Category Archives: Google Analytics

 

Happy New Year everyone! 2016 was an amazing year for all of us at Wagada HQ and we’re determined that 2017 is going to be just as brilliant. We’re always looking for new ways to help you wake up your website. One of the reasons we love working in the digital marketing world is that it’s always changing and evolving, so that we can keep making your online presence even better.

We thought that this would be a great opportunity to sit down with a cup of tea (and maybe a slice of cake if you haven’t started the new year diet yet…) and review what we believe to be the top digital marketing trends that have grown in importance over 2016. We think our top 5 trends will all be really vital elements of creating a high profile online business that gets your product and / or service both found and talked about in 2017. So read on to find out more about these trends and learn what they can do for your business.

Comprehensiveness Of Content

You’ll probably already know that having great content on your website leads to a much higher ranking in the search engines.  However, 2016 has seen a greater focus placed not just on content or how much of it you have but on its comprehensiveness. In simple terms, this means how well your content actually helps your users and how well it answers the questions they are asking or gives them the information that they need.

Whilst people used to think that short, snappy content was what time poor users wanted, in fact we now see that longer content actually leads to increased rankings. This is because it is far more likely to be comprehensive and to really get to the core of what your customers want to know! Comprehensive content works well as it means that you are giving users everything they want – so they are less likely to bounce out of your site. It also makes your business appear trustworthy and because you are offering valuable knowledge, your users are more likely to share it with their peers on social media too.

To begin to build comprehensive content, you first need to think about the questions that your target market might want answered. A valuable way to get this is to reach out to your customers and do some market research, in order to understand exactly what they want from your business. Another way is to start to list out all of the questions that are raised with your sales / support / marketing / customer service teams. Once you have the results from your research, you can start to create content that stands out. It could be that you offer free downloadable guides or a series of high quality ‘how to’ videos. Maybe you can take the time to write an in-depth article that other competitors won’t have taken the time to research. Creating comprehensive content can be time consuming and may have a higher cost in the short term but we think it is well worth investing in.

User Signals

Search engines are continuously getting more responsive and seeking a greater understanding of what their customers want. This means that they are becoming more in tune with user signals, which they interpret to help them gauge how people are searching online. As a business, it is important to understand what these signals are as they will enable Google to decide how to rank your website.

Key user signals are the ‘click through rate’ and ‘bounce rate’ for your site. If Google sees that you are getting lots of clicks to your site, but people are not remaining there for long, it could assume that you are not offering what your customers need. Therefore, you need to consider carefully how well your homepage or landing pages work. Ask yourself – ‘Do users find what they want quickly?’ ‘Are there clear signposts for where they need to go to fulfil their query?’ You should also think about what content you offer – for example engaging videos, a relevant blog or a news section could keep customers interested in staying on your site for longer.

Social signals are also becoming more important to the way that the search engines monitor your website. As social media becomes ever more entrenched in our lives, it has become a key way for people to search for products or services. The number of followers that you have on your social media pages is important, but what is perhaps more pertinent is the way that they engage with you. Shares, re-tweets and engagement with posts show the search engines the validity of your business and reinforce the fact that customers value what you have to offer.

Video Content

As 2016 progressed, you may have seen a move on both social media and business websites towards video content. A great picture may be able to speak a thousand words but a video can bring so much more to your website. We have found that video works so well because it can really bring your business to life. People get to know the team behind your business, they can view a demonstration of how your products work or even take a 360 degree tour around your premises! In a busy online marketplace, using video can really make your website stand out from the crowd.

Video content is also becoming increasingly popular on social media too. Facebook have launched Facebook Live which allows you to broadcast livestream video onto your pages. This is a fantastic way to engage with your followers, it can really make them feel involved in your daily life. A great example of how video content can go viral on social media was the fabulous mannequin challenge which we had great fun taking part in. We’ve also seen a rise in the popularity of vlogging (video blogging). This takes the concept of blogging one stage further and vloggers are able to talk directly to their followers and share and show them their experiences. Vloggers are now key influencers in the online sphere and it can be a good idea to know which vloggers would work well with your target market.

