Reduce Bounce Rates: Ready to Fix Your Conversion Problem?

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: Reduce Bounce Rates: Ready to Fix Your Conversion Problem?
Technically, a “bounce” is a visitor that looks at only one page, or a visitor that spends an embarrassingly shor…

Having trouble viewing the text? You can always read the original article here: Reduce Bounce Rates: Ready to Fix Your Conversion Problem?

Technically, a “bounce” is a visitor that looks at only one page, or a visitor that spends an embarrassingly short time on the page. Keep reading to find out how to reduce bounce rates. A bounce is any visit for which the visitor only looks at one page and does not interact with it. This […]

The post Reduce Bounce Rates: Ready to Fix Your Conversion Problem? appeared first on Conversion Sciences.

How to show Lighthouse Scores in Google Sheets with a custom function

Learn how to use machine learning to streamline your reporting workflows right within Google Sheets.

The post How to show Lighthouse Scores in Google Sheets with a custom function appeared first on Marketing Land.

Automation and machine learning have tremendous potential to help all of us in marketing. But at the moment a lot of these tools are inaccessible to people who can’t code or who can code a bit but aren’t really that comfortable with it.

What often happens is that there ends up being one or two people in the office who are comfortable with writing and editing code and then these people produce scripts and notebooks that everyone else runs. The workflow looks a bit like this:

I will show you a simple way to streamline this workflow to remove the steps where people need to run a script and format the output. Instead they can run the automation directly from within Google Sheets.

The example I will show you is for a Sheets custom function that returns the Lighthouse score for a URL like in this gif:

The method I will show you isn’t the only way of doing this, but it does illustrate a much more general technique that can be used for many things, including machine learning algorithms.

There are two parts:

  1. A Google Cloud Run application that will do the complicated stuff (in this case run a Lighthouse test) and that will respond to HTTP requests.
  2. An Appscript custom function that will make requests to the API you created in step 1 and return the results into the Google Sheet.

Cloud run applications

Cloud Run is a Google service that takes a docker image that you provide and makes it available over HTTP. You only pay when an HTTP request is made, so for a service like this that isn’t being used 24/7 it is very cheap. The actual cost will depend on how much you use it, but I would estimate less than $1 per month to run thousands of tests.

The first thing we need to do is make a Docker image that will perform the Lighthouse analysis when we make an HTTP request to it. Luckily for us there is some documentation showing how to run a Lighthouse audit programatically on Github. The linked code saves the analysis to a file rather than returning the response over HTTP, but this is easy to fix by wrapping the whole thing in an Express app like this:

const express = require('express');
const app = express();
const lighthouse = require('lighthouse');
const chromeLauncher = require('chrome-launcher');

app.get('/', async (req, res) => {
    // Check that the url query parameter exists
    if(req.query && req.query.url) {
        // decode the url
        const url = decodeURIComponent(req.query.url)    
        const chrome = await chromeLauncher.launch({chromeFlags: ['--headless', '--no-sandbox','--disable-gpu']});
        const options = {logLevel: 'info', output: 'html', port: chrome.port};
        const runnerResult = await lighthouse(url, options);

        await chrome.kill();
        res.json(runnerResult.lhr)
    }
});

const port = process.env.PORT || 8080;
app.listen(port, () => {
  console.log(`Listening on port ${port}`);
});

Save this code as index.js.

Then you will also need a file called package.json which describes how to install the above application and a Dockerfile so we can wrap everything up in Docker. All the code files are available on Github.

package.json
{
    "name": "lighthouse-sheets",
    "description": "Backend API for putting Lighthouse scores in Google sheets",
    "version": "1.0.0",
    "author": "Richard Fergie",
    "license": "MIT",
    "main": "index.js",
    "scripts": {
        "start": "node index.js"
    },
    "dependencies": {
        "express": "^4.17.1",
        "lighthouse": "^6.3"
    },
    "devDependencies": {}
}
Dockerfile
# Use the official lightweight Node.js 10 image.
# https://hub.docker.com/_/node
FROM node:12-slim

# Our container needs to have chrome installed to
# run the lighthouse tests
RUN apt-get update && apt-get install -y \
  apt-transport-https \
  ca-certificates \
  curl \
  gnupg \
  --no-install-recommends \
  && curl -sSL https://dl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | apt-key add - \
  && echo "deb https://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list \
  && apt-get update && apt-get install -y \
  google-chrome-stable \
  fontconfig \
  fonts-ipafont-gothic \
  fonts-wqy-zenhei \
  fonts-thai-tlwg \
  fonts-kacst \
  fonts-symbola \
  fonts-noto \
  fonts-freefont-ttf \
  --no-install-recommends \
  && apt-get purge --auto-remove -y curl gnupg \
  && rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/*


# Create and change to the app directory.
WORKDIR /usr/src/app

# Copy application dependency manifests to the container image.
# A wildcard is used to ensure copying both package.json AND package-lock.json (when available).
# Copying this first prevents re-running npm install on every code change.
COPY package*.json ./

# Install production dependencies.
# If you add a package-lock.json, speed your build by switching to 'npm ci'.
# RUN npm ci --only=production
RUN npm install --only=production

# Copy local code to the container image.
COPY . ./

# Run the web service on container startup.
CMD [ "node", "--unhandled-rejections=strict","index.js" ]

Build the docker image and then you can test things locally on your own computer like this:

First start the image:

docker run -p 8080:8080 lighthouse-sheets

And then test to see if it works:

curl -v "localhost:8080?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com"

Or visit localhost:8080?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com in your browser. You should see a lot of JSON.

