- Online Marketing
I found a great article online about common issues with GA reporting and if you are using UTM strings it’s even more important to understand these issues. Thank you crazyegg!
No tag on a page = no data for that page
If you only have a 5 page website, you can easily check if the script is present manually. If you have 100′s or 1000′s of pages, it’s difficult if not impossible to check for the Google Analytics tracking code on all your pages.
But there are tools you can use to verify that your pages are tagged and find the ones that aren’t. Rachel Gerson from SEER Interactive details the use of Screaming Frog SEO spider tool to search every page for the presence of the same Google Analytics code in this article.
Website owners are concerned about page load speed on their websites, and they should be.
As a result many web developers place code like the Google Analytics tracking code just above the </body> tag so that the visual elements of the website can load before the code executes (presumably increasing page load speed.)
However, placing the tracking code at the end of the <body> code will miss visitors that click quickly through pages on your site before the Google Analytics tracking code executes.
Google Analytics tracking code loads asynchronously and therefore doesn’t slow down page loading. It’s best to place the tracking code at the top of the page before the </head> tag.
I once had a client that had a 3% Bounce Rate on his website. I couldn’t believe it.
Turns out he had put two Google Analytics tracking codes on his pages.
2 Tracking Scripts on page = messed up data
The Google Analytics Overlay Report is inaccurate for a number of reasons. Here are three big ones,
The solution to this is simple — use Crazy Egg for your Overlay Reporting and you’ll also get the Heat Map, Confetti Map, Scroll Map and List View Reports.
Ok, so these are things you can’t do anything about but they will absolutely help you better understand your data. So, pay attention.
Here are 9 ways your Google Analytics data might be inaccurate that you have little or no control over:
Yahoo! published data that shows that this problem is minimal.
Google Analytics doesn’t track a visitor unless it can accept a cookie. Cookies are important because they are used to tag a visitor and aggregate that visitors behavior over the course of multiple visits.
No cookie = no data
There are a number of different ways cookies can cause problems:
There are probably a dozen other ways cookies can be removed. If you have some good ones, put them in the comments.
By the way, this is one of the reasons that search engine spiders don’t register in your Google Analytics — the spider doesn’t accept cookies.
Google Analytics uses two different types of cookies:
This begs the question: What happens if someone:
I’m glad you asked.
Google Analytics ends a visitor session after 30 minutes of inactivity. In the scenario described above, a new session cookie would be placed when the visitor starts browsing again. This will be considered a brand new session by Google Analyticcs.
Browser inactive for > 30 minutes = messed up data
Actually, in this data hound’s opinion this isn’t messing up the data. Thirty minutes of inactivity should warrant a new session. But it is certainly a special circumstance.
This one is best illustrated by example,
These should be counted as two separate visits, but the unique visitor is tied to the cookie and the cookie is tied to the device.
Therefore these will be considered visits from the same “unique” person.
Visitors sharing devices = messed up data
Once again an example is best to illustrate this,
In a perfect world, Jane’s behavior would be tracked as she switches devices. As it is, the purchase will be attributed to a brand new visit.
Multiple devices = messed up data
And this behavior is more prevalent than you might think. This is a portion of an infographic we created about the use of mobile in the marketplace,
Let’s say you have been tracking data using Google Analytics for two years.
You then decide to set up a Goal Funnel.
Google Analytics will not retroactively apply your funnel to the data it has. This is just too much to ask of a free service that is processing the massive amount of data that GA processes every day.
In the scenario above, your Goal Funnel will be visible from the time you set it up forward but no data will be available before that time.
Google Analytics isn’t real time, although there is some limited real-time data you can get through the Real Time reports.
For all other data, it’s best to assume that Google Analytics is 24 hours behind. That being said, most small to average websites are safe to assume that Google Analytics is 6 to 8 hours behind.
Read more at crazyegg!
This is a great article from Search engine Land about a topic of conversation I have with customers daily. A Must read if you are running your own PPC campaign.
