By Marta Canadell, on 03 April 2019
An attractive, optimized and generally well-done website is indispensable in any marketing strategy. Driving traffic to your own website gives you full control over the process, and helps you move your users through the conversion funnel.
In order to optimize your website however, to need as much information as you can get your hands on. Luckily for us, thanks to Google Analytics, you have access to everything you’ve always wanted to know about your website visitors… and even information you would never have thought of asking! With all of this information however, it is all too easy to get lost in the woods and miss out on the big picture.
Which is why I am going to tell you today about 14 ways to use Analytics to improve your website, according to experts from the Forbes Agency Council.
1. Keep an eye on your bounce rate
The bounce rate is one of the most important statistics to optimizing your website. If a large majority of your users are leaving you after only visiting one page, you know you have a problem. But the solution is in your hands! Be sure to review this page and improve it with more effective Calls To Action or more attractive content. Have you tried video marketing yet?
2. Analyze new potential markets
A great way to use Google Analytics that you might not have thought of is to discover new potential markets for your products and services.
If your business operates on a global level or if you are thinking of going international, you can view the number of visitors and conversion rates separately between countries, in order to decide where to focus your efforts.
3. Identify your best content
If you work with content marketing, you will know how hard it is to find what content really hits home with your audience. Meaning that when you do create content like this, you need to know exactly how well it worked and what it was that worked so well, in order to repeat it. Thanks to analytics, it’s easy: all you have to do is look for your pages with most traffic, conversions and results.
4. Use the right attribution model
The attribution model is very easy to overlook or dismiss, but it is very important to have as much information as you can about the most effective channels for conversions.
By default, Google Analytics uses the “Last Interaction” attribution model. If you want to use this to improve your website, try changing it to “First Interaction” and use it to better understand how each channels contributes to your conversion results.
5. Study the Behavior Flow
The Behavior Flow is an incredible help in truly understanding what paths your website visitors follow. Instead of giving you simple numerical statistics, the report shows you graphs regarding the route your visitors take through your website. Like this, you can easily see which pages they interact with most, or which page was the last one they saw before abandoning the website.
6. Analyze trends
Google Analytics’ different metrics are dependent on each other. Sometimes, an infographic that goes viral can increase your bounce rate, or getting positioned in first place for a competitive keyword can decrease the number of pages per session. Rather than focusing on a specific piece of data or moment, you need to have a global vision of your trends over time.
7. Discover the best sources of traffic
Basic, but indispensable: you need to know whether organic traffic or paid traffic is better for your website, and which are the most profitable sources within each of them. This will help you optimize your investment in places and as that actually work.
8. Study the Users Flow
Like the Behavior Flow, the User Flow is another essential metrics for your website. Use it to understand your user’s behavior, their interaction with your website. And what they like and don’t like and use this information to make changes to improve results.
9. Make the most of your pages that attract the most attention
If you study the session duration of your website, you will easily be able to identify the page that attract most user attention. Make the most of this and optimize these pages to improve conversion. It is a very easy way to increase your ROI.
10. Put mobile first
Google Analytics lets you know how much of your traffic comes from desktops or mobile devices. Given the growing importance of mobile traffic, optimizing for mobile is one of the best ways to optimize. If your mobile traffic has a high bounce rate, it means it’s time to make your website more responsive and improve your loading times.
11. Take a look at multi channel attribution
Having aggregated data, Analytics allows us to deepen our understanding of exactly which channels influence our results. Using tools such as Analytics360, you can figure out on which channels your clients begin their journey and position yourself to attract them from the very first moment.
12. Identify important keywords
What keywords do users search for when they find you? And what would you like these to be? If you can manage to make these two answers overlap, you’ll be doing a great job of optimizing your website.
13. Activate Google Search Console
To really know what’s going on with your organic traffic, you need to be using Google Search Console. Far too many webmaster skip this step, whether because they can’t be botheres or simply don’t know - but don’t make this same mistake! Here you will find much more data to analyze, like the performance of different keywords and the results users are shown in their search before clicking on your website.
