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Web Analytics

Are You Leveraging the Advantage of Google Search Console?

Search Console is a Google service that helps webmasters monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their website’s performance in Google search rankings. The purpose of Google Search Console is to help webmasters understand and improve how the search engine sees your website.

Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions:

  • Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site
  • Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content
  • (more…)

Advanced Analytics for Forms

Advanced Analytics for FormsThe subject of website analytics is very important for every company that wants to gauge their online success.  Everyone who wants to succeed is doing it, and software like Google Analytics can provide you with a plethora of information about your site and its engagement.  Is there more that you can be doing though?  The answer is definitely, yes.

I’ve written in the past about A/B testing, the benefits, tools that are available, and how to use those tools. But how do you know what to change or what should be changed?  We’ve been using an online software called Hotjar for a year now, and today I want to show you a little bit about Hotjar’s Form Visualization tool. (more…)

How is Your Dwell Time?

Many, many factors contribute to a website’s success.  Search marketers agree that user interaction is one of those important factors, with dwell time being one of the key metrics Google utilizes to measure that interaction.

So, what is dwell time?  Most people assume it’s the amount of time a visitor spends on your website but actually Google uses a combination of session duration and bounce rate to formulate a dwell time value. While a dwell time metric is not readily accessible, we can view both session duration and bounce rate through Google Analytics with the intent to improve one or both for a better dwell time metric. (more…)

What % Click Search Results in Positions 1-10?

The stat was ingrained in my mind.  That 89% of search engine users clicked a result on Page 1.

But a new study, published recently by Slingshot SEO, debunks that old statistic.  Reported today by thought-leader Search Engine Watch, the number of people who click on results from Page 1 of search results is now proven to be…only 52 percent.

Click here for details and implications of this important study.

In the meantime, we leave you with a chart (courtesy Search Engine Watch) of what percentage of Google users click on results in the first 10 positions:


 

Google+ (A New Social Platform)

Google+ is a new social platform which many see as Google’s answer to Facebook. There are several components to the free product, launching now and over the next several months:

1) CLICK TO SHARE The first feature (available now to all Google users) is the ability to “+1” Google search results. Enable this feature, and you will see a +1 button to the right of each Google search result. It’s similar to ‘liking’ on Facebook– when you click the button, other participants in your Google social network will see what you +1 in their own search results. See screenshot:

Sign up for the ability to “+1” specific Google search results, the new form of social sharing. (Log into your Google account first.)

2) HOOK +1 UP ON YOUR WEBSITE Most likely, Google will eventually factor the amount of +1s a webpage receives as a ranking factor. Currently, the amount of tweets and Facebook shares a page receives is a ranking factor; so this is the next logical step. According to your comfort level, we recommend you add the +1 sharing button to your webpages:

Add the +1 button to your website, to enable visitors to share your webpages and blog entries with their Google networks.

3) ADDITIONAL FEATURES Google has a whole world planned with Google+. For example: ten-person video sharing, management of Facebook-style social profiles, and easy mobile sharing. Currently, only a select few Google users have access to these features. Read one user’s experience of the new features.

Sign up to be notified when additional Google+ features are rolled out to the public.

More to come on Google+ in the coming weeks and months!

Bing & Yahoo Alliance: Key Facts

Starting this week, Yahoo search results have a new label: “Powered by Bing.”  What?!  Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing once were two search engines vying for 2nd in market share, behind all-powerful Google.  Their limited alliance —  centered upon Yahoo’s adoption of Bing’s search technology and advertising display — is a major attempt to offset Google’s dominance in search.  Can you say “no more monopoly”?

Key Dates in Bing /Yahoo Search Merger thanks to coverage by the New York Times

  • Spring 2008: Microsoft offers a whopping $47.5 billion to buy Yahoo after merger talks lead nowhere.
  • Summer 2008: Microsoft abandons the offer, frustrating Yahoo investors.
  • January 2009: Carol Bartz named CEO of Yahoo, as co-founder Jerry Yang is ousted.
  • July 2009: The two companies announce a partnership in Internet search and advertising intended to create a stronger market with Google. (<– the current deal)
  • August 2010: With few announcements from either party, Yahoo begins displaying Bing-powered search results in the US.
  • December 2010: Yahoo plans to display Bing paid advertising, beginning at this time.

Good Timing for Yahoo?
While the alliance is a big win for Microsoft’s Bing– growing since its June 2009 launch– Yahoo is feeling the current momentum:

  • In July 2010, Google remained the market leader by a wide margin, holding 65.8% of the U.S. search market compared with 66.2% in June.
  • Yahoo picked up those lost points, rising to 17.1% from 16.7% share.
  • Bing held its share at 11%.

Yahoo also stands to retain an incredible 88% of paid ad revenue for searches originating in Yahoo during the first 5 years of this merger.  In layman’s terms, Yahoo is “getting a better search engine” for next-to “free,” until it begins forking over a larger share of ad revenue in 2015.  Finally, Yahoo’s Dow Jones stock trading is down 1% for August 2010, vs. a nearly 8% dive in August for Microsoft. Time will tell!

comScore Search Website Trends, February 2010

Last month comScore, an online market research group, published fascinating trends in what it calls expanded search usage.

