Tracking Internal Redirects in Analytics and Tracing External Redirects

This post is split into two sections.  The first is for tracking your own internal redirects using Google Analytics.  The second portion is for tracing URL redirect paths.

Tracking Redirects with Google Analytics

One of the problems people run into is their inability to track redirects in Google Analytics. For example, let’s say you purchase radio or print ads in order to advertise a product. Rather than simply advertising your domain name (ie (, you may add an easy to remember folder name (ie., which redirects to the appropriate product page (which is probably too long and complicated to display on a radio, TV, or print ad).

Depending on the type of redirect you use, Analytics may not be able to track visits and user behavior. Fortunately, there are at least 2 ways you can track redirects. In both instances, you have to make sure the directory actually exists as a file (ie. /adpage/index.php). The difference lies in the type of redirect you use. If you use a 301 redirect, you’ll want to add campaign tracking to the url you are redirecting to, so Analytics can track visits as a campaign. The other option is to use a standard javascript redirect, and add the Analytics tracking to the redirecting page (ie. /adpage/index.php). This way, you can track visits and user behavior in the Analytics Content section.

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Google Analytics/Adwords Tracking Audits with A1 Website Analyzer

Google Analytics makes our lives easier. Easy installation, intuitive (usually) reporting/metrics, easy integration with Adwords and Webmaster Tools, etc. Best of all, it’s free. Of course, installation is also easy to botch, and future installations don’t always correctly overwrite the old ones . You may have failed to add the tracking code to certain pages. Or perhaps you have multiple implementations on certain pages. Maybe certain pages have your old Google Analytics tracking code. Perhaps you have 2,3 or even 50 websites sharing a code base and you ended up getting your wires crossed.  This can really skew your metrics in numerous ways.

Enter A1 Website Analyzer

I have been using this nifty tool for a lot of on-site optimization lately. You can use it to crawl your site and find broken links and redirects, link juice flow, last date modified, review meta and H tags, etc. It’s also useful for checking for instances of specific code implementation. Out of the box, A1 WSA can check for gat and gaq object methods for Google Analytics tracking code as well as Google Adsense tracking. This is useful for searching for pages that lack this code (or pages where the code has been been implemented more than one).

Read moreGoogle Analytics/Adwords Tracking Audits with A1 Website Analyzer

Using Site Search & Top Landing Pages to Increase AdWords ROI

Site SearchI recently came across another way to use Google Analytics and your own internal site search (if your website has one) to increase AdWords ROI. By checking the top landing pages from AdWords campaigns, then seeing what users search for on your internal site search, you can get a better idea of how to further tweak and optimize your landing pages (you can also use this to find the least converting landing pages and see what needs to be done there–but in this example we’ll simply address the landing page with the highest volume).

First create an Advanced Segment where you select Medium=CPC (click here to import the segment automatically).

Advanced Segment - Medium = CPC

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Increase AdWords ROI – Segmenting for Geography

Increase ROI by Geography in Google AnalyticsAnyone who’s dealt extensively with Google AdWords knows that it’s ease in setting up and quick optimizations at some point turn into a difficult tasks of finding a way to increase ROI.  At some point, after you’ve painstakingly filtered out low-converting keywords, increased your quality score, optimized your copy, etc. the low hanging fruit is gone and increasing the ROI on your Ad spend becomes much harder.

One of the more concrete, yet overlooked methods for increasing AdWords ROI involves filtering out regions with little/no conversions.  Thankfully, we can find out which regions (in this scenario, states) are costing money by way of clicks and offering little/no revenue in return.

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Calculate AdWords ROI with Ad Slot Position Segments

Google AdWords provides a “quick and easy” way to get visitors to your site. Setting up campaigns are fairly easy and the learning curve is small. But maximizing your ad spend takes time, patience, and planning. One of the often-overlooked methods for measuring optimal AdWords campaign success is seeing which Ad Slots tend to be the most profitable. If your CPC is high and conversions are low, it may not be the wisest thing to open the flood gates and bid with the expectation of holding the top slot.

Setting Ad Slot Position in Advanced Segments

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Google Annotations: Track SEO & Marketing Initiatives

Google recently added the ability to add annotations to Analytics.  What this means is that you can now correlate trends with campaign implementations in Google Analytics (as opposed to having to cross-reference your trends in Analytics with whatever source you typically use to keep track of these changes).  What’s more is you can also share these changes with other users in the account.

Google Analytics Annotations
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Spring Cleaning for those Analytics Profiles!