The next step is to push your image to the Google Container registry. For me, this is a simple command:

docker push gcr.io/MY_PROJECT_ID/lighthouse-sheets

But you might have to setup the docker authentication first before you can do this. An alternative method is the use Google Cloud Build to make the image; this might work better for you if you can’t get the authentication working.

Next you need to create a Cloud Run service with this docker image.

Open Cloud Run and click “Create service”

Name and adjust settings. You must give your service a name and configure a few other settings:

It is best to pick a region that is close to where most of the audience for your sites live. Checking the site speed for a UK site from Tokyo won’t give you the same results as what your audience get.

In order for you to call this service from Google Sheets it must allow unauthenticated invocations. If you’re worried about locking down and securing the service to prevent other people from using it you will have to do this by (for example) checking from an API secret in the HTTP request or something like that.

Next you must select the container you made earlier. You can type in the name if you remember it or click “Select” and choose it from the menu.

Then click “Show Advanced Settings” because there is further configuration to do.

You need to increase the memory allocation because Lighthouse tests need more than 256Mb to run. I have chosen 1GiB here but you might need the maximum allowance of 2GiB for some sites.

I have found that reducing the concurrency to 1 improves the reliability of the service. This means Google will automatically start a new container for each HTTP request. The downside is that this costs slightly more money.

Click “Create” and your Cloud Run service will be ready shortly.

You can give it a quick test using the URL. For example:

curl -v "https://lighthouse-sheets-public-v4e5t2rofa-nw.a.run.app?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com"

Or visit https://lighthouse-sheets-public-v4e5t2rofa-nw.a.run.app?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.example.com in your browser.

The next step is to write some Appscript so you can use your new API from within Google Sheets.

Open a new Google Sheet and the open up the Appscript editor.

This will open a new tab where you can code your Google Sheets custom function.

The key idea here is to use the Appscript UrlFetchApp function to perform the HTTP request to your API. Some basic code to do this looks like this:

function LIGHTHOUSE(url) {
  const BASE_URL = "https://lighthouse-sheets-public-v4e5t2rofa-nw.a.run.app"
  var request_url = BASE_URL+"?url="+encodeURIComponent(url)
  var response = UrlFetchApp.fetch(request_url)
  var result = JSON.parse(response.getContentText())
  return(result.categories.performance.score * 100)
}

The last line returns the overall performance score into the sheet. You could edit it to return something else. For example to get the SEO score use result.categories.seo.score instead.

Or you can return multiple columns of results by returning a list like this:

[result.categories.performance.score, result.categoryies.seo.score]

Save the file and then you will have a custom function available in your Google Sheet called LIGHTHOUSE.

The easiest way to get started with this is to copy my example Google Sheet and then update the code yourself to point at your own API and to return the Lighthouse results you are most interested in.

Enhance your spreadsheet know-how

The great thing about this method is that it can work for anything that can be wrapped in a Docker container and return a result within 30 seconds. Unfortunately Google Sheets custom functions have a timeout so you won’t have long enough to train some massive deep learning algorithm, but that still leaves a lot that you can do.

I use a very similar process for my Google Sheets addon Forecast Forge, but instead of returning a Lighthouse score it returns a machine learning powered forecast for whatever numbers you put into it.

The possibilities for this kind of thing are really exciting because in Search Marketing we have a lot of people who are very good with spreadsheets. I want to see what they can do when they can use all their spreadsheet knowledge and enhance it with machine learning.

This story first appeared on Search Engine Land.

https://searchengineland.com/how-to-show-lighthouse-scores-in-google-sheets-with-a-custom-function-343464

The post How to show Lighthouse Scores in Google Sheets with a custom function appeared first on Marketing Land.

The Perils of Using Google Analytics User Counts in A/B Testing

Many analysts, marketers, product managers, UX and CRO professionals nowadays rely on user counts provided by Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or similar tools, in order to perform various statistical analyses. Such analyses may involve the statistic…

Many analysts, marketers, product managers, UX and CRO professionals nowadays rely on user counts provided by Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, or similar tools, in order to perform various statistical analyses. Such analyses may involve the statistical hypothesis tests and estimations part of A/B testing, and may also include regressions and predictive models (LTV, churn, etc.). […] Read More...

The Effect of Using Cardinality Estimates Like HyperLogLog in Statistical Analyses

This article will examine the effects of using the HyperLogLog++ (HLL++) cardinality estimation algorithm in applications where its output serves as input for statistical calculations. A prominent example of such a scenario can be found in online contr…

This article will examine the effects of using the HyperLogLog++ (HLL++) cardinality estimation algorithm in applications where its output serves as input for statistical calculations. A prominent example of such a scenario can be found in online controlled experiments (online A/B tests) where key performance measures are often based on the number of unique users, […] Read More...

Step-by-Step Guide for Google Analytics 2016

Google Analytics stands apart in a league of its own as the best tool for understanding your web traffic and conversions. Yet, as the best tool, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out. In this article, we first look at how you set up an account in Google Analytics, and then we look […]

The post Step-by-Step Guide for Google Analytics 2016 appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

Step-by-Step Guide for Google Analytics 2016

Google Analytics stands apart in a league of its own as the best tool for understanding your web traffic and conversions.

Yet, as the best tool, it can be confusing and overwhelming to figure out.

