Showing posts with label SEO Strategy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SEO Strategy. Show all posts

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Tracking Google Ranking Change by Sector - A New Tool to follow the Bot

With the SEO landscape constantly changing, it can be difficult for Search marketers to follow Google’s updates and their impact on each site. In 2014, there were numerous updates spread throughout the year, with more Panda updates than you can count on one hand. 

On April 21, 2015 (yesterday), Google’s latest update went live, changing the reward structure for mobile-optimized sites and mobile search results. This is the biggest update of the year, as claimed by Google, and we were anticipating significant fluctuations in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) within each industry, but so far nothing happened. 

How did we know?


Ayima Pulse, a tool that was launched yesterday to provide market insight to help marketers adjust their SEO strategy based on any and all algorithm changes and fluctuations in real-time.





Ayima Pulse tracks over 54,000 hand-picked, non-branded keywords in 10 unique industries across the UK & US – more than any other equivalent free tool on the market. This provides unprecedented insight into when shifts occur in Google’s algorithm by industry, and the sites affected.

Pulse is showing fluctuations from the past 30 days in the following industries:


  • Telecoms
  • Travel
  • Electronics
  • Insurance
  • Fashion
  • Finance
  • Jobs
  • Education
  • Gambling
  • Automotive


an “All keywords” view that combines all the industry reports into a single view of Google’s fluctuations.

Whilst major Panda, Penguin, and mobile updates garner the coverage to alert marketers of changes within the SERPs, day-to-day fluctuations go unpublicised. In turn, attributing a drop in traffic and possibly conversions becomes problematic. Crucially, these unannounced changes may only affect the industry in which YOU operate. Pulse offers a solution to this problem by offering industry focused tracking that’s updated daily.

How Ayima Pulse Works?


At midnight each day, Ayima Pulse takes Google’s top 100 organic search results for the most popular non-branded keywords relevant to the top 10 industries and add them to Ayima Pulse database Site ranking changes are assessed against those from the previous day, proportionately weighting the significance of each move.

Ayima Pulse plots the difference on a sliding volatility scale of 0-100, updating graphs for the whole market and individual industries.

How Can Ayima Pulse Help Marketers?


Very simply, the more ranking fluctuations you see, the higher the volatility rating. Selecting an industry displays the volatility for that sector along with the top 10 highest ranked sites (assessed across relevant keywords).

If you want to see a site’s visibility trend line and percentage share of voice, just select a site from the top 10 or top 100 list. Or if you want to see how you stack up against the competition, you can select up to 5 sites to compare. Plot lines will display the trend against the volatility of that industry.

Sites displaying an increase in visibility on a highly volatile day have been positively affected by changes in the SERPs. Likewise, those displaying reduced visibility would have been adversely affected.

Who are Ayima Pulse's Competitors? 

Before Ayima Pulse, we have been using Algoroo and MOZ Algorthm changes:

What is Algoroo?

Algoroo is a Google algorithm tracking tool developed by DEJAN. The system monitors roughly 17,000 keywords to 100 search positions deep and looks for fluctuations. Both negative and positive movement is added up to create a single SERP flux metric they call "roo". High roo value indicates a high volatility in Google's search results. Low roo value is usually displayed on an ordinary day, unlikely to be affected by any algorithmic changes at Google. Throughout its timeline you may notice a number of detected events which go onto orange or even red. Google doesn't always disclose internal updates and algorithm changes, but when they do Algoroo add it as an annotation on its graph.




MozCast and Google Algorithm Change History By Moz

MozCast is a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm over the previous day (or see the 5-day history on the left). The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google's rankings changed. Google Algorithm Change history lists all the algorithm changes by date and name (if there is any)



Resources:

  • https://www.ayima.com/pulse/
  • https://algoroo.com/
  • http://mozcast.com/ 
  • http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

Google is so 2010 - Inspired by Andrew Shotland

Andrew Shotland, the author of Local SEO Guide, once said in an interview with SEOBook, "SEO is not exactly Ghandi-type work. So you better enjoy it."

But that is not his best quotation. To me, his masterpiece, and what really affected me is: 

"Leavng Google is like walking away from a bully. Everything I do now in terms of marketing is pro-active and on my terms. There's no rug under me. There's no dictator telling me how to be righteous. Sure, I stand or fall on my own marketing acumen, which is all I asked for anyway. I never wanted to be punished based on a 3rd party's rules. If I mess up, I want to mess up because my target market (the 2nd party) don't want what I have to offer at the price I'm offering it - not because some 3rd party intermediator decides arbitrarily that I'm not good for my target market."

With thousands of websites going online everyday, SEO agencies are also growing in number, and do not be surprised to find one in every corner. It is not a rocket science and if you are lucky and have good sales team you can make fortune "Selling SEO" to small businesses who believe that they can make fortune too being on top of Google SERP for the keyword "buy" or "fix".

The problem with these companies is that they know very well that SEO is for Google not for the customer, and because they are selling keywords not value, they end up losing both Google and the customer and eventually the deceived business owner who believed that the SEO agency can do her/his site some Apracadabra magic to make it rank.

