June 18, 2012
Google Analytics is a great way to parse out and analyze data from a large variety of sources. Most of your traffic is likely coming from either Organic (Natural) or Paid Search (PPC). However, if you’re actively participating in Bing/Yahoo paid search campaigns, there’s a good chance that the data being sent to your account is being tracked and recorded as Organic, when in fact, it’s paid traffic that is referring that traffic.
We’re often working with our clients on both organic and paid search optimization and management. One of the challenges we face, is comparing past traffic from organic search compared to the time that we’ve engaged with our client to help them with their online marketing efforts. The reason is that some of our “results” can often be a bit misleading when it comes to Bing/Yahoo organic traffic. Many times the client was not properly tagging their PPC campaigns so that Google Analytics properly records the the traffic for paid search, and instead is lumped into the organic traffic data. If you or your client does a significant amount of paid search through Bing/Yahoo, then you can see how those would artificially inflate the traffic numbers.
2010 Sample Data without proper URL tagging for PPC ads
2012 Sample Data WITH proper URL tagging for PPC ads
As you can see, having proper URL tracking for your PPC ads when advertising in Bing/Yahoo is very important in having accurate data in Google Analytics. In part 2, we’ll explain how to avoid this and properly tag your URLs.