Never be afraid to click the ‘Help’ button on the top right. Whilst Google Analytics doesn’t provide telephone support, the help section does contain some really useful information about the platform and what certain views and variables mean. If you have an Adwords account however, the Adwords Specialists team via phone or chat can also support you with Analytics.
Keywords are a dimension in analytics which can either be auto generated for Adwords traffic (via auto-tagging), automatically picked up by Google Analytics for organic traffic or they can be manually generated when custom URLs are created to track links for external traffic sources.
In most cases the keyword dimension is populated, however looking at keyword information in certain data views can show two keywords (not set) and (not provided) which may need more explanation:
(not provided) is a keyword parameter associated with organic traffic.
(not provided) is the keyword output when someone is logged into their Google account (like Gmail) and they visit a website via an organic search. This keyword data is now permanently hidden by Google and cannot be retrieved. There are a few ways to work out what the keywords could have been. If you can’t wait for the next instalment of analytics on the blog, head over to the Analytics Alphabet guide here.
(not set) is a keyword parameter associated with any traffic source which does not have a keyword element (e.g. direct or referral).
If the Adwords and Analytics accounts are not properly linked, or if the Adwords keywords aren’t auto-tagged this can also cause (not set) keyword data.
Don’t be alarmed initially if (not set) appears in a keyword report. Unless it’s within the Paid search or Advertising data views the (not set) keyword is expected. If it does appear in the PPC data view then something is wrong with the tracking and this will need to be fixed. Jump to “Linked Accounts” below to learn how to link your Adwords & Analytics accounts.
Landing page is a dimension in Google Analytics that shows the page on your site on which the visitor landed, or from which they entered. Not all pages will be landing pages, depending on where you decide to send your paid traffic and which page ranks the highest for organic queries.
The landing page report can be found under Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages. This report is useful from various perspectives:
- Understand which are your top landing pages - this will give you an insight into the kind of first impression you are leaving on your visitors. Some sites have great homepages but forget about user experience and conversion optimisation on other pages which could still be landed on
- Analyse engagement metrics – performance indicators such as bounce rate, avg. visit duration or add in layers of traffic source or device to see whether your site experience differs in different circumstances.
- If there is a high bounce rate, are people finding what they were expecting (what you were promising in your advert)?
- If page metrics are worse on mobile compared to desktop on the same page, are there any problems with your mobile site?
Please note: Bounce rate is really only relevant to landing pages, and for more information on this metric visit this post on the Analytics Alphabet.
- Analyse conversion metrics – analysing goal completions or ecommerce transactions can help you to understand how successful the calls to action on that page are or how well those pages perform in the conversion path
- Understand user flow - By looking at Entrance Paths next to the Explorer tab (within the Landing Pages report), you can see for each landing page what the next page visited on the site was and also whether it was the final exit page. This analysis helps with content structure and optimising the user journey to create the desired response.
- Aggregate data - You can group your pages by a theme using filters to see collectively how all your landing pages on Product X or Blog Post Y have performed
- Tackling (not provided) - landing page information could also be useful when trying to decipher the (not provided) keyword data for organic search. This only really works if the content is very specific to a particular theme though.
In order to automate the tracking of Google Adwords data within Google Analytics, the accounts must be linked. To do this a number of steps need to be taken.
Step 1: Google Adwords login – Auto tagging
Step 2: Google Analytics login - Link Adwords to Analytics
Step 3: Google Analytics login - Apply Adwords cost data to Analytics
Step 4: Google Adwords login – Import Analytics data into Adwords
It’s very long winded I know, but once it’s setup it means you can view cost data and campaign data in Google analytics, and you can see site engagement data (like bounce rate and pages viewed) in Adwords. This can save you time in the long run.
Hopefully this week you have learnt some new tricks of the trade to improve your setup and analysis techniques. Next time I’ll cover some more key performance indicators such as new visitors, page views and pages per visit.