50 Excellent Google Analytics Tips and How To’s

Post Title Blogger
Google Website Optimizer Moves to Google Analytics – Experiments section under Content Section Google Analytics Premium
Where is the Old Version of Google Analytics Reports? Google Analytics Premium
Tracking Campaigns in both Google Analytics and Omniture Site Catalyst Google Analytics Premium
Get Google Analytics Help When You Need It Google Analytics Premium
Google Analytics Event Tracking Builder Sheet V1 Google Analytics Premium
Google Analytics Campaign Tracking Made Easy Google Analytics Premium
How to Change the Default Row Limit in Exporting Google Analytics Data Google Analytics Premium
How to Export and Share Google Analytics Reports Google Analytics Premium
Tracking Non Google Analytics Campaign Parameters in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
Using Google Analytics to Detremine Who Visited the Site Google Analytics Premium
What are Filters in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Find the Keywords marked as “(not provided)” Google Analytics Premium
How to Track Campaigns in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Create Goals in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
What are Goals and Goal Sets in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How are the Google Analytics Reports Organized Google Analytics Premium
How to Give Access To Others To Your Google Analytics Reports Google Analytics Premium
Regular Expressions and Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How Are Google Analytics Accounts Structured Google Analytics Premium
How to Track Downloads in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Track a Non-Pageview Events in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Connect Google Analytics to Google Webmaster Tools Google Analytics Premium
How to Quickly Create Custom Reports and Learn About Them Google Analytics Premium
How to Remove Duplicate Home Pages in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Rename URLs in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How To Delete a Profile in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Change the Report Dates in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
What is Secondary Dimension? How do I use and remove it from the reports? Google Analytics Premium
What is t.co in Referral Traffic Report Google Analytics Premium
What Does “(not provided)” Keyword Means in Google Analytics? Google Analytics Premium
How to Link or Unlink Adwords Account from Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Track Site Search with No Keyword in the URL Google Analytics Premium
How to Change the 500 Row Limit in Google Analytic Reports Google Analytics Premium
How to Remove Duplicate URLs in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Enable Page Load Time Metrics in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Change Campaign Attribution from Last to Previous Click Google Analytics Premium
How to Add A New Search Engines to Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
What Does Search as a Source Mean in Organic (Search Engine) Report in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Track Outbound Links in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Add AddThis Analytics in Google Analytics? Google Analytics Premium
Real Time Analytics in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Exclude Internal Traffic from Google Analytics when Internal IP Address is Dynamic Google Analytics Premium
How to Exclude Internal Traffic from Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
_utmb Google Analytics Cookie Demystified Google Analytics Premium
_utmz Google Analytics Cookie Demystified Google Analytics Premium
What is _utmv Google Analytics Cookie? Google Analytics Premium
_utma Google Analytics Cookie Demystified Google Analytics Premium
What Cookies Does Google Analytics Use? Google Analytics Premium
Google Shuts Down Urchin Google Analytics Premium
Getting Started with Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium

