Posts tagged analytics
Dynamic Remarketing: Building The Best Lists

Dynamic Remarketing gives advertisers the unique ability to remarket with banner ads that showcase the exact products the potential customer viewed. The caveat, as with all remarketing, is of course that the potential customer had to visit your site in the first place. The potential for this new type of remarketing is huge, and we encourage you to test a Dynamic Remarketing campaign against your existing Remarketing campaigns to see what works best for you or your clients.

Dynamic Remarketing Examples

Source: ThinkWithGoogle.com

As we started setting these campaigns up for our clients (and followed Google's setup guide here), we ran into a few snags with the automatically generated lists created by Google. Upon further review, and a phone call or two to our Google reps, we now create our own lists through Google Analytics and do not rely on the accuracy of Google's pre-populated lists for a couple of reasons:

  1. They didn't work.
  2. When they did work, we tested their lists vs. ones that we created, and the list sizes were wildly different (and much smaller when created by Google).

How To Build Your Initial Lists

For each of these remarketing lists you build in Analytics, make sure to check the radio button "Create my own remarketing type using Segments."

1. Pageview>1; Did Not Checkout

Our first list is essentially an "All Site Visitors" list but a little more targeted. First of all, we want to make sure they didn't bounce right away, and second, we want to make sure they didn't check out. To ensure they didn't bounce, we set the Pageview to >1, and to ensure they didn't checkout, set your Transactions to equal 0.

Custom Remarketing List in Google Analytics

 2. Abandoned Cart

Hopefully you already have an Abandoned Cart list you can use from your general Remarketing campaign. If not, setup this list in the same way we started #1. Under the Conditions section, you'll want to add 2 Filters.

  1. Page contains [enter the portion of the URL that is specific to your cart]. Example: Page contains /cart.php
  2. Transactions per user are = to 0.

Essentially, the user added something to their cart but did not check out.

3. Product Page View

This list gets a little complicated. If you're lucky enough to have a site that's URL structure contains /product/ on every product page, you're in for an easy list build! Just set Page contains /product/ and Transactions = 0.

If you are like some of our clients, you'll need to get a little creative. For example, we picked specific silos of the site that were the most profitable and combined them in one list, so if a user hits any of those silos or pages and products but did not check out, they'll be included in this list.

 While these three ideas are not an exhaustive list of all the things you could test and build using Google Analytics and Dynamic Remarketing, this is generally where we like to start. Once you begin getting enough data, you can start optimizing and create new tests.

Have a great list idea that isn't mentioned above? Please share it in the comments.

 

Reporting TRUE AdWords Assisted Conversion Values

Great, Multi-Channel Expectations

When Google Analytics Multi-Channel funnels first came out, we were AWED and AMAZED. The metrics I latched onto first were the assisted transaction and revenue attributions. At last! Now those lower-converting AdWords campaigns could show their value. I knew they had to be doing something, but I didn’t have the tools to prove it before.

A Sad Discovery

I quickly came to discover, however, that these Assisted attributions are not in addition to the Last-Interaction conversions but rather include any conversion that involves an AdWords click along the conversion path, even if the Last-Interaction conversion was through AdWords as well. This means that we were reporting overlapping attribution on our AdWords transactions and revenue values! Basically, we couldn’t get anywhere near accurate revenue values for Assisted and Last-Interaction Conversions when combining their values together.

Data-Driven Redemption

That is, until we built a User-Defined Conversion Segment. We call our heroine “Exclude AdWords Last Interaction.” She looks a little something like this:

Exclude AdWords Last Interaction

Turn on this segment in the AdWords section of the Multi-Channel Funnels Assisted Conversions tab and it’ll set all of your Last-Interaction values to zero in addition to excluding any overlapping Last-Interaction revenue attributions from your Assisted conversion metrics. These are the REAL sidekicks -- none posing as the breadwinner.

