Post-Holiday Metrics: Data To Capture This Season

Published December 21, 2017
This season, one of the best gifts any business can receive is new data. All of the days, weeks and months leading up to the holidays contain useful information that can be captured and should be applied to future initiatives. So, as this year’s season wraps up and we begin looking forward to what the New Year brings, don’t forget to look back at efforts and analytics to find out what kinds of insights have been left in your digital stocking.
In today’s post, we’ll cover some of the information that deserves documentation to get a head start on what to do and what to expect next year. 

Top 6 Free Tools Offered by Google for Website Analysis and Marketing

Published December 20, 2017
Who doesn’t love Google? Well, besides the 77 million or so results for the search “I hate Google.”



Maybe Google isn’t perfect, and there are always reasons to complain. But when it comes to free tools for digital marketing it’s hard to find anyone who has a better or wider variety of offerings to help businesses use data to inform their strategies.
In this post we’ll cover 6 of our favorite free tools from Google and how to use them to build your digital presence. 

How To Prepare for a Mobile First Index

Published December 13, 2017
In 2016 Google quietly announced that they had “begun experiments” to make their index mobile-first.
This move has its roots in the increasing behavioral shift toward mobile internet access. The improvements in smartphone technology, tablets and more widespread mobile internet availability has enabled users to perform most, if not all, of their regular online activities from the palm of their hand.
How widespread is this exactly? Here are some numbers to think about.
  • By 2018, US users are spending up to 5 hours a day on mobile devices Techcrunch
  • More than half of mobile device users reach for their smartphones immediately after they wake up. ExpressPigeon
  • Last year, approximately 43% of worldwide website traffic was from mobile phones. This in an increase of about 12% over 2015. Statista
Given this gravitation toward mobile internet usage, the fact that we’re not already living with a mobile first index is somewhat surprising. While Google may not be prepared for a full scale mobile-first index until sometime in the next year or so, now is the time to prepare. In this article we’ll cover a couple of the most important aspects of preparation to help you get ready. Because for both search and user experience purposes all websites must adopt a mobile-first mentality before they find themselves facing a ranking-last reality. 

Combining YouTube Analytics with Google Analytics for Better Video Marketing

Published December 6, 2017
Online video offers businesses and marketers a powerful way to promote their brand, connect with their audience, drive traffic, and to get their message (or product) out in a memorable way.
But how can you learn more about who’s watching to determine the value these videos, and these users, are providing your business?
To answer these questions, Google Analytics offers multiple reports to show how many users are coming to your site via YouTube, where they’re going once there, how well they engage with your site, and how many ultimately convert. Meanwhile, YouTube’s own analytics reporting offers valuable insights about exactly who is consuming your video content.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how to analyze YouTube traffic in both Google Analytics and YouTube, as well how the two work together for even better insights. 

Smarter Digital Marketing Reports for The Education Sector

Published December 1, 2017
The normal school of thought about digital marketing reports may not be enough when it comes to providing analytics data for higher education institutions. Colleges and universities are businesses and share some of the same needs as organizations in other sectors, but there are specific requirements, goals and user behaviors that are unique to this vertical. These nuances raise the degree of difficulty involved in providing truly insightful and meaningful reports.
In this article, we review some ideas for ways to dig deeper, and ultimately, learn more from your digital marketing analysis for institutions providing higher education to students. 


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.