You are previewing Performance Marketing with Google™ Analytics: Practical Strategies for Maximizing Online ROI.
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Performance Marketing with Google™ Analytics: Practical Strategies for Maximizing Online ROI

Book Description

An unparalleled author trio shares valuable advice for using Google Analytics to achieve your business goals

Google Analytics is a free tool used by millions of Web site owners across the globe to track how visitors interact with their Web sites, where they arrive from, and which visitors drive the most revenue and sales leads. This book offers clear explanations of practical applications drawn from the real world.

The author trio of Google Analytics veterans starts with a broad explanation of performance marketing and gets progressively more specific, closing with step-by-step analysis and applications.

  • Features in-depth examples and case studies on how to increase revenue from search advertising, optimize an existing website, prioritize channels and campaigns, access brand health and more

  • Discusses how to communicate with a webmaster or developer to assist with installation

  • Addresses Google's conversion-oriented tools, including AdWords and AdSense, Google trends, Webmaster tools, search-based keyword tools, and more

  • Touches on brand tracking studies, usability research, competitive analysis, and statistical tools

Throughout the book, the main emphasis is demonstrating how you can best use Google Analytics to achieve your business objectives.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Credits
  3. About the Authors
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Foreword
  6. Introduction
    1. Why You Should Read This Book
    2. What's in This Book
    3. How to Use This Book
  7. I. Competing for Customers on the Web
    1. 1. Swimming in the Digital Sea
      1. 1.1. Understanding the Impact of Data Democracy
      2. 1.2. Recognizing Customer Empowerment and Why It Matters
        1. 1.2.1. Reality 1: Users lead, businesses follow
        2. 1.2.2. Reality 2: The almighty algorithm decides
        3. 1.2.3. Reality 3: No product is safe from comparison shopping
        4. 1.2.4. Reality 4: Web surfers listen to one another first and marketers second
        5. 1.2.5. Reality 5: Online competitors spring up at a moment's notice
      3. 1.3. Building an Online Strategy Based on Evidence instead of Hype
      4. 1.4. Seven Basic Principles of Effective Online Marketing
        1. 1.4.1. Principle 1: Be real about putting customers first
        2. 1.4.2. Principle 2: Know your desired outcomes
        3. 1.4.3. Principle 3: Keep it simple
        4. 1.4.4. Principle 4: Embrace change
        5. 1.4.5. Principle 5: Treat data as a strategic asset
        6. 1.4.6. Principle 6: Use the right tool for the right job
        7. 1.4.7. Principle 7: Expect and accept accountability
    2. 2. Data-Driven Marketing Basics
      1. 2.1. Making Online Marketing Measurable and Goal-Driven
        1. 2.1.1. Your Web presence as a living, breathing system
        2. 2.1.2. Planning your online strategy by channel
        3. 2.1.3. Marketing for conversions
          1. 2.1.3.1. Orienting your Web site toward a conversion process
          2. 2.1.3.2. Defining good Conversion Goals
      2. 2.2. Tools for Understanding Visitors and Performance
        1. 2.2.1. Understanding the "what" with Google Analytics
          1. 2.2.1.1. What Google Analytics does for you
          2. 2.2.1.2. What Google Analytics does not do for you
          3. 2.2.1.3. How Google Analytics compares to other Web analytics tools
          4. 2.2.1.4. Top 10 myths about Google Analytics
        2. 2.2.2. Understanding the "why" with voice-of-the-customer research
          1. 2.2.2.1. What voice-of-the-customer research does for you
          2. 2.2.2.2. What voice-of-the-customer research does not do for you
          3. 2.2.2.3. Top five methods for understanding your visitor experience
