Keyword Not Provided on Google Analytics.. Does not mean the End of the World

In December, an update went out which changed Google webmaster tools. This changed the way the keyword unavailable aspect from Google analytic has been viewed ( for myself anyway).  However long before this, Google had already started rolling out not provided for keywords. On account of secure searches (those of you that have are logged into Google+ or even Gmail when searching) they decided to encrypt keyword data.

This means website owners could not tell what people had searched for when they clicked through to a website. A few months ago this was ‘not provided’ for keywords was at 50% for many sites. However, Google have now gone a step further and decided to make keyword data 100% not provided on GA so you can imagine the amount of stress this has caused website owners, SEO practitioners and analysts alike.

This post is about exploring the ways that siteowners and SEO analysts  can use the recent changes to Google Webmaster tools to find out more about what people are searching for when they visit a website.

Using Google Webmaster tools

Google Webmaster tools is a great way of checking into the specifics of a website’s performance in terms of impressions and how many people are actually  clicking through to each page.   Website owners use it also as a tool that shows when there is a technical error with page layout and altering the way each page is displayed on search engines and how it is viewed with search engines.  You can do a lot with Google Webmaster tools i.e. test your site’s page speed, submit an XML site map, and check on the click through rate, impressions and a lot more.  So there is really a lot to do with this tool.

Now here is the exciting part; those who use Google Webmaster tools for their own reporting via the API will be able to show exact data. Now that Google have ruled out their 100% not provided keyword feature on Google analytics this comes in very handy indeed.

Take a look at the current version of Google Webmaster tools;

 webmaster tools

Before the update, Google’s Webmaster tool only showed the figures rounded up to the nearest 100 or 10.  The number of clicks shown below is more precise rather than it displaying ‘<10’ as the amount of clicks and ‘<400’ as the amount of impressions it is displaying the actual numbers of ‘394’ impressions and ‘9’ clicks.

Internal Search

Using internal search to find out what people are searching for within your site and set this up with Google Analytics.

By setting up internal search with Google Analytics  you’ll have more of an idea on what people want to find within your site.  Say you have an ecommerce site with many products and niche pages per product. You can discover the products that people are searching for the most and if you don’t have that particular item type you can make the decision to add new (highly demanded)  items to your stock.   These are the kind of things that will help you to know more about the kind of things people want to know when they visit your site.

Have you any thoughts about this Google Analytics and combating keyword not provided?   Feel free to leave your comments below.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Google’s Flight Comparison Tool Causes Quite A Stir

Google have been up to a lot recently launching into new territories, making changes to their existing tools and much more.  We know them as a search engine, but who would have thought that they’d go into the flight comparison market. Their new flight comparison tool is pretty cool too, take a look at; google.co.uk/flights

With that being said, they caused quite a stir with it,  this resulted in a number of concerns being made.  Changes had to be made to the way they displayed searches for flights since it was reported that Google showed their own results more favorably than the other flight comparison brands.  This made it difficult for users to find the competitor’s relevant search results.

After concerns were raised on this matter, Google made changes to accommodate their competitors results. Take a look at the changes made in the picture below;

imageforflights

By making these changes, Google may have dodged a massive fine by the European Commission. There was a lengthy EU case on this matter and it has been dragging on for quite some time.

For more information on this case, read this press release by the European commission,

Thanks for reading, leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Now To Break The Silence

I have been very silent on the blogging front for a while now and since my new year resolution is to blog a lot more, I will be taking that into action today! Yay!!. I have written a lot of drafts which have not even made the publish button and I am very annoyed about that. Anyway,take a look at the way I have decided to revamp this blog and increase my content marketing efforts.

big time blogger

I will be covering the following areas in my next couple of posts;

A broader aspect of onsite and offsite SEO; This will include a lot more about SEO updates to Google Analytics,  algorithm updates,  Google Webmaster Tools and much more.  There have been a lot of updates on this front including the changes to Google Analytics keyword provided.

