Understanding Website User Engagement with Google Analytics Metrics

My Post (38).jpg15 seconds. The amount of time that most users spend on a website and the amount of time you have to capture your audience’s attention. So how do you know whether users are engaged, and what can you do to increase user engagement on your website?

Most marketers use Google Analytics to track the performance of their website overall, but not all are leveraging the data to glean insights into user engagement. The following metrics are key to benchmarking, tracking, and improving your website engagement. Here’s what they mean and what to do to increase engagement.

Average session duration
Think of a session as a visit. Average session duration is the average amount of time your visitors spend looking around your site. Each user can have multiple sessions or visits that all factor in, and so more frequent users will weigh more heavily when it comes to this metric. Industry experts have differing opinions on this, but anything above 1.5 minutes is considered a good average session duration.

Generally, sites with higher average session duration feature longer scrolling pages with interactivity throughout. Interaction can come in many forms, such as infographics that can be manipulated by the user, animated blocks of content, “lazy-loading” content that populates as you scroll down the page are just a few examples.

Average session duration is a broad metric that can give you a snapshot of your site’s engagement. Pairing it with the following metrics can shed more insight into what you might be able to do to increase time spent on your site. – Read more

What Search Marketers Need to Know About Attribution in 2019

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Biddable media is highly technology-driven.

That’s why it’s so awesome, but also why it’s so confusing at times.

To really excel in this industry, you need to know what to ignore and what to pay attention to.

This is certainly the case when it comes to attribution.

In this post, I’d like to give you a helping hand in the filtering process, based on my own company’s research into this issue.

I’m going to focus on attribution from a paid search perspective. So naturally, I’ll be talking about attribution models within Google Ads, and Google Analytics.

I’ll also consider a few independent analytics companies’ approaches to attribution, and finally the newcomer, Facebook Attribution.

I am not attempting to seriously critique any of the software referred to in this post. My aim is to provide guidance on the right questions to ask about attribution this year. – Read more

What is attribution modeling?

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Everything you need to know about attribution, including its benefits and limitations.

Understanding the steps a customer takes before converting can be just as valuable to marketers as the sale itself. Attribution models are used to assign credit to touchpoints in the customer journey.

For example, if a consumer bought an item after clicking on an display ad, it’s easy enough to credit that entire sale to that one display ad. But what if a consumer took a more complicated route to purchase? She might have initially clicked on the company’s display, then clicked on a social ad a week later, downloaded the company app, then visited the website from an organic search listing and and converted in-store using a coupon in the mobile app. These days, that’s a relatively simple path to conversion.

Attribution aims to help marketers get a better picture of when and how various marketing channels play contribute to conversion events. That information can then be used to inform future budget allocations.

Attribution models

Following are several of the most common attribution models.

  • Last-click attribution. With this model, all the credit goes to the customer’s last touchpoint before converting. This one-touch model doesn’t take into consideration any other engagements the user may with the company’s marketing efforts leading up to that last engagement.
  • First-click attribution. The other one-touch model, first-click attribution, gives 100 percent of the credit to the first action the customer took on their conversion journey. It ignores any subsequent engagements the customer may have had with other marketing efforts before converting.
  • Linear attribution. This multi-touch attribution model gives equal credit to each touchpoint along the user’s path.
  • Time decay attribution. This model gives the touchpoints that occured closer to the time of the conversion more credit than touchpoints further back in time. The closer in time to the event, the more credit a touchpoint receives.
  • U-shaped attribution. The first and last engagement get the most credit and the rest is assigned equally to the touchpoints that occured in between. In Google Analytics, the first and last engagements are each given 40 percent of the credit and the other 20 percent is distributed equally across the middle interactions. – Read more

Here’s why you should take a deep dive into data to optimize your conversions

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A thorough audit of tracking tools can improve your CRO framework because knowing your platform will help you think about how to best use it for your specific business strategy.

So, you got the basics of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and why it’s essential to your marketing strategy. (To recap: a successful CRO framework increase sales and revenue while reducing the cost of paid media.) Great! But how do you get started? There are some general things everyone can focus on to improve their conversion rate, e.g. site speed. But where’s the list of best practices, you may be wondering? The unfortunate reality is that there’s no convenient checklist waiting for you. There’s quite a bit more to CRO than applying a few changes, crossing your fingers and walking away hoping for the best.

Data and analytics inform CRO

Optimizing conversions works on a case-by-case basis. Each brand, site and customer journey is different. There are millions of sites out there with varying needs, goals, traffic, designs, languages. You can’t take what works for one site and apply it to another. Your site should serve a specific purpose; both providing value and addressing the concerns of your visitors at that moment and in the future. Forget instinct: to make any kind of business decision; you need to base your judgment on the evidence. Also known as data. Otherwise, you might be making decisions that could hurt your sales.