If only SEO is run by smart marketers who know very well how the market is shaped and understand the true meaning of the word value, only then even Google will become obsolete.
Those Google Hypocrites do not only waste their time doing an old fashion dead job, but they also harm their clients' websites with their spam, scraped nonsense content, and over optimized stuffed with keywords tags.

Why I am saying that now, because after google scared the hell out of everybody regarding its Mobilegeddon algorithm change, nothing happened. But of course I am not blaming Google, I am blaming those who decided to make their sites user friendly just because they fear Google, not because they want their visitors to enjoy their stay on their sites. For those people I would say, you deserve it!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Why my Business needs SEO? Here are 24 Reasons!

With every hot new trend online, rumors start flying about the death of search engine optimization (SEO). But search is a huge part of how your customers use the internet. If you’re not investing in SEO, your website is simply not successful. Need convincing? Here are 24 reasons why every business needs SEO:

1. Because customers expect and want to find you in search.

If your website is not findable in search engines, you may as well not exist. Without SEO, you’re not getting traffic, leads, or sales. Plus, not being found in search is a big red flag to your prospects, who may doubt your credibility or believe your business is a scam if they can’t find you.

2. SEO helps you appear more often in search.

This is the most basic benefit of search engine optimization. Appearing more often for a wide variety of keywords means a better brand image and more traffic, which both lead to more sales.

3. It helps you rank higher in search results.

Appearing higher in search results is as important as appearing often. The higher your website is in search results, the relevant and reliable prospects believe you to be. The top 3 results also get the most traffic.

4. You gain more traffic and visibility.

More visitors on your website or blog means more sales. Increased visibility means a better reputation, which boosts both traffic and how high you appear in search.

5. SEO allows more of your content to appear in search results.

The more spots you own on a search results page, the more traffic and sales you get. Regularly publishing high quality content, good link structure, and simple navigation are a few ways to help you show up more often in search.

6. It improves targeting so you reach the best audience.

Implementing good SEO helps you target the right groups of people, so your messages are more powerful and effective. Using the right keywords, languages, and internationalization techniques also help you appear more often and rank higher in search results.

7. Because your target market is already looking for you.

Your customers use the internet to find businesses that solve their problems and help them achieve goals. Investing in SEO helps you be there when they look for you, so you get more qualified leads and sales faster.

8. SEO helps you own your company name and most important keywords.

When someone searches your company or product names, your website and other online properties need to be the top results. If not, you lose traffic, sales, and credibility.

9. It gives you more control over your online reputation.

SEO is a major component of online reputation management. How often you appear in search, how high you rank, and how many spots you control on a search results page all affect your brand image. Strong optimization helps you control how you are perceived.

10. It’s a long-term, cost-effective marketing strategy.

Of all online marketing strategies, search engine optimization is the least expensive and works the longest. This makes it a great foundation for all your online marketing efforts.

11. You get more pre-qualified leads.

Depending on the keywords you rank for, you can get more prospects who are already qualified for your sales funnel, so you don’t have to coax leads to buy. Optimizing product pages for buying keywords, for example, helps you sell more without spending a lot time building a relationship.

12. SEO provides richer search results for prospects.

Proper optimization techniques create rich snippets and deep site links in search results, which make your results stand out from the competition. Prospects get a better experience and you get more traffic.

13. It improves business through local search.

Customers in your area are looking for you online. SEO helps you appear in their local searches, getting you more leads and sales both online and in-store.

14. SEO builds business and employee branding.

Google Authorship and social media activity not only strengthen overall SEO, but also help build the brand image and reputation of your company and executives. Strong optimization and branding work together to get you more traffic and sales.

15. It creates a better user experience.

By making it easier for prospects to find and navigate your site, search for products, and complete transactions, SEO helps you deliver what your customers really want, leading to better relationships and more sales.

16. You get more links as people discover your great content.

More links strengthens SEO and helps more people find you, leading to more sales.

17. SEO increases engagement.

More comments, sharing, and other forms of engagement lead to more sales, look good for your reputation, and boost your overall SEO.

18. It increases social signals.

Likes, tweets, pins, shares, and other signals from social media helps you appear higher and more often in search. They also help you spread brand awareness and increase your reach as more people see your content.

19. SEO improves branding and sales.

Search engine optimization is cyclical, so as your business grows, your SEO is strengthened and your business keeps growing. More traffic, customers, reviews, and mentions make you more visible, leading to more traffic, customers, reviews, and mentions.

20. SEO allows you to deliver what your customers actually want.

Matching keywords to the searcher’s intent helps you get more pre-qualified leads and build a reputation for quality and usefulness. More leads and a strong reputation mean more sales.

21. It entices visitors to return.

Content that does well in search engines is generally high quality, relevant, and popular. These hallmarks of SEO are the same things that attract repeat traffic and build a loyal following of readers and customers.

