Archive for the ‘Analytics’ Category

Credit Where Credit is Due: Demystifying Attribution (from SMX East)

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The following is a recap from a session at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East. Follow the conference and session on Twitter.

Cross Channel Attribution

  • Unified Tracking: track interaction of the user with all media channels at one place.
  • Attribute and Analyze
    • Model how different factors contribute to conversion
    • Model how factors interact with each other
  • Optimize: Allocate media spend based on cross-channel models

Unified Tracking

  • On average, there are 4-6 touchpoints across before conversion
  • Conversion Data (over 10,000) for several clients
  • Identify key variables influencing conversions
  • The more time it takes to convert, the less likely a conversion will take place.
  • Relative importance of conversions
    • 70% time to convert
    • 20% first touch source
    • 7% search engine
    • 3% brand term

What is the chief limitation of revenue attribution?


  • First prerequisite: unified tracking program
  • Attribution is a partial solution
  • Attribution + Algorithmic Optimization is the solution for answering the media mix question

Siddharth Shah, Efficient Frontier

Improving ROI through Web Analytics

Success means different things to different people.

Test A/B pages with bounce rate, but be sure to check conversion rates down the funnel!

3 Tips for Better Attribution

  1. Look at the whole picture
  2. Use a fair measure of success
  3. Know your limits

1. Look at the whole picture

  • Window shopping
  • Entering the store
  • Asking questions
  • Trying it on
  • Buying it

Look at the whole sales cycle

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Retention

Solution: create a weighted metric

Assigning value to behaviors for “assists”

Which is more valuable?

  • Identify online behaviors that correlate with conversion
  • Analyze trends to assign to corresponding value
    • Regression Analysis – built into MS Excel
  • Optimize to align with weighted metric

When to use weighted metrics

  • Long sales cycles
  • Multiple “successes”
  • Offline sales
  • Efficient campaigns

2. Use a fair measure of success

The problem with “last click”

Tools that are starting to get the message

  • Omniture Markeitng Channels
  • Google Search Trends
  • Google Analytics “first click” hack
  • Interim solution: combine first + last click

3. Know your limits

  • Correlation does not imply causation
  • No crystal ball
  • Review regularly

Always be testing!

David Sprinkle, ROI Labs

Demystifying Attribution: Two myths

Myth 1: We need to be perfect in order to do it

You don’t need to have a PhD in Math to get attribution right

The perfect is the enemy of the good. -Voltaire

Evolution of Attribution Management

  • Last click
  • Even
  • Exclusions
  • Rules based
  • Algorithmic

Myth 2: Isn’t attribution just about moving money around?

Just because you have the same amount of money at the end of the month doesn’t mean you should attribute where it comes from so that next month you can optimize accordingly.

Adam Goldberg, ClearSaleing

Demystifying Attribution

Deep down:

  • Consumers are constatntly moving around the purchase path
  • Multiple touchpoints could all lead to a conversion

Early on looking at attribution:

  • Lots of data, no clear takeaways
  • Data would only show certain channels based on system redirects
  • Or to get the whole picture, you were looking at a hefty price tag

First steps toward attribution:

  • Attribution through an ad serving platform
  • Able to track 2 channels and 10 touch points
  • Found a 15% overlap in revenue attributed
  • Proved the need for a deeper level of understanding

What they needed to make some impact:

  • A solution built to track all digital activities
  • Easy to implement with strong customer support
  • Flexible in its attribution models and accommodated multiple views
  • Ability to report back at an actual profit level

In action: affiliate valuation

  • Ensure affiliates aren’t over inflating credit
  • On last click model, affiliate was converting over 10%
  • Affiliate was only ‘introducing’ the transaction 2% of the time
  • Action: renegotiate pricing structure

In action: network valuation

  • Better evaluate individual network performance (consumer path and strength of performance)
  • Layer in segmentation (acquisition, LTV)
  • Use data to make more targeted and efficient buys

Mixed Media Modeling

  • Weight the incrementality of channel buys
  • Assign credit in a conversion path against these findings
  • Allows for real time ‘exclusion’ set
  • Leads to more accurate judgement on each individual channel’s impact

Danielle Smith, Range Online Media

More coverage of this session

Actionable Metrics and Diagnostics (from SMX East)

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The following is a recap from a session at Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East. Follow the conference and session on Twitter.

