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Using Secondary Dimensions in Google Analytics

When you view reports in Google Analytics, the primary dimensions are displayed directly above the data.  This alone gives you a lot of information about your account performance.


However, if you want to dig even deeper, drill into secondary dimensions.  In this drop-down list, which is available throughout the different reports in Google Analytics, you are able to drill down into your data even further.


A report I frequently use is viewing the acquisitions data for my account, specifically the source and medium.  It is a helpful way to answer that basic question of “How did people find my site?”  When you’re viewing the basic information you can see metrics regarding sessions, bounce rates, and conversions.

One way to drill into this further is to select the secondary dimension of “landing page”.  Knowing your landing pages in general is very important because it’s the introduction to your website.  What you’re looking at here is which sources are driving traffic to which landing pages.  With a paid campaign, it may seem obvious if you send traffic to a particular page that was designed for that specific campaign.  However, it is helpful to know the landing pages that are being displayed in the organic search results and how people behave when they come to your site through that method.  Or if you send people to different areas of your site from Facebook, you can get a view of how people behaved on the site depending on which page they came to from Facebook.

Or perhaps you want to know where your prospects live.  With a secondary dimension of region, you can see which geographic areas your visitors come from by viewing the cities where your visitors reside. This helps determine if there are potential new markets out there or if you are receiving the traffic you hope from the geographic areas you are targeting.  You can answer even more granular questions with geography.

Let’s assume you have a nationwide business and you are running paid ads to acquire new business.  You may find that New York visitors from your AdWords campaign are very engaged in the site and are converting.  However, your South Carolina visitors from AdWords are bouncing from the site, not completing any micro-conversions or just in general not performing in a way you would hope.  By drilling into the data with your Analytics and AdWords accounts connected, you are able to make modifications on your AdWords campaign strategy based on the findings in your Analytics account.

Staying with the Source/Medium, you could drill into the secondary dimension of User Type to see behavior for New Visitors vs Returning Visitors based on how they arrived on the site.  If you find a lot of Returning Visitors are coming to you through your Display Ads, there may be a need for a frequency cap on your ads since the same people are seeing them over and over again and clicking on that result to get to your site rather than clicking on your organic results.  However, if those Returning Visitors keep clicking on the Display Ad, but your costs are low while a positive action occurs, you may not want to make any change.

Let’s switch gears and look at mobile users by going to Audience > Mobile > Overview.  This is where you answer the yes or no question “Do people use a mobile device to come to my website?”  Then revisit the secondary dimension of landing page to see which page people land on regardless of the device.  Are bounce rates higher on some landing pages for mobile users compared to desktop users?  It’s possible they’re not well optimized or simply not mobile friendly. Mobile users are looking to find information quickly and do not want excessive information on a page they visit from their device.

These examples are just a start.  As you review your Google Analytics data, remember that secondary dimension option is available to you so you can drill into your data.  Even if you’re not sure whether what you’re exploring will be meaningful to your particular questions, you can at least visit some different dimensions to see the possibilities.

How to Develop a Keyword Strategy for Your Content

What is the keyword strategy for your content marketing?  What? You don’t have one? You’re not alone. When you need to get a certain amount of content online every day or multiple times a week, it’s easy to get going with your writing without considering content.  With changes in Google algorithms, most people know that keyword stuffing is not going to help your SEO rankings.  So what are some other considerations when using keywords in your content?

What’s your primary keyword?

“I want to rank on the first page of Google for ____________”.  It’s perfectly okay to use that as your starting point and the quickest way to identify what your business is about. You’ll obviously narrow it down from here but take a moment to think about that statement first.

Google Incognito

A simple and unscientific way to do some initial keyword research is to open a chrome browser in incognito mode. You can’t hide what you are doing but it does not keep a record of your browsing history so you can can search for words on a relatively clean slate. Try different variations of your keywords to see how many results there are.  If it’s too small, there’s not enough of a market.  If it’s too high, be aware there is a lot of competition to rank for that particular keyword phrase.

Searches related to…

At the bottom of your Google search screen, you’ll see keyword phrases that are related to the term you just searched which can help you brainstorm different variations of that term.

