Debugging Your WebSite with Google Analytics Custom Reports

I’m in Seattle for the SeoMoz Pro Training and figured I should do a blog post meshing SEO with debugging and development. I’m pretty excited about the SeoMoz Pro Training. My SEO skills are no where near my programming skills so this is an awesome opportunity to improve those skills, meet some of the leaders in the SEO field, and see Seattle for my first time.

Problem: Testing your site in multiple browser versions

Lets face it. Browser testing is a bitch. There are 3 versions of IE to test, Safari on Windows and Mac, Firefox, and now Chrome. It really sucks. I absolutely hate it. Recently, while doing a routine testing of a clients site I found an error causing a critical page to not render correctly in Internet Explorer 6. Needless to say this was negatively impacting the clients conversion rates.

Digging In with Analytics

Using Google Analytics I discovered that on this clients site, Internet Explorer (all versions) makes up about half of the total visits. Within IE about 10% of those visitors are still using version 6. So about 5% (about 800 total visits per month) of the clients total users are on Internet Explorer 6. When you consider this clients conversion rate is around 25% that comes up to a potential loss of 200 conversions per month! Digging in deeper I found that the IE6 conversion rate was only at about 7%. Using a quick CSS hack I was able to fix the problem (I used a B.S. IE CSS hack setting zoom:1 on a problematic CSS class).

Creating a Custom Report to Find Browser Errors

Go into custom reports and create a new custom report. Call this something like Browser Conversion Report and add the following metrics: Total Goal Starts, Total Goal Completions, and Goal Conversion Rate (these are found under the Goals metric). Now you will need to add some Dimensions so add Browser and then as a drill-down add Browser Version (both found under System).

Google Analytics Custom Reports

Preview the report now.

Google Analytics

Now drill down by clicking on a Browser type.

Google Analytics Browser Report

So did the the bug fix work? Absolutely, and now we have a report to back it up. The clients IE6 conversion rate is sitting at around 25% since fixing the CSS issue. Now we’ve created a way to easily monitor our conversion rates among browsers. You can get even more creative with this by adding in Operating System types, connection speeds, or whatever your geeky heart desires.

I’d love to blog all day, but I think its time to go see what Seattle has to offer.

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