Monthly Archives: September 2015

Simplifying Analytics for Clients

A great many Megalytic customers are digital marketing agencies. These agencies typically need to create monthly marketing campaign performance reports for their clients.
Why do they use Megalytic? Because Megalytic simplifies analytics for clients. The importance of the concept of simplification struck me as I was reading this blog post written by one of our awesome agency customers, Highline Ideas. The post talks about how important it is to simplify analytics for clients, and how they use Megalytic to do it.
If you work for an agency, you probably struggle with this problem as well. You’ve got data in Google Analytics, Google AdWords, and Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) – packed with insights that you need to share with clients. But, those tools are too complex for your end users, right? They just need a simple report that shows them what happened with their website and campaigns.
So, what can you do? Maybe cut and paste images from those tools into PowerPoint, Word, or Google Docs? Sure, many people go that route, but there are two big problems with that approach.

  1. The charts and tables can still be complex and confusing. Can your customers look at the screens from Google Analytics, AdWords, and Search Console and understand the importance of the data they are looking at? Probably some can, but many will struggle. You need to simplify the data to address just the issues that your client cares about.
  2. It is a lot of time-consuming grunt work to build reports through manual cut-and-paste. And even if you do it, you are going to have to do it again next month, and the month after, etc., etc. Wouldn’t it be better to simply set up the report once and have it generated automatically each month?
Megalytic solves both these problems for you. First, using connections to your Google Analytics, Google AdWords, or Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), Megalytic automatically pulls in the data you need and displays it in simple charts or tables, that you can easily customize to suite the needs of your clients. Secondly, Megalytic keeps your reports up to date, so that once you have set up a report they way that you want it, the report will always be populated with the latest monthly data. No more re-inventing the wheel each month!
This blog post takes you through the steps of setting up your first Megalytic report. If you have questions or comments, please contact us by submitting a help request.

 

Simplify with Megalytic

 

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2 Widgets being Discontinued October 10th: Links and Content Keywords

As you may know, Google has recently upgraded the API it provides for access to Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools) data. This is great news, but is also means that the old API is being discontinued, and we are losing access to some data.

Specifically, we will no longer have access to the links and content keywords data. As a result, Megalytic will no longer be able to provide data for our Links and our Content Keywords widgets.

 
Links and Content Keywords Widgets
 

Starting around October 10th, we will begin migrating all Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools) connections over to the new API. Once your connections are migrated, we will no longer be able to collect data for the Links and Content Keywords widgets. All connections must be migrated by October 20, 2015 when Google will be discontinuing access to the old API.

We recommend that you begin removing any Links and Content Keywords widgets that you are using in your reports ASAP. If you are doing monthly reports, September will be the last full month that you will have data for these widgets. As of October 10th, these widgets will be removed from the Widget Library.

If you have any questions or concerns, please submit a help request and we’ll get in touch ASAP.

Customizing Megalytic To Show Traffic to Specific Pages: Page Traffic Widget

You understand that good reports tell a story. The more relevant details you can pull into your reports, the stronger the story you’re going to provide your boss or client. That means getting as granular as you can with the right data.
Your boss or client doesn’t just want to know how much traffic is coming into the site, they want to know where it’s going and what’s happening on those pages. By breaking down data by the pages people visited, you can show what topics visitors were most interested in, where they spent the most time, and where they were likely to enter or exit the site.
That’s a much stronger story than looking at overall traffic alone.
Megalytic offers a Page Traffic widget that allows you to show performance by page. In this article, we’ll review how to set up this widget, tweaking it for your reporting needs.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget

 

Setting up the Page Traffic Widget

When you first add the Page Traffic widget, you’ll see a list of the top viewed pages on your site, along with pageviews, average time on page, entrances, exits, and bounce rate for the past 13 weeks. As with any widget in Megalytic, this is highly customizable to show the specific stats you want to portray for pages on your site.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Default Settings

 

To begin customizing the data, select the gear symbol in the upper left. Here, you’ll see several options to configure the widget for your data needs.

 

Customize the Megalytic Page Traffic Widget

 

First, you can choose from among six different chart types, including a line graph, time series bar chart, standard bar chart, pie chart, table view, and table graph. Learn more about when to use each chart type in our article series on Deciding How to Represent Website Data.

Next, you can choose how to show your pages in the report using the Dimension dropdown, selecting between Page Path (URL) and Page Title (the “title” element of the page that shows up in the browser). Your choice here depends on your website’s setup and the technical level of the people reviewing your reports. Some people may be comfortable looking at URLs, while others may prefer to see page titles.

To remove extraneous analytics data, such as from bots and fake referrers, you can use the “Exclude Traffic” dropdown. This will let you exclude visits that make up less than a select percentage of your traffic (anywhere from 0.1% to 2%).

Next, you can use the “Filter” dropdown to quickly select from a traffic source: Referral, Direct, Search (both paid and organic), Paid Search, or Organic Search. This option will let you see how pages perform for specific audiences, as an individual who typed your URL directly into his or her search bar will behave differently than someone who stumbled across your site from a paid search ad. For more complex combinations of traffic, you can use Google Analytics Segments or Megalytic’s built-in filtering option.