Predictions on what people have said about this year with SEO and whether it is happening or not. There have been many predictions on what is in store for SEO this year. I will be blogging on whether these things are likely to happen or not especially when there is announcement of some sort that matches the prediction.

thinking face

An interview blog post series with some influential people in the industry.  So for those with your own independent blogs and have a passion for the digital marketing industry, contact me for more information.

Updates on strategies from SEO and Digital Marketing seminars and events I’ll attend. Attending SEO and digital marketing events makes me feel like the lady in the GIF below;

moretocome

There is something about like-minded individuals learning from each other that makes me so excited. Events led by organiser such as OMN London and Search London have to be one the best I have attended. Have you attended such events before? If so, you will be able to relate to that excitement I feel when I attend.  The last event I attended like this was in late June last year and I wrote a post about PR opportunities and link building that very day.

Last but not least; I’d love to say thank you to all my faithful blog followers who have continued reading this blog in what I call  the dry season (when I didn’t blog often).

Watch this space for more interesting things to come.

interesting things to come

Thanks for reading.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Page Rank Update Comes Early after All

After Matt Cutts specifically stated that the page rank update wouldn’t come until 2014, many were surprised to see the page rank update actually occur on the 6th of December 2013. Take a look at a discussion that occurred on Twitter between Matt Cutts and Niel below; 

A tweet from Matt Cutts explains why the update occured earlier than 2014;

A lot of webmasters were surprised to see either an increase or a decline in their page rank. Along with those webmasters,  I was happy to see my homepage go from a page rank of zero to one.  That isn’t so bad at all. I wish it could have been a lot higher,  but gathering how inconsistent I have  been with blogging here I can see why this is the case. Anyway, I hope to be a lot more consistent with blogging in the new year. I am going to add this to my new years resolution.

Thanks for reading. Have you been affected by the page rank update?  Any increase in your page rank or sharp declines? Feel free to share this in your comment section below.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Google Hummingbird Update & Conversational Search

On Thursday 26th of September Google celebrated their 15th Birthday  with a Happy Birthday Google doodle on Google search and coincidentally that same day, they made an announcement about their algorithm which they have updated and named ‘hummingbird’. This is something that has already taken effect since about a month ago.  As Google like to do, they have kept it a secret and just announced it without giving too much detail.  Apparently it wasn’t much of a shake up like Panda or Penguin but this update is just a way of improving conversational search.

Conversational Search

So when searching a lot of people have started using conversational searches instead of just short term phrases.

For example looking at the screenshot below (I tried this search out on Google Trends) and discovered that more searches for terms such as ‘How to fix a car’ instead of shorter terms such as car fixing and mechanical tips. This means two things to me; the search engines are a lot smarter than they were years ago and people have started to realise this and more people like to be specific with their search queries

conversationalsearch

What does this mean for SEO Practitioners?

Ethical SEO has never been ever more important than it is now.  That means no more phoney ways of getting links and even practising SEO. It does not mean that SEO is dead! With advances such as people searching on their mobile (where you can search by speaking into your phone),  longer tailed searching is getting even more popular.  Google therefore want to show more precise data and here is where content marketing plays a huge role.

I do not need to go into the details of content marketing, as I have already done so before; however I will like to add that ensuring that anchor texts are more precise is a good idea. It would therefore be a good idea to go for longer tailed anchor texts rather than shorter tailed ones.

Content marketing efforts should now include tactics such as being conversational in an effort to engage readers further.  So the sites that will be ranking well on Google with have updated content that people will usually want to read everyday. A great way to ensure this is done successfully is revamping old content..  mentioning them in relevant new posts and adding new things that will be beneficial to readers today rather than last year. If you do have information that is relevant to last year update it and state that the content has been updated to include factors for this year.  Find out more about how to do this by reading an article on Moz.  