When it comes to AdWords quality score, everyone knows from best practices that increasing this magic number is not only beneficial for rankings, but could lead to significant savings as well. But just how much savings would that be? And would it be worth dedicating your efforts to increasing it, or would it be more worthwhile to invest in other aspects of your account?
Ideally, you’ll want your keywords to have a quality score of 7 or higher, so anything with a score of 6 or below would be considered low. Find out what percentage of your keywords have a score of 7 or higher and which have a score of 6 or lower. Then, visualize this information in a pie chart where 7 or higher is “relevant” and 6 or lower is “irrelevant.”
Continue creating this chart on a regular basis to see whether you’re becoming more or less relevant. It’s a great way of visualizing the changes in your account and really simplifies the concept of quality score in a “black or white” kind of way.
Understanding whether you’re relevant is great. But even greater is finding out how much your “irrelevance” is actually costing you. I absolutely love this chart from ClickEquations, where you can see the impact of quality score on your Cost Per Click:
You’ll notice that at a quality score of 7, there is neither a discount nor a penalty. Discounts start above 7 and penalties, or CPC increases, start at 6 and below.
Notice the dramatic difference in increase between QS 4 (75 percent) and QS 3 (133.3 percent). Or even more dramatic, the increase from QS 2 (250 percent) to QS 1 (600 percent).
So what we’re seeing here is that you would get the highest impact from focusing on increasing the quality scores of 6 or below. Please note that this doesn’t mean you should ignore anything above 7. But you should start by getting those low quality scores to a healthy level first, so that at the very least you aren’t being penalized.
Here’s a list of 6 tips that could help you optimize and increase your quality score:
So, with these things in mind, is your quality score costing or saving you money? Do you actively work on improving it, or are you getting more value from other aspects of your account? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Happened on a fantastic article about backlinks and organic strategies, it’s a must read for my industry!
The backlink within the practice of SEO is an ongoing topic of conversation for marketing, sales, delivery and reporting of SEO services. Even in a post Penguin world, SEO professionals are still asking questions such as:
In our post Penguin world, the right and wrong approaches to backlinking strategies should be clear, yet I continue to hear SEOs talk about how backlinking is dead, where the best place is to buy backlinks, and whether backlinking even matters anymore.
The fact is, the backlink is and will continue to be a fundamental variable in organic search algorithms and organic search strategies. Backlinks matter. Period. The only question you need to ask yourself is: Is this an organic backlink or an inorganic backlink?
SEO and backlinks on the web can’t exist without each other. It is worth getting back to the backlink basics and considering the origins of SEO and backlinking to understand the importance and reliance they have on each other.
An SEO strategy is about one thing: being found organically by your customers and prospects for highly converting keywords; keywords that are relevant to your audience. Relevance of content is earned when diversified, relevant content sources with authority and influence reference your content. Or, in other words, link to it.
A backlinking strategy is simply about these three concepts:
Every backlink you build should pass the RAID test.
If you’re able to answer yes to these three questions, then you likely have an organic backlink that is going to positively impact your organic search visibility.
If you can’t answer yes to these three questions, then you have an inorganic backlink that will have no impact on organic search results and may even penalize your web presence at some point in the future.
In the academic world, when content is published in the form of a thesis there are citations within the content that point to other relevant content from authoritative sources that support the content, thus making it more relevant to the reader. Sounds like a backlink.
Google’s origins are academic in nature, having started as a research project at Stanford University. Larry Page was focused on, “the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such backlinks to be valuable information about that page (with the role of citations in academic publishing in mind).”
The research project then went on, “to convert the backlink data that it gathered into a measure of importance for a given web page.” The output was, “for a given URL … a list of backlinks ranked by importance” or relevance.
That was 1996. Seventeen years later, relevancy is still at the core of Google’s organic search algorithm, especially when it comes down to backlinks.
Roll up your sleeves and get to work. The really great organic backlinks that are going to add long-term value to your web presence, digital footprint and organic search positions and conversions won’t happen overnight by buying or trading them, or submitting to directories. Remember, inorganic backlinks don’t pass the RAID test.