In this article, we first look at how you set up an account in Google Analytics, and then we look at some more advanced tips for making it work for you.

Here’s your step-by-step guide for Google Analytics:

Get Started

To make use of the wide reporting options, you first need to set up an account. Follow these straightforward steps:

  1. Visit Google Analytics.
  2. If you don’t have a Gmail address, you’ll need to create one.
  3. If you do have a Gmail address, simply sign in to your account.
  4. Once inside Google Analytics, name your account with your company name, website name and provide your website’s URL.
  5. Google will then provide you with tracking code. You’ll want to copy this code and insert it into all of the pages of your website. You can either add it yourself to your html code, or if you’re using WordPress, use a plugin to do it for you.
  6. Give it a few days before you start looking at reports.

Now that you’ve got the set up done, let’s dive into the advanced tips.

Set Up Goals

You want to track your conversions, so you will use conversion goals to measure them.

Setting up goals allows you to dig deep into the performance of your website. You’ll learn if your website visitors are actually doing what you want them to do.

To set up your goals, we recommend using the SMART method.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time based

You want to be extra sure that your goals are measurable.

So, the first thing you want to do is decide the action that defines a specific conversion on your website. Google Analytics then uses your goals to track the conversion. Once the goal is achieved, the conversion is logged.

Some examples of goals include:

  • Purchase
  • Newsletter sign up
  • Online registration
  • Information request
  • Download

Next, you want to either create or decide on a destination page. For example, if you want your user to sign up for your newsletter (this is the goal), then the destination page would be the thank you page they land on after completing the task.

This tells Google Analytics that your website visitor completed your form.

Once you’ve got your goal and your destination page, you can set up Goal Tracking.

  1. Visit the Admin tab.
  2. In the View column, click Goal.
  3. Click on +New Goal.
  4. Select a template that meets your needs. Choose from Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry and Engagement. These are shown to you based on your industry.
  5. Click continue to name your goal.
  6. Choose how you will track your goals. In most instances, you’ll use your destination page.
  7. Click continue and paste in the URL of your destination page.

Measure Conversions

Your Goals are set, and Google Analytics will get to work recording your conversions.

It’s now time to measure your website conversions. Deciphering your reports can be confusing. Here’s how to view them.

You’ll notice a Goal Conversion Rate. This shows the percentage of your page visits that resulted in the conversion you defined in your goal.

This is a key part of your reporting as this is perhaps the best indicator to gauge the effectiveness of your page.

For example, if your conversion rate is high, you’re obviously bringing in good website traffic. This means you’re doing something right.

Yet, if your conversion rate is low, you need to change something on your website. It could be the image, headline, text, call to action, colors, etc. A low conversion rate means you aren’t meeting the needs of your customers.

It’s ideal when you see your goal conversion rate continue to increase over time. This means you’ve refined your landing pages for the best conversion rates.

Next, take a look at your Goal Completions. This number shows you exactly how many website visitors converted. This is a tangible number you can use in your marketing reports.

Third, you want to look at the Goal Value. This is very simple – it’s the monetary value of your conversions.

Conversions are great, but the Goal Value number tells you what each of those conversions is worth to you monetarily.

Understand Your Audience

Now, we’re going to touch on how to evaluate your audience in Google Analytics. Why is this important?

It lets you know if you’re reaching the right people in the right way. You’ll learn things about your website visitors such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Browsers
  • Mobile Devices

On the left-hand side in Google Analytics, you’ll see the category for your Audience. Open each of these sections, paying special attention to Demographics and Geo.

Get familiar with your Acquisition report as well. This report shows you how your website visitors arrived on your site.

This helps you know if it was email, social media, organic or pay-per-click.

Discovering the data in these reports helps you learn what works best for driving traffic to your website to help you increase your goal conversions.

Your audience reports can also tell you how many page views your website had. For example, if a visitor landed on your site and visited five pages, you can see where he went.

You can also view the number of new and returning visitors.

Think about your website goals. Are you after new or returning visitors? This is where you’ll see if you’re meeting your goals.

Take a look at your visitor flow as well. This helps you see where people came from.

To Conclude

In this guide, we’ve touched on just a few of the many things Google Analytics has to offer.

Once you’ve set up Google Analytics on your website, you have access to an abundance of information.

You want to use that information to make changes and additions to your website so you can continue to improve your conversion rate.

You’ll find it relatively easy to set up Google Analytics and view your first set of simple reports.

We do encourage you to get started with Goals as they can really help you gauge your conversion rate. Use our advanced tips to get started and stick with it.

The more you use Google Analytics, the more comfortable with it you’ll become.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by tracking your conversions in Google Analytics? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

We’ll provide you with our FREE site performance analysis so we can work on your landing page conversion rates.

Image: Louis Llerna

The post Step-by-Step Guide for Google Analytics 2016 appeared first on Landing Page Optimization Blog.

The Best Google Analytics Reports for Improving Websites

Google Analytics isn’t just for knowing how much traffic your website is getting, your top pages, and how your traffic sources and marketing efforts are performing. Nope. There is an even better use for it!…

best google analytics reports

Google Analytics isn’t just for knowing how much traffic your website is getting, your top pages, and how your traffic sources and marketing efforts are performing. Nope. There is an even better use for it!

It’s also really important to use it to help improve your website – so it converts many more visitors into sales, leads or subscribers. But unfortunately Google Analytics can be a little daunting at times, particularly with seemingly endless reports to check out and analyze. Where should you start for best results?

