Overlooked, Underloved and Unknown Analytics – SMX Advanced

Good morning, my friends. Welcome to the first morning of this super quick but super awesome two day conference that we call SMX Advanced. It’s the fifth anniversary of this conference and my, how it has grown.


It’s gray and just a little bit rainy here in Seattle but inside it’s all good times and sunshine. That’s because we have a fantastic panel about to discuss my eternal nemesis — Analytics.

Oh, analytics sessions. Why can’t I quit you? I never understand but I always attend.

Here’s the line up.

Moderator: Chris Sherman, Executive Editor, Search Engine Land

Q&A Moderator: Robert Cooley, CTO, OptiMine Software


Madan Bharadwaj, Vice President, Visual IQ @madanbwj
Allison Hartsoe, VP Analytics, Semphonic @ahartsoe
Phil Mui, Group Product Manager, Google @philmui
Khalid Saleh, President, Invesp @khalidh

Madan is up first. He makes sure we’ve all had coffee first. Good man.

The science of attribution is about looking at the entire consumer experience.

Today’s themes:

  • Clicks as a marker of “intent” during the experience
  • Time Lag from various point in the experience.

These have in common the need to look at the entire experience, not just the last click.

Entire consumer experience = entire engagement stack.  They look at every single user, not just converting users.

“A click is not a click is not a click.” — A click on display is not the same thing as a click on search. In display, it makes sense to measure conversion rate against clicks because you’re paying for it. Clicking on a search query is very different. You need to analyze the holistic experience to understand what a click means in each channel.

Search is a pull medium, not a push medium. It’s a very different kind of action and intent.

The online population is a sample of the entire population. It’s reasonable to assume that when it’s time for them to express their intent, they will actually come looking for your brand.

Time Lag: The traditional time lag definition is flawed. It’s not just the time from the first search to the final conversion. There are several channels.

Some conversions are clicks only (from search), some are impressions only (display), some have a mix. Looking at the engagement stacks, they found 5 path markers.
5 Path Markers

What does each time lag tell you? People with just one click converted fast, within an hour. People with more than one click converted on a longer scale. Very different behavior and based on their expectations. If you know that people who see an ad convert in a different browser session more than a day later, what would you tell them in your ad?

For this client, they found two groups — instant gratification group and delayed gratification group.

The key is to analyze and optimize the whole experience, not just the last touch.

Khalid is next. His company makes conversion optimization software.

In order to increase your conversion rates, you need to know where to start the optimization.

Plan where to start, Implement, Iterate

So where should you start?

There are more than 12 different factors.

The basic choice is  the home page, the high exit rate pages, the high bounce rate pages. Usually the shopping cart is a suspect.

Look for trends, not numbers in analytics.

Look at the number of visitors that land on your category pages but never make it to the product pages. Get the pre-product page abandonment rate to find out how many people are never even getting to the point of adding to the cart. (Having an add to cart on a category page is almost useless.) Try for a PPAR of 25% or less.

A category page exists to funnel traffic to product page. It helps customers select the right product for their needs (product, navigation, comparison, feature selection, etc.) Categorization is complex and usually set at the beginning and is often hard to change.

One of the problems is if they are jumping back up categories instead of down further into product pages.

Keep an eye on the bounce around affect. — the number of visitors who navigate to a parent or sibling category instead of to a product page. Keep it less than 20%.

Product page effectiveness rate: # of visitors who click on the add to cart button/total visitors who visit the product page

PPER Goal: 10-15% (higher for lower price points, lower for higher price points.)

Wow, he went fast.

Allison steps up next. She’s certified Google and Omniture (Abode).

What are the hidden dimensions of Google Analytics? — use the ROI Revolution GARE greasemonkey script on Firefox to get lots more information and options.

V5 of Google Analytics has some of these dimensions but not all of them. The script doesn’t work in V5.

How do you track social media traffic?

The quick and dirty way:

  • Can filter incoming source to report Twitter or Facebook.
  • Create a custom segment to apply across reports

The better way:

Use GraphEdge for Twitter for Follows, Unfollows, see impact over time. It’s an external tool. Starts at $5 a month.

Best Practice: Tag your links w/ campaign codes and use URL shorteners. That way you can track conversions, last touch, 6 month cookie.

Tracking within Facebook:

How to get more out of SiteCatalyst?

Must declare a campaign identifier in admin settings, (e.g., “cid”) and tag campaigns with it. Make sure you add it to every single new campaign.


Filter by marketing channels. It’s a post-processing playground. Changing things around won’t hurt anything and it’s flexible (but not as flexible as Google Analytics)

Phil will be the last presenter.

Two feature announcements in this presentation.

Four categories in GA – Web, Rich Media, Mobile, Social
Google Analytics
To get the most out of GA, work with a certified partner. [AD!]


  • Mobile
  • Social
  • Funnel
  • Search

Mobile SDK – easy to set up, two lines of code. Tracked data is queued and dispatched in bundles.

Tracking user preferences is also two lines of code. [I’m sorry this is very sparse, he has a lot of slides and I can’t capture them in time.]

Tracking in app purchases – e-commerce tracking


Feature Announcement – GA V5 is an evolving platform, the newest is tracking for social buttons on site. Every social network and button type will be supported with modest setup and +1 will be supported natively. Visit bit.ly/gasocialplugin to sign up.

The last click just isn’t enough, you need the whole story.

How much should I be paying my affiliates? — Assign accurate value to CPA

Feature Announcement two: Google Analytics and GWT will be integrated starting this month so you can get GA information in GWT. [The room cheers.]

In the comments, Asaph notes: Minor correction: starting this month you will be able to see GWT information in GA, not “GA information in GWT” as was written here.

Mea culpa.

Susan Esparza is former managing editor at Bruce Clay Inc., and has written extensively for clients and internal publications. Along with Bruce Clay, she is co-author of the first edition of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies.

See Susan's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (5)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent Digital Marketing Optimization posts is better than the last!
Bruce Clay on January 22, 2024
How To Optimize Content for Facebook and Instagram
Bruce Clay on December 14, 2023
SEO vs. PPC: How To Choose
Bruce Clay on October 16, 2023
7 Proven Strategies To Increase Website Traffic for Your Business

5 Replies to “Overlooked, Underloved and Unknown Analytics – SMX Advanced”

Hi Susan, something wrong with the link GraphEdge?? The link is broken or server down?

Susan Esparza

Nothing’s wrong with the link. Look’s like it’s a problem with their site. I hope they get it back up soon; it was a good looking tool.

Yes, I have been waiting for 2 days, their server still down. Hopefully, the site will back to normal soon. Anyway, thanks Susan.

Minor correction: starting this month you will be able to see GWT information in GA, not “GA information in GWT” as was written here.

Susan Esparza

Whoops, thanks. I’ll correct that.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Serving North America based in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area
Bruce Clay, Inc. | PO Box 1338 | Moorpark CA, 93020
Voice: 1-805-517-1900 | Toll Free: 1-866-517-1900 | Fax: 1-805-517-1919