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Your Google® Game Plan for Success: Increasing Your Web Presence with Google AdWords, Analytics, and Website Optimizer

Book Description

Get the most out of Google's trifecta of tools and optimize your Web presence!

Savvy marketers are always searching for new ways to attract and keep online customers. Google's array of online tools plus the techniques and tips in this expert guide help you unlock the mystery of doing business in the digital age.

Learn the basics of Google AdWords, Analytics, and Website Optimizer—and then discover how to use this powerful trifecta together to help you track, extract, and analyze data and make necessary changes. Topics include cost-per-click advertising, conversion tracking, how to apply what you're learning, and much more.

  • Brings you up to speed on Google AdWords, Analytics, and Website Optimizer

  • Shows how to use each tool individually—and then together as a powerful trio to track, analyze, and optimize your Web presence

  • Topics include the basics of CPC (cost per click) and how to use Google's Ad Planner, the AdWords Editor, and conversion tracking

  • Covers how to install tracking code in your Web site, what reports are available and how to use them, testing, applying what you learn, and much more

Start increasing ROI, online sales, and web site traffic quality with Google tools and the insights and techniques in this expert guide.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Credits
  3. About the Author
    1. About the Technical Editor
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. About 'Your Google Game Plan for Success'
    2. How This Book Is Organized
    3. What You're Not Going to Get Out of This Book
  6. I. Getting Started
    1. 1. What's Your Game Plan for Success?
      1. 1.1. What's Your Current Plan of Online Action?
        1. 1.1.1. Why Did You Build a Website?
        2. 1.1.2. What Does Your Website Look Like?
        3. 1.1.3. What Does Your Website Do?
        4. 1.1.4. How Does Someone Benefit from Your Website?
        5. 1.1.5. How Do You Plan on Marketing Your Website?
      2. 1.2. How Are You Measuring Success?
        1. 1.2.1. Visits, Hits, and Page Views
        2. 1.2.2. Time on Site, New vs. Returning Visitors, and Events
        3. 1.2.3. Conversions, Goals, and Successes
        4. 1.2.4. Customer/Visitor Feedback
        5. 1.2.5. Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
      3. 1.3. Doing It Online Is Different from Doing It Offline
        1. 1.3.1. Fast, Faster, Fastest!
        2. 1.3.2. No Charge for Changes
        3. 1.3.3. Much Higher Level of Accountability
      4. 1.4. Getting Started on Your Journey to Success
  7. II. Google AdWords
    1. 2. Welcome to Google AdWords!
      1. 2.1. Creating a Google AdWords Account
        1. 2.1.1. Creating a Google Account
        2. 2.1.2. Opening a Google AdWords Account
        3. 2.1.3. Creating Your First AdWords Campaign
        4. 2.1.4. Choosing a Billing Method and Entering Billing Information
      2. 2.2. Becoming Familiar with the Google AdWords Interface
        1. 2.2.1. The Home Tab
        2. 2.2.2. The Campaigns Tab
        3. 2.2.3. The Opportunities Tab
        4. 2.2.4. The Reporting Tab
        5. 2.2.5. The Billing Tab
        6. 2.2.6. The My Account Tab
      3. 2.3. The Home Tab
        1. 2.3.1. Alerts
        2. 2.3.2. Account Status
        3. 2.3.3. Announcements
        4. 2.3.4. Watch List
        5. 2.3.5. Keyword Performance
