Noise or Music? - The Insights Blog

Here I write about Google Analytics setup and usage; Online privacy; Data accuracy; Website usability; Conversion optimisation; and best practices for organisations wishing to achieve success online – the whole raison d’etre for measurement in the first place…!

I love to hear reader’s feedback, so please comment on my posts or share them.

Brian Clifton - Blog

Google Analytics is 10 years old – What’s changed?

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 7

On the 14th November 2005, Google Analytics launched – the result of an acquisition of a product and company called Urchin Software. That was a momentous day for two reasons:

  • for me personally – I was 5 weeks into my new job as Head of Web Analytics for Google Europe;
  • for the industry – Google had entered the analytics space with a big bang by releasing the first enterprise class product for free – unheard of then!
Read more

[Survey] Do you TRUST your analytics data?

Categories: Metrics understanding, Privacy and Accuracy / Comments: 5

The question of data trust is what I see as the biggest issue facing the digital analytics industry at present. Why? Because it is so easy to collect junk data online. And businesses will not act on data unless they have trust in it. The result is data paralysis – no one wants to dig deep in to the data for fear of what will be uncovered…

Is this scenario true? Take part in the Trust Survey now…

Read more

Should you pay $150,000 for Google Analytics Premium?

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding / Comments: 0

GA Premium costsWhat is the cost of Premium? Why use a paid-for tool? A client considering GA Premium (the paid-for version of Google Analytics) asked me the following question recently:

“One thing that would be great to cover in our meeting, is the value of the Premium product for us. How will it save us money by spending $150k a year instead of simply adjusting our approach and using the free product?”

That’s a great question – getting right to the point of value for money. And this is my two-point response that can be applied to any paid-for vendor….

Read more

What’s the benefit of using Google Tag Manager?

Categories: Implementation ABCs / Comments: 0

GTM time saving
The saying goes, an image is worth a 1000 words, and mine sparked an interesting conversation on Google+ between myself and two of the industry’s most respected minds – Simo Ahava and Stephane Hamel. Essentially, I was asked by Simo to back up my numbers – a fair question. So here is my reply…

Read more

Improving The Web Using Data – 1. The Accuracy Debate

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 2

This is Part ONE of a three post series. In this post I discuss what digital data is accurate (and what is not) from a publisher’s point of view. Contents:

  • Most of the web is junk, but web analytics can help
  • The two types of web analytics
  • The accuracy debate: On-site versus off-site metrics

In Part TWO: On-site versus off-site analytics tools – how they work
In Part THREE: 8 recommendations for choosing a tool

Read more

8 Recommendations For Choosing A Tool: on-site versus off-site analytics

Categories: Metrics understanding, Privacy and Accuracy / Comments: 0

This is Part THREE of a three post series. In this post I discuss how to keep your sanity when trying to compare numbers from your different tools. On-site and off-site web analytics should be used differently and I show you when and how its appropriate to pick one method over another.

In Part ONE: What digital data is accurate (and what is not).
In Part TWO: On-site versus off-site analytics tools – how they work.

Read more

Define: Digital Analytics

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 2

I enjoy doing interviews – listening to other people’s questions gives me a different perspective compared to the questions I ask of myself (and of data) all the time… This question came form Manu Jeevan as part of his interview for the Big Data Made Simple blog. It made me think about something that has been troubling me for some time.

define: digital analytics

Read more

How to Remove Referral Spam from Google Analytics

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs / Comments: 18

Data spam has always been present within web analytics reports. However over the past year or so it has become a real PITA. By data spam, I am referring to spammers and scammers polluting your Google Analytics reports with their junk links in the hope you will say – “Oh what is that? Let’s visit the referral site that is sending us traffic and see who they are”. Of course the purpose is to to drive traffic to their own site for ad impressions, or to push malware down your throat. Just like email spam, its annoying and a time-waster – but unlike email spam it is not so in your face. That means referral spam lies below the radar, buried in your reports. The result is its data distorting effects can often go un-noticed.

In this post I show you how to eradicate it.

Read more

© Brian Clifton 2015
Best practice privacy statement