Optimize the Google Store: SEO in 15 minutes


  1. Sign up for Webmaster Tools email forwarding
  2. Utilize search queries
  3. Focus on one item

1. Webmaster Tools email forwarding: Receive site alerts from Google straight to your inbox

  • Malware notification
  • Alerts in crawl errors

2. Make the most of search queries

  • Highlight/star the terms for which you want to rank
  • Deprioritize queries that are unlikely to help your conversions

Focus on starred search queries within Webmaster Tools

Improve your query in search results:

  • Check for appealing titles and snippets (descriptive and matches user’s intent)
  • Learn tips from the other results

Sell like hot cakes!

3. Target your content to match your audience (Keywords)

  • Write content that matches your query terms
  • Webmaster Tools provides an overview of keywords

Check for duplicates in results

  • May be possible to consolidate PageRank between duplicate/near duplicate pages
  • Pages displayed should be diverse in content

Reduce duplicate content

  • Check search queries
  • Review HTML suggestions
  • Select canonical
  • Use 301 permanent redirects where possible
  • Implement rel=”canonical”
  • Utilize URL parameter handling

Improve crawl efficiency

  • Recommend behavior to Googlebot through URL parameter handling
  • Check for 404s
  • Fix broken links: crawl error sources – bring users and linking properties to the right URLs
  • Prioritize your content – internal links
  • Help users and engines quickly find your important pages
  • Verify you’re linking as expected
  • Make text/links accessible
  • Fetch as Googlebot
    • Links and text should be clearly visible
    • URL rewriting/redirect issues uncovered
  • JS loaded text common issues with video, even Video Sitemaps

User happiness: site performance

The recap

  • Email forwarding
  • Search queries
  • Keywords to content
  • Reduce duplicated in crawling and indexing
  • Crawl errors to fix broken links
  • Prioritize content: internal links
  • Verify crawler access: Fetch as Googlebot
  • Site performance review in Google Webmaster Tools

Maile Ohye, Google

18 Metrics to Answer Questions

1. How much SEO do I really have?

Filter out branded traffic

2. Is my site what I think it is about?

Google Webmaster Tools –> keywords (Does Google think my site is about what I do?)

3. Is my site authoritative?

  • SEOmoz authority rank (part 1)
  • How many indexed pages does Google have for you? (part 2)

4. How does my site’s authority stack up against competition’s

  • How many domains link to your’s vs. your competitor’s
  • How many links to your’s vs. your competitor’s
  • (Data warning: link data is inconsistent)

5. Am I a good linkbuilder?

How many links do you have to your homepage? (Google Webmaster Tools links to site à links to homepage only)

6. Was that a valuable link? (A valuable link is one that gives you traffic)

Google Analytics – traffic from links

7. Have I lost some links?

Google Webmaster Tools – check 404 errors for pages that are losing links

8. How spammy is my link profile?

SEOmoz report (Domain mozTrust vs. mozRank – should be very similar)

9. Should I give up on this keyword?

SEOmoz report (backlinking report)

10.  Do I nail the long tail?

  • Look at the number of keywords bringing traffic to your site (Google Analytics)
  • Look at number of landing pages (Google Analytics)
  • How many pages does Google have indexed in my site (site: command)

11.  Is my site a bunch of useless templates?

Crawl vs. Index ratio (just because it’s crawled, doesn’t mean it’s indexed)

12.  Does my site look fat in these jeans?

  • Site performance (Google Webmaster Tools spped)
  • Site speed (YSlow)

