Google’s Web: How to Untangle Your Website Analytics

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As we navigate through the mire of data available stemming from powerful tools such as Google Analytics, it’s easy to lose a sense of strategic direction when it comes to your website. Spinning the large quantities of information into a useful map of content is a bit trickier now, but not altogether impossible. By honing in on specific key metrics, you can deduce what adjustments need to be made in your approach to designing a successful website.

Conversion Rates
Does your website have a newsletter sign up, a registration page, downloadable content, or sell a product or service? You can find out if these call-to-actions are effective by extracting your goal conversion and your Ecommerce conversion rates. A goal conversion relates to specific actions you want a user to do on your website such as signing up for a newsletter or inputting customer information, while an Ecommerce conversion tracks an actual monetary purchase. You can monitor your online efficiency and sales performance, in the admin panel of your Google Analytics dashboard, just select an account, property, and a view. Then, click goals, and from there create a goal to measure how often users take or complete these specific actions.

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True New and Returning Visitors
Multiple platforms now exist in the range from tablets to desktops for users to visit and browse your website. As a result, it can get tricky to distinguish a brand new visitor to your website from a loyal returning visitor. It is important to know the difference between the two, especially the true new visitors so you can track how they found your site, what keywords they searched to get there, and what pages they frequented so you know what is working to attract (or not working) them. To solve this problem, create advanced segments in your settings to get true returning visitors and true new visitors.

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Bounce Rate
Another useful Google Analytics statistic is the bounce rate. You can evaluate the success of your website as a whole by gauging how many of them leave shortly after arriving. The lower that number is, the better. Moreover, these single page sessions can help you identify if your landing page design is off or your keywords are not correctly defining your page content.

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Long Term Statistics
Keeping the bigger picture in mind is also important when you are looking at so many details, ratios, percentages and statistics. When you take a step back and see the website trends of your page visits over an extended period of time, you can correlate the marketing initiatives taken on your end to the activity displayed as an outcome on the user end. Google, by default, features the results of the prior 30 days, but try extending this out to a three to six month period. Do you see random spikes and falls? How about a slow, but stable growth of visitors? Do any rises in page visits occur around the same time of a website update or a marketing tactic? Asking these questions will help you understand how your website is performing in the long run with your audience.

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#Hashtag Trend: How Your Brand Can Benefit From The Internet’s New Symbol of ‘Cool’

by Ivonne Vega

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Image source:  http://www.wix.com/blog/2013/10/what-are-hashtags-and-how-to-use-them-on-social-media/ 

By now the use of the “#” symbol is as ubiquitous as the flurry of store signage along the freeway calling our attention on where to spend our money. Depending on the user, the hashtag can reach beyond its original purpose of pooling together like images and content to now dictating the current trending topics, or in a more flippant instance provide a sarcastic/funny call out in a tweet or post. Hashtags are now akin to a cursor directing us where to spend our attention as we browse online. They signal out what will be on everyone’s lips around the water cooler. How does the #hashtag trend relate to a company doing marketing for their brand? Well, “marketing,” as Seth Godin said “is a contest for people’s attention.”

No other social media forum can attest to this better than Twitter. Since 2009, Twitter has adopted to placing hyper linked hashtags in front of topics and filtrating the most popular ones to its homepage. They devised a way to find out where everyone’s attention was focused on. Now users of Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are also taking penchant to them and conversations online are centering on these popular topics. This is where your company can come in to develop, track and engage the hashtags in that social space to capture the attention of your target audience.

However, just like driving, the use of hashtags must be used with precaution and measure to maximize a positive viral effect and minimize disastrous results. Think of a drivers manual you absolutely must crack open before you can even put the key in the ignition as we look at some of the best practices for the uses of hashtags.

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Hashtags in Your Social Media Strategy

Source: http://media.about.com/od/toolsfornewsmedia/fl/How-to-Use-Hashtags-in-Your-Social-Media-Strategy.htm

1. Don’t Forget The Hashtags

The first rule of hashtags is to add them. To everything. You probably already know that Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all support hashtags but did you know Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr and even Kickstarter, among others, also support hashtags? Add your hashtag to every post, without exception, or you’re missing an opportunity to generate buzz and grow your audience.

