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Troubleshooting "big Traffic Change For Top Url"


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36 replies to this topic

#31 squidjam

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:06 PM

Jill, I thought so too. I just went in and ran the report four times and still come up with zero.

 

I'm running the report under Acquisition - Search Engine Optimization - Queries.

 

For the current time period (Sept 10, 2013 - Oct 10, 2013), I get all the data as usual on keyword phrases.

 

If I put in the same time period for last year, every single keyword phrase shows 0. Not sure why that would be. I know last year that data was there.

 

It's weird because I extended the date range to Nov 1, 2012 to now and I have 0 data from Nov 1, 2012 until suddenly on July 7, 2013 of this year.

 

I had some issues with an analytics plugin that was deactivate by another plugin (long story) but the dates don't coincide. But I'm suspicious of it being something like this. Yet I know that data was there in Nov and Dec 2012. Weird.

 

I'm still mystified by all those thousands of links it's reporting in Webmaster Tools from that one site as well. Gotta figure that one out!


Edited by squidjam, 11 October 2013 - 01:18 PM.


#32 qwerty

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

It's because you're looking in the wrong place. They've just changed the menus around and added some new reports, but unless this one thing has changed, "Search Engine Optimization" is not GA data. It's data GA is presenting, but from Webmaster Tools, and Webmaster Tools data goes away after a while.

 

I think what you're looking for is now under Acquisition > Keywords > Organic


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#33 squidjam

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:47 PM

Thanks qwerty. I appreciate that.

 

So, the data there verifies things. My visits are down by 92%.

 

But on the bright side, my pages per visit is up 23% and my average visit duration is up 89%.

 

My referrals from social media are up significantly as well.

 

So I can be upset about the major decrease in traffic, or I can be happy that visitors are viewing more of my site. I choose the later  ;)

 

I don't know if I can ever get my lost traffic back. Don't know if I can ever really tell what caused it or if it was something I've done. But I can move on and keep doing the right things and making my site better.  :)


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#34 chrishirst

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 07:20 AM

But on the bright side, my pages per visit is up 23% and my average visit duration is up 89%.

 

Don't get too excited, neither of those mean anything special on their own and "visit duration" means nothing at all.



#35 squidjam

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 02:02 PM

Oh fine! Thanks so much for dimming my bright side, Chris  :giggle:

 

Your response would be more enlightening for me (and others, I'm sure) if you explained the "whys." I have my own ideas but would like to see if I'm on the right track.



#36 chrishirst

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:56 PM

The "average duration" is pretty useless as a realistic metric because there is no 'signal' that is triggered when a visitor closes or leaves a document, therefore the session timeout occurs after 20 minutes, and according to the analytics the visitors spent 20 minutes on that particular URI.

 

The "pages per visit" has to be looked at with respect to the genre of the site, and/or what your goals are. For example; for a discussion forum, it can be a good thing because it is an indication that the visitor was interested and stayed on the site reading the content, similarly if it is a site where the content is intended to be read in some sort of sequence.

 

If it is a product site, it will depend on what documents the user visited, ie: was it a 'conversion route' or 'conversion funnel' that the visitor moved through?

Or did they look at a few different products and leave without buying anything?

 

Many page or site metrics that people waffle on about as being 'important' are of little importance or value in isolation. 'bounce rate' is one such 'metric', it is not a 'site' measurement but a individual URL measurement, and is only of use when looked at with respect to a traffic source, whether it is an advertising campaign, referrals from Search, a 'social' site referral, or whatever. Even down to a specific link from a specific URL. Using the 'bounce' rate as a measure of how well [or poorly] a particular source of traffic is targeted. Having that kind of information and analysing it correctly can help enormously when deciding where to place links in the future. If you know what locations [and the anchor text used] performs better than others, you have a better insight into how you can communicate with your target audience. These are the kind of things that 'REAL' SEOs do, it is about analysing what you already get, then setting about improving what that existing traffic does when on the site URLs.



#37 squidjam

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:23 PM

Awesome response Chris. Thank you.  :)






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