Pubcon 2023 – Austin Texas – Take Aways

Picture of session listings out side of the conference session room. Half way down it list's Alan's sessionIt’s been six years since I last presented at a Pubcon event. How wonderful  it was to return and reconnect in person with numerous friends and colleagues from the Search Marketing industry. As is the case with all conferences, some of the most valuable insights came from casual conversations by vendor booths, during breaks between sessions, and at evening networking events. Naturally, the various sessions provided a wealth of knowledge as well.

The session I presented was titled “GA4: Customize the UI and Reports”. It was held in the largest of the four conference rooms, a space grand enough to accommodate the keynote speakers and all attendees. I interpreted this as a nod from the organizers, suggesting they anticipated my session would draw a significant crowd. Although the turnout was lighter than expected, those present eagerly absorbed the details and methodologies about optimizing Google Analytics 4 by customizing its User Interface and utilizing Looker Studio to enhance & simplify reporting.

Alan standing in front of a large screen point a Looker Studio Report detailing Scroll Tracking

Feedback during the Q&A, as well as comments shared in the hallways, assured me of the session’s success, notwithstanding the less-than-expected attendance.

Photo of Alan delivering his conference address at Pubcon with session moderator Chris Boggs sitting in the background

One observation from Pubcon that stood out to me was the popularity of sessions centered on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Nearly every AI session was bustling with attendees. I had the opportunity to attend several, and one particularly noteworthy session was conducted by Dixon Jones. He spotlighted a case study from his firm, Inlinks, where they evaluated various AI tools to determine which produced the most SEO-friendly content. Although the findings weren’t definitive, a key takeaway was evident: not all AI tools perform equally, and human oversight of AI-generated content remains indispensable.

Another standout moment was the Keynote address by Microsoft’s Sharon Peng. The keynote delved into Microsoft’s free Clarity product. Peng not only highlighted the potency of this tool but also emphasized its ease of implementation and methods to harness a new depth of user interaction with one’s website.

I also had the opportunity to follow up with Peng and her team at their vendor table. During this interaction, I gained deeper insights into the product and learned just how straightforward its implementation can be, particularly if a website already uses Google Tag Manager. Subsequently, I tested it on a few sites, and the results were consistent with the Clarity team’s promises. I will be recommending it to all my clients.

Having been a regular at Pubcons since the early 2000s, I’m thrilled to see the conference persist despite the devastating impact of COVID on the event industry. While it’s evident that current attendance doesn’t match the pre-COVID era (a trend I also observed at various conferences the past 2 year including Digital Summit a day earlier), numbers are on the rise. Here’s to hoping that Pubcon and similar conferences reclaim their former glory in the not-so-distant future.

How to Add Google Search Console reports to GA4

Many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals are lamanting the retirement of Universal Analytics (UA) in favor of its successor, Google Analytics 4 (GA4). Their main gripe? The absence of familiar reports they had become accustomed to.

While it’s true that many reports from UA are no longer present in the default GA4 setup, they haven’t disappeared altogether; they’re just a bit hidden.

In this video, discover how you can integrate your website’s Google Search Console data and reports into GA4 in under a minute.

GA4 Channels Ensure your links are properly tagged

There is a difference in utm tagging of marketing links (paid and organic) between GA4 and older Google Universal Analytics (UA) for different channels. In Alan’s latest column for martech entitled “Campaign tracking in GA4: How to ensure your links are properly tagged“, he covers many of these issues.

Digital marketers today, are experiencing confusion between the new GA4 channels and old marketing channels in Google Universal Analytics (UA). Of special concern is the new Unassigned catchall channel category.

Learn how to correctly set the utm_source and utm_medium parameters to ensure that all traffic generated from marketing efforts gets attributed to the correct marketing channel. Thereby ensuring no traffic gets attributed to the catchall of “Unassigned”.
Image of the channels report from GA4 with the Unassigned channel highlighted

Read the full column at:

Digital Marketing & Accessiblity

How to make web accessibility a part of digital marketing efforts

in his latest column for Martech, interviews a leading experts on Accessibility with a focus on accessibility and digital marketing.

Through interviews with Meryl K. Evans, CPAC, Kim Krause Berg, CPACC and  Lea Scudamore, he explores what most organizations are doing wrong and things they can do address accessibility short comings in their digital marketing efforts. It is only by addressing and fixing these that company can increase the ROI on their digital marketing efforts.

Read the follow column: How to make web accessibility a part of digital marketing efforts

Alan K’necht to Present at DigitalSummit Washington

Alan K’necht is presenting once again at a live conference on August 4, 2022 in Washington DC. This is his first IN-PERSON presention in over 2 years and he’ll be at Digital Summit Washington DC.

Details on the specific topic are still being worked out, but you can be assured they will involve analytics and making your data sing!

If you’d like to attend you can use the special discount code for the event SPEAKER75 (saves you $75)

Make Your Data Talk and Sing for You

Attendess at Digital Summit - Session 2019 Audio recording and presentation slides from Alan K’necht’s standing room only conference address at digitalsummit Detroit – September 26, 2019.

During his session, Knecht discusses why it is important to use your analytics data as part of a story, instead of just presenting the mere facts (the “data”). This helps engage your audience and increase understanding and how long people will remember what you said.

For more ideas on how to turn your analytics data into a meaningful story (data visualization), list to the full conference address and enjoy the accompanying slide deck.

Make Your Data Talk and Sing for You - conference presentation

Latest Columns

It’s been awhile since Alan has published any columns. Well in the last two months he’s published two columns in Marketing Land. Let’s hope he keeps it up and starts writing more often.

Here are his two latest columns both on the subject of optimizing your digital analytics for more accurate reporting.

1. Dec. 4, 2018: “Back to basics: Measuring your social media efforts with unique acquisition channels”

2. Jan 30, 2019: “Cross-domain analytics tracking: “Why you may not need it