To help you make sense of this, I’ve created a list of the best Google Analytics (GA) reports so you can quickly gain more insights into your website performance and what needs improving most. I have also recently included a video of me walking you through these great reports. Let’s get started…

The best Google Analytics reports to improve your website

Update: Watch a video of me guiding you through these key Google Analytics reports

Last year I created a premium video about these best Google Analytics reports. It was originally part of a paid membership but I have decided to now include it on this article for everyone to watch for free. In this video you will also learn how to create a Google Analytics dashboard for these reports. Enjoy!

Check the landing pages report for pages with high bounce rates and low conversion rates
Your top landing pages (entry pages) are crucial to optimize because they often get very high levels of traffic, and are the first pages your visitors see on your website. If visitors don’t find what they are looking for or are confused, they will leave your website often within just 5 seconds!

To improve your website with this report, pull up the your landing pages report for the last 30 days (found under ‘Behavior > Site Content > Landing pages’).  Then see which pages out of the top 10 have highest bounce rate (over 50% is high) and which have lower than website average goal conversion rate (both indicated below in yellow) – these are indicators of poorly performing pages on your website.

Then optimize these poor page performers first – improving headlines, benefits, imagery and call-to-action buttons are some of the best ways to do this. Optimizing these helps increase visitor engagement and increases the chances of them converting for your key website goals. You should also ensure you show your unique value proposition more prominently on them.

Google Analytics landing pages report bounce rate and conversion rate

Analyze your Funnel Visualization report for high-drop off rates and optimize
It doesn’t matter how good your website is if visitors struggle to get through your checkout or sign-up flow pages. To understand how well your visitors complete that process, its vital you check your Funnel Visualization report. On this report (found under ‘Conversions > Goals > Funnel Visualization’) you can see how many visitors get through each page of your funnel (like your billing page), and which pages are most problematic – even where they go if they go to another page.

You need to pay great attention to any pages with a high drop off rate (more than 40%) and optimize those first – adding security seals and risk reducers, reducing distractions like header navigation, and improving error handling often work well. Improving these pages will greatly increase your conversion rate, and therefore your sales or signups.

Google Analytics funnel visualization report

Note: Obviously you will need to have made sure you have setup your goals for your website adequately, including adding key pages in your goal flows. Here is a great guide on setting goals up.

Check your traffic overview report for poor performing traffic sources
Improving the quality and quantity of your traffic has huge impact on your website conversion rates, sales or leads, and its vital you gain insights into traffic performance and optimize the major sources.

To help you gain greater insights into this, pull up the ‘Channels’ report as Google calls it (found under ‘Acquisition > Channels) and check which of your top 10 traffic sources (channels) have high bounce rates (over 50%), or a goal conversion rate that is much lower than your website average. This is particularly important to do for any source that you are paying for like paid search or display advertising, as you will need to optimize these quickly to reduce your wasted spending.

You should also look for traffic sources that seem low or missing from the top 10 channels. For example, you may find your email traffic source isn’t as high as you had hoped for or isn’t converting well, so you should optimize your email marketing campaigns as soon as possible.

Google Analytics acquisition overview report

Note: You may even find your email marketing campaigns are not being attributed correctly to the email traffic channel, which can be fixed by using campaign tracking codes for your emails. I highly recommend doing this to monitor the success of your email marketing efforts.

Discover insights from your organic search ‘not provided’ keywords

You have probably noticed that when you look at your top organic search keywords report that a very high percentage of them are ‘not provided’. This is because users are often logged in to Google when they search and they won’t share their keywords with you for privacy reasons.

Instead of just giving up, you can actually gain insights about what these ‘not provided’ keywords are likely to be. You can do this by finding out which landing pages are most often arrived on from keyword searches. Simply go to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages, and then filter the report for top ‘clicks’ (click on that column header). This shows you which pages visitors are most often seeing when they arrive via keywords. You will then often be able to infer which of your keywords relate to these pages (especially when you cross reference it with your keywords that are provided in your organic search keywords report).

For example, my top organic search landing page is actually this article you are reading, and when I look at my top keywords searches, I see that ‘best google analytics reports’ shows up in my top 10 search keywords, so that is likely to be the keyword that drives me the most traffic. This organic search landing pages report also shows other very useful metrics like conversion rate for goals, so you can also infer how well your keywords are converting – something that no other SEO tool can tell you either.

How to find 'not provided' keywords in Google Analytics

Use the mobile overview report for tablet/mobile insights
Mobile traffic is bigger than ever before, often accounting for over 40% of total website traffic depending on your type of website – and these visitors have very different needs due to smaller screen sizes, and often convert much lower than regular website traffic.

To understand your mobile traffic, and its performance, you need to check your ‘mobile overview’ report (found under Audience > Mobile > Overview). Here you need to see just how high your traffic levels are for both mobile and tablet devices, and see what the conversion rate for each is. If conversion rate is much lower for any, you need to check your website on that device for key issues and fix them immediately – in particular ensure you have a mobile optimized version of your website.

Note that mobile conversion rates are often lower than desktop conversion rates because these visitors are often just browsing when they are not at home and not ready to purchase or sign up, but anything under 0.50% mobile conversion rate is considered very low.

Google Analytics mobile overview report

Check the exit pages report to find problematic pages
You also need to find out which pages are most often causing your visitors to leave (called an ‘exit’ page) – and improve and optimize those too.

