Episode 64 | Posted on

Crunching Data to Improve Your Business: Annie Cushing

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This Week’s Guest:

Annie Cushing proudly proclaims her love for data and analytics so much so that she’s even  embraced the nickname Annielytics. In addition to data itself, one of her great loves is teaching other marketers how to “sexy up” their data.


She has created a wonderful collection of tools and templates, of which perhaps the best known is her document “Hundreds of Tools for Marketers.” In addition, she’s a frequent speaker at conferences such as Pubcon, MozCon, and SMX.


Find Out More About Annie Here:

@Annielytics on Facebook
@AnnieCushing on Twitter


In This Episode:


  • [01:47] – Annie talks about one of the most frequent problems she sees with analytics, and how this involves Google Analytics leaving the average marketer behind in some ways.
  • [05:28] – We learn about campaign tagging in more depth, and Annie gives a couple examples of  “gotchas” that give many people problems with routing correctly.
  • [10:51] – Annie goes on to explore exactly how devastating the effects of mistakes in campaign tagging can be. She then discusses another potential problem. She also talks about what she considers an oversight: there isn’t a channel for “paid social” on Google Analytics.
  • [14:22] – In response to Stephan’s elaboration on the problems with tracking paid social, Annie expands again on the importance of doing so correctly.
  • [16:07] – What would be some good goals to set? In her answer, Annie explores the importance of tracking micro conversions.
  • [23:43] – Annie talks about the “not provided” keyword data.
  • [24:30] – Stephan and Annie take a step back and explore what “not provided” keyword data is, in case listeners aren’t familiar with the topic. She recommends going into the channels report (under “acquisition” and then “all traffic”) for valuable information.
  • [30:55] – Stephan talks about what Google Search Console is, and what it can do. He then mentions the option of using a tool such as Rank Ranger.
  • [32:25] – Does Annie use a tool such as Rank Ranger to access data, or does she do it by hand? As part of her answer, Annie discusses the value of Cyfe.
  • [35:22] – Annie talks about Google’s Content Experiments, for which she says she hasn’t seen a high adoption rate.
  • [37:53] – The difference between the popularity of Content Experiments and Optimizely is quite large (with Optimizely as the clear leader), Annie explains.
  • [39:02] – We hear Annie’s thoughts on Tag Manager. She explains some problems with it, but ultimately concludes that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
  • [45:02] – Annie explains what she provides in her audits, and acknowledges that most people don’t love data as much as she does.
  • [50:12] – Is changing the dashboard inside Google Analytics part of Annie’s process when she’s working with her clients?
  • [55:40] – Annie addresses the question of her availability and how to get in touch with her.


Links and Resources:


The Definitive Guide to Campaign Tagging in Google Analytics
How to Track Social Ads in Google Analytics
The Definitive Guide to Channels in Google Analytics
Google Search Console
Rank Ranger
Content Experiments
Dan Siroker
Tag Manager




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