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Deciding How to Represent Website Data – Part 2: Segmenting Aggregate Data

Published February 27, 2015
Web analytics guru Avinash Kaushik famously wrote that all data in aggregate is "crap". Time on site. All visits. Total revenue. None of it tells a good story. As Avinash says, the only way to get insight from data is to segment it into parts.
For example, it is mildly useful to know a website receives 15,000 Sessions (visits) per month. That aggregate metric gives you a rough idea of the scale, however, not much else. If you knew that over 50% of those Sessions came from Organic Search, then you’d start to get some insight into what makes the website tick. Clearly, content marketing and SEO are an important part of the story for such a website.
Breaking down Sessions by Acquisition Channel (e.g., Organic Search, Referral, Social, etc) is an example of how we can start segmenting aggregate data – Avinash’s recommended path to enlightenment.
But once you are enlightened, how do you communicate those insights to others? Using the right data visualization helps.
In Part 1 of our series on representing website data, we looked at different ways to visualize time-series web analytics data. In this, the second part of a three-part series, we look at aggregate data for fixed periods of time – how to segment it and how to best represent the segmented data to communicate your insights.

 

Deciding How to Represent Website Data - Part 1: Bar Graphs, Line Charts, Tables

Published February 20, 2015
Some people have really strong opinions about charts – or more specifically, about data visualization. Pie charts seem to get folks particularly riled up. In fact, Steve Fenton declared there are many, many reasons to despise pie charts. On the other hand, Bruce Gabrielle maintains those who cry for the death of pie charts are flat out wrong. He argues pie charts deserve your respect.
While I’m not going to weigh in on the great pie-chart debate, I do believe selecting the right data visualization tool for the job is important when creating digital marketing reports.
It is important because, for your analytics insights to have an impact, they must first be understood. Whether your audience is a client, your boss, or your internal marketing department, selecting the right chart will help you communicate the data more effectively.
This is the first post in a three-part series where we will break out common analytics reporting situations and identify the best approaches to representing the data (yes, sometimes it may even be a pie chart).
Part I of this series looks at how to visualize time series data. Part II examines segmenting data for a single time period. Part III looks at how to best present data to compare performance across time periods.

 

Combining Google Analytics with Facebook Insights for Better Marketing

Published February 18, 2015
You may already know that Facebook Insights can provide you with demographic data about the people who like and engage with your page. But did you know you can use Google Analytics to compare that data with insights about the people who actually click through to your website?
Did you just get really excited? Us, too.
Informing Google Analytics with Facebook Insights allows you to refine messaging and ad targeting to more strategically reach the people who are most likely to engage with your brand. So, what data can you see about your audience in Facebook Insights, and how can you connect this data to the people who come to your website? We’ll walk you through it below.

 

Building an Ecommerce Report in Megalytic

Published February 13, 2015
You need to produce a report showing your website’s Ecommerce performance. As long as you have Ecommerce tracking set up in Google Analytics, you’ll have transaction and product data showing up in your account. But, how do you use that data to pull a report together, the kind of report that tracks not only the revenue earned on the website but where that revenue is coming from?
You could cut and paste from Google Analytics. Or, you could export data from Google Analytics to Excel, build your own charts and tables, and pull everything together into a report in MS Word. But, that’s a lot of tedious work. And then, you’ll just have to do it all over again next month.
Luckily, Megalytic allows you to put together Ecommerce reports quickly and easily using widgets specifically designed for Ecommerce reporting. And once the report is created, you can easily keep it up to date each month with just a few clicks.
Go ahead, breathe that sigh of relief.
In this post, we explore the Ecommerce widgets in Megalytic and show how you can use them to construct a report.

 

Reviewing Analytics Reports with Your Client

Published February 11, 2015
Presenting the right data to a client is crucial in communicating your work and educating them about the state of their marketing. But simply creating the report is not enough. You need to have a plan for how you’ll deliver the information – paying attention to report formatting, sending frequency and, most importantly, how you will review reports with your clients.
Let’s look at the options for formatting and scheduling reports in Megalytic, keeping in mind that you can customize the process for your clients.

 

Top Monthly Report Templates in Megalytic

Published February 10, 2015
Your boss just called. He wants a monthly summary report showing how the website is doing compared with the month prior. That’s it. No further explanation on what, specifically, he wants to see. No conversation about goals or the campaign elements he’s most interested in. “Summary report” – that’s all you’ve got to go on.
What do you do?
We’ve all been there, and it can be a little disconcerting. Management, marketing, clients – they often need reports but can’t yet tell you exactly what data they want. They are looking to you, as the data expert, to show them the data they should be looking at. You must decipher the request and determine what to show.
Luckily, Megalytic can help by offering a variety of built-in templates to get you started creating reports. Our templates have been designed based on our experience with the reports most commonly sought out by agencies, in-house marketers and business owners.
In this post, we take a look at some of these templates, how to use them to get started and how to customize them to suit your needs.

 

Tracking Revenue from Facebook Visitors using Google Analytics Goals

Published February 4, 2015
You use Facebook to build a loyal brand following and to drive traffic to the content on your website. As previously covered in our article on tracking Facebook users with Google Analytics there is a lot of information to be gleaned in your analytics about who these users are and how they are engaging with your content.
However, as a savvy marketer, you want to do more than simply track Facebook users. You want to look at the value Facebook is helping to drive for your brand.
In this post, we’ll look at how you can define conversions that have a monetary value. These conversions can be connected directly with dollar amounts in Google Analytics using Ecomerce Tracking or Goal Values. We look at using Goal Values to attribute revenue to conversions from Facebook traffic.

 

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

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.

 

 

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.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.