The Value of Web Analytics

At this stage in your blogging career, you have taken the time to set up your blog, focusing heavily on ensuring that it is aesthetically pleasing so as to attract the attention of your potential readers. You chose a great, unique title and tagline, drawing them in and have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into creating great content that is not only useful for the reader but also optimizes your blog’s SEO ensuring that you are easily found.

What now?

While some bloggers, especially early in the game, may sit back and wait to see what comes of their effort, those that take blogging more seriously are going to want to access, track and analyze the data regarding who is visiting their blog, how they have found it and what content is performing better. This is where Web Analytics is going to prove to be highly valuable.

 

What Is Web Analytics?

In his book, ‘Web Analytics 2.0’ Avinash Kaushik defines web analytics as:

1. The analysis of qualitative and quantitative data from your website and the competition

2. To drive a continual improvement of the online experience of your customers and prospects

3. Which translates into your desired outcomes (online and offline)” (Dubois, 2010)

In plain English, web analytics measures data regarding your website, including, but not limited to, page views, traffic and clicks both for your personal site as well as for your competition. This then empowers you to manage and strategize your site by taking this information and applying it to your customers to improve upon their experience on your site. By applying the necessary changes, you will, in turn, be able to reach your business goals whether they involve aiming to improve the traffic reaching your site, the number of sales made via your site or more.

web analytics, google analytics,

“When it comes to the customer journey, it’s critical that the experience customers have with your brand remain consistent from acquisition to purchase. And with the right tools, you can ensure that’s what they get” (Analytics Capabilities, n.d.).

 

For a blogger, this means driving readers to your site who are then going to find value with your content. You can work towards increasing blog followers/subscriptions, engagement such as the number of comments on your posts, or improving upon the click through for affiliate links on your site.

When attempting to analyze the data it is important to note that there are two different types of measurement: quantitative and qualitative.

 

Quantitative: This is the measure of what the readers are actually doing on your site and how they are interacting with the content that you are publishing.

Qualitative: This measurement indicates why they are visiting your site, and whether your content is effectively communicating to the target audience that you are hoping to each.

 

What Tools are Available?

There are many different tools available for businesses and individuals looking to track and analyze their website’s data. While some tools come with a hefty price tag, they offer a significant number of options to larger corporations. For smaller businesses and individuals there are also a number of free options that they can consider.

At this time, it is important to note that analyzing web analytics is no easy task. There is a significant amount of data that needs to be filtered and understood in order to draw the appropriate conclusions, and the ability to effectively do so comes with a great deal of experience and training. For this reason, it is recommended that those with a marketing budget to put towards analytics consider hiring an expert.

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Bryan Eisenberg, author and marketing consultant, states, Investing in people and the tools that those people need to be successful is key. But it’s the people who can understand that data that really matter” (Dubois, 2010).

 

In his article for Inc, Lou Dubois recommended the following Web Analytics Tools:

**Note: Pricing has been pulled from the original article, and may be subject to change. Always double check pricing prior to committing to a paid service or tool.**

 

What Web Analytics tools are you currently using for your blogging efforts? Have you discovered any other tools not listed here that you believe should make the list? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!

 

References

Analytics Capabilities. (n.d.). Web. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/analytics/analytics/capabilities/

Dubois, L. (2010, December 31). 11 Best Web Analytics Tools. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/guides/12/2010/11-best-web-analytics-tools.html

How to Make Search Engines Work for You

While many bloggers spend a great deal of their time focusing on their social media marketing efforts, trying to increase the reach of their blog, there is one area of marketing that goes vastly overlooked. The number of searches increase each year, and at this time approximately 6,586,013,574 searches occur each and every day worldwide (Allen, 2017)!

If you are taking the time to write quality content that you believe will help others, not taking the time and effort to boost your blog’s likelihood to show in a search result is a missed opportunity. This is a topic that has risen in importance in the marketing industry with experts focusing on how to maximize both paid search and organic search.

 

So, what does this mean for you and your blog? Most bloggers aren’t prepared with a budget to fund paid search advertising, however, there are several steps you can take to maximize your standings in organic search results.

 

“Paid search equates for just over 5% of all traffic, with organic hovering around the 95% mark” (Allen, 2017).

 

While there are applications and plug-ins that can be added to your blog to assist your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, the bloggers who are succeeding in this area are those that have taken the time to learn the tips and tricks first hand. While there are professionals who will spend years just scratching the surface of all the fine details of SEO and its inner workings, an understanding of a basic overview will be invaluable in your blogging efforts.

 

What is SES, SEO, and SEM?