2. Strategize Your Hashtags

Hashtags have become a part of our daily vocabulary, so much so that you’ll find hashtags used in everything from TV commercials to everyday conversations friends are having in person without even being on the computer. What you typically find on social media sites are people who just want to add their opinion or a witty remark using hashtags or, worse, a company that is missing out on an opportunity because it chose random hashtags that have no strategy behind them. You need a hashtag that’s more significant than #NotCoolMan, unless you also own an air conditioning repair service.

3. Use Short Hashtags

How often have you seen #HashtagsThatAreSoLongTheyShouldBeBanned? Use short hashtags that are easy to read and actually have a chance of being retweeted. The longer your hashtags, the harder they are to read and the more real estate they take up in your post’s character limits. You’re not trying to be funny just to get a quick laugh, you want to use a hashtag that will be seen, is short enough to make retweeting easy and could end up trending.

4. Don’t Use the Same Hashtags

If you use the same hashtags over and over again, you’re not going to gain as much traction as you would if you varied up your hashtags. It’s easy for a media company to slap #news at the end of a post. That hashtag will get lost in a timeline full of #news hashtags but it also dilutes the power of hashtags by not capitalizing on what the post is truly covering.

5. Don’t Use More Than Two Hashtags Per Post

Statistics show that posts with more than two hashtags perform worse than those with only one or two. As this infographic shows , tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement than those posts that are loaded with hashtags.

6. Break Out Your Hashtags on the Weekends

Surveys show hashtags are hot on the weekends, with engagement rates for brands being 17% higher on Saturdays and Sundays. However, most companies are missing out because they take the weekends off. If you can’t have someone manning your social media accounts on the weekends, use a scheduler like TweetDeck or HootSuite to plan your weekend posts with hashtags ahead of time.

7. Take Advantage of Trending Hashtags

You know #AmericanIdol is going to be a trending hashtag on the nights the show airs. Take advantage of the trending hashtags. If your website has an interview with one of the contestants on your YouTube channel, promote it and tag that update with #AmericanIdol. Keep an eye on what is trending now to see if you can get your content in front of the millions of eyes watching for that hashtag too.

8. Interact with Other Users Using Hashtags

Want to expose your social media accounts to potential followers and fans? Join the conversation. Interact with other users using your hashtags and dive right in when you can contribute to a trending hashtag. Social media isn’t a one-sided platform. You will develop a more loyal, long-lasting following if you interact with your audience.

9. Ask for Retweets not RTs

You want your followers to retweet you so your hashtag gets passed around. Just ask … but do it properly. Stats show asking for retweets by spelling out the word “retweet” pull in retweets that are 23 times higher than the average. And posts that ask for an RT only perform 10 times higher.

10. Track Your Hashtags

You spent a lot of time coming up with the right hashtags so how do you know if your strategy is working or if you need to tweak it? Track your hashtags to see their peaks and plummets. This will help you see what types of hashtags are working for you and which ones should be #retired.

(Bonus) #AlwaysCheckYourHashtags

As some brands can attest to, jumping in too quickly on a trending hashtag without checking out what it’s referencing to can land you in some hot water. Using a hashtag representing say, a divisive political debacle or pressing social cause, to plug your brand can adversely create bad publicity for you whether it’s done knowingly or unknowingly. The kind of bad publicity where you have to continuously apologize to everyone, other media outlets pick up on your error and virally spread it, and you write a note on your desk in big, fat, red letters saying “#AlwaysCheckYourHashtags.” So, do a little research and map out where your tentative hashtag is coming from and use your sound judgment if it can get you to where you want to go to: at the forefront of your audience’s attention.

 

 

Five Things To Do Now To Get More Traffic To Your Blog


 

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1. Add Tags & Meta Tags

Add tags to your posts. Many blog systems allow authors to add free-form tags to a post, along with (or instead of) placing the post into categories. For example, a post may display that it has been tagged with baseball and tickets. Each of those tags is usually a web link leading to an index page listing all of the posts associated with that tag. The blog may have a sidebar listing all the tags in use on that blog, with each tag leading to an index page. To reclassify a post, an author edits its list of tags. All connections between posts are automatically tracked and updated by the blog software; there is no need to relocate the page within a complex hierarchy of categories. (via)

Meta tags are HTML codes that are inserted into the header on a web page, after the title tag. In the context of search engine optimization, when people refer to meta tags, they are usually referring to the meta description tag and the meta keywords tag.

