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…!

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Brian Clifton - Blog

Improving The Web Using Data – 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: On-site versus off-site analytics tools – what’s accurate?

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On-site Versus Off-site Web Analytics – How They Work

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 0

This is Part TWO of a three post series. In this post I discuss the different methodologies for collecting web data – on-site versus off-site analytics tools – and how they work.

In Part ONE: What digital data is accurate (and what is not) from a publisher’s point of view.
In Part THREE: On-site versus off-site analytics tools – what’s accurate?

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On-site Versus Off-site Analytics – Which is Accurate?

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) from a publisher’s point of view.
In Part TWO: On-site versus off-site analytics tools – how they work.

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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

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How to Remove Referral Spam from Google Analytics

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs / Comments: 17

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.

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New book: Successful Analytics

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding / Comments: 4

  If you follow me you know I have been writing my latest book these past 12 months. Happily that process is complete and the new book is launched – Successful Analytics: Gain Business Insights by Managing Google Analytics – Feb 2015 (both print and ebook versions). Note, if you have read my previous book series, this […]

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Not Provided: Now impacting 80-90% of organic traffic

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 2

I have tracked this issue since the beginning – plotting the percentage of organic traffic impacted by not provided. First, only visitors logged into their Google account were effected and hence tech related websites (attracting a more tech savvy audience) were disproportionately impacted. However, Google has since applied this to pretty much all visitors using Google organic search.

The position now: Not provided impacts 80-90% of organic searches…

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10 Micro Goals for Tracking Content Engagement

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 0

Assuming you have no other “macro” drivers on your site – for example, no e-commerce facility, lead generation request from, store finder information, or advertisement click-throughs – how can you measure content engagement?

Here is my list of 10 tangible goals:

1. Show a snippet/summary first and then require a click to expand for more information
2. Use ratings e.g. rate this page/article, did this answer you question (y/n)?

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Google Content Experiments – A good or bad feature?

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding / Comments: 11

Quote: [Google Analytics] “Content Experiments sucks and I will never use it for any of my clients….run away

The above snippet came from a post by Michael Whitaker (smart thinker, worth following) who asked for feedback on comments made at the Imagine 2013 conference earlier this year. My initial response was “hmmm – poor comments indeed. Whether you like a G product or not, to say that Google’s stats methods are unreliable, or reporting doesn’t work really is silly and lacks credibility.”

I am actually no big fan of the Google Analytics Content Experiments either, but I wish to put my views into context based on the following simple A/B test.

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