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Big SEO for Small Business

SEO Small Business
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10 Google Updates That Will Make or Break Your SEO in 2017

SEO in 2017 will be a game changer. Google’s algorithm is now changing in real time and will push back on what worked in 2016.

Here’s what’s happening for 2017:

1. RankBrain: The Machines are Taking Over

Google Machine Learning RankBrain AI

“Machine learning is a core transformative way by which we are rethinking everything we are doing,” said Google’s Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai on the company’s earnings call.

RankBrain was used initially to answer about 15% of the searches where the website pages didn’t have the exact phrase or words searched for.

Since RankBrain was added to the algorithm in 2016 it is now used in every search, not just the unique 15%.
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San Fernando Valley WordPress Meetup Outline – Nov 1 – 2016

Please feel free to shoot me any additional topics  you’d like to talk about at our meetup. John@JohnBolyard.com

See you on Tuesday!

Download (PDF, 893KB)

Basic and Advanced Google Analytics Workshop Class Outline

John Bolyard SEO Google Analytics Workshop

Here is the course outline of our “Basic and Advanced Google Analytics” Workshop.

Part 1: Google Analytics Basics

Part 1 Outline: “Basic and Advanced Google Analytics” Workshop

1.0

In the workshop you will learn:

  1. Why you need Google Analytics and how it can help you.
  2. The most important data in Google Analytics.
  3. Understand your visitors and how to improve engagement on your website.
  4. How to use Google Analytics to develop and improve your online marketing.
  5. How to use Google Analytics for content generation.

 

1.1

Why you need Google Analytics and how it can help you.

  1. Google Analytics lets you track and revise your marketing based on real data about your visitors.
  2. When people visit your website Google Analytics tracks what they do as they move through your website.
  3. You can get insights into your visitors and see what pages they visited, how long they stayed, what they did and when they left.
  4. This tracking data will show you what’s working (and what’s not) and where your website and marketing strategy needs improvement.

 

1.2

The most important data in Google Analytics.

  1. Audience Overview – Who are your visitors
    Audience Overview >
  2. Acquisitions – Where did your visitors come from
    Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
  3. Behavior – What did they do when they got to your site
    Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

1.3

Understand your visitors and how to improve engagement on your website.

  1. Dashboard on the left
  2. Graphs on the top right
  3. Table data below the graphs

 

1.4

How to use Google Analytics to develop and improve your online marketing.

  1. Set up goals URL’s to track success such as “Thank You for Your Order” or “Thanks for Subscribing”
  2. Track and improve top performing pages  
  3. Monitor your traffic flow for “road blocks” and “stop signs”
  4. Connect your analytics with Google Search Console to get detailed data on keyword value
  5. Table data below the graphs

 

1.5

How to use Google Analytics for content generation.

  1. Find the top content on your website.
  2. Use this to develop a content strategy that caters to what t\o your audience wants.
  3. Focus on creating complementary content that can increase user engagement and site time.
  4. Share posts, pictures, video on social media on the respective channels that are sending the most traffic.

 

2.0

The Google Analytics Dashboard: An Overview

2.1

We’re looking for the following metrics:

  1. Audience [1]
  2. Acquisition [2]
  3. Behavior [3]
  4. Mobile [4]

 

John Bolyard SEO Google Analytics

   Dashboards

Shortcuts

Intelligence Events

Real Time

 [1] Audience: Who your visitors are

       > Mobile  [4]

 [2] Acquisition: How you got your visitors

 [3] Behavior: What are you visitors doing

  User Flow is excellent to visualize how your visitors
are moving/stopping/leaving your site.

Conversions

 

3.0

Most Important Data in Google Analytics

The Top Reports

  1. Audience Overview – Who are your visitors
    Audience Overview >
  2. Acquisitions – Where did your visitors come from
    Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
  3. Behavior – What did they do when they got to your site
    Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

 

Audience

Acquisition

Behavior 

John Bolyard SEO Google Analytics

John Bolyard SEO Google Analytics

John Bolyard SEO Google Analytics

Part 2: How to Navigate Individual Metrics

2.1

Date Range

  1. You can change the date range. This lets you see a more historic view.
  2. Select an entire month by clicking on the month
  3. Compare custom date ranges to get the weeks lined up.
  4. You can view hourly, by the day, the month and the year.
  5. If you view hourly you can see if you are getting spikes during the day.
  6. You can view the different metrics in the larger view by clicking on the graph below the metric.
  7. Great comparisons are date comparisons. If you want to compare days of the week you need to select custom date ranges. If you select monthly, you’ll see all the metrics combined to compare.
  8. This will show the most accurate graph.

