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 customisations you cannot live without #1

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Plugins & Hacks / Comments: 0

There are 2 main things that Google Analytics cannot do:

1. No regionalisation of Search Engines for SEO – this post
2. No automatic tracking of file downloads and outbound links – follow-up post

The first is an major limitation for Search Marketers requiring regional search engine detail for SEO campaigns; The second is a real pain in the bum for webmasters of content heavy websites who need to track non-standard click throughs (file downloads, mailto, outbound links).

However, Google Analytics is a very flexible product and a little bit of custom JavaScript can go a long way – so I have developed JavaScript “extensions” to over come these limitations…

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The FTC Privacy report “Do Not Track” – a missed opportunity

Categories: Privacy and Accuracy / Comments: 4

As readers of this blog will know, I am a strong advocate of online privacy… That may sound strange coming from a web analytics evangelist. However, if we as an industry do not sort these privacy issues out, there is a real danger that web analytics as we know it today will disappear completely.

So, following the recent excellent post from Phil Kemelor on The FTC Privacy Report, “Do Not Track” Options and Web Analytics, I wanted to also add my take here…

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Improving a website *without* Web Analytics – a case study

Categories: Implementation ABCs, Metrics understanding / Comments: 1

Improving a website without web analytics may sound odd coming from a data analyst, but its quite a common occurrence for me, and in fact, part of my day job as a website performance consultant.

Following John Ekman’s guest post on the two types of personas he has observed in this industry (Conversionistas are from Venus and Metrics people from Mars), I started thinking about how best to illustrate these. I consider myself a HYBRID – part conversionista and part metrics person (may be 50:50), and this case study illustrates the conversionista side of my work…

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Conversionistas are from Venus and Metrics people from Mars

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 4

I had an interesting conversation with John Ekman at eMetrics summit in Stockholm last year. John was a new face to me and I admit to being particularly curious as to what his title entailed – Chief Conversionista. Thirty engaging minutes later and I was much the wiser!

John has an interesting take on the different types of people involved in website performance optimisation so I asked him to share his views as a guest post here…

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Advanced Web Metrics at Small Business Trends Book Awards

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 2

This a nice (though blatant) attempt from the Small Business Trends website to manipulate social network connections. Essentially, any author who has written a business book this year will obviously want to be on this book awards list. Its a great way for their website to garner a large number of incoming links and mentions on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn et al.

No problem with that. In fact, I wish I had thought of it….!

So while, the winner will be the book with the most votes rather than the best reviews, I am blatantly asking you to vote for me if you liked my work

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Five Predictions For Web Analytics in 2011

Categories: Metrics understanding, Privacy and Accuracy / Comments: 4

Predicting the future invariably means you will be wrong most of the time. However, it is an interesting process to go through as even getting just one prediction right can have a significant impact – to me personally, my business or my client’s business. So I was honoured when Daniel Waisberg asked me to look into my crystal ball for what may happen in the world of web analytics in 2011. Here’s the summary of my predictions:

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Google Analytics Book – is language important to you?

Categories: Google Analytics specific / Comments: 0

Germany is an interesting market from a web analytics perspective. The government their is pushing the privacy debate (and the boundaries) on how visitor data can be collected, what constitutes personally identifiable information (PII), and what control the actual visitor has over the whole process of collecting their visit history. I am a strong online privacy advocate, so I welcome the discussion.

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Track Offline Marketing with Google Analytics – Whitepaper

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding, Pro Lounge / Comments: 10

When it comes to tracking offline marketing campaigns, many marketers are unaware of the potential of using their existing web analytics tool to measure success. Typically, the reliance is on traditional, imprecise data such as print distribution figures (a.k.a. readership numbers), viewing figures (TV audience metrics), or footfall metrics (“20,000 people walk pass this sign every day”).

However, none of these metrics can provide any indication of success. That is, was my print, TV, or radio ad successful? Yet, if these readers, viewers or listeners visit your website as a result of exposure to your offline campaign, you can access a rich stream of success metrics. This whitepaper is a how-to guide to track your offline marketing efforts.

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Integrating web analytics with marketing (not IT) is the future

Categories: Metrics understanding / Comments: 20

I have been following some interesting posts on the recent IBM acquisition of Coremetrics. The following three are from respected sources that all glow positively about the potential upside of the deal – Econsultancy, Eric Peterson, Stephane Hamel. However, I am not so convinced that the deal will lead to great success for IBM, or is the start […]

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