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In Google Analytics Essential Training, Corey Koberg shows how to use the Google web analytics platform to generate and evaluate information about the visitors to a web site, including data on site traffic, user behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This course covers the out-of-the-box functionality, from account creation to reporting fundamentals, and explains how to glean insights from the vast array of data available.
As we saw in the video on views, Google Analytics provides data broken down by columns of metrics, and those columns are grouped into tabs. As we see here in the All Traffic Sources report, we have several tabs available to us. The first is a Site Usage tab, and Site Usage is going to give us some information about how people are actually using the information on our site, sometimes called engagement metrics. We have visits, pages per visit, average time on site, percentage of those visits that were new visitors, bounce rate, etcetera. This information is broken down by this dimension of source/medium.
So we can see, for each of these different sources, how those metrics are doing. In other words, when people come from google.com, how long are they staying on the site versus someone who comes over from YouTube.com. But we may also want to view those by how those particular visits are achieving our goals. So if we click over to the Goal Set 1, we're going to get a different set of columns. Here, we can see how google.com, and YouTube, and the other sources are doing as far as the number of visits they bring, but also completing our orders, viewing software downloads, hitting our Contact Us page; these are all goals that I have defined as things that I want people to do on my site, and this is going to evaluate each of these different traffic sources on how well they achieve those goals.
We can also see the overall goal conversion rate, as well as some information about the per visit goal value. Now, in my Goal Set 2, I've defined some engagement metrics. These particular goals I've defined as, I want to see people who browsed my site over five minutes, I also have a goal of people visiting more than four pages, I have a very ambitious goal of people visiting over 10 pages, and then I can see the goal conversion rate for this particular set of goals. Again, all of these are based back on the dimension that I have; in this case source and medium. The last tab that I have here is the Ecommerce tab.
If you have an e-commerce site, and you have Ecommerce enabled, this can be a really, really critical tab. This is going to give us the dollars and cents, exactly how much each of these visits are worth; how much each of these traffic sources are bringing in. In this case, we can see those same sources: google.com, blogger.com, youtube.com, etcetera, and how much revenue each of those visits resulted in, how many transactions, the average value of those transactions, this e-commerce conversion rate; these can be really, really valuable columns for us to see, because we can start to put a value on each of these things these visits are doing.
If you are involved in the AdSense program, you also may seen an additional tab here, as well as some information about the ads that your site is displaying. One useful thing to do here is use the Compare to past feature in the date range. If I click on the Date Range selector up here, and click on Compare to past; in this case, let's compare June versus July. What I see is the same report, except I have an additional row here, where I'm going to see what the percent has changed from the July visits, versus the visits in June.
In this case, I can see that there was a 23% drop in visits from google.com. What's really interesting is, if I scroll on down here, I can see that on the Gmail blog over at blogspot.com, there is a 92% drop in visits from the month of June to the month of July. The other thing I can notice is there is a corresponding drop in revenue. As you notice this column here of Revenue, we see a 97% drop; going from $6,800 down to just $145 in the month of July.
This is some pretty insightful data. This is something we can definitely want to see in terms of the value that those visits are bringing. However, we can see a pretty tight correlation between a drop in visits, and a drop in revenue, which would be expected. In just a minute, we'll see that this isn't always the case. The Ecommerce tab is useful in lots of places. Let's take a look at the Keywords report. If I click on Keywords -- now it may be interesting to see how much e-commerce revenue we're deriving from each of these keywords. In other words, we know how valuable each of these keywords were from visits, but how much money were each of these ones? Is there a particular keyword that's driving value? In this case, I want to click back on my Ecommerce tab.
Here on the Ecommerce tab, if we scroll down, we can see the different keywords which brought folks to our shop, and we also can see the number of visits they brought. By default, we're going to be sorted by visits, but I am interested in which keywords were the most valuable, so I'm going to go ahead and sort by revenue. I do that by clicking on the Revenue column, which is going to sort, in descending order, the amount of revenue. And one thing I notice in the second one here is that the term google t-shirts: in the month of July, 97 people searched on this term; in the month of June, 95, so you would expect the revenue to be approximately the same.
However, what we see is that in the month of July, there is a 426% increase from the month of June, even though the amount of visits only went up by 2. So we can see there is not always a correlation from there. By having this extra column, and actually understanding what the value is, we can see exactly what that is; we don't need to rely on visits to give us some inference that may or may not hold true about what the value of that keyword is. Let's take a look at a few more examples. The Visits tab is great, because it gives us context, and insight, and visits are, of course, one of the most important things on our site.
