Here is an absolutely delightful new little (but really huge!) feature in Google Analytics that should make anyone interested in improving their web business results smile from ear to ear.  It's called Weighted Sort.

The problem:

You want to find out how your keywords are performing for a particular metric, say bounce rate, because you want to improve the relevance of the visitors to your site.  You jump into analytics to take a look at the Keyword Report, click on the bounce rate heading to sort bounce rates from worst to best, and you find this...

Bounce Rate with Visits.png

Well that doesn't help at all because we're not going to spend any time fixing keywords with single visits.  In this case the words with 100% bounce rates and 1 visit are sorted to rank above keywords with 500 visits and 80% bounce rates.  Of course, the same thing happens when you reverse and try to look at keywords with low bounce rates.  So, looking at this table doesn't really help you find what's important. Therefore, you have to sort through, in this case, 7,065 keywords!

The solution:

Here's where the new weighted sort feature comes in.  This feature is activated when you click on a metric heading that has to do with a percentage, average, ratio or any metric that can be deceptive in its appearance without the context of its importance to the site as a whole.  This is awesomeness.  It lets you laser focus right into the data that deserves your attention. This saves you a lot of time and effort.  Check it out...

Weighted Sort.png

All you do is hit the checkbox and now gives you what's working best and worst in order of importance. So, you can take what's working and DO MORE OF IT and take what's not working and FIX IT or DO LESS OF IT.

How does it work? It simply "weights" the importance of the keyword to your total results in light of the performance of the metric and the # of visits that metric is responsible for.  In this case, it takes the weights of the number of visits and the bounce rates and algorithmicizes :) the numbers to show you what's most important (for better or for worse).

Of course this applies to all sources of traffic to your site and should be used for such.  But my excitement as a PPC manager lies in the ease of finding those long-tail terms that are working and not working so that I can make smart decisions on what to do more of, what to fix and what to do less of to improve the overall performance of my account.  Since weighted sort is not in AdWords campaigns as of yet, this is a resource in analytics that you should most definitely be taking advantage of so that you don't have to swim through thousands of search queries to find the ones that deserve your attention.

September 10, 2010

Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.

Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.


Thanks for this is it possible you can do an article on how to intergrate Adsense and Google anaylitics?

In AdWords, I end up manually doing a weighted sort by going into the filter option and specifying a minimum of impressions or clicks. It's not perfect, but it does help get rid of lots of rows that just have a single click.

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