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7/21/2014 9:05:52 AM

Your guide to Google My Business

What is Google My Business?

In June, Google launched an adapted all-in-one platform for local and non-local businesses to increase their online presence, in the shape of, ‘Google My Business’. The new platform allows business owners to create a free integrated Google profile for their business, with the ability to promote content to their connected audience, add customer reviews and heighten location accuracy and increase visibility within search results and Google Maps all included within the easy-to-use interface.

Why do I need Google My Business?

For a number of years, these features and services were managed across various Google platforms, namely Google Pages and Google+ Local - causing a visible disconnect between local businesses looking to market their services online and the world’s most frequently used search engine. However, the new Google My Business interface presents a much more accessible approach to building your brand’s online identity and also allows you to easily edit and publish information to keep your audience updated and connected. First and foremost, Google My Business could help improve your site’s ongoing search engine optimisation strategy. As Google My Business places your correct business information throughout Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+, more often than not you will find yourself ranking higher in local search results than you would have without the help of Google My Business. You’ll also be giving yourself a healthy competitive advantage with Google My Business, as the majority of local businesses have not yet taken full advantage of the platform, nor has the platform reached its full potential.  

Additionally, if you previously used Google Places or Google+ Local to manage your business’ information and have not recently logged in, your account will have been automatically upgraded to Google My Business.

How to use Google My Business

At this point, you will be presented with the option to sign in or “Get onto Google” to access their services.

Sign in

If you already have an existing Google+ account for your business or you have previously set up a Google Places account or similar, you can login with your existing details to associate your account. If you have yet to use Google’s services, you will need to create a new Google+ account before proceeding.

You will now be presented with a map of the world. If you have associated your business with Google in any way previously, you can search for it using its address and postal code. If your details produce no matches, you can create a new profile for your business. Simply click the cog symbol next to “Not a local business?” and click “Create new page” to proceed.

Local business setup

Despite Google asking if you’re not a local business, following this approach will still allow you to successfully set up a Google My Business account for your local business.

Select your business type

To add your business to Google My Business, you must have a verified postal address and meet Google’s quality guidelines. If you meet these necessary requirements, you will then be asked to select the most appropriate match for your business: a shop front, a business serving a dedicated area or a brand. If you’d like to promote a brand, product, organisation or any other entity without a verifiable address, you should create a brand, organisation or artist page.

Your business details

You will then be asked to provide various details for your business, including the business name, the city the business operates in and the main business telephone number. As Google collects data from many sources to compose business information in their search results, each business is required to verify their identity. To ensure that the basic information you submit is accurate, Google will ask you to verify it by entering a verification code that will be sent to your business address or via telephone.

Google+ header

Once complete, your account will be set up and you’ll be directed to a new window, highlighting the new Google My Business interface. Upon visiting for the first time, you will be greeted with a largely featureless header. You are encouraged to edit additional information, such as business opening hours, a link to your website and your Google Maps-associated address to increase your visibility within search engine results pages and allow your followers or potential customers to gain access to your information as and when they need it. You are also strongly advised to upload several photos of your business to the platform, as Google can often include these images and other additional textual information within local search results as rich snippets, which will significantly increase your search engine visibility. 

Below the main header, you will find a number of feature tabs:

  • The ‘Share’ tab will allow you to push out updates and photographs to your followers, link to your own content or content you would like to share and also publish information for upcoming events.
  • The ‘Insights’ tab will offer analytics for your business page. The basic metrics recorded include visibility (the number of page visits), engagement (the number of Google shares from users) and audience (follower growth). You can then use this data to help shape and influence potential social media campaigns and develop an ongoing informed relationship with your followers.

Additionally, you can also view Google Analytics data within the Google My Business platform, providing you have a working Analytics account.

Google My Business is a pro-active step in the right direction to get your local business on the online map. The platform offers a free and simple way of finding and connecting with the people that may be most interested in the products and services you have to offer, no matter where you are in the world. In turn, Google has produced a streamlined and more coherent process for managing data, reviews and social interactions for local businesses and has consolidated their wide range of small business marketing products to allow local businesses to find their feet online.

7/17/2014 9:06:59 AM

The importance of content throughout the customer journey

Content is king

Content marketing is no longer solely focused on raising awareness for the consumer of the latest and greatest. Content needs to provide assurance, drive engagement and deliver knowledge and understanding. Simply housing content on your site, like a blog or a series of product pages, and expecting them to deliver is a sure-fire way of approaching the increasingly non-linear customer journey in the wrong manner. For content to be truly effective, you will need to establish a content strategy that can provide the right content at the right time.