22. You get a high ROI.

In addition to SEO’s long-term, cost-effective nature, it delivers a high return on investment because it keeps working for you as long as you keep up with best practices. Unlike other marketing methods, search engine optimization doesn’t stop working when you stop paying. As long as you maintain your website’s optimization, it keeps working for you.

23. SEO offers instant credibility.

Search engines use a combination of authority, relevance, and popularity to determine how high to rank results. When your website appears on the first page of search results, that means you beat out millions of other results, making you seem more credible and trustworthy. Additionally, search engines are like third-party endorsers, so the higher you appear, the more relevant and credible customers think you must be.

24. It offers valuable insight into your customers, products, and marketing campaigns.

Search engine optimization is unique from other marketing methods in that you can track and analyze almost everything. Effective reporting, analysis, and testing can help you better understand your audience, improve your products and marketing campaigns, and strengthen your overall SEO.



Tuesday, 3 March 2015

New Technologies Used by Smart Local Businesses You Need To Keep an Eye on!

Digital marketers need to be proactive and agile when it comes to implementing new technologies to offer more value and capture more real estate in the minds of their customers even if it will alter their business models.



Here are 4 new technologies that are being R&Ded by some big companies to better serve their customers.

With your car.


This week, Pizza Hut and management consulting firm Accenture announced they were working with Visa to develop a connected car that allows drivers to purchase pizza while on the road. The smart car would integrate Visa Checkout – its PayPal-like digital payment service -- into the car's dashboard, making it possible for customers to speak to order food while keeping both hands on the wheel. Then, when the car gets close to the Pizza Hut, beacon technology notifies employees that the customer has arrived.

order pizza by car dashboard


"By 2020 it is estimated that more than 250 million vehicles worldwide will include some form of embedded connectivity," Bill Gajda, Visa's senior vice president of innovation and strategic partnerships, said in a statement. "We initially focused on a specific use case – ordering a meal on your way home – but we envision a world where consumers can seamlessly make many of their everyday purchases from the car."

Visa is currently demonstrating the connected car at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Tests are expected to continue over a three month period starting this spring in Northern California.

On your watch.


Pizza Hut wasn't the only pizza chain showing off new tech on Monday. On the same day, Domino's introduced a smartwatch app that allows customers to place and track orders via Pebble and Android smartwatches.

"Pairing Domino's with smartwatch technology couldn't be more of a natural fit," Kevin Vasconi, Domino's chief information officer, said in a statement. "We are constantly looking for ways to use technology to enhance our customers' experience and provide them with more convenience."

Whenever you're near.


While smartwatches and cars are flashy ways to promote a company as tech-savvy, the single piece of technology that promises the greatest returns for the restaurants industry is beacons and other tech that alerts employees of a customer's location.

A whole host of restaurants are now using your smartphone to track customers' locations. Taco Bell's app alerts employees when customers arrive at a Taco Bell location ready to pick up their orders. Blue Bottle Coffee and Square allows customers to pre-order items for pick-up sometime in the next 24 hours, with baristas starting their order fresh when alerted that the customers are approaching. When it comes to marketing, everyone from McDonald's to Quiznos is experimenting with beacons to try and lure customers into stores with coupons and targeted deals. Expect "beacon" to be a major buzzword in 2015 for quick services chains trying to prove that they can use tech to keep their service up to speed.

By reading your mind.


Pizza Hut's digital menu that reads minds is a limited test in the U.K., as opposed to a potentially far-reaching ordering platform like other items mentioned here. However, the Subconscious Menu's ability to determine a customer's order in just 2.5 seconds by tracking automatic eye focus is telling of what might be yet to come in the realm of restaurant ordering.

You can now order your dinner from your phone, your watch and even your car. Payment can be automatic, going as far as to pull from your bank account the moment you enter a restaurant. Employees know where you are located and the exact moment they need to have your coffee ready, without you saying a word. With ordering and payment becoming increasingly integrated into our lives, who's to say that the next six months won't reveal tech with the ability to order food before you're even sure what you're craving?

Preroll YouTube Ad Proves that Understanding your Audience Pays Off (Inspiring preroll ad examples)

Psychology is an essential science that goes hand in hand with Online marketing.

Do not you agree with me that it's almost more of a reaction now, than an actual decision. Click play on a YouTube video and our brains are programmed to automatically hit the "Skip Ad" button as soon as it appears. That's the challenge of the preroll ad—the urge to skip is so great that most people wouldn't even hear a marketer if they promised free pizza and beer in those few precious seconds.

Geico and The Martin Agency takes full advantage of those five seconds and makes sure there is some serious payoff for anyone who sticks around and doesn't hit skip.





Original Post: http://www.fastcocreate.com/3043111/whatever-you-do-dont-skip-this-five-second-geico-ad 

Friday, 27 February 2015

23 Questions to Ask yourself before creating a new website

Whenever a Google employee is asked about what needs to be done to recover from Panda, they refer to a blog post by Google Employee Amit Singhal that gives a checklist that you can use on your site to determine if your site really is high quality or not. Here is the list:
  1. Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  2. Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  3. Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  4. Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  5. Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  6. Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  7. Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  8. Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  9. How much quality control is done on content?
  10. Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  11. Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  12. Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don't get as much attention or care?
  13. Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  14. For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  15. Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  16. Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  17. Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  18. Is this the sort of page you'd want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  19. Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  20. Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  21. Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  22. Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  23. Would users complain when they see pages from this site? 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

SEO Engineering vs. SEO Magic

Don’t we all hate it when people think of SEO as a magic wand?

