Blog

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.

natalieimbruglia.PNG

  • 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:

onebox1.PNG

onebox2.PNG

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


From Visitor to Customer: 4 Tips for Improving Conversion

It surprises me that there are websites out there that do not consider and incorporate conversion into the fabric of the design. It’s one thing to have a website that is pretty. It’s another thing to have a website that subtly persuades people to read, click, and buy (or submit contact information through a form).

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind if you are thinking about building a website where the intent is to turn visitors into customers.

1) Make It Incredibly Easy to Connect

Unless the visitor is doing research, most people coming to the site actually do not have much time. Walls of text can turn them away. If the visitor knows what they want and is particularly motivated, it is likely that he or she would rather call or email to connect with a human being before making a decision. Thus, a phone number, email form, or some other form of contact must be less than one click away from any landing page. It should be clear and easy to find.

2) Show the Visitor that You are a Winner

If your product or service has won any awards or accolades, show it off. Even if these awards are not that big of a deal in your industry, you’ve got to remember that your visitor likely does not know this. Accolades show that your company is a leader in the industry, is respected by peers, and is involved in your industry’s community.

3) Teach the Visitor about Your Industry and What You Do

In my opinion, the best customers are informed ones; customers who understand the value and complexity of your product or service. An informed customer asks pointed, perceptive, and inquisitive questions because they want to understand the impact that your company will have. If you have answers to these questions, you become an authority on the topic, you build trust with your consumer, and, hopefully, loyalty through his or her purchase. Information on your industry should be delivered in an easy-to-digest manner with headlines that pique the person’s interest and appeal to both novice and more experienced customers.

4) Don’t Give a Visitor Your Word, Show Them that You Honor Your Word

The best “don’t take my word for it” tool is the testimonial. It’s even better if it is displayed on a third party website like Yelp, Google, Avvo, Angie’s List, CitySearch, etc. This gives you a vote of confidence from a previous customer who went above and beyond to give you a good review. If one hundred people have given you a 5-star rating, what are the chances that this person will have a bad experience?

Remember, even if your website is on the first page of search results, there are other businesses right next to you doing everything they can to get the customer before you do. The last thing you want to get in your way is a website that doesn’t do a good enough job of putting your best foot forward. It may be beautiful, but it’s of no use to the visitor if it is simply a work of art.

To learn more about designing websites for conversion, give us a call (512) 806-7955.

Koby Ackie  Feb 27th, 2014 – Posted by to Web Design.

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


Increases in Mobile Traffic: A Look at the Past 3 Years

Last week, I read an article from a marketer who pointed to a 243% increase in mobile traffic among his clients over the past 2 years. I was a bit shocked by the number… it seemed high. And while traffic can differ industry to industry, and even client to client, for a number of reasons, it prompted me to take a look at analytics among our clients to see what increase, if any, they had experienced. (Note: “Mobile” refers to use on both tablets and mobile phones).

I looked at three client campaigns, each with strong natural first page placements in their respective markets. As a sample, I took numbers from January, April, July, and October to give nice quarterly snapshots over the past 36 months.

While the data does not support a 243% gain in mobile traffic over the past 2 – 3 years, it nevertheless reveals that mobile traffic has, indeed, spiked.

Mobile traffic to our clients’ legal websites ranged between 3%-8% in January 2011. This increased to 25%-30% by January 2014.

legal mobile traffic

So what does this trend mean for your website? First off,  you should be asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Is your website “mobile friendly”?
  2. If not, should you build a responsive website, or just a mobile version of your website?
  3. What does increased mobile traffic mean for your SEO / PPC strategy?

If you’d like to explore any of these questions in more depth, or see some examples of websites we’ve built for our clients, give us a call today at (512) 806-7955.

graham smithFebruary 10th, 2014 – Posted by Graham Smith to Mobile Traffic.

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


Cloud[8]Sixteen, Inc. ranks #9 for Marketing Companies on the Austin Business Journal’s 2014 Book of Lists

bookoflists

 

 

The entire team at The Search Engine Guys (A Division of Cloud[8]Sixteen, Inc.) is proud to announce our inclusion on the Austin Business Journal’s list of Best Advertising and Marketing agencies in Austin, published in their annual Book of Lists.

This year, the publication ranked our parent company, Cloud[8]Sixteen, Inc., #9 for Marketing and Advertising agencies. We are very grateful to the folks over at the Austin Business Journal for the inclusion, and we are excited about the growth and new projects coming up in the new year.

 


3rd Party Reviews In Google Adwords

After 4 months of Beta testing, Google has released Review Extensions to the full population of Adwords advertisers.

