Did you know that Google Analytics has re-vamped their training? It’s now brilliant.
In addition to the Google Analytics Individual Qualification and the partner courses, they’ve introduced Analytics Academy. It’s a series of video courses taking you through an in-depth understanding of Google Analytics and how to apply it to your business.
The first course is open and successfully completing the final quiz gives a certificate that looks like this:
Yes, I just passed the quiz. *happy dance*
What does this mean? Not much really. While I’ve been using Google Analytics for years, the Analytics Academy course materials did teach me a lot. The quizzes for each activity help to reinforce your learning and keep your concentration. This is versus the plethora of videos for the Individual Qualification that are focussed on getting you through the exam. Sure both have a strong focus on goal setting, but many marketers still need that.
I still have work to put in before sitting the Google Analytics Individual Qualification, but this has been great revision and I definitely recommend it to anyone starting with website analytics or wanting to solidify their knowledge. While the courses and support have set time periods, the videos and quizzes are enduring, you jump in anytime. If you complete the videos during a course period, don’t forget to screen grab your certificate. It disappears when the course closes. See, I said it doesn’t mean much. I still have a ways to go for certification, this was a help though.
I was part-way through writing instructions for how to find keywords on Google’s Webmaster tools. It was to be posted on Wednesday.
Then, this afternoon I found this great article by Search Engine Watch. Not only does it give you ten ways to find keywords, it explains Google’s decision to suppress ALL of them. I decided to just link to the article because it describes the situation and solutions better than I can.
A client call got in the way. Then a friend was in my neighborhood and invited me to happy hour.
By the time I got back to my computer there was a new announcement: Google has removed all keyword data from Google Webmaster Tools. I swore.
It may be a bug. Google’s not saying anything, but that means nothing.
So making a plan C out of a plan B, the Search Engine Watch article is still a great article. Just with an extra keyword source.
The ones to use are:
- Learn from Avinash Kaushik
- Look at Non-Google Keywords
- Analyze On-Site Searches
- Use Google AdWords
- Use Search Volume Tools
- Look at Historical Data
- Use Google Trends
For more detail on each of these, here’s another link to the Search Engine Watch article.
PS, anyone want a half-written, now potentially useless, post on how to find keywords using Google’s Webmaster Tools?
Unless you play in the search engine marketing arena, you may not be aware of Google’s KeyWord Finder tool and the extent of its awesomeness.
In SEM, it’s used for finding the low cost, high traffic keywords to target. It is based on actual searches – spelling errors and weirdness and all.
As well as SEM, it’s great to work out how to position your copy. What are the words your audience are using? You may use jargon, but if your audience doesn’t use the same terms you won’t be found via search engines. And we all want to be found.
Looking at the related keywords can also give you topic ideas to write about. Or, you can do what I used to get distracted by when keywording SEM campaigns: see what people actually search. Be warned though, it’s often NSFW and will have you thinking WTF?!?
Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of accurate SEO tips and advice that scares me.
If you’re a beginner to marketing and SEO, then acting on the advice of format this, add that, etc. will never get you to the top of the Google rankings. It’s not enough.
Great content is just as important. Google wants their search results to be popular, so they also look at how many times links to your site are clicked and how long people stay on your site. The only way you can control that is with great content.
Google even admits this, but it’s all the way down on page 14 of their starter guide.
Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here
So write great content first, tweak the tags second, and get your website noticed.
I’m always surprised how many experienced marketers and communicators just don’t get search engine optimization (SEO) and social media.
Last week I was asked how to get to the top of Google. My response to generate more optimized content didn’t go down very well. They were wanting a quick ‘fix’ that wouldn’t involve any work.
Also last week, I read a blog post by Julien Smith, titled ‘How to Survive the Social Crash’. Smith warns of the pending implosion of the social media industry. While I agree that social media is over-rated, Smith has exaggerated the situation and he, himself, fails to understand that social media is just another marketing and communications tool. Just like public relations and advertising.
What’s the solution for these two situations? It’s easy – go back to your marketing basics. Identify the target audience. Ask what is the objective. What will be the best tactics to achieve this? How do we measure the outcomes? Focussing on these will give you success. Unlike wanting an easy ride to the top of Google or putting all your eggs in the social media basket.