Paid Search

What are some terms you are using in your paid search, such as Google AdWords? If you are paying for a keyword, it’s also worth considering for inclusion in your content. If you rank well for paid words, but not for the organic ones, you need to incorporate those into your site content more often.

Google Analytics SEO

If you connect Google Analytics with the Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), you can see data about the actual search queries that lead people to your site.  It shows how many times your site came up in search, how many times someone clicked on your site, and what page you ranked on. If you expect to rank for something and you are well beyond that first page of results, think about how to incorporate more content on the site specific for your target term. And aim to be specific since vague terms will make it tougher to rank.  For example, “restaurant” is clearly a vague term.  “Vegan restaurant” is a little bit better, so continue to think a bit narrower with your terms.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is about how many times your keyword is used in a piece of content and is where the keywords stuffing problem originated. The key to keyword use is to write naturally.  When you find a place to use the keyword that doesn’t make your content sound repetitive or choppy, include it in your writing.

Include it in your editorial calendar

An editorial calendar can be as simple as a spreadsheet to plan out your content topics for the month. This process can seem more manageable if you decide in advance which keywords you want to target for the days you post content. If your content generally is produced on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then plan for the next month what you focus on those three days per week.

Include it in your headlines and title tag

The title tag is displayed in the search results and helps searchers decide whether your result will answer their question. The headline is exactly that; the headline in your post.  Once people are on your site, you want a clear headline with the keywords so they know what the content is about, in addition to making it clickable.

The “secret” to keyword research is that there is no secret! Although there is work involved, it can be a fairly painless process once you start using some of these techniques.

What are Product Listing Ads?

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Images are driving online media, and it is no different with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Brands using paid advertising are gravitating toward Product Listing Ads…but what are PLAs?


Product Listing Ads, or PLAs, are a form of paid advertising using Google AdWords and the Google Merchant Center. The ads appear with a product image, the name of the product, the price of the product, and the retailer offering the product.

Oftentimes, you will see a PLA show a percentage discount or a product rating.

On Google Search, PLAs are shown separate from paid text ads and organic search results.

PLAs are not limited to Google search results pages. They can also be shown on Google Shopping and on Google Search partner websites that display and link to products for sale.

Who is best served by a Product Listing Ad?

Product listing ads are ideal for the shopper who knows exactly what they want. In the example above, the shopper is typing “le creuset dutch oven” into the search bar.

The reason PLAs are best suited for these types of shoppers is because the ads are so narrowly focused on a specific product. This type of paid advertising is not designed to educate customers but to show them products once they are ready to buy.

If you are currently planning which of your products to list for the holidays, these types of ads can help you reach customers who prefer online shopping. PLAs can also foster a connection from seeing a product online to buying it in the retail store.

Should PLAs replace my text ads?

Not necessarily. In fact, a better approach may be to combine text ads with product listing ads. This helps your brand take up more real estate on search results pages, giving you more opportunity to serve different customers at various stages of the buyer journey.

Web Seminar Recap: All About Ad Extensions

Paid search ads have changed a lot over the years, and with the inclusion of extensions, marketers are able to make their ads not only more personal, but allow consumers to find exactly what they are looking for.

On Tuesday, August 25th, Diane Pease presented the one hour web seminar, All About Ad Extensions. In this webinar, Diane covered the various types of ad extensions, examples of each, and how to use it effectively. She also covered mobile extensions and how they work differently.

Diane is an Inbound Marketing Manager for Cisco, and has been in online and traditional marketing for over twenty-five years. She has expertise in SEO, social and traditional marketing, but her primary specialty and passion is paid search and analytics. Diane is also a monthly contributor to Search Engine Watch and SEMRush. She is also speaker at the SES conference series, ClickZLive , SMX and Internet Summit.

Missed this web seminar? Find the presentation slides and audio recording here.

What is the Point of a Website Audit?

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SEO Site Audit – Why Do Website Audits

What is a website audit and why do I need one?

If you already have a website and are ready to improve its search engine visibility, then a website audit (or “site audit”) is a good starting point.