Building organic backlinks takes a lot of heavy lifting in an approach called Optimized Content Marketing. Publishing fresh, relevant, optimized content on a continuous basis through industry blog sites, press releases, white papers and case studies that demonstrate knowledge and thought leadership, plus socializing the content through your social networks will create a strong inventory of organic backlinks over time.
This long-term approach to SEO will also protect you from any future Google algorithm changes and will make it extremely difficult for your competitors to outrank you.
SYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 30, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ – When contractors need brand and purchase decision-making information, their go-to source is Google, according to the Connecting with Contractors survey from EMA Contractors, a specialty group at Eric Mower + Associates. In the second annual survey, 84% of contractors said they consider search engines to be their top resource, with 39% searching Google before choosing which tools and materials to buy.
“Search engine marketing has been an important part of any contractor marketing program for some time, but our research indicates that it is becoming absolutely critical,” said John O’Hara, EMA partner and leader of EMA Contractors. “With the emergence of social media, some brands have lost focus and aren’t paying enough attention to paid search and website/on-page optimization.”
More than 80% of all contractors surveyed said they turn to the web during the purchase decision-making process. General contractors are using search engines the most (96%), while more than three-quarters (80%) of plumbers, electricians and HVAC specialists use search. Here’s what they search for:
Every year, somebody proclaims that SEO is dead simply because Google has made some changes to its algorithm. But don’t worry, this post won’t be declaring that SEO is dead, dying, or even coughing up blood.
However, the days of SEO as a distinct, independent discipline are certainly numbered. SEO is fast evolving into a more creative, diverse, and challenging profession.
Over the last few years the changes to search algorithms and user behavior on the Internet have made “old” SEO almost redundant. It’s even gotten to the stage where any so-called “SEO” who’s still using the same techniques from 5 years ago will actually be doing more harm than good. These days, search engines and consumers want quality, engagement, and social proof.
The SEO landscape has changed, and the current shift can be defined by a single concept: integration.
This is a term that we will start to hear a lot more in the world of search. As the search engines widen their gaze and perfect the techniques they use to measure content quality, brand sentiment and relevance, the optimization of a site for search will increasingly overlap with other marketing disciplines.
Over the next couple of years SMI will become a pre-requisite for a first-page listing on Google. SMI will revolutionize the entire organization’s approach to sales, marketing, PR, branding and everything in between.
For an SMI practitioner, success will be tied to the ability to integrate SEO tactics across an organization’s marketing department. Politics, leverage, and action will be equally as important as title tags, link building, and keyword themes.
Let’s take a granular look at how SMI will impact the various areas of the marketing landscape:
As we embark on the journey called 2013, we have an opportunity to evaluate and evolve how we do business to grow revenue and profits in the coming year. Online marketing represents a tremendous opportunity for growth in 2013, as more business is conducted online now more than ever before. Here are seven online marketing ideas you should embrace to be successful.
1. Ignore your website at your own peril. You’ve put it off long enough; it’s time to get serious about your website. As the endorsed online marketing consultant for a variety of industrial associations, I review hundreds of distribution websites each year. Unfortunately, the vast majority of them are just awful. While you may have been able to get away with this in the past, you will not get away with it going forward.
The changing face and needs of your customers, combined with the rise of online technologies in the workplace, have rendered your neglected website inadequate. If you use Google on a daily basis to research products and companies, don’t you think your customers do too? Make it a priority in 2013 to turn your website into a customer-focused sales machine. If you want to see an example of a distributor website that ‘gets it,’ check out www.foodservicewarehouse.com.
2. Abandon ‘megaphone marketing’ tactics. Megaphone marketing is shouting at many with the hopes of attracting a few; 2013 is the year that successful companies will realize that megaphone marketing tactics just don’t work. Examples of megaphone tactics include print advertising, yellow page advertising, directory advertising, untargeted banner advertising, cold calls and mass email blasts. Megaphone marketing tactics no longer work because of a fundamental shift in customer behavior. Customers don’t want to be interrupted and megaphone marketing is an interruption. Customers want to be in control of the information they receive. With megaphone marketing, the company is in control. So, what should you do?
