Analytics Archives - Search Engine Watch Fri, 19 May 2023 13:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Optimize Google’s new Interaction to Next Paint metric Fri, 19 May 2023 13:00:05 +0000 Interaction to Next Paint is becoming one of the Core Web Vitals metrics that impact Google rankings. Learn what this change means and how you can optimize your website

The post Optimize Google’s new Interaction to Next Paint metric appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


30-second summary:

  • Good page speed and user experience help your site stand out in search results
  • The Interaction to Next Paint metric is replacing First Input Delay
  • You can improve make your site respond faster to user input by reducing CPU processing times

The Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google has defined to measure how good a website’s user experience is. They first became a ranking signal in 2021.

While the metric definitions have been tweaked over time, the introduction of the Interaction to Next Paint metric is the biggest change since the launch of the Core Web Vitals initiative.

What is Interaction to Next Paint (INP)?

Interaction to Next Paint is a metric that evaluates how quickly your website responds to user interaction. It measures how much time elapses between the user input, like a button click, and the next time the page content refreshes (the “next paint”).

To rank better in Google this interaction delay should be less than 200 milliseconds. This ensures that the website feels responsive to users.

How are the Core Web Vitals changing?

Google has announced that Interaction to Next Paint will become one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics in March 2024. At that point a website that responds to user input too slowly could do worse in search result rankings.

INP will replace the current First Input Delay (FID) metric. While FID also measures responsiveness, it is more limited as it only looks at the first user interaction. It also only measures the delay until the input event starts being handled, rather than waiting until the user can see the result.

Currently only 64.9% of mobile websites do well on the Interaction to Next Paint metric and it will be harder to get a good INP score than a good First Input Delay score.

How can I measure the Interaction to Next Paint metric on my website?

Run a website speed test to see how fast your website loads and how quickly it responds to user input.

Open the “Web Vitals” tab once your test is complete. You can see the Interaction to Next Paint metric at the bottom of the page.

In this case only 38% of users have a good INP experience.

How can I optimize Interaction to Next Paint?

Interaction delays happen when the browser needs to perform a lot of CPU processing before it can update the page. This can happen for two reasons:

  • Ongoing background tasks prevent the user input from being handled
  • Handling the user input itself is taking a lot of time

Background tasks often happen during the initial page load, but can happen later on as well. They are often caused by third party code embedded on the website.

Responding to a user interaction can require a lot of processing. If that can’t be optimized you can consider showing a spinner to provide visual feedback until the processing task is complete.

Running JavaScript code is the most common type of processing, but complex visual updates can also take a long time.

Use Chrome DevTools to analyze performance

The Chrome DevTools performance profiler shows what tasks are taking a long time and should be optimized. Start a recording, click on an element on the page, and then click on the longest bars in the visualization.

This allows you to identify whether the code comes from a third party or from your own website. You can also dive deeper to see how the task can be sped up.

Check the Total Blocking Time metric to identify background tasks

The Total Blocking Time metric tracks how often there are background CPU tasks that could block other code from running. If the user interacts with the page while a task is already in progress then the browser first completes that task before handling the input event.

You can use tools like Google Lighthouse to see how this metric can be optimized.

If processing-heavy tasks on your website are part of your core website code you’ll need to work with your development team to optimize these. For third parties you can review whether the script is still needed, or contact customer support of the vendor to see if it’s possible to optimize the code.

Monitor Interaction to Next Paint

Want to keep track of how you’re doing on INP and other Core Web Vitals? DebugBear can keep track of your website speed and help you optimize it.

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The Interaction to Next Paint metric represents the biggest change to Google’s Core Web Vitals since they were originally announced. INP addresses the deficiencies of the previous First Input Delay metric and provides a better representation of how users experience a website.

Check how your website does on the Interaction to Next Paint metric before the ranking change is rolled out in 2024. That way you’ll have plenty of time to identify optimizations and make your website faster.

Try DebugBear with a free 14-day trial.

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In a sea of signals, is your on-page on-point? Tue, 01 Nov 2022 16:07:50 +0000 Findings from a rigorous competitive analysis that sheds light on how to turn findings into action for niche industries

The post In a sea of signals, is your on-page on-point? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


In a sea of signals, is your on-page on-point

30-second summary:

  • Content managers who want to assess their on-page performance can feel lost at sea due to numerous SEO signals and their perceptions
  • This problem gets bigger and highly complex for industries with niche semantics
  • The scenarios they present to the content planning process are highly specific, with unique lexicons and semantic relationships
  • Sr. SEO Strategist at Brainlabs, Zach Wales, uses findings from a rigorous competitive analysis to shed light on how to evaluate your on-page game

Industries with niche terminology, like scientific or medical ecommerce brands, present a layer of complexity to SEO. The scenarios they present to the content planning process are highly specific, with unique lexicons and semantic relationships. 

SEO has many layers to begin with, from technical to content. They all aim to optimize for numerous search engine ranking signals, some of which are moving targets. 

So how does one approach on-page SEO in this challenging space? We recently had the privilege of conducting a lengthy competitive analysis for a client in one of these industries. 

What we walked away with was a repeatable process for on-page analysis in a complicated semantic space. 

The challenge: Turning findings into action

At the outset of any analysis, it’s important to define the challenge. In the most general sense, ours was to turn findings into meaningful on-page actions — with priorities. 

And we would do this by comparing the keyword ranking performance of our client’s domain to that of its five chosen competitors.

Specifically, we needed to identify areas of the client’s website content that were losing to competitors in keyword rankings. And to prioritize things, we needed to show where those losses were having the greatest impact on our client’s potential for search traffic.

Adding to the complexity were two additional sub-challenges:

  1. Volume of keyword data. When people think of “niche markets,” the implication is usually a small number of keywords with low monthly search volumes (MSV). Scientific industries are not so. They are “niche” in the sense that their semantics are not accessible to all—including keyword research tools—but their depth & breadth of keyword potential is vast.
  2. Our client already dominated the market. At first glance, using keyword gap analysis tools, there were no product categories where our client wasn’t dominating the market. Yet they were incurring traffic losses from these five competitors from a seemingly random, spread-out number of cases. Taken together incrementally, these losses had significant impacts on their web traffic. 

If the needle-in-a-haystack analogy comes to mind, you see where this is going. 

To put the details to our challenge, we had to:

  • Identify where those incremental effects of keyword rank loss were being felt the most — knowing this would guide our prioritization;
  • Map those keyword trends to their respective stage of the marketing funnel (from informational top-of-funnel to the transactional bottom-of-funnel) 
  • Rule out off-page factors like backlink equity, Core Web Vitals & page speed metrics, in order to…
  • Isolate cases where competitor pages ranked higher than our client’s on the merits of their on-page techniques, and finally
  • Identify what those successful on-page techniques were, in hopes that our client could adapt its content to a winning on-page formula.   

How to spot trends in a sea of data

When the data sets you’re working with are large and no apparent trends stand out, it’s not because they don’t exist. It only means you have to adjust the way you look at the data.

As a disclaimer, we’re not purporting that our approach is the only approach. It was one that made sense in response to another challenge at hand, which, again, is one that’s common to this industry: The intent measures of SEO tools like Semrush and Ahrefs — “Informational,” “Navigational,” “Commercial” and “Transactional,” or some combination thereof — are not very reliable. 

Our approach to spotting these trends in a sea of data went like this:

Step 1. Break it down to short-tail vs. long tail

Numbers don’t lie. Absent reliable intent data, we cut the dataset in half based on MSV ranges: Keywords with MSVs above 200 and those equal to/below 200. We even graphed these out, and indeed, it returned a classic short/long-tail curve.

on-page SEO signals - Short tail vs long tail keyword performance 

This gave us a proxy for funnel mapping: Short-tail keywords, defined as high-MSV & broad focus, could be mostly associated with the upper funnel. This made long-tail keywords, being less searched but more specifically focused, a proxy for the lower funnel. 

Doing this also helped us manage the million-plus keyword dataset our tools generated for the client and its five competitor websites. Even if you perform the export hack of downloading data in batches, neither Google Drive nor your device’s RAM want anything to do with that much data.

Step 2. Establish a list of keyword-operative root words

The “keyword-operative root word” is the term we gave to root words that are common to many or all of the keywords under a certain topic or content type. For example, “dna” is a common root word to most of the keywords about DNA lab products, which our client and its competitors sell. And “protocols” is a root word for many keywords that exist in upper-funnel, informational content.

We established this list by placing our short- and long-tail data (exported from Semrush’s Keyword Gap analysis tool) into two spreadsheets, where we were able to view the shared keyword rankings of our client and the five competitors. We equipped these spreadsheets with data filters and formulas that scored each keyword with a competitive value, relative to the six web domains analyzed.  

Separately, we took a list of our client’s product categories and brainstormed all possibilities for keyword-operative root words. Finally, we filtered the data for each root word and noted trends, such as the number of keywords that a website ranked for on Google page 1, and the sum of their MSVs. 

