The Metric Mail Blog

Feb 02

Introducing Metric Mail Pricing

Hey,

first of all we want to thank you for using Metric Mail, the service for simple Google Analytics reports via email. From the very beginning we received a lot of valuable feedback from you and we are really grateful for your ongoing support.

For the last six months Metric Mail was free, no matter how many reports you received. Today we are writing to let you know that we will introduce pricing for our service effective May 1st 2011.

To keep it simple we decided to introduce a credit-based system. Each report that we create for you consumes one credit, one credit will cost $1. We believe that this is the fairest system because you only pay for what you really use.

As promised there will still be a free version of Metric Mail. Every month you will automatically get 4 credits for free. In other words, if you only use Metric Mail for a single website it will remain free of charge for you.

Some examples for the new credit system:

The paid model will help us to keep on improving Metric Mail based on your feedback, add new features and provide the support that you expect.

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know by sending us an email.

- Chris and Tim

Aug 04

Google Analytics Market Share

Since Metric Mail makes use of the data that Google Analytics provides, we wanted to estimate the share of websites that use it. There are some studies about the market share of analytics solutions, but they are using rather small samples.

That’s where we get down to the nitty-gritty. 

Alexa  is kind enough to provide a list of the Top 1 million domains as currently ranked by their service.
We used their data as a starting point for our research. There is a discussion about the reliablilty and accuracy of their data, but we figured it is still the best source that is easily available.

In the next step we imported the data in Google App Engine’s data store. Just in case you ever want to import a million rows, it takes a long time ;) Around two days in our case.
For the actual process we needed to retrieve each site and then look for patterns of Google Analytics. On the one hand, there is the identifier that Analytic’s uses e.g. UA-12345-123. On the other hand there is the Javascript snippet that website owners need to embed in order to make Analytics work.
Since the App Engine team recently released the Mapper API, we decided to make use of this new API. For more info on the Mapper API check out their project site and the fantastic article on Nick Johnson’s blog.

Without further ado, here are the results after 8 days and 5 hours of processing:

We hope you find this information as useful as we do. In case you haven’t done so yet, check out Metric Mail and let us know what you think.

Also you should follow us on Twitter here.

Jul 10

Six things you can learn from your Google Analytics report right now

Google Analytics can provide in-depth information about your website if you know how to use it. The downside is a steep learning curve that puts off many website owners. We also struggle with the complexity of Analytics sometimes. But there is no need to worry about that. Even with minimal effort, you can get new ideas for your website and valuable insights about the behaviour of your visitors. All you need is an overview of your Google Analytics profile. We recommend Metric Mail because that’s what we created it for, but any other option works just fine.

When you have your Google Analytics report ready, here are x things that you can use to improve your website immediately.

1. Find your strong pages

Have a look at your top pages to see what people like. Usually there are a few pages stand stand out. Maybe it’s a particular article or specific product page that seems to attract a lot of visitors. Think about how you could build on that by providing more content related to that.

2. Look for trends

In the graph for your weekly visitors, look for a pattern. For example, professional websites tend to have their peak times during the week. Entertainment and leisure offerings might receive the most traffic during the weekend. You can use this knowledge to adapt to your visitor’s behaviour. If most people visit your website on Tuesdays, it’s a good idea to publish new content shortly before that to make sure it has a big audience.

3. Join the conversation

In the list of website that refer to yours, look for communities, blogs or other platforms with user generated content. There’s a good chance that there is a conversation about your service or products. These conversations are a great opportunity for you to engage with people who are interested in what you do. Go to these websites, see what people are saying about you and address their questions directly. Over the long term, this can shape strong relationships with your visitors and/or customers.

4. Learn from others

Also in the list of referring websites, find offerings from your sector or industry. By looking at similar websites, you can get inspiration for new additions to your own website and learn from the mistakes of others. You might also find out about new competitors or potential partners! One way or another, you will get a better idea of the environment that your website is in.

5. Understand your traffic sources

Websites differ significantly in the traffic sources they have. Analyse where most of your visitors come from allows you to act accordingly. If a majority of visitors reaches your website through search engines, it’s worth thinking about search engine optimisation techniques that you could employ. In the case of a large share of referrals from other platforms in your industry, you should find out what exactly drives people to your website and optimise your content for that. Lots of direct traffic could indicate offline activities in which you advertised the URL of your website. 

6. Use the right (key)words

The top keywords in your report can tell you a lot about your visitors. It helps you to understand the question or issue that people try to solve on your website. It also provides an insight in the terminology that your audience uses. Especially in professional services, there can be a gap between the language that you use and the words that your visitors use. By closing that gap, you can optimise your website for what people are searching. Furthermore, your website will be more appealing if you understand and talk the language of your visitors.

These steps might appear simple, but they provide plenty of opportunity to start improving your website right away. It also shows that you don’t need to deal with the in-depth complexity of Google Analytics in order to benefit from it. What other insights can you gain from simple Analytics metrics? What did we miss? Let us know!

Go to Metric Mail to get your free Google Analytics report now. You can also find us on Twitter.

Known issues

Metric Mail is still young, and we are doing the best we can to fix problems quickly. Here’s a list of issues that we are already working on:

The list will be updated regularly. If you find something that we should be aware of, please don’t hesitate to contact us or drop us a line on our Twitter account.

Thanks for your patience!

Hello!

Welcome to the Metric Mail Blog. Here, we will keep you up to date about the latest updates of Metric Mail. Also, we will provide you with helpful posts about getting insights from Google Analytics in a simple and easy way. Analytics provides extremely valuable information for every website owner, and we believe that you don’t need to be an expert in order to benefit. That’s the philosophy we keep in mind when building Metric Mail, and that’s our motivation for posting here. We hope you like it!

In the meantime, check out Metric Mail if you have not done so yet and let us know what you think.

All the best,

Tim & Chris from Metric Mail