Analytics tells you exactly what’s happening on your site, and can then guide you to investigate the bigger picture and find opportunities. Not only does analytics tell you the core journeys and behaviors that give you the best return on investment, but it also highlights friction points and areas where most people leave the website. This saves a lot of time and guesswork, letting you narrow down the improvements that need to be made to optimize conversions. The real power comes when combining this with qualitative research, to delve into the reasoning behind the key objections that result in people leaving… but also why they stay. – Read more

Google Analytics: How to Track PayPal Transactions

My Post (30).jpgMerchants have many options for accepting online payments. “PayPal Payments Standard” is popular, but it can be challenging for Google Analytics to report the sale.

Using PayPal Payments Standard, customers leave the merchant’s website for their account at PayPal. After they complete payment, customers are redirected by PayPal back to the URL provided by the merchant.

There are two issues that can impact reporting in Google Analytics from this process.

First, the customer may not make it back to the merchant’s order confirmation page to trigger ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics. If the return URL is not set properly, the customer may not go back at all or may go back to the merchant’s home page or some other page. None will trigger the Google Analytics ecommerce code. A correct return URL will send the customer back to the order confirmation page, and the Google Analytics ecommerce code fires upon arrival.

This return URL is typically provided by the ecommerce platform in the payment settings. In PayPal, the return URL settings reside behind the gear icon in the top-right after logging in. – Read more

How to Get Started with Remarketing on Google Ads & Facebook

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For those of us who work in digital advertising, any chance we have to make our online strategic approach more successful is much appreciated.

Using remarketing (a.k.a., retargeting) is that chance.

It is a second chance to advertise, an opportunity to cross-sell or an opportunity to nurture your audience with your content marketing efforts.

Inversely, if needed, it is a way to exclude audience targeting and hold advertising dollars for new eyes only.

This Is Old News, Right?

Technically, yes.

Google began remarketing offering for display advertising as far back as 2010. Then remarketing showed up in search advertising in 2013.

So, yes, it has been around for quite a while.

Surprisingly, though, I only see a few new clients who are taking advantage of remarketing – or who even know what it is.

The beauty of remarketing is that our audience targets are what I like to call a “considerate” audience. They know who you are. – Read more

Demystifying Google’s guide to clicks, impressions and position in Google Search Console

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Here are the answers to the most common questions asked about managing metrics in the Performance reporting in GSC.

Google Search Console is packed with important information for site owners and SEOs. Via GSC, Google has done a great job providing reporting and functionality that can help you diagnose problems, understand your organic search traffic, test your site and more.

That said, there are some confusing things that you can come across while traversing the reporting in GSC, and that’s especially the case for those new to SEO. One example is the Performance reporting, which used to be called Search Analytics. The Performance reporting provides a ton of information about your organic search traffic, including queries leading to your site, landing pages ranking in Search, the click-through rate (CTR) for queries and landing pages, average position for queries ranking in Google and more. It’s a powerful report that I’m often analyzing.

While helping clients with SEO, I’ve found some of the metrics could be confusing. For example, it’s extremely important to understand what constitutes an impression and click, and how Google calculates position for queries and landing pages. After speaking with many clients about their own reporting, it’s clear there needed to be a guide for how this works.

And Google delivered! – Read more

How to Find New Placements to Target on the Google Ads Display Network

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I miss the Display Planner. It was one of my favorite tools in the old AdWords interface. When Google decided to remove the tool from Google Ads, PPC marketers lost a valuable asset for planning out display campaigns.

While I still want the tool back, we can create successful managed placement campaigns in Google Ads. It just takes a little bit more work on our end. (Thanks Google!) Here are a few tactics I use for finding new placements to target.

Look at What Traffic Is Already Working

I love talking about how Google Analytics can usually answer the question, “Who should I target first?” This post is no exception. Whenever I get the opportunity to set up my first display campaign in an account, one of the first places I like to look is the Referrals report in Google Analytics. The Referrals report lives under the Acquisition > All Traffic portion of Google Analytics. Typically, I like to sort by most conversions (or revenue for ecommerce businesses) to see which referral sources are sending quality traffic to my site.  – Read more

 

 

Google AdWords Express is Now Part of Google Ads

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Google is notifying advertisers that AdWords Express has joined the Google Ads platform.

AdWords Express campaigns are now available in Google Ads as ‘Smart’ campaigns.

Previously, AdWords Express was a standalone solution, designed to be a lower maintenance option for small businesses.

Now, Smart campaigns still have all the same benefits as AdWords Express campaigns, but with improved features.

Google highlights the following benefits: – Read more

Google Ad Impressions on Connected TVs Up by Over 80%

Google’s efforts to expand advertising to TV screens led to an 80% increase in impressions in 2018.

To build on this momentum, Google has announced a number of initiatives planned for 2019 to further the convergence of TV and digital advertising.

Google Ads During Commercial Breaks

Google will continue to work with its TV partners to build new solutions for delivering ads during commercial breaks.

Google’s TV partners can currently use Ad Manager’s dynamic ad insertion capabilities to serve ads during live events on connected TVs.

Ad impressions during live events have more than doubled over the past year, Google says.

Google Ad Manager also offers a feature called ‘smarter ad breaks’ which allows advertisers to optimize for yield while honoring TV business rules for a more personalized ad experience. – Read more