Finally, we applied a calculation that incorporated average position, MSV, and industry click-through rates to quantify the significance of a trend. So if a competitor appeared to have a keyword ranking edge over our client in a certain subset of keywords, we could place a numerical value on that edge. 

Step 3. Identify content templates

If one of your objectives is to map keyword trends to the marketing funnel, then it’s critical to understand the role of page templates. Why? 

Page speed performance is a known ranking signal that should be considered. And ecommerce websites often have content templates that reflect each stage of the funnel. 

In this case, all six competitors conveniently had distinct templates for top-, middle- and bottom-funnel content:

  • Top-funnel templates: Text-heavy, informational content in what was commonly called “Learning Resources” or something similar;
  • Middle-funnel templates: Also text-heavy, informational content about a product category, with links to products and visual content like diagrams and videos — the Product Landing Page (PLP), essentially;
  • Bottom-funnel templates: Transactional, Product Detail Pages (PDP) with concise, conversion-oriented text and purchasing calls-to-action.

Step 4. Map keyword trends to the funnel

After cross-examining the root terms (Step 2), keyword ranking trends began to emerge. Now we just had to map them to their respective funnel stage.

Having identified content templates, and having the data divided by short- & long-tail made this a quicker process. Our primary focus was on trends where competitor webpages were outranking our client’s site. 

on-page SEO signals - Page Speed Insight Scores on-page SEO signals - Page Speed Insight Scores by device and competitor comparison

Identifying content templates brought the added value of seeing where competitors, for example, outranked our client on a certain keyword because their winning webpage was built in a content-rich, optimized PLP, while our client’s lower-ranking page was a PDP.

Step 5. Rule out the off-page ranking factors

Since our goal was to identify & analyze on-page techniques, we had to rule out off-page factors like link equity and page speed. We sought cases where one page outranked another on a shared keyword, in spite of having inferior link equity, page speed scores, etc. 

For all of Google’s developments in processing semantics (e.g., BERT, the Helpful Content Update) there are still cases where a page with thin text content outranks another page that has lengthier, optimized text content — by virtue of link equity. 

To rule these factors out, we assigned an “SEO scorecard” to each webpage under investigation. The scorecard tallied the number of rank-signal-worthy attributes the page had in its SEO favor. This included things like Semrush’s page authority score, the number of internal vs. external inlinks, the presence and types of Schema markup, and Core Web Vitals stats.

on-page SEO signals - SEO Scorecard

The scorecards also included on-page factors, like the number of headers & subheaders (H1, H2, H3…), use of keywords in alt-tags, meta titles & their character counts, and even page word count. This helped give a high-level sense of on-page performance before diving into the content itself. 

Our findings

When comparing the SEO scorecards of our client’s pages to its competitors, we only chose cases where the losing scorecard (in off-page factors) was the keyword ranking winner. Here are a few of the standout findings.

Adding H3 tags to products names really works

This month, OrangeValley’s Koen Leemans published a Semrush article, titled, SEO Split Test Result: Adding H3 Tags to Products Names on Ecommerce Category Pages. We found this study especially well-timed, as it validated what we saw in this competitive analysis.

To those versed in on-page SEO, placing keywords in <h3> HTML format (or any level of <h…> for that matter) is a wise move. Google crawls this text before it gets to the paragraph copy. It’s a known ranking signal. 

When it comes to SEO-informed content planning, ecommerce clients have a tendency — coming from the best of intentions — to forsake the product name in pursuit of the perfect on-page recipe for a specific non-brand keyword. The value of the product name becomes a blind spot because the brand assumes it will outrank others on its own product names.

It’s somewhere in this thought process that an editor may, for example, decide to list product names on a PLP as bolded <p> copy, rather than as a <h3> or <h4>. This, apparently, is a missed opportunity. 

More to this point, we found that this on-page tactic performed even better when the <h>-tagged product name was linked (index, follow) to its corresponding PDP, AND accompanied with a sentence description beneath the product name. 

This is in contrast to the product landing page (PLP) which has ample supporting page copy, and only lists its products as hyperlinked names with no descriptive text. 

Word count probably matters, <h> count very likely matters

In the ecommerce space, it’s not uncommon to find PLPs that have not been visited by the content fairy. A storyless grid of images and product names. 

Yet, in every case where two PLPs of this variety went toe-to-toe over the same keyword, the sheer number of <h> tags seemed to be the only on-page factor that ranked one PLP above its competitors’ PLPs, which themselves had higher link equity. 

The takeaway here is that if you know you won’t have time to touch up your PLPs with landing copy, you should at least set all product names to <h> tags that are hyperlinked, and increase the number of them (e.g., set the page to load 6 rows of products instead of 4).  

And word count? Although Google’s John Mueller confirmed that word count is not a ranking factor for the search algorithm, this topic is debated. We cannot venture anything conclusive about word count from our competitive analyses. What we can say is that it’s a component of our finding that…

Defining the entire topic with your content wins

Backlinko’s Brian Dean ventured and proved the radical notion that you can optimize a single webpage to rank for not the usual 2 or 3 target keywords, but hundreds of them. That is if your copy encompasses everything about the topic that unites those hundreds of keywords. 

That practice may work in long-form content marketing but is a little less applicable in ecommerce settings. The alternative to this is to create a body of pages that are all interlinked deliberately and logically (from a UX standpoint) and that cover every aspect of the topic at hand.

This content should address the questions that people have at each stage of the awareness-to-purchase cycle (i.e., the funnel). It should define niche terminology and spell out acronyms. It should be accessible.

In one stand-out case from our analysis, a competitor page held position 1 for a lucrative keyword, while our client’s site and that of the other competitors couldn’t even muster a page 1 ranking. All six websites were addressing the keyword head-on, arguably, in all the right ways. And they had superior link equity.

What did the winner have that the rest did not? It happened that in this lone instance, its product was being marketed to a high-school teacher/administrator audience, rather than a PhD-level, corporate, governmental or university scientist. By this virtue alone, their marketing copy was far more layman-accessible, and, apparently, Google approved too.

The takeaway is not to dumb-down the necessary jargon of a technical industry. But it highlights the need to tell every part of the story within a topic vertical. 

Conclusion: Findings-to-action

There is a common emphasis among SEO bloggers who specialize in biotech & scientific industries on taking a top-down, topical takeover approach to content planning. 

I came across these posts after completing this competitive analysis for our client. This topic-takeover emphasis was validating because the “Findings-To-Action” section of our study prescribed something similar:

Map topics to the funnel. Prior to keyword research, map broad topics & subtopics to their respective places in the informational & consumer funnel. Within each topic vertical, identify:

  • Questions-to-ask & problems-to-solve at each funnel stage
  • Keyword opportunities that roll up to those respective stages
  • How many pages should be planned to rank for those keywords
  • The website templates that best accommodate this content
  • The header & internal linking strategy between those pages

Unlike more common-language industries, the need to appeal to two audiences is especially pronounced in scientific industries. One is the AI-driven audience of search engine bots that scour this complex semantic terrain for symmetry of clues and meaning. The other is human, of course, but with a mind that has already mastered this symmetry and is highly capable of discerning it. 

To make the most efficient use of time and user experience, content planning and delivery need to be highly organized. The age-old marketing funnel concept works especially well as an organizing model. The rest is the rigor of applying this full-topic-coverage, content approach.

Zach Wales is Sr. SEO Strategist at Brainlabs.

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Bounce and exit rate analytics: measure, assess, and audit to increase conversions Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:02:06 +0000 A powerful guide that will help you turn site leavers into engaged prospects

The post Bounce and exit rate analytics: measure, assess, and audit to increase conversions appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Bounce and exit rate analytics measure, assess, and audit to increase conversions

30-second summary:

  • Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page
  • This metric helps measure visit quality and relevance
  • Exit rate is a metric that identifies the number of exits from your site, and, as with entrances, it will always be equal to the number of visits when applied over your entire website
  • Use this metric in combination with particular content pages in order to determine the number of times that particular page was the last one viewed by visitors
  • Pages that fail to meet visitor expectations, don’t provide clear navigation, talk about features rather than benefits, and content that’s not actionable all increase bounce rate

Google Analytics provides valuable intelligence into how visitors find, interact with and leave your website. This intelligence is central to improving both user experience and the profitability of your website. Google Analytics provides many useful metrics that help you do this and two of the most useful are the bounce rate and exit rate.

The difference between a bounce and an exit can be confusing, especially if you are new to analytics. The goal of this article, then, is to demystify the two and explain why they are important. It also acts as a guide to interpreting bounce and exit data and how to lower them in order to improve the performance of your website and increase conversions.

Making an entrance that counts

Before you can understand and calculate bounce rate you need to know a little about entrance pages, also referred to as landing pages and entry pages. Google defines an entrance page as:


This metric identifies the number of entrances to your site. It will always be equal to the number of visits when applied over your entire website. Thus, this metric is most useful when combined with particular content pages, at which point, it will indicate the number of times a particular page served as an entrance to your site.

In short, an entrance page is the first page a visitor lands on when visiting a website. Entrances are, as we will see, a key factor in calculating bounce rate.

How to view your entrances?