The path a customer takes on their journey to making a purchase, and the need for relevant information and support at each incremental stage, naturally vary by product and service. However, there are key transferable elements that can be used to identify the relationship between creating content and catering for the customer on their journey. Understanding these stages will allow you to create appropriate content for your target audience as and when they need it.

From the perspective of the customer, their journey can be simplified into three stages: discovering the brand; be it via a search engine, social media campaign or branded newsletter, researching the best or most suitable product for their needs and finally, purchasing the product. From the businesses’ perspective, the corresponding stages are: raising awareness; via your branded platform or social media accounts, asserting your expertise and credibility and fundamentally, making the sale. To get to this crucial third and final stage, you need to ensure your potential buyer is provided with compelling content that offers a solution at every step.

Making the discovery/Raising brand awareness

At the beginning of the customer journey, the prospective customer is searching for a solution and you want to be the company that they plump for to solve their query. At this stage, your aim should be to provide rich, informative content that sets you apart from your competition. There are numerous ways to present your business to potential customers: unique blog posts, high-quality infographics and rich video content, all promoted via your social media accounts, are among the most effective pieces of content to help you get your products and services noticed.

Whilst creating dynamic content is important, assessing its effectiveness is also vital for boosting conversions and building relationships with your customers. Measuring the data behind your content can help your business become more responsive to the ever-changing needs of your customers and keep up with emerging trends within the industry. Analysing data can be a daunting process, but by using an online analytics tool, the process can become more intelligent, organised and the software can help you capture important metrics that may have previously been out of reach, such as; campaigns, in-site search and on-site user behaviour. Google Analytics is the most popular tool used by online marketers in measuring metrics, tracking social data and analysing trends for improved SEO.

You should also ensure your branding is consistent across all of your online platforms. Your website, logo and ads all play a significant role in boosting your visibility and consistency assures the customer of your visual approach. Your online presence is essential, if potential customers cannot see you, they cannot think of you when it comes to the next step: researching the appropriate product for their needs.

Conducting research/Asserting your knowledge

Once the customer has identified the product or service they need, ensuring they have sufficient credible information on hand allows them to make an assured decision about what is right for them. Content at this stage of the customer journey offers a developed insight into the product or service itself, exploring features in-depth, demonstrating provenance and assessing the response of those who have previously purchased the product or similar.

A 2013 case study carried out by VWO (Visual Web Optimiser) highlighted the considerable potential of implementing third-party review add-ons to a web page in a bid to boost credibility and conversions. In their A/B test, they added a small widget to e-commerce store, Express Watches’ website, with genuine customer reviews added to each product page. The test was a success for the business, with the positive customer reviews reducing initial buyer apprehensions, highlighting their success and boosting sales by 58 percent.

Credibility and user trust is something that is established and earned over time as you build up your customer base, but there are ways to increase the trust level of your website, even on a basic level if you’re a new business starting up. This can involve:

  • Building relationships with influential social followers from your field – assuring the customer that their peers approve of your products.
  • Client testimonials – offering intimate recommendations to alleviate hesitance. ·
  • Implementing visible SSL certificates - allowing for secure connections from server to browser and secure payment transactions.

Purchasing a product/Making a sale

The final stage of the customer journey is naturally the most important for any business, but also the most difficult to achieve. If you’ve done a good job establishing your viability to the customer throughout the journey, the final stage should result in a natural conclusion. The customer will have invested into your business and the products or services you have to offer and be ready to proceed on their journey. However, there is still a possibility that your content during the latter stages of the journey could result in the customer referring back to your competitors if the quality diminishes.

As of Q1 2014, 60% of online activity is mobile and mobile is quickly becoming the customer’s instinctive platform. This increase has dramatically transformed customer expectations and if there is a dichotomy between desktop and mobile platforms, the customer could miss out on important content during the final stages of the journey. A way to combat a stark contrast between platforms is to invest in responsive design for your website. Responsive design allows for a unified user experience across multiple platforms and ensures the customer receives a mirrored experience throughout the journey. Some businesses choose to opt for desktop and mobile-friendly sites, others for just one or the other, but more often than not, a lack of consistency diminishes any effort put in by their development team and can harm conversions long term.

