Category Archives: Analytics


Learn Google Analytics Key Terms and What They Track

If you can manage a household budget, put together a 1000 piece puzzle, or craft the perfect burger, then there’s no reason you can’t use Google Analytics to get the most out of your website. This primer will teach you the terms you need to know to make sense of the tools.

Basic Terminology

To  make sure everyone is on the same page, here are some definitions of the building blocks of Google Analytics jargon:

  • Metrics and Dimensions

    Both are measurements of your website’s performance. Technically, metrics are numbers and dimensions are other types of data, but “metrics” generally refers to both in common usage.

  • Page

    Each piece of your website with a unique URL is a page.

  • Unique Pageviews

    A pageview is any view of a page, ignoring the user, frequency, and other metrics.

  • Visits

    A visit is an entire interaction between a site and a user, ending after 30 minutes of inactivity. They are sometimes called a “session”.

  • Unique Visitor

    A unique IP connection. You’ll frequently see this shortened to “visitor” or “user”.

  • Conversion

    A user does what you want them to do on your website, whether that means they purchased a product, signed up for the newsletter, or spent a minimum amount of time on your site.

Traffic Flow Terms

    • Direct versus Referred Traffic

      When a user directly inputs a URL to one of your pages in their browser, they were direct traffic to your website. If they clicked a link anywhere else, then they are referred traffic.

    • Organic versus Paid Traffic

      When a user visits your website from a paid advertisement like a Google or Facebook ad, that counts as paid traffic. All other traffic, whether direct or referred, is organic traffic.

    • Channels

      A channel is any source of referred traffic. Google Analytics’ tools automatically divide channels into a number of useful categories like social media and paid traffic. And you can set custom channels to keep an eye on separate marketing campaigns.

    • Page Value

      When a user converts on an e-commerce transaction or a goal with an assigned value, each page is awarded points that allow them to be ranked according to the page value relative to other pages.

User Behavior Metrics

  • Cost per Click (CPC)

    Since Google Analytics knows every time a paid ad generates traffic and the cost of your ad campaigns, it can provide a cost-per-click analysis for a single campaign or your entire marketing budget.

  • Landing Page

    The landing page is the webpage where each unique visitor’s visit begins. Since both organic and paid traffic typically refer deeper into a website like a blog post, the most common landing page may not be your homepage. In some portions of the tool, it is referred to as the entrance.

  • Exit Page

    The exit page is the opposite of the landing page. It is where the user ended their visit and left the site from.

  • Bounce Rate

    The bounce rate refers specifically to the rate at which users visit one page on your website then immediately leave.

  • Return Visits

    While fairly self-explanatory, the importance of the return visit metric merits mentioning it anyway. Users returning to your website repeatedly indicates a healthy and attractive website, while a drop in the return visit rate may highlight unpopular changes in your website.

Further Learning

While this primer is an excellent crash course in Google Analytics, the best way to learn is to use the tool. Check out the custom metrics and goals, and if something seems confusing, consult the manual. Soon, you’ll be an expert website analyst!

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard - 315

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard - 315Customize your Google Analytics Dashboard for Social Media traffic, Mobile Stats, and Demographics

In Google Analytics, you receive a generic dashboard. It displays the metrics Google thinks are most important about your website in an easy to understand graphic format; the location of your website visitors, the number of users visiting your site and your bounce rate.

Because each of these displays has several factors, you can understand the statistics. The factors for bounce rate, as an example, could include lack of a mobile-friendly website, website speed, and other which show you why users leave your site without visiting a second page.

The same kind of breakdown for any metric can be invaluable. It shows the causes and statistics and then you can take action. The reason to create custom dashboards is to focus on the important metrics.

Here’s how to create custom Google Analytics dashboards to display your sales and marketing traffic, mobile statistics, and demographics.

Creating a custom dashboard

  • Select a canvas – On the Dashboards menu, click on the New Dashboard option. You’ll immediately be given a choice to use a starter dashboard with some sample widgets, or to start with a blank canvas.

