST have completely separate data categories per tag. Or, in analyst speak, mutually exclusive data in tagging parameters.

Five Steps for Digital Ad Optimization

There are a lot of ways to optimize digital ads and ad spend during a marketing campaign. If you're looking to optimize on website results, follow these five steps for effective optimization.

Digital Analytics Myths Debunked – Part 1

I’m going to be honest with you – digital analytics are NOT magic. There is no ‘secret’ to unveiling insights that will guarantee you double the conversions while lowering your bounce rate. But many of these myths seem very believable, because let’s face it: analytics sound like a foreign language to most people. That’s why I’m here to help you separate the magic beans from the good ideas that will (hopefully) impact your bottom line.

Myth #1: Lowering Bounce Rate will Increase Conversions

Calculating Visit Rate to Optimize Digital Ads

Apparently I have single-handedly come up with a crazy new calculation to apply to digital marketing, because whenever I bring it up as a key metric I get blank stares from everyone in the room. It’s certainly not rocket science, and it’s pretty easy to get as long as you know how many people clicked your ad, and how many website visits resulted from that click. I call this the Visit Rate and it’s immensely important in optimizing ad spend, site placement, CPC, and creative performance.

Monitoring Bounce Rate and Why it Matters

Bounce rate can seem like such a silly metrics to most analysts. It can seem like it hardly ever changes day to day or vary greatly from site to site (within industries, of course). So why is it used as a key metrics in so many analytics tools? Because if analyzed correctly, bounce rate can tell you if your site is malfunctioning, if your advertising dollars are being well spent, and which channels are best at getting engaged visitors to your website.

What's up with Google Tag Manager?

There is a lot of buzz in the digital analytics space around Google Tag Manager, or GTM. Is it the ideal tool for each company? Is it a nightmare to code and implement? When is it the right solution for a business? The bottom line is GTM is a valuable tool for businesses the need an analytics solution independent of the website development team. (If that sentence didn't scare you, read on.)

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