The nature of web design means that those purchasing via a desktop site will have a different aesthetic experience compared to those purchasing on their mobile or tablet. However, aside from visual changes, perhaps the most concerning issue is the difference between the pages displayed across the mobile version of the site. The consumer could potentially miss out on delivery information and support forms – all vital pieces of content that enable a smooth customer journey, reduce confusion and increase the likelihood of the customer returning to the site post-sale. More worryingly, if there is a disconnect between desktop and mobile, users may miss out on enquiry forms or subscription services – two fundamental on-page elements that boost engagement and increase conversions for your site. Tracking these events via Google Analytics can offer impressive benefits for any site, so ensuring users on both desktop and mobile can view these pages across both platforms is vital.

Moving forward, to excel in your industry and build a core trusting audience will require the ability to engage with the customer throughout their journey, reaching out across multiple platforms with engaging and informative content that is rich, rooted by data and measured for efficiency. Rather than relying upon one preferred marketing method to drive business and increase conversions, we must inherently focus on digital marketing as a whole and focus upon the bigger picture. 

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6/27/2014 11:50:29 AM

Google scales back authorship design

Google has announced that they will be removing authorship profile photos and ‘Circles’ counts from its search results over the next few days.

The alteration is expected to create a more consistent look across multiple devices and allow for a more streamlined and “less-cluttered” design for the results page. The new design will feature a clickable author name before the content’s title, with the URL and timestamp following below.

Launched in 2011, Google’s authorisation tag allows for additional professional information to appear in search results for content created by an individual.

John Mueller's authorship announcement

John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster trends analyst, suggested that those with existing authorship should not be concerned about a drop in click-through behaviour, as (Google’s) tests indicate that behaviour on this new design is “similar” to the previous incarnation.

Google is continually making amendments to its user interface, often most noticeably to its SERPs (search engine results pages), desktop and mobile platforms. With a recent change to its mobile user interface increasing the visibility of PPC adverts and obscuring the immediacy of organic search results, a case could be made for the idea that Google has reduced the visual impact of authorship-backed content to ensure more financially viable results are positioned appropriately.

The true nature of the UI changes can only be left open to interpretation, bar an official explanation from Google, but at the forefront of these amendments is the notion that Google has potentially removed one of the fundamental reasons to sign up to its authorship programme.

Will these changes make authorship redundant?

Previously, having an image associated with your content in the SERPs was one of the most compelling reasons for obtaining authorship, simply for the potential positioning change, visual exposure and seniority on the topic of your choice amongst peers. With this imagery removed, is authorship still worthwhile?

In the short term, yes it is. There isn’t an obvious downside to having your Google+ profile associated with your content and there is still the potential for positioning changes at a later date when Google’s algorithm is updated. Equally, if you are deemed by Google to have authority over a particular subject and your content is displayed positively, there is no immediate negative associated with authorship.

In the long term, the potential effect this update may have is that Google witness a distinct drop in users attempting to sign up for authorship, with the most visual and socially interactive incentives now missing from the service.

How do I set-up authorship for my content?

If, despite these emerging changes, you would like to obtain authorship for your content, a detailed Google+ profile with a clear, high-quality headshot for use as a profile photo is required, first and foremost. From here, you can verify authorship for your content by associating it with your Google+ profile.

  • Certify that each piece of content is appropriately accredited to you, with a detailed byline. This byline must match your full Google+ profile name.
  • Ensure your Google+ profile has a recognisible headshot in use as the main profile photo.
  • Create link to your Google+ profile from your website, like this:

<a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

  • Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202?rel=author">Google</a>

  • Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it's missing, Google won't be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.
  • Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the website you just updated.
    • Edit the ‘Contributor to…’ section.
    • In the dialog that appears, click ‘Add custom link’, and then enter the website URL that hosts your content.
    • Click ‘Save’.

Related information:

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6/19/2014 3:01:54 PM

Get to grips with Google Tag Manager

A common problem for most businesses in the digital age is getting changes made to their tracking platforms quickly and reliably. If you’re simply looking to deploy a new tag onto your website and you’re at the mercy of an already incredibly busy development team, this process can take a considerable amount of time – time that could be spent to greater benefit, elsewhere.

With the help of Google Tag Manager, tags can be deployed via an online user interface in a matter of minutes – removing the need for time-consuming code amendments.

What is Google Tag Manager?

