Tracking Yahoo & Bing AdCenter Pay-Per-Click Clicks in Google Analytics

Yahoo and Bing have finally finished the transition of moving all Yahoo! Search Marketing pay-per-click accounts over to Bing’s AdCenter platform. So now if you want to buy PPC ads on Yahoo or Bing, you have to sign up for a Bing AdCenter account and you have to advertise on BOTH Yahoo and Bing whether you want to or not, which kinda sucks. And not only does Bing power Yahoo’s PPC listings, they also power the organic listings. So essentially Yahoo & Bing are now the same search engine with different interfaces and functionality.

However, even though the two PPC networks combined forces, it appears there is no way to track visitors who clicked on an ad in Yahoo and visitors who clicked on the same ad in Bing in Google Analytics. This is going to be a problem that needs to be resolved quickly. Even though there is no way to advertise ONLY on Yahoo, I still want to know stuff like if the quality of the traffic from Yahoo is absolutely terrible while the quality of the traffic from Bing is decent so I can evaluate my options. Ideally, I would like to be able to use tracking URLs such as the following:

For all Bing ads:

For all Yahoo ads:

However, as it currently stands, there is absolutely no way to segment specific ads, keywords, destination URLs for Yahoo & Bing, and what I think is even more important, there is no way to segment the visitors to track them in Google Analytics. I was happy with the performance of my Bing PPC campaigns but it remains to be seen if the merger ends up drastically changing the performance. If it does, I’ll just pour more money into Google AdWords since their platform is 100x better anyway… not to mention, Google has twice as much traffic as Bing & Yahoo combined!

103Bees Tracking Code Causes Significant Lag Because Went Out of Business

Just a heads up to any websites that have used the 103Bees analytics tool before. The company is no longer in business and if you have accidentally left the 103Bees javascript tracking code on your site, then the site will take forever to load since it is trying to load a script that will never load since the site is down. I haven’t used it in years but one of the sites I occasionally manage was having severe loading problems and then I discovered that the 103Bees tracking code was the culprit. So moral of the story, always keep an eye on your sites!

AppSumo Offers Amazing Web & Conversion Rate Optimization Apps Bundle for Only $25

This is a heckuva deal from AppSumo – 5 different website and conversion rate optimization applications in one bundle for only 25 bucks! If you were to buy each of the tools individually, you would be spending $528! So you get to try the following apps, most of which I highly recommend:

Clicky Real-Time Web Analytics – It seems I can’t make a post without raving about this tool, but if you haven’t already checked them out, now’s the time to do so!

CrazyEgg – Find out where visitors are clicking on your site with awesome heatmaps.

Performable – I’m actually not quite sure what this tool does but I’m going to try it out now.

Visual Website Optimizer – A great tool to set up split A/B tests to see which versions of a webpage are most effective. – Watch and listen to real people interact with your website

So what are you waiting for? You only have 4 days left to get access to these awesome apps for only $25.00! Click this link to visit AppSumo and help a brotha out!

How Many Websites Use Google Analytics?

How many websites use Google Analytics? As the most popular website traffic statistics software used on the Internet, it is estimated that 57% of the Top 10,000 websites and just under 50% of the Top 1,000,000 websites use Google Analytics. So, it’s safe to say that at least 500,000 websites and most likely A LOT more use Google Analytics to track their website traffic.

And how does Google Analytics compare to other website analytics services? Well according to W3Techs, 80.4% of all websites that use website analytics use Google Analytics. The second most popular traffic analysis tool is LiveInternet, with a measly 5.4%, and then StatCounter coming in at third with 4.6%. And perhaps my favorite website analytics tool, Clicky, only registers at 0.9%! Although these other services may only have 5% of the market, that still translates to tens of thousands of websites that they track.

And even though Google Analytics dominates the website analytics market, it still has its limitations and doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best. I think analytics programs such as Clicky, which offers real-time tracking in a slick looking interface, along with other new startups will gradually chip away at the Google Analytics marketshare, especially as more and more people start to become wary of using Google services for literally everything they do online (which is the topic of my next blog post!).

So there you go, Google Analytics is by far the most popular and widely used website analytics tool on the Internet. What do you guys think? And do you use any other analytics services that I should be aware of?

Magento Google Analytics Funnel for Tracking Each Step of One Page Checkout

Magento Google Analytics – I have spent the entire afternoon working on a client’s Magento website. As an update to my previous post “Magento One Page Checkout vs. Multipage Checkout“, I needed to set up a Google Analytics funnel to accurately track each step of the One Page Checkout process. Because it obviously only uses one page and AJAX, the default Google Analytics configuration is not able to track each of the six steps of the checkout process to determine where the visitors are abandoning their transactions. Clearly, it is very valuable to have that information available. Luckily for us, we are able to do just that. Here are the steps:

1. Open up the template file /app/design/frontend/default/YOURTEMPLATENAME/template/checkout/onepage.phtml in a text editor or WYSIWYG web editor such as Dreamweaver.

2. Paste the following code to the very bottom of the onepage.phtml file (You may have to replace the quotes in plaintext for it to work, fyi):

<script type=”text/javascript”>
Checkout.prototype.gotoSection = function(section) {
try {
pageTracker._trackPageview(‘<?php echo $this->getUrl(‘checkout/onepage’) ?>’ + section + ‘/’);
} catch(err) { }

section = $(‘opc-’+section);

3. Save and upload the template file and you are done with the hard part and you will now be able to track the views of each of the six steps!

