Uncategorized - 11/36 - Digital Marketing Agency

Web analytics Series Part 1- Initial Set Up

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OK, so you have decided to put Google Analytics on your website? The first question you need to ask yourself is – why bother?

Imagine Google Analytics wasn’t free, and you had to justify to your boss why you should implement it (which may be the case for many people anyway, time being money and all that). This is an important thing to consider so you can make sure you get the most out of Google Analytics.

Web analytics can provide such a huge amount of data that it can be overwhelming. By having clarity on what exact information you want from the start, you can make the journey easier for yourself, and also make sure you set up your account appropriately from the very beginning.  For example, my reason for setting up the account on our website was to see the following main things:

  • Where traffic to our site comes from –  to try to figure out how to increase it
  • The traffic patterns to our blog – to know what is popular/worthwhile writing about; and
  • To examine interaction with our ‘contact us’ page – this is our main onsite ‘conversion’

Of course establishing some purpose to your web analytics doesn’t mean you can never use it for anything else, it just means that you have structure to your work, which means you are more likely to use your web analytics.

Once you have established your reasons for implementing analytics, just sign up. The sign up and implementation of the initial code is very easy. Simply make a Google account (or you probably already have one), enter the URL of your website, and cut and paste the code Google provides between the body tags of your website. UPDATE: It is much better to use Google Tag Manager to implement your Google Analytics.

Make sure to use the new code (not the old Urchin version), because any new upgrades and improvements by Google will be made to the new code only. UPDATE: as of 2014, you can upgrade to Universal Analytics.

Very quickly, your website will start to collect data. Still, there are a few more things you need to do with your account to make sure it is set up properly, so stay tuned.

Australian Budget 2009 Online

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With only 2 weeks to go until the Federal budget is announced, newspapers are already speculating about the make up of this years spending. Seeing as we are so far in the red already, I would have thought the budget would focus on savings, but Kev has already been hinting at more stimulus for our economy.

Nearly everyone in Australia probably feels as I do – that no matter what the budget turns out like, they should have done something a bit different.

For all us armchair politicians (and ex-Finance Department employees), news.com.au has a fab new application, Instabudget, which helps you develop the budget for yourself – to see how you would really go.

Instabudget

After having a go on it, I realised I was hugely in the surplus – even though I reduced taxes for everyone! This could be because I left $0 in many of the categories, which really isn’t realistic I know. However, this is no place for me to have a political rant.

Anyway, this application is fun to waste 10 minutes or so, and news.com.au also has a dedicated area of their site for all budget related news, which will include breakdown and analysis after the announcement.

What Distinguishes Your Content?

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The invention of the internet signalled the beginning of a new ‘democracy’ for writers. No longer did writers have to wait for a publisher to agree to publish their work, but rather we are now all free to write on forums, start our own blogs, write comments on other people’s blogs, submit articles to article directories, post notes or rants on our social networking sites, or just start up our own websites.
 
This is a great way for ‘the people’ to identify the content they want to read, rather than waiting for some publisher to provide us with what they think we want to read. This has resulted in such phenomenons as the “Stuff White People Like” blog, which has now become a book, and also a much less frequently updated blog, I assume because the writers are too busy with their new found fame. The ability to get a book deal from a blog was showcased in the ridiculous example of ‘This is why you’re fat’, a blog which relies on submitted content from the public, and which got a book deal within 3 weeks of being established!
 
The downside to all this new content online is of course the deterioration of quality – something that the big publishers, like newspapers, have been harping on about recently. By removing the need for publishers to approve our content, we also removed the requirement for editing, which has resulted in a lower quality of content. However, while the internet is being spammed with newly created content every second, there is still quality content out there, and the ‘democratic’ nature of the search algorithms hopefully means that it is easier to find than the spammy stuff.
 
So, what is the point of this rant? First of all, to demonstrate how anything at all can be published on the internet, and second of all to make a quick list of things you need to do to separate your content from the millions of spam pages online:
  1.  Make sure you have basic grammar and spelling down pat. Not only will bad spelling and grammar turn your readers off, it can damage your brand and make you look unprofessional.
  2. Remember that online readers are likely impatient readers. Make your content concise – and no I don’t teach by example. (Although these bulleted points are a last ditch attempt at that).
  3. For SEO reasons, you might like to use relevant keywords in your content. Don’t stuff them in there! It can be discounted by Google, and will most certainly be disliked by your reader. It makes your content look like advertisements, and will reduce the likelihood of readers returning.
  4. Use structure where possible – headings, bullet points, etc. If your headings are relevant, this may also help with SEO.
  5. It might be obvious, but like any journalist – put your most important facts at the top of the page. Assume people aren’t going to read the whole thing.
  6. Use description. If you are talking about your flower shop, be descriptive – our fresh flower shop, our North Sydney flower shop, our discount flower shop, etc.
  7. Although I am sure most quality writers won’t do this, I just want to reiterate, because nothing looks spammier – don’t use a lot of exclamation marks!!!!! or even question marks!???

Change to AdWords Interface

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Google has released a Beta option of a new interface within Adwords, which is available now to some users.

The new interface looks a lot more modern, upgrading it to match the much better looking Google Analytics.

Apart from the general improvement in aesthetics, there are also some very useful improvements:

  • Tree type navigation in the left hand margin which makes drilling down into your account easier – similar to the Adwords Editor
  • Dropdown menu’s for the tabs across the top – reporting, billing, etc.
  • New visualisation for campaign/ad group/keywords/ads, which graph performance over whatever time period you choose – similar to Google analytics now everything is visualised rather than simply tabulated.
  • Ability to compare metrics on this graph: e.g. clicks vs. CTR
  • google adwords
  • Ability to filter these graphs, e.g. for clicks above or below a certain price, conversion rate, etc.
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