google analytics

Installing Google Analytics on Squarespace 6

Google Analytics and SquarespactEveryone knows the onboard website analytics on Squarespace is a handy way to access website traffic information, but a more advanced tool such as Google Analytics is required if you truly want to track how your site is performing. Installing Google Analytics has always been a relatively simple process, but Squarespace 6 now makes it even easier. Check out this simple copy-and-paste process to install Google Analytics on Squarespace 6.

Simple Google Analytics Installation on Squarespace 6

Squarespace has made it dead-simple to install GA. All you have to do simply paste your Google Analytics Account Number in the General Settings section of the Squarespace 6 administrative menu. That's all there is to it really.

installing Google Analytics on Squarespace

Locating Your Google Analytics Account Number

Not sure how to find your Google Analytics Account Number for use with your Squarespace 6 account? Log in to Google Analytics and access your Admin screen.

GA Admin screen

Next, click on your Tracking Code tab. Your Google Analytics Account Number is the same thing as your Property ID and your Tracking ID. Copy it from here and paste it into your Squarespace admin controls to complete the Google Analytics install process on Squarespace 6.

Google Analytics tracking code

If you know how to use Google Analytics, you unlock a world of more robust website tracking. Understanding when people use your contact form, sign up for your newsletter, and click on your links means knowing where you can focus your online marketing efforts, thereby making you much more effective.

What do you use to track the performance of your website? Are you using Google Analytics currently on Squarespace 5? What do you think of the new process?

Ten Ways to Show Inbound Marketing ROI with Multi-Channel Funnels

Google Analytics Multi Channel Funnels and inbound marketing ROIOften, people find you through blogs, social media and other forms of inbound marketing, but don't buy from you that day. When they do come back and do business with you, your inbound marketing channel may not get the credit it deserves for its role in the sale. As a result, inbound marketing ROI often tends to be understated. 

That is, until Google rolled out Multi-Channel Funnels last week. Rejoice all those who love great content, then take a look at these ten ways to show inbound marketing ROI with Multi-Channel Funnels from Google Analytics.

Many Roads Lead to Rome (and Conversion)

Inbound marketing may not always be the channel that converts, but it's often responsible for paving the way to new business. Multi-Channel Funnels provides a new way to see how your visitors interact with your website as they work their way through the buying cycle. Now you can see which channels initiate and assist in getting new business as well as the channels that close the sale.

Here are ten ways to use Google's new Multi-Channel Funnels to illustrate the rich interactions inbound marketing creates and to show inbound marketing ROI.

Anatomy of a conversion path

1. Use Multi-Channel Funnels with Your Current Goals

The new Multi-Channel Funnels work right out-of-the-box with your existing goals from your Google Analytics account. If you've set up a goal on your profile, these new reports apply retro-actively with no further configuration. As a result, reports like the Top Conversion Paths reports can be filtered to only display data for the goals you select.

Google Analytics Conversion Paths Report

2. Create Custom Conversion Segments for Insights Galore

What fun would Google Analytics be without the ability to apply segments? The new Multi-Channel Funnel reports allow you to create and apply custom conversion segments to all your reports to hone in on specific channels or sources of traffic. For example, you can create a segment to report all conversions where the first interaction with the visitor ever was through Twitter. Segments like this are awesome for showing the value of social media and other inbound marketing channels and the effect on the bottom line.

Google Analytics custom conversion segments

3. Identify Where People "Meet" Your Brand

Are you making a good impression when people new to your brand find you online? Use the custom conversion segments to create multiple segments to highlight which channels your visitors see first when dealing with your brand online.

Google Analytics first interactions

4. Learn the Duration of the Buying Cycle

People don't just suddenly get the urge to buy things on the Internet. Often the customer buying cycle can go on for weeks, months or years before prospects finally show up on your site and convert. Google Analytics shows the duration of the buying cycle with the Time Lag report. Applying conversion segments to this report can show how some channels lead to new business more quickly than others.

The inbound marketing buying cycle expressed in time

5. Discover When You Earn People's Trust

Google Analytics now also reports on the number of interactions with a website that occurred prior to conversion. This is great for content marketers, as inbound marketing builds trust over time to earn the sale. How many times did a person visit your site to read a blog post or watch a video before contacting you to do business? Yeah, Google Multi-Channel Funnel reports help with that too.

Number of interactions prior to conversion

 6. Determine Direct and Indirect Effects of Channels

Inbound marketing channels often have both direct and indirect outcomes. Using multiple custom conversion segments, it's easy to show the full picture of channels like organic search. In this example, organic search not only converts directly about 60% of my website conversions, but it's also responsible for introducing my brand to another 7.5% of my converting visitors that went on to convert through channels other than search. As a whole, organic search plays a part in nearly three quarters of all my conversions at some point.