Depending on how many pages you wish to show in a report, use the “Number of Rows” to show anywhere from 10 to 300. This option allows you to show either a quick, high-level overview of top pages or provide a much more in-depth report outlining performance for many pages across a large site.

You may also want to customize the columns in the table, which you can do using the “Columns” dropdown. For instance, you may want to focus on unique pageviews over total pageviews or include conversion data for each page.

Simply click any metric in the list to select it; conversely, click any metric already checked to unselect it. Underneath that dropdown, select and drag any metrics in the “Selected Columns” section to rearrange their order. “Apply selection” will update the columns in the report to reflect your selection.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Customize Columns

 

Showing Page Trends Over Time

If you want to show interest in specific pages to your site over a period of time, you can switch to a time series bar chart. You’ll then be able to choose the pages you want to show.

First, choose the time series bar chart symbol from the widget options. Next, use the “Series” dropdown to select the pages you’d like to represent on the chart. Note that you can use the search function to locate specific pages of concern by URL (you’ll see the top ten pages listed by default but can search any pages that show data in Google Analytics).

In this example, we’re comparing pages from an HVAC company’s site to show how interest in various services has changed over the course of the summer. Each page represents a service/product (air conditioning, duct cleaning, hot water heaters).

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Showing Time Series

 

You can see that the final chart shows a bar chart representing your chosen pages, providing a straightforward way to see change over time. Here, you can pinpoint select weeks that saw an increase or decrease in traffic to particular pages, expounding on reasons for traffic changes in a Notes widget.

A line chart would also help you to easily show trends for select pages over a long timeframe. You just need to select the line chart icon under Chart Type and can choose your desired pages as we just showed for the previous chart.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Line Chart

 

Here, we can see the same pages over this timeframe, allowing us to better see general upward or downward trends than in the table or bar chart.

Showing a Specific Subset of Pages

If you’d like to show traffic to a particular category of pages within your site, you can filter the widget based on your URL structure. For instance, within our HVAC site, we may want to break down traffic to all traffic for products or services.

To create a filter, select “Add Filter” from the widget options. In the field that appears, you can choose to filter Page Path by URL. In our example site, all of our desired pages include /products/ in the URLs, so we’ll use that text in our filter. Select “Apply” to update the report with your filter.

 

Megalytic Page Traffic Widget - Editing a Page Path Filter

 

Note that we’ve chosen the table graph chart, which offers an effective way to compare performance of one major metric between two date ranges. We’ve also used the date selector to choose our date range and compare to the previous period, in this case looking at last month against the previous month. Now, we can see the final widget, breaking down unique pageviews for pages in our selected category.

[screenshot: page-path-filtered-final]

 

Megalytic Page Widget Showing Data Filtered by Page Path

 

This type of filtering could be useful for sites in many industries. For instance, an ecommerce site could break down product pages from a select category, or a college could break down pages specific to academic programs.

Conclusion

Whether breaking down page performance for a 10-page law firm site or a 10,000-page ecommerce site, the Page Traffic widget offers a highly customizable way to break down data per page to tell a greater story. You can list pages in a table or show trends over time, while selecting the most relevant metrics for your report. Start experimenting with the Page Traffic widget to improve reporting and better show your work to your clients or boss.

Analyzing Search Terms to Optimize AdWords Performance

To reach your audience, you need to understand what it is your customers are searching for when looking for a business like yours. This will not only give you an important glimpse into their intent and the types of products and services they’re after, but it will also provide valuable keyword insight for use in your marketing efforts.
As you may already know, AdWords lets you target people by keywords, which are then matched to the actual queries people search with. Using data within AdWords, you can see exactly what a customer searched for before seeing and clicking on your ad, allowing you to continuously refine your strategy and increase leads from paid advertising.
To take advantage of this opportunity, you have to understand how it works. Let’s take some time to explore how AdWords matches the keywords in your account to the words and phrases people search for.

 

Blog Image Search Terms

 

Understanding Keyword Match Types

Depending on how you set up keyword match types, the actual queries people search may or may not be very different than the keywords you’re bidding on. For a quick review, AdWords includes four main match types for keywords, determining how closely a search query has to match a keyword for an ad to show.

  • Broad match: Keywords use no special symbols. Ads can show for any closely-related terms to a keyword (including synonyms), in any order. For instance, a search for boat for sale could show for the broad keyword yacht sales.
  • Broad match modifier: A plus symbol (+) in front of any or all words mean that those words will only match to close variants (plural/singular, misspellings, etc.) but can still be in any order and include other words. For instance, a search for yacht for sale could show for the broad match modified keyword +yacht +sales.
  • Phrase match: Quotes around a keyword indicate that ads will show for searches with those words in that exact order, but searches can include words before or after the keyword. For instance, searches for yacht sales new york or new york yacht sales could show for the phrase match keyword “yacht sales.”
  • Exact match: Brackets around a keyword indicate that ads can only show for searches of those words in that exact order, without any other words before or after the keyword. For instance, a search for yacht sales could show for the exact match keyword [yacht sales] , but not new york yacht sales (when phrase match would work). Note that phrase match and exact match can include very close variants of words.

