Authorship and Its Effect on Google Search Click-Through Rate

Authorship and your use of Google+ in relation to your website has ben a hot topic on blogs and at Search Conferences over the last 6-9 months.  Understanding how your authority as an author/writer can effect the search engine results for your keyword phrases has become something of a quest for many search marketers.

Google has made the connection of blog and Google+ fairly simple, but there are still issues and barriers to entry out there.  Many small businesses who do not live and breathe search marketing are not aware, or have not taken the time to establish authorship for their websites.  The honest truth is, there is solid proof that using this connection will help YOUR search results attract attention – and why not – the image, additional data, and larger result can make all the difference in the world when you’re trying to attract an eyeball.  Authorship results have 7 lines, non-authorship results have 5.  2 lines is a lot of real estate on a page, don’t discount it.

A recent article by Justin Briggs brought the importance of this front and center this week.  He cited a paper published by Google in early 2012 that stated that a majority of searchers ignored social annotations in search results.  They basically didnt care if there was something that said “shared by” with a tiny picture next to the result.  (Note: If I remember correctly at that time, Google+ was struggling with adoption as well and there was some talk of it going the way of the dodo.)

According to Briggs, Google noticed that larger images (50×50) attracted more attention from searchers, the tiny images next to “shared by” text received little-to-no attention, so how do they encourage people to give them good images, and a way to connect an author to an article?

Authorship anyone?

Now the writer is PROVIDING Google with information they can use to connect authors with content, and a way to display it that encourages engagement.  ENGAGEMENT in all caps.

Check out this heatmap from a google search result that contains a listing with authorship established and an author image next to the content.  If you’re familiar with how this heat map previously looked, the result in the VERY TOP LEFT generally received the most attention.  Universal and personalized search changed that when video thumbnails and other signals were included in the 10 blue links.  Check it out now!!


Image borrowed from Justin Briggs’ blog – in the interest of full discolosure – THANKS! :)

Check out that super hot spot next to the Authorship snippet for the article above.  Arguably it’s hotter than the spots above it – all because of an image and some additional information pulled from authorship markup.

Can you afford to NOT have this set up on your website? I think not.

New Filter Fields in Google Analtyics

Google Analytics LogoIf you’re an intermediate to advanced user of Google Analytics, you’ve likely used Filters to manipulate data into something you can understand and work with.  One example would be the tweak I shared to demystify the black hole of Not Provided.

Earlier this week Google Analytics announced the availability of a whole herd of new filter fields.  The new fields heavily target those with high-volume mobile traffic, but don’t feel left out if that’s not your niche, there are also some interesting non-mobile options, or options that can be combined with mobile if you like.

Here’s the full list with some thoughts after the ones that stick out.

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Getting Query Data from Google Webmaster Tools to Correlate with SEO Query Data in Google Analytics

As most marketers are painfully aware, In Oct 2011 Google stopped providing keyword referral data in Google Analytics for searchers who are logged into Google or for searchers using Secure Search (which Firefox has more recently adopted as the default for Google searches).

As a result of the loss of this valuable keyword data source, online marketers have become very creative about designing ways to recapture some details on the search behavior of these visitors. One approach has been to extract more information out of the Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) data which so far isn’t affected by the not provided restriction.

The query data in GWT is limited. The reports provide impressions and click information, but no conversion or other site engagement data. As a result, the data is good for keyword research and to find terms that are relevant to your site, but you’ll likely still have to test the terms in PPC to gain actual conversion information about the terms.

If you have your Google Analytics and your Google Webmaster tools accounts linked you can view the GWT query information directly within Analytics. Google has a section called Search Engine Optimization that displays data sourced directly from GWT.

Not a Discrepancy, a filtering Inconsistency

If you have looked at the SEO data in Analytics and then logged into your GWT, you probably noticed that the queries don’t correlate well. The reason for the list of queries being different is due to the default filtering being different in the two reports.

In Google Webmaster Tools, the queries are filtered to show search query impression and click data from Web searches only by default. You can see a snapshot of the query filtering options below. Notice the Filters button and to the right of it the default is Web.

If you click on Filters you can chose between Web, Mobile, Images, Video, or All. In GWT they list queries filtered for Web by default.

If you then go over to Google Analytics, you will notice that the SEO queries are not filtered. You essentially get the All option. If you want to compare the default list in GWT, you will need to tell Analytics to include “Google Property” and filter for Web.

Then assuming you have the same date range in both Google WT and GA and that you have the data sorted by the same metric, the lists should correlate. Please note that there may be latency reasons for the data not matching if you select a too recent date.

