On Tuesday, May 24, Google made some exciting new announcements for Advertisers using AdWords and Analytics products. Three years ago, Google saw a shift to mobile in the search landscape and started to incorporate enhanced campaigns into their AdWords platform, which allowed for mobile bid adjustments. Today, continuing on with its mobile first approach, Google wants mobile bids to be more than just adjustments. Soon advertisers in Adwords will have more flexibility and options across all devices. There will be an anchor bid for a device and then adjustments for all the other devices (mobile, tablet, and desktop). Google talked about brands, their mobile experiences, and the testing they embarked on to help those brands capture the “moments” when people need to make decision or complete a task. These are the “I want to know, go, do, or buy” – moments. [Read more…]
Google launched its latest analytics update, Universal Analytics in 2012. Typical of Google, the platform was launched in beta and there was no pressure to upgrade from the familiar asynchronous version in use since 2009.
In recent months, Google has been ramping up the upgrade pressure. Last October it launched a dedicated upgrade center with information and tools to make the process less overwhelming and more understandable.
Finally, in April, Google removed the beta designation from Universal Analytics declaring it ready for prime time. Yes, change is hard. Users can wait and allow Google to automatically port them to the new platform in August, or take the bull by the horns and upgrade on their own free will.
Here are five reasons you should do it now and not wait.
1. Remarketing is now enabled
This was a favorite excuse for many procrastinators. But with its release from beta, Universal Analytics fully supports all existing Analytics services including remarketing and audience demographics.
2. User IDs: Tracking individual users across all screens
In a multi-device world, this is huge. Imagine one of your customers shopping at a competitor’s store then price checking against your website. Your price is better and she decides to hold off on making the purchase. On her way home she calls her husband to check the colors on their tablet and finally she gets home and orders the item, in just the right color, from her desktop computer.
In the old analytics, Each of those visits would be seen as unique and reported as such. Now, if you track individual users on your site you can share this information with Analytics and see not three individual transactions, but a single customer interaction.
3. Capturing online and offline behavior
Universal Analytics ability to accept external data allows businesses to track offline conversions as well as online. In the example above, if the shopper called to order the product by phone, the existing web traffic could be associated with the offline conversion.
There are limits to data sharing, so please review the policy guidelines.
Universal Analytics expands the variables that can be cooked into custom segments, allowing your data to be more user oriented and less visitor oriented. This is another valuable tool for teasing out specific user behavior and improving optimization.
5. Custom Dimensions
In the old Analytics, you were limited to tabulating the dimensions provided by Google. Now you are able to use whatever data you share with Analytics directly in the reporting interface.
Don’t hesitate, change is good!
After you SEO optimize your website, you will want to know what parts of the program are working well and what still needs improvement. Furthermore, you’ll need a way to quantify the business impact of your SEO work.
To get a good understanding of the effectiveness of your SEO program, you’ll need to understand how your keyword visibility has changed over time, how much traffic that visibility is driving to the website, and what is happening to that traffic.
There are many tools that will give you data on keyword visibility. Tools such as Hubspot’s Marketing Grader, Keyword Spy or SEM Rush can quickly tell you how visible your keywords are. If you keep track of your results from month to month, you’ll be able to see the impact of your work on visibility over time.
Keyword visibility, of course, is only the first step in the process. What you really want to know is how your visibility is impacting traffic and leads or sales. To get this data you’ll need to use a website analytics program like Google Analytics. This tool will tell you how much traffic and how many goal conversions you get from each keyword. By tying your visibility to traffic to conversions, you can get a complete picture of the business impact of your SEO work. To learn additional techniques to rank better on search engines, please download our white paper, “How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy.”
When it comes to having an effective SEO plan, inbound links is a very important part of the search engine’s algorithm, which determines how your keywords will rank in the organic search results. Each link is essentially a vote for your site’s content. And the more votes your site has, the more popular you’ll be in search engine results.
It is very important, therefore, to get as many high quality inbound links pointing to the most important pages of your website as possible. When you build links, make sure that you use keyword seeded anchor text across multiple web sites to increase your inbound links. You can get links by signing up with directories, issuing press releases, getting partners to link to you, linking from your own microsites, posting on social media sites, etc. There is an almost limitless amount of ways for you to get links, but all of them take time and effort. As you build links, keep track of how Google views your link building progress through Google webmaster tools, to make sure you are focused on getting links that will make a difference.
Don’t forget to include internal links to your most important pages to help spiders easily identify which pages they should pay closer attention to. Visitors will also benefit from internal linking since you’ll be promoting related or more in-depth information on a given topic. Also don’t forget to optimize your anchor text on these internal links as well. To learn additional techniques to rank better on search engines, please download our white paper, “How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy.”
Once you have established your SEO goals, you should determine the most effective keywords for placement on your website—words that have low competition and high search traffic, and that are highly relevant to your business.
It’s advisable to start with dozens or even hundreds of potential keywords and then get data on keyword traffic and competition in order to make decisions about the best keywords to focus on. You can also get data from your website analytics program or a paid search marketing program to see which keywords are not only driving traffic, but are also driving leads or sales. You can also see which keywords you are already ranking on, and focus on improving existing organic search term visibility. For example, if you are showing up on the middle of the second page for a particular keyword, it will be much easier to improve visibility and get on the first page, than to take a keyword that you are not ranking for at all, and become visible.
It’s challenging to make decisions about the best keywords to use with all of this data, but since these decisions will drive the success of the rest of the program, it’s critical to do it well. To learn additional techniques to rank better on search engines, please download our white paper, “How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy.”