Archive for the ‘Website Statistics’ Category

SEO Rankings Reports – Considerations

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

As most savvy online users know, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing or improving the visibility of a website or web page so that searchers can more easily find that site. Needless to say, the more frequently a site is ranked on page 1 of search engines (e.g., Google), the better the chance that a searcher will visit that site. So, how do we measure how a site is ranking? A search engine ranking report is a simple way to give us a sense of where a website stands in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing; these reports are a reference point for visibility and progress from month to month, especially given that traffic and queries can vary over time, from season to season.

For those receiving ongoing SEO services and ranking reports, broadly speaking, what are some basic aspects that are generally included?

Before we get into components of an SEO report, let’s first consider that the reporting should feature highly relevant keywords—meaning phrases pertinent to your industry, relevant to your area, and used frequently by searchers. Selecting appropriate keyword phrases is the foundation of getting a site found. Once these phrases are determined, elements of a ranking report basically include:

1) Monthly status updates
2) Keyword progress and change in status from previous month—again using keyword phrases that are relevant to your industry, your area, and what searchers actually use in search queries
3) Tasks performed
4) Recommendations for continual improvement

Numbers to look for: The lower your ranking number, the better your position. For example, if you are #1 in Google rankings, your site’s link is what searchers will see at the top of the search results page. Please note that rankings are definitely a moving target. Search engines are continually tweaking their algorithms and competitors are also working to improve their positioning and traffic. Your ongoing ranking will depend on such factors as the competition in your area, quality of incoming links to your domain name, and location for optimization, to name just a few.

Ranking reports should be kept in context and are certainly only one facet of the much larger picture of an online marketing campaign. Although good rankings do not guarantee traffic and new customers coming in the door, they are worthy of consideration and a piece of the overall performance pie.

Google Analytics & SEO Reporting

Monday, April 30th, 2012

google analytics logoDid you know that Google’s robust website analysis tool, Google Analytics, now has a feature that pulls in data from another of their helpful website usability offerings: Webmaster Tools. These reports can be found in Analytics under “Traffic Sources” > “Search Engine Optimization.”  You do have to first enable the data sharing between these two accounts, and Google prompts you in how to do this. Once you connect these accounts, you’ll start to see the Webmaster Tools data show up in the Search Engine Optimization section of your Analytics account. Data sets includes top queries, top landing pages and a geographical summary report. It’s free to set up these accounts, so don’t miss out on how this data can help you improve and expand your online presence…

 

Do you own your domain?

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Web Address BarMost people think they own their own domain name but they do not. A quick and easy way to check is to go to www.GoDaddy.com  and type in your domain name in the box in the middle of the page.  

Another page will come up saying the domain name is already taken. In tiny letters next to the name it will tell you that you can view the domain’s WHOIS listing. Click this link. GoDaddy then will display the information about the domain name and who owns it. (If multiple requests are made at some point an intermediary page will come requesting that you enter the letters seen in the graphic box. This is a spam filter protection).

Look for the word REGISTRANT. Under or next to this word should be the name of the business or one of the owners name’s. If someone else’s name or business name is listed here then your company does not own its domain name. The company/individual that is listed there owns your domain name instead.

Don’t own your domain name? There are a few options open to you. First, you can ask nicely to have the domain name returned to your ownership. Some companies will say then they can’t manage your domain name without it being in their name. There isn’t anything to manage except to pay the Registrar (GoDaddy, Network Solutions, Etc.) when your domain name is about to expire. Another myth that is perpetuated by some website vendors is that they cannot manage your website without being in control of the domain name. This is false. Your domain name should always be in your own name.

If the vendor will not turn over the domain name to you then you need to see if your business name is trademarked. If it is then you have a high chance of getting it back. By law the vendor has to sell your domain name back to your company for cost if certain criteria are met (For more information go to http://www.icann.org/en/udrp/udrp-policy-24oct99.htm). If your business name is not trademarked then the only other recourse you have is through legal action or the selection of a new domain name.

