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100 Analytics & Optimization Tips: How to Grow Your Online Business ... Chapter 4: Analysis Tips . ... Article: Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics Integrations. 7.
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100 Analytics & Optimization Tips How to Grow Your Online Business

Paul Koks

100 Analytics & Optimization Tips: How to Grow Your Online Business Copyright © January 2015 by Paul Koks

Contents Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 5 Chapter 1: Pre-implementation Tips ........................................................................................ 6 Chapter 2: Implementation Tips ............................................................................................... 7 Chapter 3: Configuration Tips .................................................................................................. 8 Chapter 4: Analysis Tips ........................................................................................................ 10 Chapter 5: General Optimization Tips .................................................................................... 12 Chapter 6: A/B Testing Tips ................................................................................................... 13 Chapter 7: My Most Important Tip.......................................................................................... 15 About the Author .................................................................................................................... 16

Introduction Thank you for downloading my 100 Analytics & Optimization Tips eBook! This book is fully packed with actionable tips that help you improve your online business. I have streamlined my approach to analytics and conversion optimization over the last few years. Based on my experience and outcomes I keep on optimizing the process and techniques that I use to derive the greatest ROI. This book will show you the exact strategies that I currently use to:  Make sure that the implementation process goes smoothly  Track every element that is crucial for optimizing an online business  Work effectively with Google Analytics  Turn data into valuable insights  Set up and evaluate A/B tests in the right way Many tips include helpful links to relevant articles and tools so that you can better grasp the underlying concepts. Note: Most of the tips can be applied to any web analytics and/or testing tool. However, some detailed tips are only applicable to Google Analytics.

Chapter 1: Pre-implementation Tips 1. Think about your (online) business objectives first. And make it 100% sure you clearly define these objectives before starting the implementation process itself. Article: How to define SMART marketing objectives 2. Thoroughly investigate your website(s) and make early notes about what to track and what not. Don’t track garbage simply for the sake of tracking it. 3. Set the project scope and answer questions like:  How many domains do I need to track?  Are there any technical barriers on my current website(s)?  Plan ahead: are there any special needs for the near future?  What stakeholders are involved? 4. Set out an implementation roadmap with milestones along the way. 5. Decide whether you like to store your data locally or not. 6. Decide whether you like to integrate Google Analytics with other (Analytics) tools and/or your back-end. Article: Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics Integrations 7. Divide the responsibilities in the implementation process; who is responsible for what and when? 8. Involve your technical team early in the process. 9. Define your goals and KPI's; these might influence the implementation later on. 10. Define your specific reporting requirements; each stakeholder might have different data needs (beware: don't become a reporting squirrel). Article: 10 Optimization Experts Share Their Favorite Google Analytics Reports 11. Take into account the 90/10 rule; spend 90% of your budget on people and 10% on tools (and not the other way around). So start with the cheaper/free tools, learn and you can always go for more expensive ones later. Article: The 10 / 90 Rule for Magnificent Web Analytics Success 12. Define macro and micro conversions; you may have one or two major conversions on your website, but there are other important “actions” as well. Article: Why to Define Macro and Micro Goals

Chapter 2: Implementation Tips 13. Make sure to reserve some extra time; very often things don't go the way you initially planned them. 14. Do you want some technical freedom? Choose a tag management solution! Tool: Google Tag Manager 15. Take your internal release planning into account. You should know whether tags can be placed within a week, month or even longer. 16. Get yourself familiar with tools to debug your implementation/tags. Article: Top 6 Tools for Debugging Your Google Analytics Implementation 17. Make your implementation document extremely easy to understand. 18. Tag all your pages, no discussion here. 19. Make sure that your measurement plan and tags don't negatively impact your users' web experience. 20. Look beyond tracking pageviews, a few examples: • Flash elements • Videos (Vimeo, YouTube) • Scroll-tracking • Bounce rate adjustments • Form abandonment • Downloads • External links Article: Strategic Guide Behind Adjusted Bounce Rate in Google Analytics 21. Set up a testing environment where you test your tags before you release them in real (e.g. testing.yourdomain.com). 22. Always double or even triple-test your tags first.

