How to Use Web Analytics to Improve Your Web Marketing Strategy

September 22nd, 2010

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Today’s article

All fledgling site operators wish to know every small detail about their visitors. As time goes, they come to understanding that cherishing every single IP address is not as important as building sales funnels and improving ROI.

Competent statistics services such as Google Analytics (GA) or Web CEO’s HitLens real-time visitor analytics offer the most useful information about visitors’ steps across your website. With such knowledge you can get the most honest answers to the vital questions concerning the efficiency of your web-based business.

  1. Where do my visitors come from?
    Reports from the ‘Referrers’ group in HitLens or ‘Traffic Sources’ in Google Analytics will tell you what sources bring more visitors to your site – search engines, bookmarks, linking pages, or paid advertising – so you can promptly correct your marketing and advertising strategy.

    To know what pages of your site are found in organic results on certain targeted keywords, you can view the ‘Pages found on keywords’ report in HitLens. Based on this information, you can decide if corrections should be applied to your site’s semantic core, or if the found pages need more optimization for better search engine positioning.

  2. Who are my visitors?New, motivated, returning – all your visitors are potential customers. Compare the numbers from these reports (’Visitors’ group in both HitLens and Google Analytics services) to know how many people your website attracts and to measure their interest.

    A large number of new visitors may show the result of well-targeted advertising, however your success lies in garnering a fair amount of returning visitors who are more likely to order your product (the ‘New visitors’ and ‘Returning visitors’ reports in HitLens, and the ‘New vs. Returning’ report in GA). Motivated visitors are those who look through many pages within one visit – this category of visitors are most interested in your services or goods (see ‘Motivated visits’ in HitLens and ‘Depth of visit’ in GA).

  3. When are my visitors most active?Activity reporting (the ‘Activity’ group in HitLens) shows when exactly your visitors are most and least active. If you often update your site with news, this will let you know which topics make people come to your site.If you run paid advertising campaigns, you can adjust your campaigns’ time wherever possible so that your newsletters or other ad types reach your targeted visitors in the right time.
  4. What are visitors doing on my website? How soon do they find what they look for?The amount of time (‘Site stickiness’ in HitLens, ‘Time on site’ in GA) that people spend on your website is an indicator of the site’s attractiveness or uselessness. If this number is too small, you should think about how to keep visitors’ interest and have them stay longer on your website. If you offer files for download, track these downloads using the special tracking code inserted to the download link. HitLens offers the ‘Downloads’ group for this purpose.Look through the navigation reports (‘Navigation’ group in HitLens or ‘Content’ group in GA).

    The exit pages (last page viewed) require most attention, because they make people leave (‘Exit pages’ in HitLens). If you don’t expect people to simply leave from a page, but they do it often – examine the page carefully to see what prevents visitors from moving to your targeted action.

    The single pages (the only ones visited) are the saddest cases – the visitor didn’t even look through a few pages of your site and left at once (‘Single pages’ in HitLens, ‘Bounce rate’ report in GA). The reasons for this behavior can be different: you get quite untargeted traffic, so people are uninterested, visitors are interested in the subject, but the first page visited hasn’t met their expectations, there are technical problems on the page, and others. Make sure all your pages offer comfortable navigation to all segments and topics of the site, and they are optimized for proper keywords to be relevant. We wrote about site structure recently; refer to issue 39 of SEO MixTour for more information.

    Popular and unpopular pages show your visitors’ interests. Unpopular pages may contain a lack of information, so consider adding more valuable content there.If your site has many similar pages, combine them into content groups – this way you will get reasonable statistics for a site’s sections in order to define which of them are most interesting for your visitors (this feature is offered in HitLens).

  5. And the main question: is my business profitable?Everyone who invests her time and money in link building, PPC and paid advertising wants to find out which ad positions are worth investing in and which are not. The ‘Campaigns’ reports in HitLens help you do this – you’ll need to insert a special parameter into the ad link and track this ad campaign.If you use the order form on your site, you can track all completed transactions and revenue for any period of time (‘eCommerce’ group in HitLens, ‘Goals’ in GA).

    You can also count how many visits had been made before the first transaction was completed (‘Visits before first transaction’ report in HitLens) – this will let you know if your website is convincing enough to incite a visitor to complete a transaction.The ROI (return on investment) number is the key indicator to evaluate the efficiency of your promotion efforts. The ROI is calculated as the net profit to costs ratio. Analysis of this information (ROI report in HitLens) can help you see if you use your budget efficiently to generate profit so you can adjust your marketing budget accordingly.

    You can get more information about Google Analytics at their website and from experts. To get more information about HitLens, visit our website and read the FAQ. Go ahead – you can easily improve your online business by converting more visitors into customers.