But not moving beyond the Visits tab, and staying on the Visits tab all the time is highly dangerous, especially if we have goals and e-commerce set up. Let's take the case of this actual client. Now, in this case, we were originally working on some pay-per-click analysis, and the client wasn't particularly interested in it, pointing out that, in this case, the number three medium, cost-per-click -- which is our pay-per-click -- was, as he put it, a drop in the bucket. If you look at the referral traffic: 953,000 visits. The claim was, this is where my real traffic comes from. I don't know why we're wasting our time down here with this pay-perclick stuff; it doesn't amount to anything.
Now, the problem was, at this time, visits were all we had. There was no revenue set up, because there was no e-commerce tracking enabled. Now, it stands to reason that he was right. More visitors does equal more business, but when it comes to data- driven analysis, we're going to need more than a gut feel. When we've got the performance data to show how the quality of these visits stacked up, we see a completely different story. In this case, although there were almost a million visits coming through on the referrals, it only amounted to $15,000. Although there were only 58,000 visits coming from the pay-per-click -- the so-called drop in the bucket -- this amounted to $11,000.
At this point, once we see the actual value of these, we can see that not all visits are created the same, and you certainly can't claim that it's a drop in the bucket any more. The vast majority of Google Analytics users don't have goals defined, or e-commerce configured. Now, for those of you sitting at home, are you flying blind? Are you looking at this, and thinking it's a drop in the bucket? Later on, we'll show you how to configure goals of your own, so you don't have to rely on the Visits tab as your sole performance indicator, which you definitely shouldn't do. But picking the proper metric isn't easy. Let's take the following case, where we're asked to select the best campaigns.
So, the goal here is to pick out the best campaign, and we are going to highlight some different ways that we might evaluate this, based on these metrics. Now, we'll start out with a bang: ROI. This is really what we're after, right? Return on investment is the name of the game, and although a 273% return on investment is pretty good, there is no question that 1000% is better. In this case, it might be over. We pick the bottom one, and move on with it, and no one would blame us for doing so, but just for fun, we take a little look further. Now, per visit value, we get reinforcement of the same thing. $1.41 on top, versus $3.22 below.
So if we are doing pay-per-click, again, the bottom one is the way to go. But what about Revenue? We haven't brought any context here. Well, on top brings 14,000 plus, and the bottom only $7500 in revenue. ROI is an easily manipulated value, because it doesn't necessarily depend on the number of visits, or any absolute numbers. So even though you have an ROI of a thousand, if you're looking for revenue, you may be more interested in a 273% ROI that brings you $14,000. But we haven't really talked about the cost. If you're doing advertising, to bring in that revenue, you may have had to pay for it.
In this case, we get $9,000 versus $1500. So in looking at all these different metrics, how do we figure out which one is the best? The bottom line we're really looking for is net profit. How much did I get, versus how much did I have to pay for it? And these two are almost exactly the same. Even though every metric was wildly different, and showed one was vastly better than the other, the bottom line at the end of the day: they're about the same. Let's look at another case. How about these two? One campaign brought 10,000 visits, and one brought 6000 visits. Now, given that, by and large, most of the folks that come in don't have goals configured, don't have e-commerce, don't have anything else to judge the value of the campaign other than visits, it's pretty clear that the top one's the winner.
But what about when we start looking a little deeper; when we start looking at things like impressions, and clicks? If you're paying for each one of those clicks, it gets a little bit more tricky, because now money is going out the door, so to get those visits, how much did I have to pay? In this case, even though 10,000 is definitely better than 6000, if I had to pay $9,000, versus just $774, that might change the game considerably. We also haven't looked at what the value of that was. Remember, visits aren't revenue. When we look at the revenue one -- look at this 14,7 versus 38. When we get back to that all important net profit, the top campaign brought $5,700, while the bottom one brought $38,000.
With each of these metrics I've picked, it seems like the opposite one won. After all, if you torture that data long enough, it will confess to anything, and agencies love to take advantage of this to make you think that they're loser campaigns are huge winners. And if you don't understand these metrics, it's probable that you believe them. Understanding which tab to use, which metrics to use, and which ones are important in which situations, could keep you from choosing the campaign with twice the visits that would lose you $32,000.
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