        6. 2.3.6. Active Campaigns
        7. 2.3.7. Campaign Performance
        8. 2.3.8. Help and Tips
      4. 2.4. The Campaigns Tab
        1. 2.4.1. Functions and Features within the Campaigns Tab
        2. 2.4.2. The Campaigns Sub-Tab
        3. 2.4.3. The Ad Groups Sub-Tab
        4. 2.4.4. The Settings Sub-Tab
        5. 2.4.5. The Ads Sub-Tab
        6. 2.4.6. The Keywords Sub-Tab
        7. 2.4.7. The Networks Sub-Tab
        8. 2.4.8. The Audiences Sub-Tab
      5. 2.5. The Opportunities Tab
      6. 2.6. The Reporting Tab
        1. 2.6.1. Report Types
        2. 2.6.2. Settings
        3. 2.6.3. Advanced Settings
        4. 2.6.4. Templates, Scheduling, and E-Mail
        5. 2.6.5. Viewing Your Report
      7. 2.7. The Billing Tab
        1. 2.7.1. Billing Summary
        2. 2.7.2. Billing Preferences
        3. 2.7.3. Agency/MCC Billing
      8. 2.8. The My Account Tab
        1. 2.8.1. Account Access
        2. 2.8.2. Notification Settings
        3. 2.8.3. Preferences
    2. 3. Cost-per-Click Advertising
      1. 3.1. A Brief Review of Cost-per-Click Advertising Online
        1. 3.1.1. What You're Actually Charged For
        2. 3.1.2. Where Your Ads Actually Appear
      2. 3.2. The Critical Role that Landing Pages Play
      3. 3.3. The Google AdWords Quality Score
        1. 3.3.1. Quality Score For Google And Search Partners
        2. 3.3.2. Quality Score For Google And Search Partners
        3. 3.3.3. Optimizing Your Quality Score
      4. 3.4. Keyword Match Types
        1. 3.4.1. "Broad Match" Keywords
        2. 3.4.2. "Phrase Match" Keywords"
        3. 3.4.3. "Exact Match" Keywords
        4. 3.4.4. "Negative Match" Keywords
        5. 3.4.5. The Great Debate: Keyword Match Types
      5. 3.5. Cost-per-Click Ads
        1. 3.5.1. Standard Text Ads and Restrictions
        2. 3.5.2. Using the "Keyword Insertion" Function
        3. 3.5.3. Testing and Experimenting with Different Ads
        4. 3.5.4. Other Types of Ad Formats
      6. 3.6. Geo-Targeting
        1. 3.6.1. Selecting a Country, State/Region, or City
        2. 3.6.2. Creating a Custom Targeted Area
        3. 3.6.3. Who Actually Sees My Geo-Targeted Ads?
    3. 4. Advanced Opportunities within Google AdWords
      1. 4.1. The Google Content Network
        1. 4.1.1. Text Ads
        2. 4.1.2. Image Ads
        3. 4.1.3. Video Ads
        4. 4.1.4. Automatic and Managed Placements
        5. 4.1.5. Tips for Success on the Content Network
      2. 4.2. Display Builder
        1. 4.2.1. Selecting Your Ad Template
        2. 4.2.2. Editing and Launching Your Display Ad
      3. 4.3. AdWords Bidding Options
        1. 4.3.1. Bidding Focus on Clicks (CPC)
        2. 4.3.2. Bidding Focus on Impressions (CPM)
        3. 4.3.3. Bidding Focus on Conversions (CPA)
      4. 4.4. Advanced Campaign Settings
        1. 4.4.1. Languages
        2. 4.4.2. Position Preference
        3. 4.4.3. Delivery Method
        4. 4.4.4. Ad Scheduling
        5. 4.4.5. Ad Rotation
        6. 4.4.6. Frequency Capping
        7. 4.4.7. Demographic Bidding
      5. 4.5. Ad Extensions
        1. 4.5.1. Location Extensions: Business Owners
        2. 4.5.2. Location Extensions: Non-Business Owners
        3. 4.5.3. Phone Extensions
        4. 4.5.4. Ad Sitelinks
        5. 4.5.5. Product Extensions
    4. 5. AdWords Tools of the Trade
      1. 5.1. Google AdWords Editor
        1. 5.1.1. Downloading Your Campaigns
        2. 5.1.2. Working within AdWords Editor
        3. 5.1.3. Posting Changes Live
