Tag Archives: Google Analytics

Google+ is delivering already!

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We talked to many people in the web business. Word on the street was that Google+ is good. What I have learned is that there is no such thing as a good or bad social media venue. What counts is if it is working for your particular campaign. I run several websites and Facebook works miracles for one, and was a dud for another. Hmmm.

On my Google analytics it shows up as plus.url.google.com / referral. I was excited because we finally started getting detectable clicks from our network of less than a dozen people. We just started Google+ only a month or so ago and put very little effort into it so far.

One of the clicks was from the city of Gwangmyeong-si. I’ll put it on my bucket list to go there one day. I have no idea where that is. Sounds like Nepal, Laos, or China. I bet they have good dumplings there regardless. Ooops… Just looked it up. It is in Korea — wrong again! Korean dumplings just don’t measure up to Chinese. It is the one thing that Koreans aren’t good at! We got another one of our clicks from Khulna which is in Bangladesh. Not only do I get optimization from Google+, but I also get a geography lesson!

The reality of the situation is that it takes a long time to grow a social media network. Some grow like weeds with very little maintenance. Others take endless maintenance only to grow at the speed of a snail. It will take a few years to grow our Google+ really large, but it is nice to know that it just began to sprout in fertile Asian soils! Experts say that Google+ is great for your optimization, and it makes sense. A click from within one of Google’s networks will get preferential treatment, and for good reason.

So, what do I think about having Google+? It’s a definite plus!

(1) So, what do I think about having Google+? It’s a definite plus!
(2) It takes a long time to grow a social media network. With Google+, it is growing with you!

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Your site is only as good as the weakest link?

Categories: Analytics | Tagged | 1 Comment

What does this really mean? What is your weakest link?

Does your site have great graphics, but broken links? Google will penalize you severely for this. Or perhaps your links all work well, but there are other problems. Maybe you have great content, but horrible graphics. Maybe your links are to irrelevant content or poorly organized. Or perhaps everything is perfect, but your server is so damn slow. In web business, to do well, your site has to be good in all respects. If there are 20 factors to consider and you are weak in even one, then you can lose a lot of traffic. Below are some considerations to what makes your site good.

Good content
This means that you have a lot of text on various pages about industry specific information. Not only do you display your projects, but you compare them honestly to other similar products and you give a lot of free related information. If your site is about lawn mowers, compare its features to your competitors lawn mowers. Have pages all about types of grass and the attributes of those species of grass. Have information about outdoor recreation. Write articles about what other people did with their lawns and show some nice pictures of the people and their lawns (and their pets of course too.) They key to good content is to grab your audience and make them want to stay on your site for a long time and come back go your site in the future. Those regular visitors are more likely to make a purchase from you than a short term visitor who thinks your site is useless due to limited or disorganized content

Good organization
If your site has one thousand pages, you need to keep them organized. A good navigation bar can organize your site in a very basic way. It might link to your home page, contact us, about us, articles, site map, and a few other pages. It can’t go beyond that. So, how do you organize your content after that? There can be links on the home page to the most popular content. Your site map or articles page can organize your additional content into sections.

Google cares about links, and quality links. You need incoming links, but you also need outgoing links. You can barter for relevant links or just give them. Google respects you all the more if people click on the links you have on your pages, especially if the keywords on your page match the main keywords on the page you are linking to!

If your site has good graphics and pics, people will gravitate towards your site. Some sites spend big bucks on fancy pictures. I wouldn’t do this until you are making the big bucks. But, quality photos and graphics go a long way, even if they are not the most expensive in town.

If your site is slow, then people will get frustrated waiting for pages to load. They might just forget about you.

Don’t hire the wrong company or you will get a bunch of links that Google will penalize you for. Then, you will be sorry. But, if you have a keyword structure for all of your main pages, having each main page focus on one or more keywords, then you are in good shape. For your secondary pages, they can focus on a single keyword per page, and repeat that keyword several times per page. That keyword could be in the URL, metatitle, and text, not to mention incoming and outgoing links from that page.

Internal link structure
Sure you need links from other sites. Those might come on their own if you offer quality content. But, if you have the right number of outbound links from each of your pages to other related pages on your site, you might find that Google is very nice to you! Finding the right number of links and the right types of links requires a lot of experimentation and use of Google Analytics, so learn these tools and good luck!

Fresh content
Good content is not enough, you need fresh content. The Google gods are not satisfied with your old content. You need to keep creating new content. Content writers are really in business as a result of this. A blog is a good way to have new content, but you can edit existing pages on your site and add new pages as well.

