Monthly Archives: November 2007

Ok, now I have added Google Analytics to my SEO check-list

I just saw a very interesting post from my friend Matt Paines on Google Analytics affecting ranking. I have actually been seeing sites loose rank over the past months with out any clear reason, all but one are using GA.

I am going to look into this again with the information Matt has posted on his site. For those who want to read more from Matt’s post got to http://blog.xseo.com/GoogleAnalyticsdamagerankings

There is also a interesting point made by Dixon Jones on this topic at the same post.

IndexTools Rubix sneak-peak preview

Pfefff, that was nice! I just got a short introduction on Indextools 10 and Indextools Rubix and I must say that it is one of the coolest tools I have seen in a long time – Analytics 2.0 welcome.

I have been using web Analytics for nearly 10 years, first just to know the number of hits, but then to more advanced tools like DeepMatrix, Webalizer, Counter.com and WebTrends to mention few. Some 3 or 4 years back (might be longer) I found Indextools on the Internet (Google) and it was a great match from where I was standing they had the tool that did the trick, but there was still something missing, some spice that makes me go hmmmm.

Indextools Rubix is that, hmmmmm!!!

This new version of Indextools is actually mind blowing to say the least and if they can keep the big words said at the introduction, then kudos to you.

Indextools has taken Web Analytics to another level, great work!

Did YouTube and CNN hit the nail?

Looks like CNN and You Tube had the right idea when they held the first-ever online presidential debate this year. ClipBlast! reports that of the 1000 Americans surveyed, 29,5% said they will get their candidate information from news videos, 22% from online debates, and 7,5% will get their election information from video bloggers.

Mel Carson is now officially my idol

Mel Carson from Microsoft’s adCenter was in a Joe Cocker Video, How cool is that?! Joe Cocker the man who made the Beatles song “With a little help from my friends” famous at Woodstock, way back when. My question is, is Microsoft a step up or down?

It appears email is the preferred method

Email is the preferred method of communications in the workplace. At least according to a study made by Diemension Data recently. In fact everybody, 100% of end users asked use email as their main communication channel, followed by fixed-line telephones, 80%. 76% use mobile phones and 66% use instant messaging. And where did I see this? Well I was sitting in the lounge at JFK and saw it in some computer magasine I picked up there. Trival data? No not when you look at the fixed line versus mobile. That reminds me 93% of college students own mobile phones compared to 69% five years ago. My “phone” is a 400 mhz, 128 mb ram and 2 gb HDD computer, it’s 4x more power full than my first Pentium PC.

Web Analytics, the future is here, sorry next year

Indextools is bringing in a new version of it’s Analytics solution, the big number 10! I saw at Captain Blackbeaks blog this morning this great post on the new release http://blackbeak.conversionchronicles.com/. I have not seen the BIG 10 my self but I am trembling in my knees like a little girl at a Beatles concert waiting for it arrive.

Well maybe not that dramatic but as a techy with marketing backgrounds tools like Indextools, what can I say we a match made in heaven. Indextools and my wife, or my wife and Indextools, you choose.

Search Engine Optimizing strategies in short

All marketing through the Internet should include many different marketing methods but it should always with good search engine optimization (US) –  optimisation (UK) strategies.

Before I start I would like to quote my friend Shari Thurow:

“Search friendliness isn’t only about Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search, Teoma, or any other crawler-based search engine or human-based directory. Search friendliness is first and foremost about site visitors. Having a search-friendly site is far more important than having a search-engine-friendly site.”

So having quoted that golden rule let’s start.

SEO strategies
The first thing to remember is that nothing is achieved over night. Search engine optimization is a process. Search engine algorithms is never the same between each engine and they consist of many different elements and can be quite complex. REMEMBER that over doing this might get you banned or demoted by the search engines, there is a very thin line between GOOD SEO strategies and BAD.

What is Search Engine Marketing? Two of the main characteristics are typically referred to as on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

 

So what are these two?
1. On-page optimization,content of your web page that you can optimize yourself.
2. Off-page optimization,content of linking and how your link partner sites link to you.

On-page optimization:
– Each web page should have its own, unique, descriptive title tag, description tag and keywords. The keywords tag is seldom used nowadays. But having said that; I would recommend that each page should have some unique keywords for that page.

# Keep your content fresh and updated and try as you can to have it build up as quality, informative content.

# Be sure your title tag contains your best keyword or keyword phrase; remember that the search engines neither do nor read more that 65 to 72 characters including spaces. So writing more than that may even hurt you.

# Search engines look for quality, structure and organization. Using header tags indicates good outline of form and structure of content. Use header tagsin the body of your page text. Header tags are H1, H2, H3 etc. and their look and feel can be managed with Style Sheets (CSS).

# Bold your keyword or keyword phrases, but don’t doit much more than once or twice. It’s also a good idea to italicize and underline them once as well. Some say it’s good to have a major keyword in the beging pharagraph of a text and in the end.

# Pepper each page of your site with your keywords Use your keywords in the first paragraph, the last paragraph and sprinkle them in between. Keep your keyword saturation at about 1-2%.