If you already employ SEO (or think you may be) but are not seeing the results you want, then a site audit can also provide answers to why you are experiencing decreased sales, low conversions, and high bounce rates.

But, what is a site audit?

A website audit is a complete analysis of all the factors that determine your site’s visibility in search engines. This can include, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • Indexed pages
  • Page errors
  • Site speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Optimized, updated content
  • Meta data
  • Responsiveness to devices
  • Backlinks
  • Social signals

To conduct a site audit, SEO firms generally run various tests and generate detailed reports, which are then analyzed for insight on any existing website issues.

Based on the results of the audit, the firm should then make recommendations to improve the visibility of your website in search engines.

If you have never implemented SEO best practices, then the site audit reveals where you may want to begin your work. For example, if the results of your audit conclude that your pages are missing meta data, then you may want to consider adding that information to your site.

But, if you already do SEO and you are not getting favorable results, then you should consider the site audit because it can pinpoint where and why your issues exist. Perhaps, for example, you need to make more of your pages mobile-friendly or you have bad backlinks, both of which could be penalizing your site.

Pinterest Quick Guide to Promoted & Buyable Pins

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What are the differences between promoted pins and new buyable pins on Pinterest? Let’s discuss.

Ever since Pinterest became the go-to online tool for people who wanted to find, save and categorize items by interest, businesses have been looking for ways to monetize their Pinterest activities.

In just under two years, the visually driven social media network has introduced two programs to address these needs: Promoted Pins and the new Buyable Pins.

So how do you decide if one or both of these pin products are the right fit to help you build brand awareness or drive revenue?

You can start with our short review of these pin types to gain a better understanding:

Buyable Pins vs Promoted Pins on Pinterest

Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins are a form of paid advertising. They are native advertisements, so they show up in your Pinterest feed just like any other pin. Promoted Pins can be targeted at specific users in various demographic, geographic, and other behavior- and interest-based groups. For this reason, they tend to perform better than organic pins, which are displayed to a more general audience. U.S.-based business accounts can enroll in Promoted Pins now or join the waitlist.

Buyable Pins

Buyable Pins are a brand-new feature for Pinterest users. So new, in fact, that they are just rolling out to iPhone and iPad users (desktop forthcoming). Buyable Pins will make it possible to purchase a product directly from the pin, without leaving the Pinterest app. If a product is available for purchase, it will display a Blue “Buy it” button in the upper right corner.

Unlike Promoted Pins, the new Buyable Pins are free to use, and they work together with Rich Pins. For now, Buyable Pins will play nicely with Shopify accounts and Demandware accounts, but most retailers will be asked to join the waitlist while the program rolls out to more users and devices.

What other questions do you have about Promoted or Buyable Pins?

Content Marketing Campaign of the Week: ADP

We see a lot of great content marketing examples for B2C organizations, but where is the B2B love? In 28 content marketing campaign of the week posts only two of the featured companies could be considered B2B. Shame on me considering I’ve worked primarily for B2B companies during my career. It’s true that we hear more about the B2C publicity because they tell stories on a personal level, and they are speaking to individuals instead of businesses. But that doesn’t mean B2B content marketing campaigns are any less creative or effective.

In the 2014 B2B Content Marketing Research study by Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs, results showed that 90% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, and 44% have a documented content marketing strategy. This is a core concept that has been lost on many practitioners, you need a strategy. Many people say they do content marketing, but they don’t have goals, metrics or results they can show you.

Automatic Data Processing (better known to all of us who get a paycheck as ADP) is an example of a company that created a strategy and followed through with content marketing efforts, earning monumental results. People often complain that it’s hard to do content marketing with a boring product. You don’t ge

The Value Added Services division of ADP, along with the help of agency Stein IAS, created a quarterly, multi-touch campaign mixing digital materials and other collateral. The results are staggering:  $1 million in new sales opportunities. In 2014, ADP attributed $3.7 million in closed business to its content marketing and an ROI for the effort in the first three quarters of 905%.t more plain or droll than payroll and human resource management. So what did ADP do?

