Google Analytics Intelligence Feature Insights

google analytics intelligence dashboard menu

Google Analytics new intelligence feature is heaven sent.

The new intelligence option within your analytics account allows you to create non-destructive custom filters which are then immediately applied to both current andhistorical data.

This speeds up the analysis time immeasurably, as you no longer have to fumble through exporting data into separate spreadsheets and workbooks, refresh pivot tables, etc. to find the answers you’re looking for.



Google offers up some template starter alerts, which are fine if you only want to know if something horrible is happening, but creating a custom alert is so easy there really isn’t any excuse for not doing it.

You can only filter on 2 fields –

one dimension field:

dimension alert

dimension alert choices

and one metric field.


google alert metrics

but it does give you some pretty great info, for example:

google analytics custom report

google analytics intelligence report information

This comes in very handy if you’re running multiple campaigns across several different marketing channels, or you want to monitor changes in revenue from day to day from different visitor segments – there really is a lot you can do with this once you dig in.

And while this type of information is very nice, the frosting on top is this handy bar graph –

google analytics importance bar chart

This 'importance' bar graph helps you make sense of it all.

It’s too early for me to say how relevant this actually is, but the idea is solid. Get immediate insight into the data that matters. And you’re not limited to only daily alert views either, you can also choose weekly or monthly views – probably the better choice for analysis for most small to mid size companies running minor ad campaigns.

Gotta give some love to Google on this one.

Yahoo Jumps on the Social Wagon

Yahoo, in an attempt to get something to boost it’s dwindling search performance, is now jumping into the open social world by offering up the ability to share your social content (tweets, yelp reviews, rss feeds, etc..) on your Yahoo profile.

With 40 million ACTIVE users in the United States alone- (and we’re waaay behind some other countries…China, India…), there’s good reason for them to climb on board. According to Netpop Research LLC, social networking has grown 93% since 2006. And when you look at the rapid growth rate of the main social networks (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), you realize they’d be crazy not to attempt to join the craze.

While it sounds very familiar to friendfeed, it’ll be interesting to see how well they pull this off. Yahoo does have some very good products (BOSS , Flickr, Yahoo Answers, Site Explorer ), but I’ve never really thought of Yahoo as a place to network or socialize. Maybe that’s going to change.

Hey, at least they’re still trying. You can read more about this on their official blog: Share Updates from other Sites on your Yahoo! Profile | Profiles News

Browser Survey – What Are You Surfing On?

I thought I’d venture a “little” off-track today, since I see that WordPress has now added User Polls to their dashboard.

Now, I already know what visitors to my clients’ sites are browsing with – IE, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, etc… but I have no idea what the visitors to this blog are checking it out on, so I’m just going to ask.

Thanks for responding!

Adwords Quality Score Update – Yea or Nay?

Well, after much bemoaning from their internet advertisers, Google has finally improved upon their “Quality Score” rating for keywords inside of Adwords.

Previously, a keyword would be labelled “inactive for search” if it didn’t meet the quality guidelines set up by Google. e.g. your ad for new sneakers includes a bid for the keyword “milkshake” – google looks at your ad, your landing page, and the landing page load time – if it doesn’t cut the mustard with their algorithm, your ad won’t show when someone types in that keyword.

Admittedly, this is an over-the-top example. Most advertisers wouldn’t waste their time including keywords that are THAT irrelevant. Where it became an issue is when someone might be selling milkshakes in their ad, and their landing page is focused on dairy products – they bid on the keyword phrase “ice cream milkshake recipes” – only to find out its’ quality rating isn’t high enough, thus the ad never appears when someone types in that keyword phrase, or you’re forced to increase your bid amount to show for those terms.

Hopefully, this new “dynamic quality score” improvement will help ease the pain-

Here’s a quick snippet from Google’s adwords blogpost announcing the update:

* Quality Score will now be more accurate because it will be calculated at the time of each search query
* Keywords will no longer be marked ‘inactive for search’
* ‘First page bid’ will replace ‘minimum bid’ in your account

here’s a snapshot of what you might see now when looking through your keyword performance in your adwords campaign.

your quality score sucks. thank you, google.nice way of saying- "you ain't gettin many clicks with this"

At first glance, and probably for MANY keyword searches, it’ll be helpful in determing which ads, and keywords perform best consistently or across different content sites, but looking deeper it means advertisers will have to spend a significant more amount of time optimizing landing pages and creating more targeted campaigns for keywords that may or may not have been relevant to the end-user in the first place.

Here’s a better example – you sell fasteners on your website. Your ad for “cheap galvanized nails” with a previously active bid of $1.00 for the search term “wood connection hardware” is no longer “relevant” enough to show up on the first page of the ads, unless you modify the content of your landing page, or more likely, pay the new bid cost – which will probably be double.  (I’m not saying this is actually happening for this keyword search, but it IS happening for many of our clients in similar scenarios)

At this time, it looks like Google’s just trying to make some more cash off of its’ advertisers. And advertisers, it looks like we need to analyze what we’re charging for when managing a clients’ ad campaign.

read what google says about their recent update – google’s quality score update.