Google Tag Manager is a tag management system that provides an alternative means of creating and managing all of your website’s tags and code from one centrally managed place. The platform is intended to be simple enough for those without technical know-how to use it efficiently and gain meaningful results. Tag management systems have been available for a number of years, but Google’s free tool integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics and Adwords, allowing for a unified method of tracking your website’s data. There is a slight caveat: it’s not completely aimed at the novice, as code does need to be added upon setup, but after that, creating new tags and amending old ones is a straightforward process.

What can it do for me?

At first glance, Google Tag Manager’s clean, easy-to-use interface and the luxury of having all of your website’s tags collated in one place is as big a benefit as any, but Google Tag Manager also offers several other distinctive benefits.

Firstly, Google Tag Manager is an asynchronous platform, so when it executes a task, it does not block other elements from rendering on the page. Tags can often add weight to your pages and sometimes slow down loading times. However, as Google Tag Manager deploys asynchronously, a slow loading tag won’t affect other functioning tags, resulting in better online response times and an improved user experience.

Having to debug your website’s code after it has been published can be time-consuming, but with Google Tag Manager you can easily amend and tweak any code snippets that aren’t functioning as they should, effectively minimising downtime and time spent correcting errors with your development team.

Google Tag Manager also allows you to assign access to multiple user accounts, with different levels of viewing, editing and publishing privileges. This feature provides convenience for businesses wanting to give multiple employees access to tools or needing to share access with clients while ensuring only certain individuals have appropriate control.

How do I set-up Google Tag Manager?

To begin managing tags using Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to:

  • Go to google.com/tagmanager to create an account (or access an existing account).
  • Create a container for your site’s code (this should be your site’s domain name).
  • Once the container is created, you can start creating tags for your website via the user interface. Google provides a number of templates, but also allows custom tags to be added.
  • If you intend on synchronising Google Tag Manager with Google Analytics, simply choose ‘Google Analytics’ from the ‘Tag type’ dropdown menu when adding new tags to seamlessly connect the two platforms.

Google Tag Manager offers a valuable alternative to those wishing to take control of their tag management. It’s unified features and intuitive user interface attributes control to those who need the information tags can offer, but lack the experience and knowledge of coding that was previously required to extract the data. The valuable time saved and the information collected by Google Tag Manager, makes the platform a clear and necessary choice for any business looking to succeed in the digital age.

4/1/2014 2:55:24 PM

LinkedIn kills Product and Service pages

LinkedIn kills Product and Service Pages for business accounts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t have a LinkedIn business page, or even an Internet connection –in which case, how are you reading this in the first place?-, you might have heard that LinkedIn just decided to eliminate Products and Services Pages from your business account. The announced date is around the corner -April 14, 2014-, and you really want to catch up with LinkedIn before the site obliterates all this information and you find yourself with an almost blank company page. But don’t worry,we have the keys to help you overcome he problem.

What do I do with my LinkedIn product and services information?

LinkedIn Product and Service pages

LinkedIn launched its Showcase Pages in November, and after a few months of running-in they expect us all to move into them. These pages are extensions of your company page that allow you to extend your online presence by creating specific LinkedIn pages for your products and services. The main aim is for you to build long-term relationships with highly targeted audiences around each product or service that you offer.

These pages have their own wall, which allows you not only the possibility to add specific descriptions about your products and services –like you did in your company profile-, but also lets you publish status updates. This is especially useful because every time your followers engage with your updates, they will spread the information within their own networks, giving your business portfolio more visibility and increasing consumer awareness.

How do I create a Showcase Page?

To create a Showcase Page you just need a few minutes and administrator permission for the LinkedIn Company page:

  1. Identify those areas of your business that need a Showcase Page. If you had Products & Services pages, that would make the process easier; just remember that you’re meant to publish relevant information for each Showcase page on a regular basis, so just make sure that each business area is up to the challenge.
  2. Go to the “Edit” dropdown menu on he right site of the company profile and select “Create a Showcase Page”. LinkedIn creates the page straight away, so make sure you have thought about it through and through and have most of the service information ready.
  3. Our most important recommendation for your page optimisation is to include a good cover photo. It will make you stand out from the crowd.

Can I keep my LinkedIn product & service recommendations?

Finally -and if you were lucky enough- you might have some followers/client recommendations on your services pages, you most likely want to keep them at any cost. In this case, and according to LinkedIn, you should either copy the text from the tab into your own document. You can also request a copy from the social network for any recommendation made before March 4, 2014 –this service will be available until May 30, 2014.