      2. 5.2. Google (DoubleClick) Ad Planner
        1. 5.2.1. Viewing a Site Listing
        2. 5.2.2. Creating a Media Plan
        3. 5.2.3. Ad Planner for Publishers
      3. 5.3. The AdWords Conversion Tracking Tool
        1. 5.3.1. How Conversion Tracking Works
        2. 5.3.2. Creating and Installing Conversion Tracking
      4. 5.4. Conversion Tracking Data and Reporting
      5. 5.5. The Search-Based Keyword Tool
      6. 5.6. Other Available AdWords Tools
        1. 5.6.1. My Change History Tool
        2. 5.6.2. Ads Diagnostic Tool
        3. 5.6.3. Ad Preview Tool
      7. 5.7. Keyword Discovery Tool
        1. 5.7.1. Traffic Estimator
        2. 5.7.2. IP Address Exclusion Tool
        3. 5.7.3. Site and Category Exclusion Tool
    5. 6. Google AdWords: Analysis and Insights
      1. 6.1. Measuring Success and Taking Actions
        1. 6.1.1. Focus on Impressions
        2. 6.1.2. Focus on Clicks
        3. 6.1.3. Focus on Conversions
        4. 6.1.4. General Actions to Take
      2. 6.2. Answers to Common Questions and Problems
        1. 6.2.1. When Should Ad/Keyword Bids Be Changed?
        2. 6.2.2. When to Add/Pause/Remove an Ad
          1. 6.2.2.1. When to Change Your Campaign Settings
          2. 6.2.2.2. When to Create New Campaigns
          3. 6.2.2.3. When to Reorganize Your Account
  8. III. Google Analytics
    1. 7. Welcome to Google Analytics!
      1. 7.1. The Google Analytics Account
      2. 7.2. Basic Functions within Google Analytics
        1. 7.2.1. Date-Range Tool and Comparing Date Ranges
        2. 7.2.2. Trending Graph Customization
        3. 7.2.3. Adding Reports to the Dashboard
        4. 7.2.4. Exporting Report
        5. 7.2.5. E-mailing Reports
        6. 7.2.6. Dimensions (Segmenting)
        7. 7.2.7. Table Filtering
        8. 7.2.8. Other Table Options
        9. 7.2.9. Help, FAQs, and Common Questions
      3. 7.3. The Overview and the Dashboard
      4. 7.4. The Visitors Section
        1. 7.4.1. Benchmarking
        2. 7.4.2. Map Overlay
        3. 7.4.3. New vs. Returning
        4. 7.4.4. Languages
        5. 7.4.5. Visitor Trending
        6. 7.4.6. Visitor Loyalty
        7. 7.4.7. Browser Capabilities
        8. 7.4.8. Network Properties
        9. 7.4.9. Mobile
      5. 7.5. The Traffic Sources Section
        1. 7.5.1. Direct Traffic
        2. 7.5.2. Referring Sites
        3. 7.5.3. Search Engines
        4. 7.5.4. All Traffic Sources
        5. 7.5.5. Keywords
        6. 7.5.6. Campaigns
        7. 7.5.7. Ad Versions
      6. 7.6. The Content Section
        1. 7.6.1. Top Content
        2. 7.6.2. Content by Title
        3. 7.6.3. Content Drilldown
        4. 7.6.4. Top Landing Pages
        5. 7.6.5. Top Exit Pages
        6. 7.6.6. Site Overlay
        7. 7.6.7. Navigation Summary
        8. 7.6.8. Entrance Paths
      7. 7.7. The Goals Section
        1. 7.7.1. Total Conversions
        2. 7.7.2. Conversion Rate
        3. 7.7.3. Goal Verification
        4. 7.7.4. Reverse Goal Path
        5. 7.7.5. Goal Value
        6. 7.7.6. Goal Abandoned Funnels
        7. 7.7.7. Funnel Visualization
      8. 7.8. The E-Commerce Section
        1. 7.8.1. Total Revenue
        2. 7.8.2. Conversion Rate
        3. 7.8.3. Average Order Value
        4. 7.8.4. Product Performance
        5. 7.8.5. Transactions
        6. 7.8.6. Visits to Purchase
        7. 7.8.7. Days to Purchase
    2. 8. The Web-Analytics Industry
      1. 8.1. How Google (Web) Analytics Works
        1. 8.1.1. What Information Does Google Analytics Collect?