        3. 2.2.3. Seeing the big picture with competitive and market analysis
          1. 2.2.3.1. What competitive and market analysis does for you
          2. 2.2.3.2. What competitive research does not do for you
          3. 2.2.3.3. Top five methods for competitive and market analysis
        4. 2.2.4. Tying it all together
    3. 3. Putting Google Analytics to Work in Your Organization
      1. 3.1. Leading the Charge for Analytics
      2. 3.2. Assembling a Google Analytics Dream Team
        1. 3.2.1. Four essential skill sets for a successful team
          1. 3.2.1.1. Raphael, the developer
          2. 3.2.1.2. Leonardo, the administrator
          3. 3.2.1.3. Donatello, the analyst
          4. 3.2.1.4. Michelangelo, the motivator
        2. 3.2.2. Tips for building your team
      3. 3.3. GETUP and Go: Defining Your Measurement Strategy
        1. 3.3.1. Goals and strategy
          1. 3.3.1.1. Expertise
          2. 3.3.1.2. Tools
          3. 3.3.1.3. Unified data
          4. 3.3.1.4. Process integration
        2. 3.3.2. 25 tips for putting data to work
          1. 3.3.2.1. Goals and strategy
          2. 3.3.2.2. Expertise
          3. 3.3.2.3. Tools
          4. 3.3.2.4. Unified data
          5. 3.3.2.5. Process integration
        3. 3.3.3. Seeing GETUP in action
          1. 3.3.3.1. Twiddy & Co.: The little guy
          2. 3.3.3.2. pbs: Teaching people to fish
          3. 3.3.3.3. Nokia: Enforcing standards in a big company
        4. 3.3.4. Overcoming common obstacles
          1. 3.3.4.1. Long sales cycles and the "fuzzy factor"
          2. 3.3.4.2. No senior advocate
  8. II. Google Analytics Essentials
    1. 4. Understanding How Google Analytics Works
      1. 4.1. How Data Is Collected
      2. 4.2. How Data Is Processed
      3. 4.3. Accounts and Profiles: Data Organization
      4. 4.4. Generating Reports
    2. 5. Installing and Administering Google Analytics
      1. 5.1. Planning an Implementation
        1. 5.1.1. Gathering business requirements
        2. 5.1.2. Gathering technical requirements
      2. 5.2. Creating a Google Analytics Account
      3. 5.3. Adding the Tracking Code
      4. 5.4. Configuration Steps
        1. 5.4.1. Basic configuration steps
          1. 5.4.1.1. Create additional profiles
          2. 5.4.1.2. Exclude Query String Parameters setting
          3. 5.4.1.3. Specify the default page
          4. 5.4.1.4. Configure site search reporting
          5. 5.4.1.5. Set up some goals
          6. 5.4.1.6. URL Destination Goals
          7. 5.4.1.7. Time on Site goals
          8. 5.4.1.8. Pages/Visit goals
          9. 5.4.1.9. Configure funnels
          10. 5.4.1.10. Normalize data with simple filters
          11. 5.4.1.11. Exclude internal traffic
          12. 5.4.1.12. Force request URI to lowercase
          13. 5.4.1.13. Force campaign parameters to lowercase
          14. 5.4.1.14. Configuring campaign tracking
        2. 5.4.2. Advanced configuration steps
          1. 5.4.2.1. Tracking subdomains
          2. 5.4.2.2. Tracking multiple domains
          3. 5.4.2.3. The virtual pageview
          4. 5.4.2.4. Event Tracking tool
          5. 5.4.2.5. Custom variables
          6. 5.4.2.6. Advanced site search tracking
          7. 5.4.2.7. Ecommerce tracking
          8. 5.4.2.8. Filters
          9. 5.4.2.9. Include and Exclude filters
          10. 5.4.2.10. Uppercase and Lowercase filters
          11. 5.4.2.11. Advanced filters
      5. 5.5. Maintaining Your Implementations
        1. 5.5.1. Changes to GATC
        2. 5.5.2. Changes to Configuration Settings
        3. 5.5.3. Incorrect campaign tracking
    3. 6. Basic Analysis Features and Concepts
      1. 6.1. Nine Tips for Becoming an All-Star Analyst
      2. 6.2. Navigating the Google Analytics Interface
        1. 6.2.1. Accessing your reports
        2. 6.2.2. Using the header to navigate between accounts and profiles
        3. 6.2.3. Exploring basic Dashboard features
          1. 6.2.3.1. Changing the date range with the Date Selector