Related information:

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3/21/2014 10:34:49 AM

Guest blogging is dead, long live guest blogging

We had been warned. Google’s head of Webspam team, Matt Cutts, has been talking a lot about guest posting lately and about how the golden age of guest blogging was coming to an end. But it wasn’t until last week that the biggest search engine put its warnings into practice, and struck one of the biggest Guest Posting Networks online, MyBlogGuest. This penalisation confirms what Cutts advanced in January, guest blogging is dead, and Google has already begun its personal purge.

Google's Matt Cutts tweets about guest blogging and MyBlogGuest penalisation

@mattcutts: Today we took action on a large guest blog network. A reminder about the spam risks of guest blogging: http://goo.gl/cnkoFA [Twitter] 19th May 2014.

The rise and fall of guest blogging

Long gone are the days when guest posting was considered not only an acceptable practice, but also something desirable. Back in the day, having a qualified blogger writing an entrance to your site was an honour. What wasn’t appealing about it? You had a specialised writer who thought you were important enough to be worthy of their words. Your site was good enough for somebody to make the effort to put pen and paper –aka fingertips and keyboard- to work and offer you something original for free. In return you were more than willing to add a link to their own site, and help them get more traffic and a relative improvement on their PageRank.

Long gone are those days. With the expansion of content mills and other more than questionable practices, high quality content has become nothing but a needle in a haystack of spam blog posts. And Google is more than willing to turn the whole haystack into ashes if it’s the only way to find that needle.

What about quality guest blogging?

Rules for guest bloggingWhat about fair quality content? What about those guest posts that really add to your site? Is Google going to penalise you for them? The short answer is no; however, things aren’t that simple and there is always a “but”.

In general, the best thing to do is follow Matt Cutts own advice: “I [Matt Cutts] wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

Google’s John Muller also gives a solution for this problem: “I think sometimes it can make sense to guest blog on other peoples’ sites, and drive some traffic to your site because people really liked what you are writing, and they are interested in the topic, and they click through that link to come to your website. But those are probably the cases where you’d want to use something like a rel=nofollow on those links.”

So basically, make sure you know who is writing for your site, and add a “Nofollow” to their links. Better safe than sorry.

That makes sense. But what is a “nofollow” link?

“Nofollow” could be explained as a way to tell search engines to ignore a specific link to a specific page and, consequently, to not take that link into account for PageRank. Using this tag will still send traffic to the linked page, but the referral won’t affect its SERP position.

Therefore, “Nofollow” links should allow you to publish guess posts while keeping Google from messing with your site.

How do I create a “nofollow” link?

How to create "Nofollow" linksWhen you insert a link into a blog post, the HTML should look something like this:

<a href="example.php">Example Page </a>

To create a “nofollow”, add rel="nofollow" after the URL:

<a href="example.php" rel="nofollow">Example Page </a>

Guest blogging is dead, long live guest blogging

Ultimately, Google is trying to change everything to remain the same. Penalising guest blogging as a linkbuilding strategy implies separating the wheat from the chaff, eliminating spam, and keeping quality content in order to return to the golden age of guest blogging.

Related information:

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3/11/2014 11:08:25 AM

How to choose the right SEO company & what to ask them

How to choose the right SEO company &amp; what to ask them

A good digital strategy is as important as a good web design if you want to reach your customers. With millions of people using search engines, social networks and other tools to find the right business that fulfils their needs, it is now more important than ever to develop the proper SEO strategy. But how can you choose a provider? How do you know that the company you contact is the best for you? Just follow this simple advice.

What should I look for in an SEO company?

Google the company’s name to find about previous projects. If they did a poor work, chances are there’s some bad reviews out there.

Check the Domain authority of their own site using tools like Open Site Explorer and make sure it’s optimised. Use this tool to compare different companies’ websites; the higher the domain authority, the better they are optimising their own site, and the more likely they are to do a good job on yours.

What should I ask my SEO provider?


What’s your past experience?

You want to know if they have experience with businesses similar to yours and the results they achieved. This will give you an indication of what to expect from them.

Do you outsource the work?

You want to know how much control they have on the process. This will come in handy if you are not happy with their work and need them to change something.

Do you offer subscription services?

SEO is not a sprint, it is more of a marathon, so make sure to contact a company that includes post-optimization maintenance. You might not want it at the moment, but you might, eventually, and dealing with a company that offers that service will save you time and money.

What should I expect from your work?