In Google Analytics, you can easily view your entrances by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to “Behavior,” under “Reports”
  2. Click on “Site Content”
    site content
  3. Click on “All Pages”
    all pages
  4. View your “Entrances”
    view entrances - step 4 to understanding bounce rate

Entrances are particularly helpful since they can show you which pages are bringing the most visits to your site. They can also tell you the opposite and help you identify the weakest pages with lower bounce rates.

Well, what is a bounce?

A bounce is a single-page visit. A bounce occurs when a visitor enters and exits a website viewing no other pages other than the entrance page.

And, what is bounce rate?

If, for example, 100 visitors enter your site via Page “A” and 20 of them leave without clicking through to any other page, page “A” would have a bounce rate of 20 percent.

what is a bounce rate - site wide averages

The above figure shows site-wide averages.

Some of the reports Google Analytics generates will give site-wide averages. The screen grab above has been taken from the ‘Top Content’ report which can be found by clicking the Content tab in your Google Analytics dashboard.

The first thing you might notice is that when you add the average bounce rate and the average exit rate together the result is greater than 100 percent. If bounce rate and exit rate are measures of how many people leave your site, how can the total be greater than 100 percent. The answer is that it can’t.

You might be fooled into thinking that bounce rate is calculated as a percentage of Pageviews. This is a logical thought since it is figured in the report. However, when added together, bounces and exits would again be greater than the total Pageviews.

Bounce rate is not based on the number of visitors or the number of page views it’s based on entrances.

Why do people bounce?

People bounce because of many reasons the key to reducing your bounce rates lies in identifying and addressing the most common ones:

1. When pages don’t meet expectations

Let’s say, for example, that you are looking for a new air fryer. So you Google “buy air fryers free shipping”. You see an ad that says “air fryers With Free Shipping”. So you click on it. But when you click on the ad, instead of a landing page about different air fryers, you’re on the site’s homepage. What are you going to do? Bounce back to Google and make a new research to find a page that is 100% about air fryers.

2. When design is ugly

Having an ugly design can also lead users to bounce back. People largely judge websites first, based on design, and second on the content.

3. When the page gives users what they’re looking for

Yes. Not all bounces are “bad”. A bounce can be, in fact, a sign that your page gave users exactly what they were looking for.

For example, I have been looking personally over the last few days for a low-carb chicken soup recipe and I landed on this recipe page. This landing page had everything I needed to make the recipe: ingredients, detailed instructions, and pictures. So, as soon as I got my soup to simmer over medium-low heat, I closed the page.

Despite the fact that this single-page session is “technically” a bounce, it is not because that website suffered a bad UX or an ugly design. It’s just because I got what I needed.

Identifying pages with high bounce rates

Notice the figure below that shows sitewide entrances and bounces.

identifying pages with high bounce rates

To get at the real numbers that contribute to bounce rate you need to dig a little deeper. The screen grab above has been taken from the ‘Top Landing Pages’ report which can also be found by clicking the Content tab in your Google Analytics dashboard.

As you work your way down the report you can also view bounce rates for individual pages.

Viewing bounce rates for individual pages

The above figure shows the bounce rate at a page level.

The ‘Top Landing Pages’ report helps identify pages with high bounce rates that might require further investigation.

You can clearly see from Figure three how the bounce rate is calculated for a single page: (283 bounces / 303 entrances) * 100 = 93.39939939934% which analytics has rounded up to 93.40%. As interesting as this is, it tells us nothing about what is driving the bounce rate and what steps to take if any are required to lower it.

Bounce rate through poor user experience

Pages that fail to meet visitor expectations, don’t provide clear navigation, talk about features rather than benefits, and show content that is not actionable – all increase bounce rate. Not all visitors on your site are using desktop machines with ultra-fast connections and will abandon your site if a page takes too long to download. If you have been over-zealously linking to your site, links from pages that are not closely related can also increase the bounce rate. These are all things you can test for and fix to a degree.

Missing timestamps and the pages time forgot

Google Analytics reports the time visitors spend on pages by comparing timestamps. When a visitor lands on a page a timestamp is created which records the precise time they arrived.
If a visitor arrives at page “A” at 13.45 and clicks through and lands on page “B” at 13.47 two timestamps will be created. By subtracting the time the visitor lands on page “A” from the time they land on page “B” you arrive at the time spent on page “A”:

13.47 – 13.45 = 2 minutes spent on page “A”.

If at 13.50 the visitor leaves your site completely no timestamp is created and there is no way to tell how long the visitor spent on page “B”.

Why was no timestamp created? If the page was outside the scope of your analytics account, on another domain for example, the timestamp can’t be accessed by your analytics account. Therefore, the time spent on that page can’t be determined for that page view.

Similarly, the time spent on a page by visitor who enters a site and bounces without visiting any other page cannot be measured either.

Cookies, sessions, and timeouts

Google Analytics uses cookies to track the activity of visitors to your pages and report those activities back to their server. Cookies enable Google to distinguish the activities of each visitor individually and track sequential page visits made by the same user during their time (session) on your website. This information is then reported back to you when you log into your Google Analytics account.

Every bounce or exit is the result of a session timeout. In Google Analytics, a session will timeout after 30 minutes of browser inactivity. If a visitor navigates to another website, the session will still continue for a maximum of 30 minutes before registering a bounce or exit. As long as the visitor returns before the session times out and clicks through to another page of your website, it will not be considered as either a bounce or an exit.

  • Each and every visit to your site culminates in a session timeout
  • A session that times out after a single page view is classed as a bounce
  • A session that times out after multiple page views are classed as an exit

Have a look at the tabs open in your browser right now – how many have been open for more than 29 minutes without any activity? Despite the page still staying open in your browser, some of the sessions associated with individual pages might have already timed out causing an exit or a bounce. Also closing your browser, disconnecting from the internet, or hitting the back button will all cause a session to time out which will likely be recorded as a bounce or an exit in someone’s Analytics.

Jacob McMillen is a copywriter, marketing blogger, and inbound marketing consultant.

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How to enhance your ecommerce branding strategy with Google Trends Thu, 01 Sep 2022 15:45:55 +0000 Sharpen your focus on your customer's needs for a next-level SEO strategy

The post How to enhance your ecommerce branding strategy with Google Trends appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


How to enhance your ecommerce branding strategy with Google Trends

30-second summary:

  • In the wake of the helpful content, Google Trends can be a strong gateway into search trends
  • How do you spot a trend and differentiate it from a fad to justify resource investment?
  • Hands-on tips to unearth Google Trends and apply them to your ecommerce SEO strategy

A successful digital marketing strategy grows through exploiting online visibility that results in conversion. Organic traffic and SEO generate the most leads in a digital marketing strategy, according to 61 percent of marketers using B2B initiatives.

Statistics for 2022 capture the situation as they show that a search engine is the point of departure for 68 percent of online activity. The internet offers plenty of advice on building a digital marketing strategy. Still, we cut through the chase and focus on how you can harness the power of an SEO strategy and keyword research to grow your business this year and beyond.

The role of Google Trends in enhancing your SEO strategy

If you exploit its capacity, Google Trends can be a game changer for your SEO strategy. Consider the following steps to exploit this tool to develop your digital marketing strategy:

1. Monitor trends

Google Trends is a free tool that scours the internet, collects data on search behavior, and helps you capitalize on popular trends when developing a marketing strategy. It collects information from platforms such as YouTube, Google Images, Google News, Twitter, and Google Shopping on which web users engage.

The analytics from Google Trends looks at the total search volume over a specific period. In addition, it identifies how often users looked up a search query time on the Google search engine. Though said to be a reliable tool, it gives estimates of the levels given to the value of a keyword, ranging from 0 to 100. It establishes seasonal variations in a keyword.

A value of 100 on user intent means the keyword is a high-interest, while zero does not mean that no one showed interest but that the interest level was shallow. For example, if you search the term “swimwear”, you will notice it has more searches during summer than in winter. If you track such analytics, you can judge the relevance levels of your niche to users and know when to jump on and off a trend.

2. Google Trends unearths new keywords

When you have a website, keywords are the pointers that show search engines what you have on your website. Keyword research shows you what your potential customers might be looking for and the estimated size of the audience with that search intent.

Try the following steps:

  • Identify the main idea with which your potential customers associate the product or service your business offers, such as cashmere scarves. Avoid using adjectives.
  • Narrow down on the product or service specifics by anticipating a unique aspect of your niche that would send users to your website. For example, cashmere scarves from Italy.
  • At this point, you can add a link from a website to your search for better results.
  • Include brand names of your products or well-known names in the industry to improve product association but do not include an unknown brand name in your search.
  • Try different keyword phrases on the topic in different variations, such as “Italian cashmere scarves”, “designer Italian cashmere scarves”, and “affordable Italian cashmere scarves”. Use keywords related to the topic to narrow down the results.
  • Considering there are over six billion worldwide searches daily, you should use tools like SEMrush to identify keywords that rank on a page and include related keywords for comparison to other viable keywords.

Beware, though, some new search terms could be popular but just fads that later disappear, making your content redundant.

