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Slice And Dice Your Metrics With Advanced Segments

In the handbook of ninja web metrics analysis badassery (of which I have one of a very limited set of copies) you will find advanced segments in Google Analytics. These suckers let you slice and dice your data in a more ways than a Ronco invention, one might even say, with a ninja like quality.

Ok enough with the analogies. Jeez.

Why would you want to use these? Well, you might want to know…

  • If your guest posting is paying off
  • Whether or not that expensive web ad you're paying for is actually creating buyers
  • If all the time you spend on Twitter and Facebook are a complete waste of time, or not

And how easy is it to create one? Look no further for I have that in this here video. Take a gander.

Super awesome! What do you think?

Let's chat about it in the comments.

Yes I mean now. Meet me down in the comments…

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How To Track Lead Sources And Conversions With Google Analytics

Read the post and watch the videoYou have analytics on your site don't you? You do? Excellent.

Now a better question is, do you know which of your lead sources are converting the best, and do you remember what you did to bring traffic from those lead sources?

Yeah, that's where it gets complicated. Or perhaps not so much.

If you're using Google Analytics there are two features you can take advantage of to see which traffic sources are the best at converting, and ensure you don't forget how that traffic got to your site in the first place. I know I sure as hell can't remember everything, but I need to know what I did that worked.

Because it's all about the conversions isn't it? Let's take a look.

What do you think? Simple or not complicated enough? Let's talk about it below.

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The Only Analytics For A Website That Matter

Are you running a business or a charity?

In either case, you need money to keep going.

A lot of people talk about giving away a lot of free content, and I agree with them – you have to give to get. And while it may sound mercenary, get you must.

And that means conversions of one form or another. To get conversions, you need to know what website analytics matter the most.

Let's take a look.

The Many Forms Of Conversions

How many marketing channels do you think you have on your site?

What is a marketing channel you ask? Here’s a definition from Wikipedia:

A marketing channel is a set of practices or activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods, and to move goods, from the point of production to the point of consumption and, as such, which consists of all the institutions and all the marketing activities in the marketing process. A marketing channel is a useful tool for management.

Marketing channels fill a number of purposes, but mainly they connect sellers with buyers.

So I’ll ask again: how many channels do you think you have on your site?

I know of 4 that every site has:

  1. The site itself
  2. Comments
  3. RSS
  4. Email

There are even more if you use social media, including:

  1. Tweets
  2. Facebook shares
  3. Bookmarks
  4. Video
  5. Audio podcast

Each of these channels means something different. But more on that another day. Let’s talk about metrics.

The Right Metrics To Track

If there are 4 main ways that people could potentially buy a product or service from a site, and our goal is conversions, what metrics do we need to track? Everything that deals with these 4 channels.

Time for a break down.

Site Metrics

Google Analytics is a great search engine optimization tool, and a must-have for everyone that has a website. But the wealth of information it gives can be overwhelming.

Well friend not to fret, there are only a few biggies that, at a bare minimum, you want to pay attention to. And they are (in no particular order):

  • New vs. Returning Visitors
  • Traffic Sources
  • Bounce Rate
  • Keywords
  • Content – Top Content

The combined tell you where your visitors are coming from, what got them there, how long they stayed, what they read while there, and if they came back again.

Comment Metrics

Got comments? Maybe yes maybe no. Depending on your niche it might be pretty difficult to get people to comment.

There are two metrics here:

  1. Number of comments
  2. Quality of the comments

The number of comments can be misleading, as someone can read your post and have nothing to say. If I can’t add to the conversation with my opinion or knowledge I won’t leave a comment. Not everyone agrees with that though, which takes us to quality.

Some comments add nothing of value. Here’s a few that say nothing meaningful (names and faces omitted as I’m not that much of an asshole):

Crappy Comment

This is a crappy comment - don't do this

I think this person just wanted a link back to their blog. Lame.

But others can do add value, and spur additional comments:

Great Comment Conversation

Great Comment Conversation

or this one that asks a question and gives an idea for another post:

Great Comment From Frieke

Great Comment From Frieke

There are a few ways to add to the conversation; asking pertinent questions is one of them.

RSS Metrics

Believe it or not, not everyone knows what RSS is or how to use one. No I’m not joking, I have an MBA remember?

But many do and there are some good numbers we can get. If you’re using FeedBurner, which I am, take a look at these:

  • Number of subscribers
  • Reach – total number of views and clicks of the content
  • Views on each post – did they read the content
  • Clicks on each post – did they go to the site for more or to leave a comment

Combined these numbers tell us how many subscribers we have, how many of those people actually read what we write, and how many take action on it.

Good stuff to know… On to email!

Email Metrics

This could be a post by itself, and probably will be, but let’s look at the major ones.

I use AWeber, and have barely scratched the surface of the reporting they provide. Hell, I’m still trying to figure out what I want in my autoresponder here, if I do one, which I will, sometime later.

Anyhow, lot’s of metrics, but the main ones to pay attention to are:

  • Number of subscribers
  • Open rate, on a per-email basis
  • Click rate, on a per-email basis

More numbers here that tell us if people are reading our content, and then taking action.

How This Ties Into Conversions

Did you notice any trends here?

For each category we did look at the larger number of people we have in each channel. But the more important numbers are the ones that show action – the views, the clicks, the returning visitors.

These also show the importance of having calls to action in all of your marketing. Don’t just toss it out there and hope people do something with it – tell them to!

Want comments? Ask people to comment.

Want email subscribers? Tell them what they get and tell them to subscribe.

Don’t leave action to chance. Ask for the action to take place.

What Metrics Do You Find Important?

What metrics are you using on your site? Which do you find most useful for your goals?

Let us know in the comments.

I look forward to talking about it.