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Based on the book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics - by Brian Clifton

Measuring Success - the blog

Here I write about Google Analytics setup and usage; Online privacy - debunking the myths; Data accuracy - what is accurate, what is not and how to live with it; Website usability & conversion optimisation - the whole raison d'etre for measurement in the first place; Democratisation of data - spreading the love; Google in general - business practices, approach and strategy.

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

Categories: Metrics understanding No Comments »

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…


10 Micro Goals for Tracking Content Engagement

Categories: Metrics understanding No Comments »

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)?


Linking GA to Adwords – Avoiding permission issues

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Implementation ABCs Comments (3) »

A post to clarify a common misunderstood problem when setting permissions to enable the linking of your Google Analytics account with your AdWords account.

adwords linking permissions


Google Content Experiments – A good or bad feature?

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding Comments (10) »

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.


Calculating your REAL ROI for AdWords

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding Comments (2) »

Here’s the problem… The default Return on Investment (ROI) displayed by Google Analytics is misleading for two reasons.

Issue 1: Google Analytics combines revenue form your transactions and goals. That can lead to double counting, if for example, an add-to-cart click is a monetised goal.
Issue 2: Google Analytics has no idea about what profit margins you operate under – how can it? Google therefore has to assume that *ALL* revenue generated by your visitors is 100% profit.

In this post I show you how to avoid these issues and calculate your AdWords REAL ROI. Its purpose is to take you to the next level – allowing you to move beyond adjusting bids simply based on conversions. Instead, you can go after the “highest” value converters.

Figure 2 - How big a difference is the default ROI versus the REAL ROI?
As you can see in Figure 2, we are not tweaking the edges here!


Multi-Channel Attribution Modelling – don’t write off the default models

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding 1 Comment »


Avinash Kaushik is a great measurement thought provoker (up there with the likes of Tufte imho), all-round nice guy and friend of mine. I always come away from his posts challenged and simulated – quite a feat to achieve for your peers in a niche industry. The following post from him – Multi-Channel Attribution Modeling: The Good, Bad and Ugly Models – is a great reference read, though I disagree on a couple of items. Once you have digested Avinash’s thoughts, here is my input…


Why the Guardian is barking up the wrong tree with Prism

Categories: Privacy and Accuracy Comments (3) »

My thoughts on why the Guardian and the Washington Post are barking up the wrong tree with their constant side-stories. It is disappointing to read the story degrading in this way.

“Analysing this type of meta-data is exactly what companies such as Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook etc. openly do.”

Seriously… what is the problem with collecting and analysing meta-data?


The Cost of a Poor Website User Experience

Categories: Metrics understanding 1 Comment »

$53 million per month Estimated cost to a global brand white-goods manufacturer due to a poor website experience
Let me explain the story…

A global white-goods brand, lets call them, sent me a survey asking what I thought about my recent website experience. Here’s my response – I wanted to be honest and constructive:


Online Privacy – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Privacy and Accuracy Comments (7) »

Online privacy is a complex subject. Hence I use this slide to neatly sum up the issue by analogy. Essentially, to illustrate the different levels of privacy I use the scenario of an organisation wishing to understand the impact of traffic on their community.

privacy analogy


A Flawed Feature – The New Multi-Currency Support in Google Analytics

Categories: Google Analytics specific, Metrics understanding Comments (5) »

wrong-way.jpegWhen speaking at events I am sometimes accused (light heartedly) of drinking too much of the Google Koolade – meaning I endorse the good parts and skip/skim the pitfalls. However this post is a criticism of Google for what I consider to be a flawed thinking with their recently announced support of multiple currencies in Google Analytics.