Expanded search refers to websites (including but not limited to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing) on which searches are performed.  The chart below will help you understand this definition more fully.  The purpose of this entry is to uncover ‘movers and shakers’ in the expanded search landscape and offer advice on how to cater your online strategy to these outlets.  Let’s jump right in:

Search engine rankingsA) GOOGLE:Google continues to be the dominant player in the search field.  In January 2010, Americans conducted 15.2 billion core searches, with Google Sites accounting for 65.4% search market share. A Search Engine Optimization company like ours helps you to perform best as possible in search engines such as Google.  However, you must understand Google’s dominance in ‘organic search’ extends into other core offerings (such as Google Maps, Google News, Images and Video).  Increasingly, strong representation in these Google subsets will be vital to online marketing success in any industry.  Claiming and editing Google Maps listings is a great first step!  We can help.

B) YOUTUBE: Why? Because online video consumption rose 59% in 2009 and YouTube leads the pack. YouTube allows a link into your website to appear on your video’s page, and the ability to add keywords so your video is found more often by people who want to see it.  If you have not published any business videos on YouTube, do it today.  Publish your: expertise (presentations, trade show videos, interviews with experts on-staff), any TV commercials you’ve created, a How-To on a process performed at your business, a funny or controversial video interweaving your product, etc for increased website traffic and viewing by YouTube’s 1 billion daily users.

C) BING: Bing’s June 2009 launch has proven successful. Bing usage is 4% over predecessor MSN/Live’s market share last year at this time (jump from 5-9% of all search engine usage).  We are continuing to watch Bing for further growth, as it continues healthily.  We do not anticipate Bing’s growth to affect our overall SEO strategy, but businesses are definitely receiving more traffic from Microsoft’s search engine than ever before.

D) CRAIGSLIST: If your business provides a product or service that is a Sales Category on Craigslist, you are competing with them for site visitors. (Visit your city’s subpage at Craigslist.org for a full view of Sales Categories). The more Craigslist continues to grow, the higher its Category pages will rank in Google results.  Describe your products as fully as possible on your website to ensure Craigslist directory pages do not beat out your site’s rankings on general (Google) results pages.

E) FACEBOOK: Your business needs a Facebook Fanpage, even if you don’t think your business is ‘cool and hip.’  Enough said!  Facebook allows so many customizable fields that elevate your Fanpage’s placement within Facebook Search and Google results.  If I type our business name, “Upright Communications,” into Google, our Facebook Fanpage is the 3rd result! The ability to describe your business, add photos and videos, provide your business address and phone number, etc. allow you to make your business appear healthy and credible, in addition to increasing exposure across the online market.

Low-Cost Site Usability Testing

1,000,000 visitors are useless…if none becomes a sales lead.

So Upright designs sites for easy navigation, integrating keywords logically to provide the solution to each visitor.  We analyze visitor behaviors monthly to uncover areas of statistical difficulty.  And as weak spots are suspected, we utilize Google Website Optimizer and live usability tests.  (Notably, we code and design all buttons, images and text for layout alternatives.)

While doing this deep-level analysis, we also research new Usability Testing tools to see which could benefit our clients. One goal of our blog is to share new tools we discover…
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Ranking Reports are Dying A Slow Death, So Watch Those Metrics!

A few months ago, I wrote a nice little article called “Don’t Sweat the Rankings So Much. Metrics is the Answer” where I offered a bit of advice to stop worrying so much about where you rank and start focusing more on metrics.  I predicted that in the next year or two, to be prepared for your rankings to mean less and less, and to be prepared to spend more time and effort analyzing your metrics. Since that time, the buzz about this topic has become increasingly louder as more people realize the importance of conversion analysis in a world where the usefulness of ranking reports are dying.
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New Sales = Fast Lead Follow-up

The number one New Years Resolution for many business-to-business companies is to generate more qualified leads for their sales teams. Id like to add a second part to that resolution: follow-up fast with the leads that you receive.

There was a great post recently on Bryan Eisenbergs blog, GrokDotCom, which detailed the poor state of lead follow-up that marketers have. In fact, in a survey conducted by Omniture and InsideSales.com they set up aliases, such as John@xyzcompany.com, and completed the lead or request information form of 700 different companies, several different times. Then kept track of their lead response and nurturing strategies and found:

  • Average email response time: 19 hours, 31 minutes
    *Optimum response time should be within the first hour
  • Average phone response time: 36 hours, 57 minutes
    *Optimum phone response time should be within the first five minutes
  • How many companies even responded?
    *Only 47.3 percent responded via email, and just 7.5 percent responded via phone!

Web-generated leads decrease effectiveness by over 6x in the first hour according to InsideSales.com.

Fast lead follow-up equals more sales. Make a resolution to respond to web inquiries (phone and e-mail) right away. Here is a link to Bryan’s complete blog post for additional lead generation tips and strategies:

http://www.grokdotcom.com/2008/12/03/increasing-qualified-leads-from-your-website/