“Make my site rank on top of Google!”“How much do you take for SEO?”“I want more traffic! More leads! And more online sales, do your thing... and I will pay you 300$ a month!” 

And the scenarios never end!!!

There are hundreds of different ways to do SEO, including sitemaps, link-building, and search-engine-friendly site design and so on. The best strategy for successful SEO can differ by product, by page and even by season. Identifying what works best for each case is what really shows results. In many times, well-known strategies for SEO may not work for a client, while certain tactics that may not be expected for them could work like a charm.

The bottom line is, an SEO specialist is not a magician but an Architect or an Engineer.

  • We are directors, we orchestrate the whole online existence of the business and integrate it to physical life.
  • We are marketing specialists, we design and draw marketing strategies, segmentation, targeting, and positioning.
  • We are analysts, we research the market, identify strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats.
  • We are detectives, we spy on competitors and monitor the brand’s mentions and reputation
  • We are Financial Analysts, we know how to calculate the Time value for money (i.e. the future value of a present investment)
  • We are Brokers, we buy and sell (online) real-estate and placements all the time.
  • We are problem solvers and crises managers, when a new algorithm hits, we know how to contain it and recover the site and protect the business. 
  • We are the Big Brother, we oversee the big data world of numbers, internet traffic distribution, traffic flows, channels, Trends, and daily buzz.



We may not be Magicians, But we definitely are... Supermen and Women

SEOs and online marketers are supermen and women
SEOs are Supermen

Friday, 9 January 2015

A Checklist Before buying a Used Domain

Whether it is a .com or dot anything, you need to be sure that the domain you are paying a lot of money in is safe and worth every penny you are putting in it.

Buying a used domain is like buying an expensive used car, it may look fancy but you don't know what is under the hood. So, you need to check everything, get a report, and be comfortable knowing that the domain you are driving won't run into an accident in the future because you did not spend one hour doing some check-ups.

The following 14 points is my checklist, you can use it as is, or add more to it if you like:

  1. site: search on the domain name in Google, Bing
  2. info: Search
  3. Google the domain name and check reputation
  4. Keyword search volume, and competition (AdWords KW Planner)
  5. Check the Domain age http://moonsy.com/domain_age/
  6. Check the way back machine at Archive.org
  7. Check robots.txt file and see if archive.org is disabled
  8. Check Backlinks quantity and quality
  9. Check domain and IP health and if it is blacklisted http://mxtoolbox.com/
  10. Check domain and IP health on https://www.ultratools.com/domainHealthReport
  11. Check if blacklisted: http://www.blacklistalert.org/
  12. see if the Domain or IP is currently listed in the live Spamhaus Domain Blocklist (DBL) http://www.spamhaus.org/lookup/
  13. check if it is on DMOZ or Yahoo Dir
  14. Find contact info on Whois.net. If not private, run a search on the contact person 


Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Browser Extensions to boost your Site Traffic Organically

These Chrome and Firefox extensions are very handy when it comes to sharing your stuff with people outside the traditional channels.

WiseStamp is a Chrome extension that allows you to have a customizable email signature with social media and HTML integration. This is a great opportunity for branding your company and sharing your social profiles with anyone you correspond with via Gmail.

You can also include other cool things in your signature like your latest tweet, Google+ update, latest blog post, and more! This extension is also available for Firefox and Safari.

Blank Canvas Signatures for Gmail is a similar Firefox extension that lets you insert HTML signatures into Gmail. It supports up to four different signatures.

Rapportive is another extension that shows you everything that you need to know about your contacts, in the right sidebar of your inbox. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn accounts to gather information about your contacts. From there, every time you open a message from someone you may be able to see things like their picture, latest tweets, links to social profiles and more. You can even add your own personal, private notes to their profile for safe-keeping. It is also available for Firefox, Safari,Opera, and Mailplane.


Thursday, 4 December 2014

301 Redirect Old Domain Without Passing Link Juice or Referral Signals

If you're hit by Google algorithm's Penguin and tried your best to disavow all the "Bad" links coming to your site, but your site has not been recovered yet, then you might be thinking of starting a new website with clean backlinks portfolio and White Hat SEO.

Of course you do not want your visitors to go to the old abandoned site, and of course you cannot 301 redirect the old domain to the new one, or else you will be transferring all the harmful link signals with you.

So, the best technique to do (after you've decided to start a fresh site) is do this simple yet very effective technique:

1- get a new domain name to use as intermediary  (Example: www.oldsite2.com)
2- Add a Robots.txt file and make the root domain (of the intermediary site) Disallowed

User-agent:*
Disallow: / 

3- Redirect (301) the old domain to the intermediary. 
4- Permananetly redirect (301) the intermediary to the brand new domain



More to do:

You can also:
1- Add a robots.txt file to the old site to deindex it from search engines (follow step 2)
2- Use Google's URL removal tool and remove all the URLS of the old site.


