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Web Analytics and SEO for Startups


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Web Analytics and SEO for Startups

  1. 1. Analytics and SEO for Startups Dr. Laura J. Hornbake, Consultant Web Analytics Christina Meyer, SEO/SEM Consultant 8.2.2014 Amazee Metrics AG / Förrlibuckstr. 30 / 8005 Zürich /
  2. 2. Web Analytics
  3. 3. Goals •  To communicate what web analytics can tell you and why you should care. •  To help you avoid data overload by focusing on the insights you need and allow you to forget about the vanity metrics. •  To provide you with some tools that can help you to learn more about your startup’s performance and to make data-driven decisions.
  4. 4. Audience
  5. 5. Audience Who is visiting your site and what can you find out about them? •  Demographics •  Interests •  Location and Language •  Devices, Browsers, and Operating Systems •  New vs. Returning •  Frequency, Recency
  6. 6. Demographics and Interests 6
  7. 7. Browser & OS 7
  8. 8. Mobile 8
  9. 9. New vs. Returning Visitors / Frequency 9
  10. 10. Audience: Implications •  Do the actual visitors to my site correspond to my target market? •  Is my site ready for (or backwards compatible with) the devices and browsers they are using? •  How can insights about my audience inform future development of the site? •  What actions can I take to either better attract my target audience or better serve this audience? •  How else might these insights require me to revise my strategies and plans? 10
  11. 11. Acquisition
  12. 12. Acquisition How did your visitors find you? Which channels are bringing the most traffic? •  Channels: Direct, Search Engines, Referrals, Social, etc. •  Referrals •  Campaigns: Advertising, Newsletters, QR codes •  Social
  13. 13. Channels 13
  14. 14. Referrals 14
  15. 15. Campaigns •  Whether you’re running low/no budget buzz marketing campaigns or have funding to spend on ads, you should be tagging URLs correctly to track campaign performance. •  Example: Newsletter Campaign 15
  16. 16. Social 16
  17. 17. Acquisition: Implications •  Which channels are working for me? Where might I try to improve? •  Is all that time I spend guest blogging, answering questions on Q&A sites, posting on social networks, etc. producing any results? •  Are my marketing campaigns meeting my expectations? 17
  18. 18. Behavior
  19. 19. Behavior How are visitors using your site? •  Behavior Flow •  Content •  Most Viewed Pages •  Landing Pages •  Exit Pages •  Events •  Interactions •  Experiments!
  20. 20. Content 20
  21. 21. Events •  Event tracking can be as simple as recording how often users click a button or as detailed as registering how far down a page they scroll. •  Form errors •  Video engagement •  Interaction with maps, custom widgets, popups 21
  22. 22. Experiments •  Test variations of your site to compare whether the changes influence visitor behavior. 22
  23. 23. Behavior: Implications •  Are visitors doing what you want or expect them to do (register, subscribe to a newsletter, download a product brochure, etc.) on your site? •  Which pages are really attracting visitors and getting them to further engage with the site? •  Where are you losing visitors? Is there something you can clarify or make simpler? •  Are you tracking the key events that are important to you? •  How can you use experiments to find the best performing version of your content? 23
  24. 24. Conversions
  25. 25. Conversions How can you measure success at meeting the specific goals you define for your site? •  Goals •  E-commerce •  Multi-Channel Funnels
  26. 26. Goals •  Which interactions have value to you? •  Sales, leads, engagement •  Examples: •  User registration •  Page views > 5 pages •  Contact form submitted •  Event •  Assign monetary values to events 26
  27. 27. Multi-Channel Funnels •  What complex paths do visitors take before completing a conversion? •  Assisted conversions 27
  28. 28. Conversion: Implications •  Are you meeting the targets you’ve set for your goals? Do you need to revise them? •  What can you learn about how visitors finally arrive at the interactions you’ve defined as goals? •  Is the effect of certain channels more subtle than the Channels reports suggest? •  How might this influence your strategies? 28
  29. 29. Conclusions
  30. 30. Final Suggestions •  Experiment with slicing and dicing data in different ways: •  Timeframes •  Segmentation •  Make web analytics a regular part of your processes •  Be curious; be flexible. 30
  31. 31. Take Away •  Get beyond the first overview page of your analytics tool and dig into the data. •  Web analytics can provide you with a lot of good data for your strategic decision-making. •  Am I wasting time/effort/money or are the things I’m doing paying off in concrete, measurable results?