Understand the difference between a trend and a fad

Here’s a quick look to help you discern what is a trend and what is not, further giving you stronger clarity on whether to invest time and resources in content creation.

A trend is –

  • A general development, situational change, or a shift in the way people are behaving
  • Can be traced to a starting point in time
  • Evolve gradually
  • Have a broader influence on culture and consumer behavior

A fad is –

  • A very popular style or activity that can be compared to a “one-hit wonder”
  • Can not be traced into a starting point as fads blow up on scenes out of nowhere
  • Fade away as fast as they show up
  • Does not have a substantial impact on consumer behavior

3. Research your niche

Even as you search for the best keywords to boost your SEO strategy, Google Trends ensures you do not miss any relevant topics in your niche. Your niche should provide value to remain relevant.

The variances between the dips and increases on charts generated by Google trends show the following at a glance:

  • Seasonal changes in prices
  • Seasonal changes in demand
  • The stability of a niche depends on the sustained search volumes over a given period
  • Whether the niche is still a viable business idea

The metrics from that search guide you in making data-driven decisions for your brand and exploit your niche because it will enable you to:

  • Identify target regions
  • Determine the viability of your niche
  • Know the relevant terms to search
  • Make decisions using real-time data
  • Optimize your campaign
  • Know if you have loyal customers who can build a community

4. Track the latest popular searches

When your business dealings center on a dynamic niche, Google Trends helps you stay abreast of changes. People’s needs keep evolving, and to stay ahead, you must get real-time results on their search engine queries and act accordingly.

Invest in that research to adjust your marketing tactics to address the new concerns that arise in the market due to emerging issues.

Businesses that modify their strategy to emerging, real-time needs thrive while the rest that don’t naturally see a drop in returns.

5. Compare keywords

Google Trends searches accumulated data from people’s search history in Google and the search terms used most in those searches. The Google Trends landing page has a search bar tailored for search terms. On this bar, you can type up to five keywords you wish to compare, separating them with a comma.

The search avails much when focused on related topics and shows the less obvious needs of customers. When analytics terms the results on a term as rising, it means it had the most considerable volume in growth. Breakout is a percentage that shows the search query volume exploded to over 5000%.

6. Optimize for video and ecommerce

Videos on YouTube offer another avenue for studying the market scene besides web results. Through videos, Google Trends can unearth the video topics fueling trends. You will also know if it is time for you to create video content for ecommerce and the relevant tags you should include for optimization.

You can also use the tool to follow up on the success of your video. Consider that 88 percent of people say that watching a video on a brand convinced them to buy their product or service. While 0ver 70 percent would rather watch a short video on a brand than read text about it.

7. Target local audience

It’s no longer a hassle to find geo-specific data and evaluate the popularity of a search item by region. You will reliably establish the region with the highest demand for your product or services.

There are different ways of conducting this search. One is by typing the name of what your business offers into the search space and then scrolling to the map section on the same page to determine locality.

The second way is to use search filters to compare keywords and identify different regions where web users showed interest in your products or services. Effective campaigns should have geographical relevance.

8. Google Trends for analyzing competitors

Google Trends not only guides you on what your potential customers use the internet to seek from your industry. It also gives you insights into what your competitors have been up to, for example, it shows the search queries trending for your competition, now and within the past year.

You can use the tool to narrow down your search into seasons to see any variance in their market presence. For instance, you can see if there were any changes in pricing, such as seasonal offers and supply during different times of the year. Such findings can help you strategize how to promote your brand depending on your competitor’s business tactics.

9. Plan your yearly calendar

In the end, you must create a search marketing plan with time-specific events. The yearly calendar will guide you in planning and creating schedules for seasonal events according to the needs of your customers. This calendar is a dynamic tool subject to review and adjustment not only to create goals but also to track them to completion.

It takes into account all the above-discussed steps and integrates them into an ecommerce marketing strategy for both web-based establishments and brick-and-mortar businesses.

Make Google Trends work for your campaign

Google Trends is a great tool to provide valuable insights into your digital marketing and content strategy. Use this knowledge to plan for content, measure the most optimal times of the year, and understand your audience.

Eric Ritter is the Founder & President of Digital Neighbor. He can be found on Twitter @EricRitter.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post How to enhance your ecommerce branding strategy with Google Trends appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe? Thu, 01 Sep 2022 13:51:42 +0000 After the GDPR breach in Italy, France, and Austria, here's a closer look at data analytics and factors marketers need to be mindful of

The post Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe

30-second summary:

  • Fair data collection is when people are willing to share segments of their digital selves without giving away the whole picture
  • Google’s data empire seems to backfire on its presence in Europe as Italy  joined France and Austria in ruling that Google Analytics is overstepping boundaries
  • Whispers soon became shouts when the Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) found that Google wasn’t in fact doing enough to mask these IP addresses, meaning users could be easily identified
  • What impact will this have on the SEO marketing industry and will more countries join this revolt?

Think of your online data like pieces of a jigsaw. All assembled, these make a crystal clear picture of you – your IP address, interests, name, and so on. Look at one or two pieces at a time though, and you can’t get much from it.

This is what is considered fair data collection. You’re willing to share segments of yourself, but not the whole picture.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is partly about making sure businesses like Google don’t get enough individual pieces to see the whole of you. This is also why their Analytics service is getting some bad press at the moment, particularly in Europe. 

The service is used to track both quantitative and qualitative information about people on a website, such as how many active users there are and what their gender may be. Financial information like revenue or advertising ROI is also available if relevant to your website. In terms of user data, there is not enough to identify someone specifically, but there is enough to help businesses understand their demographics.

However, Italy recently joined France and Austria in ruling that Google Analytics is overstepping the boundaries of ‘fair collection’ and breaching GDPR rules.

While Google does anonymize data to a certain extent, there were always whispers that the IP addresses of users were easily accessible. These whispers soon became shouts when the Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) found that Google wasn’t in fact doing enough to mask these IP addresses, meaning users could be easily identified.

At this point, the empire of technology they’ve built is almost working against the search giant. When they collect so much data, those jigsaw pieces start to pile up quickly and when they have all the tools to put the jigsaw together, that’s when countries like Italy have to put their foot down.   

The argument of Italy, and soon to be many other regions, is that Google simply has too much information that isn’t masked properly. This is far beyond the typical fingerprints, people leave as they use the internet. As the data used on Google Analytics must travel through servers on American soil, they also consider this a further violation – citing the 2020 Schrems II ruling in particular. 

A lot of questions still remain. How will this affect the SEO industry in these countries? With GA4 still a fair way off, should business owners put in place a different solution? Which other countries will follow suit – Japan, California, or any other EU country?

I’ve teamed up with Laura from Ruler Analytics to bring you some tips and facts to help you both understand, and deal with, what’s going on.

Move to GA4, the sooner the better

Google Analytics is set for change. As of July 2023, Universal Analytics will no longer be available. What exactly Google Analytics 4 will finally look like is uncertain at this point. 

But what we do know is that you need to create a GA4 account sooner rather than later. 

By setting it up now, you’ll have the historic data you need to apply new tools and features too down the line.

Remember, Google Analytics 4 will only offer you data retention for 14 months. Setting up GA4 now and learning how to use the platform will pay dividends in the future and keep you prepared for the change. 

Even though the cookie death is in 2024, move away now

Invest in first-party cookies. As we saw with iOS 14.5, advertisers like Google and Facebook are hugely impacted when it comes to data tracking with third-party cookies.

First-party cookies are cookies that you own, that live on your website. The data you collect and create is your own. And that means you have unbiased data that can’t be removed at a whim’s notice.

Data autonomy, while still respecting GDPR rules, is absolutely paramount for marketers. 

Manage the trust of your customers but also collect the data you need to create personalized, trackable customer journeys. 

Once the cornerstone of paid advertising, third-party cookies will soon be redundant with platforms like Facebook and Google scrambling to create a replacement that still works for their advertising models.

Stop relying on Google Analytics for more than web analytics

Google Analytics is a web analytics platform. And a really good one at that too.

What Google Analytics is not, is a visitor-level revenue analytics tool. 

That means you can’t access data like: 

  • Individual full customer journeys
  • Accurate marketing source 
  • Closed revenue or pipeline generation 

But as Google is continually looked upon unfavorably from a data protection standpoint, it’s possible that we might see more countries fight against it. 

To prepare for this, you need to sort your data. 

Look at the tools you’re currently using and how you can make your tools work smarter for you.  

Google Analytics will continue to be a great tool for understanding your website analytics. While it might see tighter restrictions on the data it uses and shares, you should still get access to general website metrics. So, when it comes to accurately track users from your website and connecting them to closed leads and revenue, you need to be looking elsewhere.

Marketing attribution is one such tool that can help. It uses first-party cookies on your website meaning you have total autonomy over your data. 


To wrap up, the next steps are clear. How we use data is changing. And more importantly, how tech giants like Google are being regulated on data is changing as well. 

To get ahead of it, set up a Google Analytics 4 account first and foremost. Next, look at what data you’re collecting and how you’re collecting it. Revaluate your data-capturing journey and practices. 