14. Don’t analyze just one thing
Last but certainly not least, one of my biggest tips, is that there are no magic metrics. If you focus on only one piece of data, you will lose sight of the bigger picture, so be sure to set aside as much time as your need to do your analysis to see how your website behaves.
Did you find this article useful? I would also recommend reading our article on the difference between SEO & SEM, and how to use them together.
The must-know keys to mastering Google Analytics
Whether your organization is a start-up, a small/medium sized business, or a large corporation, Google Analytics is a fantastic tool which will allow you to monitor important webpage metrics. Analytics will allow you to understand your site traffic, where that traffic is coming from and which webpages visitors are visiting (and those they are not).
All this information can help you to measure the effectiveness of your online and offline marketing campaigns. If you aren’t sure of the benefits that Analytics can offer your company, or if you are only just dipping your toes into the water of webpage monitoring, below are some key ways Analytics can help to improve your business and your website.
Getting your Analytics account set up is easy. The only thing you need is a Gmail email address or an email address which is hosted using Gmail.
Once you have registered your Analytics account, you will be sent some lines of code which you will need to add to every page of your site. If you are managing your own website, the majority of content management systems will have a setting which allows you to easily add the tracking code.
The reports generated by Analytics can be broken down into 4 key areas:
- Audience: Data about who visited your site, there geographical location and the device used.
- Traffic Sources: Data about how visitors discovered your site.
- Content: Data about which webpages and content visitors interacted with.
- Goals: Data about how many visitors perform a certain action or goal.
Audience Location Map
Would you like to know which country the visitors to your website are coming from? Analytics will show you which country or state people are visiting from. This information is very helpful if your site targets a specific geographic location. The darker shades of color on the map mean that a greater amount of traffic came from that location.
Do you know where your sites traffic comes from? Google Analytics allows you to view a breakdown of traffic to your site so you can see which search engines visitors used, other sites which referred traffic to you and data about the number of direct visitors.
Do you know which content on your site generates the most visits? Which page most visitors land on and which page they exit the site via, or which content receives the highest number of clicks? All of this information can be found on the content tab.
Analytics is a great tool which can assist you in establishing which keywords visitors are putting into their search engine to locate your website. This will help you to better target your SEO for the site while also mapping larger trends among your visitors.
- Bounce Pages
Everyone is interested in the pages with the highest number of visits. But have you ever stopped to consider the pages which seem to drive visitors away? Analytics is the perfect tool for working out which webpages work and which don’t.
What is the goal of your website? Do you want visitors to buy something, click a link or subscribe to your mailing list? Setting up specific goals within Google Analytics allows you to see reports about how many people have completed a set task or goal. You can view the total conversions or goals which have been completed over a certain time period, what percentage of visitors completed one or more of your goals.
- Reverse Goal Path
Using the Reverse Goal Path feature, you can even view what visitors were doing just before they completed a goal, which can help you to identify the most effective webpages on your site. If your webpage deals in e-commerce, you can assign a monetary value to each goal, which will allow you to easily calculate how your website is performing.
- Funnel Visualization
If you are developing a sales funnel, Analytics allows you to see at what point visitors who did not complete a goal left the funnel. This information is vital when developing and tweaking your conversion process.
Google Analytics is an amazingly useful tool which can provide in-depth information about every aspect of your website in an easy to digest way. If you have any questions, or would like some help, please don't hesitate to contact us!
SEO insights for Google
Before we get in to discussing various types of Google SEO techniques, let's get a baseline understanding as to what SEO is. SEO is how we position a website. Different strategies will depend on whether we've got short term goals, or are looking to maintain the position in the medium to long run. We use a combination of SEO strategies combines with targeted and planned keywords in order to attract our target audience.
1. What is Black Hat SEO
The Black Hat techniques is a variety of procedures used to improve a web page’s SEO or page rank on search engines, violating the terms and conditions of the very SERPs such as Google, Yahoo, Bing or any others.
Black Hat SEO is considered by many SEO experts as a collection of bad techniques that help achieve incredible results in the short run but, on the other hand, may have unpredicted negative results, due to Google’s penalizations.