Since you’re customizing for a specific metric, you’ll want to start with a blank canvas.
How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 1

  • Add a widget type – The next step is to click on the Add Widget option displayed on the menu bar at the top. There are 6 different types of widgets which can be displayed. These simply refer to the graphic format you want data presented in. The possible types are geo map, timeline, table, pie chart, bar chart, and metric. You should give your widget a name, so it’s clear exactly what type of information is being displayed.

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 2

How to Customize Your Google Analytics Dashboard 3

  • Choose Google Analytic dimensions and metrics – Keep in mind that dimensions are attributes which describe the data you want to display. Metrics are numbers which count that data. Using these 2 components, you can tailor your widget to display the data you want to analyze. For instance, demographics of website visitors, sources of your sales and marketing traffic, or the kinds of mobile devices used by your site visitors. Be aware that the types of dimensions and metrics you choose from Analytics drop-down lists will be tied to the kind of widget you are building. Widget type governs the choices you have for dimensions and metrics. In the same way, the kind of drop-down metrics available for selection is tied to the kind of dimension you’ve chosen to describe.

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Google Analytics Dashboard are an incredible business resource

Creating custom dashboards in Google Analytics is a valuable resource. They clearly display important stats about your website and point to areas for improvement.

Dashboards are very easy to build.  If you ever get stuck, make use of Google Help to get yourself back on track.

Digging Into Google Analytics Workshop @ The Goshen Chamber


Join Mike Gingerich and Joe Mehl at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce University Workshop…


Together we’ll cover the in’s and out’s of Google Analytics and how it can be used by businesses to help understand your website traffic and how understanding that traffic can help grow your business!

At the Google Analytics Workshop hosted by the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, we will cover the following:

  1. 10 must-knows about Google Analytics
  2. How to generate a monthly website traffic report
  3. How to break down and understand the data
  4. One-on-One workshop (if time allows)


We’ll take a look at the basics that everyone using Google Analytics needs to know and then dig into a few more advanced tools that can help your business with everyday operations.


ga1Google Analytics is an incredibly robust, free tool for measuring web traffic data but it can be very daunting when you see all of the data! At our Digging into Google Analytics Workshop, with Mike Gingerich and Joe Mehl of Digital Hill will dive in and explore ways of using Google Analytics to gather and evaluate performance data, to make your website work for you! Beginning with learning basic definitions and metrics, you’ll walk away with a fundamental understanding of how to use Google Analytics.

Goshen Chamber University – Digging into Google Analytics Workshop

When: Thursday August 4th, 2016, 8 – 9:30 am

Where: Goshen Chamber of Commerce Building, 232 South Main Street, Goshen, IN 46526

Fees/Admission:  $25/person

We encourage attendees to bring their own laptops to access your Google Analytics’ account.

To register online, click the “Click Here to Register” button below or, email or call Nick Kieffer at (574) 533-2102.

How to Track Conversions with Google Analytics 315

How to Track Conversions with Google Analytics

How to Track Conversions with Google Analytics 600

If you’re selling a product or service online, or using your website for lead generation, then you’ll want to track conversions.

What are conversions?

Simply put, it’s when a visitor (new or returning) comes to your website and is “converted” to a lead prospect or a customer. For example, someone signing up for your email list is a lead generation conversion, while someone purchasing a product from you is a sales conversion. Both have different values but are equally important.

Track Conversions with Google Analytics

If you have a website, then you should be using Google Analytics to track your website stats. If not go to to set it up, then come back to learn how to track conversions on your website.

Step 1: Create a tracking URL

Google Analytics offers a URL Builder. Simply fill out a form with your landing page URL and other details, like source, medium, term, content, and name. This creates a tracking URL with all of the correct parameters.

Step 2: Use your tracking URL

Obviously, there wouldn’t be much of a reason to create a tracking URL if you weren’t going to do anything with it. Anywhere you would use your original landing page URL; you now use your custom tracking URL. Google Analytics knows that anyone who clicks this link is associated with your campaign. (And as long as you’re using the tracking URL correctly, this should be the case.)

Step 3: Define your goal

The section of Google Analytics that we’ll be using here is aptly named “Goals” and you’ll find it under “Admin” in the navigation bar of your dashboard. Once you get to that section,  click on the button that says “+ New Goal” to set up a new goal.

