Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

When Yahoo Mail locks you out

I was listening to a friend's support call to Yahoo when she'd been locked out of her webmail. Seems that although she'd never put in a security question, she was being prompted for it, and no amount of guesses would get her in. The people at Support were useless, and her attempts to log-in caused her account to be locked for 24 hours.

At which point it occurred to me that there was one sure way to get into her e-mail: through an e-mail client. And indeed, by creating an account in Thunderbird and supplying her username and password, she could access her e-mail.

Friday, December 07, 2012

When relaunching a website, don't forget to review your Google Analytics settings!

There's enough to do when re-launching a website. Making sure all your pages have GA code is a top priority (and adding custom code to your 404 page is another), but have you gone into Google Analytics to check everything else matches what might be a new URL structure? In looking at the analytics for a site I realised my Goals had not been changed, and reflected no-longer existing pages!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Analysing your 404 errors

If your website gets any amount of 404 errors, knowing why is important. This blog gives the technical background to the topic, and how to modify the GA tracking code to track 404 errors with Events.

When you've set it up properly, any 404s will show as Events, including the pages that referred traffic to the non-existent page.
In the above page, you can see 404 tracking having been applied in the last couple of days, and clicking on the 404 Event will show actionable details of the broken links.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Taking The Google Analytics IQ Test

I've just passed my Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) certification, something I've been wanting to do for a good while. While I've been using Analytics for almost a decade, I had been somewhat daunted by the example test questions at Googleanalyticstest.com. Not only were they often ambiguous, but they delved into parts of Analytics not often seen in your run-of-the-mill usage.

But fear not - the actual exam is easier than the example questions. Here are a few tips.

1) You've got 5 days to complete the test from the moment you start, but you are limited to 90 minues in total for the 67 questions.  But don't worry, you can pause the test at any point, and take your time to answer. Put another way, over the five days you could do around 20 questions a day and still have a day or so to review your answers. Just don't exceed the 90 minutes.

For example, I did the exam in two dedicated mornings, and still had about an hour left on the clock.

2) There are options to Mark or Review a particular question. I didn't use these, nor the option to strike-through an answer that you knew to be wrong.

What I did was copy the questions into a Word document, then use this to check  my responses.

3) It's been said before, but there's no substitute for having a live Analytics account open when you take the certification. If the question asks 'Where would you find such-and-such a report', go find it. And use the Analytics Help.

4) You need to know something about Adwords. Analytics and Adwords are as thick as theives, and there's a good number of questions on Adwords.

5) There are also good number of questions on the basics: for example, the difference between Dimensions and Metrics, and how Profiles fit into things. Make sure you'd got a handle on these topics.

In short, it's not a hard exam. You'll need 80% to pass, so you can get a dozen questions wrong and still pass, but given all the resources you need are at your fingertips, you've no excuse!

My only complaint was that you don't get to see how you fared on a question-by-question basis. As the end you'll be told the areas in which you were weak, but I would have loved to have known the questions I got wrong!