Back then in late 2013, the future boss of mine told me:
Listen, we know you’re gonna come work with us in a few months, but we would like to start with one bigger project right now.
”Together with Escape Studio from Osijek we plan to host a one-day conference regarding Google Analytics and we thought you could be our main speaker.Would you like to do that? Are you able to prepare that?” – “Sure, yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.” was my cool reply, although my thoughts were like: “These guys do not just want to hire me, but they want me to speak at conferences about Google Analytics!? Well, people are usually very enthusiastic when they don’t have a clue regarding all the obstacles in their way to success, but that’s everyday life, right? :) So I took my time, prepared all sessions quickly, but all those organizational perks were what I wasn’t prepared for. Thankfully, my brand new colleagues were very efficient in that field and willing to help (many thanks to 3rd floor guys and gals!), as well as Escape Studio crew who managed a lot of organizational stuff. Days passed very quickly, people were applying and it seemed like the conference could be a big thing. Wow!
Finally, the Day has arrived and we all came to Matis Absolut Lounge, prepared to share our knowledge with the world. There were no participants there, just us organizers, but within some 30 mins the venue was full of people willing to hear what iSTUDIO and Escape Studio had to say regarding Google Analytics secrets. It both sounded and look promising, so we had to get started. Petra Žigić, our account director opened the conference, giving the audience the intro about what we will be talking about throughout the day. She set “the smart and handsome bar” very high, as expected, and fortunately that was probably the only goal the four of us guys couldn’t achieve on stage that day.
The first lecture about Goals and Conversions was held by my colleague Ivo Novak and me. We stressed the importance of setting goals on every website, showed some examples of macro and micro conversions (subscription forms, PDF downloads, click to e-mail addresses), as well as how to set them up within Google Analytics interface. Monetizing those conversions (“What’s each test drive request’s monetary value?”, “How much every touristic city PDF brochure download is worth?”) was the first topic where I realized people actually starting paying attention to some Google Analytics topics. They were suddenly thinking about how to implement these facts onto their websites! Later on, Ivo revealed several examples through some data tables and explained what are the important figures and why we should pay attention to Bounce Rate, ROI and Conversion Rate while evaluating the website success.
A quick look at the audience to check if someone is sleeping (just one gentleman in the front rows, and that’s a rather good Bounce Rate, isn’t it?), and we’re ready for the second topic: Google Analytics Events.
My aim here was to explain the audience what Google Analytics events are, what is their purpose and how to use them. We also made it pretty clear when to use (and not to use!) them and where, like “Use them for outgoing links”, “use events for forms evaluation” but also “don’t use them instead of internal UX tools, for every second of the video, etc”. I also showed some real examples in which I have used Google Analytics events to get the data you normally don’t expect to find in Google Analytics, like how to show online booking arrival dates, which was very interesting for the audience. Many discussions we had during coffee breaks were regarding events implementation. I also showed Intelligence Events – a good way to explore some unexpected data, as well as to alert us if there’s something wrong happening with our website, like “Send me an alert when our campaigns’ weekly Bounce Rate exceeds 40%” or “Send me an alert when there are no visits on my website for one day”.
The coffee break was just what we all needed before moving to the next interesting topic: Google Analytics Content Experiments.
Some people complained to me during coffee break that there were not that many real-life examples in our lectures, so this topic came right on time. I have shown the difference between Multivariate and A/B tests and how to set up Content Experiments using Google Analytics interface. But the most interesting part was when I showed some 10 real experiments like “making conversion button bigger might decrease your conversion rate” or “change call-to-action button color into an appropriate one might increase your conversion rate by 30%”, whose results were very interesting and unexpected for the audience.
After that – finally a lunch break, plus my sessions were over! I could mingle with clients and get some feedback from the audience, knowing that everything went well. I got many smiles, high-fives, but most importantly – a lot of talks with people who said they will try to implement the features I was talking about the minute they show up to work tomorrow! Great! I have also noticed my accounts colleagues who were passing valuable information for the clients, but the pleasant smile on gentleman from the first sentence’s face was a sign that we rock!
There was no time to waste, as the Escape Studio crew was about to blow the audience with their interesting topics.
First of all, their CEO Damir Podhorski gave an interesting introduction to the 2nd part of the conference, just to make sure we were attending the right thing. Zoran Radovančević talked about the attribution and the real challenges we face while trying to find out not just which channel but also whose device are in charge of a specific conversion, and how to create some business benefits by measuring all of that. He gave us some examples where different online and offline ads might influence the number of offline store visitors.
During the next coffee break we noticed that almost no one has left the conference after the lunch. Perhaps they all knew the star is coming: the only Google Grandpa in the area, Mr Miroslav Varga. Miroslav in his unique style talked about Remarketing, a hot buzzword in the advertising world. He gave us some valuable information regarding the consumers’ behavior like “Men are show-offs, women wants to be perfect”, but also talked about remarketing benefits, when and how to use it, with many useful tips regarding online marketing itself.
At the end, Zorin gave us a talk on Universal Analytics. He demonstrated its new features, how to use custom metrics and dimensions, how to collect offline visitors data and how to use such data. He showed many real-life examples like “Which book genre has sold more books?” or “Do male or female visitors spend more time on site?”, that have proven Analytics will never be the same once we switch to Universal!
Finally the curtain went down, we took some mutual photos and all sat for a quick drink, glad that the Analytics day was that successful and – over. We are all sure this wasn’t the only occasion you will be able to see us on stage together, so stay tuned for more interesting Analytics topics this year!