4. Now if you want to set up the Google Analytics conversion tracking and funnel to determine where the users are dropping off, you can do so by creating a new Goal in Google Analytics and by using the following settings:

Goal Type: URL Destination
Match Type: Head Match
Goal URL: /checkout/onepage/success/

Funnel Steps:

Step 1: /checkout/onepage/
Step 2: /checkout/onepage/billing/
Step 3: /checkout/onepage/shipping/
Step 4: /checkout/onepage/shipping_method/
Step 5: /checkout/onepage/payment/
Step 6: /checkout/onepage/review/

And that’s it!

Alexa vs Compete vs Quantcast vs ComScore vs Hitwise vs Nielsen

All of these third-party analytic services are terribly inaccurate but will continue to be used until a more accurate tool is available. Below is an overview of the methodologies used for collecting data for each of these services:

Methodology: Captures traffic data from users who download and use the Alexa Toolbar in their web browser. They also claim to use other “diverse traffic data sources”, which is very vague.

Sample Size: There is no known number of current Alexa Toolbar users, but it is said to be in the “millions.” I would bet that size continues to decline as more and more spyware programs flag the Alexa Toolbar as spyware/adware and either uninstall or completely block installation of the toolbar in the first place.

Problems: Well, there are a few:

1. Easily skewed – Since the Alexa Ranking is determined by users who have the Alexa toolbar installed, it is often in the interests of a website owner to install the Alexa toolbar themselves to increase their own Alexa ranking. And that is precisely the case. That is why you will see most webmaster forums and SEO blogs have high Alexa rankings, even if they don’t get much traffic overall.

2. Easily manipulated – Even though Alexa claims they have since added measures to prevent intentional manipulation of their rankings, it is still possibly to increase your own Alexa ranking by installing the toolbar and visiting your own site. Try it out for 7 days straight and I guarantee your Alexa ranking will increase significantly.

3. Catch 22 – Most webmasters nowadays are aware that the Alexa ranking is often inaccurate and thus say “oh the Alexa ranking doesn’t mean anything.” But in reality, most of them do care about it because many advertisers use Alexa ranking data to determine which websites they want to advertise on. And people looking to buy a domain name or website will often do the same in determining the value of a site. So it’s a Catch 22 – the webmaster knows the data is inaccurate and shouldn’t care about it, but they do care about it because advertisers care about it. And that will continue to be the case until more accurate data is available.

Methodology: Captures traffic data from “diverse sources” such as the Compete Toolbar and ISP logs.

Sample Size: Approximately 2,000,000 U.S. users, or 1% of total market

Problems: While not as easily skewed or manipulable as Alexa, the sample size is so small that the data is often wildly inaccurate.

Methodology: Quantcast measures websites that have installed their tracking code directly in the HTML of the website

Sample Size: They claim to have 80,000 “Quantified Publishers” who have installed the tracking code across 10 million websites.

Problems: Again, the sample size. The majority of websites do not have the QuantCast tag installed on their site so it is impossible to compare the traffic of a website that is able to be directly tracked with their tracking code and ones that are not.

ComScore, Nielsen, HitWise (I am lumping these three together for the time being)
Methodology : Most of these get their data from willing participants. Their users agree to install survey software on their computers to track their usage. These companies also get data from ISPs.

Sample Size: 2 million to 10 million in the US

Problems : Sample size, sample size, sample size!

(I will continue this post later, I just had to get something written since I’ve been meaning to for quite some time!)

How to Track Google AdWords Broad Match Keywords in Google Analytics

If you do a lot of work with Google AdWords and Google Analytics, you’ve probably already realized that Analytics does not accurately report traffic data for broad match keywords from AdWords. For example, let’s say I run a website that sells guitars and I bid on the following broad match keywords:

buy guitar
guitar for sale

I run the AdWords campaign for 30 days and get 1000 total clicks for those keywords. Google Analytics will show 1000 clicks for only those four keywords. However, since they are broad match keywords, the AdWords campaign likely generated clicks for other “similar” keyword phrases such as:

guitar picks
guitar tuning in richmond, va
free guitar lessons in arkport, new york

Google Analytics will only report traffic coming from the 4 broad match keywords that we bid on in the AdWords campaign.  So if we only sell guitars and don’t offer guitar lessons or guitar picks, we are wasting money on those clicks. There are several ways to get this data, such as by adding custom filters. However, those solutions only work if the traffic is being tracked as AdWords traffic. In some cases, the AdWords traffic will be counted as Organic traffic in Analytics and another solution must be used. You’re in luck because I will write about that in my next post. :)

ClickTale vs Crazy Egg

I am a huge fan of constantly testing the performance of webpages in order to improve conversion rates. ClickTale and Crazy Egg are two of my favorite analytical tools. Stumped on which one to try? Here I will break it down:


Pros – Actually records videos of user sessions. This is incredibly useful. It also provides great insights on contact forms.  Also offers a free trial, which Crazy Egg does not offer.
Cons – More expensive for paid plans.

Crazy Egg
Pros – Cheaper.
Cons – Does not record videos, but still provides valuable heat map data. Also, does not provide a free trial.

More in-depth analysis coming shortly!