          2. 6.2.3.2. Reading the Site Usage section of the Dashboard
          3. 6.2.3.3. Manipulating data with the Graph tool
          4. 6.2.3.4. Customizing the Dashboard using report summaries
      3. 6.3. Working with the Google Analytics Standard Reports
        1. 6.3.1. Understanding terminology and definitions
        2. 6.3.2. Exploring the Google Analytics standard reports
        3. 6.3.3. Working with data tables
          1. 6.3.3.1. Reading the scorecard
          2. 6.3.3.2. Sorting and paging through table rows
          3. 6.3.3.3. Changing table views
          4. 6.3.3.4. Filtering data with the Filter Box
          5. 6.3.3.5. Filtering with regular expressions
          6. 6.3.3.6. Filtering with the Advanced Filter tool
        4. 6.3.4. Exporting and e-mailing reports
          1. 6.3.4.1. Exporting your data
        5. 6.3.5. E-mailing reports
    4. 7. Advanced Analysis Concepts and Features
      1. 7.1. Using Segmentation to Find Meaning in Your Data
        1. 7.1.1. Understanding dimensions and segmentation: Thinking in 2D versus 3D
        2. 7.1.2. Dimensions available in Google Analytics
        3. 7.1.3. Applying basic segmentation techniques for standard reports
          1. 7.1.3.1. The cross-dimension reporting tool
          2. 7.1.3.2. Accessing the cross-dimension feature
          3. 7.1.3.3. Using Secondary Dimensions
        4. 7.1.4. Creating your own dimensions using custom variables
          1. 7.1.4.1. How custom variables work
          2. 7.1.4.2. Understanding and analyzing Custom Variable reports
          3. 7.1.4.3. Common uses for custom variables
          4. 7.1.4.4. Analysis scenario: Content optimization through content grouping
      2. 7.2. Analyzing Data with Advanced Segments
        1. 7.2.1. Using Advanced Segments to answer business questions
        2. 7.2.2. Understanding how Advanced Segments work
          1. 7.2.2.1. The key segmentation concept: Selection of data
          2. 7.2.2.2. Limitations of Advanced Segments
        3. 7.2.3. Using Advanced Segments
          1. 7.2.3.1. Combining dimensions and metrics for selection criteria
          2. 7.2.3.2. Inverse inclusion
          3. 7.2.3.3. Behavioral segmentation
        4. 7.2.4. Managing and sharing Advanced Segments
      3. 7.3. Bringing Together Key Metrics and Dimensions with Custom Reports
        1. 7.3.1. Example uses for custom reports
          1. 7.3.1.1. Managing and sharing custom reports
          2. 7.3.1.2. Limitations of custom reports
      4. 7.4. Visualizing Data Across Multiple Dimensions with Motion Charts
        1. 7.4.1. Understanding the key features of motion charts
          1. 7.4.1.1. X and Y axes: Linear or logarithmic, time-based or metric-based
          2. 7.4.1.2. Time slider
          3. 7.4.1.3. Chart modes: Dots or bars
          4. 7.4.1.4. Coloration and size
          5. 7.4.1.5. Dimension selection
          6. 7.4.1.6. Trails
        2. 7.4.2. Other resources for motion charts
      5. 7.5. Grouping and Analyzing Data with Pivot Tables
      6. 7.6. Measuring Spikes and Trends with Intelligence Reports and Custom Alerts
        1. 7.6.1. How Intelligence reports work
          1. 7.6.1.1. Using Intelligence reports intelligently
          2. 7.6.1.2. Managing Intelligence alerts
          3. 7.6.1.3. Using custom alerts
  9. III. Controlling Costs and Planning Profits
    1. 8. Maximizing Web Site Performance
      1. 8.1. Understanding Core Optimization Concepts
        1. 8.1.1. Getting into the optimization mindset
        2. 8.1.2. Key optimization tools and methods
      2. 8.2. Evaluating Web Site Performance
        1. 8.2.1. Analyzing goal performance in Google Analytics
        2. 8.2.2. Key goal performance measures
          1. 8.2.2.1. Using the Google Analytics interface to analyze goal performance
          2. 8.2.2.2. Segmenting goal performance
        3. 8.2.3. Understanding your conversion funnel
        4. 8.2.4. Understanding visitor intent
          1. 8.2.4.1. Method 1: Inbound traffic analysis