13.  Will prospective partners take my call?

Business often starts with PR review

14.  Does my site lack fresh content?

Review site logs to see what your most-crawled pages are

Conrad Saam, Avvo

More Metrics and Diagnostics

Check server log to see how often GoogleBot:

  • Number of pages crawled
  • Canonicalization
  • 302s

Better than rankings reports (combo of Analytics and Webmaster Tools)

  • Query clusters
  • Traffic
  • Search behavior
  • Google impressions and clicks

Vanessa Fox, Search Engine Land

Go from Interested to Informed

Social media metrics that count

  • Hit the right target
  • Social metrics for social intelligence
  • Online metrics: bridging the gap
  • Additional resources

Hit the right target

Goals ensure that metrics are aimed at the right targets

Answer these 4 questions before you track social media

  1. What business questions are we trying to have answered?
  2. What are we planning/willing to do with the findings?
  3. What are our short-term goals for our social media program?
  4. What are our long-term goals for our social media program?

Social media goals

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Decrease customer attrition
  • Uncover valuable market insights and trends

Social metrics for social intelligence

  • Brand awareness metrics:
    • Volumes of conversation around your brand
    • Volumes of conversation around your competitors
    • Affinity groups and influencers
    • Sites where your brand conversation happens
  • Audience sentiment metrics:
    • Audience sentiment around your brand
    • Audience sentiment around your compeititor’s brand
    • Audience affinity groups and influencers
  • Corporate engagement
  • Outcomes and findings:
    • Causes in shifts and spikes in volume
    • Causes in shifts and spikes in sentiment
    • Insights and ongoing metrics that track back to your original goal

Vicki Blair, Visible Technologies

More coverage of this session

4 Google Analytics Reports to See If Your Blogpost (or Web page) is Getting the “Right” Traffic

Monday, September 13th, 2010

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post called What is a Good Bounce Rate in Google Analytics? As it turns out, it ended up being one of the most visited posts on the blog.

The amount of traffic I get from this post got me to thinking:

  • Do you always get the kind of traffic you’re hoping for from blogposts?
  • If so, how would you find out?
  • If not, is it possible to backtrack and try again?

The truth of the matter is a lot of us write blogposts with SEO in mind. [Hopefully those posts naturally balance content with keywords...but that's a topic for another time.] But how many of us double check that the content we created is doing well for those keywords after the fact? Here’s how you can use Google Analytics to do just that.

Content Detail

Let’s start off simple. How much traffic is the page in question getting? Is it still getting traffic after being published or has it gone stale after 6 months or a year?

How about traffic stats – how many unique visitors? How much time do they spend on the page? What’s the bounce rate like – do visitors bounce after reading the post?

The takeaway

  • If traffic fell off over time, maybe it’s time to repost the content somewhere. Try giving it a major overhaul and submitting it to an article marketing site or guest blogging it.
  • If you’re still getting traffic but time on page seems a little low, try reorganizing the post. Do you split the content up with headers, bullets, etc.? Or try rewriting the copy to keep the reader hooked until the end of the post.
  • If your bounce rate is higher than you’d like (which is typical for blogposts), do you have a call to action to entice the reader to stay on the site?

Navigation Summary

We’ll look next at entrance sources outside of your website, but which pages did visitors come from on your site or blog?

The takeaway

If the goal is to decrease bounce rate, think about the linking strategy you use from other pages.

Entrance Sources

How are visitors getting to your page or post? Is it direct, search engine, or referral traffic? The Entrance Sources report will show a mixture of all three sources.

The takeaway

  • Didn’t get as much bang for your buck out of Twitter or Facebook? Try reposting it and see if you can get some more ReTweets and comments.
  • Looking for more links? Try guest blogging on a similar topic and link to the page or post.
  • Not satisfied with Google visits? Read on and we’ll talk keywords…

Entrance Keywords

Probably the most important report you can run, find out what keywords visitors used at the search engines to get to your post/page.