Direct and indirect effects of inbound marketing channels

7. Use Custom Channel Groupings to Segment Channels

In addition to custom conversion segments, Google Analytics also allows you to create custom channel groupings to go beyond Google's default channel definitions (e.g., source, medium). For example, I created channel groupings to split out my organic traffic into channel groupings that show regular organic traffic, organic traffic that include "Squarespace" as a keyword and branded organic traffic (e.g., organic traffic containing keywords like "josh braaten" or "big picture web").

Google Analytics custom channel groupings

8. Summarize Your Helper Channels with Assisted Conversions

Google Analytics offers the Assisted Conversions Report to show which channels help support conversions on your site in addition to those that are directly responsible. Find the unsung heroes of your website or blog by highlighting the top assiting channels with these new reports.

Google Analytics Assisted Conversions report

9. Map Out the Well-Traveled Roads

One of my favorite Multi-Channel Funnel reports is the Top Conversion Paths report. Apply your custom channel groupings and your most common paths to conversion magically jump out of the report. People typically find my content within the search results (mostly my Squarespace how-to's), seek me directly, or find me through another site on the web before converting. This doesn't come as a surprise to me, but it's sure nice to see it quantified in the report.

Google Analytics Top Conversion Paths report

10. Find the Common Paths for Each Goal

Identifying the most commonly traveled inroads to your site is a good first step, but you'll want to look at your Top Conversion Paths report filtered by each goal as well. I was stunned to see the different paths people took to fill out my contact form, download my Squarespace eBook, or leave a comment on one of my blog posts. This type of information could become invaluable in fine-tuning a content creation and sharing strategy.

Inbound marketing conversions paths(Click to enlarge)

These are just some of the first few uses I could think of to show inbound marketing ROI with the new Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels, but I'm sure there are countless more. Inbound marketers, now is the time to embrace the power of web analytics and to jump in to Google Analytics if you haven't already. 

If you're already a Google Analytics geek like me, what will you do with Multi-Channel Funnels?

Google Analytics for Bloggers

Google Analytics for Bloggers presentationLast Friday I had the opportunity to speak on Google Analytics for bloggers, a topic near and dear to my heart. Thanks to organizers Missy Berggren and Arik Hanson, I presented along with Becky Flansburg at the first Minnesota Blogger Conference Mini Event, held at CoCo in downtown St. Paul. As promised, today I've posted a brief recap along with the slides from my presentation: The Blogger's Google Analytics Clinic.

What Kind of Google Analytics Help do Bloggers Need?

A few months back, I asked people what the perfect Google Analytics workshop catered to bloggers would look like. The responses surprised me. Virtually no one needed help with the straight-forward Google Analytics setup. And while there was some interest in advanced topics such as goals and events, the vast majority of bloggers voiced the need for help just getting their bearings. Where should bloggers start off with Google Analytics?

Typical questions bloggers have about Google Analytics(Bloggers typically don't need help installing GA. They're wondering what to look at.)

Google Analytics for Bloggers: Getting Your Bearings

It's easy to get overwhelmed by Google Analytics' dozens of reports and countless metrics. To avoid getting caught up in web analytics minutia, don't just look at Google Analytics as a source for data and reports. Look to GA to provide insights on how to improve the content of your blog through answering several important questions:

  • Who are your readers?
  • Where are they coming from?
  • What are they reading?
  • What are they sharing?

With any web analytics tool, start off with a business goal or question and then look to a report or metrics for the answer.  Otherwise you'll be likely to end up spinning your tires with nothing to show for your web analytics efforts. Read on to see this approach to web analytics for bloggers in action.

Who Are Your Readers?

Finding out some basic information about your readers can help you create content they'll like. The Visitors report section of Google Analytics answers questions about who is visiting (and reading) your blog. The Visitors section gives you a sense for the overall popularity of your blog.

  • Visits and Visitors - Understanding visits and visitors is one of several important metrics when measuring the popularity of your blog. Think of this as the raw number of people and eyeballs that laid eyes on your blog for the time period selected. We all want these numbers to grow over time, right?Google Analytics visitors report(Visits and visitors are one good benchmark for blog popularity)
  • Avg Time on Site - Do people stick around when visiting your blog or do they leave right away? Avg time on Site, along with Average Pageviews and Bounce Rate show you how long people typically hang out when visiting your blog.
  • Loyalty - Getting a lot of visitors is one thing, but getting them to come back over and over again is the key to building a community around your blog. Access your Loyalty report in GA. Consider those that visit 1 time only as once-and-done readers, 2-4 times as "flirts" or "casual fans," and those that visit 5 or more times as your hardcore fans. Create content that appeals to your fans.Google Analytics loyalty report(Improving your visitor loyalty means building your community.)
  • Subscribers - If you have a Feedburner account, you have the extra added bonus of having their metrics as well. Subscribers show you how many people have subscribed to your RSS feed while Reach shows on average how many people access your RSS entries on a given day.Feedburner reports for bloggers(Feedburner gives you numbers on subscriptions and the reach of your blog.)