This is a tricky one, but a trustworthy company won’t promise impressive pageviews in a week –if they do, they are either lying or using black hat tricks, and you definitely don’t want to mix with them. As I said before, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and it tends to take a few months to achieve SERP results. Therefore, a good service provider will help you set short and long-term priorities. They will ask you which pages or services are the most important for you, and use them as the starting point for your strategy.

How often will I talk to my account manager?

Regular communication is crucial to know how the SEO strategy is affecting your business. Mutual trust and respect are essential.

What results do you expect?

This is a tricky question, because it’s really difficult to predict exactly what would happen. As a rule of thumb, don’t trust anybody that ensures you the first position with your keywords. Don’t trust those that cannot set specific goals either. The goals must be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Do you do benchmarking?

Competitive analysis is essential to know how to target your competitors online, so make sure the company checks what they are doing and responds accordingly.

How will you choose my keywords?

First of all, Google’s last algorithm change, Hummingbird, means that the search engine is less focussed on keywords themselves and more in user intent - the “overall meaning” of a search. Therefore, it’s not enough to get a list of keywords anymore, but your SEO service should provide you with word combinations and suggestions on how to create content to enrich your website and offer what your users are actually looking for. That’s what will make the difference.

Secondly –and this is really important-, it is the company that chooses the word combinations, that’s what you’re paying them for. They can ask if you have any suggestions –a starting point-, but they should respond with many more ideas.

Finally, it is very easy to be found with really specific (obscure) word combinations. What you want is to get a better ranking with combinations people are actually going to type, so use common sense and keep questioning the SEO company if you are not sure about their choices.

Will the optimization include a general analysis of your site?

As I said, SEO is not only about keywords anymore, it’s also about improving the overall user journey and UX. A good SEO firm should be able to provide recommendations on other areas of your site like design, navigation, coding, content, incoming links or conversion optimisation. Every part of your website counts, and everything needs to perform at its best.

How do I choose the right SEO service?

In the end, choosing an SEO and Google analytics provider is like buying a good pair of shoes: make sure you feel comfortable, choose quality over price, and make sure you won’t get blisters after a few days. So ask questions and if you don’t like the answers, just look for more options; the right provider for you is out there, so just keep checking.

Related information:

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2/18/2014 10:26:13 AM

How to set up your Google Analytics goals step-by-step

The last time we talked about Google Experiments and how this free tool from Google Analytics could drastically change your UX by comparing different versions of the same page and the impact they have on your users. But one of the requisites to use this tool is setting goals in your Google Analytics account in order to actually check the effects of each option not only on your customers, but on your overall business performance. Today, we are giving you a beginners guide to set up your goals and get a step closer to achieve your objectives.

What is the function of Google Analytics Goals?

Goals help you measure the completion of certain actions of your web visitors.

How to set up your goals?

Google Analytics goal setting

  • Sign in to your Google Analytics account.
  • Click ‘Admin' on the top-right corner of the screen (1)
  • Select an 'Account' on the left (2), a ‘Property’ (3) and a ‘View’ (4)
  • Click 'Goals' (5)
  • Click ‘Create a goal’

Google Analytics goal setting

  • Chose Template or Custom (6) and click 'Next step' (7)
  • Insert a ‘Name’ (8), choose the ‘Type’ of goal (9) and press ‘Next step’ (10)
  • Insert ‘Goal details’(11)
  • Press ‘Verify this Goal’ (12) before finishing setting your new goal to test if it works properly.
  • Click ‘Create goal’(13)

Once you create a goal you cannot delete it, but you can turn it off. Turning a ‘Goal’ off –changing the ‘Recording’ status to ‘OFF’- means you won’t be able to retrieve data from it until you set it back ‘ON’.

Setting Goals: template or custom Goals?

 

Template

Google Analytics can suggest some standard Goals tailored to meet the needs of specific industries –if you don’t see templates in the setup, edit your property, select an Industry Category and save your changes. There are 4 main categories –‘Revenue’, Acquisition’, ‘Inquiry’ and ‘Engagement’: try to set at least one objective for each.

Custom Goals

Choose custom to set Goals without any suggestions.

How can I edit my goals?

If you want to edit a Goal, click its name in ‘Goals’ and edit it in the setup form.

How many Goals can I set up?

You can set up to 20 Goals per reporting view.

I set my goals, but they are not working. What's wrong?

