Data Analysis

Automate your Analytics with a Virtual Web Analyst

A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the beta test of a new tool marketed as a virtual web analyst. Andrew Dempsey reached out to me and introduced me to Needl Analytics. I spent some time with the tool and had it analyze data for some of my clients, and I also spoke to Andrew about my experience with the tool and my suggestions for improvements. While Needl Analytics isn’t perfect, it’s very impressive for a tool in the beta stage.

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Data Analysis, Data Collection

Measure the Time-to-click in Google Analytics

I’ve previously written a post on how to track clicks on internal links and call to actions. It’s really useful to measure which call to actions are actually clicked. But in some cases we might need more details. Such as knowing how long time it takes for our users to place that click. If users are taking a very long time before clicking a primary call to action, we might be able to help them by tweaking the text or our headers. But before we can make that decision, we must be able to measure the time-to-click. Continue reading

Data Analysis

4 Things to Know About Google Analytics Goals

One of the fundamental configurations in Google Analytics is to setup Goals. Goals are what allows you to analyze your website’s ability to drive users to what you want them to do (i.e. their Goals). Basically, goals are the actions on your website that provide value for you and for your customers. In turn, you’ll use Goals and Goal Conversion Rate to analyze the performance of e.g. your paid traffic channels. Which ones work and which don’t? But as with many things in Google Analytics, there are some things you need to know about Google Analytics goals, before you can use them intelligently.

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Data Analysis

Pageviews and Unique Pageviews in Google Analytics

You’re probably familiar with the All Pages report in Google Analytics. This report tells you basic data about all of your pages. Things such as the number of entrances (landings), exit rate, bounce rate and so on. But the two first metrics – Pageviews and Unique Pageviews – often lead to confusion. Because, what’s the difference between Pageviews and Unique Pageviews?

This is a really short post since the answer is simple. It’s not even a post. I’ve categorized it in WordPress as an “Aside”. Which I think is just a quick note. But back to the difference. Just as there is a difference between Users and Sessions, Pageviews and Unique Pageviews are a world apart.

The Pageviews metric shows the total number of times a specific page is viewed. Even if your users view it multiple times by refreshing the page or by visiting it several times. So this is the total.

On the other hand, the Unique Pageviews metric is always going to be equal to or lower than the Pageviews metric. This metric only counts one per pageview of a given page per session. So even if a user views a page several times within one session, this only counts as one unique pageview.

So, Pageviews are the total – even if a user visits the same page multiple times within one session. Unique Pageviews are the total number sessions in which a page was viewed.

Data Analysis

3 Ways to Discover Customer Intent with Google Analytics

Do your website meet the actual expectations of your visitors? People rarely arrive at your website by chance. They have an intention and are there for a reason – regardless of what triggered their visit. And often times regardless of what you think their intention is. That’s why, it’s so important to understand those intentions so you can optimize for them. Perhaps your site navigation needs to be simplified. Or your homepage should have some different promotions. So by using Google Analytics to discover customer intent for your users, you’ll gain critical knowledge about your users. And you’ll get data showing where to optimize. Continue reading

Data Analysis

What are Users and Sessions in Google Analytics?

I do Google Analytics training sessions very often, and often for non-analysts. One of the questions that pop up most often is something that might seem basic for full time web analysts. Namely, just what are Users and Sessions? And what is the difference between Users and Sessions in Google Analytics? What do those metrics mean and how do Google Analytics track and count Users and Sessions?

Many people think Users are the same thing as people. Which – at its core – is wrong. Sessions are more easily understood. But the relationship between the two seems to be difficult to grasp for many. People who’ve been working with ecommerce for years also wonders whatever happened to good old metrics such as Unique Visitors and Visits. Not that they understand those two metrics any better.

So, in this post, I want to share the explanation I usually give in my training sessions and workshops. If you’re an analyst or consultant yourself, I hope this will make it easier for you to explain the whole Users vs. Sessions thingy to your colleagues. And if you work in Sales or Marketing and don’t consider yourself a Google Analytics expert, then I hope you’ll learn the definitions and differences here. Continue reading