Here are a few lessons to learn from ADP’s success:

1.       Set yourself up for success:  Determine how you will measure success or failure

If you don’t monitor your data, you don’t know how you did. If a weight lifter trains for a year and at the end can bench press 300 pounds, great. But how do you know how much he actually improved? Maybe he could press 295 to start with and his training wasn’t really all that successful.

Where do you start with numbers for marketing? Everywhere and anywhere. Whatever data you can get your hands on about your sales pipeline, revenue, followers and likes on social media, web traffic, in-bound calls, database size, etc. is useful. Prior to this multi-touch campaign that started in late 2012, ADP hadn’t run a trackable digital campaign. Head of Brand Management Jim Ferrauilo stated they didn’t even use landing pages before then.

2.       Have clear objectives

Some people confuse objectives with measuring success or failure. The simple difference to ask yourself is what outcome you want to accomplish. Whether it’s actionable or awareness based, what do you want people to do? All of the KPIs can go toward measuring how much you’ve accomplished, but make sure you have a consistent message that follows your objective, both internally to fellow employees and stakeholders, and externally to the customers. ADP had a clear business objective:  build awareness and demand for ADP Workforce Now; One clear goal.

3.       Know your target audience

In promoting their Workforce Now software, the campaign strategy was to associate customer pain points with the Workforce Now solution from ADP. To determine these pain points, they defined their audience as businesses between 50-999 employees as the prime audience. Further, they identified HR decision makers, chief human resource officers and midsize business owners as the people within those businesses. Finally, they used their own research about top concerns of midsize business owners in a post-2008 economy to develop a persona and read into what are the true concerns of their ideal buyer.

4.       Offer something different that captures attention of your target audience

Is payroll exciting? Doubtfully. But ADP created content that made peoples’ jobs easier and informed them of a massive change in their profession (the Affordable Care Act). Take a look at the ADP tools and resources page. The infographics are informative AND pleasing to the eye. This short style of information is easy to digest, much easier than reading 100s of pages of legal jargon that affects the HR of a company.

Not only were these infographics on the site and distributed via social media, this and other content such as white papers, online videos and case studies were leveraged with display advertising, industry publications, and stalwarts like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal.

5.       Test different ideas

The more you test, the more likely it is you will find the best solution. When you know what works you can invest more in that and let the less successful ideas fizzle. About the ADP content marketing strategy, Ferrauilo said, “We refocused the entire campaign on five strategies to help navigate healthcare reform – specifically for midsize business. We did a lot of optimization along the way – pulling out elements that just weren’t working – and the response rate went way up.

The bottom line is that there is no one way to do marketing anymore. A content marketing strategy is unique to every organization, and success depends on the ability to create a plan, follow it, test it, measure it, and adjust when needed. This type of content marketing can attribute to hard sells of products and services, for B2B and B2C companies, but it’s the ability to measure and report findings that will give a voice and recognition to deserving marketers.

Note:  Much of the information in this post came from the Advertising Age article ADP Content Campaign Pays Off.

Web Seminar Recap: How to Use Filters and Segments in Google Analytics

There’s a big difference between filters and segments in analytics, which includes temporary versus permanent removal of your analytics data. Understand how filters and segments work, how to create them, and when to use them. You’ll learn specifically how to use them to get rid of referral spam that is becoming more prevalent in Google Analytics accounts.

This web seminar was presented by Tina Arnoldi on July 15, 2015 and was geared towards people who have a basic understanding of analytics.

Missed this web seminar? You can find the slides and recording here.

Web Seminar Recap: How to Create Effective Ads for More Clicks

This week’s web seminar was hosted by Chris West and focused on How to Create Effective Ads for More Clicks.

Running advertising campaigns can yield good results for a company. In order to have the best results possible there needs to be effective ad creation. This means creating ads that engage the viewer and gets them to click through to your desired landing page. This Seminar goes over how to create compelling ads.
What attendees learned:
• What makes people click on ads
• What ad sizes work best
• How to create call to action
• What tools and software to use
• What area should you put your ads on

Missed this week’s seminar? Catch up by downloading the slides and recording here.