Here’s how to go through the initial Goal Setup. Google Analytics has made this incredibly easy and has several pre-made templates to choose from, under categories Revenue, Acquisition, Inquiry, and Engagement. You’re most likely going to choose between “Place an order” or “Buy merchandise” under the Revenue category. Choose your template, then click continue.

Next, you’ll need to enter a name for your goal, but one that’s descriptive enough to know what it was created for. For tracking conversions, you’ll want to choose “Destination” for your goal type. The last section to fill out is goal details. Add the destination URL for the page someone will end up on. This could be your “Thank You” page for an email subscription or product purchase. Whatever page someone would land on after completing the desired action, that’s the URL you use.

If you’re setting up a goal that has had a conversion in the last week, click Verify this Goal to test it. Otherwise, click Save.

Step 4: Create a custom report

Track the progress of your goal to see the conversions. Click “Customization” in your navigation bar, then click “+ New Custom Report.” Name it with your goal name so you know what you’re tracking.

Click “+ metric” and select the metric for Completions to keep an eye on the actual conversions. Select the Visits metric to calculate the rate of visits vs. conversions. Click “+ dimension” and select Source/Medium as the first dimension and Campaign as the secondary dimension.

Stop guessing at your success and progress. Start tracking your conversions with Google Analytics today.

Developing An Integrated Marketing Plan

Developing An Integrated Marketing Plan

Developing An Integrated Marketing Plan 600 sq

Developing an integrated marketing plan is the key to the success of any business.

Templates for marketing plans are available online and can be a decent starting point, but creating a successful marketing plan is more than a matter of filling in some fields in a template with marketing buzzwords.

Here are some key aspects of an integrated marketing plan that can help any business get serious about reaching their goals:

Determine Audience & Strategy

With more channels to choose from than ever before, it’s crucial to be clear on both the business’ marketing strategy and the target audience to determine the marketing channels you will use.

Whether the business is trying to build brand awareness or drive traffic to a retail location, the small business owner or marketing manager must first develop a profile of the business’ ideal consumer.

This is done using available geographic, behavioral, and demographic customer data, or research they’ve conducted on target consumers and their best-existing customers.

Then, they must determine which channels (where online, what social media sites, etc.) these individuals are most likely to be heavily engaged with that also fit the marketing strategy.

For example, an apparel business targeting young adults might do well to distribute its message through regular image posts on Instagram.  It’s a platform that lends itself to visuals and has high engagement among young adults. It’s about finding those key intersections points.

Market where your target consumers are

It’s important to know where the target audience is engaged, especially on social media. Many small business owners and marketing managers waste both time and money creating a presence on every digital platform.  This doesn’t make sense if the vast majority of their clients are heavy users of only two or three platforms.

While integrated marketing does involve the use of multiple channels, the focus should be on where the targets actually are.

The second key is to provide opportunities for moving the viewer from that social channel to your website. Always be thinking about how you can get them back to your website.

Be clear, compelling, and consistent

Your messaging should be clear, but delivered in a way that connects with your target consumers. Tell your brand’s story and the problems you’ve solved for others in a straightforward manner that resonates with the public. 

Your creativity should take advantage of the unique properties of each channel (size of images, use of video, etc.), yet remain consistent across all of them.

Messaging, graphics, fonts, colors, and photos should be consistent across online and offline channels. Inconsistency – even minor deviations from the standard – will disrupt consumer engagement with the brand while consistency across all channels will help reinforce the brand messaging.

Extend your messaging fully

Brand messaging should be extended to every aspect of your business. This may seem like a no-brainer when discussing an integrated marketing plan, but business owners/marketing managers will often forget to fold areas with high client contact (such as customer service) into their marketing plan.

Customer service is an opportunity to discuss new features and to make sure existing customers are aware of other services you offer.

Market, measure, adjust

Taking advantage of real-time analytics is a key benefit of digital marketing – one that can yield lucrative results. There are plenty of tools available for measuring analytics, so do your research to find which ones would best suit your needs.

Small business owners/marketing managers should not be afraid to retool creative when a particular online channel is not yielding the desired results.