100+ Web Analytics and Optmization Blog Post from Around the Globe

Post Title Blogger
How to Create Goals in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
E-Chat Tomorrow: Insuring the Future With Predictive Analytics All Analytics
Relationships, Relevance & Changing the Subject All Analytics
Solid State Drives to Speed Analytics All Analytics
Trying to Put Big Data in Perspective All Analytics
Refining the new Google Analytics Google Analytics
Web Analytics Implemented in a Siloed Environment [cartoon] Daniel Waisberg
The Blueprint for a Perfectly Testable Landing Page Hiten Shah
The 5 Minute Guide to Identifying Spammy, Paid Text Links Using Open Site Explorer Glenn Gabe
Last Couple of Days – Web Journal Late Feb 2012 Marshall Sponder
What are Goals and Goal Sets in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
Know the TCO & Avoid an Analytics TKO All Analytics
Talent Analytics Raise the Hiring Bar All Analytics
CLV Analytics: The Holy Grail for Hotels & Casinos All Analytics
Free Webinar: The Future of Digital Measurement Gunjan
How to select a Social Media Tool? Gunjan
Interview with Lauren Hock Regarding Career Presentations at Chicago Universities Corry Prohens
Migrating from ExcelClient to Report Builder Nabler
Writing for SEO, Your Audience, and Yourself Robbin Steif
3 Key Trends for Web Analytics in 2012 Daniel Waisberg
From 0 to 60 MPH Using Social Analytics Roadmaps All Analytics
What Does Digital Analytics Have in Common with Content Strategy, Information Architecture and User Experience? Phil Kemelor
The Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn Hiten Shah
Move Web Analytics Data Out Of Silo Anil Batra
Expertise Analysis Arises Out of Sentiment Analytics All Analytics
C-Suite Limericks: Benefits From Business Analytics All Analytics
Get Your High-Performance Analytics Info at This ‘One-Stop Shop’ All Analytics
Big Google Data & Analytics: Big Money and Big Privacy Debate IIA
Understanding Google Analytics Time Calculations Justin Cutroni
Managing Media Websites by the Numbers Daniel Waisberg
What a Unique Selling Proposition Really Means & Why Your Business MUST Have One Hiten Shah
Using Google Analytics ecommerce data for ABC/Pareto analysis Matt Clarke
Project Manager, Research at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia Optimization Today
Free! – The Website Testing & Optimization Buyer’s Guide for the Enterprise Bryan Eisenberg
Ford Drives Into the Future With Analytics All Analytics
To Code or Point & Click: The BI Dilemma All Analytics
The Great Analytics Talent Disparity All Analytics
Business Users & IT Look at BI Differently All Analytics
Will web analysts ever be replaced by automated tools? Dan Croxen-John
The Yahoo! Web Analytics Merchandising Report Juan Damia
How a Nonprofit Can Best Use Google Analytics Robbin Steif
Making Google Analytics even speedier Google Analytics
A Straight-Forward Guide to Optimizing Your Funnels for Maximum Conversions Hiten Shah
Metrics Make the Merchant All Analytics
Mobile BI Continues to Grow All Analytics
Free Webinar: New Mobile Capabilities for 2012, with Guest Speaker: Whole Foods Gunjan
Gunjan
How to Track a Moving Target – Employee Data in Google Analytics Robbin Steif
Peter Fader – Professor of Marketing, Wharton School [interview] Daniel Waisberg
Social Media Monitoring BootCamp – Singapore – March 15th, 2012 Marshall Sponder
Tracking the Customer Journey – A Data Model for the Digital, Big-Data World Gary Angel
Relative Value Opens Gateway to Better Profitability All Analytics
Privacy Bargain & Big Data Security All Analytics
The Analysis Exchange Gabriele Endress
Social Media Measurement Tools Webinar – Part Duex – Recording Marshall Sponder
Celebrus Webinar: More on the future of Digital Infrastructure for Big-Data Analytics Gary Angel
How are the Google Analytics Reports Organized Google Analytics Premium
Research Shows SMBs Adding BI, Moving to Cloud All Analytics
The Academy Awards & Business Analytics All Analytics
Don’t Bother With an Enterprise BI Standard All Analytics
Don’t Rule Out an Enterprise BI Standard All Analytics
Five Tips for Tackling Social Media Measurement All Analytics
Advanced Content Tracking with Google Analytics: Part 2 Justin Cutroni
