Posted on | September 7, 2010 | No Comments
Before you start ogling your reports, there are a few things you absolutely must do to your data as soon as you install Google Analytics on your website (and, of course, you make sure it’s installed correctlty) This stuff isn’t sexy or fun (unless you’re someone like me) but they are things you must do as a newbie to get clean, accurate and relevant data you can actually use. Ready? Take a deep breath and read on. There will be a test later.
Step One: Filter your internal traffic.
Unless you are using Google Analytics for your office intranet or looking to track an internal audience (say, if you work for a library or schooll) you’ll want to have a profile that excludes the web traffic that comes from within your office. If you’re looking to track the web traffic coming from an e-mail or social media campaign, for example, you won’t want the web traffic from the folks in your office (or you) unintentionally inflating your numbers. So exclude it! The easiest way to do this is by filtering out your own (or your office’s) IP address. Here’s how:
- Go to the “Analytics Settings” page and click “Filter Manager”
- Name your Filter
- Choose the “Predefined Filter” radio button
- Choose “Exclude all traffic from an IP address”
- Enter your office IP address in the “IP address” field. You’ll need to use regular expressions here. For example,if your IP address is:
in Google Analytics, you’ll enter it as 192\.168\.1\.114
as I did below for my personal blog:
So now some of you are thinking “holy crap this is confusing.” I don’t blame you. RegEx is not easy. If you are still confused by regular expressions and/or you have absolutely no clue what I am talking about, there are many online resources should you want to DIY it: you can either check out Regular Expressions Info for more background information. Or grab your friendly neighborhood IT person. Or drop me a line.
Outside of the Regular Expressions part, these steps are pretty easy to follow and absolutely necessary when you want to start using your reports later on, trust me. I highly recommend setting up a new profile for your filtered data so that you’ll have your raw data handy in case you ever need it.
Now you can move on to the real fun stuff. setting up Goals, which I will get to next week.
Posted on | August 28, 2010 | No Comments
It can be rough to be in the position of having to plead the case for starting a Facebook page or a Twitter feed to a manager or executive director, especially if they may not be familiar with social media or see its value.
Many managers share the same questions and concerns when it comes to social media – usually issues of crisis communication/message control, privacy and time management. In my experience, there are three first steps you can take to help alleviate social media skittishness in an organization:
1.) Conduct a staff wide “Intro to Social Media” Training
Social media “power users” sometimes assume that the basics of Facebook, Twitter, etc are common knowledge; conducting an intro to social media training can get your staff on the same page and speaking the same language before you move into developing a social media strategy for your company.
At this training you can not only cover basic definitions and descriptions of social media tools and tactics, but also address some of the concerns that staff members may have about issue of privacy, managing negative feedback and professional vs. personal use of social media sites.
Depending on the size and culture of your organization, you may have to conduct this training more than once. Especially if you are a newer staff member, you may be eager to “blow some minds” with all the great possibilities of social media, but for many companies, the two-way approach of communications that social media thrives on is very different from they’ve historically communicated with their customers/supporters. Be patient, and put yourself in the role of educator for your staff.
2.) Develop internal and external social media policy/guidelines for your company
Once your initial training is complete and most staff members are speaking the same social media language (or at least trying to,) you can start to approach the challenging task of setting up internal and external policies for social media use. Having such guidelines are an effective way to set your company’s social media rules of engagement to help guide your staff, and are also an effective response to any pushback you may recieve from staff members concerned about issues of crisis management and negative feedback.
You’ll want to get buy-in from your highest ranking staff member on these guidelines; without top down support such guidelines are difficult to maintain and uphold. Also you’ll want the input of staff members from multiple departments, not just communications and marketing, since any or all staff members may be called upon to engage with customers via social media, you’ll want everyone’s concerns and needs addressed.
Intel’s social media guidelines are a great template for any organization.
3.)Organize a social media working group that meets regularly to share ideas and resources
This is especially effective for large organizations that may have multiple departments initiating social media strategies. My current employer adopts this approach and the monthly meetings are a great way to keep the other 50+ members for our group in the loop; it opens up points of opportunity to collaborate on social media projects and share news and findings. There’s so much going on in the social media world that it’s impossible for any one person to keep up with it all, so regular working group meetings can keep staff members up to date with new tech/legal/social changes with Facebook or Twitter, and also any internal changes to social media policy that may affect the work of other departments.
These are three ideas that have helped me as a social media staff member in different organizations; what approaches have worked for you?
Posted on | August 22, 2010 | No Comments
Happy end of summer! Kinda. I am still in denial that it’s August. It was a pretty busy summer for The Web Farm and there’s lots to share! Back in July, Emily Lonigro and I did a day-long workshop on online marketing for non-profits at the Community Media Workshop’s Making Media Connections conference. It was a great opportunity to connect with non-profit leaders from across the midwest. Thanks to Thom Clark, Demetrio Maguidad, Diana Pando and the fantastic crew at CMW.
Fall is approaching and I am looking forward to participating in ChicagoCOUNTS, a netSquared unconference taking place on September 12, which will pair technology professionals and non-profits from around Chicago. Once again, I’ll be talking about web analytics and I am really thrilled, since NPO professionals and web analytics really seem to click, in my experience. Be sure to join us on September 12 and to follow ChicagoCOUNTS on Twitter. – Keidra
Posted on | August 20, 2010 | 2 Comments
The Web Farm took its web analytics show on the road earlier this month at BlogHer 2010! If you haven’t heard of BlogHer, it’s an annual conference of woman bloggers that share professional resources and personal stories. To call it “SXSW for girls” which is what I used to do, is to sell it short. It’s a fantastic professional gathering of smart, talented and entrepreneurial women, and I was honored to be a part of it.
I spoke about (what else?) web analytics on the panel “Your Stats are a Business Asset” with Adria Richards, Stephanie Stiavetti, and Nancy Martira. We talked about everything from Google Page Rank to bounce rate to social media analytics to a standing room only crowd. It was an hour of lively conversation and smart questions that I hope we will get to repeat next year! It was great to see such enthusiasm about web analytics from such a large crowd. The Web Farm loves you, BlogHer! - Keidra
Posted on | February 16, 2010 | 1 Comment
Web analytics in a nutshell
So what is web analytics, exactly? To make a long story short, web analytics is a tool to help you to understand how visitors use your website. This is, of course, crucial if you’re using your website/online marketing to achieve your company’s business goals (marketing, sales, etc.)
You can’t get into every user’s head as they visit your site and ask them “is this content useful to you?” or “do you find our online registration form tedious?” but web analytics is the next best thing.
It’s one tool (among many – including usability testing, focus groups, surveys, etc.) to help you get into the head of your online customer and really respond to their needs and wants.keep looking »