Measure clicks on Facebook posts, traffic to your website from each source you are focusing on, and how your email list is growing for starters.

Incorporate your consumers and customers

Finally, consumers should be integrated into the marketing plan, which should include opportunities for two-way engagement, especially on social media platforms.

Consumers should be provided avenues to interact with the brand. Whether soliciting direct feedback, holding contests that incorporate the brand, or opportunities to create their own branded creative content. This generates more connection and trust with your company, something that ultimately helps increase sales opportunities.

That’s a broad overview of an integrated marketing plan. The key, again, is knowing who your ideal audience is, where they spend time online, and then developing a strategy to reach them there and move them to your website. Start small, be sure to measure, and keep at it!

Metrics to Review to Measure the Success of your Website Marketing

Metrics to Measure the Success of Your Website Marketing

Metrics to Review to Measure the Success of your Website Marketing

The only way you can make progress with your online business is to keep track and measure your activities. For most small business owners, measuring sales is at the top of the monthly and quarterly agendas.

However, sales are a result of the marketing strategies and processes implemented in the business, so it makes sense to measure these marketing activities. Metrics provide insight into the health of your online business marketing tactics.

You want to do more of what is working and adjust items to help achieve optimum value. However, not all metrics matter!

For instance, would you rather measure the number of mentions your brand gets on social media or the number of new leads that result from the mentions? Clearly, measuring the latter is important since it impacts your sales.

Here are a number of metrics that can help your business measure and gauge the effectiveness of your online marketing:

Metrics to Measure the Success of your Website Marketing 5

1. Total Visits (Sessions)

The total visitors (sessions) to your website will help you get the “big picture” of how well your marketing campaigns are driving traffic.

While you may be driving traffic to your website, you should also measure the number of visits to your social media accounts and landing pages as well.

If your online marketing is working, your web traffic will be growing. There may be small dips at times based on seasonal fluctuations or other items but you want your traffic to be ever growing as you reach more of your ideal audience online.

If you notice a drop in the number of visits in consecutive months, investigate those channels and optimize them for better performance. A healthy business should see the number of visitors growing steadily over time.

2. Channel-Specific Visitors

If you’re using different avenues to drive traffic to your website, find out how many visitors come from each of those sites.

For instance, if you are using a Facebook Page and perhaps Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your website, then you want to review at least monthly the traffic coming from Facebook to your website.

Google Analytics (free web analytics tool you can add to your website) makes this easy to see. Measuring channel-specific visitors is especially important if you want to segment the traffic based on their point of origin.

This metric can help you identify the properties that bring the highest number of referrals so that you can concentrate your efforts in future marketing.

So, if you are using Facebook and measuring traffic from it, then if you notice Facebook is driving more visitors to your website in subsequent months, scale your promotions in the channel.

For instance, post more often, use PPC ads, experiment with Promoted Posts, etc.

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3. Bounce Rate

The bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors that leave your website quickly without reading your content. If they land on  a page and quickly leave, they have “bounced.”

You want to try and keep the bounce rate as low as possible by creating high-quality content that will make visitors want to spend more time on the website.

So, if you see the bounce rate increasing per month, that’s an indication to put more emphasis and changes into your site content. One item important to this is a mobile-friendly website!

You may have quality content on your site but if the site is being visited by mobile users and the site is not mobile-friendly (easy to use and view on mobile) then that can be the reason for your bounce and it needs addressed!

To research this, Google Analytics lets you see the percentage of users to your site that are on mobile devices. If you have a high bounce rate and a mobile visitor percentage above 40%, that can be a key item you need to address!

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4. Time on Site

Related to the bounce rate is the time spent by visitors on your site.  Ideally, you’d love to have visitors spent 5-8 minutes on your site per visit. That means they are digging in, reading your website content and going to multiple pages.

By watching this metric, a business can tell what content is working and how well you are providing useful value to your visitors. The more they spend time, the more trust can be built, and the more they can be comfortable making a purchase from you!