The takeaway

  • If you’re not doing as well as you thought you would for the keywords you targeted, try spicing up the title. It may not be that you’re ranking poorly, simply that your blopost doesn’t stand out from the rest of results on Google.
  • A title tweak not doing the trick? Make sure you’re tracking your rankings for your top key phrases for the page (using a program like Raven Tools) and tweak the content (naturally) until you’ve got the desired rankings. Rinse and Repeat.

Nicki Hicks
Check and double check

Google Analytics vs. Urchin: A Clear Winner?

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

A client contacted us recently concerned that his traffic (according to Urchin) had dropped significantly in November of 2009. Since the drop, the Urchin has been reporting no more than 1 or 2 visitors per day. This 0-visitor week span has been pretty typical over the past 8 months:

Our first step? Install Google Analytics. I talk a lot about Google Analytics and how intuitive it is; plus I’m much more comfortable using it than Urchin. Lo and behold, Google Analytics had a very different traffic report than Urchin:

An interesting difference, n’est pas? It seems Urchin just stopped tracking data. I attempted to do some research on the occurence with no luck. Has anyone had a similar experience?

Nicki Hicks
Stumped by Urchin

Making Analytics Actionable: How to Improve SEO by Employing Data & Metrics (with SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin)

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Rand’s going to talk about how to make standard metrics actionable. [woot]

To make Analytics actionable, always ask:

Why am I measuring this?

What would I do if results were different?

Search Referral Analytics

# of visits per search engine over time – You want to see this number increase over time, in relationship to the search engine’s market share/overall global growth [Action: find out if it's a ranking/indexing issue]

# pages getting search referrals over time – Measure for each search engine and often. [Action: discover if indexation is an issue worth effort, read more about that here]

# of keywords sending traffic from a search engine over time – Look for increase in number of keywords sending traffic to your site – especially if you create a lot of content [Action: might be a rankings/demand issue; determine if content additions are accretive and what drives growth/shrinkage in search traffic]

Keyword Referral Analytics

# visits per keyword – Compare week by week, or even month by month [Action: Analyze top traffic drivers from a value perspective, check rankings for potential easy wins & get answers if traffic dips]

First time vs. returning visits per keyword – Business decision: which is better for you? [Action: Determine value of reaching new visitors vs. converting branded users (focus efforts on the more valuable one)]

Keyword rankings – They can be valuable! [Action: know if traffic spikes/dropoffs are from rankings, indexation or search demand shifts by matching traffic with rankings, SEOmoz has their own ranking tracker and you can track rankings using Analytics!]

Engagement Analytics

Time on site – Take it to the next level [Action: compare ROI metrics; if they correlate, improve on keywords/landing pages with low time on site]

# of Pageviews – Again, take it further than “sweet, it went up this month” [Action: Depending on your metrics, a "sweet spot" of pages browsed often dictates a conversion event - optimize towards it!]

Repeat visit ratio – [Action: Find what content/activities/referrers send engaged (read: returning) traffic and copy those while improving subpar pages]

Sharing/linking activity – Start tracking these actions, just like a conversion! [Action: Find patterns/sources that predict sharing activities (both content and CTAs) and make them testable conversion events]

Latent Conversion Tracking

Removing last-click attribution – Do you know what happens before their last click when they become a conversion? Look at full path analysis within Navigation Summary in your Analytics. This post will show you how to do this.

ROI Analytics

Lifetime Customer Value = CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value): how much money they spend, how many referrals

Cost of Acquisition = CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost): how much spent on sales, SEO, marketing, advertising


Always be asking “What’s the ROI?”


Q: In your opinion what’s the best Analytics software?
A: Depends on the person using it. Omniture experts will have difficulty with WebTrends. You can get a lot of the same information from all of the packages.

