Google Analytics have publicly announced ‘Google Analytics Notations’. Quite simply, this is the ability to add notes to graphs within your Google Analytics Interface and it is simple genius.
I have struggled for soooo long to try and get GA users (clients and administrators) to keep a record of changes so that any unusual behaviours can be cross-referenced for an explanation and managing this task is not easy and has not always been successful.
Now, Google Analytics have kindly, with a click of a button, given us the facility to add it straight into the system which is saving so much time and confusion and here is the button….
which opens up into this…
Really easy, huh?
You can * them for easy finding, share them or keep them privately all to yourself – it’s up to you.
CONGRATULATIONS: Your email won you a prize of 1,000,000.00 (ONE MILLION BRITISH POUNDS), Please view the attachment note and fill the claim form for the immediate release of your Prize.
Thanks for being one of our 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP promotion winner.
Yours in service,
Mrs. Timothy Williams
Mrs. Timothy Williams
Micro-soft Promotion Team”
and just to make it slightly more believable…
HIPPO – Highest Paid Persons Opinion. Here’s Ron Kohavi’s take from an Amazon perspective.
Thank God Google has gained some sense and is at last going to release some decent data where Google Adwords Search Query data is concerned. According to the Google Adwords Blog Post. No more will we see the dreaded – “other unique queries” hiding the information we really need to know!
Hooray, hooray, hooray. Thank you Google!!
Well, how interesting! Google is moving forward with helping us to track social media sites and functions within them – perticularly where their own products are concerned. It was announced to day on YouTube Biz Blog that Google Analytics are intergrating with YouTube brand channels to offer further insight into data previously provided by YouTube Insight. Go on Google – keep it up. I’m off for a nosey now….
The worst mistake I come across on a daily basis is business managers who use their analytics packages to predict/forecast traffic and thus leads.
Why is this a problem?
1. Google Analytics, for example, is a free tool where your data is hosted on Google’s own servers. They are not accountable to you or your data in any way apart from what is inluded in their terms of service regarding privacy – http://www.google.com/analytics/en-GB/tos.html.
You will never know then what data has been missed/lost due to downtime or any other reason.
3. Google Analytics, for example, run development tests like ‘event tracking’ which are in Beta. If you become dependent on the data whilst it is in Beta – you run the risk of your data disappearing if the beta run is not fully implemented.
4. It is not hard to make a mistake when adding profiles and filters to your google analytics package that can skew the data affected if not set up correctly.
5. I have seen many issues with adwords data collection where clients have had pages in their site redirected and so it has lost the gclid information. In this instance, it would appear as organic search traffic when in actual fact it is paid search traffic.
6. Remembering to track all your campaigns with all the correct Google Analytics parameters in urls for e.g. yahoo/MSN PPC campaigns (as seen here – http://www.google.com/support/googleanalytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55578). In this case, the traffic would show as organic when in fact it is Paid. Also, adwords recently made a change meaning that you have to be able to select your google analytics account from your adwords interface so that the ‘apply cost data’ field was enabled in analytics. If you have seen a hike in direct traffic and a flatline in adwords – this is what has happened.
So what is it for?
Web analytics packages such as Google Analytics are tools to measure trends – peaks and troughs in your website traffic based upon what changes have been made to the site and how he online industry is affected.
Think of it like cause and effect. You need to benchmark your current status, make a change and then measure its effectiveness.
Analytics packages take a while to understand that they are not entirely intuitive – in the words of Disraeli, there are ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ and if you are not careful about how you interpret the data into information from ana analytics package then you are in fact faced with nothing.