# Use keyword alt tags to describe an image used on your page. Since search engines don’t index images, alt tags allow the search engines to recognize all your content. Be sure not to stuff them with lots of useless information. Use your best keyword or keyword phrase and keep it short.

# Cross links within a web are very important, link your site pages by placing a navigation bar on all your pages. Remember to be sure that url name of every page contains what the page is about.

For example, if a page is about “fisheries machine” the page name should be “fisheries-machine.html” or “machines_for_fisheries.html” and all the links to that page should be named ‘Fisheries Machines’ and set up as:

<a href=”fisheries_machines.htm” mce_href=”fisheries_machines.htm”>Fisheries machines</a> or <a href=”machines_for_fisheries.htm” mce_href=”machines_for_fisheries.htm”>Machines for fisheries</a>

The ending .html, can of course be of different sort, like .asp, .htm, .php, .jsp to mention few.

# Create a site map. This is very important, site maps act like a table of contents for the site and can help search engines find, crawl and index all the content of your website ensuring that nothing is left behind.

Off page optimization:
Linking and link popularity, Google call’s it Page Rank, plays a large part in the optimization of your site so don’t just link to any site. Adopt a methodology in obtaining useful, quality links. Here are a few good rules to go by:

# Majority of your links should be to sites that have a similar content or theme as your web site. Be sure the site complements your site. It should be one that you would use and recommend.

# Growing link popularity should be slow and gradual. A sudden explosion of links could indicate spam to a search engine and there for do more harm that good.

# Try to link to pages that have high pake ranking, it inherits to your page. The higher the page rank of the page your link is on, the better. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t link to pages with a low page rank.

# Try to have the title of the link’s page something other than ‘links.html’. If possible try to ensure it has some relevance in meaning to your site.

# And finally when you exchanging links you should be sure to submit your best keyword in the anchor text and the description text should include your second most important keywords.

The main thing in Search engine marketing is to remember that things happen on a turtle speed, but it’s better to get there that not. If you have not made your web remember to lay-out the foundation of a good Internet Marketing Stragetie before you start designing your web or buying a Content Management System, it might be that the layout or the CMS are not Search Engine Friendly and can be a hinder in you goals to achieving world domination on the Internet.

Having said that I want to remind you of my quote in Shari in the begining of this article.

Photos from the SMX Stockholm

SMX StockholmThe SMX Sweden was brimming over with high profile speakers and managed to create quite a buzz. Everybody had something to offer to their audience during and after the event… after all it’s all about marketing! Andy started it up and Joost was having a blast (thanks for the compliment on our singing debut.) Zwicky wrote about a cool tool Dixon generously shared with us all. Mel enjoyed it soSMX Stockholm much he can’t wait to do it all over again. Internet Marketeers work hard and play hard as is evident in the images, meticulously filtered for incriminating evidence. Here’s 150 photos from the SMX Stockholm for your perusal. If you missed the show, the next SMX event is coming up in London next week. Kristjan Mar will be there on our behalf… sans camera!

What happens to the visitors after the click over to you?

eMetrics Summit in StockholmThis week I was at the eMetrics summit in Stockholm and have couple of thoughts on web analytics and how companies are or should implement it.

Recent study made by Webtrends indicated that nearly 60% of companies had “some” metrics but still feel that there is room for improvement. Around 15% where confident that they where doing their analytics well and, that is they felt that measuring was a real strength of their team.

My experience is actually that of these 15% over 75% are not doing it properly and have not set among other the right KPI’s.
Most of the time companies are measuring but they have no clue of what their real goals are and there for even though they are collecting loads of data there is little to do with it.

SMX conference StockholmSo as companies as questions how do we make our website better, then the question should always be better at what? This goes with analytics also where the question is always what should we measure and the answer is to that what is it that you want to achieve? Companies need to set definite business goals and KPI’s. Simply put if you have set these goals and lined up the KPI’s then will be able to extract the metrics.
I am a strong advocate of companies understanding the full impact of their website, that is not only looking at trends predefined reports such as in Webtrend but using the tool to dig down look at individual pages and understand their role within the site as whole and as importantly look at individuals visiting your site, get the feel for the flow so to speak.

By doing this you can for example measure far better if changes are actually improvements or not. Often when we work with companies that are reinventing the web we find that “feelings” play to strong of a role as we tend to have strong opinions of things, by applying web analytics before and after this can be stripped away and companies can take educated decisions on things. I would even suggest that companies looked at using such tools as Tobii for eye-tracking, but that is another story.

For those looking into what tools to use, I can only point you to www.stonetemple.com where you can find great information on the best tools in the industry. There you can also find a report called (if memory serves me right) “the web analytics showdown”. Read that.
There are also great resources to be found at www.webanalyticsdemystified.com – There you find a great whitepaper on “free” analytics versus not free.

From my personal point of view I tend to favor Indextools, but as you most likely know if you have been doing some digging that there are many out there. The main thing is, start measuring!

If you need a proof of concept number for your boss, get a trial period with a tool and show him “total contact hours of the web to the customer (heard this at the eMetrics, can’t remember from whom). There is no other advertising / communication channel that has similar numbers and actually no other channel can show you their numbers in such accuracy.