          2. 8.2.4.2. Method 2: Internal site search analysis
          3. 8.2.4.3. Method 3: Interrupts and exit surveys
        5. 8.2.5. Identifying basic usability problems
          1. 8.2.5.1. Giving users a way to complain
          2. 8.2.5.2. Running task completion tests
          3. 8.2.5.3. Applying heuristic analysis and best practices
        6. 8.2.6. Examining your value proposition
          1. 8.2.6.1. Evaluate your site against competitors
          2. 8.2.6.2. Combine experimentation with best practices to find what works
          3. 8.2.6.3. Go deeper into the hearts and minds of customers
      3. 8.3. Optimizing through Continuous Improvement
        1. 8.3.1. Zeroing in on high-impact pages and elements
        2. 8.3.2. 10 tips for continuous improvement
    2. 9. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
      1. 9.1. Search Engine Marketing Basics
        1. 9.1.1. Strengths and weaknesses of SEM as a marketing channel
        2. 9.1.2. Major SEM platforms and tools
      2. 9.2. Planning for Success with SEM
        1. 9.2.1. Conducting keyword research
          1. 9.2.1.1. Google Insights for Search
          2. 9.2.1.2. Google AdWords Keyword tool
          3. 9.2.1.3. Other tools
        2. 9.2.2. Structuring campaigns for success
      3. 9.3. Preparing to Measure SEM with Google Analytics
        1. 9.3.1. Understanding the role of Google Analytics
        2. 9.3.2. Setting up tracking for AdWords
        3. 9.3.3. Setting up tracking for other SEM providers
          1. 9.3.3.1. Overcoming the issue of scale with SEM campaign tracking tags
          2. 9.3.3.2. Avoiding data accuracy pitfalls with SEM tracking
        4. 9.3.4. Configuring settings in Google Analytics
        5. 9.3.5. Quick checklist for SEM tracking setup
      4. 9.4. Analyzing and Optimizing SEM Campaigns
        1. 9.4.1. Understanding key dimensions and metrics in the context of SEM analysis
        2. 9.4.2. Differentiating sponsored (SEM) from nonsponsored (organic) search traffic
          1. 9.4.2.1. Using the Search Engines report
          2. 9.4.2.2. Using the Keywords report
          3. 9.4.2.3. Using Default Advanced Segments to your advantage
        3. 9.4.3. Standing in the intersection of interest and intent: Principles for SEM analysis
          1. 9.4.3.1. Focus on the keyword level
          2. 9.4.3.2. Goal Value measures
          3. 9.4.3.3. Engagement analysis
          4. 9.4.3.4. Ecommerce analysis
          5. 9.4.3.5. Analyzing geographic performance and value
          6. 9.4.3.6. Understanding landing page performance
        4. 9.4.4. AdWords-specific report analysis
          1. 9.4.4.1. Leveraging the Clicks tab
          2. 9.4.4.2. Analyzing the Keyword Positions report
        5. 9.4.5. Tracking the "actual" search query for a purchased keyword
    3. 10. Measuring and Optimizing Display Advertising
      1. 10.1. Display and Rich Media Advertising Basics
        1. 10.1.1. Major display and rich media advertising formats
        2. 10.1.2. Pre-click metrics for evaluating display and rich media advertising performance
        3. 10.1.3. Pitfalls of measuring display and rich media
          1. 10.1.3.1. Making impressions that count
          2. 10.1.3.2. The fallacies of view-through measurement
      2. 10.2. Understanding Display Ad Tracking with Google Analytics
        1. 10.2.1. Avoiding the death of your data
        2. 10.2.2. Using the right dimensions for display ad tracking
      3. 10.3. Setting Up Your Ads for Tracking
        1. 10.3.1. Planning your naming conventions
          1. 10.3.1.1. Using data-rich values
          2. 10.3.1.2. Consistency is critical
        2. 10.3.2. Creating and managing campaign tracking tags
        3. 10.3.3. Integrating tracking tags into ads
        4. 10.3.4. Validating that ad tracking is working properly
        5. 10.3.5. Tracking Flash ads
        6. 10.3.6. Measuring display and rich media campaign history
      4. 10.4. Analyzing Display Ad Performance
        1. 10.4.1. Assessing display ad performance at a high level