Part of a well organized site is layout. But, some layouts are more attractive than others. You need to space your information in an easy to digest way. There should be the right amount of space, the right amount of pictures in the right places, and the right amount of links. Finding a good layout is not easy, so spend some time on this.

There is a lot more to having a great site. But, if your site is lacking on any of these main points, you might lose a ton of traffic!

(1) Does your site look good, but have other things wrong with it? That can hurt you more than you think!

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Optimizing your Twitter PPC Campaign

Categories: Of Interest, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Optimizing your Twitter PPC Campaign

Many of us use Twitter, but how many of us use the pay-per-click program? It is a different animal. You have to be careful not to overspend, but also be careful about how your structure your adgroups. Twitter PPC has adgroups. You might put a bunch of different tweets in the same adgroup, or you could divide them. You can bid a different amount of cents for each adgroup. You can also bid for getting new followers. It is complicated.

My recommendations

(1) Keep separate adgroups for each tweet.
This might take more time. But, you need to see which tweets are getting clicked on, and at what price. If they are all bunched together, your google analytics will tell you which one is getting traffic — that is all you will know. If you raise the bid, then maybe the other ones will get traffic. It is complicated. If you keep your campaigns separate, then you can see the price breakdown for each tweet and see if it is worth it. You might get very cheap clicks on certain tweets which might do miracles for whatever those tweets link to. If a particular tweet doesn’t get many clicks, you can abandon promoting that particular tweet. My experience is that you should choose your tweets carefully before submitting them. Of the ones you think might do well, only 20% will actually do well. But, 20% is enough. As time goes on you can continue testing new tweets to see how they do.

(2) Paying for followers
It is hard to know what a follower is really worth. For each 1000-4000 followers, you might get a single click for each link you put in a tweet. That is not a good average. This is why you need huge volume to do well on Twitter. You also need really interesting content. Most Twitter followers are extremely dormant and are following so many people that they are not paying attention to any of them! You can start bidding low for followers and see how many you get. If you don’t get too many, then experiment bidding higher. Keep records of how you did at various levels. Stay at each price break for a week before going to the next level and keep very careful records with dates and times of price changes. Once you find your ideal price range that gives you good output without destroying your bank account, then stay there for a while.

A good PPC campaign on Twitter can give you a huge account in a year or two. Niche accounts might get 10,000 followers in that time while more general interest accounts could get a million. To get ahead in business, networking on Twitter is a powerful source of SEO power. The actual new visits to your site you get from Twitter is only the tip of the iceberg of what it is worth. The SEO value of having a big Twitter account tweeting links to critical pages on your site and blog is huge! Whether it is price effective or not is up to you to find out, but don’t underestimate the power of Twitter.

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Active vs. Dormant followers on Twitter

Categories: Analytics, Semi-Popular, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Active vs. dormant followers on Twitter

I have five Twitter accounts and find them all to be very interesting. However, several are run by a manager who has a very definitive way of running her accounts. She targets users one by one who are relevant. This makes sense, but there is more that needs to be considered. After we have accumulated 3800 fans, only a handful of them interact with us or retweet us no matter how good our materials are.

I just started my own two Twitter accounts. Each one has a well defined audience. I do not target prospective users at all. I have a completely different way of attracting followers. One technique I use is to retweet from industry news, national news, and international news. That way I get interesting people to join my account. Those new folks might not be relevant to my niche, but they are the type that click the EXPAND link — which means that they are the type that retweet. You can not retweet without clicking the expand link. With my niche followers, even if they did retweet me, their followers are not in my niche, so the tweet would never go viral. However,

these followers who found me when I retweeted, are retweeters themselves, and they retweet me. My new Twitter accounts that have less than 100 followers are getting retweeted once per day which is more than I was getting with my old accounts after they hit 3000 followers. The only way to make it big on Twitter is to go viral, so attracting people who retweet is key. The next thing I do is to interact on large Twitter accounts. The relevancy and quality of the interaction determines whether I get retweeted or not. I use humor, and spend a lot of time refining how I convey my message. I’ll sum up my techniques below:

(1) Retweet from industry news, national, and international news. But, don’t retweet from each source more than once per week for maximum results. Remember, that retweeters are searching through those mediums looking for others who retweet — so they can FOLLOW them. Those retweeters are clicking the expand button on many tweets, so you only need to be on one per week.

(2) Interacting on large accounts, or relevant accounts. A small account in your niche is a place to interact regularly. But, large news sources or entertainers are good places to interact. By posting a really interesting response to a post they published — THEY will not retweet you, but their fans will. I get retweeted almost daily by this technique. You need to be very selective about what you respond to and how you respond. Humor works well, and insight works even better.