A Fresh Beginning:

Now it is a new opportunity to start fresh with a new domain, new content, and better strategy.



Short Story Long:

  • http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2355513/youve-been-hit-by-penguin-should-you-start-over-or-try-to-recover
  • http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/how-to/2384644/can-you-safely-redirect-users-from-a-penguin-hit-site-to-a-new-domain

Friday, 26 September 2014

How to know where your visitors go when they leave your website?

How can I see which specific pages/URLs people visit after leaving my site? In other words, I can see the percentage of people that EXIT on a certain page, but I want to be able to see which links on an exit page they follow (i.e. what percent of the visitors to a certain page of our site click on each outbound link on our page)? Or are they just leaving our site without necessarily visiting an outside site we've linked to?

Short Answer: You add this code to your link so it looks like:

<a href="http://www.example.com/" onClick="javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview('/example');">Co name or link info</a>

Will show up in Google Analytics as a page view.

Detailed Answer: (From Google Support) 


You can customize your Google Analytics tracking code to find out when users click outbound links, or links that take users to a website other than your own.
This article gives you an example of how to set up outbound link tracking. This is a two-step process, and you need to follow both steps complete the process.
You must have Google Analytics account and the web tracking code set up before you can track outbound links. You should have a basic knowledge of HTML and JavaScript or work with a developer to complete the set up.

Step 1: Set up an Event to track outbound links

Event tracking is a way you can track user interactions that aren’t automatically collected by the Google Analytics tracking code snippet, including clicks to outbound links. Learn more about Event tracking.
You can copy and paste the example below into your own pages to set up Event tracking for outbound links. We recommend you put this script in your page headers, but not within the basic Google Analytics tracking code snippet.
When you set up an Event, you must define values for the Event components. The Event components define how the data appears in your reports. In this example, the CategoryAction, and Label are defined (in bold). You can use these values, or change them and define your own values. Learn more about Event components or refer to our Developer Guides for more technical information on the Event tracking.
The changes you need to make to your web pages depend on which tracking code you’re using. See if you have Classic Analytics (ga.js) or Universal Analytics (analytics.js).
This example uses Event tracking for Universal Analytics. If you’re using Classic Analytics, refer to our Developer Guides for more information on how to track outbound links with Events using the ga.js JavaScript library.
<script>
/**
* Function that tracks a click on an outbound link in Google Analytics.
* This function takes a valid URL string as an argument, and uses that URL string
* as the event label.
*/
var trackOutboundLink = function(url) {
   ga('send', 'event', 'outbound', 'click', url, {'hitCallback':
     function () {
     document.location = url;
     }
   });
}
</script>

Step 2: Add the onclick attribute to your outbound links

After you have Event tracking set up (Step 1), you must also add (or modify) the onclick attribute to your links. This is how data from a specific link gets sent to Google Analytics.
Use this example as a model for your own links:
<a href="http://www.example.com" onclick=”trackOutboundLink(‘http://www.example.com’); return false;">Check out example.com</a>

Additional resources (for developers)

This example includes the hitCallback field, which tells Google Analytics when the user interaction is complete., and uses the trackOutboundLink() as the JavaScript function. This makes sure that you collect the interaction data before the user leaves your site.
For more information on how this works, refer to the hitCallback reference in our Developer Guides.

This tutorial describes how to track outgoing links using the NEW Google Universal Analytics.js code, commonly called Analytics.js or UA. If you are using the OLD ga.js code click here.
This guide describes how to track outgoing links using Google Universal Analytics or commonly known as Analytics.js - the NEW (since late 2013) tracking that Google provides it's webmasters.
If the tracking code you use on your website starts with
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function()
... then you are using the NEW Analytics.js code and you can continue reading below.
If however your tracking code starts with
var _gaq=_gaq||[];
... then you are using the OLD Google Analytics code, and you should refer to the other guide: Track outbound links with Google Analytics (ga.js)
Since Google introduced the Asynchronous Tracking method, one of the most common questions is: "how do I track outgoing links"? The solution is quite simple, one has to track outgoing links as events (found in Google Analytics under Behavior - Events). The problem however is that it does not always work for everyone, the reason being that events are only recorded once a link is clicked. If that link takes you away from a page (such as an outgoing link in the same window), that tracking event often does not have time to register with the analytics server before the new page starts to load and the tracking request cancelled.
In order to ensure that tracking is done properly, we either have to ensure that the target window is a new window (eg: _blank), or delay the opening of the link by about half a second, giving your browser enough time to register the event and load the tracking url.
The best method of "auto-tracking" outgoing links is to automatically detect outbound links with JavaScript when they are clicked, and automatically track that event. That tracking event should first check to see whether that link is destined to open in a new window (target="_blank"), and:
  • If yes, register the track, and open the link in the new window
  • If no, register the track and delay opening the link by half a second, then proceed to open that link.
This method is by far the most robust, and simply means you need to include an external JavaScript file on your pages.
function _gaLt(event){
    var el = event.srcElement || event.target;

