Building a customer experience that includes a website means more than being visible online. It also means managing the negative aspects of a digital presence – removing duplicate pages and staying alert for usage of a business name.
To do this, consider the following tips to keep a digital presence as pristine as possible.
Examine 302 redirects – make sure that the temporary redirects are managed correctly. That means examining how the pages appear in a search query, because a older page that is deprecated against the newer, temporary page can be viewed as obsolete and thus ignored by the search engine, though there are signs that 302s won’t impact pagerank (Google just explained this, according to Search Engine Land)
Be leery of 301 chains – numerous permanent redirects in a series can seem spammy to search engines, leading to delisting on search engines. It also impacts the latency for a site by creating unnecessary page calls to a server.
Make sure the site map is up to date to reflect the site pages and associated sites.
Examine how the site is loading with page speed reports. Pingdom and Yottaa can examine how a site loads relative to a server. These can indicate fishy server calls that slow down a site experience.
Audit the site for duplicate pages. Siteliner offers a free and premium tool for identifying duplicate content as well as broken links.
Be aware of online copies of your site text. Use a plagiarism checker like Copyscape to discover other sites that may be mimicking your site. The results can yield potential phishing sites and well as sites that scrape content.
Keep Google Alerts for usage of your company name, products, and other brand as needed. Alerts can help you discover new allies for your business, as well as nefarious sites that have scraped and copied the site.
Use the Page Load Speed report within Google Analytics to note spikes in page loads. Increasing the page load can encourage site visitors to leave a site rather than view other pages or material.
Fall can be a great time to review marketing campaigns over the past year and make adjustments, particular with the holiday sales season around the corner. But any time of the year is a good time to review results from paid and organic search. Not checking on how your site attracts customers can lead to no conversions –which means no online sales or downloads related to lead generation.
There are a few ideas can help your small business renew the focus of campaigns that lead to increased conversions.
Set analytics reports dedicated to monitoring changed contributions to website goals
Analytics reports can show which campaigns are effectively contributing to goals, as well as reviewing time on site and pageviews per visit to confirm that your ads are driving engaged visits to your site. Consider also specialty reports such as Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel to compare the value paid search contributed to site goals and how it changed from one period to another. This can reveal how to approach adjustment to keywords between paid and organic search.
Ensure campaign ad categories are easily distinguishable
You should create specific categories for paid search that can be reflected in the campaign and ad groups. Doing so makes campaign tagging simple to apply and permits better attribution of the ads that contributed to site goals.
Verify the budget allocated against the traffic created
Import your organic and paid search data into a spreadsheet and compare the amount of traffic against the percentage of ad budget allocated for the segment. Does it make sense for a keyword contributing 10% of traffic to receive 40% of a PPC budget? Creating a comparison table will answer this question.
Consider paid search as an augment for keywords targeted in organic search.
Some small businesses emphasize search in lieu of a PPC campaign, but many digital marketing research firms are discovering that a combined paid and organic search results for a given keyword can have a higher conversion rate than that for organic search results alone. Apply organic and paid search for your top terms that need more exposure. The lift in conversion rates overall should be higher than any slight cannibalization of search traffic from having an ad appearing alongside an organic search query result.
Use long tails keywords that could draw visits while achieving a lower spend on clicks
Conversion lift opportunities can sometimes lie in long tail keyword terms, attracting more relevant traffic with a lower spend than many highly volume terms. Long tail keywords are words with lower search volume than a head keyword – typically a branded term in some cases. But three and four phrase keyword terms related to your industry, product, or service can yield a better combination of relevant traffic.
Use Contextual Marketing to make ad spend more effective
To better ensure that the ads appear when customers are considering your services, consider networks that display ads in a more relevant setting to your targeted audience. For example, an ad offering DJs services can be displayed in a network that includes content for weddings – an event in which these services are needed. AdWords offers contextual marketing option by running ads on partner sites of the Google Display Network. Facebook Ads operate in a similar manner – The keywords in Facebook Ads are matched to profile activity rather than search queries. So an ad for an auto parts store would show for profiles containing an interest in automobiles. The end result is an audience being more receptive to an ad because the queries are occurring in a more specific online community or environment.
Create ads for specific events
If an ad budget is extremely tight for your small business, you should create ads for specific happenings. Seasonal events, such as a holiday sale, can be effective. Another approach is setting an ad for specific geographic region where your business serves but may not be receiving visitors.
Place ads on ads networks related to your referral traffic
Referral traffic from other sites may be complimented with ad exposure to gain better response leading to conversion. Sites like Linked In and Business.com offer ad networks specific for a business audience, while Yelp and YP.com may be helpful for sales offers. There are also publishers such as Adsmoke, a platform that display ads at the beginning of a YouTube video, which can provide opportunities to match your ad to the context in which it appears.
Scan your site for overlooked keyword ideas with CPC opportunities.
Site content can change over the year, especially if a blog is hosted as a site subdirectory and a high volume of posts are created. You can use tools to scan your site for additional keyword ideas. The results can lead to more affordable relevant words to use in an ad. Both Google Adwords Manager and Microsoft AdCenter can your website and generate a keyword list. You can compare the generated list with a keyword density list, to determine if a preferred keyword does not appear frequently in your site – thus a potential candidate for use in an ad to attract audience.