Furthermore some of the points I have mentioned have been summarised in the following tweets;  

Did you notice anything spectacular with the hummingbird Google Update? Feel free to voice out your thoughts on it in the comments below. Thanks for reading.

By Ibukun Sodipe

The Scarcity of Women In the Digital Industry

I came across this article a few days ago, it’s about women in the digital industry and I thought to myself I need to respond to it. It is not every time I read something that moves me to the point of reacting so I am going to keep this as brief as I can.  I agree that there should be more women in the digital industry; after all according to the SEO survey by Moz in 2012 only 23% of women are currently contributing to this sector.  I just feel like I should write about my insight offer my encouragement based on the small improvements I’ve seen so far.

When I joined the digital industry in 2010 (on my placement year), I noticed that a there were a lot of men in the office compared to women.  I was used to this anyway because on my course (Business Information Technology) it was dominated by males and I was one of the six girls on my course.

When I completed my course and joined the industry full time I noticed some improvement. My department had a few women but it was still dominated by males.  Over the years there have been many schemes to get women more involved with the digital and technical industries.

Women Making their mark in the SEO Industry

Being in the industry for a while now I have now seen so many inspiring women who are well ahead in the digital industry. Take a look at this article for example. These women are making their mark in the industry. This is the kind of thing that will inspire many more women to make their mark in their respective digital sectors and I am sure this kind of thing will continue.  I will be looking out for the coming years top women nominee for the digital sector.

Mummy Blogs

mummy blogger

In this day and age there are also many mummy blogs out there. They are mothers who blog regularly and often gain an income from it. Some of these mothers also have a full time day job which they manage to juggle alongside running their own successful blog.These women are knowledgeable about digital marketing and use this to market their blogs successfully.

In closing my note to women who may be trying to make their mark in the Digital industry (whether it be in the SEO, Social media, PPC, Display, Affiliate Marketing sector) don’t let the statistics get you down. We may be few but we sure are here! The digital industry is very interesting and you can succeed if you put your mind to it.

By Ibukun Sodipe

Matt Cutts On Small Businesses Performing Well On Google

I came across this the other day and thought I should share it. Matt Cutts the head of spam over at Google would like to know about your small business.

If you have a small business that you have been managing and doing all the things that needs to be done in order to get it ranking then you’ll be interested to know that Matt Cutts would love to know about it too.  Take a look at the tweet he sent out last month.

mattcutts

A lot of people after reading the tweet sent out by Matt Cutts are very pleased about this development.  Take a look at some of the the tweets below.

Working for a lot of small companies myself, I have learned a lot of things.  Small websites rely heavily on search engine rankings and when it goes down, so does a lot of incoming traffic to those sites.

If your small website has been hit by Penguin or Panda, then take a look at what has done in the past. Look at your website back link profile. Have you acquired links from bad neighborhoods? If so remove these links and keep things squeaky clean from now on.

Do you have a small business you’d like to see performing better on Google? Have you seen this tweet by Matt Cutts? Why not take action now and go here to report about your small business and why it should be doing better on Google.

Any comments, leave them below

By Ibukun Sodipe

Finding Hidden Link Building Opportunities Using Public Relations Tactics

Recently, I’ve been  trying to find better ways to do my blogger outreach. Whilst, in this mindset I have been attending a few SEO networking events and testing out what other industry leaders are doing to secure links from relevant and authoritative sites.  This particular event that I attended was organised by Search London and  was titled; ‘finding hidden opportunities in PR and analytics’.

I am not going to dig into the analytics side of things right now but this post will be focused on the ways we can find hidden link opportunities by venturing into the unknown public relations perspective.

Now a lot of you will have realised by now that;  link building is not just about getting rich anchor text links,  it’s so much more than that. It is about getting something out there that people will actually read and gathering referrals from authoritative sites that you have earned a link on.  Surely, this is not easy to get but yet other professionals have been doing it well. This includes public relation specialists who have a way of getting their clients brands and businesses mentioned by mainstream news sites and papers.  Now this is all something I have looked into and I am still trying to perfect.  I don’t know if you may interpret me as going onto a more PR focused perspective but I sure think us link builders can learn a lot from this.