  32. 32. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  33. 33. The Online Marketing Pyramid Supplementary Online Marketing Tools Content marketing plays a crucial role in SEO. Natural search is the key driver of website visits. © Amazee Metrics Source: 33
  34. 34. Market Share of Search Engines 34
  35. 35. Market Share of Google in Switzerland 35
  36. 36. The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Paid search ads (SEM) Paid search ads (SEM) Organic Search Results (SEO) 36
  37. 37. Where do people click? 37
  38. 38. How Search Engines Work 1.  Crawling 2.  Indexing 3.  Ranking 38
  39. 39. Crawling •  Spiders/Bots search the world wide web. •  Goal: To find all web pages in the world. 39
  40. 40. Indexing •  Google indexes the discovered web pages and their content. •  All the webpage data is organized and saved based on keywords. 40
  41. 41. Ranking •  Search engines rank the web pages based on their content and relevance. 41
  42. 42. Ranking Factors Ranking factors are criteria used by search engines to evaluate the content and relevance of a web page. The web pages are ranked based on these ranking factors. 42
  43. 43. Ranking Factors Study based on 10’000 search terms for Google Germany. 43
  44. 44. Step 1: Keyword Research Keyword Sources: •  Your own website •  Competitors‘ websites •  Google Trends •  Google Autocomplete •  Google AdWords Keyword Planner Focus on high volume and low competition. 44
  45. 45. Step 2: Technical Optimization •  •  •  •  Make your website accessible for search engines. Help search engines understand the content of your website. Achieve a high click-through-rate in the SERPs. Provide a user-friendly website. Achieve high rankings in the Search Engine Results Pages. 45
  46. 46. How Results are Displayed in the SERPs Title URL Description Direct Links 46
  47. 47. URL Structure •  Use important keywords in the URL: •  Search engines understand the content of your website. •  Higher click-through-rate higher ranking •  SEO Best Practice: •  Separate words with dashes, no underscores •  Keep your URLs as short as possible (not more than 200 charachters) •  Do not use any spaces or special characters 47
  48. 48. Geographic and Language Targeting There are 4 ways to include geographic and language targeting in URLs: •  Top Level Domain:, •  Subdomain:, •  Subdirectory:, •  URL Parameter:, •  SEO Best Practice: Subdomain or Subfolder •  Subdomain: Allows different server locations. •  Subfolder: Low cost (1 host) •  If you have different Top Level Domains link building must be done separately for each domain. •  There is no good reason to use URL parameters. 48
  49. 49. Title Tags •  HTML Tag (HTML-Head): <title> •  Use important keywords in the title tag: •  Search engines understand the content of your website. •  Higher click-through-rate higher ranking •  SEO Best Practice: •  Not more than 70 characters long •  Place keywords at the beginning of the tag, the brand name at the end. 49
  50. 50. Meta Description Tags •  HTML Tag (HTML-Head): <meta name="Description" content="Eine Beschreibung Ihrer Seite"/> •  The meta description tag is a marketing text for your result in the SERPs: •  Does not affect search engine rankings. •  But: Higher click-through-rate higher ranking •  SEO Best Practice: •  Not more than 160 characters long 50
  51. 51. Heading Tags •  HML Tag (HTML-Body): <h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc. •  H1 is the most important heading tag for search engines and should include relevant keywords: •  Search engines understand the content of your website. •  SEO Best Practice: •  Use exactly one H1 Tag on every page (you can use more than one H2 tag). 51
  52. 52. Internal Linking •  Search engines crawl a website by moving from link to link. •  Internal linking is crucial for search engines: •  To recognize the structure of the website. •  To find all existing pages. •  Search engines understand the content of a link based on its anchor text. •  SEO Best Practice: •  Use 2-3 internal links on every page, but no more than 100 links on one page. •  Use relevant keywords in the anchor text. 52