2.2

Analytics Education

2.3

Explorer Tab: Audience > Geo > Location

2.4

Line Chart View

2.5

Line Chart View and Motion Chart View

  1. Audience > Geo > Location
  2. Directly to the right of the “Explorer” Tab

2.6

Data Table

  1. The actual numbers below the graphs
  2. You can select specific countries

2.7

Display Buttons

  1. Table Display Buttons on the right of the “Secondary Dimension”

2.8

From the Explorer Tab

2.9

Compare Two Metrics / Sessions vs Bounce Rate

  1. All reports can be exported and/or saved.

2.10

Compare Two Dimensions / City vs Landing Page

  1. All reports can be exported and/or saved.

2.11

Add Segments

  1. Add multi-session users

2.12

Use Annotations!!

  1. Add events that will impact your analytics. Speech bubble will appear.

Part 3: Reports – Dimensions and Metrics

3.1

  1. Audience > Geo > Location
  1. All reports in Google Analytics are made up of dimensions and metrics.
  1. Dimensions are in Blue and Metrics are in Green
  1. Dimensions are characteristics or specific elements tracked by Google Analytics, like sessions, actions, locations; ie: what we are talking about.
  1. Metrics are the numbers and values associated with those characteristics or parts.
  1. We can drill into the dimensions and get more specific metrics. For example, if you drill into the “Location” dimension, you can change from the broader country dimension, to city, or going further down, to the local metro area.
  1. By drilling into more specific dimensions, you get very detailed information about how your visitors are using your site.

3.2

Additional Metric / Secondary Dimension:

  1. Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels > Referral | TAB: Secondary Metric > New User | TAB: Secondary Dimension > Landing Page

 

Part 4: The most important data in Google Analytics

4.1

The Top Reports

  1. Audience Overview – Who are your visitors
  1. Audience Overview > 
  1. Acquisitions – Where did your visitors come from
  1. Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
  1. Behavior – what did they do when they got to your site
  1. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

Part 5: Get to Know Your Customers

5.1

Get to know who your customers are so we can start to find out what are the best metrics for you.

  1. Local
  2. Gender
  3. Age
  4. New vs Returning
  5. “Call to Action”
  6. Landing Pages / Important Pages

Part 6: Let’s  start at the  Audience > Overview

Audience-overview.jpg

6.1

Audience Overview is a quick snapshot of how your website is doing.

6.2

There are eleven individual reporting sections under the Audience section in your Google Analytics Dashboard.

Each reporting section includes a table chart and sessions graph which shows the acquisition, behavior and conversions data for each group.

Overview: A top-down view of visitor metrics

Active Users: 

Cohort Analysis: (Beta)

Demographics: The gender and age of your visitors

Interests: Segmented visitor behaviors by marketing and affinity categories

Geo: Locations and languages of your visitor

Behavior: New and returning visitors compared, how much time visitors spend on your site, and how frequently visitors return.

Technology: The operating systems, browsers and networks of your visitors

Mobile: A list of the devices used to access your site

Custom: Specific reports defined by you

Benchmarking: Channels Locations Devices / how you fit into your industry

Users Flow: A visual representation of how visitors utilized your site

6.3

Audience Overview

There are 8 basic metrics that tell us a lot about how we are doing.

  1. Sessions
  2. Users
  3. Pageviews
  4. Pages / Sessions
  5. Avg. Session Duration
  6. Bounce Rate
  1. A bounce is a visit with a single engagement HIT.
  2. Good: A bounce rate between 45% and 56% is good.
  3. Concern: A bounce rate of 80% or higher lets you know people are clicking on your website but not staying. You need to find out why.
  4. A bounce rate of under 20% usually means that your analytics is not set up right. You need to check into this.
  1. % New Sessions
  2. Returning VS New

6.4

Audience > Demographics > Overview

  1. This report will show you age and gender. Use a larger date range to get a better overall picture of the demographics of your visitors.