Who To Target – For  Potential Earned Media Links

Now when the presenter was discussing this she mentioned a few things we need to remember when targeting people who work for the new corporations and mainstream media outlets. She showed an image,  similar to the one below (but a lot more busier).  Basically what to keep in mind is that these people are very busy so make sure you catch them at a good time.  If they are too busy to talk to you at noon try in the morning when they are less busy.  They work to a tight deadline and need to get stories quickly. So if you take your time you may miss the first page slot.  Coming from a news site on webpage point of view you may want to make the homepage and may miss that chance so in link building terms it still applies.

busy_office

Here is a list of people to target when looking for media and mainstream site linking opportunities;

Editors, News Editor, Features Editor, Freelance, Specialist Editors, Trainees

-Sub-editor: they check the content before it is published sometimes content may change as they have a way of making these things a lot more interesting.

Picture editor: pay attention to your photo’s when targeting a picture editor for an opportunity make sure you emphasis on the photo. It should make the story interesting.  People will want to read it when it does this.

Bloggers: those who specialise in their niche often get a section in the local news site, just because are passionate about what they do. They specialise in practical ways of doing things and that’s how they get on these sites.

I’d like to thank @clairetwaves for actually presenting this at the Search London event. It was very useful and I’ve surely learnt from it. I will be giving a link to the resource when I find it online. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that one.

Thanks for reading this. If you have anything you’d like to add leave them in the comment section below;

By Ibukun Sodipe

Are You Carrying Out Enough Research Before Reaching Out To Bloggers?

Today I am going to be discuss a topic that has been on my mind for a while.  As a lot of you will have gathered from my recent posts, I do a lot of blogger outreach on behalf of my clients. I am  a big fan of finding creative ways to improve my methods and believe me it is not an easy task to put it into practice. The whole process is very time-consuming and can seem a bit crazy at times, but the results are amazing. Carrying out extensive research before approaching site owners, bloggers, editors etc for a link is something that needs to be done. It is essential as you have to know that you are putting in a considerable amount of pressure for something that is actually worth the while. Furthermore, with the recent updates and Penguin refreshes now is the time to perfect the link building strategies you have been using. One has to be on top of their game now more than ever.  Read on for more information on the things that should be checked before reaching out to a blogger.

Relevance

Okay, I have mentioned this many times before on this blog so I won’t go into too much detail. Relevance is key, everyone knows that.  Make sure that the blog you are targeting at least mentions the sort of thing you working to promote.  I have gone into more detail on this topic in my recent post about; effective SEO tactics to use in 2013

Outgoing Links

This in itself is a very important metric when it comes to measuring how effective the links you’ve gotten are. The more outgoing links a page has the less value your link will have. Basically if it’s easy to get a link on the site then you have not earned it,  you’ve built it.  We should all know by now, that in this day and age we have to earn our links not build it.

Authority

By all means target the blogs that have a high authority and are well-known for that.  Matt Cutt’s recently stated in his video that authority sites will be ranking more highly in the SERP’s and the signals will be getting a lot better at identifying these sites. Of course these sites will have a good rage rank and high domain authority. These metrics are  good way of indicating that a site is good has a high authority. So I am sure you’ll be looking out for these metrics anyway.

Traffic

Is there a way to find out how much traffic this blog gets?  Remember,  it’s a blog and you’d want to get meaningful content on that blog.  The blog has to have some visits after all you are not just aiming at getting a link on a blog that’s not going to do anything or refer readers, right?  This is why looking at the site’s traffic metrics is important.

