Goals are Your Friend in Google Analytics (Unlike France in the World Cup)

By Justin Seibert| 3 Min Read | June 23, 2010

Editor’s Note: Looking for information on setting up goals in Google Analytics and still using Universal Analytics (or older)? You are at risk of losing your historical performance data in 2023 if you don’t set up and properly configure Google Analytics 4. Learn how the two platforms compare to each other in this blog post – Google Analytics 4 vs Universal Analytics.

Update: USA! USA! USA!

Update 2: England advances, putting both official DOM rooting interests through to the next round.

Since the television down here in Wheeling is on the USA game and the one in Cleveland is focused on the Three Lions*, I couldn’t resist making a World Cup reference in today’s post.  Get to throw a hackneyed joke about Les Bleus* – approximately the 495,000th one on the internet since last night – and winner winner chicken dinner.

The point of the post, however, is not to rip on the French for – among many, many other indiscretions – refused to practice ahead of their final World Cup game, which I just can’t wrap my brain around.  No, instead it is to tell you about two recently released features in Google Analytics that you absolutely need to know and how you can take advantage of it to improve your AdWords campaigns.

Before we get into the new features, let’s start out with Goals.  If you’re using Google Analytics for your, umm, analytics, you need to set them up.  Period.  Having conversion tracking set up in AdWords and your other paid search accounts is not enough.  And it’s not just so you can track conversions of important events for all traffic sources although that should be enough motivation.  You need it to take advantage of these two new features from within the Traffic Sources >> AdWords section of Google Analytics:

2 New Google Analytics Features Every AdWords User Should Know

  1. Ad positions.  Ever wonder whether that top spot is really worth it or not?  Wonder no more.    Now you can get stats on how your keywords are performing in each of the first page result positions.  It’s not quite as straightforward as we’d like at the moment.  For example, GA doesn’t allow you to easily aggregate keyword performance data at even an ad group level, and the positions show you where it does well on the page, but not necessarily what bid level (e.g. a #1 position could be top center or top right – and these are broken out separately).

  1. Dayparting.  Dayparting has a few slightly different meanings, but all revolve around looking at different parts of the day – usually hourly – and how campaigns perform differently during those times.  There was a way to get this information before in GA, but they’ve made it a heck of a lot easier now, right in the revised AdWords section.  Speaking of which, when is that going to be out of beta?  Knowing Google, it might keep that label for another 2 years.

So now you know about these new analytics features, which GI Joe will tell you is half the battle.  The other half is using them, so get crackalackin!

* So why is it that the Americans don’t have a nickname.  Paul says it’s Team USA, but surely we can do better than that.  Look around – Bafana Bafana, All Whites (to go with New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team; not some breakaway white supremacist nation) – all the nations have something interesting except us.  Can’t we at least get a Bald Eagles going?

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Written by Justin Seibert

Justin Seibert is the President of Direct Online Marketing. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He contributes a wide range of online business-oriented topics, including the subject of exporting. His contributions can be found on publications such as the Pittsburgh Business Times, AdAge, SES Magazine, and La Voz del interior. Justin and his family enjoy learning about new cultures during their travels.

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