Q: Why the symmetric dip in SEOmoz’s traffic?
A: B2B websites will usually see dips on the weekends.

Q: How can I see the number of unique visitors for a particular section of my website?
A: At the bottom of Google Analytics, you can filter  landing pages based on page, like:


Q: Is there a big difference between different Analytics packages?
A:  Eric Enge did an extensive study with this at StoneTemple.

Q: Is there a way to automatically see rankings in Google Analytics?
A: Yes, here’s the Yoast link again.

Q: What’s the best tool for measuring ROI?
A:, SEOmoz uses Infusionsoft.

Q: In your opinion, what’s your favorite part about Google Analytics?
A: Simplicity; the greatest thing is it’s easy to use, fairly fast.

Q: How do you compare bounce rates with other websites in your industry?
A: Google Analytics will let you view your site stats compared to similar sites in your industry using Benchmarking. You can find these stats under Visitors > Benchmarking. [You can set your industry at the very top of the page.] It’s up to you whether you actually believe these stats or not, obviously.

Q: Tell us something about bounce rates.
A: I only care about them when they happen in my conversion funnel. Always tie it to conversion and ROI.

Q: Why is rank tracker different than actual search?
A: Make sure personalized search is off (use &pws=0 after your query); local search could also change your results.

Q: When looking at social media sites, what are the metrics to track?
A: It depends on what you want them to do. Branding? Time on site. Go to your site and look at ads? Maybe page visits.

You’ll be able to find the archive of this webinar here shortly. And here is all of the Twitter chatter about the #mozinar.

Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

How to Draw Conclusions from Google Analytics Data (Part 2)

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Since there was too much to say from last time, I’m continuing thoughts on drawing Analytics conclusions today.

Bounce Rate

Crap. Bounce rate went up.

  • Did it increase drastically? For the most part, bounce rates don’t change more than a few percent unless something major happened. Did you get a powerful link that brought in ton of traffic? (In which case, maybe the call-to-action on that page wasn’t strong enough.)
  • Does your website have a blog, or is it a blog? Blogs tend to have excruciatingly high bounce rates, since individual blogposts answer a question and once the question is answered, the visitor will move on. The key for a blog: is your high bounce rate coupled with a high new visits rate and/or a low subscription number? If visitors never return (your new visits rate is high), then you need to work to bring it down. Likewise with subscription rates – what can you do to make people subscribe? Sometimes it’s as simple as making a call-to-action to subscribe a little more “in your face”.

Yes! Bounce rate went down!

  • Like pageviews, a decrease in bounce rate can sometimes be a negative thing. Is it difficult for people to find what they want so they have to visit multiple pages?
  • Did you start displaying your phone number prominently? We’ve become a web-based world, but that doesn’t mean people don’t pick up the phone anymore. Many companies actually prefer to be contacted by phone, by burying any web-based means of contact and displaying phone number in the forefront. In this case, the call-to-action is to call so a low bounce rate (hopefully) means they took that action. By creating a means of measurement for this (by using a service for it), you’ll be able to successfully track this assumption.

A note on bounce rates: good vs. bad bounce rates depend heavily on your industry, as well as website vs. blogs. The flyte website typically stays around a 75% bounce rate, this blog about an 80% bounce rate. I’ve seen them get as low as 20-30%, typically in the hotel/inn industry.

Average Time on Site

Crap. Average time on site went down.

  • Are your conversions going down too? Then you might have an issue on your hands. If people are spending less time on the site, and not doing what you want them to do while they’re there, take a look at your top landing pages and optimize them in order of popularity. Take time to make your call-to-action bold and attractive.
  • Did pageviews also go down? That might not be a bad thing. Did you add a better call-to-action? Check your conversions. They might be up!

Yes! Average time on site went up!