To find these top exit pages, check your ‘exit pages’ report (found under ‘Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages). In particular look for any pages that shouldn’t be in the top 10, and try to figure out why so many people exit your site on them. Also look for pages with especially high exit rate (over 50%), as this often indicates problems. I recommend that you also use Hotjar to gain insights into why visitors are leaving on these pages.

A few ways to improve these top exit pages is by using and optimizing call-to-action buttons at the end of them (the wording and style of them in particular), and try using exit intent popups to show a great incentive (discounts/free guides etc) before visitors leave your website.

Google Analytics exit pages report

Analyze the top pages report for key missing pages and high exit rates
Your top pages report can contain some real gems for insights – and not just what your top 10 pages currently are. You can find this report under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages.

First check if any of your top pages have high exit rates (over 50%) and optimize those as soon as possible. You should also to check if any pages relating to your key goals seem missing from this report or have low traffic. For example, perhaps few people are visiting your important ‘why us’ or benefits page – making links more prominent to these pages will hopefully drive more traffic to them and increase the sales or leads coming from them.

Google Analytics top pages report

Check the browser report for poor conversion rate performers
Your webpages can sometimes look slightly different or even break in some browsers (often due to small differences in how browsers show CSS code). This can unknowingly cause you many lost sales or leads.

To make sure this isn’t negatively impacting your website, you need to regular check the ‘Browser & OS’ report (found under ‘Audience > Technology) and make sure your conversion rates aren’t much lower for any browsers. If you see ones on this report that are much lower, you should go ahead and check for technical problems like CSS rendering issues and fix them immediately.

Google Analytics browser report

These are the simpler reports, there’s many advanced ones too

These are just some of the simpler Google Analytics reports that will help you improve your website. Here are a couple of the many more advanced ones to learn about:

  • Using the ‘Converters’ visitor segment to figure out the behavior of people who convert for your main website goals (sales/leads etc).
  • Using the ‘Site Search’ report to find pages causing most amount of internal searches (indicates visitors not finding what they need).

If you are interested in learning more about these advanced GA reports, simply comment and let me know.

No time to analyze Google Analytics reports or not good at it?

If you don’t have time or the skills to gain insights from your Google Analytics reports you should check out my ‘Google Analytics Insights’ service – I’m sure you will find it useful for  improving your website.

Google Analytics: How to Set Up a Simple Goal

Google Analytics provides a great feature for website owners to be able to track specific campaigns, also called a goal. It can be places on pages, forms, or anything you are wanting to track for to see if a campaign has an effective website conversion. It also tracks how the visitor arrived to the area…

The post Google Analytics: How to Set Up a Simple Goal appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

google-analytics-thumbnailGoogle Analytics provides a great feature for website owners to be able to track specific campaigns, also called a goal. It can be places on pages, forms, or anything you are wanting to track for to see if a campaign has an effective website conversion. It also tracks how the visitor arrived to the area you want to convert.

This works great after you’ve tried A/B Testing so you can verify the results from live traffic. In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a simple goal in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics: How to Set Up a Simple Goal

Please note, if you haven’t added your site to Google Analytics, then you can’t take advantage of the goal tool until you do. Aside from adding your site to Google Analytics, you will also need to apply the generated tracking code to your website.

The first step is in creating a simple goal is by clicking on your site in the Google Analytics dashboard. On the right hand side, scroll down to the area called Conversions. If you click on it, the area will expand and show you other links. Look for the area called overview as shown below.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-1

Now, you can either do this and be led to set up a simple goal or you can also click the Admin tab at the top. Image is below. In order to view the image larger and much better, you will have to right click on the image to open it in a new tab or window.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-2

On the last column under View, is an area called Goals. You’ll click that and be led to the page that has an area much like the image below.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-3

Click on the red button to create a goal. Once you have, you will need to name your goal and tell it hat type of tracking you want. In the case of this tutorial, and it being how to set up a simple goal, we’ll choose the first option called Destination. This is great for contact forms or lead generation forms. Once you have selected the option on how you want to track your goal, then click the blue button that says Next Step. See the example image below to see how you should proceed.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-4

In the next step, you tell it what page you are wanting to land on. You do not put the full URL. See the image below for how this step should go.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-5

Before hitting the blue button that says Create Goal, make sure to click the link that says Verify this Goal. This helps to make sure that your goal will work and checks it against your previous 7 days of stats on Google Analytics. In the case that you just joined and don’t have 7 days of stats, then proceed by clicking the button to create the goal. You can always check after a few days if the goal is actually working.

Once this has been set up, you won’t have to mess with it any more. You can just sit back and analyze how your goal is doing. Simple, right? There are other ways you can set up a goal in Google Analytics, like how long visitors are staying on your site (called Destination), by how many pages visits (Pages/Screens per Visit), or Event (like from watching a video.)

Have you taken advantage of setting up a goal in Google Analytics? Did you find it easy?

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Average Session Duration – What is it and Why Bloggers Should Care

In Google Analytics, one of the statistics measures is average session duration. In simple terms, this is the amount of the time that a person spends on your website. This article will help you understand average session duration and if you’re a blogger, perhaps persuade you to take a better look into this piece of…

The post Average Session Duration – What is it and Why Bloggers Should Care appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

averagesessionduration-thumbnailIn Google Analytics, one of the statistics measures is average session duration. In simple terms, this is the amount of the time that a person spends on your website. This article will help you understand average session duration and if you’re a blogger, perhaps persuade you to take a better look into this piece of information.

