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Google Analytics reports UX specialists should pay attention to

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Contrary to popular belief, Google Analytics doesn’t just provide information about website traffic, it also provides useful data to UX strategists, helping them set goals, and create strategies and concepts for a sound web design.

Of the 95 reports Google Analytics provides, a few offer incredible useful information ranging from how visitors interact with your website, where visitors came from, to the best channels to use for your goals. Ironically, Google Analytics suffers from a lack of web usability—it can be confusing to navigate your way through the service. Worse, finding which report can help you with your usability goals can be a nightmare.

Usability experts the Nielsen/Norman Group compiled a list of the Analytics reports you can turn to for UX applications.

Mobile Access Growth

This information is key when trying to figure out whether or not your site should also be friendly to mobile devices. How much should you invest in an adaptive web design? What kind of priority level should your mobile initiatives receive?

To compare the quantity of mobile traffic between two similar periods, say February 2014 against 2013, turn to Google Analytics’ date comparison feature, and combine it with some easy calculations offline.

Report: Audience Overview

  1. Go to Audience > Mobile > Overview
  2. Choose a date range, then add  comparison date range
  3. This report’s % Change line represents the change in percentage of absolute mobile visits for the specified date ranges. This is not the information you’re looking for, so ignore this
  4. To find the growth rate in percentage of mobile visits, perform a simple calculation by taking the number of mobile visits, dividing it with the number of total visits, finally calculating the rate of change.

Social Network Impact

Google Analytics also provides a useful report if you want to find out just how much your social network activities impact your goals, particularly when it comes to your content strategies (e.g. what content is shared most often and where it’s shared).

Report: Network Referral

  1. Go to Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals
  2. The report gives a detailed view on referral traffic coming from social networks. You can even click on the indicated networks to see which specific content people are sharing on that social channel.

Conversions

This report offers granular information on the way certain channels add to acquisition, how users originating from these channels act on your site, as well as how these channels contributed towards reaching your goals defined on Google Analytics.

Report: Goals Overview
1) Go to Conversions > Goals > Overview
2) Choose Source/Medium
3) Click on ‘View full report’

4) Upon reaching the full report screen, choose your ‘Source’ and then choose the goals you want to filter.

Number of Visits Prior to Conversion

When assessing and conceptualizing website usability, many UX teams like to build customer-journey maps designed for their target personas. These maps indicate interactions prospects are most likely to take before a conversion (before they become a customer).

Report: Path Length

  1. Conversions > Multi-channel funnels > Path length.
  2. Choose your desired goals to filter

The Path Length report provides a good idea on the number of visits to your websites before users convert or move on to other desirable actions (which you will define in your Analytics account).

Knowing the right reports to base your UX decisions of is the first step towards improving the usability of your website. Google Analytics is a powerful tool, so it is very important to know how to wield it.

Majority of Email Opens Take Place on Mobile Devices Studies Show

By | Automailer, Blog, ecommerce, Mobile, Research, Web Design, Web Store, Webpage Monitoring | No Comments

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Over the last year we have seen multiple studies from firms like Experian Marketing Services and Yesmail showing an interesting and important trend: the number of people opening their emails on mobile devices continues to rise, with 50 percent or more email opens occurring on the mobile platform.

As the year comes to an end, yet another study by Return Path, yields similar findings. Their research shows that in December 2013, 51 percent of email opens happened on some kind of mobile device. The study also marks the first time ever that Return Path has observed mobile email opens getting a majority of the platform share.

Most notably, the highest percentage (62 percent) of mobile email opens occurred over Christmas, likely caused by the deluge of holiday greetings and shopping transactions made by consumers. Perhaps

Similar Findings by IBM: Online Shopping

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Further supporting this, IBM also reported having 48 percent of all online shopping traffic coming from mobile devices on Christmas day. Results are up by 28.3 percent compared to Christmas Day in 2012, while also surpassing the traffic share of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping blitzes. Mobile also accounted for 29 percent of all online sales on Christmas Day for IBM, showing a significant increase of 40 percent compared to last year.

Other noteworthy findings by IBM include a clear pattern—and a continuing trend—indicating more purchases happen on tablet devices, with browsing occurring predominantly on smartphones. IBM’s research shows smartphones account for more traffic compared to tablets, at 28.5 percent and 18.1 percent respectively, but account for only half as many sales, at 9.3 percent and 19.4 percent respectively.

More Shopping Traffic on iOS than Android

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Another interesting find by IBM is how iOS devices reportedly drove more than twice as much shopping traffic, compared to Android devices on Christmas Day, at 32.6 percent versus 14.8. Return Path also showed a similar disparity, this time on the email front. The market research firm found that 86 percent of mobile opens happened on an iOS device on Christmas day—58 percent of opens occurred on an iPhone, 28 percent on an iPad.

A similar study by Movable Ink also found a major imbalance between emails opened on Android and iOS mobile devices.

More Findings

It also comes as no big surprise that Return Path found that the majority of email messages on mobile devices were opened on weekends and holidays, while emails opened on traditional desktop computers spiked during Mondays. In other words, mobile opens happened when people were away from work, and desktop opens while at work.

For Internet service providers (ISPs) and email service clients in the United States, vast increases in email opens occurred on Gmail in December, which Return Path correlated to a recent change Google made to display images, which are now enabled by default.

If anything, these findings show what we’ve been telling our clients throughout the previous year, that is, not to forget to design emails for the mobile format. Mobile email opens are no longer just a trend—they’re here to stay, and will only continue to grow.