If you are tracking data like lead conversions, or crave more insight on touchpoint data, then you need to reevaluate your marketing tech stack.

Be prepared for the fact that you might lose insight into website visitor data and start looking for alternatives to make sure you continue to feed your tools the data they need.

Matthew Rogers is Head of Campaign Management at the top Manchester-based digital market agency Add People and has over 14 years of marketing experience. You can follow him on LinkedIn here. He is also a long-standing member of the Click Z Collective Advisory Board.

Laura Caveney is Head of Marketing at Ruler AnalyticsLaura has over 6 years of experience in delivering end-to-end marketing campaigns and discusses the trials and tribulations marketers face day to day on her LinkedIn channel.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Is user data truly protected in the Google Analytics universe? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Google Data Studio reporting: Nine features your clients will dig Thu, 11 Aug 2022 14:32:55 +0000 Easier, faster, smarter ways to create and automate reports - spend more time on strategy and and less time on data crunching

The post Google Data Studio reporting: Nine features your clients will dig appeared first on Search Engine Watch.


Google Data Studio reporting Nine features your clients will dig

30-second summary:

  • Clients and senior management want insights and not data
  • As SEOs and digital marketers we spend hours swimming in data but how do you get smart about your reporting?
  • Alex Medawar helps you use Google Data Studio features to transform boring and confusing data into meaningful, presentable, and interactive reports your clients will love

Google Data Studio is a powerful and versatile reporting tool that can be used to create insightful and visually appealing reports for your clients.

The “old school” way of reporting and sharing analytics with clients typically entails the long and tedious process of manually downloading analytics and search data, then filtering and formatting the data in a spreadsheet, creating visuals from scratch, and typing out insights.

A few hours later, you have a bunch of data that you then have to make presentable and easy-to-understand for clients.

With Google Data Studio, you can easily create reports that are visually appealing and easy to understand.

You can even match all your colors and fonts to give your reports a more polished look.

Google Data Studio reports and dashboard

It’s easy to see, whether you’re an agency or freelancer, that the old way of reporting is not only time-consuming, but it’s also prone to extra confusion and questions from clients.

So much so, that you may even limit reporting altogether to top clients or retainers above a certain threshold.

Google Data Studio offers a much easier and faster way to create and even automate reports.

With Google Data Studio, you have a free and versatile dashboard to transform boring and confusing data into meaningful, presentable, and interactive reports your clients will love.

With Google Data Studio, you can easily create reports that are visually appealing and easy to understand. You can even match all your colors and fonts to give your reports a more polished look.

This way, you can spend more time on strategy and analysis, and less time on data crunching.

1. Report on almost anything

First and foremost, google data studio allows you to connect to a variety of data sources, including google sheets, google analytics, and google ads.

Focusing on google analytics data, Google Data Studio gives you the ability to report on almost anything you can think of from your client’s website.

This includes website traffic, conversions, ecommerce transactions, and even custom events.

The possibilities are endless!

Featured Google and partner connectors

  • Google Ads
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Youtube Analytics
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Trends
  • TikTok
  • SEMRush
  • Mailchimp
  • DCM (Campaign Manager 360)
  • SA360
  • DV 360 (Display and Video)
  • And 600+ more

2) Add custom graphs and charts that impress

Another great feature of google data studio is the ability to create custom graphs and charts.

This can be extremely helpful in conveying complex information in an easy-to-understand visual format.

Your clients are sure to appreciate being able to see the data that they care about most presented in a visually appealing way.

Create interactive and filterable reports

Another great feature of google data studio is the ability to create interactive and filterable reports.

This means that your clients can easily filter the data that they want to see and interact with the reports in a way that makes sense for them.

This is a huge step up from traditional reporting!

3) Seamlessly share and control access

Gone are the days of having to send large and unwieldy Excel files back and forth between you and your clients.

With google data studio, you can easily share reports with your clients in just a few clicks. You can also limit what data your clients have access to, so that they only see the information that is relevant to them.

Google data studio offers a variety of ways to share reports with your clients.

Reports can be easily exported as PDFs, images, or they can be shared directly through google drive. This makes it easy for your clients to access their reports from anywhere, at any time.

Seamless access and conrtol to website data

With just a few clicks, you can share your reports with anyone, privately, or through a link, without having to worry about large file sizes or compatibility issues.

Need to give someone edit access? No problem.

Google Data Studio makes it easy to add and remove users from your reports.

Extracting user reports in Google Data Studio

Don’t sweat the price – it’s free!

One of the best things about google data studio is that it’s free to use!

Your clients won’t be billed to access their reports, no matter how often they view or download them.

This makes google data studio an extremely cost-effective solution for report creation and sharing.

4. Utilize done-for-you templates

Google data studio offers a variety of templates that you can use to create your reports.

These templates are great for getting started, or for creating reports in a hurry.

All you need to do is select the template that you want to use and then customize it to match your needs. It’s really that simple.

There are currently over 100 templates available, with more being added all the time.

Whether you’re looking for a simple report template or something more complex, google data studio has you covered.

Templates include:

5. Add custom branding for you (and your clients)

One of the best things about google data studio is that you can easily add your own branding to your reports.

This is a great way to make your reports stand out and to show your clients that you’re serious about your business.

With google data studio, you can easily add your own logo, color scheme, and even custom fonts. This makes it easy to create reports that are truly unique and that reflect your brand.

Easy to brand and customize for your clients - Google Data Studio

6. Answer questions ahead of time with built-in insights

It’s not always possible to be available to answer your clients’ questions 24/hours a day. But with google data studio, you can be!

Google Data Studio offers the ability to add built-in insights to your reports.

Worried about your clients not understanding something?

With google data studio, you can add text or video annotations to your reports. This is a great way to explain complex concepts, or to provide additional information that might be helpful to your clients.

7. Make your reports stand out with powerful cross-channel comparisons

Get the whole picture with a 360-degree view!

Google data studio gives you the ability to see all of your data in one place.

This is a great way to get a complete picture of your business, and to identify any potential areas of improvement.

Easily connect to multiple sources of data, including google ads, google analytics, google search console, facebook, and more.

You can then use this data to create reports that show how your business is performing across all channels.

This is a great way to identify any areas of improvement, and to make sure that your clients are getting the most out of their data.

8. Save time by automating your reporting process

Emails, texts, and social media posts can be a great way to keep your clients up-to-date on your business. But what if there was an easier way?

You can easily automate and schedule reports.

This is a great way to make sure that your clients always have the most up-to-date stats.

Embed on your website

Google data studio makes it easy to create reports that can be embedded on your website.

There are a number of reasons why embedding a google data studio report on your website can be beneficial for your clients.

First, it can help to increase transparency and trust.

By displaying reports on your website, you’re giving your clients easy access to all of the data they need in one place under your brand name.

Second, assuming your client is sharing your report with relevant stakeholders, they will be sharing your website link instead of a Google link.

This can in turn, improve traffic to your website and increase the likelihood that they will return.

9. Get important feedback from your clients

Additionally, by embedding a Google form survey url at the end of your google data studio report, you can gather important feedback from your clients.

This can help you to identify any areas of improvement and ensure that you’re providing the best possible service to your clients.

Embedding reports and forms on your site

Final thoughts

This is a powerful reporting tool that can be used to create stunning reports for your clients.

By taking advantage of the features and tips listed above, you can create reports that are truly unique and that will impress your clients.

Alex Medawar is Senior Media Manager at Performics and creator of Alex Medawar.comAs a seasoned digital media expert, Alex Medawar focuses on B2B paid search campaign management and strategy for global brands in the tech space. Utilizing a data-driven approach, Alex believes that both small businesses and large enterprises alike can speak to their audience and drive results within the digital media landscape.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Google Data Studio reporting: Nine features your clients will dig appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

SEO best practice: How to write effective title tags in 2022 Thu, 04 Aug 2022 10:56:49 +0000 30-second summary: Keep the title concise with meaningful rather than fluffy word (5 to 12 words) High-priority words should be placed at the start of the title which should be less than 70 characters in length Do not use any single word more than twice Use keyword phrases in the precise way they are searched […]

The post SEO best practice: How to write effective title tags in 2022 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

30-second summary:

  • Keep the title concise with meaningful rather than fluffy word (5 to 12 words)
  • High-priority words should be placed at the start of the title which should be less than 70 characters in length
  • Do not use any single word more than twice
  • Use keyword phrases in the precise way they are searched for, and have been analyzed using a keyword analysis tool. Word order is important and the research only applies to the exact phrase. Check the autocomplete tool to check that the title is one recommended as a suggestion
  • Don’t use multiple phrases – research a longtail phrase that includes 3-5 keywords you are targeting
  • Write a keyword-rich title tag that has minimum stop words, but is sensible and appealing to human. You need to make your title very attractive to your users so they will click on it
  • Your title should call for a response and satisfy exactly what the searcher is looking for (i.e. to buy something, learn something, fix something, avoid something, hire something…). Remember this is your hook and bait when fishing via the search engines!

