Optimize Your Landing Pages With Google's SEO Insights

Published July 28, 2016
The relationship between a website and a search engine is complicated and often ambivalent. There are good days and bad days. There are benefits and frustrations. There are ups and downs both literally and figuratively. But as digital marketers, we can’t live without them.
For any relationship, they say communication is key. In the absence of heart-to-heart talks with Google, we have to take what we can get. With that being the case, the SEO insights view that connects Search Console and Google Analytics data is one of the best ways to find out what’s working in the relationship and what isn’t.
When evaluating your how your site performs in organic search, you want to measure what’s working well and look for opportunities to improve. For this analysis, Google gives you two tools, which you can now link together into one handy report.
Google Search Console, once known as Webmaster Tools, allows you to see data about your site’s positioning in organic search results. You can see clicks, impressions, and average position. You can also get information about how Google is crawling your site and review site errors that may be interfering with indexing.
In May 2016, Google released a deeper integration of Google Search Console data with Google Analytics. While Search Console integration has been available for many years, this data was always kept in its own section, separate from any data collected by Google Analytics. For the first time, data from Search Console actually appears alongside data from Google Analytics.



Using the Treemaps Report for Better Google Analytics Reporting

Published July 24, 2016
We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, but in some cases it’s worth a thousand metrics too. You can study numbers. Evaluate increases, decreases, rates, ratios and proportions. But sometimes, they don’t paint the whole picture. That’s why it may take an actual image to get the message.
As you’ve looked through the reports in Google Analytics, you may have come across the Treemaps report, buried under Acquisition > All Traffic. While some reports are fairly self-explanatory, it may be more difficult to figure out how to apply this data to your reporting. However, knowing how this report works allows you to visually analyze performance in a way other sections of analytics don’t.
First, it’s important to understand how Treemaps use colored rectangles to represent data. The larger the rectangle, the larger the data set for a primary metric (e.g., volume of Sessions). Colors indicate a high or low number within a data set for a secondary metric (e.g., Pages/Session). If you need a refresher on what’s what in Treemaps, we’ve covered the basics of Understanding the Treemaps Report in a previous post.
In this post, we'll delve further into how you can apply insights from this report to improve your analysis of a website’s performance.



Use Reporting to Sell Your Digital Agency

Published July 21, 2016
There are thousands of marketing agencies in the United States. Depending on where you live, there may even be dozens of agencies in your immediate area or market. Today, more and more of these agencies are incorporating digital marketing to keep up with consumer demand. With so much money on the table for marketing, in an increasingly competitive space, how do you stand out in a sea of RFPs all on the hunt for ROI?
When pitching potential clients to become their digital marketing agency of choice, you need to identify the characteristics that set your company apart from others. These may include one or more of the following:
  • Total years of experience for your staff and for your agency as a whole
  • Level of experience working with clients in particular industries (healthcare, finance, etc.)
  • Specializations in digital skillsets (linkbuilding, Google Shopping campaign setup, etc.)
  • Integration of multiple digital skillsets (PPC, SEO, and content teams working together)
  • Quality of work and record of success
In addition to these points, you should also strive to make reporting a key selling point for your agency.
Many agencies know how to do digital marketing. They may even do it well. But most don’t take the next step to communicate to their clients. In turn, client relationships suffer, and the agency suffers.
In this article, we’ll talk about why reporting matters and how to make your reporting process one of your agency’s unique selling propositions.
First, let’s look at how lack of proper reporting can hurt an agency.



5 Tips for Building Effective Facebook Ad Campaigns

Published July 18, 2016
When it comes to marketing, sometimes it makes sense to cast a wide net, and other times it’s better to use a meticulously sharpened harpoon. It all depends on what you’re trying to catch.
Fortunately, Facebook Ads give you all the tools you need to do both.
While countless marketers confess to having paid to “boost a post” on Facebook a few times, many have barely scratched the surface of getting the most out of Facebook’s powerful audience platform. Facebook lets you set goals, like putting your brand name in front of as many eyes as possible. But it also allows you to reach a precisely defined demographic on a level that even Google AdWords can’t match.
You should be taking the time to think out Facebook campaigns beyond the obvious options and format them in a way that allows you to test and improve your campaigns on an ongoing basis. In this article, we’ll cover 5 tips to help you make the most of Facebook advertising.



Benefits of the User Explorer Report in Google Analytics

Published July 15, 2016
The idea of a more personalized digital experience is not new. We’ve seen trends toward localized search results, custom tailored marketing, retargeting that reflects our recent shopping behaviors, and email marketing that uses our names and seems to know our last interaction with the sender.
It’s as though the Internet is bending and shifting to mold itself to our unique wants, needs, and behaviors. Therefore, the latest addition to Google Analytics is not only on trend, it seems almost inevitable. The new User Explorer Report enables us to analyze the behavior of individual users.
We know, Google frequently introduces new features into Analytics and it can be difficult to stay on top of all the changes. But when new measurement opportunities become available, it’s worthwhile to spend some time with new reports. Any new section presents opportunities to find new ways to better analyze your audience. Especially this one.
Google Analytics has always shown anonymous, aggregated data. While there was the ability to view metrics broken down by subsets of individuals (all people in a certain city, new vs. returning visitors, etc.), you couldn’t see metrics correlated to one specific person. The User Explorer Report changes that, a bit. Of course, the information still is anonymous, but now you can view a history of actions for a single person. For example, you can view how many times a person came to the site, how long they spent on the site, what pages they visited, what goals they completed, what purchases they made, and more. Let’s take a closer look at this report and how you can apply it to your online marketing efforts.



Using the Facebook Ads Manager

Published July 7, 2016
Facebook has grown beyond a platform into an intricate world. We have memories, emotional states, events, groups and updates in an international, multi-generational, real-time ecosystem.
It’s no surprise that within this space we have powerful marketing opportunities. Getting the best results for your efforts means maximizing all of the options provided though the ad setup, audience targeting and customizations provided within Facebook’s Ads Manager.
The Facebook Ads Manager allows you to create, edit, and optimize your advertising campaigns within a web-based interface. While the Manager provides powerful options for customizing campaigns and evaluating metrics, the interface can also be somewhat unwieldy to learn. We’ll walk you through the process of creating a basic campaign, as well as how to look at performance.




Digital marketers spend a lot of time focused on PPC and SEO campaigns in order to drive desirable traffic to a website. The phrases we’re ranking for and bidding on get meticulous attention, so much so that we often forget about some of the other ways that visitors find us.

We put a tremendous amount of the effort we put into reviewing organic search data and PPC campaign performance in analytics. But how closely do we monitor referral reports?

If that’s not a channel you review regularly, you may be missing out on seeing traffic that is coming directly from links you’ve obtained around the web, local business listings, news mentions, and more. Many times, links are only considered as a means to an end, a metric that Google uses in determining how to rank sites in the SERPs (search engine results pages). But the fact is, many of a site’s links may be directly contributing to its traffic.

In this article, we’ll review how to look at referral reports in Google Analytics, and some of the many ways to use that data to better inform your web marketing decisions.


When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:



It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?

The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.

Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.