Actionable Analytics: Live from #SMXAdvanced

Actionable Analytics: Live from #SMXAdvanced

13th June 2013

This session is called Metrics That Matter: Advanced Tips And Tricks For Actionable Analytics. I just wrote a post for people getting started in Analytics and I am excited to see what is shared here. The people on this session are hoping to give us insight as to what to do with all of the information we get from analytics. We get more data (and less data) now, so what should we pay attention to?

The speakers today are:

Myron RoamarinMyron Rosmarin

Myron is up first. He poses the question: Which metrics matter?

There is one thing that will undermine all reporting, information overload. Clay Shirky calls it filter failure. We are seeing an insane amount of data growth in the world. The cost of producing data is near zero.

“Content Curators are the New Superheros of the Web” – Steven Rosenbaum

Rising Tide of Metrics

There are 153 Metrics in Google Analytics and so many more in external tools. So when does a metric matter? The metric should have to answer “How are we doing?” and “How can we do better?”. If they can answer those, they need to be able to tell a whole story. Don’t hide the bad news. Don’t report what is easy, report what is important.

 Essentials of an SEO Dashboard

  1. Success Metrics (Traffic from queries/pages, Conversion Rate, Bounce Rate, Revenue per visit, Time on Site, Pages per visit)
  2. Discoverability (Index stats, Crawl errors, Broken links, Redirect problems, Blocked URLs, Sitemap stats)
  3. Relevance (Content robustness/keywords used, Content quality/freshness, HTML Improvements/SEO Reports, URLs, Titles, Descriptions, H1s, ALT text, etc., Semantic markup, Link text (in/out), Relevance of outbound links, Bounce rate)
  4. Site Quality (Crawl Stats, Malware, Page speed/uptime, Content duplication issues, NOFOLLOW’ed links, Disavow’ed links)
  5. Presentation of Results (Average position, SERP click-thru rate, Rich snippets, Author stats, Site links/deep links)
  6. Authority ( Domain/Page Authority scores (e.g. Moz), External link count to your site/page, Internal link structures, Crawl depth, Social media metrics)

I didn’t get the metrics in here and am waiting on the slides to fill in what metrics are a part of each section.

3c4d4bbMark Munroe

If your users want cake, don’t give them broccoli. This world is now all about user experience, but how do we measure that? Mark talks about dwell time and pogosticking (going back to the search engine after clicking to a site). Google will not say they use these, so what do we use as webmasters?

  • Bounce rate is not a good measure as we cannot tell how long the user was on the site. There are many sites that have high bounce rates and great user experience.
  • Time on site and visit duration won’t track correctly if there aren’t any interactions.

Solution: Use event tracking to track at 10 second intervals. Be sure to tell GA that this is a non-interactive event.  GA’s limitations with sample rate can impact this, so set the sample rate. Using this to cancel out bounces can make bounce rate a better metric and help time on site as well.

Mark used survey of users to set a benchmark of users that find the page useful. He asked one question: Did you find what you came for? That set the benchmark for further testing.

Combining this all into a dashboard allows you to see multiple data points to make better decisions. I couldn’t get a shot of the dashboard but I’ll add it in there once the slides are loaded online.


Angie SchottmullerAngie Schottmuller

Angie’s presentation is less analytics and more CRO meets SEO, so I am going to try to touch on her main points. She starts off with the point that for every $92 spent on acquisition, we only spend $1 on conversion. Then she moves on to talk about spending time to research competitive trends and optimize for local.

Rethink your opportunities

Angie sees SEO as focusing on ranking, not on users, which I disagree with but I see what she means. The external world most likely sees things things way. In that light, CRO focuses on users and the complete call to action. She challenges site owners to ask what the frequently asked questions are and answer those with your content.

Evaluate the Funnel

I loved her use of the site funnel that includes Rank, CTR, Stick, Engage, Convert. Her definition of a conversion is also thought provoking.

“To convert is to present an action and see if the user completed that action.”

For the funnel, she recommends taking each level of the funnel and identifying what needs the most help and work your way down to monetary conversions. A few specific levels and ideas include:

  • Rank: Take time to match keywords you want to rank for to content on your site.
  • CTR: See what people are actually clicking on through analytics
  • Stick: Audit bounce rate of organic traffic

For improving CTR on search engines she recommends optimizing the organic title and description and treating them like an ad. Funny enough, I tell clients that all the time. It’s how I explain the importance of title tags and meta descriptions to marketing executives. Her next tip was to consider rich snippets. She says it might increase CTR by 20-30%. As you guys might know, there was another session on rich snippets and schema with figures from Scripps and more.

One tip I did love was if you use rich snippets like reviews, be sure to show the information as close to the top of the page as possible to help with conversion. They saw it in the SERP, they’ll want to find it on the page.


Written By
Kate Morris is the Director of Client Strategies with Outspoken Media. She is a well seasoned online marketer with a passion for teaching others. For the last 10+ years she has covered the paid, natural, and social sides of search.
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