True Assisted Conversion Value

These reports now show overall revenue numbers that I can pass on to clients and not feel like they’re being quite so duped by the illusions of attribution as I once was.

If you need help setting up this segment or any similar to it, we’re here to help. Just let us know.

Set Up Analytics Alerts During Product Listing Ad Transition

Since Google Shopping completely falls under the umbrella of paid search as of October, some retailers are on edge about smoothly making this transition with little to no loss of product listing shoppers. This is especially important going into the holiday season when shoppers are clicking the mess out of those pretty pictures on their Google SERPs. Now that these campaigns are becoming staples for positive PPC ROI, you’ll absolutely need to know whenever any anomalies occur. This is where custom alerts come in. Inside Google Analytics, you can set up a custom alert specifically for product listing ad campaigns and ad groups to monitor any online metrics on your site through these sources. To make sure your traffic isn’t dropping off, we recommend you set up an alert for any day when visitors from these sources significantly drop compared to the same day of the previous week. This way, you won’t have to lose days of revenue simply because you weren’t aware of a glitch that threw off or limited the eligibility of product ads.

Product Listing Ad Custom Alert

There are numerous other alerts you might want to set up for product ads, so think of what you’ll need to know in order to monitor this traffic and its conversions. For example, some product landing pages from these ads might have high bounce rates. You’ll be able to monitor these with alerts as well and begin looking into optimizing those particular pages. Take a few minutes to strategize and set up as many of these alerts preemptively as you can before you have to find out about an issue too late.

What The Wire Can Teach Us About SEM - Part 2 of 2

(In case you missed it: Part 1 of 2)

“All in the game, yo. All in the game.” - Omar Little

Omar Little - All in the Game, Yo

At the end of the day, SEO is a kind of game. It’s a very serious game with billions of dollars riding on it, sure, but it’s a game nonetheless. There are rules and strategies that work - that have been proven to work for years. Even when the rules change (aka Google gets a big idea), smart players simply work to familiarize themselves with and exploit the new playing field.

There will be bumps in the road (there may also be a few boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios and bags of cash dropped from on high), but dogged and intelligent pursuit of organic power using the rules that search engines created and SEOs have trail-blazed is a surefire route to success.

“I want my corners.” - Avon Barksdale

Stringer Bell believed in a new kind of game - the game beyond the game as he memorably put it - and he stopped believing in the importance of territory. It was a classic case of vision becoming unmoored from reality. Yes, in a perfect world Stringer’s strategy might have worked, but in the real world it was always going to be a flop. Owning the corners was a fundamental building block of the drug trade in Baltimore - you couldn’t divorce them from the rest of your strategy. The same idea can be applied to SEM; you’ll never get anywhere unless you execute on fundamentals. You’ve got to have your corners.

There are dozens of aspects of SEM that all contribute to a better organized and optimized web presence. There are a hundred ways to make your online presence more visible, more effective, and more profitable. But there are a few rock solid fundamentals that absolutely every SEM effort will fail without.

  • Content
    • Without it, you don’t exist to search engines.
  • Site Structure and Speed
    • Without it, you don’t exist to Google.
  • Analytics
    • Without it, you are flying completely blind.

Without those basic building blocks in place, nothing else you do is going to work the way it should, or the way you want it to. There is a game beyond the game, there surely is - but you’ve gotta have your corners.

“‘Failure to properly identify myself as a police officer.’ Sounds like what I was guilty of most of my career, actually.” - Detective Roland Pryzbylewski

Prez was not natural police. He got on the force because his father-in-law was a higher up in the department, he was unable to control his fear in the field, and he consistently failed to take his situation as seriously as he should. He just wasn’t a good cop - he wasn’t cut out for it.

But he was a fantastic teacher. After being drummed out of the force he ended up working in Baltimore public schools and making a real difference. It was a match for his skill set - it was his calling.