    /* Loop up the tree through parent elements if clicked element is not a link (eg: an image inside a link) */
    while(el && (typeof el.tagName == 'undefined' || el.tagName.toLowerCase() != 'a' || !el.href))
        el = el.parentNode;

    if(el && el.href){
        if(el.href.indexOf(location.host) == -1){ /* external link */
            ga("send", "event", "Outgoing Links", el.href, document.location.pathname + document.location.search);
            /* if target not set then delay opening of window by 0.5s to allow tracking */
            if(!el.target || el.target.match(/^_(self|parent|top)$/i)){
                setTimeout(function(){
                    document.location.href = el.href;
                }.bind(el),500);
                /* Prevent standard click */
                event.preventDefault ? event.preventDefault() : event.returnValue = !1;
            }
        }

    }
}

/* Attach the event to all clicks in the document after page has loaded */
var w = window;
w.addEventListener ? w.addEventListener("load",function(){document.body.addEventListener("click",_gaLt,!1)},!1)
  : w.attachEvent && w.attachEvent("onload",function(){document.body.attachEvent("onclick",_gaLt)});
If you are wanting to track links manually (ie: in the code), an outbound link on your website should look something like this:
<a href="http://outgoinglink.com"
   onclick="ga('send','event','Outgoing Links','outgoinglink.com')" target="_blank">Link Text</a>
What this will do (when clicked) is track an event called "outgoing_links" as "outgoinglink.com". This means that in your Google Analytics account, which has an "Event Tracking" section, you now get a category called "Outgoing Links" containing an action (and total recorded) of outgoing links. Please note the target="_blank" as this ensures your web browser is kept open and the event is able to register.
Using this new method, you can theoretically track anything on your website, including downloads, videos, etc. You just need to assign an "onclick" event with your own category and "description" (action), such as:
<a href="/myfiles/mypdf.pdf"
 onclick="ga('send','event','downloads','/myfiles/mypdf.pdf')" target="_blank">Link Text</a>

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

All about Google Analytics Chrome Extension

The Google Analytics team recently released a Chrome Extension that allows you to get detailed information about each page of your website while you browse it. Below I will go through some of the extension's features and how to use it to get a better idea of what is going on in your website.
In order to use the extension you will need any kind of Google Analytics permission to the website you are analyzing, a Chrome browser and the Extension (download here). Once you have those three, you can click on the Google Analytics icon on your browser while browsing your website (the icon is usually found on the top right corner of the page). 
Below is the extension's interface map with all its functionalities followed by an explanation of each.

The Page Analytics Chrome Extension allows you to see how customers interact with your web pages, including what they click and don’t click. 

Use these insights to optimize your website layout, improve user experience, and increase conversions. When you view a web page for which you have Google Analytics access, you’ll see: Google Analytics metrics: Pageviews, Unique Pageviews, Avg time on page, Bounce Rate, and %Exit Number of active visitors, in real time In-page click analysis: (where users click) You can use the Google Analytics date comparison and segmentation tools directly in the extension. 

Pages you are tracking with the Google Analytics code for an account your Google account login has access to will appear like this in your Chrome browse.

Notice that by installing this extension, you agree to the Google Terms of Service and Privacy Policy at https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/.

Resources: 
1- https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/page-analytics-by-google/fnbdnhhicmebfgdgglcdacdapkcihcoh?hl=en
2- http://online-behavior.com/analytics/in-page


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Top 25 Review/Citation Sites to Submit Your Local Business


The top 25 review/citation sites to submit your business contact information to. Accuracy and consistency is vitally important.

  1. Google+ Local
  2. Yahoo Local 
  3. Bing Local
  4. YP.com
  5. Yelp
  6. Manta 
  7. Show Me Local 
  8. Merchant Circle 
  9. SuperPages 
  10. Mojo Pages 
  11. EZ Local 
  12. Angie’s List 
  13. HotFrog 
  14. Foursquare 
  15. Chamber of Commerce 
  16. yellowbot.com 
  17. kudzu.com 
  18. brownbook.com 
  19. B2B Yellowpages 
  20. Directory Central  
  21. MapQuest 
  22. Local.com 
  23. Dexknows.com 
  24. Citysearch,com uses Express Update 
  25. nSphere 




Monday, 7 April 2014

10 Web Usability Lessons from Steve Krug's Don't Make Me Think

Don't Make Me Think is a book by Steve Krug about human-computer interaction and web usability. The book's premise is that a good software program or web site should let users accomplish their intended tasks as easily and directly as possible. Wikipedia


A Summary for the Book



10 Usability Lessons



Update:
I found the whole book online here if you are interested in a Free copy

Monday, 31 March 2014

Main 4 Components of SEO: The SEO Fork

SEO is like a fork with 4 tines. It cannot work with less to be efficient.