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SEO Companies’ Visibility Rate

Are SEO companies as good as they claim to be on their sites? Will they return the efficiency they promise? Are their skills qualified? The only way to find it out is to check how they optimize and promote their own sites.

Here we share Top 10 SEO Companies according to their search visibility rate for August 2010.

1.seoptimise.com
2.prospectmx.com
3.web.com
4.seoinc.com
5.ebrandz.com
6. patrickgavin.com
7.seo-1-marketing-services.com
8. submitawebsite.com
9.mediumblue.com
10.submitexpress.com

Click here to see the complete rate.

Web CEO analysts use objective evidence to rate SEO firms according to their search engine visibility. SEO companies’ visibility rate is calculated using a special formula that considers the positions of SEO companies’ sites in search engines results pages for the keywords their potential clients use, popularity of these keywords and number of competitors.

Learn more about the formula.

Here you can see how Top 10 SEO companies’ visibility rate has changed from June till August 2010.

top10-seo-companies-aug

Top 10 SEO Companies

Your Website Theme: The Importance of Being Earnest

September 9th, 2010

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Today’s article

It’s no secret that search engines are very much concerned about improving their methods of analyzing website content. They don’t want to serve searchers with irrelevant pages. Their sophisticated algorithms take into account not only the content of a page where a keyword is found, but also a complex of interrelations between this page and other pages of the site, and also other sites linking to that page.

This means that it is not enough just to have a website but to present information in an organized and structured manner. As a rule, when SEOs are talking about establishing and supporting a website theme, they discuss optimization of a website’s directory structure and page cross-linking or siloing. We’d like to add a few simple concepts that are often skipped by SEO professionals because they are so obvious.  We suggest that a newbie keep in mind the following three main aspects of site structure optimization as a theme factor:

  1. Optimize every page as a document with a definite (quite rigid) structure that search engines expect to findns
  2. Optimize your website’s directory structure based on the principles that search engines (and the SEO community) recommend, and
  3. Optimize cross-links to emphasize keywords and themes that your important pages are optimized for.

A good page is a well-structured document

So logically, its elements have higher or lower importance. A page title is the most important and concise information about your page. Page headings are also important, but not as important as the page title, and texts in the paragraphs are less important than headings. This means you should care about having a keyword-rich page title, headings and texts – every page that you consider important and devoted to some specific aspect of your business should be well-focused on a certain keyword and be also supported by various words that determine a more general theme.

A good site is a well-structured book

If your book is a short story, there is little reason to break it down into many chapters. Regarding a site, a complicated multi-level structure makes little sense if your site consists of 10-15 pages being subordinate in theme only to the index page. However, if you create a large site, grouping similar content into directories is a good solution, because you can set a specific theme in such a way.

Take enough time to consider your site navigation menu – it must be concise and include keywords that help you maintain theme accentuation.

As the major search engines continue to introduce different content into their search results (blended or universal search), the idea of directory siloing becomes even more attractive. It’s not only quite natural and convenient, but also good from the SEO point of view to group your movies into a /video/ folder, blog posts into a /blog/ folder and news into a /news/ folder.

Cross-linking as a theme supporting factor

Any landing page that is optimized for certain keywords will need a kind of credit – links from other pages that will corroborate the keyword and emphasize the theme. That is why you should create back-links on other supporting pages with keywords in the anchored text.

To summarize, what page elements should you optimize for a better theme support? Here they are:

  • Page titles. Page visible text, especially, headings. Image alt texts, image titles. Surrounding text to support images, videos, maps.
  • Page file names, directory names.
  • Link anchor texts, link title attributes.

Its not a big surprise that you will find here nearly all page elements that require keyword optimization.

To understand what idea a search engine (in this case Google) might have about your site keywords and theme, enter Google Webmaster Tools and load the ‘Keywords’ report under ‘Your site on the web’. Does the Google analysis on your keyword significance match your desired pattern?

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Web CEO Metrics

Here we are sharing the generalized numbers from our HitLens Web Analytics service. It covers 300,000+ websites from all over the world.

We’ve noticed a rise of Google in August 2010 compared to the year 2009 – it’s the leading SE referring 83% of all visitors. Yahoo is still losing visitors (it referred 7% of visitors to sites) and Bing is not in its best form (it refers only 6% of visitors). In light of the recent news about Yahoo and Bing combining, it will be interesting to see what will happen in the next few months.

se-share-aug2010

Global Search Engines (%)

You can see how visitors are being referred to websites.

Visitor referrer shares have slightly changed compared to last year. Search engines referred 50% of all visitors in August 2010, which is 2% more than in August 2009. Bookmarking and Linking shares are equal – they have been reduced 1% each and now total 20%. The amount of people who use paid advertising has not changed – 6%.

site-referrers-aug2010

Visitor Referrers (%)

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