Are you making use of the free Google tools for your SEO?

Did you know that there numerous free tools that Google offer that you can use to improve your SEO? These tools are easy to use and can make a huge difference in helping you to increase traffic to your site and keep it on the right side of Panda and Penguin. There are tools that help you find keywords, analyze traffic, test your pages and to spot trends. By making use of some or all of these free tools, you have the opportunity to really boost your site and increase traffic, which of course can lead to more business. In the end, most website owners want more business and making use of the tools available to help you do that, particularly when they are free, is an opportunity not to be missed. So, here are some of the tools and how to use them.

Here is a list of free Google tools for your website’s SEO campaign. There are keyword and trend tools, website optimization tools, tools to increase your backlinks, and more. All of these tools are free.

Google Analytics

 

Google Analytics.Google Analytics.

 

Google Analytics lets you measure sales and conversions, and gives you access to your visitors’ behavior. Understand which parts of your website are performing well, measure the success of your social media programs, and create better-targeted ads. Price: Free for users with less than 5 million page views a month.

Google Webmaster Tools

 

Google Webmaster Tools.Google Webmaster Tools.

 

Google Webmaster Tools show you how Google crawls and indexes your site. Learn about any problems Google is having indexing your site’s URLs. Identify the top search queries that drive traffic to your site, as well as any links to your site. Share information, such as how often your important pages change, to improve your site’s visibility. Price: Free.

Google Insights for Search

 

Google Insights for Search.Google Insights for Search.

 

Google Insights for Search lets you compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames for any search term or phrase. Track search terms, and find potential customers based on their search volume. Price: Free. Click here for more

Further reading

How to use Google Webmaster tools to maximize your SEO

14 Google tools you didn’t know existed

 

Understanding Google analytics

When it comes to making the most of your online marketing campaign, it is important that you make use of all the tools that are available to you so that you can target the right sort of customer. Google Analytics is one of those tools and if you can understand how to use it and how to use the information you get from it, you will be well on your way.

Everything from how to setup your account to maximize your results, to what are the most important reports to pay attention to, and a number of advanced tactics as well. If you’re interested in Google Analytics you won’t want to miss it!

Traffic reports are required reading for any business looking to generate leads or make sales online. A good analytics program can quickly tell you what’s working and what’s not in your Web marketing campaign. Here at flyte we love Google Analytics, a free, powerful reporting tool.

What This Article Is…and Isn’t

This article is about how to read and utilize your Google Analytic (GA) reports.

This isn’t an installation guide, nor do we have the space to delve into every report GA can generate. However, if you’re looking to get comfortable with GA and gain a better understanding of how your prospects and customers are using your Web site, you’ve come to the right place.

Logging In

Visit http://www.google.com/analytics and login with your username and password. You’ll see a list of any Web site or blog you’re tracking as Google allows tracking of multiple sites within an account. Click on “View Reports” next to the site you wish to review and you’ll be taken to the Dashboard.

Exploring The Dashboard

Once you log in you’ll see the dashboard, which contains snapshots of several reports generated by GA. (All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Google Analytics Dashboard

These reports may include visitors, traffic sources, map overlay and content. You can move them around, add new reports to the dashboard, or remove ones you don’t like with drag and drop simplicity.

Near the top you’ll see a section called Site Usage. It includes the following metrics:

  • Visits: The number of visits to your site during a given time period.
  • Pageviews: The number of pages these visitors viewed.
  • Pages/Visit: The average visit in terms of page views.
  • Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who only visited one page on your site before they “bounced” somewhere else. (This can often seem deceptively high, but many people will get to your site and realize that it wasn’t what they were looking for, or you may have a popular image indexed by Google’s Image Search that generates a lot of “drive-by” traffic and skews your numbers. Alternatively, it may represent that your site is difficult to navigate or understand for new visitors.)
  • Avg. Time on Site: The average amount of time a visitor spends at your site.
  • % of New Visits: The percentage of new visitors to your site as compared to all visitors. Some businesses might want lots of new traffic, while others might want generate repeat visits, driving down this percentage.

By default, Google shows you the last 30 days of activity. However, you can change this setting, or even compare two different date ranges, for example August 2008 versus August 2007. Click here to continue

Further information

Seminars for success

The small business guide to Google analytics

Are You Losing Sales Because of ‘Friction Cost’???

There is a little known department in Whitehall called the ‘Behavioral Insights Team’; their job, to subtly alter the ways we in the UK act, look after ourselves and obey the law.
Known colloquially as the ‘Nudge Unit’ it was at first thought of as all a bit nutty, but now because of a series of successes is firmly embedded into Government policy. But what has this to do with businesses in general?

It All Started With Home Insulation

This is where their first coup comes in and it was all about home insulation. The problem, back in early 2011 was that despite the fact that with the huge subsidies being thrown at the issue (to reduce energy use) people were just not buying it, even though it would pay for itself in just a few months.