        2. 8.1.2. Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
        3. 8.1.3. First-Party vs. Third-Party Cookies
        4. 8.1.4. Limitations of Google Analytics
      2. 8.2. Web-Analytics Metrics
        1. 8.2.1. The Web-Analytics Association
        2. 8.2.2. Web Metrics and Dimension Definitions
          1. 8.2.2.1. Metrics
          2. 8.2.2.2. Dimensions
      3. 8.3. Unfortunate and Common Misconceptions
        1. 8.3.1. Misconception: Web Analytics Is Accounting Software
        2. 8.3.2. Misconception: Google Analytics Publicly Shares and Sells My Information
        3. 8.3.3. Misconception: A $125,000 Tool Will Solve All My Problems
        4. 8.3.4. Misconception: One Tool Should Be Enough for Me
        5. 8.3.5. Misconception: Web-Analytics Tool X Should be Exactly the Same as Web-Analytics Tool Y
        6. 8.3.6. Misconception: Google Analytics Can't Handle Large Volumes (Because It's Free)
        7. 8.3.7. Misconception: The More Data My Dashboard Has, the Better!
        8. 8.3.8. Misconception: Too Many Visitors Are Listed on the Top Exit Pages Report
        9. 8.3.9. Misconception: You Should Use Year-over-Year and Decade-over-Decade Comparisons
      4. 8.4. Becoming a Great Web Analyst
        1. 8.4.1. Failing
        2. 8.4.2. Segmentation
        3. 8.4.3. Comparisons
        4. 8.4.4. Executive Dashboards/Reports
        5. 8.4.5. Competitive Intelligence
        6. 8.4.6. Understanding Your Website
    3. 9. Sophisticated Google Analytics Features
      1. 9.1. Intelligence and Custom Alerts
        1. 9.1.1. Understanding "Intelligence"
        2. 9.1.2. Significance and Sensitivity
        3. 9.1.3. Group by Dimension
        4. 9.1.4. Creating a Custom Alert
      2. 9.2. Advanced Segments
        1. 9.2.1. Default Advanced Segments
        2. 9.2.2. Creating a Custom Advanced Segment
        3. 9.2.3. Sharing and Editing Your Custom Segment
      3. 9.3. Custom Reports
        1. 9.3.1. Creating a Custom Report
        2. 9.3.2. Sharing and Editing Your Custom Report
        3. 9.3.3. Advanced Segments and Custom Reports Together
      4. 9.4. Motion Charts
      5. 9.5. Site Search Reports
      6. 9.6. Secondary Dimensions and Pivoting
      7. 9.7. Advanced Table Filters
      8. 9.8. Annotations
    4. 10. The Technical Side of Google Analytics
      1. 10.1. The Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC)
        1. 10.1.1. The urchin Tracking Code
        2. 10.1.2. The ga.js Tracking Code
        3. 10.1.3. The async Tracking Code
        4. 10.1.4. The JavaScript File
        5. 10.1.5. The Tracking Code Wizard
        6. 10.1.6. What the GATC Can't Track
      2. 10.2. Google Analytics Cookies
        1. 10.2.1. The __utma Cookie
        2. 10.2.2. The __utmb and __utmc Cookies
        3. 10.2.3. The __utmz Cookie
        4. 10.2.4. The __utmv Cookie
      3. 10.3. E-Commerce Tracking
        1. 10.3.1. Enabling E-Commerce Tracking
        2. 10.3.2. The E-Commerce Tracking Snippet
        3. 10.3.3. Common E-Commerce Tracking Mistakes
      4. 10.4. Event Tracking
        1. 10.4.1. Categories, Actions, Labels, and Values
        2. 10.4.2. Event Tracking Reports
      5. 10.5. Custom Variables