Feeding the Beast: Google’s Panda Update and Your Veterinary Website

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Google recently released Panda 2.2, an update to their SEO ranking factor that is geared at helping to filter “low quality” pages from search results. What does this mean for your veterinary website? Is your website Panda 2.2 friendly? When it comes to keeping the bear on your side, it all boils down to content.

What is Google Panda?

Panda 2.2 is Google’s latest attempt to ensure that websites with poor or often irrelevant content are filtered out. This means that when your searches are returned, the highest-ranking websites are those that Google has deemed the most useful for searchers.

The Panda filter seeks to accomplish one goal: reward websites for producing high-quality content pages that are relevant to what searchers are looking for, and penalize websites that are sometimes exploiting SEO by flooding the Internet with low-quality content.

Panda-Compatibility

Avoiding having your website targeted by Panda is simple when you know what to look out for. Google posted some ideas for what you should look for in your website content to ensure that it is as Panda-friendly as possible.

Here are some useful tips provided by Google:

  • Make sure that the information provided on your website trust-worthy and well written. Especially when it comes to health (or pet health!) related information.
  • The content on your website should be geared towards the reader, not simply written to perform well in search engine rankings.
  • Make sure that information provided on your site is as unique as possible. This does not mean that you need to be featuring information seen no where else on the Internet, but the content on your website should be not be mass-produced or used on dozens of other veterinary websites.

The bottom line is that the best way to avoid having your site be negatively affected by the Panda update is to make sure that there is a purpose for all of the content within your pages, and that the writing all appears within an appropriate context.

You can think about the Panda filter as similar to what many of us do whenever we pickup and begin reading the back jacket of a book. If you think that the content of the book looks as though it will be a waste of your time, would you open the cover and begin reading it? The goal of Panda is to help Internet users by going through those jackets for you, and separating the worthwhile from poorly written books on the shelves.

For more details on the Google Panda 2.2 update click here.

As It Turns Out, Looks Do Matter

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Creating a visible website can be one of the most important components of your marketing strategy, giving your veterinary practice an opportunity to utilize the web to branch out to potential customers. However, some practices find that their websites still are failing to bring in a noticeable amount of new clients, even when their web traffic is good. What causes this lack of conversion? A recent survey found that your design might be the culprit.

According to the survey conducted earlier this year by OnePoll, 70% of respondents stated that they simply do not trust a poorly designed website. Such data highlights the importance of establishing a presence for your veterinary practice on the web, but making sure that your website is serving all of the functions that it should.

So what separates the good websites from the bad? Well, its all about looks, functionality, and navigation.

The Look: You might not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge a website by a similar standard. It is important that you ensure your website has a look that the aesthetic expectations of potential clients, and comes off as professional, clean cut, and tasteful.

The Functionality: On of the biggest parts of making your website successful is making sure that all of the “behind-the-scenes” work is functioning correctly. This means your website should not crash, show error messages, or limit the browsing abilities of your client with broken code.

The Navigation: The final part of what makes a good website is making sure you have fully organized all of the content, and helping to direct your potential clients to the places that they would like to go. If your clients do not know where to look, you cannot expect them to stay on your website.

In a perfect business world, it would be great to expect that high-quality service would be enough to keep potential customers interested. In reality, however, it all comes down to how well you are able to sell your practice, and making a substantial impact on the client every opportunity you get.

The New (inter)Face of Google Analytics

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Google Analytics version 5 recently launched and includes a completely reworked user interface and many, many infrastructure improvements. Navigation has been simplified to let you jump to the areas that are most important to you, including a new Dashboard section and My Site for Reports.

The new Dashboard tool has more data visualizations options, including:

• Absolute metrics

• Data over time graphs containing multiple metrics

• Pie charts

• Tabular data

You can also apply filters to each widget on the dashboard to further customize the data in the widget. These changes will make it much easier to create reports and visualize important data about your site traffic.

Visit a recent blog post from Google Analytics to learn more about what the new version has to offer and what’s coming in the near future.

Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that gives users insight into their website traffic and marketing effectiveness. Easy-to-use features let you see and analyze your website’s traffic data to help you know how you can strengthen your marketing initiatives. To sign up for this free service from Google, visit the Analytics home page.