  • Has bounce rate also gone up? Then there might be a problem. Luckily, people are still taking the time to look for what they need; but then they’re leaving. Make it easy for your visitors with easy-to-use navigation and, can’t say it enough, your call-to-action.
  • Add a really popular new page or blog post? Or perhaps you have a great new incoming link? In that case, people are actually reading what you write – which is fantastic! (Find out which page/post it is by sorting your top content by time on site.)

New Visits

Crap. New visits went down.

  • First decide: do you want new visitors? If the answer is “yes”, then have you been writing articles? Blog posts? New content? That’s where you should start. Then, try social media and social bookmarking. You’ll reach new audiences (nearly) every day there).
  • If you want to keep your old visitors coming back, give them a reason to. Add a blog, or a section that changes often. Maybe an email newsletter is the answer: incorporating links to keep your visitors hungry for more.

Yes! New visits went up!

  • Have you been active on social media or social bookmarking sites? Make sure you’re well aware of any pages that go viral (and thank folks who might have ReTweeted you ;) .)
  • Check your traffic sources for where these new visitors are coming from. That should share even more insight.

In conclusion

Google Analytics isn’t perfect and you can’t see why every visitor does what they do on your website. But, you can get a great picture and even gain a lot of insight.

Nicki Hicks
Mind reading through Analytics

How to Draw Conclusions from Google Analytics Data (Part 1)

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Hopefully you have Google Analytics installed on your website. (If not, I’ll wait for you to go and do that now.)

Done? OK, let’s continue.

As you probably know, there’s a vast amount of data on Google Analytics – nearly to the point of information overload. It might cause us to gasp and say Crap! My bounce rate went up! or Yes! I have 10% more visits this month than last month!

All of these seemingly deep, thoughtful conclusions may seem well and good, but what do they really mean? For some businesses, an increase in one stat might be great while for another, it might be negative.

I think the first and most important step in analyzing analytics data is ask yourself why something happened. So we’re going to go through a series of questions to ask yourself for the six major stats in GA: visits, pagesviews, pages/visit, bounce rate, average time on site, and new visits. (We’ll leave some of the deeper sections for another time.)


Crap. Visits went down.

  • Holiday – or seasonal – downturn? It sounds ridiculous, but I noticed a drastic decrease in visits in many clients’ statistics in December (those not centered around holiday business, that is).
  • Do you have a blog you’ve been ignoring? If you have a blog on your domain, or if you’re looking at GA stats for your blog, traffic will more often than not decrease if you haven’t been keeping up with it.
  • Have you decreased your marketing efforts? Web and/or traditional? There’s an obvious reason for a decrease in traffic.

Yes! Visits went up!

  • Did you send out an e-newsletter? I often see a drastic boost in traffic if an e-zine is sent out – and guess what? The more subscribers to an email newsletter, the more visits you’ll see! (Hence the need to always include a link back the website.)
  • Did something go viral? An article you wrote? A YouTube video? A tweet? Track back through your analytics to see where the traffic came from.


Crap. Pageviews went down.

  • Did you recently do a redesign? Pageviews going down may not be a bad thing. It may very well mean that people can find what they were looking for more quickly in only a few clicks!
  • Did you launch a new landing page? A simple landing page with an easy call-to-action would certainly decrease clicks. Again…GOOD thing.
  • Do people get frustrated and leave? Are people leaving without doing what you want them to? Double check by looking through the Content section: top exit pages.

Yes! Pageviews went up!

  • Did you recently do a redesign or add a landing page that is a dud? Pageviews going up might be a bad thing. Making more clicks might frustrate your visitors.
  • Did you add a scintillating new post, page, or copy? In this case, say if your pageviews are currently no much more than 1, increased pageviews is fantastic. Look through your content section to verify what did the trick – then keep doing it!


All of the same issues as pageviews, as pages/visit is simply an average of pageviews/visit.

That’s going to do it for today. We’ll save the other half (bounce rate, average time on site, and new visits) for tomorrow.