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Google’s hot new marketing helper- Ad Planner!

Yes, I know this came out a couple of weeks ago, but I hadn’t had a lot of time to experiment with it – work takes precedence over play!

For a while now, if you wanted to obtain demographic data for your online marketing ventures, you’d probably be using a paid subscription service or flipping over to Live’s adCenter Labs for checking out user stats for a campaign you might be running.  Since I’m cheap and hate to pay for anything I don’t have to, I can’t speak too much for the paid subscriptions that might offer up this type of information, but I can tell you my thoughts on Microsoft’s demographic tool – kind of cool, but not nearly enough info to keep me coming back time after time….plus no way to download the info without making annoying screenshots.

Keep it up though, MS, we need you to keep it competitive!

Google’s Ad Planner, still in beta- if you sign up, you might get an invite- is a different story. While it is obviously aimed at the internet marketer using text or video ads (or audio, or banner, etc…) there is still a great deal of information to grab a hold of-especially if you are looking to build links with hot internet properties.

Ad Planner ScreenShot

Without going into too many details, you start by either creating a media plan or selecting research-
you’re better off starting with media plan since that’s where you’re going to wind up eventually anyway if you want to do anything useful with the data. From there, throw in your website (if you’re looking to sell your service or product offering on the web), some competition sites from the same arena, and let ad planner start working. (see screen shot above)

Note: if your service or product is in a very “niche” market, you may not get any results-if that’s the case, choose some sites related to some broader search terms.

Once you’ve got some data, the fun starts- filter the data by selecting the demographic info that you want to focus on – only looking to sell to people making more than 6 figures- easy enough, click the box- the data will recompile according to your selection.

Want to know what kind of data Ad Planner gives out? I bet you do.

a listing of the top sites related to the sites you entered.
# page views for those sites for the last 30 days
competitive index rating
Unique Visitors
what type of ads the site supports

basically, a compact analytics report on your competition. SWEEEEEEET.

I’m still playing with it, but have already pulled some of the data for a couple of campaigns we’re working on- I’ll keep you posted on whether or not the results pay off!

The Value of Search Engine Optimization

It’s a question we get all the time.

How do I know optimizing my website for the search engines will be worth the price I’m paying you?

Until recently, I would have to explain about the data reporting features offered by analytics, reveal detailed case studies of sites we’ve SEO’d, present white papers on the subject, etc… But now, Aaron Wall of SEO Book has compiled a fantastic resource for all those who want numbers and stats. If you happen to be someone who likes to sit back, drink a big fat cup of coffee and read website stats, today is your lucky day! The piece is titled ” How Much Money is a Top Google Ranking Worth?”

The short answer- depends on what you’re selling.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, perhaps this will help- Aaron writes:

From my experience, depending on the commercial intent of the keyword, the number of advertisers appearing above the organic search results, and the user intent of a query you can multiply the Google Traffic Estimator numbers by about 4 to 7 to come up with traffic estimates that a #1 organic ranking would garner.

Well that’s fine and dandy to know if I were actually running a PPC campaign, you say. What is the difference in visitor traffic to my site between, say a # 9 or #10 spot compared to ranking #1 in Google?

Aaron answers that for us as well-

AOL’s Leaked Search Data

In August of 2006 AOL leaked millions of search records. Some SEOs scoured through this data to look at click data by ranking. A comment on Jim Boykin’s blog reveals the percent of clicks for each position for 9,038,794 searches and 4,926,623 clicks. Donna Fontenot shared the relative click volume of lower ranked results relative to the top ranked site.

Overall Percent of Clicks

Relative Click Volume

  1. 42.13%, 2,075,765 clicks
  2. 11.90%, 586,100 clicks
  3. 8.50%, 418,643 clicks
  4. 6.06%, 298,532 clicks
  5. 4.92%, 242,169 clicks
  6. 4.05%, 199,541 clicks
  7. 3.41%, 168,080 clicks
  8. 3.01%, 148,489 clicks
  9. 2.85%, 140,356 clicks
  10. 2.99%, 147,551 clicks
  1. 3.5x less
  2. 4.9x less
  3. 6.9x less
  4. 8.5x less
  5. 10.4x less
  6. 12.3x less
  7. 14.0x less
  8. 14.8x less
  9. 14.1x less
1st page totals: 89.82%, 4,425,226 clicks
2nd page totals: 10.18%, 501,397 clicks

Based on this data, if you are ranking 8, 9, or 10 you may be able to increase your traffic for that keyword 1,400% by ranking #1. Even jumping from #8 to #3 can triple your traffic.

Impressive, right?
Maybe it’s time you took a second look at SEO. Your competition certainly is.

Key factors in dominating local search

David Mihm posted an excellent resource on his site recently. He asked 20 of the top SEO bloggers and internet marketers on their opinions of what factors are truly important for improving local search ranking for your website.

Here is a nice teaser for the type of information you’ll find there:

To see the complete (and I do mean complete) analysis with comments from the experts, check out David’s local search ranking post.