(3) Use crossover tweets? Tweet information that is industry specific for your niche, but ALSO is relatable to the public. I tweeted about cats who use google analytics. People loved this. It appealed to the laymen as well as hard core analytics guys! Crossover tweets get retweeted roughly 10x as much as a thoughtful industry specific tweet.

It is no crime to interact with people with mini-accounts of 100 people or less, but it is not a way to go viral. Those will end up being dormant followers who do nothing more than represent a number in your # of followers. Active followers can be caught through interacting and retweeting. Throw your herbal antibiotics away and go viral today!

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How to Optimize Your Facebook PPC Campaign

Categories: Analytics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Many of us use Facebook for our business and almost all of us use it for fun. But, how optimized is your Facebook campaign? Here are a few tips to help you use Facebook and social media optimization to your advantage.

(1) Where do you get your best browsers?
I noticed that blog visits deriving from Facebook resulted in longer browsing sessions. This is a huge advantage. Use Google Analytics and see for yourself where your best browsers are coming from. Sometimes people spend longer on particular topics than others while certain social media sites might generally create better traffic. Pay attention to that.

(2) Pay attention to what topics work
In some industries people are more talkative than others. Facebook will help you realize this fast. But, perhaps you can figure out which types of topics get responded to the most. Try a different topic every day — plan long ahead of time. See which do best and create other topics that are slightly similar to the successful ones to duplicate your winnings!

(3) PPC for getting new followers
If you use Facebook’s PPC, there are two amazing ways to capitalize. You can use PPC to attract new followers. I learned that this is best done on full blast for a month, and then let it sit for a month or two. You will get a more efficient price per new follower if you are not always available!

(4) PPC for blog promotion
But, you can also do blog promotion using Facebook PPC. Certain blogs and topics will do better than others. Once again, pay attention to what types of things generally work, and repeat your success. I pay $30 per blog entry and get anywhere from 80-300 clicks. If it goes well, sometimes I put a little more money into it. I also select blog articles to put on Facebook PPC that ALREADY did well when promoted from another medium. Duplicating success can easily be done if you are constantly watching your statistics on your analytics tracking system. We got some of our best new browsers for our blog from Facebook. We found that the quality of a Facebook follower is better than from Twitter or Stumbleupon for my particular blog. What about yours?

(5) Engage — obviously
If you get to know your followers one by one, they will be more responsive. That is a law of human nature. Don’t interact with all of them, but choose the ones that seem promising. You can also follow others who are relevant to you in hopes that they will follow you back.

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Understanding “Twitter Minutes” & the Google Algorithm

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What is a Twitter minute? Does it matter?
A Twitter minute is a term I invented while staring at my Google Analytics statistics. I was appalled and saddened when I found out that the thousands I had spent on Twitter PPC had gotten me the highest bounce rate in the Twitterverse as well as the Twittersphere. People only spend a few seconds on my page on average, although we got a lot of sign ups on my Twitter account. The average time spent on my page by organic Twitter followers was over two minutes while the pay-per-click crowd averaged about four seconds. Bizarre.

A Twitter Minute = sixty seconds spent on my blog from a visit from someone that found our link on Twitter

The Google Algorithm
Basically, what counts is that Google algorithm rewards your main site when your blog gets more traffic, particular more traffic from social media. But, if the time spent on your blog from new visitors is only four seconds, what happens? Do you get penalized, or do you get a benefit? The answer is neither. You can spend hours on the internet reading about the Penguin algorithm, the Panda algorithm and lots of other cool names, but those articles will tell you nothing useful about how the algorithms apply to you other than the fact that it is very bad to have poor quality incoming links!

My strategy for getting higher quality clicks
Having photos and pics on my blogs would make a difference. Nice looking pics double Facebook engagement, and would lengthen the amount of time people spend on my blog pages. Another helpful thing to do is to have paragraph headers and bold them. It is easier to read a long article that is cut into bite sized easy to digest pieces.

Twitter minutes as a tool to measure your various campaigns
I have a dozen social media campaigns going on simultaneously, and I’m always comparing them. My main measure used to be how many clicks I got to my blog pages or site pages. This matters. But, after my tragedy on PPC, Twitter minutes is my new measure. Of course if a click comes from Google+, and recently I have been getting many from there, then I can no longer really call it a Twitter minute. It would be a plus minute.

Calculations comparing social media platforms
I calculated how much time I put into Google+, and calculated the rewards. The most effective use of my time was posting my blog entries on their community pages, and I post on many! I get to learn which of my blog entries are interesting to the masses, and also get to see what my bounce rate is. If I spend an hour posting on Google+, I might get about 70 clicks, each of which averages about 35 seconds. If I spruced up those blog articles that did exceptionally well with expensive pics and artfully rewritten text and submitted only those really popular articles on a regular basis, I might get over 100 clicks and over a “Plus Minute” in reading time.