Gaining conversion takes time and investment. But evaluating campaigns with web analytics and segmentation brings an improved focus of your business’ marketing. Your ads will then tempt more potential customers, because they are being served to the customers you want for your products and services.
Search engines have subtly changed their methodologies over the past few years. One methodology that has yet to see widespread adoption has already experienced its most significant change yet.
Back in 2013, an ontology library site, Good Relations, announced an alignment of its markup structure definitions with those used on schema.org, a metatag library. The end result is increased consistency of definition usage among businesses, and a wider shared usage of structure markup among web developers and search engine optimization practitioners.
This merger occurred thanks to increasing search discovery needs for digital media. From music to webinar presentations, businesses have added numerous content to appear when potential customers research product and service information online.
The content has led marketing managers to give a refreshed look at their optimization strategies through apply semantic search. Semantic search involves organizing keywords and content with website element protocols and structure markup language. The organization makes the pages and site content more visible to nuanced search engine queries.
Good Relations and schema.org support separate protocols for semantic search. Schema.org contains metadata meant for HTML5, an update of the venerable website structure code language positioned for future website development. Good Relations contains RDF – resources description framework that has proven utility for current retailers and E-commerce sites.
One strategic benefit for managers is learning enhanced ways to translate potential client language to its digital properties. If businesses within a given industry agreed to ontology for services and needs, those businesses can adjust their content tags to position its content to potential query results from those businesses. Imagine a video on better financing for construction projects – With a metadata protocol, now imagine that video section appearing in a search query run by a construction firm.
That exact example lies at the heart of HTML5. HTML5 added video- and music-related tag elements, developed to increase media exposure to relevant search engine queries. Other tagging protocols can help search engines recognized a group of authors – an aid to marketing teams leveraging personal brands of its members online (You can learn about what Google accepts in structured markup here – Bing also has a structured markup guide). The fundamentals of digital marketing is increasingly shifting toward strategic data ownership, which is supported through content marketing and semantic search.
With the schema.org – Good Relations alliance, digital marketers and website developers can optimize metadata and RDF information across varied content. The success of such an effort will create a true application of semantic search’s definition – the science of actual customer’s language.
When you have one metricderived from another, sometimes you need to see another metric alongs session or average time in session. Doing so allows for a quick comparison.
That comparison is why Google introduced a beta feature in its Google Analytics solution called Calculated Metrics. Calculated metrics are metrics derived from the existing preset of metrics in Google Analytics.
Calculated metrics are displayed alongside the standard metrics in the custom report graph.
There are two advantages Calcuated Metrics offer to analysis.
First, and most straightforward – calculated metrics saving users a step in calculatinga compound metric that are routinely discussed in business intelligence discussions.
Second – calculated metrics permits a metric comparison in a custom report or dashboard, allowing users to better view performance on a calculated metrics that is important to themselves or the business.
To use calculated metrics, access the admin panel and navigate to the View column of a given analytics profile. Select Calculate Metrics.
The selection presents a few selectors and text boxes to enter the calculated metric. There’s a text box for alabel for the metric, with a unique label available for API calls below it. The textbox for the API call is filled out automatically as the label is typed.
Five mathematical formats are available, all familiar to those with deal with mathematics and programming regularly. Selecting one of the formats determines the format of the calculated metric.
After selecting a format, the user types the calculated metric formula in a text box. A created formula relies on simple math operators – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Google Analytic metrics are highlighted within double braces, similar to what is seen in a programming language.
A calculated metric is structure like a script, shown in the following image:
Users can add up to 5 calculated metrics at the view level in the standard version of Google Analytics. Google Analytics premium offers more, supporting up to 50 metrics.
To get the most benefit from calculated metrics, consider the following tips:
1. Decide who will view the account where the calculated metric is placed. Add a calculated metric that would be of most interest to the users of the given Google Analytics view. The metrics appear in the custom reports and dashboards, so it’s best to plan a report with the metric accordingly .
2. Pick calculated metrics which augment the metrics in the reports. Lunametrics provides a few great examples on their page. A favorite is the return metric – analyzing and tracking returns against sales metric which appears in the report. The trick to a good metric is to select one which has to calculated regularly, then see if the metrics in the reports can serve as a basis for the calculated metrics.
3. Label metrics with a description meaningful to the business or organization that manage the reports, rather than a generic label. This will help other managers who follow the reports to use the analysis as well as assist teams who may follow after you move on. You can also add a mention of when the metrics was added in the annotation panel.
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What is the right number of visits or sessions needed to begin using analytics reports?
2? 33,483? Maybe over 120,000?
The answer is none!
Your analytics really begins when planning website and app content alongside the digital marketing media used to build awareness. In fact, the current trend of customer experience means planning on content and understanding users – not just achieving numbers just to gain numbers.
In fact the biggest mistake small business owners make is delaying their analytics until AFTER a website is launched. Doing so overlooks maximizing the benefits from the metrics and taking action that can benefit a business for the long haul.
When starting with analytics, concentrate on identifying trends in the data first rather seeking hard numbers. Those trends can highlight where marketing and operational resources in your business should be directed.