We see this happen a lot with e-commerce sites. They can get carried away chasing rankings and traffic for terms that aren’t their real strengths. If you’re a company that makes vacuum cleaners, then focus on selling vacuum cleaners! Don’t waste time and money trying to rank for other items that are insignificant in the larger scheme of things, and which are inferior products to your main offerings. Know thyself, and do what you do when you do what you do.

“A man got to have a code.” - Omar Little/Bunk Moreland

Perhaps the most quoted line from The Wire. It expresses the moral center of the entire show - that a man must have a personal code of conduct that transcends the law, and any traditional or makeshift authority or set of rules. It’s an acknowledgement from Omar that there is indeed a “game beyond the game” - but it’s not about what Stringer thought it was. It’s about integrity.

We would argue that’s the primary value of an SEO company as well.

At Delegator we don’t do black hat SEO - while it may pay off in short term results, we know it’s a losing strategy in the long game and a threat to the businesses of our clients.

We track and keep our clients apprised of their organic and PPC results at all times - good or bad. That keeps us accountable.

We assign an account manger for each client so that communication never breaks down, and there’s always someone looking out for your best interests with skin in the game.

We believe in comprehensive packages that keep us flexible, rather than monthly draws on your bank account for services you might not need anymore or that may have become less important to your business.

It’s all in the game, yo. All in the game.

What the Wire Can Teach Us About SEM - Part 1 of 2

The Wire is everyone's favorite show for a reason. A deep well of characters, a sprawling narrative that felt intimate and alive, a searing critique of the drug war and a top to bottom post-mortem on the heart of a once-great city. It could only be described as, well, "Dickensian." Sorry, Gus! The Wire was one of those shows that kept you on the hook with long-developing plot lines (investigations, mergers, a series of major news reports) that typically extended over an entire season. It also delivered incredible quotes and moments of drama and comedy on a weekly basis - sometimes both in the same scene. It's what gave the show its weekly entertainment punch to go along with its historical level of sophistication and "reporting."

Here at Delegator we're big fans, and we even started using some of those quotes around the office to reference some of the things we were doing for clients related to AdWords, SEO, Analytics, and more. With a recent upswing in attention on the show (thanks Grantland!) we thought now might be a good time to share with our clients and readers what we've been talking about for years. Search Engine Marketing - As Explained by the Cast of The Wire. Sheeeeeeee...

“When you take a shot at the King, you best not miss.” - Omar Little

Omar Little

Taking aim at the number one Google ranking is a formidable task. That’s especially true when you happen to be going up against another entity that a) has a clearly more relevant relationship to the keyword than you do or b) can spend you under the table. Unfortunately for most companies, it’s not a realistic goal.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn't try, or shouldn’t at least set it as your goal. Sometimes toppling the king is easier than you thought (just ask Marlo). But more often than not, as Wee-Bey found out, you end up eating chicken salad across from Bunk and McNulty. What is realistic for most companies is getting a few corners of their own - corners the big boys  might not know about. The way to do this in SEO is by investigating and then investing in long tail keywords. Maybe Huge Company X has the market cornered on "The Wire Posters," but you could get a real foothold in "Michael K. Williams Posters," "Omar Little Wire Posters," or "Omar Little Season 5 Posters." You won't get quite as much traffic as you would for a generic term, but the traffic you do get will be specific, and motivated to convert.

The only way to achieve a ranking like that for a competitive keyword is perfect preparation, determination in the form of time and money, and luck.

“Look the part, be the part.” - Proposition Joe

Proposition Joe

Joe came in for some ridicule from Avon when he showed up to the annual East/West showdown in full “Pat Riley” suit and tie regalia, but his commitment to looking like a “real” basketball coach helped him coach with more authority and confidence. In other words, getting the look right helped him get the job right. That, and a hired ringer. This is a lesson that can be easily applied to SEM.

