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Google Search Console Data That Agencies Should Share With Clients

Published August 21, 2018
There are lots of ways to drive traffic to a website these days – social media, pay-per-click ads, display ads, email marketing, etc. But, for many websites, organic search remains the largest source of traffic.
 
As an agency, you need to help your clients understand what’s driving organic search traffic to their websites and how they can grow that traffic. This means you need a source of data that measures organic search traffic. For traffic from Google Search, there is an excellent free tool from Google providing that data: Google Search Console (GSC). While other tools "scrape" data from the Google search engine result pages (SERPs), GSC provides the official data from Google.
In this blog post, we’ll look at what kind of data you can pull from Google Search Console, how to use it for SEO, and how to best share it with your clients.

Comparing Your Competitors' Website Traffic Stats

Published July 12, 2018
In digital reporting, context is critical. Our marketing efforts don’t exist in a vacuum and in addition to broader consumer and economic trends, companies face fierce competition for share of voice and online sales.
 
In an increasingly competitive environment, benchmarking becomes important for any organization to properly evaluate their performance. In growing markets, it’s possible to see a rise in traffic and sales and be losing market share. In shrinking markets, you can see decreased sales while growing overall market share.
 
One of the best ways to determine which way is truly “up” is to benchmark some of your competition to provide you with the context you need to best interpret your own digital marketing results. While there is no universal source of competitor intelligence, there are a few different options at our disposal. In this post, we’ll cover the inexact science of how to compare your competitors’ website traffic stats, using Alexa, Similarweb, SEMRush and benchmarking in Google Analytics.

How To Get More User Generated Content

Published July 2, 2018
In digital marketing, we talk a lot about user engagement. Metrics like time spent on page, likes, shares, and re-tweets are all used to measure how engaged our users are. But engagement can go deeper than single-click actions. Truly engaged users will create new content for a website. That content can have multiple layers of value. This little bit of wonderful is called user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is one of those topics that in recent years seems to have a panel or workshop at nearly every marketing and advertising conference, because who doesn’t love free new content that represents actively engaged users? But while the enthusiasm and interest in UGC is ever-present on the brand/organizational side, the same cannot always be said on the consumer/user side. So how do you make your users want to generate content for you?
In this blog post, we’ll review the “What” and the “Why” for UGC and we’ll describe four ways to help you encourage and leverage user-generated content.

4 SEO Insights You Can Learn From Analyzing Search Results

Published June 19, 2018
Data-driven marketers who work in or report on organic search typically understand the importance of keywords and rankings. A lot of an SEO’s time and energy is spent poring over keyword ranking reports and keyword research. But for all the effort given to looking at keyword ranking data, often we neglect the act of analyzing search results in the wild. How often do we sit down to recreate queries and review the first one or two pages of results at a granular level?
Data is most useful when it is grounded in a context that creates meaning and that can provide actionable insights, and ranking reports presented in columned spreadsheets, are sometimes just not sufficient for that task. This is where strategy and data meet, as a manual review of the results is far more likely to lead to the types of insights that will help marketers improve their rankings than simply studying a spreadsheet report.
 
In this post, we will cover 4 things you can learn from analyzing search results, and we’ll include two different types of search results: both external search engine result pages (SERPs) and internal site search logs.

Your Clients Need a Monthly SEO Report

Published June 13, 2018
Why You Should Report Once a Month, and How to Make It Look Easy
Agencies and marketers create SEO reports for clients to share their findings, establish trust and demonstrate accountability for their results. Clients, meanwhile, should green light those reporting efforts and thank those agencies and marketers for their hard work. Simple, right?
Not really. At all.

In practice, reporting your SEO results is a pain in the butt. It’s time-consuming. It’s stressful. And it confuses clients (“What are these metrics?” “What does this acronym mean?” “Why have rankings flatlined?” “Why am I paying you?”)

So why on earth would you choose to report more frequently than you do now? What could you and your clients possibly gain from monthly reports that you aren’t getting from your current “as needed” approach?

The answer: more than you’d expect.

This brief blog post will show you why monthly SEO reporting is too important to ignore. Furthermore, we’ve detailed five must-have sections to add to your monthly SEO report to ensure its success. 

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

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.

 

 

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.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.