The day many SEO professionals hoped would never come, but feared eventually would, apparently has arrived today. It appears that Google has cut off keyword data altogether.
Nearly two years after making one of the biggest changes to secure search that resulted in a steady rise in “(not provided)” data, Google has switched all searches over to encrypted searches using HTTPS. This means no more keyword data will be passed to site owners.
Why does this matter?Search terms are a great measure of user intent, and we won’t have that anymore. We’ll still see how many visits we’re getting through Google search, but not what those visitors were searching for. So it’s going to be difficult, to put it mildly, to optimize your pages for search if you don’t know what terms you’re ranking for. We’ll all be left shooting in the dark.
So what do we do?Ruud Hein explains five ways to get around this, including keyword data from other search engines and using Google Webmaster Tools.
Edited to add this excellent post that went up after I published this: Neil Patel explains how this move by Google might actually make you a better marketer. He also provides some great tips for managing the change.
Ultimately, none of these other tools will make up for the visibility we’re losing with this change, but we’ve got to work with what we have. The silver lining I see is maybe we’ll stop obsessing over keyword rankings and search results and algorithm changes and focus instead on delivering the best content for our audience.
Likes and retweets are all very well, but what you really want is conversions: someone signing up to your newsletter, filling up your lead form, or buying your product. This week, let’s work on improving conversions.
Neil Patel offers copywriting tips that will increase your conversions. The first few are great copywriting tips for any piece of writing: focus on benefits (i.e., the reader, not you), format your text, use images, and so on. But there are some less obvious tips in there too.
I recently got a question about how to learn SEO, and thought that is a great topic for a weekly round-up! Here are some of my favorite blogs and resources.
Moz (previously SEOmoz) is where I go to most often when I need an answer. They have great explanatory guides on anything from title tags to canonicalization. Their blog also has in-depth articles on a range of SEO topics, including this recent one on redirects and their effect on your website.
And if you’re new to SEO, their beginners’ guide might be a good place to start.
Your Website Performance table on Markitty is a quick snapshot of your website over the current month and the previous three months. It gives you a quick look at how your website data is trending, answering questions such as:
Are visits increasing but unique visitors decreasing? (Do you need to reach out to more new visitors? Are your visitors becoming more loyal?)
Are visits decreasing but page views going up? (Are your visitors more engaged with your website?)
Is average visit duration increasing over time? (It should!)
In our interview series, we asked marketers and entrepreneurs we admire about their marketing practices. One question I asked most people was about metrics: what metrics do they measure or think are most important for small businesses should measure?
If your website is also your product (content sites like Ask A Manager and YourStory, product startups like AppSurfer, e-commerce sites), website metrics are of paramount importance.
The Audience Overview report is what shows up first when you open Google Analytics. So you can scroll down and click to view the detailed report of language and locations of your visitors, or you can click on the left sidebar on Audience > Demographics > Language (or Location).
We have been talking a lot about Google Analytics lately. Do you know of the new Google Analytics reports that show trackbacks and links from social media more explicitly? You should, so read this week’s links for details.
But first, how do you get to these reports? On your Google Analytics sidebar on the left, go to Traffic Sources, and then Social. You’ll see the links for Data Hub Activity and Trackbacks.
Here’s a screenshot of our Trackbacks report. It shows us who linked to our site recently.
If you have a website for your business, you must track visitors to your website and what they are doing. There are a number of tools available for tracking this, and the most popular and one of the most useful is Google Analytics. (Here’s how to set up Google Analytics if you haven’t yet.)
In these two posts, I’ll explain some important metrics you should be looking at in your Google Analytics data (or any other website tracking tool you are using).
The first thing to do, after you have logged into your Google Analytics account and selected the website you want to view data for, is to adjust the date range to your liking. The date range you select at the top applies to all the graphs and tables inside Google Analytics. I usually set it to current month or current week. You can change this any time you want, so feel free to try out different options. Click on compare to get all data for the previous period as well.
Now let’s get started.
Visits: Total Visits, Unique Visitors, Page Views, Pages per Visit, Time per Visit, Bounce Rate
We created this short video that shows you how to sign up for Markitty and connect your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Google Analytics account. (You need to be the Manager of your Facebook page and the Administrator of your Google Analytics account to connect them to Markitty.)
As you can see, you can sign up, connect your accounts, and start getting your recommendations from Markitty in three minutes flat!
Do you know how many people are visiting your site and where they are coming from? Do you know how much time they are spending on your site and what content they are looking at?
It’s easy to get answers to these questions, and as a business-owner you are missing out on very valuable information if you aren’t looking at this regularly. Google Analytics is a free (and most widely-used) tool that you can use to track visitor and usage information for your website or mobile application.