Everything starts with your site design. A newcomer to your site should immediately be able to understand what you’re about and trust that you can deliver the goods. Building that initial trust element and creating a homepage that effectively funnels users to the pages you want them to hit is a complicated, multi-faceted process, but it’s a time and design investment well worth making. When you look like a “real” site, you’ll see yourself start to perform like one.

“Our job is to report the news, not manufacture it!” - Gus Haynes

Gus Haynes and Scott Templeton Season 5 of The Wire was about the breakdown of professional ethics within the main character, Detective Jimmy McNulty, as well as the august offices of the Baltimore Sun (where series creator David Simon began his career as a journalist). McNulty, frustrated with the lack of institutional support for his wire investigations, (SPOILER ALERT) fakes the presence of a serial killer by “adjusting” bodies post mortem. Scott Templeton, a hotshot up and comer at the Sun, began his career making up innocuous stories about wheelchair bound children going to Orioles games, but he eventually begins to stretch the truth about the serial killer case - he is the only reporter the “killer” ever contacts.

In the end McNulty loses his badge and Templeton wins a Pulitzer.

When you go with “black hat” SEO - SEO that attempts to get around Google standards and practices through any one of a dozen illicit strategies - you’re taking the same chance. Maybe it will work, you won’t get caught, and your business will go up, up, up. But maybe you’ll get caught, blacklisted, and penalized indefinitely in the organic results, crippling and even killing your business. Is that really a chance you want to take?

At Delegator we only do “white hat” SEO. Be very careful before getting in bed with any firm that doesn’t, and make sure that if you’re running your own SEO operation you don’t cross the line. It’s not worth risking your entire business.

“If Snotboogie always stole the money, then why did you let him play?”

“Got to. This America, man.” - McNulty and Man on Stoop

Anybody can play the AdWords game. Doesn’t matter if they don’t understand it, try to cheat it, or run their accounts into the ground. Because it depends on the quality of your site much less than the value of your dollar, it’s as open as it gets in the land of SEM. The only thing you need to play is money - Google allows you to set up your account and start spending faster than you can run down to your neighborhood game of bones (though your ROI is likely to be higher with Google). You will almost certainly need an expert to guide you through the weeds with no pain and plenty of profit.

Active AdWords management is the best way to navigate the choppy waters of paid search. Active management means going in every day and making changes, re-organizing, raising and lowering bids, and identifying and exploiting new best practices. That's the only proven way to consistently stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the wide open AdWords game.

Come back for more Wire action next week!

Part 2 of 2.

Delegator.com’s New Years Resolutions! (This time we’re really going to do it!)

1. This year, I will stop focusing on the numbers on the scale. I will stop focusing on keywords only when I write SEO content.

2. This year, I will do something active and physical every day. I will regularly add to and refresh the content of my site.

3. This year, I am finally going to get organized - my house, my office, and my life. I am finally going to start utilizing Google Analytics - to track and analyze my traffic, my users, and my conversion statistics.

4. This year, I will quit smoking once and for all. I will stop using Flash to create large or important sections of my website.

5. This year, I’m going to put myself out there and try to meet some new people. I’m going to kick my AdWords campaign into high gear, try some email marketing, and optimize my site every chance I get.

6. This year, I am going to start saving money. I am going to let professionals actively manage my AdWords account, and stop over-paying for keywords that are too competitive or that aren’t going to get me the customers I’m looking for.

7. This year, I am going to be on time wherever I go. I will use Google Calendars to give me reminders about important dates, deadlines and meetings.

8. This year, I am going to learn something new. I am going to try a different online marketing tactic to see if I can improve my results.

9. This year, I am going to indulge my artistic side. I’m going to create banners for my site and start using Display Networks to attract and re-target users.

10. This year, I am going to give some time or money to charity (This is one that should stay on the list). Check out Causeway.org if you need some ideas in the Chattanooga area!

