Advanced Google Analytics: Interesting Tricks

Thu, Feb 19, 2009

Web Analytics

SEO and Google Analytics go hand in hand – it’s without a doubt one of the best tools out there for really understanding how your website is performing in terms of search and inbound links. Using Google Analytics you can see how SEO techniques affect your web properties in about as close to real time as you can get. In this article I want to walk you through a few of the interesting tricks and caveats I’ve discovered when using some of the more advanced Analytics features.

First, let’s talk about segmenting. If you’ve worked with SEO long enough you know that there are times when you want to segment out visitors or pages from your site to take a closer look at what is driving the content, or where they are coming from. For example, many sites put their sales process into a separate segmentation so they can analyze how people make purchase decisions more closely. It’s not unusual to see different page depths broken into segments to see how far down people will drill into content. The general rule is the farther down people drill in content, the more “hooked” they are on the content and the site in general.

When applying these segments to keywords in Google Analytics you will often see keywords that show “0” visits, which is misleading. Google is actually starting the counter at 0 for the first visitor. This is because of Google’s attempt to make sure the total number of visitors reconcile with other Analytics data. This situation only occurs when the same user comes to your site within a 30 minute time frame using different search terms. So, for example, if a user searches for “SEO optimization” and hits your site through search and then goes back to their search engine and types in “Apple pie” and hits your site again, the keywords will show 0 visits even though you have had one visit for “Apple pie”.

It’s confusing, but worth noting so you don’t scratch your head wondering why Google is showing zero visits for a particular keyword.

The next tidbit is for those of you who have your Adwords account tied into your Analytics account. In this case you will see keywords that have displayed text ads on Google, but haven’t had any click-through, show up as 0 clicks in the keyword report. Another head scratcher for some until you realize that Analytics is simply pulling through impression and click-through data from Adwords.

Analytics is a powerful tool, and I’d love to hear from you the tricks, caveats and pitfalls you’ve discovered when using it for SEO and keeping track of search and click campaigns.

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This post was written by:

Cassiano Travareli - who has written 90 posts on SEO Blog | SEO Marketing World.

SEO Specialist! Loves everything about Search Engine Marketing.