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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

Measuring success beyond the search engines


From:

Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

with Jill Whalen

Video: Measuring success beyond the search engines

While search engine traffic is the ultimate goal of your SEO campaign, everything you do to increase that especially writing link-worthy content and getting the word out about it to your target audience, can and should also be measured via your web analytics. Let's look at how to do that in our Google Analytics. Here we are at our Google Analytics Dashboard. We want to click to the Traffic Sources area. We want to be looking at referring sites to see which sites that have links to us are bringing traffic and then we'll be looking at the Campaigns to see how our social media campaigns are doing.
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 6m 20s
    1. Understanding how search engines work
      3m 50s
    2. What is SEO?
      2m 30s
  3. 25m 3s
    1. Introducing keyword phrases
      1m 21s
    2. The keyword research process
      4m 42s
    3. Performing keyword research
      4m 43s
    4. Winnowing out ineffective keyword phrases
      1m 58s
    5. Performing additional keyword research
      2m 44s
    6. Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases
      5m 42s
    7. Finding keyword gems
      3m 53s
  4. 12m 49s
    1. What site architecture means to SEO
      2m 1s
    2. Brainstorming main categories and subcategories for the web site
      4m 4s
    3. Creating a keyword phrase-to-page map
      3m 33s
    4. Using keywords in domain names and URLs
      3m 11s
  5. 18m 10s
    1. SEO in HTML tags
      1m 57s
    2. Title tags
      1m 56s
    3. Meta descriptions
      1m 33s
    4. Header tags
      1m 12s
    5. Anchor text
      1m 43s
    6. Alt tags
      1m 36s
    7. Writing effective title tags
      4m 42s
    8. Writing meta-description tags
      3m 31s
  6. 11m 44s
    1. What good content is and why it's needed
      1m 27s
    2. The different types of content pages
      3m 47s
    3. Using keywords in existing content
      1m 53s
    4. Writing new content for users and search engines
      4m 37s
  7. 16m 37s
    1. Understanding link popularity and why it's important
      2m 43s
    2. Introducing Google's PageRank
      2m 38s
    3. Knowing the best way to get links
      3m 12s
    4. Content creation and promotion as "link bait"
      3m 34s
    5. Real-world link bait ideas
      4m 30s
  8. 12m 7s
    1. Introducing social media marketing
      4m 3s
    2. Getting started with social media marketing
      2m 25s
    3. Participating in social media communities
      5m 39s
  9. 26m 31s
    1. Why rankings are a poor measure of success
      3m 13s
    2. Determining conversions and setting up goals in Google Analytics
      5m 37s
    3. Measuring search engine traffic
      11m 5s
    4. Measuring success beyond the search engines
      6m 36s
  10. 9m 19s
    1. Reviewing top techniques for SEO success
      1m 58s
    2. Additional resources
      4m 19s
    3. The future of SEO
      3m 2s

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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)
2h 20m Beginner Mar 31, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, author Jill Whalen explains the importance of site rankings and why search engine optimization is necessary for increasing web site traffic. The course covers choosing the best keywords, performing keyword research, augmenting keywords with search-friendly site architecture, creating social media networking strategies, and measuring the success of an SEO campaign.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how search engines work
  • Researching and selecting keywords
  • Adding keywords to web pages, URLs, and HTML markup
  • Writing web page content based on selected keywords
  • Link building
  • Social media marketing without spamming
  • Setting up Google Analytics to track conversions
  • Measuring search engine traffic
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web SEO
Author:
Jill Whalen

Measuring success beyond the search engines

While search engine traffic is the ultimate goal of your SEO campaign, everything you do to increase that especially writing link-worthy content and getting the word out about it to your target audience, can and should also be measured via your web analytics. Let's look at how to do that in our Google Analytics. Here we are at our Google Analytics Dashboard. We want to click to the Traffic Sources area. We want to be looking at referring sites to see which sites that have links to us are bringing traffic and then we'll be looking at the Campaigns to see how our social media campaigns are doing.

So let's click Referring Sites first. If you don't have a lot of traffic or links, you may want to choose a longer time period than just one month. Since this is the case with the My Kindle's Review site we're looking at the 3 months of data. It looks like twitter.com is our biggest referrer. This would show up when someone is using twitter.com and clicks on a link that points to our site. What doesn't show up here are all those people on Twitter who're using different applications with Twitter rather than their web site. But don't worry. We'll be able to see those links via our campaigns.

If we click on the twitter.com link in our analytics, we now see which pages on Twitter are links we are on. Most of ours were from the Twitter homepage, which is the page most users would be on when using Twitter. Let's go back to the rest of the referrers. There're some visits from highrankings.com, which is my company's SEO website. I had mentioned the Kindle site a few times where it made sense in order to build up a few links to it. Don't be afraid to do this with your sites if you own more than one. And you can see we're really lacking in links here, at least that bring any traffic.

Since those are the ones that we really want, I need to find some time to start implementing some of the linking ideas that we had. It's going to be very important to do if I don't want this site to languish, because without these links we won't get much referring traffic and we'll also lose favor in Google for our keyword phrases. Now let's see if our social media presence is any better. Let's click on Campaigns. Now this is where you're having added a tracking links to any URL you are promoting in your social media efforts such as Twitter or Facebook will pay off.