With Twitter, the calculation is different. On Google+, I post mainly to other people’s communities. On Twitter, I have my own communities — six to be exact, and soon to add a few more. The interesting thing with Twitter, is that the efficiency of the time you spend posting is directly proportional to how many relevant and active followers you have in your network. You could spend 90 seconds posting to a group with one million reasonable quality followers and get 10,000+ clicks. Or you could spend the same 90 seconds on a network with one hundred followers and not get a single click. With Twitter, I can calculate how long it will take me to accumulate a critical mass of followers. I can calculate how many Twitter minutes of reading time I will get once I have that mass as well. It is hard to compare a fixed target to a moving target like Twitter.

When optimizing your social media campaigns, you need to understand the following. You don’t need all of your blog articles to be favorites. They don’t all have to have pics. It is good to do experimental ideas in your blog to see what your audience likes. If they like a particular theme or title, then you can spruce it up after the fact, or completely rewrite it and publish it again! If you are going to promote particular blog articles again and again, you are getting inefficient results on your sweat equity if you don’t have optimized articles. That means beautifully written, great keywords, pics, and very popular titles. The title is 30% of your popularity right there!

Blog Title Optimization — This Can Revolutionize Your Blog Traffic!

Categories: Analytics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Secrets of “Title Optimization” on the Internet

What is Title Optimization?
If you are a blog writer who regularly consults Google Analytics, you will realize very quickly, that certain blog titles do better than others, EVEN when the content of the blog entry is weak. You might get endless traffic on a very simplistic blog that has a title that people just want to click on. You might even get repeat traffic on such a blog. Or, perhaps, it shows up well on Google because of the keyword phrases that you used in the title! Keyword variations are very competitive on Google, but keyword phrases with four words or more can get on the 1st page easily! (remember that)

How do you do Title Optimization?
The best strategy for blog title optimization is to just write lots of titles, and see which ones are getting clicked on the most. You could write a single article, and rewrite it slightly differently several times — each with a different title, and see which variation did the best. This is called, “Optimization”. For the sanity of your readers, I would space out these articles at least four days apart. See which variations did the best, and then create incoming links from other blog articles you wrote, and from pay-per-click sources on social media sites or other mediums to your blog entry.

My experience
I learned through trial and error, that you should write lots of different types of blog entries within your industry and areas of expertise. I wrote about 400 blog entries relating to the outsourcing industry as well as general management and marketing as these apply to outsourcing. What I learned was that roughly 5% of my articles became popular on Google. Not exactly viral, but they are getting seen and clicked on two years after the fact. These blog articles are generally about marketing your services or getting a job. However, one was about transportation — who would have guessed. Additionally, even though we know that marketing entries work well on my blog, we don’t know which titles will do well until we try them!

Try different titles, wait and see
Just try out different subject matters for blogs, and try different titles. You do not know which will become popular until you try. If someone links to your blog from their site or their blog, you could become an instant hit overnight! Just try different things and see what happens. Subject matter optimization is as important as title optimization. Subject matter is the general topic you are writing about, and certain topics will be more popular with your crowd than others. Pay attention to that! But, certain wording variations for titles work better than others, and you should make a study of which word combinations get the best results!

If something works — repeat your success
If you have a successful blog title, write different variations on a theme. Write other related articles on similar yet different topics. Those other articles could become popular too, and you can link these related articles to each other for better luck as well! My most popular article was about getting business for your call center. I have since written about 20 other articles with unique and specific tips for getting call center business. Many, but not all of those articles became popular in very little time.

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How to optimize your Stumbleupon PPC and Organic campaign

Categories: SEO, Social Media | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to optimize your Stumbleupon PPC and Organic campaign

Stumbleupon is tricky. You have to do lots of stumbling to have the right to add pages to the organic search which respresents 95% of what is shown on their network. So, stumble away, and add lots of content. That is what I do. I add my best content, and some of it gets clicked on. It seems that entries with really good pictures do best. Remember, on Stumbleupon people are browsing hundreds of pages, and you will only get 5 seconds of attention unless you grab someone’s interest with good graphics. If people like your content, it will get shown more. Good luck.

