First time user of Google Analytics? Enjoy yourself – Part 1

analytics

While I had started using Google Analytics,  Many a times I used to face issues as far as navigation is concerned. Making most of the data available in Google Analytics is the next important aspect. In this blog series I will try to address both aspects mentioned above. But first let’s familiarize ourselves with a few terminologies used in the Google Analytics data dashboard.

Google Analytics terms used in this article:

  • Dimensions describe characteristics of your users, their sessions and actions. The dimension City describes a characteristic of sessions and indicates the city, for example, “Paris” or “New York”, from which each session originated.
  • Session is a group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example a single session can contain multiple screen or page views, events, social interactions, and ecommerce transactions. By default, a session lasts 30 minutes, but you can adjust this length so a session lasts a few seconds or several hours.
  • Metrics are quantitative measurements for dimensions. For example, this table shows one dimension (City) and two metrics (Sessions and Pages/Session).

Metrics table image

  • Users are those who had at least one session during the selected date range. This includes both returning and new.
  • Pageviews means the total number of pages viewed. If a page is viewed twice then the pageview value is 2, which means multiple page counts are considered.
  • Pages/Session denotes the average number of pages viewed in a session. For example, if in a session the same page is viewed 10 times the value of Pages/Session will be 10.
  • Bounce rate denotes percentage of single-page visits. Single page visit could be defined as “A visit in which the visitor left the site from entrance page without interacting with the page”.
  • New sessions are % of first time visits.
  • Goals measure how well your site or app fulfills your target objectives. A Goal represents a completed activity, called a conversion, which contributes to the success of your business.
  • Conversions are number of times goals have been completed on your website.

Home screen of Google Analytics:

Logging into Google Analytics, you can see all the apps and websites where the GA code has been implemented.   There is basic data on sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate.

Google Analytics home page image

Consider a scenario. If you have many websites, apps, then using the search box under date range is a good option. If there are certain apps and websites that are absolutely crucial for your business, then just mark them with star and click on “Show *” near the search box. This will ensure only the important properties are displayed on the home page. You can access others by clicking on “Show All”.

By using the date range you can see data pertaining to a particular period. Comparison with a previous period is also possible via this function. You can see the change in sessions, average session duration, bounce rate and goal conversion rate. This helps in identifying which sites, apps are doing well based on default parameters.

Date range image

If you want to see data of a specific site, just click on it and the reporting page for that site opens.

That’s all for today. Next week we will see how the reporting page looks like and what elements can be used by you for analyzing various aspects of the site.

Till next time Be Awesome 🙂

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Branded content on Facebook – Not a good idea?

Facebook has been changing its algorithm faster than brands, marketers can cope up with. Today I will focus on one such update which Facebook had announced in November, 2014 and was going to bring it in effect from January, 2015 – “Fans can unfollow and decide to ignore the content from brands which is crowding their newsfeed”.

Reactions were pretty extreme to this. Brands must be thinking that Facebook is trying to squeeze them out of every last Rupee. But look at it this way – if you keep the news feed cluttered and branded content pushed to fans face, there will be lesser engagement on Facebook. The platform will close down in no time, that’s why Facebook’s team has to keep news feed relevant for fans.

Let’s first take a look at the change that has been implemented:

Facebook has a new feature which highlights the people, pages, groups that you visited most during past week.

Image 1

Consider a scenario that a group, friend or brand is annoying you and you don’t want to see any content from these entities. You can just unfollow them, but you will still be part of that group, friend or brand page.

Image 2

In the past even if a brand had irrelevant content the fan had to endure, but not anymore. This means I as a marketer will reach fewer fans.

News feed works in a manner which identifies the best content a fan interacts on a group, people or page. If I am posting more no. of times and a fan is getting annoyed then I will be slated to lose that fan. I would rather curb frequency of my posts to keep it realistic.

Mark Zuckerberg very clearly mentioned the following in a public Q&A session:

“There’s this inherent conflict in the system, though. Are we trying to optimize News Feed to give each person, all of you guys, the best experience when you’re reading? Or are we trying to help businesses just reach as many people as possible? And in every decision that we make, we optimize for the first, for making it so that for the people that we serve that use Facebook and are reading News Feed get the very best experience that they can.”

Very clearly Facebook puts user experience above brands content reach. If users spend less time on Facebook, there will be fewer fans seeing organic posts from brands. There will be less data to target the ads to right TG, in turn affecting Facebook’s revenues.

Many marketers have focused on numbers which are not gonna add to their bottom line. Rather than looking at reach, clicks and engagement, marketers should look at more solid KPI’s. E.g. website clicks, email addresses collected or sales generated. Take a long term view rather than short term.

Comparison?

Twitter is a great platform but one not so good thing about it is its timeline. Now imagine Facebook has the same kind of non filtered news feed wherein you have to persist to keep up with all the conversations, you might not spend much time in there.

Fans matter?

A lot, but what equally matters is whether those fans care about your content? When you focus on creating value for your fans, they will come back for more.

What do you think? Let me know your experience, feedback related to this new change.

Until next time, be awesome 🙂

(Images and content courtesy Jon Loomer)

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