As professionals, we know that Google Analytics is not always as straight forward as we wished it was, and that it can give a headache even to the most experienced web owner. Next month we will publish a follow-up feature with the most common problems we have encountered and how we fixed them.

Related information:

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1/28/2014 3:16:28 PM

Google Experiments: how to turn your average website into an economic success

back icon and shopping cart icon

Sometimes setting goals for your internet based business can be rather disappointing: not enough customers sign up for your newsletter or your customers don’t purchase what they get into their shopping baskets. Most of the time, the problem is related to the implementation of the website, and an accurate analysis of different versions of what we say and how we present it could save us lots of headaches. This is the point when Google’ Content Experiments can help turn an average web page into a success.

What is Google Experiments?

Google Content Experiments is a Conversion Rate Optimisation -CRO- tool for Google Analytics that allows you to test up to 5 different versions of the same page in order to improve your goal completion or your web metrics. The application tests how some of your visitors respond to each version and allows you to identify which changes are worth implementing depending on the impact they would have on your website’s performance.

Is Experiments worth your time?

We live in a fast-paced environment in which most businesses’ motto is ‘time is money’ and nobody denies the importance of getting profits. But sometimes we underestimate the long-term benefits of optimising our resources. This is rather obvious if we take into account a recent report from Econsultancy and RedEye, which states that ‘for every £92 spent acquiring customers, just £1 is spent” in conversation rate optimisation.

Any money invested in CRO will improve your business’ overall performance. If you use it properly, Google Experiments can help you adapt your website to your customers’ preferences, making sure that they engage with your content and find it easy to navigate your site. Therefore, you could not only gain more customers, but also more revenue per customer, if users are actually interested in what you have to say. So it’s worth a shot.

What can you do with Google Content Experiments?

  • Compare the performance of up to 5 web pages using a random sample of your visitors
  • Decide how many of your visitors are part of the experiment
  • Set your objectives
  • Get updates by email about the progress and results of your experiment

Why should you use Experiments instead of traditional CRO tools?

Experiments shares some features with both A/B testing and MVT. It lets you compare full pages like A/B testing, but allows up to 5 variables like M.V.T. So, whilst you don’t have the precision of a dedicated MVT tool, it is relatively easy to implement and administer Google Experiments, which is what most businesses need.

What do I need to do?

To use Google Experiments you need to set some goals into your Google Analytics account, to fill in a few forms and to add some code to your web. For more detailed information read our follow-up posts: How to set up your Google Analytics Goals Step-by-Step and A Beginners’ Guide to Google Experiments.

 

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1/14/2014 3:06:04 PM

Google+ Local: 7 tips to optimize your business page

If you own a business and you are looking for a fast SEO option, you
probably have found that Google+ Local could be a quick option to give your company a boost. But having an account is not everything; one of the things you have to do to achieve a spot in a Google search is optimize your profile, so follow these 7 tips to you portray all the relevant information to make your page shine.

How to edit Google+ Local

1. Complete your profile

The biggest benefit of Google+ Local for your business is the possibility to list all of your contact information, so it’s essential that you fill in every gap to get better results: address, phone number, website, operating hours and description.

Address, Postcode, City and opening hours on Google+ Local

2. Use the right keywords on your description

Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner to identify which ‘search terms’ your customers might search and use them on your business description.

Company description Google+ Local

3. Use a local phone number

There is nothing more off-putting than a 0800 number. So use a local number: it will prove you are actually a local business and it will be cheaper for your customers, so it’s a win-win situation.

4. Customer Reviews

Use your upload section to ask your customers to leave reviews. If they are good, these testimonials will give you credibility and people will be more interested in your business.

Comments on Google+ Local

5. Add photos and your logo!

Imagery is a must on social networks, and on Google+ local, the more, the better. It’s not a matter of uploading anything remotely related to your business, but if you have paid a professional to design a nice logo for your business, it’s always good to show it. Also add some pictures, these will catch your customers’ eye and make your company more real.

Google+ Local Logo and main information

6. Upload your content

If you have a blog -and let’s be honest, you probably do-, you’re likely sharing your posts on Facebook and Twitter, so treat Google+ the same way and upload your content regularly. It will only take a few minutes and Google will reward you for your effort.

Share your blog posts on Google+ Local

7. Add your Google+ Local Page to your website

Google is quite self-centred and seems to give more value to pages that link to their platforms, so add a link to your Google+ profile on your corporate website to improve your positioning even more.

 

 

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