Category Archives: Google Analytics

Best practices for Keyword Research

It was August 24, 2013 when a big change in search algorithm was rolled out by Google and surprisingly no one noticed it. When on September 26, 2013, Google officially announced about the “Humming birdalgorithm;  only then internet marketers realized the onus of change that had already begun. Just before that Google had also replaced it’s famous free tool “Keyword Tool” with “Keyword Planner”.

Although Keyword Planner is not paid tool but it requires a registration with Google Ad-words. SEO specialists were shocked and started exploring Keyword Planner but it did not meet the expectations. Google had not allowed search queries with different match type (broad/phrase/exact) options & the option of device being used for the search query  (desktop/mobile/tabs) was also missing.

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According to Matt Cutt, Google, Head Web Spam Policy , they wanted the web to be more natural & secure about user’s search behavior. After some time, Google came back with secure search. It had given biggest shock to internet marketers as in the Google Analytics report one finds that around 80 % keywords are “Not Provided”.

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So now, you cannot find which keywords led users to your site. Do you agree that Google is making internet marketing a tough job? It’s up to you to tackle it but we have to do proper keyword research before starting any marketing activity for creating successful online presence.

So how do we  go about this?

Let’s take a scenario, where you have to interact with a client. I discuss here a very basic strategy and will drill down more research on it later on in this post.

  • Sit with your client and ask him to describe his business in lay man language. Don’t forget to write down important phrases and jargons used by him.
  • Now use a keyword research tool and explore phrases and jargons received earlier to create a cloud of prospective keywords. There are few free as well as paid versions available for this research. I personally admire keywordspy or you can go for keywordeye for building your keyword lists. Include every keyword that you dig in your research.
  • In next step, you will go for refining your list in new sheet (Don’t delete any data). As per your list you divide your keywords in three categories (a) Primary Keywords (b) Long tail Keywords (c) Money Keyword
  • Now using any keyword tool, you check search volume and competition level against each keyword.
  • It’s time to define your organic search strategy. Understand one thing very carefully: as your domain becomes older and your back link size increases(Check your D.A. by Moz.com), it will be easy for you to rank well in Google search. So if your site is new and you want to come on top of  SERPs , then go for long tail keywords with lower competition.
  • In your on-site optimization (update its quarterly), define titles, headings and URLs (rewrite if necessary) with targeted keywords and also update content of page as per keyword. (Be careful about optimization & over optimization of page)
  • I am sure you know that primary keywords always have very high competition so use them in your blog pages.

Now It’s time to test the success of your keyword research and take corrective actions if required. So how do we go about this? I do this by Google Webmaster tool (free) as well as Google Adwords (search network campaigns).

Let’s start with Google Webmaster Tools

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Webmaster tool is good as it tells us rough estimate about search queries which led to our site and their respective positions. Now, It’s up to you to plan SEO for your site. It has been seen that if your site is present at number 1 position for a search query then chances of click(CTR) on that is around 80 % and for second and third position is it around 10 % and 4 % respectively. So you easily understand the value of first position. Now from here, you can check your long tail keywords which are on first page of Google search and works upon only them and make them reach at number one position in SERPs. Your page visits will increase soon from organic search.

Now , If you would like to explore more in this process, then you can check your advertisement campaign with Google Adwords, surprisingly Google shows “Matched Search Queries” report which will help you a lot to plan your long tail keywords as well as  site content.

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Now, you will be very happy to see this but it is generated from paid campaigns so you have to plan basic keyword research before this campaign. In above screenshot, you will find 6250 queries are there which led users to reach the site.

Therefore, the entire strategy must be carefully implemented from step one.

Best of luck! 🙂

Stay tuned for learning more informative & practical approaches to Digital Marketing.

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Analyzing device targeting option in Google Adwords

Today, I was going through Adwords A/c, and I was shocked to see that my Ads are performing better in mobile devices rather than desktop. I would like to discuss with you how to get benefited with data and go for better optimization of your Ads.

1. Sign into your adwords A/c.

2.  Go to campaign tabs and select one of your campaign

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3. Next go to setting tab and Click on devices

4. Oh, what is this data showing?

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It is showing that my ads are running in all devices but I am actually getting lower impressions on mobile devices. If we analyse this data further we are actually getting lesser CTC as well as better CTR on mobile devices compared to desktops.

Now a days,most of users do mobile shopping and If we increase our impressions by increasing our bid by say “20 %” then we can position better (may be at 1st position in Ad ranks) as well as get more impressions. It will lead to higher conversion. So I had decided to increase my bids on this.

Let’s discuss impact of this change in my next post after a week.

Task for you: Till that time you check your own ads performance in different devices.

Explore Analytics using Google Tag Manager

Why Hour of Visit is an important metric? How to track it using Google Tag Manger in Google Universal Analytics?