3. Embrace ‘magnet marketing’ tactics. Magnet marketing overcomes the problems of megaphone marketing by putting the customer in control. Magnet marketing helps you get found by customers at the very moment they have a need for your products and services. It allows you to earn trust by providing customers with information they value to attract them to your website to do business. Examples of magnet marketing tactics include content marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing.
Not only do magnet marketing tactics generate more leads and sales, but they are also less expensive. According to research, companies that focus on magnet marketing tactics have a 62 percent lower cost-per-lead than companies that focus on megaphone marketing tactics.
4. Content marketing is becoming the new advertising. Search engines, blogs, social networking sites and other online platforms offer you a tremendous opportunity to engage directly with customers. However, to get in front of them in the first place, you need great content. In 2013, spend less time focusing on traditional advertising, and spend more time creating great content.
People don’t choose to do business with you just because you offer the right products at the right price. They choose you because you and your team have valuable, specialized knowledge about the applications of your products. Lead with that specialized knowledge in your marketing by writing best practice articles, filming ‘how to’ videos, producing an insightful blog and creating educational guides and whitepapers. By marketing your knowledge instead of just marketing your products, you will create a unique differentiation in the marketplace.
The trouble is many small businesses struggle to get Google Analytics set up, let alone use it to pull out meaningful data. This easy to follow guide will take you through the set-up process and help you understand how your website’s performing.
This is a great tool to help you get going.
I found another great article on business insider, and it speaks directly to post of the past.
Not long ago I wrote an article on the use of social media among CEOs and how many often talk the social media talk on behalf of their brands/companies but very few actually walk the social media walk for their own personal use.
Today comes results of a survey conducted by Bazaarvoice of 100 members of The CMO Club. Now while I realize the sample size is small (100) it is worth nothing that 56.1% of the brands represented have more than $1 billion in annual revenue while another 36% have $100-999 million in annual revenue, and just 7.9% have annual revenue of $0-100 million.
As for the impact CMOs believe social media has on sales:
While I’m not sure why the folks behind this survey/white paper decided to “water down” the confidence quotient, if you will, by inserting the word “somewhat” in the subhead in the chart above, especially when they did not use the word in the headline – but regardless the fact that so many of the CMOs surveyed identified social media as having such a profound impact on sales, as well as brand awareness and loyalty speaks volumes.
It speaks volumes in that CMOs, perhaps unlike their fellow C-suite residents (CEOs), realize that social media is here to stay – yes there are those still on “it’s a fad” bandwagon, and that it can have a significant impact the things that matter most, AKA the bottom line and brand loyalty.
It would also appear that CMOs realize that social media is a direct reflection on the world around them – the world where consumers live, work and play. While not crazy about the use of the word “somewhat” again, the graph below shows that a large number of CMOs surveyed believe that social media is effective for identifying discernible trends among consumers with the word “discernible” being the operative word for sure.
When it comes to targeting consumers online, retargeting continues to prove a valued tactic for marketers.
In fact, ValueClick Media found more than half (55%) of US marketers said retargeting was one of the most important forms of targeting.
However, retargeting is hardly used in isolation. Findings from media buying platform Chango showed search retargeting in particular—one of the most common forms of retargeting—is typically used with multiple marketing tactics and other retargeting methods.
Apart from combining search retargeting with the obvious marketing tactics of search and display advertising, Chango found 84.8% of North American brands and agencies used social media marketing alongside search retargeting, an unsurprising response considering how tightly social media and search are often aligned. Additional marketing tactics used in tandem with search retargeting included mobile marketing (72.7%), email marketing (48.5%) and video and content marketing (56.7%).
