The Portent Blog

raised-hand-hate Analytics

8 Jul, 2008

Analytics Apples And Oranges: Switching Web Analytics Tools Without Getting Fired

By Ian Lurie

I did WebTrends a disservice here by failing to point out that my client’s creaky WebTrends installation was a very old, purely log-file-based one. Newer versions of WebTrends are every bit as versatile and accurate their competitors. If you switch from one web analytics package to another, be ready to make some adjustments in your… Read More

traincrash Analytics

6 May, 2008

5 Kinds of Bad Statistics, and How They Can Kill Your Internet Marketing Campaign

By Ian Lurie

Beware bad statistics. They can kill your internet marketing campaign with bad assumptions, incorrect assessments, and by sending you far off track. By ‘bad’, I mean: Statistics that are collected from a small population. Alexa, for example, collects a lot of their data based on Alexa Toolbar users. It’s very possible those users behave differently… Read More

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lostdata Analytics

2 May, 2008

Google Analytics Is Losing E-commerce Data: Don’t Panic?!!

By Ian Lurie

If you’re using Google Analytics to record sales data, you may have noticed really horrible sales over the last couple days. Don’t panic. I don’t think it’s you. It appears that, starting April 30th, Google Analytics isn’t correctly reporting e-commerce revenue. We figured this out after noticing that, of our 10+ clients using Google e-commerce… Read More

google-analytics-weekly Analytics

3 Apr, 2008

Google Analytics Adds Weekly, Monthly Graphing

By Ian Lurie

Cool new feature I just spotted in Google Analytics. The ability to graph data by week or month: You can even graph revenue by hour: Don’t know about you, but I’ve been wanting something like this for quite a while. No more migraines from grouping data… A Book Worth Reading:

benchmarking Analytics

24 Mar, 2008

Google Analytics Benchmarking: Tutorial, and Things that Make You Go Hmmmmm…

By Ian Lurie

Google Analytics now has their nifty benchmarking feature all set up. If you’re running Google Analytics you can see how your site traffic compares to others. First, here’s how you set it up, and why you should: Open Your Kimono, Just a Little First, you have to give Google access to your analytics data. “OH… Read More

multivariate Analytics

16 Mar, 2008

Multivariate Testing: What it Is, Why You Need It

By Ian Lurie

Friday, someone told me it’s hard to convince folks they need to use multivariate testing in their internet marketing campaigns. Once my mouth closed, I decided to write this post. What Multivariate Testing Is If you already know, you can skip down to why you need it, below. I can’t define it without twisting my… Read More


12 Mar, 2008

Web Analytics: The Myth of Inaccuracy

By Ian Lurie

I am so, so, so tired of ‘experts’ telling me that things like podcasts, social media or other, harder-to-quantify online media are “hard to measure”. Bull. The most difficult-to-measure online asset is far, far easier to measure than the best offline one. More Measurable Than Any Traditional Media Corporations have blown ridiculous amounts of cash… Read More

ddwyec Analytics

11 Mar, 2008

Search Analytics: My SEMPDX Presentation

By Ian Lurie

Here’s the slides from my SEMPDX Presentation, ‘Search Marketing Analytics’, for those who needed them: | View | Upload your own What I Talked About It was a 10-minute presentation, with a few very basic points: Reports do not equal analytics. Analytics mean you did the work of analysis. At a minimum, you want to… Read More

tagmatrix Analytics

22 Feb, 2008

Google Analytics Tagging Demystified

By Ian Lurie

Google Analytics, Omniture, WebSideStory and other major analytics packages use tagging. They’re all worth spit if you don’t take advantage of it. This week I’ve had three clients nearly pop blood vessels over improper tagging by their teams. I thought a practical tutorial might be in order. Why? Without tagging, the software can’t accurately track… Read More


29 Jan, 2008

Bounce Rate: The Stat You Need To Know

By Ian Lurie

There’s an internet marketing metric you’re not watching, but you should be. You’re tracking visitors. You’re tracking pageviews. Hopefully, you’re even tracking keywords and conversions. But are you tracking bounce rate? Bounce Rate is the percentage of visitors leaving your site after viewing only the page on which they landed. If I visit your site,… Read More


16 Jan, 2008

Google Analytics Is Having Problems: Auto-Tagging Issues

By Ian Lurie

If you’re using Google Analytics, Google Adwords and ‘auto-tagging’, you may have noticed that your numbers suddenly dropped: It’s not you. We’ve researched this and contacted Google. Here’s what we found out: Apparently, this is only occurring for folks using auto-tagging. If you’re using UTM codes, you’re fine. Google is aware of the problem and… Read More

ga_beta Analytics

12 Dec, 2007

New Google Analytics Features Rolling Out

By Ian Lurie

Google Analytics is getting ready to roll out some cool new stuff. Looks like they’ve started. I went in to check the stats for my blog, and can now compare two metrics: This kind of comparison is very valuable. With it, you can check to see if, say, pageviews/visit remain stable with visits increase. If… Read More

Incoming links spike by 250% Analytics

9 Dec, 2007

The Relationship Between Social Media and SEO

By Ian Lurie

SEO and Social Media support each other: Higher rankings mean more visitors and more bloggers writing about you. More bloggers writing about you translates to more links, which in turn improve your rankings. It's easy to say, but hard to prove. The next time your boss/client is asking you why they should spend any time on social media (or SEO), show them this:

Incoming links spike by 250%


8 Nov, 2007

Analytics Without a CPA Goal: Stump Ian, Question 5 (or 6?)

By Ian Lurie

Zain asks:

“How do you know your Internet Marketing is working, if there is no CPA?”

I use several different metrics:

  1. Pageviews / Visit
  2. Time on site
  3. Non-CPA conversions, like e-mail newsletter signups
  4. Segments defined by complete reads of specific site sections, etc.


5 Nov, 2007

Google Analytics Site Search: Working with the Data

By Ian Lurie

Yesterday I explained how to set up Google Analytics new site search feature in five steps. For that little bit of work, the site search reports provide lots of great data. Here are some of highlights. After you’ve set up site search, you’ll find a new item under ‘Content’ – ‘Site Search’: That displays the… Read More

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