Review Extensions will display 3rd party reviews underneath an advertiser’s ad, hopefully lending both security and confidence to the product or service. This should help advertisers a great deal by confirming to users that the product or service in question is reputable and has already been vetted by others. Google has one advertiser who was included in Beta testing who claims they’ve seen a clear 10% increase in click through rates since starting use of review extensions.

ReviewExtensions

One feature that will prove very interesting with this extension is the fact that the review publisher will have a link within the ad itself. If the user clicks the link to the review, the advertiser will not be charged for a click. While this extension will still most likely be a net positive for Adwords customers, it is yet another signal that review sites are gaining more authority in the eyes of Google.

All told, this newest Adwords bell and whistle should have an immediate and real impact on search results, both paid and organic. Keep an eye out for these in the very near future, and take note of the creative ways that advertisers put these to use.

Andrew Cox  October 21, 2013 – Posted by to PPC.

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


Yelp! I Need Somebody

Since the website Yelp (www.yelp.com) was relaunched in February of 2005 with a decided focus on providing user reviews of businesses and professionals, the site has become one of the most frequently visited sites on the web, as people look to the reviews provided by others in their communities before going to a new mechanic, visiting a new doctor, or even eating at a new restaurant. For a while, these reviews had a limited effect, and only seemed to affect the ranking of businesses within Yelp’s internal search engine.

However, since Penguin 2.0 rolled out back in May of this year, we’ve noticed an interesting trend among search results that appears to be increasingly prevalent: the high ranking of directories for many search terms in Google. Directories like Angie’s List, Yelp, and even the Better Business Bureau are showing up on the first page of Google – often in the first and second spots – for extremely competitive keywords. Click here to see an example.

What This Means for You

If you haven’t claimed your business’ Yelp listing, do it now. You could be missing out on valuable opportunities to get your name out in your community and to rank higher for your targeted keywords in Google and on Yelp. Additionally, there does seem to be a correlation between the number of reviews a business has and how strong their rankings are, both inside and outside of Yelp.

Thus, if you have satisfied customers, encourage them to leave you a Yelp review. This seemingly small action could have significant effects on your placement online, making it well-worth the effort.

amy  September 16th, 2013 – Posted by to SEO.

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


The Cloud Moves Up

115wildbasinCloud[8]Sixteen, Inc., got its start as The Search Engine Guys (TSEG), a Search Engine Optimization company that our CEO and CTO ran out of their homes before making the company’s first move into a 500 sf office space in Westlake. After outgrowing that space, the company moved to a four-roomed, 1,000 sf office downtown next to the Driscoll Hotel.

In late 2008, TSEG moved from its small downtown office to a much larger space on the third floor of an office complex in South Austin. After expanding into the office adjacent to ours, renting additional offices on the second and first floors of the building, starting Ngage Live and Big Momma Apps, and uniting under the parent company Cloud[8]Sixteen, Inc., the Cloud has moved once again to accommodate our continued growth.

On June 1, Cloud[8]Sixteen, Inc. moved into a beautiful 12,492 sf office located at 360 and Wild Basin Rd., just north of Bee Caves. The new space has an incredible view of the hill country and has allowed the entire Cloud family to work together in the same office for the first time in almost 4 years. While our unique decorative stylings have followed us from the old office, we’re all excited about the opportunities for growth that this new office will bring, and are already working on making memories in our new home.


The Cloud Plays Billiards

SEOEight members of the Cloud family walked into Slick Willie’s pool hall as a team with heads held high. That particular night, they did not leave in quite the same spirits.

Aaron Dillon, Ngage Operations Manager, had experience in Pool League Play from years previous and decided to collect seven other members from Cloud [8] Sixteen, Inc., to form a pool team for a local Tuesday night league. One week later, our dynamic group entered into 9 and 8 ball competition. With varied levels of pool experience, the rag tag team had a few rough weeks in the beginning, but has been making vast improvements with each passing week.

A string of close losses and meaningful victories in the last couple matches has led them to the opportunity to jump up 2 spots this past Tuesday. While their record may not be the best, in true Cloud fashion, the team has already garnered a reputation for being a social force, forging new friendships with each team they compete against. Everyone is in high spirits and looking to spend the second half of the season fighting for a position in the End of Season Tournament.

If any ringers out there would like to join the Cloud Family for the purposes of elevating the pool team, send applications to sgerald@cloud816.com.

Andrew Cox  July 15th, 2013 – Posted by to Company Events.

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

Ready to start working with us? Call (512) 806-7955 or Email Us Now