But search isn’t the only channel marketers and agencies used to generate their retargeting pools. The vast majority (93.5%) also retargeted off website activity, and more than a quarter looked to other digital touchpoints like social media (29%) and email (25.8%) for retargeting opportunities.
Revenue generation remains the primary goal of search retargeting campaigns for the majority of advertisers and brands. As eMarketer reported, though search and other forms of retargeting are often used to nudge consumers further down the purchase funnel, the study found a good portion of brands and agencies also use it for more brand-based objectives, such as increasing brand awareness and stealing market share from competitors.
Chango’s director of marketing and partnerships, Ben Plomion, noted a few reasons for a brand-based focus, including search retargeting’s ability to better tailor display ad creative based off of past intent and the ease of bidding on competitor terms compared to doing so via search engine marketing (SEM).
GitHub: Software description: a software to manage books in the computer (C#). →
Embarking on a paid search campaign for your business is a great way of quickly generating sales and leads at an effective cost. You’re able to have (almost) complete control and visibility over what you spend, where you spend it, etc., but are there any other benefits to running a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaign?
What a lot of advertisers may not realize is that PPC data can give you a huge amount of insight into your business and industry in general, and the more knowledge you have into your business, the better placed you will be to make decisions that can determine whether you succeed or fail.
Below are 5 things which PPC data can tell you about your business:
In my last post here at Search Engine Journal, I covered some points on how to effectively run an AdWords display campaign. In this post, I mentioned that even if you had the best display campaign setup possible, this traffic is still a lot less likely to convert versus search traffic and sometimes should be considered more as a branding exercise. Search can help you measure the impact of branding exercises with a surprising degree of accuracy.
One of the best indicators in today’s online landscape is the amount of brand searches a website receives on Google. To take advantage of this, simply create a brand-specific campaign within your AdWords account that records exactly how many brand searches are made each day. To ensure that your brand data is as accurate as possible, be sure to only use exact match, phrase match, and broad match modifier match types as these will ensure that no adverts within this campaign are triggered by generic searches.
By running a brand-specific search campaign, you’ll be able to quickly analyze daily search trends and determine whether particular brand marketing campaigns have resulted in an uplift in your brand searches on Google.
Have you done everything possible to ensure that the traffic you’re sending via PPC is highly targetted? Is your ad messaging accurate at describing your product/service? If the answer to both of these is yes and you’re still experiencing an extremely displeasing conversion rate, then the most likely cause of the poor performance is your website or landing page.
Paid search is a great way of identifying website issues, as the traffic you’re sending to the site via PPC should primarily be people that are extremely interested in your product/service.
Because of this, if you can’t convert PPC traffic, then you’re going to have a very hard time converting traffic from other marketing channels.
Your USP can be any feature of your business that makes you stand out from your competitors. Many online website owners will use USPs as a way of adding additional value to customers as an incentive to choose to deal with their business instead of a competitor, but the question is, what kind of USP will your audience respond to best? Well, you can use your PPC campaign to find out!
Test different advert variations against each other, highlighting different USPs in each ad. For example, you may be offering free delivery worldwide, but also have a “10% Off” sale running and be unsure what to highlight in the header of your website. To see which USP your audience likes best, highlight these points in one advert each, run these adverts against each other for a period of time (I’d recommend somewhere between a week and a month depending on volume), and then see which performs best in terms of CTR (Click-Through Rate) and conversion rate.
After this quick test has been completed, you’ll then have valuable information that can be used to dictate what content you highlight on your website, as well as other marketing campaigns. (More on optimising adwords ad text here, if you’re not familiar with the basics.)
There is a particular report under the Keywords tab within your AdWords report called a “Search Query” report (found by clicking the “Keyword details” button and then clicking “All”). This report gives you the ability to see exactly what users are typing into Google to trigger your PPC adverts.
You can use this data to gain insight into the most commonly used language and terminology by people who are looking for information on your product and/or services. Mimicking commonly used language and terminology onto your website could increase your website’s relevancy for users, and this can only be a good thing for your conversion rate!