Tools for measuring Traffic  – Semrush –  now here is a tool that shows how much traffic each site gets from search engines in each country. For instance one blog may get 1000 referrals from Google UK,  whilst it only gets 500 referrals from Google US search engine. I will probably prefer the blog with more visits from the UK search engine just because my client is a UK-based client who can only sell to UK residents.  This is the sort of thing that many people overlook just because they want to get a link at the end of the day. Well link building has evolved too much for that sort of thinking and one has to make sure they think things through before targeting random sites that don’t make a difference to the brand they are representing. 

Blogger Engagement  On Social Media 

Is there person behind the blog?Are they engaging with their followers?  Believe me,  this sets apart a serious blogger from one who isn’t very serious.  A serious blogger writes passionately,  and engages readers within the posts in any way they can. Do they tweet their content? Of course they should.  Do they have a lot of followers and blog with low domain authority?  If they do then don’t push them aside just because they don’t have a high domain authority.  They may not be very big yet but if they have a huge following on twitter then chances are they are working their way towards this. People care about what they have to say, that’s why they follow them, right? It is a well-known fact that ‘social signals are now paving a way for the future of search’,  so you should definitely take it seriously and use it when researching prospects. 

Social media channels to check;  Twitter; Google+, Facebook, Pintrest etc.

Verified Authorship: 

Now this is something that I look at when I am doing outreach. We must have all heard about the verified authorship that comes up on search results.  Right now, I am still waiting for my blog to be verified and it’s taking a while. It helps when you have your own domain. I have explained that in my last post about managing SEO for my blog.  Being a verified author means that your posts will get a higher click-through rate than normal search results and that results in an increased traffic.  So it all counts, doesn’t it?

Domain Age 

The older the age of the domain the more trustworthy it is.  As stated by Jim Boykin: “I’d much rather get a link from a site registered in 1995 that has 100 quality backlinks, than get a link from a blog registered in 2005 with 1000 quality backlinks.”

For more information about link value factors refer to this link building factor guide

By Ibukun Sodipe

Managing SEO Effectively For My Blog

I’ve been working on this blog for a while now and I noticed a few things especially after I monitoring my blog’s performance on Google Webmaster tool.  Over the last couple of months I’ve noticed my blog posts have higher impressions and click-through rates than ever before.

It’s amazing how many people have stumbled across here since I submitted my sitemap to Google’s webmaster tool. My blog post is on page one of Google for the term ‘egobait link building‘.   However, I still do need to optimise it further with meta descriptions for each post. Whilst I am on that note, since this is a wordpress.com blog I cannot give each post separate meta descriptions as the amount of control I have on the back-end of things is limited.

Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that I will move this blog over to wordpress.org blog and set up a proper website so that I can have more control over things.

SEO Benefits Of Having a WordPress.Org Site

1. Authorship:

I don’t know about your wordpress.com blog,  but it has taken a while for me to get my blog verified on Google+ and this is also down to the fact that I have not been blogging as often as I should have.  This was also down to the fact that it was a struggle trying to get to the part where I put in the Google+ rel author tag at the end of each post, just so the search engines could understand that I am the author of the blog. On a self hosted blog all I have to do is place the Rel tag in the header section of the homepage in the back-end of things and it will be verified.

3. SEO Plugins with A Self Hosted WordPress.org Blog

With wordpress.org there is one phenomenal and powerful SEO plugin by Yoast called all in one SEO.  I have used it before when I was optimising the content on one of my clients blog.  That tool works wonders and I can say for one that it really makes a difference. Being able write meta descriptions for each blog post and mention the relevant keywords for each post really increased their visibility in the search engines.

Yes, having more control can really make a difference and it has made me want to get the most of the my blog. So Please bear with me as I get this started.

The Solution:  Moving From WordPress.com To WordPress.org

It seems like it will be easier to manage my blog from a wordpress.org site. I will be able manage it more from the back-end of things and optimise it further.

What do you think?  Have you moved your wordpress.com blog to a self hosted one?  How are you managing your blog? Any relevant tips would do, I really need it.

By Ibukun Sodipe

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