Enform and Google Adwords Certification

By | Adwords, Announcements, Awards, Blog, SEO | No Comments

We’re delighted to be able to congratulate our team member Debbie Dankworth on becoming individually qualified under the Google Adwords Certification Program, specialising in Search Advertising.

Debbie is a hands on marketing professional with over 20 years experience and her Adwords Certification adds a significant tool to her set of skills as a digital and online marketing expert. Enform are very proud to have Debbie as an associate and we look forward to adding more value to our clients SEO and SEM needs.

Google Adwords Qualified individuals are globally recognised and have had to sit a number of exams to achieve the qualification demonstrating a close understanding of Adwords, campaign deployment, management and measurement. Qualified partners and individuals are also listed in the Google Partner directory.

Enform believes that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is becoming increasingly important as the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) space becomes more and more crowded. Native search through good SEO is still critical for long term brand awareness and creation of core brand value but SEM is the tool to help launch product and company idea’s promotions, marketing communication programs and anything that is time critical.

This makes SEM a particularly effective tool to quickly create and deploy campaigns to drive traffic and customers to your site, e-commerce store or social media resource. A simple campaign can be created and deployed in under an hour with results visible almost immediately. Equally, the campaign can be turned on or off in seconds but Google Adwords management console allows that to even happen automatically.

Setting up an Adwords account is free and relatively easy, so why use an agency or Adwords professional? To quote Google themselves;

“Like many advertisers, you may not have a significant amount of time to invest in learning AdWords and managing your own advertising account. Hiring a professional can help save you time while maximizing the return on your investment.”

From our point of view, we see the difference a high quality score can make to the cost and effectiveness of an Adwords campaign. This directly goes to the argument of ROI and there are countless horror stories about peoples blowing their entire budget in one day. Yes, you can do it yourself but wouldn’t you rather be running your business or your marketing strategy?

Google Adwords is still the number one search engine marketing tool and accounts for the bulk of all SEM ad spend globally. That’s why we strongly support the Google Adwords certification program to make sure our clients get the best support in this important area.

Congratulations again Debbie!

Google Brings Back Analytics “Benchmarking”

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Good news for those who frequently dabble in Google Analytics. Sometime around March this year, search engine giant Google ceased providing its regular Analytics benchmarking reports, something which used to be included in its Google Analytics system. Needless to say, the disappearance of the feature caused some disappointment amongst many site owners, compelling Google to bring back the service on the 1st of July. This time around, the benchmarking information will be sent to users through their monthly newsletter.

For those who have chosen to opt in for anonymous data sharing via Google Analytics, the first newsletter containing the data in question is likely sitting in your email inbox right about now.

Google Analytics Benchmarks

To those not familiar with the technology, Google Analytics Benchmarking is a statistics report that contains analytical data siphoned from the hundreds of thousands of sites that have opted in for anonymous sharing of data, which is then compared with the same data siphoned from the previous year, during the same period of time (usually on a monthly basis). This historical data is then considered as a benchmark for site performance, allowing users to have a better understanding about the different metrics captured by Google.

The move to transfer the benchmarking data report from one’s Google Analytics account to a monthly newsletter may strike some as odd, even Google themselves admit that the newsletter is still an experiment in providing more interesting and useful data to individuals who use Google Analytics.

For webmasters, there are a plethora of reasons why you should opt in for this data sharing pool. There are currently hundreds of thousands of Analytics users are part of this community, and Google has supplemented this number of making sure that all metrics are significant statistics-wise.

Facebook becomes bigger hit than Google

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Chris Nuttall and David Gelles have reportered in the Financial Times  (Published: March 16 2010) that social networking website Facebook has capped a year of phenomenal growth by overtaking Google’s popularity among US internet users, with industry data showing it has scored more visits on its home page than the search engine.

In a sign that the web is becoming more sociable than searchable, research firm Hitwise said that the two sites accounted for 14 per cent of all US internet visits last week. Facebook’s home page recorded 7.07 per cent of traffic and Google’s 7.03 per cent. Some other highlights;

  • Facebook’s membership has more than doubled in the past year, passing the 200m mark last April and 400m in February.

  • Google has responded to the ascendancy of the social networking site with its own Buzz service last month. Buzz allows users to add status updates, friends, pictures, videos, location information, comments and links to other networking sites.

  • Internet users worldwide spent more than five-and-a-half hours a month on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82 per cent increase over the previous year, according to the Nielsen Company research firm.

Enform believes that this points to Facebook becoming the ubiquitous home page for more users in place of search engines and other social media sites. In fact, it suggest the evolution of social media away from its perceived position as simply another kids thing to that of a multi-modal contact and virtual “touch-point” for connected individuals and usomer’s.

They used to say “you have to be on Google” to make it on the web… now Facebook?

Web analytics, use it or ignore it and hope your competitor does too.

By | Blog, Research, tools | No Comments
Google Analytics Dashboard

Google Analytics Dashboard

Web analytics is one of the most powerful yet underrated online marketing tools on the web. Google Analytics is not the most powerful but it has one significant advantage over many others – its free.

Wikipedia defines web analytics as “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of internet data for purposes of understanding and optimizing web usage”. Have a look at their excellent summary here and consider the possibilities available via a well set up tracking engine.

Imagine knowing which specific pages your customers from Albania looked at and how they were referred to that page? What time of the day was it? Was the Albanian interest level the same as the same time last year and how many converted to a sale or reached the specified goal target? And how does your site compare with your peers or competitors and which words generate the most inbound traffic through native search?

These are but a small sample of what’s available free through Google, its easy to setup and the reporting options are more extensive than most people will every try.  If you have the functionality installed, ask Enform to help you show what’s possible. If you haven’t got analytics tracking yet, talk to Enform about helping you set up.