        2. 10.4.2. Comparing display ads to other mediums
        3. 10.4.3. Analyzing campaign outcomes
          1. 10.4.3.1. Overall performance
          2. 10.4.3.2. First stop: Analyzing the Bounce Rate
          3. 10.4.3.3. Engagement performance
          4. 10.4.3.4. Goal performance
          5. 10.4.3.5. Ecommerce performance
        4. 10.4.4. Using Advanced Segments to analyze display ads
        5. 10.4.5. Using custom reports with display ads
      5. 10.5. Troubleshooting Common Display Ad Tracking Problems
        1. 10.5.1. What happens when ads aren't tagged
        2. 10.5.2. Identifying problems at the ad-server level
        3. 10.5.3. Avoiding common, costly mistakes
  10. IV. Growing Organic Search and Conversions
    1. 11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Google Analytics
      1. 11.1. Knowing Truth from Fiction with SEO
        1. 11.1.1. How search engines work
        2. 11.1.2. An arms race with robots, spiders, and spam
        3. 11.1.3. Driving true success with SEO
          1. 11.1.3.1. Follow the unique-authoritative-relevant principle
          2. 11.1.3.2. Putting the customer first
          3. 11.1.3.3. Using the right words
          4. 11.1.3.4. Building it right
      2. 11.2. Understanding the Case for Web Analytics and SEO
        1. 11.2.1. Dispelling the fallacy of "top ranking"
          1. 11.2.1.1. "Ranking" is dead
          2. 11.2.1.2. Looking beyond rank as a measure of SEO success
        2. 11.2.2. Defining your SEO measurement framework
          1. 11.2.2.1. Determining your measures of SEO success
          2. 11.2.2.2. Ensuring accurate SEO data is collected
      3. 11.3. Measuring Effectiveness of SEO Efforts with Google Analytics
        1. 11.3.1. Trends matter more than metrics
          1. 11.3.1.1. Viewing trends by week and month, not day
          2. 11.3.1.2. Comparing time periods
        2. 11.3.2. Traffic metrics that matter
          1. 11.3.2.1. Total traffic from organic search
          2. 11.3.2.2. Traffic from each search engine
          3. 11.3.2.3. The percentage of total traffic from organic search
        3. 11.3.3. Keyword measurements that matter
          1. 11.3.3.1. Measuring keywords from head to tail
          2. 11.3.3.2. Understanding traffic percentage from head versus tail
          3. 11.3.3.3. Branded versus nonbranded volume
        4. 11.3.4. Measuring SEO against goals
          1. 11.3.4.1. Transactional goals versus engagement goals
          2. 11.3.4.2. Goal Conversion Rate
          3. 11.3.4.3. Goal Value per Visit
        5. 11.3.5. Measuring ecommerce value
          1. 11.3.5.1. Measuring Revenue versus Conversion Rate
          2. 11.3.5.2. Optimizing for gold: How Revenue metrics work together to indicate success
      4. 11.4. Advanced SEO Analysis Techniques
        1. 11.4.1. Understanding landing pages using Advanced Segments
        2. 11.4.2. Creating custom reports for SEO reporting
      5. 11.5. Validating That Your SEO Metrics Are Accurate
        1. 11.5.1. How Google Analytics tracks organic search traffic
        2. 11.5.2. Checking host names
    2. 12. Social Media Marketing
      1. 12.1. Social Media Defined
      2. 12.2. Social Media Marketing Basics
      3. 12.3. Measuring Social Media Activities and Campaigns
        1. 12.3.1. Putting together a keyword list
        2. 12.3.2. Finding relevant conversations online
        3. 12.3.3. Quantifying "buzz" with keyword trends
        4. 12.3.4. Understanding content and sentiment
      4. 12.4. Analyzing Site Traffic from Social Media
        1. 12.4.1. Business value measures
      5. 12.5. Measuring Social Media Tools on Your Site
        1. 12.5.1. Tracking comments
        2. 12.5.2. Tracking subscriptions
        3. 12.5.3. Tracking content-sharing tools
          1. 12.5.3.1. Tracking content-sharing usage
          2. 12.5.3.2. Tracking traffic from content-sharing tools
    3. 13. Measuring E-mail Marketing
      1. 13.1. E-mail: What's It Good For?
