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Changes to Google Analytics: Universal Analytics

seo for attorneys

Universal Analytics has been in Beta for quite some time now, but it has finally received the call up to replace Classic Analytics. Universal Analytics allows for more robust tracking and gives more insight regarding user interaction on a given website. There are plenty of changes and updates that are worth mentioning, but one of the biggest changes is the addition of the User ID.

While anonymous in nature, the User ID will allow us to track a particular user’s activity on-site and follow this individual across multiple domains, devices, and sessions. When a user visits one of our sites, they’ll be assigned an ID that will be unique to them and can be referenced if the user returns to the site or visits another one of our domains. This will shed more light on the transaction habits of a user before they convert on one of our clients’ sites, and answer a slew of questions that are important to making decisions for our marketing efforts, ie. Are individuals more likely to convert after a first visit, or does it take repeat visits before a user takes action? If people are more likely to convert on a second or third visit, how long does it typically take for the visitor to return to the site, and what sources are they coming from?

When you start to get a better idea of how people interact with your site, and get the full picture of how someone came to the decision to reach out to you or purchase your product, the choices you make on an advertising and marketing front come with a better foundation and hopefully, a greater likelihood of success. The addition of the User ID to Universal Analytics is a welcomed piece of data that should help us gain a clearer picture of how users interact with our websites, and of course, how we can help our clients successfully market their services.

If you have questions about using Google Analytics to improve your website or marketing efforts, contact us today at (512) 806-7955.

Andrew Cox  April 7th, 2014 – Posted by Andrew Cox to Google Analytics.

To contact the author, emails can be sent to: acox@thesearchengineguys.com


Social Media Tools: Ways to Improve your Social Media Marketing

There are a variety of social media tools that can be used to improve your online presence and ease the process of promoting your business through social media outlets. When it comes to a successful social media marketing strategy, it can be tough for small businesses to stand out amongst the rest. By using a few helpful tools, however, you can increase productivity and engage potential customers through your online marketing efforts. Having used a variety of these tools, I would like to highlight three of my favorites, which I believe can be very beneficial for businesses.

Hootsuite

  • Social media management tool
  • Free, Pro, and Enterprise plans
  • Execute campaigns across multiple social networks from one web-based dashboard
  • Schedule messages ahead of time to create a consistent social media presence on all of your accounts
  • Track brand mentions
  • Analyze social media traffic

Pagemodo

  • Create custom Facebook tabs and cover photos
  • Free, Basic, Pro, and Agency plans
  • A variety of design templates to choose from
  • Types of custom tabs available: Contests, sweepstakes, coupons, contact forms, and product display tabs
  • “Like gate” that helps you gain new followers by requiring visitors to “like” your Facebook page before they can see your customized tabs

Canva

  • Free graphic design tool
  • Search for the best graphics, photos, and fonts, or upload your own, then use the drag and drop tool to create a design with a custom layout or blank page
  • Create designs for Web or print, including social media graphics, blog graphics, presentations, Facebook covers, flyers, posters, invitations, business cards, and more

While there are various online tools available for businesses, finding ones that will allow you to stay ahead of the social media marketing curve is essential. Whether you are a small business owner or a national company with several locations, the tools mentioned above can improve your productivity and boost your social media marketing strategy overall.

If you have questions regarding social media marketing for your business, contact us today at (512) 806-7955.

Shea Benedict  April 7th, 2014 – Posted by to Social Media Marketing.

To contact the author, emails can be sent to: sbenedict@thesearchengineguys.com


Quarterly SEO Update: What Has Google Changed in 2014 So Far?

lawyer seo news

With the first quarter of 2014 behind us, we wanted to take a quick look at some of the biggest news on the SEO / Google front so far this year.

January:

  • Webmasters speculate that an unconfirmed algorithm update occurred between January 8-10 due to shifts in placement and traffic drops.
  • Google punishes a large French blog network called Buzzea.
  • Google tests a knowledge graph snippet overlay, meaning a snippet pops up when you hover over a search result. (Note: I currently do not see this feature happening, so the test may have already ended)
  • Matt Cutts personally addresses guest blogging on his personal blog. He writes this message “Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”
  • Matt Cutts posts a video about not posting to article directory sites such as ezine.com.
  • Google announces a “page layout algorithm improvement,” which could potentially penalize any website that has excessive advertising above the fold.

February:

  • YouTube videos are enlarged in the SERPs. If someone is searching for a specific music video, the results page will show the YouTube video at the top of the page, making it more accessible for the user.

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  • Google punishes a German agency and link schemes.
  • Google updates the “page layout algorithm” for the third time. This was only a refresh and had little impact in the SEO community.
  • The Google Panda update celebrates its third anniversary.
  • Google Analytics rolls out a new user interface to make it cleaner and easier for users to access data.
  • Google’s OneBox answers become more detailed. Google uses knowledge graphs and authoritative websites to answer questions typed into the query box. Below are two examples of how Google answers these queries:

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March:

  • User interface in the Google SERPs has been updated several times over the past few months. Some of the most recent changes include:
    • Google Ads are now labeled “Ad” in a yellow box instead of being highlighted in a light peach color
    • Underlines in each search result have been removed
  • Due to the redesign in the SERPs, the font size for title tags has increased, resulting in a decrease in characters displayed on the page. Moz has released a title tag preview tool that can help webmasters choose the length of their title tags.
  • Google continues its attempt to fight spam by penalizing link networks in Spain, Germany, and Italy.
  • Matt Cutts announces that Google is working on the next generation of Panda updates that will soften the algorithm.

What to Expect for the Summer:

  • Fewer announced updates from Google
  • More user interface changes, especially in the knowledge graphs and Google cards
  • More intuitive answers and results from queries
  • An increase in mobile site optimization

Google has kicked off this year with a whirlwind of changes and will only continue to push more updates in order to improve and evolve into a better and more user-friendly search engine.

If you have questions about Google updates and how they may have impacted your website, call us at (512) 806-7955 for more information.

Nancy Tran  April 1st, 2014 – Posted by to Search.

To contact the author, emails can be sent to: ntran@thesearchengineguys.com

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