Averages, Conversions and Clarity

Newsletter sent 2016-06-28.

Averages Can Be Misleading

As I was reviewing my Google Search Console reports last month, I noticed a sharp drop one day in the average position for my popular spam referral article. What was confusing was the number of Impressions and Clicks hadn’t changed.


I checked out my Excel SEO Summary Report and noticed that the report only accounted for keywords/queries with positions in the top 20 ranking positions. Since averages are based on everything, I added a 21+ grouping to the report and discovered that I had somehow gained a bunch of long tail keyword matches for the day…and many were ranking below position 100.  Add a few really big numbers to some small numbers and the average starts to shift fast.


This reinforces the value of digging into your search data to look at the distribution of your search keyword positioning, not just the averages. Averages can be misleading.

SEO Summary Report v2.0
Added counts for position 21+, and reversed the order of bar portions for more meaningful use.
Get the workbook!


Conversions Can Be Tricky

Some people noticed that the workbook I highlighted in the last newsletter didn’t work properly; the answers didn’t update properly. This was the result of translating the original Google Sheets report into Excel, and an unsupported function in the formulas used. I recreated the functionality and fixed the report, so if you wanted to see how your site rates, make sure to grab the update.


WTF Happened to My Search Traffic v2.0
Fixed a problem causing the Likely/Not Likely answers to work incorrectly.
Get the workbook!


Clarity Can Be Rewarded

For anyone bothered by referral spam in Google Analytics, you probably are familiar with my Definitive Guide to Removing All Google Analytics Spam. I recently cleaned up the document and made it much easier to follow…and was rewarded by Google placing it in an Answer Box! What a treat!


If you haven’t dealt with referral spam yet in your Google Analytics accounts, I strongly recommend you read the article and implement the filters suggested. May and June have seen big spikes of referral and organic search term spam.


Mike Sullivan
Founder, Analytics Edge

“I’ve used this to help my clients take their report building time from 3 days down to just 10 minutes! What can I say, it’s incredible on so many levels. Love that it’s also updated so frequently and in time with Google changes. – stubowker”