  53. 53. Image Names and ALT Tags •  Search engines and screen reader software identify the content of an image based on its filename and ALT tag. •  SEO Best Practice: •  Use descriptive filenames for your images (no numbers or special characters) •  Always define a descriptive ALT tag 53
  54. 54. Source Code Validation •  Search engines use the W3C standard to evaluate the quality of a website. •  Definition of W3C according to Wikipedia: „The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web“. •  Check your homepage regularly with the W3C validator and correct all errors and warnings: 54
  55. 55. Page Load Speed •  The page load speed of a website is an important ranking factor. •  Google considers a page load time longer than 1.4 seconds as slow. •  Use the recommendations of Google PageSpeed test to optimize your website‘s performance: 55
  56. 56. Sitemaps •  A sitemap helps the search engines understand the structure of the website and supports the crawling process. •  Create an XML sitemap for your website and submit it to Google with Google Webmaster Tools. •  Submit a new sitemap whenever you make changes on your website. 56
  57. 57. Duplicate Content •  Duplicate content is caused by identical or similar content on different URLs. •  Duplicate content can harm search engine rankings: •  Search engines do not know which of the pages is the most relevant for a search query. •  Search engines prefer to offer the user a variety of different pages in the SERPs. •  If there is a lot of duplicate content search engines might think that you want to trick them. 57
  58. 58. Common Causes of Duplicate Content •  URLs in www and non-www versions. •  URLs with uppercase and lowercase characters. Keep 1 version and implement a 301 Redirect from the other versions to this one. 58
  59. 59. Structured Data •  With structured data a markup can be added to your content which is recognized by the major search providers. •  Common types supported by Google: •  Breadcrumbs (links) •  Events (date, name and location) •  Music (links to songs or samples) •  People (name, job title, address) •  Products (price, availability, review) •  Reviews •  Apps •  Videos •  Overview of all rich snippets: •  The created rich snippets can be validated with the testing tool of Google Webmaster Tools: 59
  60. 60. Structured Data Examples Events Markup Video Markup 60
  61. 61. Publisher and Authorship Tag Publisher Tag: •  Relationship between Google+ company page and company website Authorship Tag: •  Relationship between Google+ profile and blog posts 61
  62. 62. Mobile SEO Make sure to have a mobile-friendly website. SEO Best Practice: Responsive Design 62
  63. 63. Step 3: Usability •  Overall Appeal: Provide a readable, well-structured website •  Navigation: Make it easy for users to navigate even if they access the website from the search engines, as opposed to from the homepage. •  Information architecture: Provide consistency. •  Content quality: Provide well-written, useful and fresh content. 63
  64. 64. Step 4: Link Building The relevance of a website is defined based on the quantity and quality of external links. Effective link building measures: •  Submit your website to company and industry directories. •  Contribute with comments to relevant blogs and forums. •  Submit your content to social bookmarking sites. •  Search for unlinked brand mentions. •  Identify broken links on websites. Content Marketing is the most important driver of links. 64
  65. 65. Content Marketing Provide useful content which people are willing to share. Effective content marketing measures: •  Blogging •  Guides, ebooks and whitepapers •  Infographics and charts © Amazee Metrics 65
  66. 66. Social Media •  Social Signals are a strong influencer of search engine rankings. •  Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most important social networks for SEO. 66
  67. 67. Take Away •  Make sure that your website is visible in the Search Engine Results Pages. •  Take SEO into account when building your website. •  Regularly monitor the technical performance of your website with Google Webmaster Tools. •  A continuous effort for link building and content marketing is important. •  SEO is an ongoing process – you will see results after a few months, not after a few days. 67