6.5

Audience > Demographics > Age

6.6

Audience > Demographics > Gender

6.7

Audience > Interests > Overview

6.8

Audience > Geo > Overview > Language

6.9

Audience > Geo > Location

Audience > Geo > Location > Country > City > Metro > Other

  1. You can drill into the map to see where your visitors are coming from.

6.10

Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning

  1. New visitors are getting a first impression of your site and they don’t know how to navigate your site. This shows you how your site is performing.

6.11

Audience > Behavior > Frequency & Recency

6.12

Audience > Behavior > Engagement

  1. Session Duration and Page Depth. You can hover over the bar graph to see what is the percent of the metric.
  2. Add some segments to see how you can understand the data to help you improve your website conversions.

6.13

Audience > Technology > Browser & OS

  1. It’s important to know what browsers and operating systems your visitors are using. Your site should look good in the browsers that are bringing you the most traffic.

6.14

Audience > Technology > Network

6.15

Audience > Mobile > Overview

6.16

Audience > Mobile > Devices

6.17

Audience > Custom > Custom Variables

  1. Custom reports are user defined. You determine the variables, metrics and dimensions for your report.

6.18

Audience > Benchmarking > Channels

6.19

Audience > Benchmarking > Location

6.20

Audience > Benchmarking > Devices

6.21

Audience > Users Flow

  1. You can view your visitors flow through your site based on location, language, mobile device browser etc.
  1. It’s a great way to see which pages work and which pages don’t.

6.22

You can email or export the data.

Part 7: Next, Let’s go to  Acquisition > Overview

Acq-overview.jpg

7.1

There are six individual reporting sections under the Acquisition section in your Google Analytics Dashboard.

Overview: A top-down view of visitor metrics

All Traffic: How your visitors arrived at your site

AdWords: Specific to AdWords

Search Engine Optimization: Queries  / Landing Pages / Geo

Social: Data on visitors from social media

Campaigns: The metric we use here is “Organic Keywords”

7.2

Acquisition > Overview

 

Graphs:

  1. Top Channels
  2. Sessions
  3. Conversions

Table Data:

  1. Acquisition
  2. Behavior
  3. Conversions

7.3

Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

  1. Secondary metric
  2. Secondary dimension
  3. Valuable to compare date ranges

7.4

Acquisition > All Traffic > Treemaps (AdWords)

7.5

Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium

  1. Secondary metric – “Hostname” shows spam

7.6

Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals (Red Flag!)

  1. Here is where you’re going to find spam
  1. buttons-for-website.com
  2. semalt.semalt.com
  1. DO NOT CLICK ON THESE SPAM LINKS

7.7

Acquisition > AdWords

7.8

Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Queries

  1. Queries are the actual search terms, we optimize for “keywords” but our visitors use “queries”

7.9

Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Landing Pages

  1. Really good way to know if our website is working well.

7.10

Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization > Geographical Summary

  1. Where are our visitors geographically

7.11

Acquisition > Social > Overview

7.12

Acquisition > Social > Data Hub Activity

7.13

Acquisition > Social > Trackbacks

  1. Shows you who has talked about you. Get in touch, say thanks, ask for backlink.

7.14

Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords

  1. Shows some keywords used to find your site

7.15

Acquisition > Campaigns > Organic Keywords: TAB – Not Provided

  1. Google Webmaster Tools > Search Traffic > Search Analytics

Part 8: Lastly, the Behavior Metric

behavior-overview.jpg

8.1

The behavior reports let us know how often a visitor uses your site, how long visitors stay on your site, how many days between each visit on average for repeat visitors, and how many pages they visit per session.

8.2

Behavior > Overview

8.3

Behavior > Behavior Flow

 

Picture 31.png

100% Dropoff from the home page.

No visitor clicked into the website.

Problem turned out to be the dropdown navigation wasn’t clickable.

8.4

Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

8.5

Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages

8.6

Behavior > Site Content > Exit Pages

8.7

Behavior > Site Speed > Overview

8.8

Behavior > Site Speed > Speed Suggestions

8.9

Behavior > Site Search > Overview

8.10

Behavior > Events Overview  (https://gaconfig.com/)

8.11

Behavior > Publisher Overview (AdWords)

8.12

Behavior > Experiments

8.13

Behavior > In-Page Analytics

8.14

A quick note about Conversions. 20 goals per profile.