As an extra goodie, there will be a few brief tips to hopefully get those visitors to stay longer.

Average Session Duration – What is it and Why Bloggers Should Care

As mentioned before, the average session duration is the average time of all the time spent on your site by your visitors. This time is usually a great indicator of how interested people are with the content on your website, regardless if it is something you are selling or not.

The smaller the number that the average session duration is, means that you’ve got a lot of work to do in either jazzing up your content, or creating new articles that your visitors are truly interested in seeing. You also would need to try to entice those visitors to stay on your website longer.

For example, if your visitors are only on your website for less than a minute and a half, you probably need to be concerned. Of course, Google Analytics has other tools you can look at after looking at your average session duration statistic. Usually you will want to check out where the visitors are coming to your site and where they are leaving. If the entrance and exit of your website, especially a blog, is the front page, then you’ve got a problem with the front of your website.

Possible Problems that Could be the reason for a poor Average Session Duration stat

  • Poor Navigation – If you don’t give people a clear path in order to navigate your website, they probably won’t go any further than the front page, or if you’re lucky, one article.
  • The design is undesirable. – A lot of people are visual. If your people can’t identify with you and remember you, they might not be back. Some bloggers who choose minimalistic designs often sacrifice their branding.
  • There are no effective calls to action. – If you are giving people a reason to come back, they won’t. Ask them to subscribe to your newsletter. Encourage the to follow you on the social networks. Encourage them to use your contact form or click on your about page to learn more about you and what your website is about.
  • The articles have boring titles. – People aren’t enticed to click on and read articles that are unappealing. Be concise and try to think of what spurs you on to clicking and reading a blog post based on the title. You can learn a lot from visiting leaders in your niche to see what’s most effective.
  • The website is just confusing. – If people don’t know what your website is about, and why they should be there rather than some other site, then they won’t be back. Give them a reason. If you’re not sure, go back to your original site focus plan and tweak it.
  • No plan to keep visitors once they’ve clicked deeper into the website. – Once people are within your website, whether it’s a blog post, or your shopping cart, or landing page, you need to keep them there. Entice them with linking to other articles within your site, in your post’s content. You could also benefit from either showing some most recent posts or related posts, or both.

Average duration session is definitely an important factor in website conversion. The goal is to keep them there as long as possible because that WILL get the subscriber, the social share, the commentator, and above all, THE SALE!

Do you pay attention to your average session duration stat for your website?

The post Average Session Duration – What is it and Why Bloggers Should Care appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

What Do You Do After You First Apply Google Anayltics to Your Website?

When you get into creating and managing a website, at some point you’re going to hear about Google Analytics, especially being told you need to have it on your website. Regardless if you’re a blogger, a small business owner, or a big corporate business, you do need a tool to measure your site’s progress. Google…

The post What Do You Do After You First Apply Google Anayltics to Your Website? appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

google-analytics-thumbnailWhen you get into creating and managing a website, at some point you’re going to hear about Google Analytics, especially being told you need to have it on your website. Regardless if you’re a blogger, a small business owner, or a big corporate business, you do need a tool to measure your site’s progress. Google Analytics just happens to be a good one that is also free to use.

So…

What Do You Do After You First Apply Google Anayltics to Your Website?

The majority of users may look in on their stats once a day or once a week. Google Analytics provides quite a bit of statistics. You can even set campaigns to analyze traffic from your website and some of your social network handles.

It’s quite alright to take a frequent look at your stats, but if you’re just looking at them and wishing your traffic to improve, then you’re missing out on what Google Analytics can do for you. It takes analyzing what’s going on and planning a campaign to drive attention to those areas of your website that you want people to see.

The great thing about most stats programs, including Google Analytics is that they provide exactly what information you need to know about your visitors. You can even find out if you’re targeting the correct audience, and at what times they hit your website.

Once you’ve installed Google Analytics on your website, you should let it do it’s job in collecting information. After about 3 weeks to a month, you should have a nice tentative spread of your website’s traffic.

When installing Google analytics to your website for the first time, some of the most important stats you should look at are:

  • Pageviews
  • Percentage of new visitors
  • Percentage of returning visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • How you are acquiring your visitors (where are they coming from)
  • Keywords

While there are a TON of other stats, your first time through should be to gather this information and start to put together a first campaign.

Your keywords, acquisition, and your bounce rate with each campaign you plan will change in time depending on how you adjust your website conversion plan.

Keywords

Before you even look at your stats, you really should already have a list of keywords that you’ve been wanting to work on for your website. If your analytics in Google are not coinciding with your intended list, then you’ve got homework to do in creating content around those keywords. Don’t worry, some people have websites for a few years before realizing that they’ve been missing out on capitalizing on being more laser focused on their keyword strategy.

Acquisition

If your website is brand new, you might not have too much information on how you’ve been acquiring your visitors. You will have a small idea, and can use those stats to either focus on those places that are sending you traffic, or working on trying to get traffic from new sources. It might take making sure your website is properly listed on search engines, creating social network handles, and sharing your content.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate gives you a percentage of how many of your website visitors are only viewing one of your pages, and then leaving. Your bounce rate should never be high. In fact, your strategy should be in converting those visitors to fill out your lead forms, buy your product, share and comment on your blog posts, or even subscribe to your newsletter.

If you can put a plan together that gives you a low bounce rate, great acquisition sources, and above all, making a return on investment, you’re on the right path to great website conversion. The great thing is that Google Analytics is free to use… so what are you waiting for? Go forth and find out how your website is performing!

