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Ideas for better websites
Cheryl Hammond on January 9, 2017
Understanding Google Tools and Ghost Traffic
Tracking the success of your website is just as important as tracking all your other marketing efforts. Google has two free tools for you to track your success.
Google Search Console will show you all the traffic Google is sending to your website. Once you have registered your site, for example by adding a special metatag to your home page, Google will recognize that you are the owner of the site and begin to collect traffic information for your website.
Google Search Console will show you how many times your website appears in Google listings, how many times Google users click on your site, and what was the average position of your site in the listings. For example, in the Search Analytics section, check the boxes Clicks, Impressions, and Position. In the options below that, choose Pages. You will see, for each page in your site, the number of times Google displayed that page in a search (impressions) , the number of times it was clicked on (clicks), and its average position in the search (postion). Change the option to Queries and you will get the number of times a page in your site appeared sorted by the search text that was typed into Google. And so on.
Google Analytics is the second free tool. After you register your site at https://analytics.google.com. Google will give you a snippet of code that you include in every page you wish to track. Then, every time anyone accesses your web page, this code will notify Google and allow it to accumulate traffic information for you.
These are two different tools. Google Search Console shows you your success in getting listed by Google in searches and Google Analytics shows you detailed information about who used your website and how they used it, once they have found your site. Google Analytics can help you know your customers, but beware ghost traffic.
Ghost traffic is spam. It's fake traffic. Instead of showing you a real hit to your website, you are seeing fake hits. The spammers have never really visited your site, but are able to automate fake hits in Google Analytics using a random number generator to simulate Google Analytics identifiers. For example, when you see referrals from sites that you have never heard of and that you know are not linking to your site, that is a fake hit. Why are the spammers doing this? Perhaps it is to get you, the Analytics user, to click on the referrer. If you do, they have just increased their own real hit rate, by fooling you and possibly selling you a service or product - or even to pass on a virus.
You can control ghost traffic, by setting up filtered views on Google Analytics so that you are viewing just the real hits. Contact us for help with Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and any other needs you have for your website.
More Ideas for better websites
Cheryl Hammond on November 1, 2016
When is it time to update your website?
Is it time to update your website? Check these three items to see if now is the time.
Cheryl Hammond on December 5, 2016
Can your website be viewed easily on your phone or tablet as well as on your computer? If not, you are missing out. More than half of traffic to major websites is now on mobile devices and growing.
- Are you cross promoting your website with your social media? Does your website ask for a "like" for your Facebook Business page? If you have two or more stand alone digital strategies, it's time to integrate them. Posts and events to Facebook can feed your website. If you don't use social media, you are missing opportunities as many people use social media to search.
- Does your site just look old and out-of-date? Design trends affect websites just like all other media. You wouldn't send out an advertisement that was designed in the '60s. Your website can look dated too.
Tips on getting your website noticed - Google Places
Most website owners have heard of Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO is a process of getting your website to appear at the top of the free or organic listings of Google Search, Bing Search, and other search engines. There are several steps you can take to improve your ranking on the Search Engine Results Page, also known as SERP.
However, getting to the top of the SERP can be difficult, even if you research all your keywords and include text that you know your customers want to find. This is especially a problem if your business offers services or products very similar to what many other businesses are offering.
But what your competitors can't offer is your specific location. Google offers you the opportunity to create a "Google Place" for your business. These listings are free and they supplement and link to your website.
Have you noticed that when you type "cafe", that the first free listings to appear are all Google places? And they are all cafes near your current location. It's not just for restaurants. Try typing "electrical supply". Again, the Google places appear first. When I am in my office and type "website designer" , the Today Data & Web Services Google place appears at the top of the free listings. Google Places offer an incredibly easy way to get noticed by those in your own vicinity and helps give small businesses a competitive edge against big businesses for landing nearby customers.
Bing also offers a similar service called Bing Places for Business and you should register with both. Google and Bing Places are valuable for most businesses, not just those with a walk-in storefront.
Start here for Google Places.
Start here for Bing Places.
If you would like support in setting these up, just contact us.