They are considered by Search Engines to be inappropriate tools or techniques, that may help to improve a website’s ranking. The use of these procedures tend to break the rules of the Search Engines, and can result in the penalization of the website by the main SERPs.
All of these Black Hat practices used to sheat search results may be beneficial in the short run. Nevertheless, Google's or any other search engine’s punishment procedure are becoming more and more sophisticated and effective, and if they pick up on any of this, the website will be immediately unindexed.
2. Common Black Hat Procedures
Know that we are clear as to what Black Hat is and its importance in the world of SEO positioning, it’s time to get down to business.
Many of you reading this article are most likely curious about what Black Hat SEO techniques are out there and can be usedñ In other words, you are feeling the temptation of being rebellious towards an ungrateful and unfair search engine who has not positioned your website fairly.
If that is the case, I will let you in on some of the most used Black Hat techniques:
- Excessive use of keywords: Using keywords through which we would like to be positioned excessively throughout the page. Many times people write repeated sentences or words, that make no sense whatsoever and provide no value to the content.
- Back pages: Based on commenting so that a page with a high reputation redirects to a fraudulent one.
- Cloaking: One of the most persecuted and penalized techniques by Google. It consists in showing one type of content to the search engines, and another kind of content to the website’s visitors. It is basically tricking users who come from SERPs with content that is completely different to what is shown in the search results.
- Duplicated content: Copying a significant amount of content from another page, with or without permission.
- Blog spamming: Commenting on blogs and including unrelated page links in the comments.
- Hidden Text or Hidden Links: Placing illegible text at the very bottom of the page, with the same color as the background so as not to be seen.
- Cookie Stuffing: Consists in placing a cookie on your webpage’s visitor. Said cookie will have an affiliate code and if a macroconversion takes place (such as a purchase), it generates a sales commission.
- Cyberoccupation: Registering a domain with the words of a known brand (www.justinbieber.es) to be able to take advantage financially, extortion or diverting traffic towards the competition.
- URL Hijacking: Registering a domain with a similar name or misspelled to a popular website to divert visiting traffic.
- Link Building: Not related: They are a group of web portals where an interexchange of links occurs between themselves, to increase the page ranking.
- Google Bowling: Buying competitors’ links and later naming them in an attempt to get them penalized or blocked.
- Spang Ping: Notifying Ping servers several times a minute to try and create the illusion that the content is new.
Currently, all of these Black Hat techniques have been used without much success. Many of them have become obsolete thanks to the constant preoccupation of judges Google, Yahoo and Bing, so as not to be tricked and be able to offer their users websites with useful and valuable content.
3. White Hat Recommendations
- Guide your content according to a specific topic, with a theme-specific Landing page to offer SERP users and generate the desired leads.
- Write sentences that make sense, with a reasonable keyword density and use semantically related words.
- Write a text that is related to the title and be sure to contract the font color to the background color.
- Create a webpage or Landing Page related to the description, to offer SERPs.
- Write original and creative content.
- Link pages that are actually related to specific content on your webpage.
- Add relevant keywords to your domain, according to your webpage’s content.
- Make your website popular for the richness of its content.
- Network with people who have similar interests and exchange information with those who are truly interested.
- Practice LinkBuilding with relevant, high quality websites, that are also related to your target or desired visitor.
4. Is Black Hat Google’s or SEO’s enemy?
This is the big question. I am sure that many of the opinion we have heard or read regarding the use of Black Hat have warned us about the negative consequences it can have on our website’s organic positioning. And although I completely agree with the potential danger of any malicious Black Hat technique, it is also important to add that its use does provide benefits and advantages in the short run.
This is the main reason why i ask this question. The nature of SEO is being able to position a website in the first ranks, contrast to Google’s or any other SERP’s interests, who tend to try favor their Google Adwords clients (in Google’s case) and their income from online advertising.
One could also argue that Black Hat is in no way illegal and neither criminally nor economically reportable. Being excluded from search results or unindexed, however, can be a very problematic situation.
If we do attempt to manipulate search results, it is important do it knowing it is an SEO strategy which will bring us benefits only in the short run, with a high risk of penalization. Black Hat should be used in short term SEO projects as a shortcut to obtaining results quickly.