It is however important to get your video content right and having badly-filmed content can actually have a negative impact on your reputation and your business. It can be well worth investing in a professional video company to shoot some of your footage for you, so that it looks fantastic – and of course think carefully about what type of video content your customer demographic want to see and what they will want to share on social media,

Long Form Content

Following on from the fact that content needs to be comprehensive, we have also seen an increase in long form content. This means copy that is over 1,500 words rather than the 500 words often used in web content. It’s only recently that people have started to realise the benefits of longer content, as opposed to shorter articles that can be read and digested quickly. Recent research has shown that longer content ranks really well in the search engines and in fact, even Google – who are often quite reticent about giving ranking information – said in their Webmaster’s blog that “10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”

Another benefit of longer content is that it can get more people linking to it. As it’s more detailed, it is more likely to be seen as a valued resource and therefore other sites will be keener to link to it. Longer articles also get more social shares on Facebook and Twitter, again due to the fact that they offer more to the reader. If you are still not convinced, then longer content has also been shown to lead to a greater conversion rate too.

Importantly though, when you are looking to write longer content, you should always make sure that you prioritise quality over quantity. Make sure that you are offering useful information and that you are writing about subjects that your customers want to read about at an in-depth level,

Long Tail Keyword Phrases

If you run a website for your business, then you probably already know what your keywords are and understand the words that your customers use when they are searching for your product or business. But, as search engines become more intuitive, we have seen how long tail keyword phrases have become far more important and how they are vital to helping you target your key customers.

Long tail keyword phrases focus on the detailed phrases that customers may be using to search for your services. A hairdresser may know that a keyword for their business is ‘haircut’ but that is a fairly vague and wide-reaching term and there will be a large amount of competition in the search engines. Therefore you need to think about phrases more specific to your business, i.e., ‘low cost haircut in St Albans’. Whilst this may not bring in as many hits to your website, what it will do is bring in more targeted hits that have a much higher chance of converting to sales.

Long tail keyword phrases are great for boosting both your organic and paid for search. If you are using AdWords there is likely to be far less competition for more unique and specific phrases which mean you can pay a lower cost per click.

We think that these 5 key trends will really come into play in 2017, so we recommend you take the time to understand how they can help your business. As always, Wagada will be keeping up-to-date with any changes in the digital marketing world and we’re sure that the New Year will bring some exciting developments. We’ll be the first to let you know so watch this space!

The bounce rate from your website is one of the most talked about, but perhaps the least understood, Google Analytics metric. However, understanding your bounce rate and working on factors that can reduce your bounce rate can greatly improve your conversion rate, and can potentially offer a boost to ranking.

So what is your bounce rate and what does it tell you? Well in simple terms the bounce rate is the number of people who click through to a landing page on your site but then go no further into your website. They simply take a look at the landing page and ‘bounce’ out again. You can view the bounce rate for a particular page, such as a campaign landing page or home page, and for your website as a whole.  People often believe that bounce rate is linked to the amount of time people spend on your page but that is actually a separate metric and does not have an impact on your bounce rate.

Bounce rate is a really important analytical tool as a high bounce rate tells you that something is amiss when visitors come to your site. Most website bounce rates are in the region of 30 to 60%, depending on the types of keywords you are targeting and the types of content that people are consuming. Blog articles often attract a higher bounce rate, as this type of content can rank for a wide variety of keywords, and visitors often arrive, digest the blog article and then go elsewhere. The bounce rate to your Contact Us page may also appear to be high – as people may only be searching for a telephone number, or to send you a contact email. A high bounce rate should therefore be analysed within the context of the type of traffic and the intentions of those people arriving at the website.