Successful Problem Solving Technique [cartoon] Daniel Waisberg
Remaining Engaged in Social Media Gabriele Endress
Custom Dimensions for User Segmentation Localytics
The Shocking Truth About How Web Graphics Affect Conversions Hiten Shah
The Product Page 2012: 7 Must-Test Elements Bryan Eisenberg
WAA Awards Gary Angel
Regular Expressions and Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Give Access To Others To Your Google Analytics Reports Google Analytics Premium
Data.gov Offers Up Business-Oriented Datasets, Apps & Tools All Analytics
Understanding Comes With Normalized Medians All Analytics
What’s New on AllAnalytics.com This Week All Analytics
Free Webinar on Going Mobile, Getting Social: 7 Strategies for Success Gunjan
Como o Google Analytics sobrescreve as origens do tráfego Leonardo Naressi
9 Ways B2Bs Can Excel With Location-Based Social Media Robbin Steif
3 Segmentation Strategies: Intent, GEO & Conversions Daniel Waisberg
Phil Mui – Google Analytics Group Product Manager [interview] Daniel Waisberg
The 8 Questions That Create Perfect Landing Page Copy Hiten Shah
Web Marketing Analyst at Fluke – Everett, Washington Optimization Today
Join me @Semphonic Social Media Measurement Tools Webinar today at 1PM EST Marshall Sponder
Web Journal – Mid Febuary 2012 Marshall Sponder
SOMEMO – Social Media Analytic Evaluation Matrix – Do We Need (Yet) Another Tool? Marshall Sponder
7 Analysis Tips for Improving CTR on Display Advertising Anil Batra
Target Has You in Its Bullseye All Analytics
40 Checkout Page Strategies to Improve Conversion Rates Hiten Shah
How Are Google Analytics Accounts Structured Google Analytics Premium
How Sears Could Benefit From Good Old Analytics All Analytics
Don’t Let Abandoned Carts Slip Away All Analytics
Segmenting big unstructured data (Social Media) on different dimensions – Part 1 Gunjan
Want to Disprove Wishful Thinking? Use Analytics. IIA
Week 8 of the IQ Workforce #Measure Fantasy Basketball League Corry Prohens
20 Days to a High-Quality, Highly-Engaged Twitter Following (in just 20 minutes a day) Hiten Shah
AdSense Park My Domains Retired David Iwanow
How to Connect Google Analytics to Google Webmaster Tools Google Analytics Premium
Italy’s DIY Leader Is Saying ‘Buon Giorno!’ to Marketing Analytics All Analytics
How to Track a Non-Pageview Events in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Track Downloads in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
E-Chat Recap: Dating Data Lacks Sufficient Dimension All Analytics
High-Performance, Big Data Analytics Takes a Certain Understanding All Analytics
Introducing SAS Information Management All Analytics
Advanced Content Tracking with Google Analytics: Part 1 Justin Cutroni
Rod Jacka speaking this Mon 27 Feb with HCF on AMI Webinar Rod Jacka
Google, Entities, & Attributes: The Future of Search Robbin Steif
How to Turn Your RSS Reader Into a Topic Generation Machine Hiten Shah
Research Project Manager at PBS KIDS Sprout NBC Universal (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Optimization Today
How To Troubleshoot Authorship Markup When rel=author and rel=publisher Clash [Case Study] Glenn Gabe
Join me at eMetrics & GAUGE San Francisco Stephane Hamel
How to Quickly Create Custom Reports and Learn About Them Google Analytics Premium
Free Webinar on Big Data on BigInsights by IBM & Persistent Systems Gunjan
How To Legally Spy On Your Website Visitors Robbin Steif
Multi-Channel & Attribution Analysis by Justin Cutroni Part II Daniel Waisberg
The Biggest Mistake Web Analysts Make… And How To Avoid It! Avinash Kaushik
Google Testing 3 Organic Results? David Iwanow
X Change Europe: The Premier Web Analytics Conference Goes Global Gary Angel
How to Remove Duplicate Home Pages in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
The Future Is Not What It Used to Be All Analytics
Banking on Big Data – Literally All Analytics
Free Webinar on “What She Said: How Women’s Social Conversations Impact Buying Intent and Purchasing Behavior” Gunjan
Better Retention Through Better Recruiting Corry Prohens
Are You Making These Online Advertising Mistakes? Hiten Shah
Web Analytics Manager at TripAdvisor, Massachusetts Optimization Today