Top 5 Custom Advanced Segments for E-commerce Websites

The “Advanced Segments” feature on Google Analytics has been helping companies optimize website analysis for a few years now, and gurus across the globe have designed their favorite custom segments for all brands of websites. We have a few favorites of our own around here at Delegator, especially for our e-commerce clients. If you are looking for more useful, streamlined filters on your own e-commerce account, here are five custom segments we highly recommend.

1. Visits with Add to CartE-commerce Advanced Segments

Google Analytics has a default segment called "Visits with Transactions." Convenient, right? What we discovered is that we not only love having shoppers roll up to the conveyor belt and checkout, but we also want to know who may have added items to her cart but failed to commit to a full-on transaction. Filtered metrics like these can often give you superior insight, both for debugging purposes and, particularly, for content analysis.

2. Specific Product Purchases

One simple fact of e-commerce is that some items generate higher transaction rates than others. You know your company's hottest items. Customizing this filter will take your product analysis beyond the scope of e-commerce’s “Product Performance.” Now you can dig into AdWords under Traffic Sources and identify the types of keywords that commonly lead to a particular item transaction. This same method can be applied to specific product views, as well, revealing similar data on a wider scope.

3. High Revenue Products

Not only do some items produce higher conversion rates, but some produce higher revenue than others. You need to isolate these items for many purposes, including --but definitely not limited to-- identifying potential revenue skews and improving marketing on these items. These high-dollar products are what you’re banking on, so go ahead and give them their own special segment.

4. Low Revenue Products

This segment is as useful as number 3. Ever wonder how many of your conversions are being sucked up by low-revenue items on your website? Set a low ceiling price in this segment and check out how many viewers are only buying your cheapest products. If this number is high, you may consider redirecting your marketing campaign to a wider audience with more promising high-revenue returns. Additionally, you may reconsider the prominence of low-revenue items on your site in order to draw more attention to higher quality products.

5. Social Networks

While we know that most popular social media sites receive a lot of traffic in general, you ultimately need to know how this is reflected in profit for your business. Is your time spent on social media worth the investment? With a social media filter, you can include any or all social mediums utilized. You may find that some networks are more profitable than others, and some, not at all. Social networks guarantee exposure, but as any good business does, you need to check your actual return on investment.

Thanks to Google Analytics, customizing your own advanced segments is a simple process with great returns. Give these five segments a try, and you may find yourself designing even more streamlined segments that fit your business perfectly. If this does happen, feel free to drop by and share!

Tagging Your Emails for Google Analytics Tracking
In my last post I discussed the basics of campaign tagging and how it can help you track the performance of your inbound links. In my next few posts I’m going to focus on tagging specific mediums starting today with email. In my opinion, email is the most important medium to tag. My reasoning is threefold.

Mail - All Traffic Sources   Google Analytics

First, your analytics will be terribly skewed if you just send out email campaigns and fail to tag them. People using offline mail applications like Microsoft Outlook will click on your links which will open their default browser and go to your site. This will register as a direct visit which is far from the case. Even worse can be online mail providers like Yahoo which will show up as any number of random referral sources like "us.mg1.mail.yahoo.com" and "36ohk6dgmcd.yom.mail.yahoo.net" that would take a lifetime to sort through, consolidate and make any sense out of.

The second reason tagging your emails is important is that your mail provider’s stats only tell part of the story. Typically a mail provider will tell you your email campaign’s open rate, unsubscribe rate, and maybe your click through rate but it stops there. These basic stats are great but what happens after the open, and the click? If you tag the URLs in your email then you can tell what those visitors who clicked through did on your site, and compare it to the other mediums you are using to drive traffic.

Third, if you can’t accurately track visits from your emails how do you plan to measure ROI? Your costs could include mail provider’s fees, design costs, content costs, the cost of your mailing list and at the very least somebody’s valuable time. Tagging your emails allows you to associate visits from email to your ecommerce or conversion events on your website that, if configured correctly in Google Analytics, will have $ values associated with them allowing for some basic return on investment numbers.