5. New Leads

Definitely track the number of leads that your online properties are generating. Leads are the lifeline of any small business. Here is an overview of the leads you can track:

  • Overall leads generated from your website and other online properties via forms that they submit on the sites
  • Number of new leads that converted to customers
  • Number of leads that inquired about your product or services

This may mean the people that answer your phones need to be trained to inquire how the caller first got acquainted with you. If it was via your website, document that in a spreadsheet so you know how your  online is translating to your offline.

When leads enter your sales funnel, it’s important to then segment them based on their interests. This way, you can engage them with relevant content, likely via email marketing, to build their trust and break the ice.

Consistent lead engagement helps to reduce the friction to buying. Measuring these five metrics above are simple methods that will help you understand the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies!

Want a simple way to get a report each month helping you to measure these items? Check out Quill Engage and how it generates a report from your Google Analytics.

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New Responsive Website For Goshen Electric Has Launched


Digital Hill Multimedia Inc. is excited to announce the lunch of the new responsive website for Goshen Electric, Inc. The company Goshen Electric  now has a fresh and newly designed website for desktop, mobile and tablet users. Goshen Electric came to Digital Hill with the need to improve and enhance their digital presence and we here at Digital Hill knew actually how to solve their issues because we have done it before. Please take a moment and check out the new responsive website for Goshen Electric!

To help understand the problem Goshen Electric had, we need to know a bit more about them. Goshen Electric has been serving the needs of our customers since 1936. They pride themselves in having over 100 years of combined experience in the electrical wholesale business. Goshen Electric Inc. is an independently, locally owned and operated company. They service the five-county, Northern Indiana Area and with our outside sales personnel and they can meet the daily needs of their customer’s. This new site demonstrates their commitment to be leading edge and high quality.

Goshen Electric’s site was very out of date and we were told that people, were just not finding the information they were looking for. They also, didn’t have the ability to manage and update their own content. In today’s digital world having a well organized, updated, and visually appealing website can be the factor of gaining or losing new business. If you want to learn more about Goshen Electric’s new website and learn how updating your current website could help you or your business, please keep reading and check out the key areas we choose to highlight.

Old site as viewed on a phone:


Old Goshen Electric Site

This site was hard to navigate and users were leaving the site without gaining the knowledge they needed. Pinching to zoom in and out was very frustrating for mobile users no one wants a client or potential new client to be frustrated with their first experience with the company.

This non-responsive design made it very hard for users to find any information, which resulted in less new customers. The solution for Goshen Electric was to contact Digital Hill, which proudly serves the greater Elkhart – Goshen and South Bend areas, very similar to their own areas served.

New site as viewed on a phone:


New Goshen Electric Site

This new responsive website however, is very easy to navigate and users are staying on the site longer and getting the information they are looking for much quicker. The responsive site design makes it very easy for users to find any information they need without having to pinch to zoom in or out for mobile users. A happy client is always a good thing and new website can help your company gain happy clients.

For Goshen Electric having a responsive site wasn’t enough, they wanted to make using their website a pleasant experience, so they added features to help. A few of the key features of Goshen Electic’s new website includes:

  • Simple Design
  • Easy to Navigate & Use
  • Easy to Manage & Update

Simple Design

The last thing you want with your company or personal website is for a potential client to come to your site, not find what they are looking for or get frustrated and leave your site to go to a competitor’s site. The things that every simple website design have are; eye catching photography, natural flow of content that moves left to right (most people read left to right) and Recent Relevant Content. If all of the three things I mentioned are on your current site then it is more than likely performing well, but there is always room for better performance. Here at Digital Hill we also specialize in digital marketing, if you think your site could be performing better, give us a call! This is something Goshen Electric wanted to make sure of, so they choose to use Digital Hill’s digital marketing services to help increase site traffic, which will help increase leads and grow sales.

Easy to Navigate & Use

If a website is easy to use, a website admin would be able to tell simply by keeping track of their site analytics by using website analytic software (i.e. Google Analytics). If users are leaving the site quickly, it might be time to think about better ways to re-organize or re-develop your website. A few signs of a website that is hard to navigate and use could be as follows; there is no sign of website organization, meaning content is randomly placed and makes finding anything a journey for the user. The site could also be out of date, meaning it hasn’t been updated in over a few months or more, don’t let this happen, if a user has to call in to find out current information they are more than likely frustrated. Last of all, make sure the website navigation menu is relevant for what users would be looking for, meaning choose the main components of your business to focus on.