This Week in Web Analytics & Optmization

Interesting Debates and Social Media Week Updates – Web Journal Marshall Sponder
Good Reading: Boost Your BI Know-How All Analytics
Predictive Analytics but a Piece of Marketing Puzzle All Analytics
E-Chat Today: Analyzing the Data of Love All Analytics
Using Data from Social Media to Improve Performance Peter ONeill
Predictive Analytics World IIA
Office Hours: What Makes a Great Analytic Professional? IIA
How to Prepare your AdWords Account for Enhanced Sitelinks Robbin Steif
Multi-Channel & Attribution Analysis by Justin Cutroni Part I Daniel Waisberg
9 Steps to Write Your Ultimate Home Page Headline Hiten Shah
What to Do About the Big Data Skills Shortfall All Analytics
How To Delete a Profile in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
How to Rename URLs in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
Healthcare Thrives on Analytics All Analytics
Find Your Big Data Use Case Now All Analytics
Watch My Hips, Not My Lips All Analytics
When to Jump Ship Over Advanced Analytics & Big Data All Analytics
Free Virtual Event and Learn from Social Business Experts Gunjan
Understanding the Argentinian Market – A great video from Endeavor Juan Damia
Tackle those Website Errors! Nabler
Check Your Analytics Data Periodically [cartoon] Daniel Waisberg
Role To The Goal: How Developing Role-Based Personas Can Increase Conversions Hiten Shah
5 Tips for Analyzing and Optimizing Campaigns – Part III Anil Batra
Analytics Heading in New Directions All Analytics
No Matter Your Size, Social Monitoring Matters All Analytics
Bango Meets Their Big Data Challenge:Improving Mobile Analytics and Driving Online Business Gunjan
Campaign Attribution in Google Analytics Juan Damia
PUMA Kicks Up Order Rate 7% with Insights from Google Analytics and Viget Google Analytics
Selling More Shoes with Multi-Channel Funnels Google Analytics
Responsibility & Accountability for Online Analytics Daniel Waisberg
Time Management as a Consultant Gabriele Endress
The begining of the end… Lee Isensee
Web/Behavioral Analytics 2011 Wishful Resolutions Lee Isensee
WAA Awards Gala Nominations Lee Isensee
TELL US THE STORY AGAIN, PATERNAL UNIT (from Woot.com) Lee Isensee
Stop looking for the scapegoat Lee Isensee
(Ex) Customer Satisfaction – The Brand Implications Lee Isensee
Analysts, and executives, and monkeys! Oh, my! (Part 1) Lee Isensee
Case Study: OfficeDrop Triples User Registration Localytics
Pinterest Marketing Tips for SEO, Traffic, and Online Reputation Management Hiten Shah
How to Change the Report Dates in Google Analytics Google Analytics Premium
#GartnerChat on Big Data All Analytics
Fused Search & Analytics Approach Creates Powerful Big Data Option All Analytics
Building Online Opinion Panels Not for Faint-Hearted All Analytics
Dating Data Analyzed All Analytics
Big Data Is Here & There’s No Looking Back All Analytics
How Nonprofits Can Get The Most Out Of Foursquare Robbin Steif
Tracking Social Media with Google Spreadsheets – Part 1 Robbin Steif
Why URLs Disallowed By robots.txt Appear In Google Search Results Brian Ussery
Next WACAMP (Web Analytics Camp) on March 21st 2012 in Lille – Bilingual French / English – Free registration Nicolas Malo
10 Ways Data Mining Can Help You Get a Competitive Edge Hiten Shah

Referring Domains Demystified – Part II

In part I discussed how the referring domain and pages are reported by a web analytics tool. In this part I will discuss why your own domain shows up as the referring domain.

There are following three main reasons why your own domain name shows up as the referring domain.

1. If a user waits for 30 min (or whatever your session time out is) before clicking on the next link on your site.

It is a standard practice to use 30 min session time out. This means that if a visitor waits more than 30 mins to click on a link on the website, the click constitutes a new visit.

As in my last post, let’s take an example of visits for one visitor. For this example I am only showing 5 fields (s-ip, data, time, URI stem, cs(referrer) )

Below is the data for a visitor:

The visit started with a referral from http://www.google.com/?q=seattleindian. The referring domain in your web analytics tool will be Google.com

Let’s assume, this visitor goes on a lunch break leaving the site open in her browser. Come back after an hour and clicks on the home page links, here is how the log file will look like as

This constitutes a second visit (I am assuming a 30 min session time out). The referring page will be http://www.seattleindian.com/seattle/advetise.asp and the referring domain will be SeattleIndian.com for this second visit.