2. Name your Images

If you have clicked an image or grabbed it from a photo stock, it probably has a name such as IMG_8292 or shutterstock_34151 etc. Change the name which is relevant to your post. For example, if your blog is called FOODIE and you are writing about Easy Recipes then name your photo ‘Easy Recipe_FOODIE’ for the search engine to recognize the photo when searched by that title.

3. Open a Google Plus Page

We have already emphasized on the importance of having the Google Plus page. Click here to read that post.

4. Use Interesting Titles

Think about the articles which you have clicked up on lately. Chances are you were intrigued by its title. Your title should either be informative or creative for the potential reader to click on the link.

5. Share on Social Media

Last but not the least be sure to share it on all your Social Media. However, be sure to not post them on auto pilot. Take out a few minutes to form a creative and intriguing preview suitable for each Social Media platform. This motivates your audience/readers to follow you on more than one social media platform. Else where is the incentive if the same message is broadcasted web-wide?

Hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any other questions or require assitance with your blog call us at 830-249-1744

Until next time,

RP Team

Measure Your Social Media Reach

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We would assume that you have a Social Media presence for your brand/product by now. The next part would be measuring it. Most if not all mediums provide in-build analytic which informs us how our campaign has performed and what has been its reach. Without this information, no Social Media strategy can be measured or be called successful. Below are few free tools which one  can use to measure the results.


  1. Google Alerts (Free) | Get email updates of the latest relevant Google results (Web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

  2. HootSuite (Free) | A social media management system that enables teams to collaboratively execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one dashboard. Includes audience identification tools, the ability to streamline workflow, and custom reports. I use HootSuite to manage my company’s Twitter account.
  3. Klout (Free) | A tool that finds the influencers in your audience so you can target and empower them to become advocates for your brand.
  4. Pinterest Web Analytics (Free) | Pinterest’s built-in analytics gives site owners insights into how people are interacting with pins that originate from their websites.
  5. Facebook Insights (Free) | Facebook’s built-in tool provides Facebook Page owners with metrics around their content. Helps you understand and analyze trends within user growth and demographics.

For more detailed list with various other paid options click here.

Call us at 830-249-1744 if you need more help with your Social Media Campaign!

Until next time,

RP Team

How to Improve Your Writing – Simple Tips for New Bloggers

 


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As a new blogger you might be hesitant to publish content. To be a good blogger, you do not have to be a writer, but you do have to create content which is grammatically correct and easy to understand.

A well-written post can elevate the quality of your overall blog, increase comments, and encourage repeat visitors. As much as someone loves your content/brand, if there is nothing engaging on the page there’s no personal connection, or incentive to visit again.

Well-written posts can separate a mediocre blog from an exceptional one. Ready to start dazzling with your words? Here are some of my top tips for improving the quality of your writing.

  • Read your blog posts out loud before hitting publish:

I can almost guarantee that you’ll catch more mistakes, and improve your writing if you start reading it aloud.

  • Read varied blogs:

So many of us get caught up in reading blogs that only relate to our industry, this makes it almost impossible to create unique original content. Go on a tech-blog for a few days and explore the World Wide Web. There are some amazing writers out there.

  •  Have a goal in mind for your posts:

You need to present more than pictures. Is the goal of your blog or post to educate, inspire, humor, or something else?

  • Read – a lot

This is sort of an extension of point #2 but goes even deeper. If you really want to be a better writer, you need to read a wide variety of work. I would suggest; autobiographies, self-help books, research papers, and even novels. As long as you are exposing yourself to different topics your writing will improve substantially.

  • Create white space in your life:

This one is the hardest. Sometimes we get so excited about our blogs that we spend way too much time online. Best writing comes after a few days of stepping away and taking a break.

So many people believe that writing is a natural talent, you are either born with it or you are not. However, writing can also be a learned skill. The daily discipline paired with the steps described will guaranteed improve your writing and in turn your blog.

Call us at 830-249-1744 if you need more help with your blog!

Until next time,

RP Team