        1. 10.5.1. Schema and Key/Value Pairs for Custom Variables
        2. 10.5.2. Custom Variables Reports
      6. 10.6. Common Customizations
        1. 10.6.1. Virtual Page Views
        2. 10.6.2. PDF and Other File Downloads
        3. 10.6.3. Sub-Domain and Cross-Domain Tracking
          1. 10.6.3.1. Sub-Domain Tracking
          2. 10.6.3.2. Cross-Domain Tracking
        4. 10.6.4. Modifying Cookie Timeout Values
        5. 10.6.5. Adding an Organic Search Engine
      7. 10.7. Creating Profiles, Goals, Filters, and Other Settings
        1. 10.7.1. Creating a Profile
        2. 10.7.2. Editing Profile Settings
        3. 10.7.3. Goals, Values, Funnels, and Engagement
        4. 10.7.4. Filters and Regular Expressions
        5. 10.7.5. User Management
  9. IV. Google Website Optimizer
    1. 11. Welcome to Google Website Optimizer
      1. 11.1. What Is Google Website Optimizer?
      2. 11.2. How Google Website Optimizer Works
      3. 11.3. A/B Experiments
      4. 11.4. Multivariate (MVT) Experiments
      5. 11.5. Reports and Data Available in Google Website Optimizer
        1. 11.5.1. A/B Experiment Data
        2. 11.5.2. Multivariate Experiment Data
      6. 11.6. Creating an A/B Experiment with Google Website Optimizer
        1. 11.6.1. Step 1: Website Owner Buy-In
        2. 11.6.2. Step 2: Create a Google Account
        3. 11.6.3. Step 3: Logging in to Google Website Optimizer
        4. 11.6.4. Step 4: Choosing the Experiment Type
        5. 11.6.5. Step 5: Review Experiment Checklist
        6. 11.6.6. Step 6: Identify Experiment Pages
        7. 11.6.7. Step 7: Tag Your Experiment Pages
        8. 11.6.8. Step 8: Review Settings and Launch
        9. 11.6.9. Step 9: Follow-up Experiments
      7. 11.7. Creating a Multivariate Experiment with Google Website Optimizer
    2. 12. Elementary Statistical Concepts
      1. 12.1. Elementary Statistics
      2. 12.2. Why Is Elementary Statistics Important?
      3. 12.3. Types of Statistical Data
      4. 12.4. Types of Surveys and Samples
      5. 12.5. Histograms and Normal Distributions
      6. 12.6. Mean, Median, Mode, and Midrange
      7. 12.7. Averages and Outliers
      8. 12.8. Standard Deviation and the Range Rule of Thumb
      9. 12.9. Z-Scores
      10. 12.10. Confidence Intervals and Margin of Error
      11. 12.11. How to Approach Your Data After Reading This Chapter
    3. 13. The Technical Side of Google Website Optimizer and Experiment Ideas
      1. 13.1. The Google Website Optimizer Tracking Code
        1. 13.1.1. Tracking Code for an A/B Experiment
          1. 13.1.1.1. Original Page Coding
          2. 13.1.1.2. Variation(s) Page Coding
          3. 13.1.1.3. Conversion Page Coding
        2. 13.1.2. Tracking Code for a Multivariate Experiment
          1. 13.1.2.1. Test-Page Coding
          2. 13.1.2.2. Conversion-Page Coding
        3. 13.1.3. Creating MVT Combinations and Editing HTML
  10. V. Executing Your Game Plan
    1. 14. Google AdWords and Google Analytics
      1. 14.1. Syncing Google AdWords and Google Analytics
        1. 14.1.1. Step 1: Administrative Rights
        2. 14.1.2. Step 2: Destination URL Auto-Tagging
        3. 14.1.3. Step 3: Syncing and Applying Cost Data
