TopRank Marketing Editor

Is It The SEO Metrics Or The Connections Between?

Meaningful SEO Metrics at SES San Francisco Ultimately, to measure Search Engine Optimization (SEO) success, you aren’t necessarily looking at individual metrics – you are looking for a connection between the metrics – and the resulting affect on revenue.

If my lead seems to negate the name validity of the SES San Francisco session, ‘Meaningful SEO Metrics,’  it is completely unintentional.

Moderated by John Marshall, CTO of Market Motive and SES Advisory Board Member, this excellent session featured on its panel:

  • Richard Zwicky, Founder & CEO, Enquisite
  • Ray “Catfish” Comstock, Director of SEO, BusinessOnLine
  • Jon Glick, VP of SEO and GM European Web Properties, Become.com

“Infinitely measureable means adjustable,” opens Zwicky.  “And online marketing is completely measureable.”

TopRank Marketing Editor

Website Analytics vs. The Myth of 100% Accuracy

Deep Dive Into Website Analytics At SES San FranciscoLet’s get this out of the way.  100% accuracy does not exist in website analytics.  Repeat. 100% accuracy does not exist in analytics.

What does exist in analytics is data – lots of it – and with this comes fear.

Fear of looking at the wrong data.  Fear of where to start.  Fear of analytics failure.

This fear will only dissipate with knowledge.  Knowing that analytics will never be perfect is a critical first step and a cornerstone shared during the session ‘Deep Dive Into Analytics’ at SES San Francisco.

Bryan Eisenberg, SES Advisory Board and NY Times bestselling author, moderated this session which included on its panel:

  • Tami Dalley, Director, User Experience Optimization, ROI Labs
  • Marty Weintraub, President, aimClear
TopRank Marketing Editor

10 Reasons Why Your Analytics Are Failing & 13 Tools To Help

Fail Whale AnalyticsWeb Analytics are a key indicator to the health and performance of any website, but online marketers often get lost in the complexities and details, forgetting how important analytics actually are and why.

Analytics can provide a wealth of information but marketers often look at high level indicators such as: top content, bounce rates, entrance sources and keywords without tying it all together. In most cases, there is a tremendous amount of insight that can be used to make smarter marketing decisions, but most companies barley scratch the surface. At the OMS Minneapolis event last week  Adam Proehl gave an excellent presentation on analytics failures and successes. I’ve taken my notes from that presentation and combined them with my own opinions to create this list.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Small Business Tips For Reporting Web Metrics

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Web Analytics

web analytics reporting[Last week, we shared some web analytics basics for small businesses or web site owners new to tracking website visitor data. Building on that, this post explores what you should do next to report that data.]

It’s an exciting time to be a small business owner or communications professional. Why? We’ve never had more data and metrics at our fingertips. Actually, we flew past merely having data to having real-time data.

Surprisingly some don’t initially like web metrics. Common concerns I’ve heard over the years include:

  • It’s too confusing
  • Information overload
  • What am I supposed to do with all this data?
  • Won’t all this tracking be expensive?
TopRank Marketing Editor

Basic Tips on Web Analytics

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Small Business, Web Analytics

Just about every business with a web site does something to market and promote it. When those companies are asked about web analytics, it’s surprising how many look back with a blank stare.  This isn’t the case with mature online marketers but it does happen a lot with new business web sites and blogs.

For many companies that are new to web analytics the idea of digging in and finding useful information can be daunting.  It’s common marketing sense to measure what you’re marketing, but making sense of analytics data doesn’t always find time in the mix of duties a small business or new web site owner is responsible for.

TopRank Marketing Editor

Search Engines Bringing Back Variables In URLs – At Your Expense

Duplicate ContentDid you realize that search engines have gone full circle on URLs in variables? It used to be considered something to avoid, now search engines are saying variables in URLs are good, as long as you use the canonical meta tag. Google is pushing them with FeedBurner and if webmasters aren’t careful, they could fall victim to a new onslaught of duplicate content issues.

One of the biggest issues with SEO is duplicate content. If search engines can’t tell which version of a document is the original or canonical version, then there can be consequences involving less than ideal search visibility. For example, the following URLs might all point to the same web page, creating the illusion that they are copies of the same thing. But in reality, it’s just one web page.

