Archive for April, 2010

Quick Post – Commercials and Measuring Brand

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Later today our annual inter-squad scrimmage (the “Blue/White game”) will be televised on EPSN2. We have a commercial airing twice during the game and I’m getting ready to track the impact on traffic to our site.

Obviously this won’t be a super popular game on TV – mostly very loyal fans and alumni, but that’s ok. It will still have some impact.

Here is what I plan on monitoring over the weekend to see how much of an impact the commercial (and even the game) had on traffic:

  1. Visit trend
  2. % branded keywords referrals
  3. % direct traffic
  4. % referral traffic from our main university website (
  5. % goals completed from branded keywords referrals
  6. % goals completed from direct traffic
  7. % goals completed from main university referral traffic

When looking at these reports, I have to remember that “like” date ranges matter. For instance, I won’t want to measure the difference in those metrics from yesterday to today because I know that our traffic goes down naturally on weekends (Friday and Saturday aren’t like days). This weekend should be compared to last weekend. Further, I need to keep in mind that the game itself (regardless of the commercial) will likely have an impact on traffic. Unfortunately we don’t have a “like” weekend to run it against (a weekend where our blue/white game aired on ESPN2 without the commercial). So, we’ll have to make due with just realizing that the commercial itself may not have caused the traffic.

I do think the metrics that have to do with branded keyword referrals and direct traffic can show impact from the commercial itself. Why? Because they have to do specifically with users seeking us out by our unit name (not just happening on our site or coming to our site from our main university site).

What do you think? What other metrics should I be looking at?

Must Read Book – Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics – Second Edition

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

This post is long overdue. I wanted to do a review of Brian Clifton’s book Advanced Web Metrics with Google Analytics (second edition) last month when it came out. For those of us in higher education, this book is essential reading. Period.

When it comes to web analytics and, specifically Google Analytics, Brian Clifton is at the top. The book is the second edition, but it is so much more than just an update of the first book – it’s almost a complete re-write. So much has happened since the first book came out. You can read all about it over on Brian’s blog.

Full disclosure: I was lucky enough to read the book before it was published and offer feedback and comments. I’ve never done that before, but what an excellent learning experience!

So, let’s get down to the book. The name of it says “advanced” but you don’t need to be an advanced user of Google Analytics to get a lot out of it. It takes you from the very basics of what web analytics is, how to get started with both web analytics and Google Analytics all the way to advanced topics and techniques.