The team therefore set out to find out the reason for the low take up, and using common sense and a bit of research soon found the answer, people it seems, could simply not be bothered clearing the loft so that the insulation could be laid…

bill butcher - loft insulation

image courtesy of Bill Butcher

The answer was therefore simple, arrange for the company laying the insulation to clear the loft first, getting rid of any rubbish for you in the process. This simple change caused the uptake of the insulation to increase by 500%…

But What does this have to do with YOUR business?

Let me introduce you to the term ‘Friction Cost’. This is all about the simple fact that if you make it too hard for people to buy from you they simply won’t bother, not even if it will save them money..

This goes for both online and offline businesses. The ones online are very obvious, websites that have poor navigation, or make it too hard to buy from (having to register as a customer before you can buy in all cases is one sure way to reduce sales) are the most common. The answer here is an easy one, get your site checked over by a usability expert, they will quickly point out problems and thus reduce ‘Friction’.

But what about offline businesses? We have seen that in the case of home insulation that people will, even though it will save them money, not buy. So maybe you are the cheapest in town, but what iif your customers can’t get a car close enough so that they can put that heavy item in, and you don’t have any staff to help carry it for the customer. Or maybe, like the insulation issue you don’t offer to get rid of the old appliance?

Whatever, it could pay dividends to think about anything like this that could be holding back your sales…

Time for a brainstorm session I think…

 

 

Using Google Analytics

 

Website owners should be using Google Analytics to monitor what is going on, what works, what does not, where traffic is going and what the conversion rates are. If you are not doing this, it might be a good idea start doing so. We have found some helpful information which can guide you.

 

Social media activity should be a big part of your overall online marketing activity. One of the big debates that’s raged on for a long time is how to effectively measure social media results.

In this article I’ll explain how you can use Google Analytics to monitor how well your social media efforts are working.

Where to find the information

If you log in to your Google Analytics account then click on the traffic sources menu on the left hand side, you’ll see a list of sub-menus appear underneath as below.

social analytics…More at How to Use Google Analytics to Monitor Social Media | SearchBlogger

More Reading

Using Google Analytics can help you target the right audience

Making use of Google Analytics can give you so much useful information which can help you target a particular audience and increase your conversion rates. There is now even an app so that you track your data whenever you want and where ever you are.

 

After a year of supporting both the old and new versions of Analytics, we are now fully transitioning and leaving the old version behind. This means that as of tomorrow we’ll be removing the link to the previous version which sits at the bottom of Google Analytics pages and all your analysis will take place in the new version….More at Moving Google Analytics Forward – Retiring The Old Version

 

More Reading

 

    Some Potentially Interesting Tracking Software For Your Website

    One question that haunts all business website owners is that of “How can I get more conversions from my site?” Of course, you have to have a good site and clear call to actions before you can really expect to convert, but if these two points are covered, just what can you do to get that extra few sales from your business site?

    Well, for sites selling to other businesses there is, potentially some good news, in that there is now some software available that will give you details of just which businesses have visited you site and what pages they looked at.

    This is done by ‘Reverse IP Look Ups’, the details of the business then being ascertained and provided by the software. So once the software has been set up (this being as simple as adding a bit of code to every page – just like Google analytics) the data about the visitors to the site is provided to the owner.

    Sure not every business visitor is tracked, in fact there is only a 35% hit rate, but even this reduced data set can be the key to some extra business, as many of the customers of the software will attest too.

    Here is a quote from the site:-

    http://www.approvedbusiness.co.uk/WebTraffic.aspx

    Approved Business Web Traffic Revealer is the ultimate tool for new business generation.

    This intelligent software allows you to see the complete details of companies that have visited your website, giving you the edge when it comes to uncovering new sales opportunities.

    Approved Business Web Traffic Revealer gives your company the power to generate increased levels of quality leads by providing insight into exactly who is looking at your site, where they have come from and most importantly what areas of your business they are interested in.

    The software is easily installed by adding a tracking code to your website that monitors a whole range of information that is unique and exclusively available to your organization. You can access the data instantly either via the “online portal”, or by integrating it with your own CRM platform. You can view and export visitor data, including the company name, web address, location and telephone number, creating a whole new source of business opportunities for you.

    Previously, if a company visited and browsed your website then left without contacting you, that prime prospect was lost for good. Through the use of Approved Business Web Traffic Revealer, you can see exactly who these prospects are, transforming the return you generate from your website.

    I have had a chat with the company concerned and went through a few areas of concern:-

    • As this software provided details of actual businesses, did this contravene Google’s Privacy Policies?

      Here, they say that as Google’s policy only covers the public, ie normal consumers, all is OK. Google they say are fully aware of the software and its use, so all seems OK.

    • The other issue was the matter of the Telephone Preference Service, as calling someone who has registered with the TPS can result in a fine.

