Category: web-analytics
  • How to Diagnose and Fix a Self-Referral in Google Analytics

    A self-referral in Google Analytics is a session where the source is your own site. This is often ignored or considered innocuous, but it represents something very wrong with the sessions it represents. It doesn’t make sense for a user to have arrived on your site via your site - there must have been an original source, and we want to include every subsequent hit after that original landing as part of one big session, providing the user doesn’t leave and come back via some other channel, or go inactive for a long period of time. Read more

  • The Handy Guide to Setting Up Scroll Depth Tracking

    How would your marketing approach change if you knew that 80% of your users were only scrolling 25% of the way down your homepage? User falloff can happen for a number of reasons. Perhaps your content isn’t relevant. Maybe it’s too long, or just flat-out boring. Whatever the reason, scroll depth tracking is a great way to find out just how much of your content is actually being seen by your users. Read more

  • The Google Analytics Audit Checklist

    Here at Distilled, we have pulled together a Google Analytics audit checklist which we will continue to keep up to date as Google Analytics roll out any new features. This is the checklist we use to help all of our clients, and we’ve shaped and reformed it over time, hence why we so keen to share it and help other SEOs, digital marketers, and even small business owners who can use GA but want to make the next step up with their setup. Read more

  • When is a Session not a Session?

    Sessions are pretty arbitrarily defined, all too easily inflated, and far more complex than most realise. It’s possible for apparent step-changes in Google Analytics reports to have little real-world relevance, and common for reports to show numerous mysterious and apparently inexplicable landing pages and traffic sources. It is therefore essential for Google Analytics users to understand what they’re actually talking about when they reference a session, and that’s what this post is all about.

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  • Panic Time or False Alarm? A Beginner’s Guide to Traffic Drop Analysis

    Have you ever been in a situation when your or your client’s traffic has dropped and you’re not sure what to do? How do you know if it's a real problem or just seasonality? Being able to recognise those true traffic drops, as oppose to red herrings like broken tracking or the aforementioned seasonality, is a critical skill for marketing consultants and in-house marketers. You’ve got to know when to reassure your boss/client, and when to suggest action. This post will walk you through the process of confirming what actually happened and understanding why it happened in the first place. Read more

  • 4 Things You can do with Screaming Frog that You Couldn’t do a Year Ago

    In case you haven’t used it before, Screaming Frog is a web crawler which you can use to crawl a website the way a search engine does. While it does this it spits out pretty much every piece of SEO related data you could think of from each page. One of the great things about Screaming Frog is that... Read more

  • Statistical Forecasting for SEO & Analytics (and a Free Tool!)

    Statistical forecasting is a powerful tool that’s been used at Distilled for a while, both by consultants when analysing client data and by our in-house monitoring tool that alerts us to problems with client sites. In this post, I’m publicly launching a free forecasting tool that I spoke about last week at BrightonSEO, and explaining how to make best use of it. Read more

  • Using PhantomJS to monitor Google Analytics

    A simple change to the way Google Analytics is installed is (unfortunately) a common way to render your analytics data worthless. To make matters worse, if you aren’t aware of the setup change, you might falsely attribute any differences in reported traffic to something else, rather than the Google Analytics change.

    In an ideal world we would have a ‘set it and forget it’ warning system that will alert you any time the analytics code is changed on a page. I’m going to walk you through some code that can be used to extract what Google Analytics resources are being used. Read more

  • Your Hunch is Probably Wrong - The Importance of Testing

    Since starting as an analyst at Distilled, I’ve been keen to understand the reasons why we make the decisions we do in digital marketing. There’s a wide variety of ways to approach a problem, and although many of them have value, there has to be a best way to make sure that the decision you make is the right one. I wanted to take my evidence-first way of thinking and apply it to this field. Read more

  • Quick Fix for Referral Spam in Google Analytics

    There's been a lot of talk recently about referral spam and how it's ruining everyone's analytics data. While this isn't cause for panic, it is very annoying, and depending on the size of your site it could be having a very meaningful effect on your data. In this post I'll outline two filters which in most cases should exclude the vast majority of referral spam and require zero maintenance. Read more

  • The Consultant’s Checklist for Launching Content

    You’ve launched a brilliant new piece of content everyone is excited about. But a few minutes after it’s sent out into the big wide world, you realise you’ve forgotten to do something. Panic sets in, the phone starts ringing… I’m guessing many of us have experienced this scenario. In a way, it’s... Read more

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