Do you use Google Analytics in your website conversion strategy? Do you still struggle with deciphering those stats and putting a plan together? If not, what advice do you have for newbies just hooking their website’s up to Google Analytics?

The post What Do You Do After You First Apply Google Anayltics to Your Website? appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

How to Use Google Analytics Content Grouping: 4 Business Examples

Content Grouping is a useful feature that let’s you group your website or app content together and view aggregate metrics for each group. This is particularly useful if you have a lot of content to analyze. Rolling up your content, based on your specific business structure, is very helpful when creating dashboards and other custom […]

How to Use Google Analytics Content Grouping: 4 Business Examples is a post from: Analytics Talk by Justin Cutroni

The post How to Use Google Analytics Content Grouping: 4 Business Examples appeared first on Analytics Talk.

Content Grouping is a useful feature that let’s you group your website or app content together and view aggregate metrics for each group. This is particularly useful if you have a lot of content to analyze. Rolling up your content, based on your specific business structure, is very helpful when creating dashboards and other custom reports.

In this post I’ll talk about how to actually use the data and walk through some examples for various business types.

If you have not set up content groupings, please check out my post on how to set up Google Analytics content groupings.

Standard GA Reports

Your content groupings are available in Google Analytics behavior reports. Navigate to the Behavior > Site Content > All Pages report. Notice at the top of the data table there is a selector for the primary dimension. This drop down list all of the content groupings that you added to Google Analytics.

Use the selector to choose a specific content grouping in your Google Analytics Content reports.

Use the selector to choose a specific content grouping in your Google Analytics Content reports.

This selector also exists in the navigation flow, so rather than viewing how users move from page to page, you can view how users move between the different types of content on your site.

You can also use your content groupings in the Navigation Summary report.

You can also use your content groupings in the Navigation Summary report.

Very handy for understanding the behavior of users!

It also exists in many other content reports, like the Landing Pages report and the Site Speed Page Timings report.

But who uses the standard reports these days? :) Analysis driven organisations use Custom Reports and Dashboards. Let’s look at how you can use content groupings in both features.

Custom Reports & Dashboards with Content Groupings

When you create a content grouping, Google Analytics will create a dimension for each content grouping.

Remember, a content grouping contains a number of groups, and each group can contain a number of pages or screens.

Each content grouping contains multiple content groups. A content group contains multiple pieces of content.

Each content grouping contains multiple content groups. A content group contains multiple pieces of content.

This means that the values for the content grouping dimension will be all of the content groups that you created within that grouping.

You can create up to five content groupings in Google Analytics, therefore you could have five new dimensions, one for each content grouping.

Use the content grouping dimensions just like you would any other dimension. Here’s a simple custom report that shows some a potential content grouping for a blog.

You can use your content groupings in a Google Analytics custom report.

You can use your content groupings in a Google Analytics custom report.

Then, when you look at the report, you’ll see something like this:

When you add a content grouping to a Google Analytics custom report, the data will be aggregated based on content group.

When you add a content grouping to a Google Analytics custom report, the data will be aggregated based on content group.

Note: I added this custom report to the Google Analytics solutions gallery. You can add it directly to your account here.

You can also use the content grouping dimension in your dashboards. Here is a very simple example using the page value metric and the content grouping dimension.

You can also use the Content Grouping dimension in a Google Analytics Custom Dashboard.

You can also use the Content Grouping dimension in a Google Analytics Custom Dashboard.

That’s really all there is to using content grouping in Google Analytics custom reports and custom dashboards. No go and give it a try!

One other note – the content grouping dimensions are hit level dimensions. This means that you can only use them with hit level metrics, like pageview, time on page, etc. You can not use them with session level metrics, like conversion rate, or revenue per visit.

Content Grouping Strategies

To really take advantage of content groupings you need to plan your content grouping carefully. You need to understand how your organization wants to analyze this data. So let’s look at a how different types of businesses might use content grouping.

Ecommerce: Patagonia.com

Patagonia sells outdoor equipment for men, women and children. They’re known for their ethos that you should travel “fast and light” when in the outdoors – take only what you need. They’re also known for their environmental advocacy. They incorporate both of these messages into their marketing stories.

Effectively breaking down the content structure could help each department at Patagonia better understand their marketing initiatives and site optimization efforts.

So how might we create a content grouping strategy based on their business?

Google Analytics Content Grouping can be used to organize the content on an ecommerce website.

Google Analytics Content Grouping can be used to organize the content on an ecommerce website.

Product pages: I would start by grouping all product pages together. It’s really important to understand what percentage of your users are making it to product pages. If people don’t look at product pages then they usually can’t buy something. And I’d take it one step further – group product pages by product line. I’d also be sure to differentiate category pages from the generic product pages.

You can mimic your product architecture with your content groupings.

You can mimic your product architecture with your content groupings.

Special selling tools: One cool feature that the Patagonia site has is the ‘kit builder’. This is a tool that let’s a customer build the best clothing combination for different conditions or activities. This is another section that could really use it’s own content group.

Special shopping tools can be categorized in their own group.

Special shopping tools can be categorized in their own group.

Checkout pages: Next I’d group all checkout pages together. These are all the pages in your checkout process. The percentage of people that see checkout pages might be very small, but I like to put these pages in their own group. They’re not product related, and they’re not marketing related. So they need their own group.

