Google Analytics’ New Bot Filter Helps Clean Up Data

By Yevgeniy Levich

Data integrity is key to being able to use Google Analytics to track the health of your site and make useful conclusions from traffic data. Google Analytics’ new bot filter makes seeing legitimate site traffic simpler.

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This filter automatically blocks all hits coming from known bots and spiders on the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) fairly extensive list of page crawlers.

Bot and spider hits not being filtered out can cause serious data integrity issues depending on the popularity of your site. Each bot crawl being recorded as a hit, or visit, will artificially inflate your total traffic numbers and bounce rates. These artificial, non-consumer visits can also lower average transaction volumes, time on page, and other useful metrics.

Previously, you were able to block these bots through manual profile filters targeting each of their User Agents. This new filter is a more efficient and holistic approach to the issue, preventing you from having to search out all known User Agents and giving you a form of access to the IAB list without having to pay for their, fairly pricey, membership.

As with most Analytics filters, however, this will not affect your data retroactively and will only be in affect from the day you tick that check box.

Email Marketing Staying Power

By Joel Rosen

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In a new study released by Gigaom, it was found that 86% of marketers still use email marketing regularly.

This same June 2014 Q2 research showed that email marketing helps with customer retention significantly more than any other channel. In fact, 56% of those surveyed said that email marketing has helped them achieve their customer retention goals, while the next closest, social media only received 37%.

Email marketing is also growing. With it being such a successful channel, about 25% of those polls said they plan to increase their marketing budget for the future.

One reason email marketing is such a highly-effective channel is the growth of mobile. In a study conducted by my.com, 72% of internet users check their email via some sort of mobile device.

So what does this mean for marketers?

Emails have to be optimized for mobile viewing. With such a large percentage of the population regularly checking their email on their devices, we need to make sure they are seeing our messages the way we want them to. Most people are not going to give us more than 2 or 3 seconds of their time if they find the email to be difficult to read or understand.

For the foreseeable future, keep sending mobile-optimized emails to your customer base because they are making marketers money.

Google Beefs Up Product Listings

By Jamal Anderson

New BlenderCountless studies have shown that consumers are more likely to make a purchase when they can see reviews from other buyers. Being able to read opinions from a trusted source validates their acquisitions. Furthermore, more often than not, people decide on what products to study by simply typing a few words into the Google search bar. Typing something like “juicers” will trigger millions of search results, but what most often catches the eye are the product listings and images above the results.

While these product-listing ads have been successful in driving traffic, Google wants to take it one step further by including product ratings below the images. The ratings will appear in the form of stars and counts. The ratings will be pulled from several places including merchants, review sites, third parties and users. Moreover, it should be no surprise that test samples performed by Google have proven that these ratings have increased the click-through-rates on a consistent basis.

To have a product added to the listings, merchants selling in the U.S. must submit a ratings form and submit their review content directly with Google or through an approved party. Because Google expects an enormous amount of requests, plan on waiting patiently for your inquiry to be addressed. Merchants selling internationally will be able to reap the benefits of this new feature in the near future.

Any merchant that has a strong following accompanied by quality reviews would be wise to submit a request to Google for the ratings services. Consumers are constantly on the hunt for a dependable product and with the help of Google, things just got a lot easier.

3D Printing Could Change the eCommerce Game

By John Nicholson

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The 3D printing industry has been growing and growing and growing over the past few years. And just the other day, Amazon hoppedon board and opened up the consumer-facing floodgates.

The eCommerce giant’s 3D printing store allows online shoppers to customize and personalize a number of products — from home decor and iPhone cases to bobble heads, toys and jewelry. For affordable prices, Amazon customers can now create what they’d like to purchase, instead of searching for their next buy.

In Amazon’s press release, the brand states that they have partnered with a few 3D companies around the world to ensure the most well-rounded shopping experience. One of these partners, Clément Moreau, co-founder and CEO of Sculpteo, said this of the new opportunity:

“The online customer shopping experience will be redefined through 3D printing. When you take into consideration the investment needed for manufacturing products, 3D printing offers a cost effective alternative that benefits customers by limitless product options…With 3D printing, a customer’s wants are no longer limited to what is in stock but instead by what they can imagine.”

So what does this mean for other eCommerce websites? It means that innovation and relevancy are integral to maintaining an online presence. This doesn’t mean 3D printing is the answer to every problem, in fact most sites would probably have no use for it at all, but Amazon’s newest store marks a turn toward a more customized, interactive, highly individualized shopping experience for online consumers.