Last week I read an introductory FAQ on Google Tag Manager explaining how to implement Google Universal Analytics using Google Tag Manager. You might have observed how easy it is to implement the Google UA base code with GTM. It’s just a simple plug and play operation. But that’s not our whole aim, isn’t it? We need to understand what kind of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are we looking for considering the website on which we need to implement the tool and there by come up with perfect Metrics which can be translated into our needed KPIs. This is the whole purpose having a Web Analytics tool at place, to understand the most needed KPIs and how they are being affected by different things.So, let us consider one such KPI in our present post and simultaneously let’s see how to implement them using Google Tag Manager and what all configuration needed to be done on Google UA.Most of the web is filled up with Content based websites. For example, my blog comes under such category. I just write some posts related to Web Analytics. So, what am I interested in? What patterns am I looking for? How much can I change my marketing pattern or writing pattern?Since my site is hosted on blogger, I am fortunate to have some basic statistics provided by Blogger’s in-built Stats dashboard. There I have a small graph which shows number of page views my site is getting each minute cleanly. I generally write posts during mid night Indian time, once I am done with the post, I post the link in couple of places so that I can get some traffic to the blog. But last week I broke that pattern and I wrote a post on Tealium in the morning Indian time and tell me about bad timing, on Saturday. Since I have written the post already I couldn’t resist myself from posting the link to different places where I generally post the link. I have spent almost 4 to 5 hours in writing the post and a day preparation for what should be written and with my timing I have received almost no visitors to the post on Saturday and Sunday. I was very disappointed with that result and went to bed on Monday night (Indian Time). And then the magic started, I started receiving number of visits from US and Europe (Most of the visitors to my blog are from US, Europe and India) from Yahoo forums and people started retweeting the post and Tealium has published my article on their blog by the morning I woke up on Tuesday. Good number of visitors have come to my site and some of them liked the post on Facebook, some of them tweeted and some of them shared it on Google plus and LinkedIn making it more reachable via Social media.So what is the moral of the story? Even if you write great content, if you don’t understand people’s pattern and how to market your content it will go waste. If I had written the post during a week day and posted it on couple of forums the post would have gotten a very different exposure. So the timing is a very important thing in content based websites. So what exactly is Hour of Visit and what is it’s importance? Nothing fancy. Its pretty straightforward. It’s the hour in which a user has come to your site. It’s important to track this because you will get an understanding about your visitors, when they are visiting your site on what day so that you can write your posts on the day and hour which will give you exciting results.

How to track Hour of Visit using JavaScript?
It’s pretty easy to track the hour of visit using JavaScript but there is a small thing we need to observe here. You would be interested to know the hour of visit with respect to your timezone but not the visitor’s isn’t it? So how to track the hour of visit for the timezone you want? Thanks to Nilesh for his blog post on getting the time in particular timezone using JavaScript. Here is the code for that

  1. function(){
  2.  var dte = new Date();
  3.  dte.setTime(dte.getTime() +(dte.getTimezoneOffset()+330)*60*1000);
  4.  return dte.getHours();
  5. }

If you want to understand the code clearly, I would recommend you to go through the above blog post or google the various functions used.

Where do you paste this code in GTM?

Now that you have the code with you, open your container in Google Tag Manager and create a new macro with type “Custom JavaScript” and name it as you like and paste the above code into the code box.

What variables need to be used in Google Universal Analytics?
That’s fine, you have created a macro which returns your required hour of visit but where will you pass this data into in Google Universal Analytics? In UA we have something called Custom Dimensions which you can use to track different variables. Explanation of Google Universal Analytics’ Custom Dimensions will take an entire post which I will cover later. For now, we can define a new custom dimension in UA as shown in the below picture. Depending upon your requirement you can select the scope of the custom dimension. I am going to assign the scope as Session for the Hour of visit. The reason behind this is, I want to know the first hour of visit when the user has come to the site which will be accomplished if I select the scope as Session.

You can also create a new custom report keeping the above defined Hour of Visit as the primary dimension with other dimensions under drill downs as shown in the picture below.

How to implement using Google Tag Manager?
Everything is fine so far but still we haven’t connected the macro we have created to the Custom dimension we have created on UA. This is where GTM makes our life very easy. You remember the Base Tag implementation we have done for UA using GTM previously? Open that tag and go to the advanced settings, you should see Custom Dimensions which you can expand and enter the index of the custom dimension and in the place of value you can select the macro you have created previously. Take a look at the picture below to get more clarity.

Now save the tag and create a new version and publish it in GTM. Once it is published you should see the custom dimension with the value populating inside it as below.

If you had faced any such situations where you felt something or some metric you feel gives you a pattern of users and you have implemented it for your blog, please do feel free to comment below 🙂

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