Step-by-Step: Setting up a Google Content Experiment on Your Website

Setting up a Google Analytics Content Experiment is easy! Follow this four-step process and you’ll be on your way to running your first test. To start, first go to the ‘Experiments’ section of Google Analytics and click on ‘Create Experiment’. Step 1: Setup the test Advanced: if you are working with a high volume page and want to analyze more than one goal at a time, you can set up a ‘fake goal’ so that the test will not optimize towards a single winner. Use a ‘fake goal’ to run the test longer than 2 weeks: Multi-armed bandit: Content Experiments uses a traffic splitting method called Multi-armed bandit (MAB) which essentially weights the traffic towards the variation(s) that appear to be winning, away from losing variations. In theory, this could
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The Alphabet Soup of Common Business Terms – Demystified!

Confused by the alphabet soup of business metrics you hear around the office? Here are some of the many business metrics you may hear, defined: KPI: this stands for Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is the outcome of a business objective, i.e. what you measure an objective against. ROI: Return on Investment, or ROI, is a measure of the business value you get out of a particular investment. For example, if you were to invest $500 on a website redesign, and your new website brought in 3x the revenue, after you subtract the costs you could say that the ROI of the website redesign was 200%, or an additional $1000. ROAS: Return on Ad Spend. Similar to ROI, this measures the business value you get out of an advertising investment.
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Three Actionable Analytics Tips to Implement Today

I have the opportunity to speak to a lot of different audiences about analytics & optimization. Many times, I’m asked to leave the audience with a few actionable tips that they can implement in the next week. While there are many things I’d suggest (and it does change based on audience), I often recommend the same three things as I believe they are fundamental to moving past basic analytics and taking a more hands-on, informed approach. Tip #1: Use campaign tracking Campaign tracking is fundamental to getting more granular with your referring/incoming traffic sources. If you do it right, you can get smart about the types of ads/links/emails/social content that work best at driving qualified traffic to your website. And the best part about it – you don’t have to
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Real-Time Analytics: Top Use Cases for Quality Assurance

When real-time analytics first came out in Google Analytics, there were a lot of questions on the usefulness of this report. Yes, it looks cool to put it up on a big screen in the office for people to watch how much traffic is currently on your site… but that may not be super actionable (depending, of course, on your business). Thankfully I’ve found a couple of very useful ways to use real-time analytics for QA to help make me a better marketer: 1. Ensure campaign tracking is setup correctly: Real-time analytics allows me to see that the UTMs I’ve attached to my blog post URLs are working correctly and attributing traffic to the right sources. It’s a nice assurance to quickly check this after posting a new blog post
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How to setup Google Analytics with Google Tag Manager on WordPress

In this post I’ll walk you through setting up Google Tag Manger and installing Google Analytics on your WordPress blog in 5 easy steps. Step 1: Go to http://www.google.com/tagmanager/ to create a GTM account.  You’ll get a GTM account ID, in the format GTM-XXXXXX. Copy this ID, you’ll need it in the next step. Step 2: Install a GTM wordpress plugin. I chose Thomas Geiger’s Duracelltomi Google Tag Manager plugin for WordPress because it has great reviews on WordPress and a dedicated site full of ‘how to’ resources. Once installed, enter your GTM account ID. Step 3: Configure your tags, rules, & macros in GTM. The first thing I installed was a Universal Analytics tag to fire GA on all pages of my site. For basic tracking, it’s pretty easy. Just choose the tag
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I’m Joining the Google Analytics Team to Advocate for Digital Analytics Best Practices

After working as a practitioner of analytics and optimization for the past six years (at Adobe, the Apollo Group, and most recently Google), I’m excited to announce that I’m ‘officially’ making the move to the vendor side of the house! I’m joining the Google Analytics team as a ‘Best Practice Advocate’ for analytics and optimization. Five years ago, I would have said this role was my dream job. Two years ago, when I joined Google, I still would have said that this role was my dream job. And today, now 5 days in, I’m happy to say I’ve actually landed my dream job! I say ‘officially’ with quotes for two main reasons: 1. I’ve already been at Google for two years, many might think that I’ve been on the vendor
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Your Optimization Program’s First Hire

Just starting out in web optimization? I recently spoke on a panel at Optimizely’s Opticon and one of the questions that came up was ‘who would be your first hire’ for a new optimization program. There were a few different opinions on the panel, ranging from someone who gets stuff done, to an analytics rockstar, to that rare unicorn who can do it all. While all of these are good places to start, I tend to take the viewpoint of optimization through a solid analytics background as the best place to start. (Of course there are many optimization all-stars who didn’t come from an analytics background.) Why? Here are a few of the reasons why I’d look at hiring an analytics rockstar as your optimization lead: 1. They know data
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Human Analytics – The Quantification of Myself

I recently gave a talk about one of my passions, the quantification of self, to my team. Given the great feedback, I’m turning that preso into a blog post to share with everyone! I’d like to note that this preso and subsequent blog post was inspired by an awesome presentation that Michele Kiss gave at the Digital Analytics Association SF Chapter Symposium last fall in San Francisco. You can see her preso on her blog. The market today is full of tools, apps & wearables and the idea of self-quantification is steadily moving towards the mainstream. A lot of my friends have some type of an activity or fitness tracker (though my groups of friends are divided between the Fuelband, Fitbit, and my favorite, the Jawbone UP – each group
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Building a Culture of Optimization, Part 5: So You’ve Found a Big Win… Now What?

In part 5 of this 5-part blog series about ‘Building a Culture of Optimization’ I’m going to talk about the importance of sharing your wins and bringing your organization along with you. You can see part 1, part 2, part 3 & part 4 here. Part 5: So you’ve found a big win. Now what? Ensure you’ve double triple checked your results! Are they statistically confident? Did you control for external variables? Why is this important? A personal example… I ran a test where we found significant uplift over our control from a couple of test variations, but one version stood out as the clear winner. After closing the test, reviewing and analyzing the data, I communicated the results and recommendation to launch the winner to the rest of my organization. Most people
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