Make sure that your website is well organized, has up to date content, and make sure to focus on what the user would be looking for. When designing or thinking about getting a new website, make sure to ask yourself “how easy is my website to navigate and use?” if the answer to the question is more complicated than saying “very easy’ then, there is work that could be done. Try using the three suggestions we mentioned above, and you could see a large difference in website traffic, which in turns means more business for you. Goshen Electric is using the information provided above and their website traffic is growing daily.

Easy to Manage & Update

One thing that Goshen Electric wanted was the ability to manage and maintain their own website easily, with minimal effort and time to make those updates. This is something that we at Digital Hill made sure to provide for Goshen Electric, we gave them access to our new Content Management System (CMS) that gives them complete control of their content. This gives a website admin from Goshen Electric the ability to easily manage and update their website, meaning the site admin can edit content, add or delete pages, and manage all images from any computer, tablet or mobile device with a web browser and internet connection. Giving Goshen Electric the ability to manage their website was a large factor in choosing Digital Hill because with this ability came the power to always provide the necessary information to their customers in a well organized, always up to date and easy to use website.


If you or a business you know needs a high end professional responsive website, please contact Digital Hill and request a free quote!  We don’t just serve the Goshen, South Bend, and Michiana area, we serve the world and make the web work for you!

Introduction to Tracking Effectiveness of your Online Marketing

Most growing companies recognize the important of having a strong online, digital presence.

google-analytics-in-word-pressPotential and existing customers are searching for information online, mobile web use for finding information prior to purchase continues to grow, and social media networks have reached a tipping point where more participate than don’t participate.  Once a company has their website, blog, and social media properties in action, the key becomes how to measure and improve the performance of these different areas.


A valuable way to begin measuring is to use a free tool like Google Analytics.

googlyticsWith Google Analytics added to a company website and blog, a company can measure and watch changes in traffic to the website, time spent on the site, how traffic came to the site and more.  I’ll review a few features within Google Analytics that can offer valuable insights and data as a first step in tracking the effectiveness of your online marketing.

To reiterate, Google Analytics is a free tool.  It does require adding a select piece of custom code they provide to your website and blog.  Once installed, this provides the means for Google to deliver analytics to you via your private dashboard.  A few key areas to review include:


In this area you are able to view by date range the number of visitors to your site, as well as unique visitors (some visitors will come back more than once, so a unique visitor is counted once).  Other important details in this area are ability to see where your traffic is coming from, including ability to drill down to view by city where traffic is coming from.  There is also a breakdown of type of device a visitor is using such as a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.  This is helpful to track over time to understand trends and inform how you make website updates.

Also within the Audience area is ability to see how many pages a visitor views during their visit and the time length they spend on the site.  A goal over time would be to increase the number of pages a visitor views and to also see an increase in their time on the site.  The more pages they view and the more time they spend on the site is an indicator of stronger interest in what your company offers.

Traffic Sources

This allows you to see where your traffic came from right before coming to your site.  As well, you can see keywords that users searched on to reach your site.  This is informative and can help guide the type of content you write more of in future blog posts.  The traffic can be broken down into details such as how many came from Google organically (not through an ad); how many came to your site through a Google Ad (paid search); and other sources such as Facebook and Twitter.  Over time this helps you understand how your marketing on those other platforms and possibly ads you are running on Google or Facebook are impacting traffic to your site.


The content section allows you to see what content had the most traffic in a given time period.  It includes ability to find any page or blog post and see the amount of visitors who viewed that page.  This, of course, is helpful to enable a company to view what pages on the site were most popular and if ads were being used to drive traffic, whether those ads spark more traffic to the page that was specified.  Viewing the statistics on content popularity over time can help inform what is of interest and priority to visitors that can impact future content and marketing strategy.

This is a very basic overview of the power and potential a tool like Google Analytics offers companies.  There are many more features that can be used,  The key, however, is regular review and watching for trends and results based on your company’s digital marketing plans, followed by making adjustments to improve one’s marketing and content based on the findings.