Where are Your Readers Coming From?

Now that you know how many people are visiting your blog, it's time to figure out where they're coming from. Use the Traffic Sources reports in Google Analytics to identify where your readers are coming from on the web. In general, it's good to identify these traffic sources and to ensure your blogging efforts support them.

  • Direct Traffic - These are the people that type in your URL to their Internet browser to get to you. In general, they've heard about you in the past and are seeking your content directly. Your direct traffic grows as your blog grows in recognition.
  • Referring Sites - Sites that send traffic to you via a link are considered referring sites, which includes other blogs, websites and social networks. As you network with other bloggers, speak at events and create guest posts for other blogs, pay attention to substantials trickles of traffic that appear when your content resonates with a new audience on the web.
  • Search Engines - If you're weaving search-friendly keyword phrases into your content, you probably have search engine traffic coming to your blog. Get a feel for the keywords sending the most traffic to your site, as well as an endless supply of ideas for future blog posts.Google Analytics traffic sources(Understanding your blog's traffic sources help you focus on the best sources of new readers.)

What Are Your Readers Reading?

Next, get a sense for the popularity of your blog posts by exploring the Google Analytics Content reports. Your Top Content report in Google Analytics organizes your blog posts by pageviews. Which of your blog posts are getting the most eyeballs? What did you do differently that made those blog posts so popular?Google Analytics popular blog posts(Which of your blog posts have the most pageviews? How did that happen?)

What Are Your Readers Sharing?

Pageviews give you a rough feel for the popularity of your blog, but is anyone engaging with your blog via comments or sharing it on social networks? The pinnacle of blog success is to have content that is both popular and compelling. But Google Analytics falls down when it comes to measuring social engagement.

Web analytics isn't about finding one tool to rule them all. It's about using a combination of tools that are all right for the job at hand. Enter PostRank Analytics, the social media measurement tool.  In a nutshell, PostRank measures when people share your blog content on the social web and gives you neat reports to track it all. Use Post Rank together with Google Analytics to identify blog posts that are both popular and compelling.PostRank Analytics for bloggers(PostRank Analytics is your blog's new best friend for determining the social media engagement of your blog.)

More Google Analytics for Bloggers

The MN Blogger Conference Mini Event was a great way to quickly explore some of the main questions bloggers should be asking themselves when exploring Google Analytics. If you didn't get a chance to ask your question at the event or if you weren't able to make it, please do leave your questions about Google Analytics and blogging in the comments below. Thanks to all those who attended and especially to Arik and Missy for organizing everything.

Finally, here's the presentation from Friday's event. Feel free to share the presentation or this blog post with any blogger you know that is interested in using Google Analytics to improve their blog.


Answering Bloggers' Web Analytics Questions

Web Analytics answers for bloggersI run into people all the time that don't use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to measure their blogging efforts. To me, the idea seems absurd. If there was a way to let your audience tell you how to create a more engaging, richer experience for them, why wouldn't you? If there was a way to put you on a straighter path towards your version of success, why wouldn't you explore it?

Ask Anything About Blogging and Web Analytics

I strongly believe that most bloggers don't employ web analytics tools because they have too many questions about where to begin:

How do I install web analytics? Is there one tool that's better than the rest? Should I pay for web analytics? What should I be looking at? How do I make sense of it all? How do I translate what I see in these reports to the goals I set for my business?

Have you ever had these or other questions about web analytics for your blog? Well, you're in luck. On January 14th I'll be presenting about using Google Analytics for blogging at the Minnesota Blogger Conference's first Mini Conference at CoCo in St. Paul. I hope you can make it, but could also use your help to finalize the content for the presentation.

Right below this paragraph is a text box from FormSpring, the web-based conversation Q&A tool. Ask me a question, any question about web analytics and how to use it on your blog. If you didn't get a chance to nab one of the tickets before they evaporated, all the more reason to ask via FormSpring.

More Web Analytics for Bloggers

It's win-win. You get an answer to a burning web analytics question. I get fantastic insights on how to make my presentation rock. Help me create the best resource possible by submitting your question via the FormSpring form above or by leaving your question in the comments below.