      2. 14.2. The Google AdWords Report Subsection
        1. 14.2.1. New AdWords Segmentation Options
        2. 14.2.2. The Overview Screen
        3. 14.2.3. Campaigns Report
        4. 14.2.4. Keywords Report
        5. 14.2.5. Day Parts
        6. 14.2.6. Destination URLs
        7. 14.2.7. Placements
        8. 14.2.8. Keyword Positions
        9. 14.2.9. TV Ads
      3. 14.3. Other Ways to Combine AdWords and Analytics
        1. 14.3.1. Importing Your Google Analytics Goals into Google AdWords
        2. 14.3.2. AdWords Search Funnels Report
        3. 14.3.3. Running Multiple AdWords Accounts at the Same Time
    2. 15. Google AdWords and Google Website Optimizer
      1. 15.1. Using AdWords for Your Website Optimizer Experiments
        1. 15.1.1. Experiment: New AdWords, New Landing Pages
        2. 15.1.2. Experiment: New AdWords, Existing Landing Pages
        3. 15.1.3. Experiment: Existing AdWords, New Landing Pages
        4. 15.1.4. Experiment: Existing AdWords, Existing Landing Pages
      2. 15.2. Ideas for Landing-Page Experiments
        1. 15.2.1. Designing for Usability vs. Designing for Conversions
        2. 15.2.2. Calls to Action
        3. 15.2.3. Landing-Page Headlines
        4. 15.2.4. Selling/Value Propositions
        5. 15.2.5. Short, Medium, and Long Forms
        6. 15.2.6. People, Places, and Things
    3. 16. Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer
      1. 16.1. Tracking Code Compatibility
        1. 16.1.1. Using GA and GWO on One Domain
        2. 16.1.2. Using GA and GWO on Sub-Domains
      2. 16.2. Analyzing Google Website Optimizer Data in Google Analytics
        1. 16.2.1. Annotations
        2. 16.2.2. Advanced Segments
        3. 16.2.3. Custom Reports
        4. 16.2.4. All Traffic Sources
        5. 16.2.5. Map Overlay
        6. 16.2.6. New vs. Returning
        7. 16.2.7. Mobile Devices
        8. 16.2.8. Goals Overview
        9. 16.2.9. Reverse Goal Path
      3. 16.3. Creating a Duplicate Proffile for Your Google Website Optimizer Data
  11. VI. Wrapping It Up
    1. 17. Google Programs to Add to Your Game Plan
      1. 17.1. Programs for Analysis
        1. 17.1.1. Google Insights for Search
        2. 17.1.2. Google Trends
      2. 17.2. Programs for Your Website
        1. 17.2.1. Google Webmaster Tools
        2. 17.2.2. Google FeedBurner
      3. 17.3. Programs for Advertising
        1. 17.3.1. Google TV Ads
        2. 17.3.2. Google Merchant Center
        3. 17.3.3. Google AdSense
    2. 18. Programs to Add to Your Game Plan Outside Google
      1. 18.1. Manual URL Tagging
        1. 18.1.1. The Five Query Parameters
        2. 18.1.2. Tips to Ensure Your Query Parameters Work Properly
      2. 18.2. Pay-per-Click Programs
        1. 18.2.1. The Yahoo!/Microsoft Search Alliance
        2. 18.2.2. Ask Sponsored Listings
        3. 18.2.3. Some Other Tools to Add
        4. 18.2.4. URL Shorteners
        5. 18.2.5. Klout
        6. 18.2.6. Twitalyzer
        7. 18.2.7. PercentMobile
        8. 18.2.8. CrazyEgg
  12. A. Resources and a Thank-You!
    1. A.1. Getting in Touch with the Author
    2. A.2. Thank You, Reader!
    3. A.3. Google Resources
    4. A.4. Non-Google Resources
    5. A.5. Blogs to Subscribe To