The Campaign area of Google Analytics is where you'll find the associated data. We only have social media campaigns in here, because we're not doing any paid advertising like Google AdWords. If we were, this would show up here as well. Here as we're being consistent in our tracking links pays off. As you can see I must have created some campaigns using a capital S for social media rather than all lower case. So my analytics has counted them as separate campaigns. Ideally, you want to be consistent and always use lowercase.

We can cross-reference the source or medium here too if we want by clicking on this other box. We'll click on Source. Our only source right now was Twitter, but if we had done any other social media outreach we'd see other sources here. If we change Source to Medium, we can see which pages we were promoting. So we've got some visits to the Fanny Hill review, some to the Kindle case page and some to the Giving Chase review. These numbers are very small as you can see which all comes down to the fact that I haven't really been as active as I should be in social media for this site and also that most of the campaign tweets we're made through my personal Twitter account which is geared more towards SEO info than Kindle stuff.

Let's take a quick look at what the campaign traffic looks like for a well-established site that's up and running with their social media marketing. My company's web site, High Rankings. We'll switch profiles here to High Rankings, then click Traffic Sources, then Campaigns. Now this site tells a different story. These hra campaigns are our High Rankings advisor newsletter campaigns where I set up each newsletter, which is numbered like hra273, hra272.

Then any links within the newsletter are also given analytics tracking codes so they show up here. Here you can see a campaign labeled as socialmedia. That's where I have all of our social media links. Let's click on that one. Here we see a quick dashboard of the activity in the social media campaign, which will go up and down depending on when you implement your campaigns. Let's click the dropdown box to see the Source. Basically, the source is all Twitter as that's the main form of social media we use.

That one that says twitter-goog was probably me mislabeling a tracking link somewhere, which again shows you the importance of being consistent. Then we can also click on Medium, which is where I typically put the name of the article or piece of content I'm promoting. What we're seeing here is all the people that clicked on links to articles which I tweeted. We can also see the conversions of our social media campaigns just like we can measure our search engine visitors's conversions. A word of warning here before I click, social media visitors are typically very poor converters.

They come to read an article and then they leave. That is to be expected. It doesn't mean your social media marketing isn't working, because remember the goal of that is creating awareness about what you do and offer. So the more times people keep coming back to read another great article you mentioned on Twitter, the more chance they will eventually take more action on your website. With that said let's click the Goal tab and see what sort of conversions High Rankings gets from social media. On this site I've a number of conversions, our Request Info Thank You page, our Forum Registration Completed page, our Newsletter Subscribe page, Submit a Question form page and also the Request Info Page itself to see how many check it out.

So the main conversion here is newsletter sign-ups with 5.68% conversion. I would expect Twitter people to be likely to sign up for my newsletter rather than request info on services. A lot of my Twitter followers are already newsletter subscribers, so that's something to keep in mind also. The thing to note on this however is that at High Rankings we've learned over time that our best long-term prospects for services are subscribers of the newsletter. So driving people to subscribe is very important in the long run.

As you can see, tracking our social media and referring traffic can be helpful to measuring success beyond just the search engines. Ideally, once your social media marketing and link building efforts take shape and you focus on them every day, your referring and campaign traffic will reach levels equal to search engine and direct traffic.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010).


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Q: In the “Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases” tutorial in the SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started course, the author details the use of the “allintitle” advanced search operator in Google.  While the operator works in the example given in the tutorial, Google will not allow usage of the “allintitle” operator for more than two keywords at a time.  Is there any workaround to this problem?
A: Google’s policy on the “allintitle” operator has become a major problem in trying to do some competitive keyword research. There is a workaround, although it makes searching slower. Follow these steps:
1) Click on Google's Advanced Search link, then add the desired keyword phrase to the Find web pages that have... "this exact wording or phrase." Then click the "+Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more" link.
2) In the "Where your keywords show up:" dropdown menu, change "anywhere on page" to "in the title of the page."
This should allow the use of the “allintitle” search without Google thinking the user is a robot. To do the next one more quickly, just hit the back button of the browser and change to the next keyword phrase.


Q: Allintitle searches on Google seem to yield wildly inconsistent results. How does the author handle such inconsistent data when looking for good keywords? Are these results a recent phenomenon? Can can allintitle searches still be used reliably?
A: Unfortunately, Google has recently made it difficult to do the allintitle searches. It is still useful to a certain extent, but only because there currently isn’t anything better out there to judge the competition of a site.
Q: As a result of Google changing the "select previous interface" function, the methods in used for the Keyword Tool in the tutorials no longer work. Is there a method that can be used with the new keyword search tool that will produce the same results as shown in the training course?
A: Unfortunately, Google switched to the new Keyword Tool and also removed many keywords that aren't "commercially viable" from the database, so the methods in this title will not work exactly as described. You can still change from broad match to exact, but it is, unfortunately, harder to find. Right now, there does not appear to be a more effective way to do keyword research. Unfortunately, the other vendors that provide keyword research tools for a monthly fee are no better than Google's free one. The best advice for now would be to not focus too much on the keywords and just pick those that seem to be the most relevant for your site.
Q: Google AdWords looks different on my Mac than it does in these tutorials. Can you help me find the option for "How would you like to generate keyword ideas" (either  "descriptive words or phrases" vs. "website content") that you show in the video on using the Keyword Tool?
A: The Keyword Tool has changed slightly in appearance since this course was published, but the functionality is essentially the same. Under the "Find keywords, Based on one or more of the following", you can choose to enter keywords, have them restricted to suggestions based on a certain website, or even based on a category, such as Apparel. You can use one or more of these options.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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