The ability to have multiple profiles in Analytics is extremely convenient.  You can flip back and forth without having to switch accounts.  And the ability to create duplicate profiles for the same domain name, gives you the option of viewing a site profile with a specific filter (for example; seeing only traffic that resulted from social media networks, seeing a profile that returns keyword information with actual search engine rankings, or treating email sign ups as keyword searches so as to track email addresses that are entered).

The problem of course is that the more profiles you add, the more sifting you may have to do in your drop downs.  This can be especially annoying for fellow account users who also have admin access, but have no need to see the umpteen duplicate profiles you created. Perhaps the easiest way to make this work for everyone (keeping your duplicate profiles AND not bogging down other admin access users) is to make sure the main profile comes up first.  Since Analytics automatically lists them alphabetically, this means making sure your main profile is alphabetically the first.  In the sample below, we have some legacy profiles that are kept for archiving purposes in case we ever need historical information.

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Website Alerts with Google Analytics Intelligence

Anyone who logs into Google Analytics frequently knows that Google’s been adding one new beta feature after another. One of these recent additions has really made life easier for keeping track of website metrics and catching potential problems right away.

Setting up Alerts with Intelligence

Intelligence allows you to set up custom daily, weekly, or monthly alerts which can be emailed to you. This saves you from having to log in to see these metrics (the more profiles you manage, the more grateful you’ll be for this). In the example below, I am creating an alert so that will send me an email if a day’s worth revenue falls below a certain point (Intelligence allows you to choose exact numbers of percentages).


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Difference between Revenue & Product Revenue – Avoid Confusion

For information on MRP, click here:

When working in a fast-paced environment where different reports are needed, one of the common ‘discrepancies’ occur when Total Revenue and Product Revenue are used interchangeably.  The differences is simple (tax and shipping is included in Total Revenue, but not in Product Revenue).  As trivial as this seems, this can cause a lot of confusion when dealing with multiple reports for multiple departments.

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Google Ad Groups Data Gathering Made Tolerable with Custom Reporting

seo lumberg analytics For the most part, Google Analytics tracks Google AdWords data (big surprise!).  However, there is one odd quirk about the manner Analytics reports AdWords data—you can only view metrics for an Ad Groups within their respective campaign.  In other words, when Lumberg wants metrics like revenue and bounce rates for every AdWords AdGroup, you have to dive into every AdWords Campaign and grab the data for the AdGroups within that Campaign.

This is fine if all of your Ad Groups fall into the same Campaign.  But if you’re running a large e-commerce site, chances are you’ve got numerous Campaigns, and numerous Ad Groups within those campaigns

Read moreGoogle Ad Groups Data Gathering Made Tolerable with Custom Reporting

Use Email Reporting to Save time with Google Analytics

Why Email Reports?

google analytics email You can avoid the time involved in logging into Analytics (this is especially useful when checking metrics for multiple profiles/accounts).  You can add multiple recipients for these reports (this is especially useful when having to send to a high number of recipients).  Last but not least, you will save even more time if your internet connection (or Google’s servers) happen to be slow when you are pulling these reports.

Read moreUse Email Reporting to Save time with Google Analytics

Update on Tracking JavaScript Redirects

In a previous post (Track Redirects in Analytics), I gave a couple of examples on how you can track redirects using Google Analytics.  One of these methods was to implement a JavaScript redirect after you run your Google Analytics tracking JavaScript.  This way the redirect runs after the page has tracked a visit (and the visit will show up in your Content section in Analytics).

Read moreUpdate on Tracking JavaScript Redirects

Using Google Analytics to Track Email Address Signups

If your website has an email sign up form you can use Google Analytics to keep track of which email addresses are signing up.  Simply use the parameter you are using to pass the email address as the query parameter in your Analytics Site search setup (go to Profile Settings and click Edit Profile on the profile you want to add this to).

Use parameter you pass on the email address sign up as your Site Search parameter

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Act on Extremely Relevant Data with Advanced Segments

I recently wrote another guest post on the Bronto (an email marketing service provider) blog. This one relates to using Custom Segments to better track your email marketing campaigns. The entire post can be read here: Act on Extremely Relevant Data with Advanced Segments

Testing report discrepancies with Google Analytics (Advanced Segments)

So I ran into a brain-racking situation with my employer the other day.  A certain 3rd party advertiser is linking to one of our websites from several places on their all-flash website (and not for free mind you).  In an effort to gauge the utility of these links, I’ve been perusing through both Google Analytics (to measure the number of visits from the advertiser’s website) and the admin the advertiser provides us (which tells us the number of times people have clicked on our links).

Read moreTesting report discrepancies with Google Analytics (Advanced Segments)