However, a high bounce rate may be a sign of problems with your website. Firstly, the quality of visitors coming to your site is low and you are not attracting the kind of online visitors that really fit with your product. Secondly, your site may not be offering the right customers the value that they need, it may not be relevant or helpful enough to them to get them to stay, or enticing enough to encourage them to delve further into your site. Obviously if you have a high bounce rate then reducing it should be a real priority for your business, so here are our top tips for how to reduce your bounce rate.

Ensure that your website is getting high quality web traffic

If the people visiting your website are coming for the wrong reasons then your bounce rate is going to be high as it is a sign that your site is not reaching the target demographic that you want. This is bad for your ranking and bad for your business as if you are not getting the customers who will be attracted to your product or services then your sales will plummet.

So how can you rectify this and encourage high quality traffic to visit your site? Firstly a keyword review can have a big impact. Make sure you are using the right keywords and long-tail keyword phrases that your potential customers will be using. It can be worth using a keyword tool to help support you with this. You will also want to look at your marketing channels and who they are reaching. Ask yourself if you are connecting with the right people on social media and if your marketing materials are correctly targeted. Doing some customer research on how people search for your product or service can also provide you with really useful guidelines as to how people are finding your site.

Create a strong call to action on your landing page

A strong, visible call to action is a great way to encourage customers to go further into your site. Often web pages are just not clear enough and they fail to tell customers what they need to do next. Use buttons, banners and heading text to clearly signpost to your website visitors what you need them to do next i.e.:

 Click here for 50% off bargains

 Click here to find a restaurant in your location

You also need to make your call to actions relevant to your customers and they must match what the customer is expecting to find. So, if you are advertising a sale online, they may be confused if they land on a homepage with no obvious mention of a sale. Try to use campaign-specific landing pages if you are running a marketing campaign as this enables you to create a clear and relevant call to action.

Create customer relevant pages with great content

Great content is always recommended as it can boost your website in a number of ways and this is particularly relevant for reducing your bounce rate. Interesting and relevant content keeps customers engaged with your website and the more they want to read, the more likely they are to stay on your website. Good content encourages customers to visit other areas of your site and you can help signpost them to this by using “if you like this you might like…” buttons which will keep them clicking through to other relevant pages.

You should also aim to make your content easily readable. Long, informative articles can be a fantastic way of attracting traffic, but long paragraphs of content can be daunting and difficult to read. Split your content into small chunks and use the tools for writing for the web successfully: bullet points, sub-headings, split content up with images, write in short paragraphs, make phrases bold, add links to additional information…

Make sure you pages are easy to use and well formatted with a clear user pathway

First impressions count in life and the online world is no different. Research has shown that customers take only 8 seconds to take a decision about whether to stay on a page or leave it so you need to make every second count!

It’s important that your page looks appealing and engaging and it’s just as important that it loads quickly and isn’t hampered by pop up ads that will just annoy customers and cause them to leave your site. Making sure that customers are signposted to where they need to go clearly and accurately can have a really positive impact on reducing your bounce rate too, and a site that is clear and easy to use will encourage customers to keep coming back.

User intent gives us a strong indication of whether a high bounce rate is a problem. If you think your high bounce rate is caused by user dissatisfaction, or the wrong visitor demographic, act fast to protect your ranking and your conversion rate. Google is taking user interaction into account in its ranking more and more, so having dissatisfied visitors can negatively impact on your ranking. Find out more about our conversion rate optimisation service.

Building a great website is just the start of your online success story. Once your site is up and running the next step is to make sure that it is as effective as possible, and that it is attracting the right type of customers to the right pages. To help you understand how your site is working it is really important to have an analytical tool which can enable you to drill down into the details of your website traffic and customers. After all it might be great that you are getting 200 hits to your site each day – but not if your hits are coming from the U.S. and you are a shop based in Hertfordshire who wants to attract local clients! That’s why you need to learn Google Analytics which can be an essential tool in helping you to really make the most of your online presence.

What is Google Analytics and what can it tell me about my website?

Google Analytics is an easily installed tool which tracks the statistics behind the traffic to your website. You can get a simple version for free by downloading it from the Google site.