TopRank Marketing Editor

5 Near Free Social Media Monitoring Tools

TopRank Marketing Editor     Online Marketing, Social Media, Web Analytics

Social Media Monitoring ToolsSocial Media Monitoring Services

When it comes to businesses leveraging the social web to communicate with customers and improve brand awareness, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news.

The good news: 86% of professionals have adopted social media in some way, according to a recent survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education.

The bad news: A whopping 84% of survey respondents who’ve adopted social media don’t measure their social media programs.

Even worse: 40% weren’t even sure they could monitor social media ROI.

Thankfully, there are a host of free or low cost tools available to help companies and organizations track social media success. Use one or more of these 5 social media monitoring tools to gauge how well your efforts are working.

TopRank Marketing Editor

7 Considerations for Tracking Social Media Success

TopRank Marketing Editor     Social Media, Social Networking, Web Analytics

mima-summit-network With more and more marketers jumping onto the social media bandwagon, a lot of questions come up. Is it possible to track metrics and ROI? What are other companies doing? Why isn’t it working? Being prepared to answer  questions like these can make a difference in how a company interacts with social media and if they can succeed.

How can we track social media?
Unfortunately, there is no one “most effective” social media tracking system. Marketers across the web are still working to figure out how to measure social media, how to attach ROI, and how to sell the benefits of participation on the social web  to those that don’t “get it”.

Lee Odden

Storytelling: Actionable Insight from Analytics

Storytelling: Actionable Insight from AnalyticsThere’s a certain sentiment amongst many marketers that, “If you can’t measure it, it’s not worth doing.” While that perspective may not be entirely applicable to all online marketing, it certainly draws attention to the need for insight from measuring what we do to market, communicate, promote and influence on the web.  The need to better understand the value and application of web analytics data as well as social media measurement is critical for companies that want to compete online.

The MIMA Summit breakout session “Storytelling: Actionable Insight from Analytics” was jam packed with collective analytics wisdom shared by panelists Jason Rapps, Joel Wright, Marshall Sponder, and moderator Jennifer Veesenmeyer to help organizations overcome 3 key web analytics obstacles:

  1. Getting traction – getting from stage 1 to stage 2
Jolina Pettice

SES SJ: Turn Web Analytics into a Money Making Machine

web-analytics-money-machine

SES San Jose 2009 is off to a rockin’ start and this afternoon I’m sitting in a session about turning web analytics into money.

Avinash Kaushik, from Google, shared this #1 rule with the audience:
Don’t Stink! If you do, nothing else matters.

To get started, figure out which pages Google has determined are your home pages (i.e. the pages they send traffic to) and fix those pages first. The biggest opportunity lies with these pages and reducing bounce rates.

How to Rock It!
1. Focus on user behavior
How many people purchase 0 days after visit, 1 day after and so on.

Try softening the call to actions on the landing pages, knowing that very few want to buy right now. Rather, most are researching and then will go back to the most helpful website to make a purchase. It’s not all about price!

Jolina Pettice

SES SJ: Creating a Web Analytics Culture

What does Van Halen have to do with Search Marketing?

Let’s find out with John Marshall of Market Motive.

Marshall starts out by illustrating Van Halen’s very unique pre-show requests.

Specifically, Van Halen was very clear that in their dressing room, there should be M & M’s, but no brown M & M’s.

The business lesson of the brown M & M’s is ‘lose early’. They used the brown M & M’s as an indicator of whether or not the contract had been read. If not, then they knew everything needed to double checked including  many steps in the contract meant to protect the band and the equipment used during the show.

As a marketer, you will end up in situations where you cannot move the decision makers. So, if you are going to lose – lose early.

Lee Odden

Measuring the Value of Search Optimized PR

Measuring SEO & Public RelationsMeasuring the effect of online marketing and PR efforts is essential for both understanding the return on investment but also for feedback that will improve subsequent efforts.  

Measuring the effect of SEO for Public Relations benefits should start with well defined outcomes. To get a good handle on SEO effectiveness, it’s important to match the purpose for the effort with specific metrics.  For example, if improving brand visibility is a goal, then documenting brand mentions in connection with news & PR content at regular intervals can demonstrate the effect of content promotion and link building. 

Online PR metrics and tools often include:

  • News wire service metrics (see screen capture below)
  • Web analytics for landing pages and web site
  • Google and Yahoo alerts