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Google Analytics Weighted Sort is a License to Print Money

23 September 2010 BY

As I’m sure a lot of you are aware Google Analytics has recently added a magic little checkbox called weighted sort. I’m not going to go into the maths of how it works I’d rather illustrate a few great uses for it to wring out some more ROI from your website.

Firstly it appears when you sort a key column of data. If you created a report of all search traffic by keyword and sorted by bounce rate you’d get something fairly useless as the graphic below shows.

As you can see there is very little actionable data from this, 100% bounce rate but only 1 visit for all of them. When I’m looking for where to improve conversion rate this is all pretty meaningless and since there are over 12000 combinations of keywords that’s a lot of scrolling until I find something relevant. You could use advanced filtering but you need to pick static bounce rates for that. 60% bounce rate could be acceptable for a phrase with small volume however if that phrase was delivering thousands of visits you’d want to improve that. That relationship is precisely where weighted sort comes in.

The example below is the same as above with weighted sort applied.

It’s far more useful as the top phrase to action isn’t a great deal of traffic but it is exactly what they offer so it needs attention. That will automatically go into my CRO list for that month.

So that’s great for bounce rate but where else can we use it?

Well in the next example I want to see what the worst goal converting phrases in relation to keywords are. This is the Holy Grail in terms of lost opportunity. A few simple clicks and we have that, great solar panels need more work than originally expected as the business actually sells a lot of them. The data is now showing me that they should be selling far more.

Another good one to look at would be ecommerce conversion rate. Again the usual suspects rear their ugly head using weighted sort so I have a very clear picture of what tests to run this month to improve overall conversion rate.

The weighted sort button not only helps us with finding the problems but also helps in finding the solutions too. If we sort by descending conversion rate we will find the most receptive keywords to our site. This can be a great help in planning multivariate testing and other conversion rate optimisation techniques.

There are many more ways to use it which I’ll be covering in the coming months but take 5 minutes out of your day today and wring out some more ROI from your search traffic by using the examples above. Using weighted sort is really a license to print money.

AUTHORED BY:
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Louis Venter is the founding director and CEO of MediaVision, a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) company specialising in all areas of search. His particular interests are organic search marketing, paid search marketing, conversion strategy and online PR.