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine, Google

Search Engine Strategies, or SES, are the plans that a company puts together as part of their overall marketing plan, focusing specifically on trying to maximize their marketing efforts in the area of Search Engines, including both paid and organic searches. This includes a thorough understand and evaluation of keywords and phrases, meta descriptions, alt tags, link backs and where you currently show in search results.

 

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to “the process of improving traffic to a given website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results” (Business Dictionary, n.d.)

SEO refers to the organic search component or the unpaid search results. There was a time when understanding the algorithm used by Google was relatively easy, allowing efforts to seamlessly predict how they would show up in searches. As businesses began to realize the power that SEO carried, they began to find ways to ‘game the system’, taking advantage of the predictable algorithms to come out on top.

This pushed Google to have to make some drastic changes, with adjustments under the names Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. “As the less-than-savory characters began dominating Google’s search by supposedly gaming the system, Google had to act or risk losing its relevancy. These algorithm adjustments were intended to both weed out the spoofs and scammers, while also fine-tuning its semantic search” (Adams, 2016).

 

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is defined as an “Internet marketing method that focuses on purchasing ads which appear on the result pages of search engines such as Google” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).

This is the paid component discussed above. These ads are often seen either above or to the right of the search results. How prominently the ad is presented on the page relies solely on the amount of money paid. For companies and individuals with health marketing budgets, this may be a viable way to drive traffic back to your site, however for those that do not have the funds available their efforts would be better spent focusing on their organic search.

 

Follows These SEO Tips from Hubspot to Help You Succeed:

  1. Focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords
  2. Include these 1-2 keywords in specific parts of your post
  3. Title
  4. Headers & Body
  5. URL
  6. Meta Description
  7. Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly
  8. Optimize the Meta description
  9. Optimize your images
  10. Don’t use too many similar topic tags
  11. Use URL structures that help your visitors
  12. Link internally when possible
  13. Use Google’s Search Console

(Kolowich, 2016)

For more information, check out this article from Hubspot.

 

What techniques are you currently using to help improve your SEO? What apps or plug-ins have you used, and did you find them to be effective? Let me know in the comments below!

 

References

Adams, R.L. (2016, November 29). SEO 2017: 8 Crucial Rules for Dominating Google’s Search Results. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadams/2016/11/29/seo-2017-8-crucial-rules-for-dominating-googles-search-results/#5172fdf74158

Allen, R. (2017, April 13). Search Engine Statistics 2017. Retrieved from http://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-marketing/search-engine-statistics/

Business Dictionary. n.d. Web. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/

Kolowich, L. (2016, July 26). Blog SEO: How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo-friendly-blog-post-checklist-ht

About Digital Breadcrumbs

Have you always been fascinated by the world of blogging, but don’t know where to begin?

Are you currently a hobby blogger, and would like to take your blog to the next level?

Do you watch others taking the Internet by storm, and you would just like to know how they did it?

blogging, blogger, home office, digital marketing

The blogging community is growing faster than ever. Whether your interests are in digital marketing and technology, parenting skills, travel or fashion and beauty, there is a niche just waiting for you to make your mark!

My first foray into blogging was in 2013 when I created a little WordPress blog called Lovingly Hooked, a place I used to share my latest crochet projects with other crafty people on the internet. Starting out as nothing more than just a hobby, I quickly realized how much I enjoyed being able to share tips and tricks with others, and being a part of the blogging community. As life got busy, I eventually fell away from the crocheting, which in turn meant the end of my blogging days, and it became nothing more than a happy memory.

Fast forward to 2016, when I launched The Social Alternative. Specializing in Social Media Marketing, and spending much of my time on various social media platforms assisting small businesses and local organizations, I found myself once again stumbling upon the blogging community, and connecting with bloggers who had a passion to learn more about the digital landscape they were now facing. I began to include a blogging component to my business, assisting bloggers in maximizing their efforts on social media and explaining concepts like Search Engine Optimization.

In January 2017, I launched Alternatively Speaking. This was my chance to climb in the trenches with my fellow bloggers, launching my own blog in the lifestyle niche. I rediscovered my passion for writing, but at the same time was facing the problems they had been describing head on. I began to work my way through the various challenges involved with boosting engagement, growing email lists and attracting followers. This hands-on approach gave me a new view on the knowledge that I had to bring the blogging world.

And that leads us here – to Digital Breadcrumbs

Digital Breadcrumbs will be a place to share tips, tricks and knowledge that will help bloggers, regardless of your niche, to build a strong online presence. If you have been debating getting your feet wet, now is the time to jump in and take this journey with me! Let me help you be strategic in your blogging efforts, working with purpose towards your personal goals.

 

What would you like to achieve with your blog in 2017? What challenges do you feel currently stand in your way?

Use the comments below to share what you would like to see discussed here!