Once I realized the filtering was different the query data made a lot more sense. Hope this helps a few who like myself, was puzzled over the lack of consistency in the query data.

Tracking Offline Conversions in Online Systems

Join KeyRelevance’s own Chief Technical Officer, Mike Churchill, as he gives us some tips and information on the latest technologies you can use to track offline conversion metrics.  He joins Marty Weintraub and Lauren Litwinka on WebmasterRadio.fm’s PPC Rockstars program.

Listen to the recorded interview online!

Mike goes over some classic and some newer techniques for tying offline sales to online actions and online sales to offline actions, including custom URLs, cookie tracking and phone tracking.

You can skip to Mike’s interview at about 17:35 in the broadcast.

Keeping Track of the Long Tail

The long tail. It’s a term that has been used for a long time in the online marketing industry to define the keywords that live in a low search volume/high relevancy & conversion rate realm.

Many online marketers realize that the long tail is where the ROI lies when it comes to search engine optimization.  Many of these terms require little to no effort for ranking, but return a nice revenue stream.  Generally these are the longer 4-6 word keyword phrases that describe your product or service very specifically – and convert much higher than less relevant/more competitive phrases.

Seeing how the long tail is doing has become easier with the invent of Google Analtyics dashboards.  Now you can simply see the phrases and the revenue they generate with a single click.

Here’s the link to the dashboard – just click here and choose which Analytics profile you’d like it installed to.  You’ll be able to see the phrases and their corresponding visits and revenue.  A valuable tool for evaluating which keywords are truly important to your SEO.  You could add to this dashboard and include 1 and 2 word phrases very easily!

Playing around with custom filters and dashboards in Google Analytics can offer great insights into how your website is performing.  Check out the new Google Analytics Solutions Gallery to find more custom reports, filters and dashboards designed to give you deeper vision into your data!

Making Use of Not Provided Data

Not Provided data is becoming a larger issue than Google first let on.  When they first started blocking referrer data, Google said that “Not Provided” would only affect 1% or less of queries.  That was a gross estimate.  “Not Provided” is relative to the sophistication of your audience.  Are they signed in?  What browser are they using?   Where are they coming from?  These behaviors all affect the amount of not provided results present in your Google Analytics.

You do have options.  You can Continue reading

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Every marketer who handles multiple aspects of online presence will tell you, we change gears so much, and have fingers in so many buckets, that having tools to help us monitor and keep track of campaigns is essential.  That being said, there are a ton of tools out there to choose from, and everyone has an opinion on what the best ones are.  I generally talk from experience when it comes to tool selection.  I don’t recommend that which I don’t use, and I am pretty picky about usability when it comes to software.

My favorites are the ones that I can figure out without reading a manual.  I’m terrible about instructions.  I want things to be intuitive and easy to use, so multi-step screens and

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Tracking PPC Traffic from Bing and Other Sources in Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics in conjunction with Google AdWords is a useful way to track visitor behavior beyond the click. But what about Bing/Yahoo PPC visitors? By default, Google Analytics tracks all Bing or Yahoo visitors, but does not discriminate between paid and organic visitors. If you want to track PPC visitors coming from Bing, you need to add some additional parameters to the landing page URL for the Google Analytics system to decode and track.

As an added bonus, this same technique can be used to track other advertising efforts (e.g. newsletters, site sponsorships, and banner advertising).

How to Track Bing PPC Visitors in Google Analytics
Tracking other PPC/CPM/Advertising campaigns requires setting a couple of additional Continue reading

Competitor Comparisons – Metrics to Measure

We’ve all been in that situation; you know the one – the keyword that you just can’t seem to get ahead with. That competitor that should not outrank you..is…and its driving you crazy.

It took me quite a long time to realize that chasing competitors can be a waste of time. There’s so much work to do to improve your own website – wasting energy on a competitor that dogs your every step takes time away from actions you can perform to increase your conversions and make their presence a non-issue. Constantly obsessing about a position that flip flops with someone else or where you can’t Continue reading

From the Ground Up – SEO Friendly Site Construction – Part 1

Building a website for a new venture is an exciting prospect. You start thinking about pages and features and then come up with paragraphs of content and graphics long before you put pixel to paper. The want to just “get something up” is overwhelming and you start with the “look” instead of thinking about the “structure.”

Stop…just stop…..you’re not doing yourself any favors. Before you even choose a name for your website, blog or business –think about the words you use. Words first, then we can start building something. Think of this step as the architectural rendering of a home under construction, complete with wall cross sections and material lists.

Creating a solid list of keyword phrases that describe what you are, what you do, and why you do it will help you Continue reading