 

Part 9: How to control spam.

filters.jpg

9.1

Why and when to use filters in Google Analytics

9.2

Application of predefined filters

9.3

Setting up filters to block spam

Part 10: Understand your visitors and how to improve engagement on your website.

10.1

  1. Behavior > Behavior Flow
  2. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  3. Behavior > Site Search > Overview

How to use Google Analytics to develop and improve your online marketing.

Part 11: How to use Google Analytics to develop and improve your online marketing.

11.1

  1. Set up goals URL’s to track success such as “Thank You for Your Order” or “Thanks for Subscribing”
  1. Conversions > Goals > Overview
  1. Track and improve top performing pages  
  1. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  1. Monitor your traffic flow for “road blocks” and “stop signs”
  1. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  2. Navigation Summary

         Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.02.35 AM.png

  1. Table data below the graphs
  2. Connect your analytics with Google Search Console to get detailed data on keyword value

 

Part 12: How to use Google Analytics for content generation.

12.1

  1. Find the top content and under performing content on your website.
  1. Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
  1. Use this to develop a content strategy that caters to what your audience wants.
  2. Focus on creating complementary content that can increase user engagement and site time.
  3. Share posts, pictures, video on social media on the respective channels that are sending the most traffic.
  4. Monitor your search traffic
  1. Behavior > Site Search > Overview

  Backlinks: Build a Backlink Program

  1. Directories / master list (not vetted)

  1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zycI0esGV8ZQQZspdAALxpKG7iANJxBg8JYeBaJa244/edit?usp=sharing
  1. Competitors Backlinks
  2. Great content that you tweet/share/pin that others add to their site (difficult)
  3. Existing mentions without backlinks
  1. example /
  1. Commenting
  1. Google alerts
  1. Add a bit of content to your website about someone you want a backlink from. Tweet/share/pin the content and shoot them an email and show them the content and the social you’ve added.
  1. “Hi [name], we cited your cool product in our infographic on your niche. Do you think this would be of interest to your readers?”

Backlink DO’s

  1. Monitor your backlinks / OpenLinkProfiler.com
  2. Use the Webmaster Tools “Disavow Tool” to “unclaim” bad links
  1. use with care – don’t disavow good link

Backlink DON’TS

  1. No reciprocal backlinks
  2. Don’t buy backlinks
  3. Don’t list in spammy link directories – example: http://dirlinks.co.uk/ 
  1. you’ll get picked up by other spam directories
  1. Google Link Penalties are very difficult to remove

Picture 23.png

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Questions about the workshop? Please contact us and we’ll get right back to you!

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Website Design: Freelancer or Agency

Freelancer or Agency?

John Bolyard Website Design Freelancer vs Agency

Freelancer
Agency
Intro
Freelancers are usually able to do two or three functions of a design agency and have a cadre of contractors to call upon when they need elements outside of their skillset.
Freelancers usually don't have project managers so you deal directly with the designer.
When you hire an agency the costs will generally be higher as you are getting their whole team managed by a project manager dedicated to your website project.
Budget
Less overhead allows freelancers to charge less. Rates vary from as little as $25/hour to more than $180+/hour.
Keep in mind that you might pay more in the end to freelancers who charge by the hour instead of a fixed project price.
In general, prices are higher than freelancers. Rates can vary widely from $85/hour to upwards of $350+/hour.
Agencies will create an overall scope of work with a budget.
Agencies will also stick more closely to the scope of work and be much less flexible when you want changes that are not in the original budget.
Quality
The experience of freelancers can vary widely. It's best to use a freelancer that comes recommended by someone who has had personal experience with him or her.
Agencies will typically have more consistent quality although not necessarily better.
Turnaround
Freelancers aren’t always full-time and can be working on multiple projects at once.
Agencies generally take longer, due to multiple layers in the organization.
Experience
Freelancers tend to have experience in one or two areas and rely on colleagues to fill in the experience gaps.
Most agencies consist of five or more employees and it’s more likely you’ll find a broader range of experience across multiple specialties.
Communication
Generally, you’ll have direct communication with the person developing your website.
Agencies generally have project managers that filter all your information going back and forth.
While this method keeps track of all the information, information can get muddled as it passes along the design chain.

Need Help With a New Website? Let's Talk!

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SEO Workshop: What is SEO and Why Do You Need It

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