In this article, I provide a review of title optimization I undertook for my own pages and sites and I share my findings with you.

The title element of a web page needs to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. A title tag tells both search engines and users what the topic of a particular page is. It is, therefore, a major item that you need to carefully develop and test prior to publishing your page.

Creating a compelling title tag will pull in more visits from the search results. Thus, it’s important to not only think about optimization and keyword usage, but the entire user experience. The title tag is a new visitor’s first interaction with your brand when they find it in a search result and should convey the most positive impression possible. Keyword usage in the title, positioning and phrasing are extremely important to rankings.

In this article I review:

  • Things to do and consider in designing your page title
  • Things to avoid and not to do
  • The compromises and things that apply for various page types

The Title Must be Relevant

Creating a descriptive, keyword-rich title tag is important for increasing rankings in search engines. Keyword usage and placement in the title tag is clearly recognised as most important place to use appropriate keywords to achieve high rankings. However the title and the keywords have to be highly relevant to the body of the blog or article otherwise the ranking will be downgraded by Google and the user will see that they have been deceived and will leave the page without reading it. The other important aspect is that the title appears in the search results with the user’s keywords users in the search highlighted. Google’ advice for Title Tag is shown below. Incidentally, the example shows a page where variations of the word “groom” appear three times. It is definitely more than what’s needed (keyword stuffing?)

*Image via Google

Title Length

It is very important that every page utilizes the highest priority keyword phrase in its Title and that it has optimal design for the page. It must be unique, concise and edited to be rich without fluff and unnecessary useless words.

Where to start? A good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and concise with a minimum of about 5 words but should not be longer than about 10 -12 words. Keep highly relevant to the topic and be creative to create an appealing title because apart from search engines, real people will see your title and you need to entice them to click on your summary and to read it.

Google does not have a maximum number of words that it will read in a Title – they have a maximum number of characters which is 70. According to SEMrush, limiting title tags to 70 characters is highly recommended for “effectiveness”:

Limit The Size Of Your Title Tag
The most effective title tags are around 10-70 characters long. These include spaces so keep this in mind when coming up with your Title Tags.

If it is too long, the title tag will be cut off from the display not revealing the full message.”

Also, avoid using the same word more than twice in the title. The second use may be justified if you are trying to target a slightly different keyword phrase for a multiple phrase title. Avoid Keyword Stuffing as your page or site may be penalized and its ranking downgraded.

Fewer Words in Title – Google Gives more Weight to Fewer Words

Cutting down the total number of keywords in the title, by combining words and condensing the expression is an ideal way to increase the strength of each remaining keyword, which will boost your ranking. Include only the main relevant keywords. The fewer the number of stop words you include in the title, the extra weight Google will assign to each keywords and the more your page will rank. However, ensure that the title attractive for humans as well after leaving out the unnecessary minor words.

Choosing Keywords in Titles

Does the Order of the Keyword in a Title Matter?

The answer to this is YES!

The title tag should begin with the most relevant keyword or phrase for the content of the page (for example a page concerning long-term health insurance policies could have the title ‘Long-Term Health Insurance Policies | XYZ Insurance’). Google assigned its highest priority to the first few words that you enter in the search box. The following words get lower priority and weight. Google also gives higher priority to pages that have search terms that are adjacent to each other, that are in the same order was entered into the search query.

Position the Most Important Keywords Close to the Front of the Title Tag

According to Moz Data, the words closer to the start of the title have higher weight and are more likely to be clicked by the use in search results. So the first couple of words at the beginning of the title have twin priorities: higher weightings by Google and extra appeal to users in the search results.

Try to Predict Exactly How a User will Search for the Topic

This is very difficult but you should try to use keyword phrases in the title in the exactly the same way users will search for them. The order and positioning of the words in the title is critical. There are three ways of doing this:

  • Try various Google Searches and look closely at the titles your competitors are using.
  • Examine the autosuggestion tool that Google displays as you search. The options presented by Google are those which have featured prominently in the search result data that Google has compiled. Try various options. Many website tools will help you explore the options.
  • Use one of these keyword research tools to help you research your best keyword options. They will provide you with broad keyword reports and rely on clickstream data to provide unique click metrics.

Buyer Keywords and Filtering Keywords for Targeting Your Audience

As well as the keywords for the topic of your article or site you should include words that will target and select the group of users that will generate income on your site. This is related to longtail keyword selection as described below. The process of selection keywords is described elsewhere.

Targeting buyers via keyword choice is simply trying to predict how buyers for the products will conduct their searches. Targeting keywords for buyers is more about the quality of visitors and their likely intentions rather than quantity.

With a great landing page, using buyer keywords may provide a fabulous opportunity to make money online. Buyer keywords are phrases and words that demonstrate and select for customer who are more like to buy a certain product. Some of the obvious ones are phrases like ‘discount’, ‘cheap’, ‘buy online’ or ‘great deals for’ and there are many more that are more subtle.

People who are intending to buy may search for ‘reviews’ first and you may want to target the buyer keyword when they are making online purchases so that is another option. Filtering keywords are action words that refine the non-buying audience you want to visit your site. This includes words such a ‘How to’, ‘Review’, ‘treatment’, ‘remedy’, ‘avoiding’, ‘prevention’. Shown in the table are some of the examples or words you can use.

For example, someone typing the phrase ‘diet plans’ in the search box is unlikely to be really a buyer, and this keyword is extremely hard to compete for. But someone looking for ‘review of the Atkins diet’ or ‘discount books for the Atkins diet’ is clearly a potential buyer or a book on this diet!

Similarly, if you have a landing page for ‘Tailor Made’ golf clubs, you would be better off using a title such as ‘Tailor Made Golf Clubs: Tailor Made Drivers and Irons’ – would be much better than ‘Golf Clubs: Tailor Made Golf Clubs’.

The Keyword Drilldown – this describes how users of the internet drilldown their keyword search terms when searching for something on the internet. For example, when a user is interested in getting information to purchase a Digital Camera, they will most likely start with that the general term “Digital Camera”. Next after viewing the search results they will refine their search to ‘Kodak Digital Camera’ or ‘Digital Camera Kodak’ and then finally targeting a specific camera model such as “Review of Kodak Model #XYZ Digital Camera.” or “Best Price for Kodak Model #XYZ Digital Camera”. Only the last search is for a buyer hungry to buy the camera.

Using Keyword Research and Niche Tools to Select a Title

Keyword analysis makes the job of choosing a title very easy. If you have used the Google Keyword Planner, you will notice that the order of the words in the phrase matters. Adding an extra word can dramatically change the results. There is a strong argument that you should use the exact phrase that yields the results you are looking for a keyword phrase as the Title. If you fiddle with it you will probably not get the expected result.

When doing your research, it is a good idea to put the major keyword element at the front of the Title. As discussed previously, keywords that appear near the beginning of title have more weight. Likewise the Autosuggestion tool will be more predictable in sending users to keyword options directly related to the search topic.

If you are targeting multiple keyword phrases (see below) on the same web page, then you should put the major phrase first.

Compromises When Using Long tail keywords

When researching your keyword options there are merits in making the keyword phrase more specific by adding extra words so that you can compete. After choosing various options and selecting the final version using a keyword research tool, you should use the exact phrase in the Title. However, beware of adding extra terms without doing the analysis as it may dilute the ranking for the keywords.

Targeting Multiple Keyword Phrases

You may be tempted to use two or more keyword phrases in the title instead of the single one. The objective may be to bring in more traffic because more keywords are included. However, you need to be careful with this because you may decrease the ranking for your major keywords.

It is a compromise and depends on whether your page is narrowly focused of a specific topic or a more general one. Google may also penalize the page if the added phrase is not relevant to the information on the page. The more relevant a page’s content is for one phrase, the less relevant it is the content for another. Optimizing on a second term will dilute the first, and both terms will be diluted.

Using multiple keyword phrases should only be used when your site or article covers a broad range of topics.

Things to Avoid when Designing Titles

  • Oversaturation – This occurs when the title becomes a long list of words, for example “Inbound Marketing Agency, Social Media, Blog Writing, SEM, SEO, Web Design| EMU Creative’ Google will see this as keyword stuffing and non-relevant.
  • Using Stop Words, Jargon and Useless Words – like ‘the, but, be, and, we, me, our,’ which are stop words. These words provide no value to the person making the search.
  • Fluffy and weak words should be avoided – words such as “experienced, choice, best, most, top, award, professional, winning. These words over-saturate your page titles and make your primary keyword phrase less relevant and provide lower ranking potential.

Summary – Title Tag Best Practices

Below are the key things to focus on when choosing and optimizing a Title tag:

  • Keep the title concise with meaningful rather than fluffy word (5 to 12 words).
  • High-priority words should be placed at the start of the title which should be less than 70 characters in length.
  • Do not use any single word more than twice.
  • Use keyword phrases in the precise way they are searched for, and have been analyzed using a keyword analysis tool. Word order is important and the research only applies to the exact phrase. Check the autocomplete tool to check that the title is one recommended as a suggestion.
  • Don’t use multiple phrases – research a longtail phrase that includes 3-5 keywords you are targeting.
  • Make sure your Title accurately reflect the topic of the page and is highly relevant.
  • Write a keyword-rich title tag that has minimum stop words, but is sensible and appealing to human. You need to make your title very attractive to your users so they will click on it.
  • Your title should call for a response and satisfy exactly what the searcher is looking for (i.e. to buy something, learn something, fix something, avoid something, hire something…). Remember this is your hook and bait when fishing via the search engines!
  • The title tag is unique in relation to other pages on the site.
  • Generally the company name goes at the end of the tag.