Viewing Search Terms from the Keywords Tab

Simply looking at click, impression, and conversion numbers in the Keywords tab of AdWords only tells part of the story. You also want to look at the actual search terms people are using. AdWords offers a couple of simple ways to see these queries.

First, you can view all search terms from the Keywords tab by selecting the Details dropdown and choosing “All” under Search Terms. You’ll then see the search terms that led to your ads being clicked, shown on the account, campaign, or ad group level, depending on which level you’ve chosen to view in the interface.

 
How To View Search Terms in AdWords
 

Note that you can also view search terms for a specific keyword by checking the box next to it and then choosing “Selected” under this same menu. Here, we see a table displaying all search terms from this campaign.

 
AdWords Search Terms Table
 

Within this table, you can view all of the same data that you can see for keywords: clicks, impressions, CTR (clickthrough rate), CPC (cost per click), conversions, etc. You can also add more columns from the “Columns” dropdown, to view additional information that may be of interest to you. Using the list of search terms, you can identify opportunities to fine-tune your account.

Making Decisions from Search Term Data

Are there any terms receiving high clickthrough rates or high conversion rates that you should be bidding on as separate keywords? A specific term matched to a broad keyword may show better performance than that broad keyword as a whole.

For instance, in this example, we see that ductless heating and cooling systems occurred as a broad match query, but could show opportunity to test as an exact keyword. Doing this will allow you to control bids more specifically by keyword based on what’s driving the best clickthrough rate and conversion performance.

Are there any terms in the list that aren’t relevant to your campaign goals? For instance, you may be selling air conditioning repair services but see a search occur for air conditioning repair jobs. In that case, you’d likely want to exclude the word jobs as a negative keyword.

To add a term from this list as a negative keyword, simply check the box next to the keyword and select “Add Negative Keyword” from the bar at the top. You can then edit the final keyword you’re choosing to add as a negative and save it to your account. In this instance, we want to exclude people looking for “free” work, as they’re likely not searchers willing to pay for the high-cost installation services offered by this company.

 
Add Negative Keyword
 

Do any search terms offer ideas for improving ad copy? For example, you may be only mentioning “Ductless Heating Systems” or “Ductless Cooling Systems,” but a search for ductless heating and cooling systems may indicate you should mention both heating and cooling in ad copy.

Viewing Search Terms from the Dimensions Tab

Next, you can also see search terms from the Dimensions tab in AdWords. Once on that tab, simply use the “View” dropdown from the upper left to choose “Search terms.”

 
View Search Terms from the Dimensions Tab
 

Note that, if you’re viewing on the account level, this automatically aggregates data for each time the search term appeared for any campaign, as opposed to breaking out on the campaign/ad group level (although you can add columns for those if desired). This view is helpful especially when running multiple campaigns targeting different regions with the same keywords. For example, this means that if a campaign for one region resulted in 10 clicks on hot water heater, and another campaign resulted in 7 clicks on the same term, you’d see a total of 17 clicks on that term.

 
Search Terms by Dimensions Report
 

This allows you to collect data more quickly to apply across all campaigns in the account. While you may get minimal data off of keywords in lower volume campaigns, aggregating data across campaigns will allow you to make decisions more quickly about raising and lowering bids based on clickthrough rate and conversion data shown for the keyword.

Conclusion

Don’t ignore the value of looking beyond the keywords you’re bidding on to evaluate the search terms people are using to find your brand – search terms should inform your keyword strategy. Be sure to use the search term report within AdWords to look for new keyword opportunities to bid on, negative keywords to exclude, and potential tweaks to ad copy based on searches.

You’ll be able to better control bidding and build more effective campaigns by utilizing the data available about users’ actual queries searched in Google. In turn, you’ll ultimately see better results from campaigns as you’re able to fine-tune the strategy and ensure ads are showing for the most relevant searches.

Customizing Megalytic: Traffic by Geography Widget

Whether you’re tracking online performance for a local business or for one that serves customers around the globe, you pay close attention to what geographic areas bring you the most sales and leads. You know that geography is a key factor determining who to target with marketing efforts, where you’ve been successful, where new opportunities may lie, as well as where you may want to pull back. Thankfully, Google Analytics offers the means to help marketers measure this effectively.
To measure geographic performance, you’ll want breakdowns of traffic, engagement, and conversion performance for each area that you serve. Megalytic makes this easy with the Traffic by Geography widget, which lets you show exactly where your website visitors are coming from. You can measure the value of each geographic location based not only on volume of visits but also on engagement and conversion data to help you identify areas where your brand is most successful.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how to use the Traffic by Geography widget in Megalytic to get valuable geographic insights about your audience.
When you first add the Traffic by Geography widget, you’ll see both a map and table showing Sessions by Region for the business’s top ten locations. Color-coded circles will mark each region on the map, with each circle’s size varying based on the amount of traffic that area is responsible for.

 

Megalytic Sessions by Region Widget

 

Megalytic allows you to customize the location selection quite extensively based on your business’s geographic reach. Depending on whether your business serves a small local area or a worldwide audience, you’ll have very different concerns about how to break out the areas you’ve reached.

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