Voice AI: Google Home and Alexa


How to Uncover (Direct/None) Referral Traffic in Google Analytics


Have you noticed in your client’s Google Analytics that certain sources are not being identified clearly in Source traffic? One of the best ways to alleviate this issue is to use URL Parameters modifiers to essentially call out where the traffic is coming from. This helps GA tag the traffic coming in and sorting it into its own specific source, which allows you to identify and confirm the referral source.


This is an issue I know most marketers are aware of as (Direct/None) traffic can be a number of things. It’s not very likely that every one of your customers is typing in the long, specific URL every single time though. What’s more likely is that Google doesn’t know exactly how to sort the traffic or identify where it’s coming from.

I recently identified this issue for a website who’s Facebook tracking wasn’t firing and Analytics wasn’t reporting much referral traffic coming from Facebook, despite plenty of paid ad clicks. So looking through GA you’re likely to notice a large portion of traffic from Direct/None and while it’s unlikely to ever uncover 100% of the unknown traffic, you can tag URL’s from traffic that you know you’re driving, to help close the loop.

So how do you accomplish this? Below are a few quick steps to use URL Parameters to tag your traffic for GA to more easily sort. Note, this specific example was for tagging Facebook referral traffic.

1.) Identify that your ad traffic definitely isn’t being reported accurately in Google Analytics.

2.) Pull the URL of wherever you are driving traffic (i.e. example.com/product)

3.) In the case of Facebook, you’ll add the following URL Parameter at the end of the url:

?source=facebook (i.e. example.com/product?source=facebook)

4.) Copy and paste that URL into your browser to make sure it doesn’t cause any errors or unexpected reroutes.

5.) After sufficient clicks on your ad using this URL Parameter, go into your Google Analytics > Behavior > Content > All Pages. This will allow you to see what pages all of your users are landing on.

6.) Using the URL Parameter you set up earlier you can identify that specific landing page (example.com/product?source=facebook), which you’ve tagged as coming from a specific source. In this case it’s a Facebook ad, so GA will sort out that traffic and label it with the new URL so you can easily identify this traffic is in fact coming from your Facebook ad — breaking it out of the ambiguous Direct distinction.

You’ve now uncovered your referral traffic out of (Direct/None) in Google Analytics!



Pokemon Go: Has the Excitement Over Augmented Reality Been Premature?

After being in the market for a few weeks now, soaring to unheard of levels in popularity, as well as revenue ($200M and counting), Pokemon Go has cemented itself as a cultural phenomenon. For now.

One of the biggest features of the game and something both the tech and marketing industries are salivating over is Augmented Reality (AR). With AR, users can find and capture Pokemon on their phone’s camera so it integrates the digital world with the real world; essentially the bridge to the all encompassing Virtual Reality.
As the marketing and tech worlds clamor over how to take advantage of, and monetize, the sudden massive popularity of AR, there’s just one question that people seem to be missing. How many people are actually using the AR function in Pokemon Go?
While the AR is an intriguing feature, the more people you see playing the game, the more you realize just how many people have turned the feature off. For one, it makes the game easier to play and in some cases safer (for users that play on a bike or even while driving).
Albeit a small sample size, I polled users on Twitter and Reddit and more than 80% of respondents answered that they never use AR in Pokemon Go. So has the AR excitement been premature or is the new wave of AR Marketing coming sooner than we all expect?

It might be a bit longer, or perhaps even just take minor game enhancements, to get more people on board with the AR and thus open the floodgates for marketers. I’ve heard users complain about the AR making the camera too shaky or even causing the Niantic app to crash more frequently. In the meantime though, marketers can and should expect to take advantage of the massive popularity of the game. With more active daily users than Twitter, it’s clear the attention is there so now it’s just a matter of capitalizing on that attention without alienating users. Companies like McDonalds are getting into the game earlier than most with sponsored Pokestops. You’ll soon be seeing McDonald’s locations that are like Lure’s and Incense on steroids and perhaps even feature exclusive content.

The number one goal of a brick and mortar business is to drive foot traffic and nothing does that better than a massively popular mobile app that legitimately forces people to walk around.

Google (who partners with app creator Niantic) has been pretty tight lipped about how marketers can get involved up to this point. So unless you’re one of those massive brands, you’ll need to rely on “old school” marketing like manually dropping Lures if you happen to be lucky enough to have a Pokestop near your business. Plenty of businesses have jumped on that opportunity already. I’ve seen it at a bar, an ice cream shop and even a hotel offering a discount on your meal. Whether AR is ready to make the jump to mainstream or not isn’t clear just yet, but what is apparent is the huge opportunity Pokemon Go presents for marketers everywhere.

Lower the Barrier of Entry to Drive More Conversions

Currently the average conversion on mobile takes 24 taps. This is why it is crucial to lower the barrier of entry to complete a conversion, whether that be an e-commerce purchase, a sign-up or a form fill. Making things simpler and quicker for your consumers will help improve conversion rates and total conversions. Whether it’s eliminating unnecessary steps in a shopping cart checkout process or enabling users to check out as guests, the easier the process is, the more likely consumers are to complete the desired action.

If form fills to gather customer information is your goal, consider running a Facebook Lead Ad as it definitely lowers the barrier of entry. Rather than displaying an ad, requiring a click, sending a user to your website, waiting for it to load, manually filling out a form and then submitting it — a Lead Ad is a Two Tap process.

Originally created as a quick way to optimize form fills for mobile users, these ads have a person click once on the ad, which will automatically fill various fields in the form based on information from their Facebook profile, and then a second click to approve and send this info to the advertiser. And with the ability to integrate these Lead Ads with CRM systems like Salesforce, this eliminates the need for a lengthy process and helps quickly grab the relevant information advertisers crave.

Micro Moments: Be Present, Be Personal, Be Persuasive

“People are 2x as likely to feel a personal connection to brands on mobile.”

Micro Moments  are changing the way users are searching, particularly in mobile. With the omnipresence of smartphones, users are able to search for anything when an impulse strikes, creating these “I Want to Learn, I Want to Find, I Want to Do, I Want to Buy” moments. Taking advantage of the omnipresence of mobile, users decide on the fly what they want to look up, research and purchase in the spur of the moment.

These Micro Moments create a demand for relevance, which establishes a higher level of expectations.

“When we act on our needs in-the-moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance, and usefulness of marketing more important than ever.” – Think With Google


  • Be Present, Be Personal, Be Persuasive
    • In mobile it’s all about serving the right message to the right person at the right time. Crafting a highly relevant message, that is present at the right time and optimized for the channel and device will win.
  • ⅓ of mobile usage occurs in the home so we aren’t necessarily targeting someone “on-the-go” which is why Cross Device Conversions become such a huge metric.
    • Cross Device Conversions help campaigns follow the users along the path to a conversion, regardless of where they started. If a user has a Micro Moment, performs a mobile search to learn more, but then converts later via desktop, without tracking Cross Device, we would not be able to properly attribute that.