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Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around? Tue, 07 Jun 2022 08:00:25 +0000 Marketers are searching for alternative analytics platforms to Google Analytics, now more than ever

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The free version of Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, is the most widely used web analytics solution. The platform is so popular that it dominates 86% market share, making Google the market leader. But even though many consider Google Analytics the standard, there are reasons to ask if it is the perfect choice for your marketing setup—especially since Google announced the sunset of Universal Analytics.

On July 1, 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits, forcing users to switch to its successor, Google Analytics 4. While this may seem like a natural progression, marketers should not be fooled.

The learning curve will be steep—Google Analytics 4 is almost an entirely new platform and still developing. On top of that, Google Analytics risks losing the users’ trust due to gray areas around the likes of privacy and data ownership.

With a privacy-focused future ahead, now is the time to seek alternatives that better balance data collection with compliance. With a proper analytics platform, marketers make your data collection as it should be: predictable and sustainable. After all, marketers and analysts want to process user-level data while building trust with their visitors.

In this article, we will dive into the issues with Google Analytics 4 from a user perspective and from a privacy and compliance standpoint, so you can make an informed decision before switching platforms.

User perspective: Google Analytics 4 is a step in the wrong direction

 Google Analytics 4 introduces an altered reporting and measurement technology that is neither well understood nor widely accepted by the marketing community.

From a user experience perspective, many find GA4 challenging to navigate. But beyond that, there are a host of challenges with the feature sets. Let us dig deeper into those limitations: 

There is no simple way to migrate your data

 Migration is a complex process and should be planned carefully. Unfortunately, Google Analytics 4 does not make it any easier. Without data or tag migration, all historical data from Universal Analytics will not be transferred to the new platform.

The challenge only grows with the organization’s size—you can have hundreds of tags to move. So, if marketers must start collecting data from scratch, they might as well switch to a new analytic software.

Not-so-intuitive user interface

The most prominent challenge marketers and analysts will likely encounter with Google Analytics 4 is the unfamiliarity with the new interface.

A new dashboard has several immediately apparent differences from what marketers are used to operating. Hit types are essential to how Universal Analytic properties handle all stats. Hit types include page hits, event hits, eCommerce hits, and social interaction hits.

GA4 doesn’t have any concept of a hit type like Universal Analytics uses. Everything in Google Analytics 4 is categorized as an “event.” This is a huge difference.

In order for marketers to have success on the new platform, they will have to adapt quickly to maintain the same momentum they had with this previous platform.

Limits on custom dimensions

A custom dimension is an attribute that marketers can configure in their analytics tool to dive deeper into their data. It gives the option to pivot or segment this data to isolate a specific audience or traffic for deeper analysis.

GA4 indeed allows for custom dimensions to segment reports, but there is a strict limit. You can only have up to 25 user-scoped custom dimensions and up to 50 event-scoped custom dimensions per property.

Lack of custom channel grouping

Channel groupings are rule-based groupings of marketing channels. When customized, these groupings allow marketers to track the performance of those channels efficiently.

Unlike Universal Analytics, GA4 does not allow you to create custom channel groupings in the new interface. Instead, marketers will only be able to use their default channel groupings.

Motivations behind the short deadline

 The deadline Google has left the analytics community to act is startling. There are many speculations as to why this might be, including:

  1. Google may have been disappointed with the speed of adoption for Google Analytics 4 and decided to act decisively.
  2. Google circumventing some of the legal heat that Universal Analytics is facing in the EU.
  3. Google wanting to cut costs and rid itself of technical debt associated with thousands of websites with legacy solutions installed. Since GA4 is designed to support Google’s advertising network, it guarantees more revenue than the competition.

Now there is a concrete deadline to make the switch, marketers will need to decide whether they want to start adjusting to Google Analytics 4 or start afresh with a new platform.

Privacy and compliance: Google Analytics 4 has a long way to go

If a company operates in multiple countries, marketing teams will need to be aware of the numerous challenges resulting from the obligations of both local data privacy laws and international regulations.

Data protection legislation constantly changing and tight security regulations only complicate things further. Reading the tea leaves, we believe GA4 will not last long in Europe. Here’s why:

Google Analytics violates European law

Google makes it difficult to collect data in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which aims to restore control of personal data to users and customers. The regulation requires you to obtain explicit consent when processing personal data. Failure to comply with this provision can result in hefty fines or even prosecution.

The recent decision of the Austrian Data Protection Authority (DSB), states that the use of Google Analytics constitutes a violation of GDPR. This means that organizations engaged in gathering, storing, and processing data about EU citizens have to adjust their policies and introduce serious technological changes to be GDPR-compliant.

There is no clear guideline where the data is connected through Google Analytics

A Google guide implies data is transferred to the closest Google Analytics server hub. However, the data may be stored in a geographic location that does not have adequate privacy protection to the EU.

Newly introduced features in GA4 partially address this concern by allowing the first part of data collection (and anonymization) on European servers. However, data can, and most likely will, be sent to the U.S.

 The future of marketing requires users’ consent

Whether it be the data quality, tool limitations, lack of privacy-friendly features, or transparency in handling data, we believe marketers will likely consider switching platforms.

Piwik PRO excluds the privacy and compliance issues associated with Google Analytics, allowing marketers to collect data predictably and sustainably. The user interface and feature sets are similar to Universal Analytics, so marketers and analysts feel at home when switching to our platform.

If you would like to learn more about Google Analytics alternatives or get more information on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, visit

Still undecided? Check out our article on addressing the concerns about switching to an alternative analytics solution and the analytic mindset you should be taking: Switching from Google Analytics—here’s what you need to know.

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Switching from Google Analytics—here’s what you need to know Tue, 07 Jun 2022 08:00:17 +0000 Switching is not as scary as you think; understanding the basics of an analytics tool and how it affects your project is key to making an informed decision before switching platforms

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Google has dominated the data analytics marketplace for so long that it might feel daunting to switch. You may have reservations about an alternate platform because you have been conditioned to think there is no other tool that can live up to Universal Analytics.

We are here to reassure marketers that is not the case—switching has never been easier. Especially since Google recently announced they would be sunsetting their Universal Analytics platform.

If you made it here, you are likely to have already done your research on the pitfalls and limitations of Universal Analytics’ successor, Google Analytics 4. If not, it is worth reading ‘Google Analytics 4: drawbacks and limitations—is it worth sticking around?.

Chances are, you have taken notice of the laundry list of issues with Google Analytics 4 and are considering jumping ship. This could be because of data quality or limitations, a lack of privacy-friendly features, or transparency in handling data.

As a marketer or analyst, you need to make an informed decision and choose the platform whose feature sets fit your organization’s needs to process user-level data while building trust with visitors. This article will help relieve some of the cognitive dissonances you may be experiencing. Let’s get into it:

Which is better, a free plan or a paid one?

It all comes down to the compromises and limitations you can accept depending on your project. Here are some key differences:

Free plan

Free web analytics platforms always have constraints—whether it is reduced performance, lack of solid privacy features, or sampled data. Nevertheless, a free web analytics platform can help you run your projects successfully.

Certain platforms ensure an easy upgrade from free to paid and more advanced versions. They also let you keep the setup, data, tags, etc., so you do not have to start collecting data from scratch. Others just eliminate the limitations and lift the price.

Paid alternatives

Paid alternatives overcome the limits of their free forerunners and grant more options for data collection and analysis. This includes the performance of the analytics platform, data protection, and extensive customer support.

For many organizations, the standard data safeguards of public clouds are sufficient. However, those operating in jurisdictions with strict data privacy regulations or highly regulated industries, like finance or healthcare, might require a private cloud or on-premises hosting. This is when having a paid plan would be necessary.

Piwik PRO offers both a free and paid plan so different kinds of organizations can get the service tailored to their needs.

Which is better, public, private cloud, or a self-host cloud?

Storing data on in-house servers used to be the gold standard for executing analytics safely and securely. Though, cloud-based analytics platforms have been steadily gaining market share.

Here is how they differ:

Public cloud

Public cloud is the most widely used model on the market. Storage space is shared between all the organizations that lease the environment from the same company. Public clouds are recommended for small and medium-sized organizations since they are more cost-efficient and quicker to deploy than the other options.

A drawback of public clouds is storing data on the external provider’s servers. The responsibility for data security rests with the provider. While this may be convenient, it limits how you can protect your data.

Some companies need to comply with strict internal data protocols or data residency regulations. With Piwik PRO, marketers can choose between four cloud hosting options— Germany, the Netherlands, the U.S., and Singapore.

