Category Archives: Web Analytics
For website and app developers, marking up code is tedious work. It can also influence web analytics tasks, assume features requires modification to the analytics code.
More and more text editor options are appearing online, thanks to new applications that operate in the cloud and increased demand for coding experience across a number of programming languages. But what software is available to help die-hard developers and business owners who occassionally need to modify code? The following list are a few options worthy of consideration, no matter your website development perspective or app creation needs.
Most editors will typically cost $50 – $100, with a few that are open source (i.e. free). However, users should compare feature sets on each editor, and even consider a trial run comparison between a few and purchase editor. Each editor has a different feel to their user interface, as well as a different take on which programming languages they support, so a “test drive” can reveal the value one gets for paying for an editor.
Read below to see which one is best for your needs, be it a developer or a novice looking to make minor updates to your site.
BB Edit – Created by Bare Bones, BB Edit is an affordable platform for Mac users. Users can easily highly changes to their code, open and save files from the host server, and compare elements from two separate page side by side. This permits a faster quality assurance on a HTML page. This tool is geared more for website development than outright creation such as that in Adobe Dreamweaver, but it is a serviceable editor that can update codes effectively.
Sublime - This editor has similar editing features to BB Edit, such as side-by-side comparison and multiple edit selections. But unlike BB Edit, this also has a Windows version as well as Linux. Plugins provide additional supper, making this editor well suited for Python developers. There is a built in Python real-time console to interactively experiment with coed on the fly. Menus are also customizable.
Coda – Coda provides Git access, live code hints, and a GUI for MySQL, among other features. There is also a preview version that lets you view changes on an iPad while editing. This permits a side by side view of changes with using two screens rather than a split screen.
One of the most important aspects of on-page SEO is reviewing the code that forms a webpage. Clean code can be crawled easily by search engine bots and also serves to organize information for the DOM in the browser to understand. If you are looking for a way to improve your SEO, consider these HTML-centric tips.
1. CanonicalURL tags
Canonical URL tags are meant to manage duplicate content. The tags consolidate link “equity” across multiple URLs with the same content. So they are designed to tell search engines to treat two pages as the same. This is typically the case between a URL (www.mysite.com) and the first page, which is usually called an index (www.mysite.com/index.html)
A canonical tag looks like this:
2. Server side code showing on client-code This is a low priority as a technical problem, but its appearance can be a point about programming style, allowing others to view code
3. Matching source code to screen view – some designers hide keywords within a website. Not only is this pointless, it is considered a black hat technique. Black hat is the use of extreme SEO techniques which are considered as a negative by search engine. Make sure that no keywords are invisible in the body elements of a webpage.
4. Improper analytics tags. Analytic page tags are pretty straight-forward to add. But in instances it may be worthwhile to check that - can inhibit page loading. WASP, created by Stephane Hamel, offers an way to verify tag functionality.
5. Clarify Adult-child relationship among page links – The links that describe a page should not show up as a weird tag that distorts the page URL. Such a change becomes a challenge for an analytics report to distinguish one page from another.
6. Authorship. Authorship is Google’s protocol for relating an author’s content to a main website on which the author significant contributes. Its importance has arisen thanks in part to sharing content. Content marketing has created a strong need to link articles to original sources. Google in particular has begun incorporating content back into its search engine algorithm, while Bing can display Facebook results, valuable if Facebook followers are sharing content.
To add authorship, insert a tag like the following:
7. Nofollow – Search engines consider the No Follow elements as a link to not be include in a search query result. The value of this link is to prevent search engines from including certain pages or sites that may not be as relevant to a search
To implement, add a tag at your link so that your link appears similar to code below:
A business can learn a few steps to implement some of the coding concerns. Here’s a few ideas to keep in mind as they move forward.
- Understand how server – side programming impacts client side
- Do not solely rely on ”rankings” within a SEO tool to confirm that your site is okay – understand what the ranking means and how it relate to a specific design element or set of elements. The best tools indicate which actions will most likely lead to improvement for your site
Understanding some code basics will explain what’s right, what’s questionable, and what really needs changing. These factors can shape your digital budget in making effective decisions.
“Search engines are evolving to give a set of answers” – Mark Zuckerberg, TechCrunch Disrupt
What are the management challenges that can occur with analytics? Much of it stems from human error and assumptions that cumulatively can hinder valuable results and decisions.
1. Misalignment of goals
Go back over the original purpose for a site and review why it exists. The site should reflect the core reasons for what your business provides. It also serves as an anchor for what augments the products and services – apps, content information, and the social media that compliments it. So given all that is in the site, does the web analytics goals selected support a key strategy for the business? If not, make an adjustment to the tags.
2. Poor understanding of what is needed
This is reflected in poor metrics selection. One metric is sometimes not enough to describe an objective. Considered how an objective can be described in a combination of other metrics or as a rate over relevant time periods. Try to develop questions around two or more metrics to gain a story about what behavior is happening on a site. Examine reports like multichannel and traffic flow to see what could be influencing site decisions.
3. Poor tool usage
This can stem from misunderstanding metrics, as well as misunderstanding a tool’s capability and underinvesting in the analyst. Silo a department without interaction with business operations can lead to misuse of a tool. Spreadsheets can be nortious for this. Individual spreadsheets contained errors and multiple versions of the truth.
Are you truly implementing steps to improve a website? Managers must make time to review and be proactive with implementing solutions, otherwise value is lost because the information is left in a “silo” with no action behind the data. Businesses can not silo analytic reporting and expect success.
In Competing on Analytics, business intelligence and analytics expert Thomas Davenport noted four characteristics that are within any company competing on analytics:
- Analytics supported a key strategy
- The approach to and management of analytics was enterprise wide
- Senior management was committed
- The company as a whole made a strategic bet on analytics based competition
Analytics must be applied judiciously, with an eye to be continually renewed. Davenport stated it best – “Without a distinctive capability (what you do to set your business apart), it becomes impossible to compete and distinguish what data is important.”
KPI are metrics that represent your company performance. The business benefit of KPIs is creating a means to measure how well your business is meeting its operational objectives. KPI usually takes the form of a ratio, though it can be either a count or ratio.
The post “4 Good Questions For Selecting KPIs for Your Business” lists a few key questions to ask in selecting a KPI. But no matter what, KPIs have two particular qualities meant to create meaning across all parts of an organization. Those qualities help KPIs provide a context to business performance that managers consider important. The two qualities are that…
- Management agrees on the KPIs needed. This makes the KPIs easy to understand, and help to order the urgency of response needed.
- KPIs relate analytics metrics to the business. Because KPIs can be specific to a particular business, many analytics solutions do not have metrics that neatly fit into the KPI format. But a few metrics can be helpful off the bat or be a part of a compound metric. The value depends on the purpose for your business.
Here are a few examples that can be found in a standard analytics tool:
- Average number of visit from a social media platform
- Average time spent on site or page
- Average order value by social media platform
- Average time spent by community
For other KPI ideas, look at suggestions on dashboard sites in the Zimana post “Dashboard Resources for Analytic Best Practices: 4 for the hip pocket” as well as “4 Good Questions for Selecting KPIs for Your Business“. And for more about social media influence on KPIs, read the Zimana post “When KPIs Socialize“.