      2. 13.2. Defining E-mail Measurement
        1. 13.2.1. Pre-click data
        2. 13.2.2. Post-click data
        3. 13.2.3. Continuously improving your e-mail campaigns
      3. 13.3. Tracking E-mail with Google Analytics
      4. 13.4. Data and Analysis
  11. V. Extending Google Analytics
    1. 14. Tracking Offline Marketing
      1. 14.1. Tracking TV and Radio
        1. 14.1.1. Tracking ads without an online component
        2. 14.1.2. Tracking ads with an online component
          1. 14.1.2.1. Using a redirect for tracking
          2. 14.1.2.2. Tracking microsites
      2. 14.2. Tracking Print Ads
      3. 14.3. Tracking Direct Mail
    2. 15. Using the Data Export API, Community Additions, and Other Tools
      1. 15.1. Hello Data! Understanding and Using the Google Analytics Data Export API
        1. 15.1.1. Learning the Data Export API
        2. 15.1.2. Where to start building useful applications
        3. 15.1.3. Recommendations and other considerations for working with the API
      2. 15.2. Technical and Diagnostic Tools
        1. 15.2.1. Browser-based troubleshooting and diagnostic tools
          1. 15.2.1.1. Firefox browser and Firefox tools
          2. 15.2.1.2. Chrome browser
          3. 15.2.1.3. Other tools and browsers
        2. 15.2.2. Web-based technical and diagnostic services
      3. 15.3. Reporting Tools and Analysis Tools
        1. 15.3.1. Tools for integrating data into Excel
        2. 15.3.2. Other analysis tools
      4. 15.4. Other Tools and Hacks
  12. VI. Appendixes
    1. A. Other Resources
      1. A.1. Blogs
        1. A.1.1. Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik
        2. A.1.2. Analytics for Marketers by us
        3. A.1.3. Analytics Talk by Justin Cutroni
        4. A.1.4. Analytics Prose by Caleb Whitmore
        5. A.1.5. Official Google Analytics Blog
        6. A.1.6. Advanced Web Metrics by Brian Clifton
        7. A.1.7. VKI Studios Blog
        8. A.1.8. WebShare Blog
        9. A.1.9. Grok Dot Com
        10. A.1.10. LunaMetrics
        11. A.1.11. ROI Revolution
        12. A.1.12. E-marketer
        13. A.1.13. Econsultancy
        14. A.1.14. ClickZ
      2. A.2. Books
    2. B. Glossary
      1. B.1. Common Google Analytics Terms
      2. B.2. Common Marketing Terms
      3. B.3. Google Analytics Dimension Definitions
        1. B.3.1. Visitor dimensions
        2. B.3.2. Campaign dimensions
        3. B.3.3. Content dimensions
        4. B.3.4. Ecommerce dimensions
        5. B.3.5. Internal search dimensions
        6. B.3.6. Navigation dimensions
        7. B.3.7. Event dimensions
        8. B.3.8. Custom variable dimensions
      4. B.4. Google Analytics Metric Definitions
        1. B.4.1. Visitor metrics
        2. B.4.2. Campaign metrics
        3. B.4.3. Content metrics
        4. B.4.4. Ecommerce metrics
        5. B.4.5. Internal search metrics
        6. B.4.6. Goal metrics
        7. B.4.7. Events metrics
        8. B.4.8. utm.gif request parameters
      5. B.5. Additional Glossary Resources
    3. Google Analytics Individual Qualification Test Coupon