So how do you accurately tag your emails using the URL Builder? Before diving in remember that your data in Google Analytics will only be as good as the data you put into your tagging, so be descriptive.

Using the URL Builder, here is how I suggest tagging your email URLs:

Campaign Source:

The source will indicate who sent out your email. If you’re sending it out, use your company name. If your vendor or partner is sending it out for you to their list, use theirs.

Campaign Medium:

This should be “email”. As with every field, make this lower case to keep things consistent.

Campaign Term:

Term doesn't have a great fit for emails but you can always add extra info here if needed (e.g. sending the same email out with 4 subject line variations.)

Campaign Content:

Content will be used to describe the link in the email and help differentiate between multiple links that point to the same page on your site. You might have your homepage linked to from the logo in the header, a text link in the body and again in the footer. For those I would use “header company name logo”, “body company name”, and “footer company name”.

Campaign Name:

This is the name of your email campaign. It could be “june newsletter” or “10 percent off offer” or “widget x product announcement”.

Once you have tagged your links you simply point the actual links in the email (e.g. your logo or text link) to go to your tagged link. After sending out your tagged email you will be able to find your new data under Traffic Sources > Campaigns. Once there, you can drill down on a specific campaign or toggle the secondary column between “Source”, Medium”, or any of the other components of your tagged link to gain insights on what is working and what isn’t in your emails. With Goals and/or Ecommerce properly configured in Google Analytics you can track the conversion rate and revenue of your visitors from your email campaigns and do a quick ROI calculation to compare to other mediums. Overall, tracking the success of email campaigns is an important task for any online marketer and Google Analytics offers a free and relatively easy way of doing so (note that MailChimp is now offering to auto-tag your emails.)

Mad Gravity Chooses Delegator.com to Manage Strategic Web Marketing Goals in 2011

Delegator.com Will Manage, Measure and Optimize Web Marketing for Yaptap.com

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Delegator.com and Mad Gravity announced today that Delegator.com will provide web analytics, search engine optimization, paid search, display advertising, and social media consulting services to Yaptap.com, an enterprise group messaging application that helps organizations with group communication.

“Delegator is pleased to be working with the talented team at Mad Gravity,” said Stephen Culp, CEO of Delegator.com. “Like Delegator, Mad Gravity wears innovation on their sleeve, and understands that the best innovation is the kind that helps customers solve a problem or achieve a goal,” Culp added.  “Yaptap is just such an innovation, and Delegator looks forward to accelerating the growth of its customer base.”

“Yaptap will help a wide range of groups --from churches to schools to businesses-- to be more connected, more informed, and more productive,” said Andrew Scarbrough, Vice President at Delegator and Project Lead.  “Such a great product deserves great marketing, and Delegator is excited about the opportunities and potential of our partnership with Yaptap.”

To lead the effort, Delegator will manage, measure and optimize Mad Gravity’s web marketing strategy and execution.  Delegator will focus on creating quality content, white-hat search engine optimization, and creative pay-per-click advertising.  At the same time, Delegator and Yaptap will cater to Yaptap’s quickly expanding user base through improved performance and web analytics.

“We selected Delegator because we were impressed with the results they’ve been able to consistently achieve for their clients,” said Jeff Cole, Chief Marketing Officer, Mad Gravity. “We needed a top caliber interactive firm to extend our brand message and help drive sales. We believe there is no one better suited for the job.”

About Mad Gravity Mad Gravity developers of Yaptap –  the leading enterprise web and mobile group communications and messaging software, and Youth Assistant the leading youth ministry software solution for more than 10,000 churches across the U.S. and Canada.

About Delegator Delegator.com was born of necessity, as a growing company designed for growing companies.  Founded by a team of successful entrepreneurs, Delegator manages critical on-demand business services like SEO, PPC advertising, social media, local search, web development, video production, ecommerce and web analytics. Delegator’s mission is to help growing companies focus on their mission, and confidently delegate the rest.