      Here they told me that the software does not provide the phone number of any business that is registered with the TPS. This means that this would need to be found from the visitors website. The argument here is that if they display a phone number then you can call it without fear. Sounds reasonable, but I would suggest that anyone should verify this before they call…

    There is another issue too, in that in order for the information to be worthwhile, the visiting firm must be small enough so that you can have a decent chance of being able to find and talk to the actual person that visited your site. I say this as if say you had a visit from Tesco, it might be a little difficult to find the actual interested party, so that you try to take matters further…

    The paradox is that the smaller the company the less likely the software is to be able to provide you with any data, small companies less likely to be found via the Reverse IP address look up process.

    The good news is that they offer a 7 day trial, so it will not cost you anything to find out.

    Overall then, the software is certainly worth checking out, just beware of the potential drawbacks and limitations.

    If you are interested check out the full story at:-

    http://www.approvedbusiness.co.uk/WebTraffic.aspx

    Free Search Engine Optimisation Survey

    At SOM we’ve always gone out of our way to help people decide what to do (and what not to do too) when it comes to marketing their site on the Search Engines.

    We start this process by carrying out an indepth survey of their website, this providing details on how well it is set up (it’s Search Engine Friendliness – the On Page area of SEO) how good the linking structure is versus the competition etc.

    In addition to the above, we also check out the analytics or the sites log files in some cases, so we can get a truly accurate idea about it’s traffic.

    We even provide data on the keywords that are working for the competition.

    Follow the link to see in detail of what our Free SEO site surveys include.

    Google Analytics & Searchandising

    I am often asked questions about Google Analytics, often because there is just so much data available that it just ‘blows their minds’.

    The trick here is to use Filters to place one set of data for say PPC visitors and another set for Organic visitors into different ‘pots’. You still keep the ‘big pot’ with all the data in it too, but having these subsets of data sure makes it easier to understand.

    However, this blog is not about reducing the amount of data in Analytics, its about INCREASING it, but for good reason.

    We all know that the First Problem for all site owners is getting people to their site. As many have found, setting up a website and waiting for the people to visit in huge numbers normally has only one outcome, a long wait (and a website covered in electronic dust). No, for all but the luckiest of businesses, a lot of hard work is required to get those potential customers into their site.

    But there is a second problem

    Getting visitors in is all well and good, but unless you get them to do something (buy or enquire or sign up for a newsletter) all the effort of getting them there is wasted. This “something” will vary from one site to another, but in all cases you want to make it easy for people to find what they want on the site as that is bound to increase the likelihood of them making a purchase or whatever else you want them to do.

    The answer is of course the “Search” box. You’ll find these on many sites, and when they are done in the right way, they are really useful. With just a few clicks you can input the term “what do feed rubber ducks on” and be provided with a list of all the pages on the site that are relevant, all without all that tiresome tracking through the navigation and having to scan every page.

    Searchandising

    The term “Searchandising” is in fact all about the science of implementing these search boxes and the analysis of the data it provides and guess what Mr Google can help with both. For a small fee you can have a Google Search Facility on your site, this being backed by the same powerful search algorithims that Google use all the time. That beats the hell out of most so called search facilities I have come across on more sites than I care to mention – talk about awful!

    Google have spent years perfecting their search function, so when you use it you have one that allows for the fact that humans are well, human. They just don’t do things the way a “sensible computer” would. For a start they can’t spell in many cases, and they tend to write as they speak, in other words they may well type in “yelow rubber duks”. Now a system that expects you to type in just “rubber ducks” is going to get really confused here and will probably decide that there is nothing on the site that matches these requirements and come up with an empty search list. Result, the user goes elsewhere and that potential sale is lost, not so with Googles offering.

    Listing the Results

    With Google you get the results in a way you understand and know, these being rated by relevance and from experience I can say that the small fee you have to pay each year is more than worth it.

    The best bit is yet to come though

    Search boxes are found on many sites, but that trick that is often missed is to check to see what people have actually typed in / are looking for. If you have this data you can use it to improve the way the site is laid out, e.g. what products are on the first page etc, but beyond that you can also glean a lot of information about visitor behaviour as it tells you what they want, and that can’t be bad.

    The data is also very useful for SEO purposes too, as there is a fair chance that any term typed into your internal search engine will be typed into Google and the like. Thus optimising your site for these terms is a great way of getting ahead of the competition.

    That best bit

    Perhaps the very best bit is that Google Analytics incorporates any on site searches in its database, allowing you to see what people have been looking for, all from that one interface, no extra programming, just DATA.

    So what should I do?

    Unless you have lots of money to burn, I’d hop off to Google, buy the Search Facility for your site and install the code pronto, its all very easy and if you can’t do it, your web designer can in just a few minutes. Then all you have to do is to tell Analytics to incorporate the data (just a tick in the box being needed) and heh presto, you’ll have lots of lovely new data to play with.

    OK you might not want the extra data, but it will help..

    Google Analytics in Trouble in Germany!

    Germany has been at loggerheads with Google in the past about privacy issues and it appears they are at in again, this time Analytics being under fire.

    Germany privacy officials are concerned that users IP address are being followed and that some say there should be illegal.

    Click to see more about this ‘Google Analytics‘ story:- http://searchengineland.com/german-govt-says-google-analytics-now-verboten-61109