My conclusion concerning the question, then, is that Black Hat SEO is a clear enemy to Google, as it ignores the entire ethics and rules of all SERP, but on the other hand, it seems to be a false friend of SEO. It initially promises big things, and can deliver in the beginning but in the long run can cause serious damage and SEO in danger.
I hope that with this post you will have been able to learn about Black Hat and even come to your own conclusions. Mostly, I suppose that the main questions in your head was whether or not these techniques could be useful or even recommendable in your SEO strategy, but I can tell you now that the answer is NO.
7 SEO insights for Google Image
Google images are an alternative to standard search. Through this, people can find sites, content, or specific photos using the image results rather than text and links. What makes Google Images unique is the ability to search not only by keywords. Why invest time marketing on image search?
It produces faster growth in positioning
Google Images provide an advantage by displaying far more search results at just a push of a button in comparison to standard search. Image results reach between 30 to 40 whilst text searches bring around 10 results per page.
Images can generate more traffic to your site or blog
If you can appear faster on the top of the search results whilst displaying your enticing message, naturally traffic on your site or blog will increase. We’ve chosen 7 insights to share with you today on improving your image positioning:
1. File name
The file name indicates image content. To optimize the name you should try and be short and descriptive. A generic name like "foto.jpg" does not bring any benefit in search engine optimization.
With a specific name it is easier for the search engine to understand the content and therefore you have more chances of appearing in a more prominent position.
For a good filename:
- Describe the image content
- include the main keyword
- be concise (exclude empty words)
- Use hyphens to separate words
- Avoid special characters
2. Alt Attribute
Today, Google can recognize letters, colors and even faces. Although the technology for image recognition has come a long way, it still has trouble interpreting the contents of images. Because of this we make use of the Alt attribute to describe images.
Alt comes from alternative text, it is what is used by search engines to figure out the image content. It is also the text the browser uses when the images can not be loaded along with the rest of the page content.
A good Alt text will:
- accurately describes the image content
- include the main keyword
- Be concise
3. File size
Ideally the file size is as small as possible. Small file sizes allow images to load quickly. The file size depends on 2 things:
- The dimensions of the image
- quality of the image
This makes the JPEG format ideal for image search engines; it can provide good quality with relatively small files. However, you can also use PNG and GIF if better serve your purposes.
When preparing your images:
- Use JPEG for images and general and photos
- PNG is more suitable for flat images and / or vectors (eg logos)
- for animations GIF is ideal
To capture, crop and resize images use Monosnap. Other free tools to work with images include GIMP and BeFunky.
Before uploading images to the web, it’s recommended that to compress your images as much as possible without compromising quality. To achieve this, use the online tools such as Compressor.io.
Context is key. It is very important that your images are surrounded by text and, in particular, that text is related to the image content. The closer the relationship between the image and the context, the better.
5. Exif Data
Exif or Exchangeable Image File Format, is a specification that allows various types of metadata to be included in the image file. This data takes specific details, such as exposure, aperture, focal length, and even the geographical coordinates included.
Exif data potentially of most interest to you include:
- Image title
- author name and web
If you want to edit and add some data relevant to the image information, PhotoME is a free option.
6. Long Description
A tool often forgotten for images is the long description. Longdesc, as its name suggests, serves to include a longer text than can otherwise be included in the Alt text. Longdesc does not include a textual description but instead a URL of where to find the image. This can be a page specially created to include the description.
7. Sitemap Image
An essential aspect of optimizing images is indexing. Images must be in the search engine index to appear in search, but the search engine does not find your image files it becomes difficult for the engine to register them.
There’s a way to increase the chances that your images are indexed, and this is generating a sitemap specific for images. This file includes the URL of each image, but can also incorporate the title, license and caption.
The 10 most important steps to position in Google
- Optimize the <title>
- Find a good meta description for each page
- Have content in multiple languages? Use the label Hreflang
- Create quality content
- Use multimedia content and label them correctly
- Adapt your website for mobile
- Open an account with Search Console
- Get inbound links
- Work your URL
- Create a map for your site