Account management pages: Many ecommerce sites let customers manage account settings, check the status of their order, manage returns, etc. I would lump all of these pages together in an Account Management group.

Marketing pages: Now we get into a large chunk of the content – marketing pages. Patagonia has a lot of information about their brand, and initiatives. Rather than lump all of this together as just Marketing pages, I would actually break all of this up into groups based on the different initiatives.

In the case of Patagonia I would use all of these different groups that you can see in the navigation.

Use a Google Analytics Content Grouping to categories marketing pages.

Use a Google Analytics Content Grouping to categories marketing pages.

Support pages: Business is all about relationships – and that’s represented by different types of support content. We can create a support group that containing any materials related to support. Again, you can create sub-groups for different types of support content (product support, order support, etc.)

Error pages: I like to group all error pages into a single group, then I can drill into the group and view the specific errors. This group can contain all different kinds of errors, depending on your personal preference. It could be technical errors, like 404 or 502 errors. Or it could be more functional errors, like when a user adds an incorrect credit card number during their purchase.

Software as a Service: Mailchimp.com

Mailchimp is a popular service that helps businesses manage their email marketing initiatives. Like all SaaS sites it’s primarily divided into two sections: a marketing section and an application section. The content grouping will mimic this general structure of content.

Product marketing pages: If people are going to sign up for the Mailchimp service then they need to know about the features! Product marketing page are pages dedicated to product information, this includes information about price, features, etc.

For a SaaS site, create groups for different kinds of marketing content.

For a SaaS site, create groups for different kinds of marketing content.

In addition to specific product information, there’s also a lot of thought leadership material to help drive marketing.

Marketing content pages: These pages are non-product marketing pages that help you demonstrate your thought leadership. It may be blog pages, or other content. In our example of mailchimp.com, there might be multiple groups. For example, they have a blog, but they also have a ton of research about email marketing. I would put this material in a marketing content group. Or even better, in the Reports group!

I would create a Google Analytics content group for the research reports on the MailChimp site.

I would create a Google Analytics content group for the research reports on the MailChimp site.

Application pages: The other side to a SaaS site is the actual application. This is the section of the site where you log in and actually use the product. Like the marketing pages, there can be many different types of application pages. Let’s go back to our example of Mailchimp.com. I would break down the content based on product features.

Perhaps we could use the application navigation as a template for the content structure.

You can create different groups for each part of the online application.

You can create different groups for each part of the online application.

Account management pages: Here’s another example of grouping different parts of the application together. We could easily group together the pages that control account management. And you can see from the image above that there are sections of the app dedicated to other functionality – all should be grouped accordingly.

Error pages: Like other types of sites it’s a good idea to group all error pages together. See the ecommerce section above for more details. These groups can be both website errors or application errors – like a login error page.

Gaming Application: Clash of Clans

We all use our mobile devices for incredibly important things, like waging medieval warfare on other clans! HA! Anyone out there like Clash of the Clans?

You can categorize app content using Google Analytics Content Groupings.

You can categorize app content using Google Analytics Content Groupings.

In reality, gaming apps are very similar to other business models – like publishing and commerce. Some games generate revenue from in-game ads while others up-sell users on features, like new levels. Some do both. We can group games content together just like we do ecommerce.

Game level screens: Most of the content for a game is probably level based. We can replicate this base structure in Google Analytics. If you’re a fan of Clash of the Clans then you there are other parts to the game in addition to levels. There are attack screens, chat windows, etc. All of these screens can be added to groups to roll-up the data.

Ecommerce screens: These screens are used to sell the user on pay features. In the case of Clash of Clans you can buy more gems, which can then be used to purchase other items, like more armies!

I would put all ecommerce app screens into a separate content group.

I would put all ecommerce app screens into a separate content group.

Configuration screens: Most apps have a configuration section. This is where the user can change everything from the language, to colors, etc.

Error screens: Last but not least we have error screens. Again, these can be technical app errors or functional errors, like login issues.

For Publishers: MarketingLand.com

Let’s face it, content grouping was made for the publishing industry! They’re the ones that have to organize thousands of pages of content. I don’t want to dwell on publishing too much, but let’s take a look at MarketingLand.com, a popular destination for anyone working in the digital marketing world.

I’ve actually written about how to customize google analytics for publishing sites in the posts Custom Variables for Publishers and how to measure how far users scroll down a page. I think both of those techniques still apply.

But now, if you’re a publisher, you can also use content groupings to organize the data about your content. This provides one more way to roll up data for analysis.

Content Category: Almost all publishers group content by category – and now this can be done with the content grouping feature.

Publishers can create content groups based on the organization of their content.

Publishers can create content groups based on the organization of their content.

Some publishing sites organize content in other ways, like by author or publication date. I would suggest creating content groups for topic categorization, and custom dimensions for any secondary organization (author, date, etc.)

Account pages: Some publishers, like the New York Times, offer a premium membership service. This is not the case with MarketingLand.com. But, if it did have a member’s section, you could group all of those pages together.

Error pages: Do I need to go over this again :)

I hope this post provides some inspiration for how you might use Content Grouping for your business. Ultimately how you organize your content groupings will be based on your organization. There is no right or wrong – just use a structure that is useful.

Questions or comment? Leave a note below – and happy grouping!

How to Use Google Analytics Content Grouping: 4 Business Examples is a post from: Analytics Talk by Justin Cutroni

The post How to Use Google Analytics Content Grouping: 4 Business Examples appeared first on Analytics Talk.