Chapter 3: Configuration Tips 23. Set up user permissions wisely. 24. Set up different views for different traffic segments. Article: Top 10 Things to Know About Google Analytics View Filters 25. Filter out unnecessary technical query parameters to de-duplicate your content reports. Article: 8 Useful Google Analytics Filters (last filter on this page) 26. Learn about the basics of regular expressions right from the start. Article: 10 Useful Regular Expressions in Google Analytics 27. Test your regular expressions first. Tool: Google Analytics Regular Expression Tester 28. Set up internal site search. 29. Set up e-commerce (a must if you run an online store). 30. Set up segments that fit your unique situation. Article: How to Effectively Set Up Segments 31. Set up goals and funnels; verify your Google Analytics goals first. Article: How to Effectively Set Up Goals in Google Analytics Article: Three Powerful Ways to Segment Google Analytics Funnels 32. Set up goal values for non-monetary goals. Article: The Importance of Goal Values in Google Analytics 33. Tag your marketing campaigns carefully. Article: Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics Campaign Tracking 34. Set up custom reports that contain acquisition, behavior and outcome metrics. Article: 3 Awesome, Downloadable, Custom Web Analytics Reports 35. Connect Google Analytics to external tools. 36. Set up intelligence alerts.

37. Link your AdWords account to Google Analytics (if applicable). 38. Link your Webmaster tools account to Google Analytics (if applicable). 39. Link your AdSense account to Google Analytics (if applicable). 40. Set up remarketing lists in Google Analytics (they are extremely flexible). 41. Set up content grouping for segmented analysis. Article: About Content Grouping 42. Set up annotations to correlate external events to your data. Article: How to Use Google Analytics Annotations for Better Insights 43. Split your brand terms from non-brand terms via channel grouping (if applicable). Screenshot admin interface:

44. Set up channel groupings for multi-channel analysis. 45. Import external data sources. 46. Set up custom dimensions and metrics. 47. Exclude hits from known bots and spiders (Tip: set this up in a different view first). Screenshot view settings:

Chapter 4: Analysis Tips 48. Start every analysis with a business question. 49. Automate reporting through Google Sheets or Supermetrics. Plugin: Google Analytics data in Google Speadsheets Product: Supermetrics 50. Don't focus on absolute numbers, but look at trends instead. 51. Look at distributions instead of plain averages. Article: Actively Avoid Insights: 4 Useful KPI Measurement Techniques 52. Be careful when comparing monthly data (months don’t have an equal number of days, influence of day of week). 53. Regularly check browser performance stats. 54. Look into referral pages, not only referral sites. 55. Analyze landing page performance per channel. 56. Learn all about metrics and dimensions. Reference: Dimensions & Metrics Reference 57. Locate and optimize your highest bounce rate pages. 58. Perform internal market research via site search analysis and optimization 59. Analyze mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop performance 60. Invest in optimizing your website's mobile performance as well 61. Know the difference between goals and transactions; goals can be tracked only once during a session, transaction more than once. Article: Goals vs. E-Commerce Transactions in Google Analytics 62. Look beyond the basic last-click models. 63. Take into account assisted conversions. 64. Enhance quantitative analysis with qualitative analysis. Article: Trilogy of Analytics Tools that Drive Conversions

65. Visualize your web analytics data to get your message across. Article: Top 10 Skills of a Great Web Analyst (skill number 3) Article: Data Visualization Inspiration: Analysis To Insights To Action, Faster! 66. Accept that your data is never perfect; check your back-end numbers from time to time. Article: Missing data and discrepancies 67. Share all your Google Analytics assets with one single link. Screenshot:

Admin >> View >> Personal Tools & Assets >> Share Assets 68. Set up shortcuts to your most important reports and settings. Screenshot:

69. Realize that your conversion rates are based on sessions instead of users.

Chapter 5: General Optimization Tips 70. Don't think you are smarter than your website visitors! You’re not. 71. Set up a great optimization team and structure; involve developers, designers, hardcore analysts, usability consultants and consumer psychologists. Article: From Novice to Optimization Hero: Your Optimizely Journey Article: 31 Insights from a Great Conference: Conversion Hotel 2014 72. Design a testing roadmap for the start (don't try to write out things for the upcoming year → ideas change based on your learnings). 73. Optimize high traffic/impact pages and your buying funnel first. 74. Don't test without a clear hypothesis and goal. 75. Evaluate your test ideas on three main criteria: 1. Expected level of impact 2. Technical difficulty of set up 3. Time to launch your test 76. Keep in mind that your budget for CRO efforts should not be sacrificed for driving untargeted traffic to your website. 77. Add the HiPPO's test idea as one of your test variations. Article: Six Smart Ways to Influence Your HiPPO 78. Apply the Conversion Trinity rules to your landing pages; relevance, value and CTA. Article: The Conversion Trinity 79. Educate yourself on analytics, statistics, testing rules and persuasion. Article: Top 20 Google Analytics Blogs in 2014 Article: Top 8 Web Analytics Education Options Article: Why Every Internet Marketer Should Be a Statistician Website: Wheel of Persuasion 80. Use the right set of testing tools. Tool: Optimizely Tool: Visual Website Optimizer

Chapter 6: A/B Testing Tips 81. Use a wide range of tools (quantitative and qualitative) and people to create your tests.

82. Don’t take an A/B test winner too early. Article: 10 CRO Experts Reveal Their Biggest A/B Testing Mistakes 83. Set your significance level to at least 95% and preferably higher. 84. Take into account power levels as well (preferably at least 80%). Article: A Clear Picture of Power and Significance in A/B Tests Tool: AB Testguide calculator 85. Calculate your test traffic up front (you don’t want to run a test that takes too long). Tool: AB Test size 86. Take into account the number of conversions on your test page. You need at least 150 – 250 conversions per variant before drawing conclusions on your data. 87. Choose your test target audience (segments) up front. 88. Define your test period beforehand. 89. Take into account the effect of cookie deletion when running tests. Within two weeks at least 10% of your initial visitors have deleted/lost their cookies. 90. Test for at least one full purchase cycle.

91. Test for at least one full week. 92. Only test one device at a time. 93. Check your test in all the major browsers before launch date. 94. Don’t let multiple tests overlap. Which one did secure an improvement? 95. Think about what visitors to include in your tests. Example: it might be useful to leave out your current clients. They will skew your data and findings. 96. Add the same code to the control page to strive for a fair page load time. 97. Integrate your analytics tool with your testing tool. Article: Integrating Optimizely with Google Analytics Article: Integrate VWO with Google Analytics 98. Measure and optimize the right set of metrics. 99. Document your A/B tests carefully. Tool: A/B Testguide

Chapter 7: My Most Important Tip 100.

Set up a blog and share about your passion!

From experience I can say that setting up your own website(s) is fun, rewarding and it gives an enormous boost to your online talents, experience and presence. Prior to starting OnlineMetrics – which was approximately two years ago – I have experimented with a couple of niche websites in the health and fitness niche. This way I have learned a lot about building and optimizing websites. And I am still learning every single day. I hope this eBook helps you a bit on your journey!

About the Author Paul Koks is an analytics and optimization consultant, blogger and strategist. He educates and helps companies to optimize their ROI through analytics and conversion optimization. He has experience with companies from different industries and sizes. His blog is found at Online-Metrics.com which is about analytics and conversion optimization. Connect with him on:  Twitter  LinkedIn  Google+  Facebook Or send a message via Online-Metrics.com.