Google

5 Reasons to Upgrade to Google Universal Analytics Now

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.googles-new-universal-analytics

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.

4. Advanced SegmentationDemographic_Segmentation2

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!

Why Google Authorship is so Important

If you work in the marketing field chances are you’ve heard the term “Google Authorship” before BUT you might not know exactly why it’s important or how to become Google Authorized. I’ll share with you 6 simple steps you’ll need to take in order to get Google Authorized and explain the many benefits of being Authorized on Google.google-authorship

As we all know there is plenty and I mean PLENTY of information on Google search results lately. One of the main reasons Google came up with the concept of “Google Authorship” is because it helps connect a piece of content with the Google+ profile of it’s author. The idea is that an author can build rank and trust (called Author Rank) based on the content they write all over the web. By providing “Author Rank,” Google is now able to filter out the duplicate content and now provide credibility to search results that include the author’s name.

Google already has a way to determine your expertise on those subjects and it is getting smarter at how it ranks authors and their content. For instance, if your content is constantly +1’ed and shared, it will be a strong signal that the content you create is of high quality and offers plenty of value. If you’re wondering why you should become Google Authorized — listen up!

Top 3 Benefits of Verifying your Google Authorship:

  1. SEO Benefits of Authorship — Develop an “Author Ranking” which results in a ranking boost to all content you write.
  2. Name Awareness & Industry Authority — Get your name out there to build your online authority. This will result in a much higher click-through-rate on Google!
  3. Increased Connection & Engagement between an Author & Online Audience — Helps facilitate engagement with your audience, as people will now be able to tell right in the search engine which content you’ve authored.

If you think the benefits listed above are important to you and your company then please follow the steps listed below to be on your way of getting Google Authorized!Google+1

6 Steps to becoming Google Authorized:

Step 1: Create a Google/Gmail Account if you don’t already have one, then add a Google Plus account: https://plus.google.com/

Step 2: Add your profile picture to your Google Plus account. (This is what’s used to display your photo in the search results.)

Step 3: Link your Google+ profile to your website: https://plus.google.com/authorship (Be sure to click the confirmation link in the email you receive.)

Step 4: Add the Google Authorship language to your WordPress website using a Google Author related plug-in (there are plenty out there, we currently use Google Author Link by HelpForWP).

Step 5: Send your web person your GooglePlus URL – So they can add it to your blog user name on the WordPress Blog.

Step 6: Verify that you set everything up correctly by using the Structured Data Testing Tool:

Happy Authoring!

The Decline of Guest Blogging for SEO Linkbuilding

black-hat-seoThe SEO landscape continues to shift, making it harder and harder for those that are using unearned tactics to appear within the search results listings. In an age when content is king, Google’s Matt Cutts announced in January the decay and fall of using guest blogging for SEO.

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.” – Matt Cutts January 20, 2014

Guest blogging at one time was a great way to gain links, promote content and your brand. As more and more SEO marketers were hungry for places to post content, blog and site owners saw an opportunity to capitalize. They started accepting payments for content placement. This content in most cases had keyword seeded anchor text and links pointing to pages to help increase page authority, which would then increase rank.

Websites like Search Engine Leaks – have been outing services that engage in the tactics of content placement for payment. So how do you promote content now?mattcutts-final

Guest blogging when done correctly is still appropriate to use. If the guest blogger is trusted and known in the eyes of Google then the likelihood of being penalized is greatly decreased. Google’s authorship is one way to gain that trust. The other way is to not have your guest post links pass along page rank. If you “no follow” your links when citing and referencing from your post you are still within Google’s guidelines.

In 2014 let your content speak for itself, if worthy and valuable, others will naturally promote it and share.

 

3 Interesting SEO Poll Questions and 3 Takeaways for Marketers

Not everybody does things the same way.  Some people walk down the stairs into a pool while others dive right in.  Most people know that for a building to be built you need to start with a blueprint, but do they know all of the steps in between that take it from a blueprint to a finished product?  The point is we go about even the simplest things in different ways and we see things happening in front of us all of the time without fully understanding what else goes into it.
How we search for things online and why we see what we see in Google is no different.

Google Search & SEO

A recent SEO and Search Marketing study asked consumers about their online search habits and what drives them to click where they click.  We have highlighted 3 questions that we found most interesting and have the potential to impact your marketing efforts.

1. People were asked for possible ranking factors consumers believed most likely to affect organic search results.

  • 56% said relevancy
  • 49% said popularity
  • 33% said click through rate
  • 18% said back links

Meanwhile, actual search engine ranking factors in order of importance:

  1. Trust/ Authority
  2. Link Popularity
  3. Anchor Text
  4. On-Page Keyword
  5. Hosting Data
  6. Traffic + Click-Thrus
  7. Social Graph

2. How consumers feel about PPC ads that run alongside organic results.

  • 63% are more likely to click an organic result over a paid ad
  • 23% have never clicked a paid ad

Google Adwords
3. Most consumers are unaware that the results they see are not the same for every Google user.

  • 64% are unaware that Google personalized their results
  • 54% are unhappy that Google tracks their online activity to personalize results

In conclusion, marketers should look at these results carefully. It shows a general public still unaware of the increases in personalization and trust in determining search engine results. We can recommend 3 takeaways for the marketers from this study.

1. Backlinks and Trust are two key elements of search engine ranking success and should not be discounted even if consumers feel otherwise.
2. There is still a reluctance for consumers to click on paid ads, so SEO spending should be continued in addition to paid search.
3. Social media will continue to impact SEO regardless of consumers knowing or caring about this trend.