The Portent Blog


11 Jan, 2010

This is not a porn site: My review of referring keywords

By Ian Lurie

Seriously, this is not, and never has been, an ‘adult’ site. K? You’re wondering why I even have to say that? Well, today I innocently took a glance at my Google Analytics referring keyword report, and look at my #1 keyword for the last 30 days: I thought maybe that was some kind of organization… Read More


31 Dec, 2009

Analytics: Why you still need those log files

By Ian Lurie

You may think that, with Google Analytics, you don’t need your server log files any more. Or, as someone who runs a web site for your business, you may not even know what log files are. They’re redundant, right? Wrong. You still need those log files! What’s a log file? Whoa there, you say. Ian,… Read More

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google-analytics-entrance-keywords Analytics

11 Nov, 2009

Analytics-Driven SEO: A lesson in 4 steps

By Ian Lurie

I’m speaking at Pubcon tomorrow in the Real-World Content Creation Tactics session. I’m going to focus on how you avoid destroying copy with SEO, and how to do great analytics-centric SEO. If you know me, you know I rehearse, in part, by writing. So here you go – a preview of tomorrow’s talk. “Write good… Read More

feedburner-reach Analytics

12 Oct, 2009

3 Feedburner Engagement Stats You Must Follow

By Ian Lurie

This post assumes you’re a Feedburner user. If you’re not, here’s the short version: Feedburner gives you a bunch of free tools to enhance your site’s RSS feed. You can read more and get set up (for free) here. Everyone brags about their Feedburner subscriber numbers. Too bad those don’t really tell you squat. The… Read More


12 May, 2009

27 Steps to Successful Analytics

By Ian Lurie

It’s not that bad, I swear! 27 easy little steps that will take you from the day the boss pokes her head into your office and says “Hey, I think we need analytics” to the night you get Employee of the Year for leading a company-wide turnaround. Establish from the start that analytics is not… Read More

rolling-average-graph Analytics

4 May, 2009

Rolling Averages, by a Math Moron

By Ian Lurie

My mom’s a PHD physicist. My dad, a PHD engineer. By the time I was 13 they’d both given up on any dreams of me being a math genius and instead hoped I’d finally count to 20 without removing my shoes. So, when I click ‘publish’ for this post, I’m going to flinch a little,… Read More


31 Mar, 2009

Web Analytics: 10 Ways to Poison the Well

By Ian Lurie

Web analytics are hard. They make internet marketing complicated, introducing annoying stuff like facts and feedback. Why waste your time? While you may understand this, it’s possible there are clear thinkers in your organization who insist on collecting all this needless data. Here’s how you drive them utterly batty: Change everything. All the time. Rename… Read More

keyword analytics Analytics

18 Mar, 2009

Keyword Analytics In Google Analytics: 5 Minute Video

By Ian Lurie

My second installment of the 5-minute tutorial series is Keyword Analytics in Google Analytics. Harrison, my son, had his video podcast debut. Alas, he spent at least 1/2 the podcast making faces and trying to get me to crack up, which he’s far too good at. So if I sound a bit distracted, blame him.… Read More

referrer analytics Analytics

12 Mar, 2009

Google Analytics Tutorial: Referrer Analytics

By Ian Lurie

I just completed what I hope will be the first of many 5-minute video tutorials. This one is about Referrer Analytics using Google Analytics. It replaces an older tutorial that used the old Google Analytics interface. In it, I describe how to figure out: Who’s sending traffic to your site. Specific pages on other sites… Read More

business analytics Analytics

5 Dec, 2008

Web Analytics Webinar Today (it’s free)

By Ian Lurie

I’ll be presenting a webinar today: Transforming Google Analytics Into Business Analytics When: Tuesday, December 9, 12 PM PST (that’s today) Where: Here, on the web, silly The focus: Making actual, real-life use of Google Analytics to grow your business. No fancy shtuff like advanced segments. I’ll talk about: Data overload and how to avoid… Read More

segmentation happiness Analytics

12 Nov, 2008

Segmentation = Happiness: My SEMPDX Presentation

By Ian Lurie

Why do internet marketers need to understand segmentation? So they don’t act like airlines, of course. That was my topic last night at the SEMPDX Hotseat. I just uploaded my slides, with backup text, to SlideShare. I provide a walkthrough of Google Analytics’ new Advanced Segments feature, as well as my thoughts on checked baggage… Read More


10 Nov, 2008

Speaking at SEMPDX HotSeat Tomorrow – Come Heckle

By Ian Lurie

I’m speaking at the SEMPDX Hotseat tomorrow night at 6:30. The topic: Web Analytics – Do you know what you’re looking at? More important, my co-panelist is Eric Peterson of Web Analytics Demystified fame. I will have just driven for 4 hours. He will have just driven for 10 minutes. Come see just how looped… Read More


9 Oct, 2008

Steve’s Wrong: Pagerank is a Horrible Measure of Online Influence

By Ian Lurie

Steve, Steve, Steve. Pagerank? The ‘ultimate measure’? Really? I tried to resist the urge to link to his recent post, where he says that Pagerank is the ultimate measure of online influence. But that’s like trying to ignore your kid’s stinky diaper in the hopes your spouse will take care of it: It only stinks… Read More


27 Sep, 2008

Google Analytics Tip: Learn How They Found That 1 Page.

By Ian Lurie

You can use Google Analytics to figure out how folks found one specific page on your site. That kind of data is extremely helpful if, say, your traffic abruptly spikes on a Saturday morning and you’re trying to figure out why. Here’s how you do it: Log into Google Analytics. If you don’t have it… Read More


22 Sep, 2008

4 Metrics for Analyzing SEO Traffic (and one to ignore)

By Ian Lurie

I have a defense mechanism: When something makes me want to puke, I look at statistics, and I feel better. Last week’s economic shenanigans were more than enough to make me ill, so I figured I’d have a glance at my blog’s organic search engine traffic. Here’s my analysis, with a little teaching blended in.… Read More

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