As 2012 draws to a close it seems appropriate to highlight the most popular articles from the Periscopix blog this year. Now is the time to catch up on what you missed from the world of pay per click and analytics. It's interesting to note how popular the articles on the EU cookie regulations were. A sure sign that the law was badly explained and implemented as there was much confusion and panic surrounding its introduction.
We don't just write on our own blog though - you'll regularly see us appearing on some of the biggest websites in our industry such as Econsultancy and Search Engine Watch, so I'll also recap our most popular articles from around the web.
I hope you enjoy this summary. now and follow us on Google+ and Twitter as we have some great content planned for 2013. Happy New Year to everyone!
From the Periscopix blog
- Bounce rate, pages per visit and average time on site now available in AdWords - Neil Collins.
Our most popular article of 2012 by a long way, Neil showed us that Google were starting to show Google Analytics data for PPC traffic within the AdWords interface. We were one of the first agencies to get this functionality and it's a great addition to the conversion data we already see, giving us extra information to work from when optimising campaigns.
This is now available to everyone, so add the new columns to your dashboards and start using the data.
- Google to show breadcrumbs in AdWords display URLs - James Carswell.
Another very popular pay per click article showing new features that Google were starting to introduce to AdWords. In this case it was a change to formatting of display URLs of ads in the search result pages. As they had already done with organic listings in the SERPs, Google introduced breadcrumbs into the ads for sites with the correct rich snippets markup.
These breadcrumb URLs are now eleigible to show for all advertisers, but it's rare to actually see them showing.
- I've never been here before... or have I? How to analyse new and returning visits - Oliver Walker.
Olly shows us a very quick way to analyse new and returning visitors in Google Analytics and use the data to make better decisions. As a bonus he gives you two ready made example segments that you can load straight into your GA profiles.
- A simple cookie notice solution - Jeff Lukey.
The most popular subject on our blog this year, the EU cookie law which came into effect in May had a lot of people panicking and scrabbling to find a usable solution. Jeff created a simple jQuery tool for you to downloand and install on your own websites and explained the logic behind it.
- Trends in clicks per device by hour of day - Jocelyn Le Conte
Jocelyn used a huge dataset from various campaigns to show how traffic varies by time of day for desktops, tablets and smartphones. She also explains how you can use this to improve the performance of your PPC campaigns.
- Google Analytics Summit 2012: Universal Analytics - Ben Gott
As Google Analytics Certified Partners we are invited out to Mountain View every year for the Google Analytics summit. It's a great tradition that we learn about lots of amazing new features which we are then not allowed to tell anyone about until they're officially released, often many months later. This year was a little different as the whole first day of the summit was devoted to some great new advances in Google Analytics that we were actually authorised to talk about.
Here, Ben explains all of the game-changing new GA features that come under the heading "Universal Analytics".
- Cookies Continue To Bake - Jeff Lukey
As a precursor to developing his own solution, Jeff summarised a number of off-the-shelf solutions for complying with the new EU cookie regulations.
- Should you be worried about sampling? - Adam Cassar
Many people have no idea when their web analytics data is being sampled, or even what that means. Here, Adam explains how to spot when your data is being sampled, how to decide whether it's a problem and what you can do if it is.
- #Cookielaw: Don't do nothing - Ben Gott
The third cookie law blog to make our top ten (now you can see how popular this subject has been in 2012, at least in the UK). This was written immediately after the new law came into effect.
- Turn back time with a retrospective Google Analytics funnel visualisation report - Oliver Walker
Olly shows how you can easily analyse goal funnel data in Google Analytics even when you haven't actually set up a funnel.
From around the web
- The big lie of AdWords average position - Alistair Dent on Econsultancy.
Our most prolific blogger, in the first of many articles on this list Alistair explains why you shouldn't always trust average position in Google AdWords.
- Segment AdWords remarketing by traffic source - Alistair Dent on Search Engine Watch.
Google has improved it's remarketing (aka retargeting) offering significantly in the last year, most notably with the option to place one single piece of code across a whole site and use rules to create remarketing lists (eg. to target everyone who visited the football section of your website). This has brought with it the ability to do some rather clever (and previously impossible) things, such as remarketing by traffic source.
- When Google Analytics doesn't tell you the whole picture (and what you can do) - Ben Gott on Econsultancy.
Essentially a summary of Adam's data sampling article (number 8 above), Ben shows what this means for your data.
- Downloads and pivot tables for AdWords analysis - Alistair Dent on Search Engine Watch.
Ah, pivot tables, hated by so many people, but also extremely useful and something you should learn to use if you want to analyse your data as best you can. Alistair shows what AdWords data you can look at and explains how to go about it.
- Analysing personas using advanced segments - Oliver Walker on Online Behaviour.
In Olly's first guest post on the Online Behaviour blog, he uses his psychology background to show why you should analyse the different personas visiting your site, and how you can use the data to make significant improvements to things like conversion rate.
- The definitive guide to AdWords display targeting - Alistair Dent on Search Engine Watch.
In his most tweeted article ever (!), Al presents a comprehensive guide to the Google Display Network (GDN), including ads, targeting options, bidding and best practices. If you're thinking of advertising on the GDN, you need to read this first.
- How to improve your AdWords performance with Analytics - Alistair Dent on Search Engine Watch.
With Google Analytics data now showing in the AdWords interface (see Neil's blog above), Alistair explains exactly how to use this data to improve the performance of your PPC campaigns.
- The changing role of the web analyst - Ben Gott on Econsultancy.
In a break from the more technical articles, Ben ponders how the role of the web analyst has changed and what the future holds.
- Analysing and accounting for search partners - Alistair Dent on Search Engine Watch.
Given that there is often very little data available, Al shows how we can start to analyse and assess the performance of search partner traffic on Google, Yahoo & Bing.
- Using Google's AdWords scripts to set rules on your campaign - Alistair Dent onEconsultancy.
Just in case you hadn't read enough articles by Alistair Dent already, here's another one. This is for the more technically minded person as it tackles the use of Google AdWords scripts. To make it easy you can just copy and paste the script provided, though if you want to expand on this or go off on another tangent (which we'd definitely encourage), some basic programming is required.