Nicki Hicks

How Do I Edit Google Analytics Scheduled Reports?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

About a year ago, a client requested to receive weekly Google Analytics reports; a request I was more than happy to oblige. In order to stay on top of the client’s statistics, I added my own email to the list.

Now, months later, our contract has been completed and I’m still receiving those pesky emails. While I’m ecstatic my client’s website continues to perform well, it’s become annoying that Google Analytics emails me every Monday clock work.

This morning I decided to do something about it.

After some searching, I found the current Google Analytics Help section on the topic is somewhat out of date, having been written before one of the minor redesigns.

In an effort to help others pestered with the same annoyance I was having, the solution is simple.

Go into “View Reports” of the account in question. On the left hand menu, you’ll see hiding under “My Customizations”, an Email button:

email settings

Once here, you can change, manage, or update any of your scheduled reports!

Nicki Hicks
Happily no longer receiving GA reports

Google Analytics Advanced Segments: What they are and Why you need them

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Ever wanted to see how much traffic you’re getting from your social media networks? Or your email newsletter? How about from a particular link – maybe a directory?

You can obviously filter this traffic using Google Analytics; but with Advanced Segments, spending a little time now will save you a lot of time filtering from now on.

In the top right of your dashboard, you’ll see “Advanced Segments”, with a default drop down of “All Visits”:

dashboard advanced segments

Basically, an Advanced Segment is simply a way to compare sets of Analytics data against each other – whether it’s traffic, referring sites, time on site, etc. These are many of the pre-set segments.

Let’s say I want to see my total visits compared to those from referring sites. By simply checking off those two boxes, I can then see the data:

vists vs referral traffic analytics advanced segment

vists vs referral traffic graph

Keep in mind that you can change the date range, as well as travel to any other page (bounce rate, for example) and still have the segment set.

Since Google Analytics couldn’t create every segment, you have the ability to create your own. Click the drop-down Advanced Segments menu, then choose to create a new advanced segment.

create advanced segment

You’ll be taken to this page:

new advanced segment

Let’s say I want to see how much traffic I get from Facebook. I click down within Dimensions > Traffic Sources > Source, and drag it to the Dimension or Metric box. In this case, I’m going to match the dimension with “Contains”, for the traffic that contains the domain Input the domain, name the segment, and you’re done!

facebook advanced segment

Notice you can add “or” and/or “and” statements depending on the segment you want to set. You’d use these if you were tracking traffic from multiple sources; for instance, all social media sources (,, and

Not sure you did it right? Click “Test Segment” to see if it worked.

Then, if I go back to my dashboard and set “All Visits” and my new “Facebook” segment, I can see the comparison:

visits vs facebook

visits vs facebook graph

Again, this process takes some time to set up, but once it is, you’ll be able to create seemingly customized reports in no time!

Nicki Hicks
Create custom reports with the click of a button

Google Analytics Intelligence: Who’s Watching Your Alerts?

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

google analytics intelligence

Google rolled out the Intelligence feature a few months back, but it was only showing up on select accounts at that time. Now, it appears to be available for all accounts. In your Analytics, you’ll see a curious new navigation tab.

What’s so great about it?

Instead of checking every nook and cranny in your Analytics, simply go to the Intelligence section and check out your alerts.

Google will automatically alert you for significant changes in all of your main dashboard items:

  • Traffic
  • Pageviews
  • Pages/visit
  • Bounce Rate
  • Average Time on Site
  • New Visitors

google analytics intelligence alerts

There are also a few added bonuses. You can sort your alerts by day, week, or month to get a more specific view or the one from 20,000 feet. Like custom reports, you can also create custom alerts – if you’d like the GA assistant to ping you if a particular statistic changes significantly.

Don’t be too critical, Intelligence is still in beta. All things considered, it’s an intuitive (and quick) way to check any unusual (good or bad) behavior on your site.

Nicki Hicks
Google’s so Intelligent

Switch to our mobile site