On September 23, 2013, the Internet was made privy to Google's master plan to encrypt 100% of organic search activity. Marketers were outraged, as Google's own Matt Cutts had formerly stated that keyword encryption would impact less than 10% of searches overall.
SSL Encryption and Google: A Brief History
Google initially launched an encrypted search option back in May 2010. Since October 2011, the search engine has been automatically redirecting users to its encrypted URL as long as they were signed in to Google. It was around this time that the "(not provided)" element in Google Analytics and other web metrics programs began to appear.
Since then, encryption has been adopted through various other browsers including the Chrome omnibox as well as Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari iOS6, steadily increasing the total percentage of obscured keyword data. Very soon, this encryption will apply across the board.
Webmasters and SEOs have been able to...
Does this sound like your situation? You have input into your company’s search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. You have worked with others to come up with site keywords as well as proper tags and descriptions for the content. Your site now ranks higher in the coveted results from a Google search and more people are visiting your site. This is all good news, but still your web conversion rate, or percentage of visitors making a purchase, remains lower than you would like. What is the problem?
Search engine optimization is important in today’s web-centric universe. However, by itself, SEO cannot improve your sales or upgrade your user’s positive experience while on your site. Your SEO strategy must be coupled with proper web design to best position your business for an increase in sales.
Foremost among your design considerations is the concept of simplicity. Overly complicated pages, let along complete websites, quickly drive visitors away from your site....
Google Analytics is a free, but incredibly powerful tool that can provide you with a wealth of detailed data about your website or sites that you can then use for marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. Analytics is available to anyone with a Google account. The program includes quite a few innovative features – some that were included from the first Analytics release, and others that have been added more recently. Understanding these features, their use and their purposes can help you take better advantage of Google Analytics’ power.
Many companies that maintain an online presence use Google’s Adwords program to generate traffic to their sites by posting ads next to relevant search results pages. Analytics can help you determine exactly which keywords or search phrases are generating the most traffic – as well as which generate traffic that converts the best into actual paying customers.
Thanks to the emergence of big data, page tags, and analytics tools, brands and online publishers really have a lot of things going for them in data department. It’s never been this easy to gather visitor intelligence, and website owners nowadays recognize the value of analytics so they’re more than happy to track their site metrics, test components, and generate reports.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that while site owners are certainly looking at their analytics, they’re not always paying attention to the right numbers. The fact is not all metrics are created equal. While it may be easier to look at the numbers on the surface (i.e. page views, total number of users, etc.), these aren't necessarily the data points that would give you the pulse of your website or company. These aren't the numbers that will tell you how your users are doing and what action steps you need to take to keep them happy.
Tracking surface metrics...
Thanks to the various research, analytics, and insight tools that we have at our fingertips, tracking and measuring data is easier than ever. Want to see how many people visited your site last week? Click. Need to know the percentage of people that abandoned their shopping carts? No problem—all those numbers can easily be crunched by a standard analytics program.
Another convenient feature of these metric programs is their ability to generate reports at a drop of a hat. Tables, graphs, and charts can be pulled up in seconds, allowing people to easily make sense out of the data.
Yes, everything is great and swell in the realm of data and analytics… right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, while a lot of site owners may be tracking their data, a good number of them are tracking the wrong things. These things are what the tech world refers to as “vanity metrics.”
Coined by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup, vanity metrics are...
If you have a trouble holding on to your visitors, there are ways you can improve your site, so that your visitors will stay for longer than just two seconds, and view more than just one page. Your bounce rate gives you a percentage of the people that leave your website after only viewing one page. That, combined with the average time spent on your site, will give you a pretty good picture of what people think about your site. You can see your bounce rate and the time they spend on your site in Google Analytics.
If people leave your site after only viewing one page, it should tell you that your site does not give people what they are looking for.
One factor that could cause this high bounce rate is, if your title does not match your page content. So if you call a page “how to get rid of bedbugs” and your site talks a lot about bedbugs but never really how to get rid of them, your visitors will feel cheated and leave your site immediately. An...
The world of SEO is changing every day. That doesn't mean that you have to change SEO tactics every day. There are a lot of webmasters out there that believe that. They believe that since Google makes hundreds of algorithm changes every year, that they need to make at least as many changes to keep up. Wrong. Just follow the Google Webmaster blog. You'll find a common thread in all of the updates. Every update is aimed at trying to improve search results.
If you try to swim upstream, you'll end up with endless headaches and feel like you're wasting a lot of time. SEO can be a stressful art - even for those who work in the business. Accept the premise that your job is to give your site visitors the best possible experience on your blog and it will make your life a lot easier. Here are a few plugins for Wordpress that can help you:
Google Analytics Dashboard
Everyone knows what Google Analytics is. It's possibly the best analytics...
Website statistics is often one of the most overlooked areas of on-site SEO. Your site statistics tell you where you are strong and weak, so to speak. A good analytics program should be able to tell you total visitor count as well as break down key metrics so that you can see where your traffic flows to and where it came from.
Wordpress has some decent options like "Wass Up" and "Wordpress.com Stats." However, the king of analytics is still Google. In fact, Google almost provides too much information which is fine if you know what to pay attention to and what to avoid.
Wass Up provides some basic traffic stats information. There's nothing overly fancy about this plugin or its abilities. It does its job well, however. Checking the stats is pretty simple. You can see visitors divided up by source (i.e. referral traffic vs. direct traffic vs. search engine traffic). You can also see how many visitors came to your site over the...
Buffer, an innovative social sharing app, has been making waves in the Twitterverse and beyond since it first launched in 2010. Not only has it been covered by just about every tech blog and news site on the web, the app has managed to garner over 150 million users because of its excellent capabilities and features that allow people to save time and get more results.
Buffer supports Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn which is perfect for anyone managing multiple social media accounts. Instead of visiting these sites one by one, you can simply schedule and manage your posts all from one interface.
If you aren’t using Buffer in your online and social media strategy yet, check out the list below and see why the app could be the perfect addition to your social media utility belt.
1. Tweets are optimized automatically – Sure, there are tons of tools out there that let you schedule your posts, but what makes Buffer stand out is that it...
Google Analytics can be a valuable tool for monitoring and tracking the efficiency of your online campaigns and get the best results in your marketing efforts. Whether you are a small or big enterprise, Google Analytics can be handy in providing statistics on the number of visitors to your site including information related to page views. Additionally, it can also give you an overview of the total number of new visitors who may have viewed your website. In short, it allows you to measure the online traffic to your website and helps in making further improvements in your advertising campaign. Google Analytics can be the best choice for marketers, as it is completely free and works well for small companies with small advertising budgets.
One of the major benefits of using Google Analytics is to gain complete freedom in managing your website content. If you are not satisfied with the performance of your website, then you can make changes to your content as and when...