Improving PPC Campaigns With Google Analytics

Published August 27, 2014
Whether you’re running pay-per-click campaigns as an agency professional or as an in-house marketer, Google Analytics offers invaluable insight to show you how people are engaging with your site after the all-important ad click. By analyzing this data, you can identify places for improvement, determining ways to edit campaigns to reduce costs, improve performance on your site from ad visitors, and, ultimately, increase conversions.
Below we will focus primarily on Google AdWords, as it is the most popular PPC platform for many marketing professionals. Thankfully, to begin working with this data, Google makes the process of integrating Adwords and Analytics data fairly simple.
Let’s dig in!

Properly Attributing Lead Sources with Multi-Channel Funnels

Published August 22, 2014
Where do your best leads come from?
That’s a critical question for every marketer, agency and business owner. And as the resident analytics guru, it usually falls to you to answer that question.
Unfortunately, it can be a frustratingly difficult one, particularly when our customers don’t convert on their first visit. For example, a new customer may have visited your site via organic search when he made a purchase. However, his first visit to your site came yesterday via a PPC ad. Reporting on only the last click means not reporting the correct story.
How can you properly credit the PPC ad as the source of this customer and not attribute him to organic search? In Google Analytics, the multi-channel funnel reports can be a big help.

Top Reports for Analyzing Organic Traffic

Published August 20, 2014
Among all the ways people reach your site, organic search traffic sends many of the most valuable visitors to your business. That’s because organic search attracts people who are specifically looking for the products or services you offer, and gives you the opportunity to show yourself as “the best answer” through targeted content and messaging. This opportunity means that, of all your visitors, those attracted from organic search may be the most likely to become customers, so it is important to have a strategy in place for reaching them.
An effective organic search strategy begins with a thorough understanding of how people are finding your site in the first place, and discovering where you can make improvements to further engage them. Thankfully, there are a number of useful Google Analytics reports and segments to help you gain insight into organic visitors.

Resolving Differences in Data between Google AdWords and Analytics

Published August 15, 2014
If your organization uses both Google AdWords and Google Analytics, you’ve probably noticed differences in the data they report. We’ve all struggled to reconcile the clicks reported by AdWords with the traffic stats we see in Analytics. We’ve all wondered why the PPC team reports higher conversion rates from AdWords than we are seeing in Google Analytics.
It's not quite like comparing apples and oranges, but AdWords and Analytics do report data differently. As the resident data guru in our organizations, we need to dig into the meaning of the statistics reported by each to understand these differences. With a little investigation, we can resolve the differences in the data these tools report, explain those differences to our organizations and ensure that business decisions are made based on a proper understanding of the data.

Translating Web Analytics Requests

Published August 13, 2014
Whether you’re an in-house analytics expert or a web marketing professional working for an agency, it is your job to help your team understand how the website and/or their marketing is performing. That means fielding questions from people who care about what’s happening, but who don’t know what data to look at themselves or even that the data exists in the first place.
For example, your internal sales leader may be knowledgeable in forecasting revenue and building out a quarterly plan, but he or she may not know how to find the most applicable stats in Google Analytics or that there is even information in Google Analytics that could help create that plan.
Below are a few questions your CEO or marketing manager may ask to learn how a website is performing. As an analytics professional, it’s your job to translate their request and point him or her in the direction of stats that matter.

Advantages and Uses of Google Analytics Filters

Published August 8, 2014
Have you ever looked at your Google Analytics reports and wished you could exclude some of the traffic to get a clearer picture of what really matters? Maybe you want to exclude visits from your company employees. Or focus visits on only one part of your website.
Filters provide the solution.
Using Filters, you can create specialized Views to focus in on important portions of your website traffic, allowing you to filter or modify the data you are collecting. In this post, we discuss the advantages of Filters and how to create them to solve some common problems.

Megalytic Upgrade - August 2014

Published August 7, 2014
We have recently released an upgrade to Megalytic that is packed with enhancements and new features. Here are a few of the highlights:
  • Improved text formatting for comments and cover pages.
  • Compare multiple websites in a single graph or table.
  • Custom metrics you can create to track important ratios.
  • Filtering now available on all widgets.

Login or create a free trial account to check it out.

Frequent Mistakes in Google Analytics Setup

Published August 6, 2014
For the most part, setting up Google Analytics on a basic site is a fairly simple process. Just walk through a few steps to build your account, copy a tracking code and paste it into your site. Thanks to real-time analytics, you can see sessions showing up on your site instantly.
However, as you seek to measure results from your website over time, problems can occur with the data you see. You may not be aware that sessions are coming from the wrong source, or you may inadvertently have sessions coming from your own office skewing data. Take some time to review your account and your tracking code setup, making sure you’re not making any of these mistakes or leaving any data on the table.

Consistent Tagging for Better Campaign Tracking

Published August 1, 2014
Your campaign tracking is a mess. Or, at least it could be better. That cross platform integrated campaign is using different tags on email, social and AdWords, making it nearly impossible to track its performance in Google Analytics.
We’ve all suffered when trying to figure out how to properly tag campaigns to produce useful reports. There is a learning curve. Tracking integrated campaigns means having an organized system for tagging and getting everyone (including ourselves) on the same page.
This post provides tips for tagging consistency to better track your campaigns in Google Analytics. The ultimate goal is for us to be able to track which campaigns are most effectively bringing in customers.


Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.