Be cautious setting up your account — quirks & bugs
The Stumbleupon Pay-per-click program is tricky. Be careful how many views you authorize per day. My bank account was given a ride around the block a few times. I agreed to 100 clicks, but was billed $100 and given 600 clicks. I’m not sure what went wrong. At least I finally got some fast traffic for my blog. In any case, start by bidding on 1 click per day at a low level. Start with 1 click per day, and then adjust up later. Then use the manage function to adjust your daily budget for each campaign.

40 clicks per blog entry
I would get about 40 clicks per campaign and then use your Google analytics to see how long the average person spent reading. Many Stumblers have ADD and spend only 10 seconds on your site which is not worth paying for. But, if you attract some serious readers who spend some time and perhaps visit other pages of your site or blog, then you are in business.

See which blog gets folks who spend more than a minute on your site
I would try lots of different blog entries in your paid Stumbling campaign. Try them each for 40 clicks and keep the ones that perform well with high number of pages visited, and the highest amount of seconds or minutes on your site. Most of your campaigns will probably need to be discontinued — optimization is that way if you do it right! Identify the winners, and work with them.

Optimization is 20% strategy and the rest is trial, error, watching, and noticing. Interpreting the results can be daunting.

Good luck!

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Does the internet make it easier for new startups? Google sets the rules here.

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Many people think that the internet makes everyone’s life easier. It is easier to shop on the internet because a zillion companies are competing to get you the same product at an even lower price, or with better shipping terms. But, the internet has put many bookstores out of business, and put many couriers out of business. The way we function in today’s society has completely been changed by the internet.

The internet keeps changing
The way the internet is used today is drastically different from how it was used five or ten years ago. As an internet marketer, I have to be very quick to adapt to and learn new marketing methodologies on the internet.

One world — one market
But, the fact is, that the internet makes the world, one small market place. The problem with that, is that if you are not in the top three in the planet in your market niche, you will not stand out, and probably won’t do well. On the other hand, if you have a physical location and also use the internet to strengthen your marketing, then you have the geographic advantage of being in a particular place. A hardware store in Maine, can’t compete with a hardware store in Los Angeles assuming that you aren’t going to buy the actual hardware online — and most people don’t buy heavy things online for obvious reasons.

Google makes the rules
Google sets the rules for who will do well in its kingdom. The rules are very interesting in fact. In the old days, you could have a site, do a little SEO, and you would show up well. Now, you have to do the SEO, perhaps some adwords pay-per-click, but you really need social media to do really well. My traffic would probably be less than half without social media. So, Google in essence is forcing you to become a master of social media if you want to do well.

The rules don’t favor the rich
I was beginning to think that without a huge budget, you couldn’t do well on Google. With more maturity and experience, I’m seeing that this is completely not the case. It is skill that Google rewards, not money. If you have money, you can hire a social media company that can get you all the accounts that the experts say you should have. You can get a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, a blog, and a few others as well. They can get you followers too. A social media company can charge you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand a month. But, the one thing a social media company can’t do, generally, is to use the social media mediums in the way that Google respects.

What does Google like
I used a lot of social media PPC. Google didn’t reward me at all for the Twitter clicks I got from PPC. The rewards came from organic clicks from twitter which were real, and resulted in longer visits to my site, and visits to more than one page per visit. I realized, that it wasn’t about budget. It was about making the system work. Google doesn’t care how many followers you have. They like the fact that you are on your blog and your twitter daily, and manually make new connections, interact with them, publish quality materials and get retweeted.

Anyone can tweet on twitter, but how many can get retweeted?
Anyone can make dumb interactions on twitter, but how many can get others to interact back and not ignore them?
Anyone can buy followers on twitter, but how many can get over a thousand relevant followers who are active?

Google understands that it is easy to buy followers. They understand that it is easy to tweet. They understand what is easy and what takes skill. Google is here to basically say that they reward you for doing what is hard, and for taking action on a daily basis rather than creating a site and letting it rot! Google rewards you for your skill and your efforts, and not for your ability to spend lots of money on services. Google is fair, Google is just. But, does Google and the internet (Google is the internet, or the internet god from my point of view) make it easier for startups?

In my opinion, the internet makes startups harder because you are competing with the entire world, and they know more than you do. On the other hand, if you are smart, and take the trouble to learn, you can outsmart those other dummies, and believe me, most of them really are dummies, and be in the big leagues in less than a decade. All if takes is really hard work, and refining your analytical thinking skills. Doing well on the internet is directly proportional to how you communicate and how analytical you are! Good luck!

Oh, and don’t forget to pray to the Google gods.
To please the regular non-internet God who we call God, he likes hard work, honesty and tithing. So, give to the Red Cross and a few homeless shelters to get on God’s good list. And to get on the Google God’s good list, interact more on Twitter and figure out how to get retweeted and clicked on.