The same is with SEO, it is the combination of 4 main branches:


1- Content (Unique, Informative, Fresh, Attractive, Specialized, Related)
2- Onsite actors (Meta Tags, UI, Speed, interlinking)
3- Social Engagement (Likes, Shares, Retweets, Pluses)
4- Backlinks (qualitative, relevant, diverse, natural, use anchor texts not KWs)



SEO FORK

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Future of SEO is Taking your Visitors to Your Company's Kitchen

Many of you must have heard of Google's new R&D projects to emulate human interactions on website to base their ranking algorithm on the user experience and whether the visited site offered a perceived value or not.

That is why the future of SEO will not be keywords or backlinks but "Users"
Therefore, site owners need to offer a true user experience to their visitors by being more transparent with them. i.e. involving them in the kitchen :


So, Forget about the famous quote, attributed to Otto von Bismarck: 
Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.

How To Be More Transparent?

  1. Add a company page.
  2. Add images to your company page (let your visitors see you.)
  3. Add team video. Let your visitors see and hear you and your team
  4. Photos or video of your office. Let your visitors see where you work and what you offices look like.
  5. Don’t hide your phone number. This is a huge red flag.
  6. Integrate your social media accounts
  7. Show customer reviews and testimonials
  8. Embed a Google map of your office
  9. Show a photo and name of your sales person on the sales or contact page
  10. Don’t use stock photos of people in offices. Instead take real photos of your people in your offices.
  11. If you sell services, then describe your process
  12. If you sell products, then show how they get made

(I know a Toronto based SEO company called Powered By Search that has an animated photo of their office on the Main header on the Home Page showing visitors their employees while working.) 


Here are some extra guidelines from the Stanford Web Credibility Project: 






Resources:

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Get in-Depth Insights On which Products Your Customers Want but you don't Sell!

You have a website! Selling products! Offering Services! or Whatever...
You have your own search engine with a search box to make life easier for your visitors...
That is Great!

Do you want to know which products your visitors are looking for but you do not have them in your store because you don't know about such a demand??!

A very valuable piece of information is the list of terms that people search for that brings back zero matches. Here you've really blown it with your customer, and you’ll want to see this information so you can improve the experience in the future.

Your site’s internal search engine probably provides reports on searches with no results, but using Google Analytics' Event Tracking can be a simpler method with a one-time setup for a one-line code.

Set your page up so that if there are no results, the following piece of JavaScript code is run:

_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Search Results', 'No Results', '[Searched phrase]',1,true]);

Note that it is important that [Searched Phrase] is replaced by the actual search string your user used. Otherwise your reports will be of no use to you. Also note that in this case, the Non-Interaction variable is set to True. This means that if this is the only page the visitor is seeing, it will result in a bounce. And that makes sense because the No Results page was not helpful to them. 

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

How to find a Broken Backlink? The 404 Analysis Method

You may ask a client, supplier, blogger or whatever to add a link to one of your pages to get some link juice or referrals, but they may do a typo and add a wrong link URL to your site that when clicked it ends visitors up on a 404 not found page. So, how can you know those bad links?!


Here are some ideas to track those links and report them:

1- In the header template of your 404 page, find this line in your Google Analytics Tracking Code: _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); Then change it as follows: _gaq.push(['_trackPageview','/404error/?url=' + document.location.pathname + document.location.search + '&ref=' + document.referrer]); What's happening here is we're creating a virtual pageview that starts with /404error/ (you can name it anything you want) and then appending 2 made-up parameters to help us spot the source of the problem:
  • · "url=" will catch the URL which a visitor attempted to access. 
  • · "ref=" will catch the referring page. 
Here's what it will look like in your reports (when you do a search for "404error")



2- Another way is use Raven's GA Config tool. Simply add your GA account number then copy the Google Analytics tracking script just before the </head> tag on your 404 page (not your entire website). 
The code will be like this:

Asynchronous

<script type="text/javascript">
  var _gaq = _gaq || [];
 _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-XXXXX-X']);
  _gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/404.html?page=' + document.location.pathname + document.location.search + '&from=' + document.referrer]);

  (function() {
    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
  })();
</script>

Traditional ga.js

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? " https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + " google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
try{
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXXX-X");
pageTracker._trackPageview("/404.html?page=" + document.location.pathname + document.location.search + "&from=" + document.referrer);
} catch(err) {}
</script>

3- More ways:
http://ralphvanderpauw.com/digital-analytics/google-analytics-best-to-track-404-error-pages/ 


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Use rel="alternate" hreflang="x" annotations to Serve the Correct Language or Regional URL to Searchers!

The rel='alternate' attribute enables you to tell search engines that a web page is available in different language versions. For example, you could add the following to the head section of a web page if that page is available in English, German and French:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://en.example.com” hreflang=”en” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://de.example.com” hreflang=”de” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://.fr.example.com” hreflang=”fr” />

All other languages can be directed to the default version of your website:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://example.com” hreflang=”x-default” />

Some example scenarios where rel="alternate" hreflang="x" is recommended:
  • You keep the main content in a single language and translate only the template, such as the navigation and footer. Pages that feature user-generated content like a forums typically do this.
  • Your content has small regional variations with similar content in a single language. For example, you might have English-language content targeted to the US, GB, and Ireland.
  • Your site content is fully translated. For example, you have both German and English versions of each page.

