In a number of previous articles we've talked about the problem of spam referrals appearing within Google Analytics data. This problem now appears to be growing exponentially and without taking steps to exclude this data from your reports (changing your tracking / configuration within Google Analytics or using advanced segments to remove this data) your reports and any insights derived from them could become meaningless - or worse still highly misleading.
If your site uses a site search facility you will probably want to know what your users are looking for.
This kind of information can be particularly helpful in two areas:
- Mining for keywords – it’s likely that people will use the same search terms on your website as they are using in a search engine so knowing what they are looking for can help you create keywords lists for better targeted paid advertising campaigns as well as SEO
- Optimizing landing pages – visitors might use the site search on a landing page if they are having issues in finding relevant content. This can flag potential navigational issues with your site.
Bounce rate is a key engagement level statistic that many website owners rightly pay a lot of attention to. If you are unfamiliar with the concept then a bounce occurs if someone lands on your website and then leaves without any further interaction (e.g. clicking through to another page). The bounce rate is simply the percentage of visitors that leave.
"Out of the box" Google Analytics captures a wide range of visitor activity on your site. By default data is collected for each page view generated.
Sometimes however you’ll need to track additional interactions – for example visitors playing videos, downloading files, progress through complex forms where URLs don’t change or clicking onto outbound links. To do so Google Analytics offers two tracking options – to either capture such interactions as “events” or “virtual page views”. Tracking can be configured programmatically on your site or using customisable ‘tags’ within Google Tag Manager. So which should you choose and what’s the difference between them?
Seeing a sudden, unexpected and potentially dramatic rise in your traffic or other unexplained changes in patterns of traffic or engagement within Google Analytics? Even if nothing appears untoward we'd advise you to check your referrals and hostname reports to see whether you've been affected by either spam or ghost referrals.
Treemap reports allow you to visualise your data with a primary metric denoted by area (the larger the area occupied the higher the metric value) and a secondary value shown via colour coding (with green good and red poor).
With the remarkable rise in online retail competition is now tougher than ever. On top of this, consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and demanding so retailers have to work extra hard to adapt their services to ever changing online shopping patterns.
With new features regularly popping up within Google Analytics it can sometimes be hard to keep up to date with all the new tools and options available.
Benchmarking reports allow you to compare your data with aggregated industry data from other companies in your industry. This matters because it provides a valuable context to your business by helping you get insight into trends occurring across your industry, and finding out how you are doing compared to your competition.
On first glance - seeing a page depth of less than 1 - the assumption is often that this must be due to bot traffic or that somehow analytics didn't load a page view properly.