The latest news and our thoughts on the ever changing world of analytics, ppc and digital strategy.

What Does (not set) Mean in Analytics?

(Not set) is a name that Analytics uses for dimensions it has received no information on. You can encounter a “(not set)” value within a number of different reports such as the “Keywords” or “Landing Page” listings.

If “(not set)” appears in an AdWords report, it may be because:

  • There is a redirect in the URL.
  • Manually configured campaign tracking added to URLs may be missing a parameter.
  • The Adwords “gclid” parameter is altered or dropped from the ad
  • Auto and manual tagging are used at the same time

If “(not set)” appears in an “organic” search report, it could be that:

  • An incorrectly configured filter is modifying campaign variables or referral patterns
  • “urchin.js” tracking code is used on the landing page (this tracking code is no longer supported)

The most frequently asked question about (not set) is whether there are any ways around it? The good news is that there are a number of ways to minimize the appearance its appearance. The not so good news is that any changes made will only apply to future data and will have no effect on past reports.

Start off by ensuring campaign tracking is not missing any parameters and ensure they do not contain any redirects. It is also worth investigating if the “gclid” element is working properly.


Sharing Google Analytics Dashboards

“Dashboards” within Google Analytics give you an overview on the performance of your web properties by displaying summaries of different reports. Widgets can be added, modified or removed for quick and easy access to various reports to best suit your business needs.

The new feature will make collaboration possible on single dashboards between different members of your team. This will provide a more effective way for teams to create richer reporting and data analysis. Dashboards will be shared in two ways.

The Share dashboard option will make a copy of your dashboard and share it with all users of that particular Analytics account.

The Share a template link will generate a URL that can be sent to other users or saved to a document or uploaded. This second option will only share the settings for the dashboard and not the actual data.

What Does 'Not Provided' Mean in Analytics Reports?

(Not provided) values are caused by searches carried out through SSL (an encrypted connection to the web) – when a user is signed in to a Google account. This prompts Google to hide the search data for security and privacy reasons. Although there are no definitive ways to display the data within the “not provided” set of values, there are ways that can lead to a better understanding of what people are searching for.

One way of understanding the data hidden by “(not provided)” is to have a look at the landing pages for “(not provided)” visits. This way you can get a pretty good idea about what people were looking for by seeing what users clicked through to from the Google search.

Google Webmaster Tools can also shed some light on the matter. It offers a basic overview of keywords that lead visitors to your website along with approximate numbers for clicks and impressions.

Neither of the above techniques is failsafe but if you are losing a considerable amount of statistical data, it’s certainly worth investing some time to assess the problem. There are also other methods for those who desperately need this data, but the process is not that straightforward and can be time consuming.

Adwords to Trial Image Extensions for Search

With search ads continuing to evolve Google has recently announced the beta launch of a new image extension to Adwords.

The new extensions will enable advertisers to associate images with their standard text ads. Images will be shown in cases where Google determines a visual ad would be appropriate.

It's likely to be several months before image extensions become more widely available and functionality may change as Google improve setup and performance. At present interested advertisers can express their interest via completing an online form.

An Introduction to Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels

Tracking people that go on to buy a product from your website, sign up for your newsletter or contact you via an enquiry form is an essential part of monitoring the performance of any website.

Setting up goals in Analytics can help you understand what marketing tactics are working and enable you to identify potential issues or bottlenecks in visitor journeys through your site. Armed with this knowledge you can make informed decisions about your marketing or site design.

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Google Analytics Launches Change History

Google is currently in the process of rolling out a new "Change History" feature to Google Analytics accounts.

Change History will show a summary of changes made to an account over the last 180 days - for example changes made to users, access levels, profiles, goals and filters.

To view an accounts change history you'll need administrator access. Once enabled to access it click onto the ADMIN button towards the top right of the screen and then click on the "Change History" tab.

Common PPC Terms

Not sure of the difference between your CTR and your average CPC? We’ve put together a brief guide to some of the common terms you are likely to come across whilst working with PPC.

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An Introduction to PPC Advertising

Pay Per Click – often abbreviated to "PPC" – is an internet advertising model used to direct people to websites. Unlike traditional advertising, where you are charged simply to display your advert, pay per click only costs you anything when somebody actively clicks your ad and visits your website.

PPC advertising appears on a wide range of websites, social media and on search engines such as Google or Yahoo. In the UK the most widely used PPC platform is Adwords – Google’s advertising program.

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6 Ways to Evaluate Your PPC Agency

Many agencies do a great job of managing PPC advertising but there are times when a change can be warranted. We’ve put together a list of 6 things to consider when appraising your current agency.

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What Are The Costs of Running a PPC Campaign?

When thinking about costs for a pay per click (“PPC”) campaign it’s important to consider both the advertising component – what you’ll pay to the likes of Google or Bing – and agency fees for setting up, optimising and managing your campaigns.

It may not always be necessary to outsource your PPC advertising to an agency but in many cases there can be good reasons for doing so.

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