If you are a content site that has long articles or have downloads that takes more than 30 mins to complete, chances are you will see your own domain as the number one referring domain.

2. If you intentionally or un-intentionally exclude one or more of your pages from analysis either by not including javascript tracking (tag-based solutions) or specific exclusions that does not allow that page request to be tracked(this applies to both log file-based and tag based solutions)

Let’s assume http://www.seattleindian.com/seattle/default.asp, the home page of seattleIndian.com is not tagged with the web analytics JavaScript code or for some reason is omitted from the analysis (hard exclude either intentionally or unintentionally).

Taking the same example as above, the log file will look like the following

Note that the first log line

is no longer there. The log file won’t even contain Google.com as the referrer because the visit did not begin at http://www.seattleindian.com/seattle/default.asp (since it was not tagged or was excluded). In fact, according to the analytics tool, the visit began at /seattle/bollywood.asp and was referred by the non-tagged (or excluded) page, the home page of SeattleIndian.com. In this case /seattle/default.asp, the page which is not tagged will show up as the referrer and the referring domain will be the domain itself SeattleIndian.com

Note: I have seen a lot of unintentional excludes that affect the reporting. It is highly recommended to use a third party accuracy audit to make sure your reports are configured properly. Contact me if you need more details or help with this. We do this all the time.

3. If you have sub domains that have their own reporting profiles or suites (or whatever you call them) they could cause your own site to show up as referring domain.

Let’s take an example of http://www.usaindian.net which has several city-specific subdomains e.g. seattle.usaindian.net, ortland.usaindian.net etc. Any reporting that excludes http://www.usaindian.net home page will show a lot of referrers from its own domain i.e. usaindian.net

Here is the log file of a user who searches seattleIndian on Google and then clicks on the link to seattle support page (http://seattle.usaindian.net/seattle/support/asp) from USAIndian.net home page.

Say you want to create a profile for Seattle area only i.e. exclude everything else and only report on traffic to seattle.usaindian.net domain. If you only include traffic from seattle.usaindian.net (or s-ip of 1.2.3.5 in the example above) in your reports then the referring domain will be http://www.usaindian.net, i.e. your own domain.

I hope this was helpful. This concludes my two part series on Referring domains and pages. As always send me your comments and questions.

3 Reasons I'm Not a Web Analyst

I’ve been proud to call myself a web analyst ever since I realized there was a title for it. It’s an emerging field full of talented people. Frankly, it’s the future of business management, and a web analyst possesses a critical skill set and mentality for any company to have.

I’ve come to realize, however, that I can no longer call myself a web analyst. There are three main reasons for this conclusion. [Read more…]

Future of the Web Analyst

Tomorrow’s web analysts will look very different from today’s.

Being a web analyst today usually means being lonely. Most companies don’t hire full-time analysts to work onsite. They hire consulting agencies or they hire a web analyst and make them do SEM work on the side (or vice versa). In the few companies that do hire a full-time analyst, that person ends up being by themselves. That means being lumped into an existing organization that doesn’t make sense (IT, marketing, new media, etc.) and needing to defend analysis and recommendations alone. [Read more…]

Web Analytics Careers: 4 Great Blog Resources

Career chat has always interested me.  When I was a new college grad I spent a fair amount of time in my alma mater’s career services office, getting advice as I prepared to make a start for myself.  I’m glad I did it.  The career counselors liked me enough to use my resume as an example for other new grads, and I managed to land an internship at a multimedia CD-ROM publishing company (which, back in 1995, was so totally cutting edge).

After more than a decade out in the workforce I feel like I’ve learned a great deal about my strengths, preferences and motivations when it comes to my career.  But I also know that career planning didn’t end when I left my college campus – it’s something I must always keep in the back of my mind.  I like hearing about how my peers are handling their own career choices, and I think it’s a productive thing for us to talk about with each other.