Using language annotations

Imagine you have an English language page hosted at http://www.example.com/, with a Spanish alternative at http://es.example.com/. You can indicate to Google that the Spanish URL is the Spanish-language equivalent of the English page in one of three ways:
  • HTML link element in header. In the HTML <head> section of http://www.example.com/, add a link element pointing to the Spanish version of that webpage at http://es.example.com/, like this:
    <link rel="alternate" hreflang="es" href="http://es.example.com/" />
  • HTTP header. If you publish non-HTML files (like PDFs), you can use anHTTP header to indicate a different language version of a URL:
    Link: <http://es.example.com/>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="es"
  • Sitemap. Instead of using markup, you can submit language version information in a Sitemap.
If you have multiple language versions of a URL, each language page must identify all language versions, including itself.  For example, if your site provides content in French, English, and Spanish, the Spanish version must include a rel="alternate" hreflang="x" link for itself in addition to links to the French and English versions. Similarly, the English and French versions must each include the same references to the French, English, and Spanish versions.
You can specify multi-language URLs in the same domain as a given URL, or use URLs from a different domain.
It's a good idea to provide a generic URL for geographically unspecified users if you have several alternate URLs targeted at users with the same language, but in different locales. For example, you may have specific URLs for English speakers in Ireland (en-ie), Canada (en-ca), and Australia (en-au), but want all other English speakers to see your generic English (en) page, and everyone else to see the homepage. In this case you should specify the generic English-language (en) page for searchers in, say, the UK. You can annotate this cluster of pages using a Sitemap file or using HTML link tags like this:
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ie" hreflang="en-ie" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-ca" hreflang="en-ca" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en-au" hreflang="en-au" />
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/en" hreflang="en" />
For language/country selectors or auto-redirecting homepages, you should add an annotation for the hreflang value "x-default" as well:
<link rel="alternate" href="http://example.com/" hreflang="x-default" />

Supported language values

The value of the hreflang attribute identifies the language (in ISO 639-1 format) and optionally the region (in ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format) of an alternate URL. For example:
  • de: German content, independent of region
  • en-GB: English content, for GB users
  • de-ES: German content, for users in Spain
Do not specify a country code by itself! Google does not automatically derive the language from the country code. You can specify a language code by itself if you want to simplify your tagging.  Adding the country code after the language to restrict the page to a specific region.  Examples:
  • be: Belarusian language, independent of region (not Belgium French)
  • nl-be: Dutch for Belgium
  • fr-be: French for Belgium 
For language script variations, the proper script is derived from the country. For example, when using zh-TW for users zh-TW, the language script is automatically derived (in this example: Chinese-Traditional). You can also specify the script itself explicitly using ISO 15924, like this:
  • zh-Hant: Chinese (Traditional)
  • zh-Hans: Chinese (Simplified)
Alternatively, you can also specify a combination of script and region—for example, usezh-Hans-TW to specify Chinese (Simplified) for Taiwanese users.
Finally, the reserved value "x-default" is used for indicating language selectors/redirectors which are not specific to one language or region, e.g. your homepage showing a clickable map of the world.

Common Mistakes

Important: Make sure that your provided hreflang value is actually valid. Take special care in regard to the two most common mistakes:
In general you are advised to sign up with your site to Webmaster Tools. This enables you to receive messages in regard to wrong annotations.
Example Widgets, Inc has a website that serves users in the USA, Great Britain, and Germany. The following URLs contain substantially the same content, but with regional variations:
  • http://www.example.com/ Default page that doesn't target any language or locale; may have selectors to let users pick their language and region.
  • http://en.example.com/page.html English-language homepage. Contains information about fees for shipping internationally from the USA.
  • http://en-gb.example.com/page.html English-language; displays prices in pounds sterling.
  • http://en-us.example.com/page.html English-language; displays prices in US dollars.
  • http://de.example.com/seite.html German-language version of the content
rel="alternate" hreflang="x" is used as a page level, not a site level, and you need to mark up each set of pages, including the home page, as appropriate. You can specify as many content variations and language/regional clusters as you need.
To indicate to Google that you want the German version of the page to be served to searchers using Google in German, the en-us version to searchers using google.com in English, and the en-gb version to searchers using google.co.uk in English, userel="alternate" hreflang="x" to identify alternate language versions.
Update the HTML of each URL in the set by adding a set of rel="alternate" hreflang="x" link elements. For the default page that doesn’t target any specific language or locale, add rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default":
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="http://www.example.com/" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-gb" href="http://en-gb.example.com/page.html" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-us" href="http://en-us.example.com/page.html" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://en.example.com/page.html" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href="http://de.example.com/seite.html" />
This markup tells Google's algorithm to consider all of these pages as alternate versions of each other.