Google Analytics can tell you a great deal about both how your website works and how your customers work too. Once you have installed it on your site you will be able to see a data dashboard that will tell you details about how many people visit your site during a given time period, where those people are in the UK or in the world and when they are using your site. You will also be able to see how people interact with your page – so you can see where customers move to from the home page and what the bounce rate is on each page. You can even see how long they stay on a particular page for.

While Google Analytics is extremely useful, it is not the most intuitive of tools. So to make the most of it, you’ll need some training to get the hang of it. Find out more about Wagada’s Google Analytics Training.

How can I make the most of Google Analytics?

To make the most of Google Analytics it is a good idea to decide on the key priorities for your website and online customers, and then use Google Analytics to make sure that your website is achieving these targets. You can look for peaks and troughs of customer hits when you have a specific marketing campaign running – and you can also see where your hits are coming from and therefore tell if your site is attracting the right demographic for your product. You can also use Google Analytics to find out how engaging your site is for potential clients and what the customer journey through your website looks like.

You’ll want to set up Google Webmaster Tools at the same time, and link the two, in order to get the most of the SEO data available in the tools.

You can even link Google Analytics in with any Google Adwords campaigns you may have running which will enable you to see how successful they are, to compare campaigns and decide what changes you need to make to ensure that your campaigns are as effective as possible.

So you can see just how important it is to take the time to learn Google Analytics and why it can make a real difference to your online marketing campaigns.

The idea of gaining a whole load of information on your website users and their behaviour is very appealing. But a lot of people become intimidated when faced with the Google Analytics dashboard. The sheer amount of data available is daunting, and the different options raise more questions than answers. My advice at the beginning is to keep it super simple until you become more confident using the interface (before you know it you’ll be creating goals and funnels, and custom reporting with your eyes closed).

Here are the top 3 questions you’ll want Google Analytics to answer for you:

1. How many visitors are coming to my website?

You want to know how many individuals are coming to your website, not counting repeat visits by the same person.

Unique Visitors
This metric is on the audience overview of your Analytics dashboard. You want to focus on the long-term for this metric – can you see an upward trend? Are there any seasonable variations? Look for spikes around specific marketing campaigns to measure their success.

2. Where are the visitors coming from?

You want to know what is bringing the most traffic to your website, whether that is the search engines, direct or other websites.

Referring URLS
This is a great metric for checking which other websites are bringing you the most traffic. You might decide to pursue links with similar sites, or further improve your profile on these successful sites.

Direct
These are the visitors who already had your website address and typed it into the browser, had the link already stored in their bookmarks or clicked on the link from an email or document.

Organic
Your organic traffic comes from people searching for related terms on a search engine. This report lets you see which terms people were searching for when they found your website. This is a great indication of what your users wanted from your site.

3. What are the visitors doing on the website?

You want to know which pages people are landing on when they arrive at the website and which are the most popular. Also which pages people are leaving your website from.

Pages
These are the most popular pages on your website and this metric is quite often surprising as people don’t always do what we expect!

Landing Pages
Thanks to search and marketing campaigns the home page is now not the only place to enter a website. Most people will enter your site at a deeper level. Make a list of your most popular landing pages and see how they can be improved to make them more engaging.

Exit Pages
OK so users have to leave your site somewhere but it can be really useful to see which pages people were on when they decided that their visit to your site was over. As you get more proficient with Analytics you’ll want to know if people are abandoning in the middle of the purchase procedure (for this you’ll create a funnel – more on that later).

Bounce Rate
This is the percentage of visitors who view one page of the website before going elsewhere. This could be because your content is not engaging enough to make them want to stay, but it could also reflect a problem with your marketing campaigns attracting the wrong type of visitor.

These metrics are a good starting point to understanding the Analytics interface, and the activity on your website. From here you can start to gain a feel for what is the most important data for your website and understand your priorities.

See our Google Analytics training packages for more information.