So I’m planning to write about career-related topics, now and then, in this blog.  Before I get started I’d like to acknowledge 4 fellow bloggers who’ve already written some great web analytics career-related material:

  1. Alex L. Cohen
    I appreciate Alex’s enthusiasm – right now he’s doing an interactive marketing tip-a-day for the entire month of November [really, Alex, even on Thanksgiving?].  Occasionally he writes about career-related issues, including this piece on how to write a good web analytics resume.
  2. Stephane Hamel
    As Stephane was contemplating his own impending career move he wrote this very compelling post on the importance of doing regular career self-evaluations.  I liked it so much I wound up using it in my presentation on career management at eMetrics.  Neither Stephane nor I can fly a kite too well, but luckily that’s not a requirement for our line of work.
  3. Avinash Kaushik
    Oh, what’s not to love.  I wouldn’t say Avinash has written about careers, though, so much as he’s written about the flip side of the coin – hiring.  I thought this post about whether to hire fresh blood or old hands was especially good, and you can see from the comments that many of his readers turned it around and talked about the issue from the job candidate’s perspective.
  4. Anil Batra
    Anil has compiled a whole collection of interviews with web analysts; as of this writing he’s accumulated 32 career-related posts.  I’ve really enjoyed reading the interviews – just to get a sense of who “we” are – but I think they could be equally valuable to someone who’s contemplating an entry into web analytics.

Read what these fine gentlemen have to say, and read my blog, too.  I think there’s still more we can and should talk about when it comes to careers in web analytics, and I aim to be a part of that conversation.

Originally posted at: http://june.typepad.com/june/2007/11/web-analytics-c.html

Who moved my traffic?

Your site traffic is down, you are running up and down the hallway freaking out.  Wait before you get all anxious about the traffic, downturn in your traffic might not be something to freak out.
Below are some of the things to look at to find out why your traffic is down. Some reasons are within you control (stop freaking start working) some out of your control. Some might be very obvious and some might not.

  •  Seasonal Impact – Do year over year comparison and see how the traffic pattern was last year.
  • May be overall traffic is down even for your competitors (do comparison at http://www.alexaholic.com/ )
  • Has a new competitor entered the space? How is their traffic?
  • Traffic drivers – How was the traffic from these sources?
    • Campaigns (Banners, Search, Emails) – Has anything changed.
    • Email – Did anything change there? Did you send out your regular emails, newsletters?
    • Search – Did you change anything here, have search engines changed their algorithm.
    • Search – Did you change your site? Meta Tags? Content?
    • Affiliates – Has any affiliates changed their site.
  • Environmental Factors – How is the weather in the geographical region where you have most visitors from? Nice weather can keep people outdoors, resulting in lower traffic.
  • Was there any site outage
  • Have you made change to your web analytics tool configuration? If yes, investigate what those were? Problems in filter could be filtering out a lot of traffic.

This was originally written in 2006 at – Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

Online KPIs – Back to Basics

Those who have been doing web analytics for a while know how important it is to define proper online Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). But believe me, there are a lot of marketers who are confused about online KPIs, difference between KPIs and metrics and how to define them. So I am going back to basics with this post.

What are KPIs

Web analytics tools collect a lot of data and provide a lot of metrics and reports. In fact most of the web analytics tool vendors proudly talk about number of reports that can be created in their tool. These reports, metrics and data might look interesting but we all know interesting is not necessarily important. KPIs, on the other hand, are the important metrics; the metrics that provide a view into the health of the business and are tied to the business goals. They allow business owners to focus on the things that are important to drive their business. Key Performance Indicators tell a business owner whether he or she is meeting their business goals or not. Good KPIs provide context and hence are usually represented as ratio, percentage, indexes etc and not as raw numbers. KPIs drive actions within an organization.

KPIs are specific to a business role. So, not all people in the organization have the same KPIs though all the KPIs should ultimately be tied to overall business goals. The CEO has a set of KPIs, a merchandising manager has a set of KPIs and a marketing manager has yet another set of KPIs. However, all of the respective executives (departments) need to be defined keeping overall business goals and CEO’s KPIs in mind.

Another way to understand KPIs is that they are the metrics that make people freak out when they go in the reverse direction from the expected and call for immediate actions.

Since so much is riding on the KPIs, it is very critical that you pay due attention in defining your KPIs. Understand what business goals are and then think about what activities and/or user behaviors relate to your business goals. Put together a list of all the metrics that will measure those activities and/or user behaviors. Weed out the unimportant metrics, figure out what are important metrics and what are critical few (and hence KPIs) that have an impact on the business goals. Note: For your analysis you will need to look at more than your KPIs to provide you a bigger picture. Remember, all KPIs are metrics but not all metrics are KPIs

Characteristics of KPIs

Dennis Dennis R. Mortensen lists following 7 KPI characteristics on his blog “Visual Revenue”

    1. a KPI echoes organizational goals
    1. a KPI is decided by management
    1. a KPI provides context
    1. KPI creates meaning on all organizational levels
    1. a KPI is based on legitimate data6. a KPI is easy to understand
    1. a KPI leads to action!

Those are all great characteristics of KPIs. I however differ a little on point number 2. In my opinion great KPIs are those that are agreed upon by those it directly impact and will be taking actions so they are not just handed down by the upper management. And as I said above they should all be tied to overall business goals.

How many KPIs should you have?

I don’t think there is any rule but in my experience you should limit it to no more than 6.

Reporting on KPIs

KPIs should be presented in an easy to consume dashboard. Web Analytics tools have built in dashboards but most of them are limited in terms of the functionality and flexibility. My recommendation is to present KPIs in a separate dashboard that not only shows KPIs but also trending and brief analysis. Without trending and analysis the KPIs might not provide a complete picture. Excel, PowerPoint or third party dashboard tools work the best for reporting the KPIs. Since they are outside the web analytics tool they also allow you to integrate other data sources, as needed.

Books on Web KPIs

Eric Peterson has a great book on the subject, called The Big Book of KPIs

Originally Posted on Web Analytics, Behavioral Targeting and Optimization by Anil Batra

Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started in Web Analytics

I remember what it was like to walk through the door at my brand new job, my very first job as a web analyst, wondering what I’d gotten myself into. In retrospect, what did I wind up learning the hard way? What would been helpful to know up front? What should I have been prepared to expect? With that in mind, here are 10 things I wish I knew when I started in web analytics:

  1. You will sit between the techies and the marketers. Figuratively, and maybe literally. Make friends on both sides of the fence.
  2. You will learn all about your business. Not just the stats part. Not just the web part. The work you do in web analytics will only make sense once you’ve put it in the general context of your business.
  3. Ahem, what is this thing you call a “Visit”? Know your standard web metric definitions by heart, and be able to recite them concisely for people who ask. They will ask.
  4. Dirty, dirty, dirty. Numbers won’t match, they won’t add up, they won’t make sense, sometimes they won’t even exist. Know how much dirt you’re willing to live with, then accept it and move on.
  5. You will learn to love the query string. You will come to see it as a beautiful haiku. You will know it backwards and forwards. You will repeatedly explain its usage to people who need to append campaign codes to URLs.
  6. CSV stands for “comma-separated value” … it’s a file format, every data analyst’s friend, and – inexplicably – it doesn’t even have to be comma-separated. Huh.
  7. Operators are standing by. Know the support hotline number for your commercial web analytics vendor of choice, and don’t be afraid to call. If you have one sticky note on your monitor it should be that number. Actually two sticky notes. The other one should say, “Patience is a Virtue.”
  8. Don’t fall into the “report monkey” trap. Manually-repetitious activities are not a good use of your time, so automate wherever possible. Strive to spend your cycles doing thinking fellers work, and leave robot work to the robots.
  9. You are not alone. Right now there are other web analysts sitting at their own desks, somewhere between the techies and the marketers, and they’re facing exactly the same issues that you are. You will meet them at Web Analytics Wednesday.
  10. Think long-term. From the very beginning, think about where you want your career to go and make every effort to develop in that direction. Your entry-level position in web analytics can/should/will lead to other things, so know what you’re targeting and go for it.

Originally Posted at: http://june.typepad.com/june/2010/03/index.html

 

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