Private cloud

Another type of deployment is through a private cloud. This model is often called “company cloud” or “organization cloud” because it is built exclusively for one organization. Companies that want to, or must separate their data from other cloud users who choose private cloud. This gives them the convenience of using the a public cloud with better data security.

A downside of a private cloud is the cost is significantly higher than a public because it requires the building of new infrastructure. Additionally, the installation time for private cloud is typically longer than with public cloud. For example, with Piwik PRO, the technical onboarding for private cloud clients takes about two weeks.

On-premises (self-hosted)

In an on-premises model, the infrastructure is built and managed by the company or organization, with employees having physical access to all resources. The company stores the data on its own servers or servers that they rent or lease from third parties.

Storing data in a chosen location and having full physical access to the infrastructure allows companies to process personal data securely. However, the costs related to the on-premises solution are significant and building and running your own data center is a long and complicated process.

Myths vs. Facts about switching analytics platforms

Despite the advancements of alternative platforms, some organizations are hesitant to make the move away from Google Analytics. To help dispel common fears and bring awareness to other platforms, here are the common misconceptions about switching:

I’ll lose historical data

This is a fact, but not for long. Some alternatives have developed data importers in the wake of Universal Analytics being deprecated. 

Alternatives are not integrated with Google

This is a myth. Alternatives are designed to work seamlessly with other Google solutions and partner products.

I miss some reporting capabilities

This is false. Each alternative has unique reporting capabilities, and some are very flexible, allowing for more transformations and data exports than Universal Analytics.

Switching from GA4

It is easier to run advertising campaigns with Universal Analytics

This is true. There is deep integration with Google Analytics and Google Ads/Google Marketing Platform, which gives access to an extensive repertoire of data.

I’ll lose my rank in Google Search

This is a myth. Alternatives’ customers do not report a lower rank in Google Search. Make sure your site is fast, mobile-friendly, popular (links), and with complete metadata.

Where should you go from here?

As the importance of compliance with regulations is growing, marketers should consider analytics platforms that offer a full set of privacy features.

Our intention with Piwik PRO Analytics Suite has always been to give clients powerful analytics capabilities along with key privacy and security features.

While we cannot tell you exactly what platform is right for your organization, we can help with your research.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Analytics alternatives or get more information on the Piwik PRO Analytics Suite, visit

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How to use SEO for a great ABM strategy Thu, 07 Apr 2022 14:27:30 +0000 This is the secret sauce your lead generation strategy needs, dig in!

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How to use SEO for a great ABM strategy

30-second summary:

  • Account-based marketing (ABM) helps build a personal bond with your target audience, assuring them that you understand their unique wants and needs
  • ABM is considered the most financially successful marketing approach by 97 percent of businesses
  • ABM can be used in conjunction with inbound marketing for maximum effectiveness, which ties into an effective SEO strategy
  • Use SEO keywords to learn what your target audience is looking for and attract interest from all levels of a business
  • SEO analytics – especially insights into consumer interests, behavior, and preferences – aid the construction of an effective account-based marketing strategy

Priorities in business marketing have drastically shifted in the online age. Throwing enough mud at the wall, hoping that at least some of it will stick, is now an outdated approach. Consumers are savvy, seeking to be wooed by products and services that meet their unique needs.

Naturally, this means that an effective marketing campaign will fish in shallow waters instead of casting a wide net into the ocean. Any business with serious intentions to capture a captive and loyal audience should take the account-based marketing (ABM) approach – and SEO can be essential to such a strategy.

What is account-based marketing (ABM)?

With so many different types of marketing packages available to businesses in 2022, it can be tricky to keep on top of all the different terminology. However, one of the most essential and successful modern approaches is account-based marketing (ABM).

ABM revolves around pinpointing a precise marketing target, such as a unique business – or even a department within a major company – and tailoring a promotional campaign, especially to them. In many cases, that involves breaking down your campaign step-by-step.

Let’s imagine that your business revolves around manufacturing protective cellphone covers. You may sell these covers to high street stores as generic items, but you feel that your business would be taken to the next level by teaming with a cellphone manufacturer. If you could get a contract with Samsung, for example, maybe your cellphone cover will be pushed as a must-have accessory to accompany the latest Galaxy handset.

In this instance, you would need to tailor a unique approach to exactly what Samsung are looking for in a collaborator. You cannot just send the same pitch that you would to Target, asking them to sell the item – a supermarket is just interested in whether they can buy cheap and sell higher, turning a profit on a product that is always in demand.

If you’re going to forge a long-term and successful relationship with Samsung, you’ll need to prove to them why your cellphone cover is the best on the market – better than your competitors, better than any other product the business currently uses, and how you’ll meet expectations going forward. All of this needs to be achieved through a marketing campaign that is impossible to ignore for your targeted account.

How does ABM benefit a business?

There are countless reasons to adopt an account-based marketing approach for your business. These include:

  • Building a substantial profile of your target audience through extensive research, providing an invaluable platform
  • Rapidly earning the trust of a client base, enhancing your chances of loyalty and a long-term working relationship
  • Reducing wasted time spent on managing inappropriate or inefficient marketing leads
  • A simple analysis of the performance and ROI of any campaign – the results will be comparatively black and white
  • Keeping sales funnels tight – there will be no need to continually cajole and encourage consumers to complete their conversion as they are in the bag
  • Enhanced reputation within your industry – you’ll earn a standing as a business that knows exactly what your audience wants

Notably, ABM is often very effective when aimed at global businesses that employ teams in multiple countries. These companies are often dealing with more complex supply chain issues, and are looking for a supplier who understands their needs and can be relied upon to meet them regularly. Prove your worth to such clients, and you’ll reap substantial financial rewards.

Is ABM the same as inbound marketing?

Account-based marketing is not quite the same as inbound marketing, but it could be considered a companion approach. If you’re going to make the most of ABM, keep at least one eye on your inbound marketing strategy.

For the uninitiated, inbound marketing involves laying bait for your potential consumers and waiting for them to come to you. We’ll shortly discuss how SEO aids ABM in greater detail, and inbound marketing will factor heavily into this. The online presence of your business, most notably blogs and social media accounts, will frequently be discovered through organic internet searches.

However, the core difference is that ABM is active whereas inbound marketing is passive. Both approaches involve appealing to the core interests of your target audience, but with ABM, you’ll be approaching the consumers in question. Let’s return to our example of creating cellphone protectors for Samsung products.

You could create content that will potentially attract their attention – blogs with titles like ‘This is the perfect protective barrier for a Galaxy S22’ and infographics on how and why your product will benefit users. This will take a long time to see results, though – and even then, you’ll need to ensure that the right employee from the right department at the right company gets in touch. ABM means reaching that employee yourself.

Overall, there is definitely a place for inbound and account-based marketing under the same umbrella – often working side by side. Both approaches will show potential consumers that you understand, and care about their interests. Just know that an ABM strategy is likelier to yield an immediate investment return. 97 percent of businesses claim to see greater results from ABM than any other marketing approach.

How to use SEO as part of an ABM strategy

We’ve buried the lede for long enough. It’s time to discuss how SEO can work in perfect harmony with ABM to create optimum campaigns that will yield business results. SEO and ABM share five fundamental links that should be embraced to see success. These learnings can be applied to any ABM campaign, no matter how large or small the client may be.

SEO performance reveals the core interests of your target audience

SEO and keywords are intrinsically linked – there is no getting away from that. This can benefit your ABM strategy, though. By focusing on the crux of your SEO strategy, you’ll gain an ever-greater insight into what your potential clients value most.

Understanding what keywords are performing best is critical to making the most of your SEO strategy – and, by extension, understanding who to target for an ABM campaign. Using Google Analytics, you can investigate how visitors to your site respond to keywords. If you’ve paid for a plum keyword, you’ll be expecting a conversion after a user interacts with it. Watch to see if users bounce from the page that is connected to the keyword or stick around and interact. Keep an eye on your Google Quality Score too, as this should be steadily improving with effective use of keywords.

If your keywords are failing to generate traction, this suggests they’re not as important to your target audience as you suspected. This suggests that your choice of keywords – and by extension, your macro and micro-copy – is not resonating with the specific needs of your target audience.

It’s better to learn this before you attempt to build an ABM campaign around inefficient keywords. You only get one chance to make a first impression, after all, and a reputation as an irrelevant offering is anathema to successful account-based marketing. Use SEO to practice and road test your use of keywords to perfect your choices – short- and long-tail alike – before approaching a potential ABM client.

If your keywords are performing, however, it’s all good news. You now have an idea of what seems to matter most to your audience. You can then bring these features into your ABM approach. If ‘free trial’ is performing well, you can write to a business offering an exclusive trial of a software package that lasts a month rather than the standard two weeks. Alternatively, if a particular adjective that describes your product or service gains traction, focus heavily on this when marketing.

Social media marketing is particularly effective once you have a core understanding of keyword performance. Once you know what keywords are likeliest to yield success, you can head to Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn and start applying PPC campaigns to business pages. This will go hand in hand with ABM, as social media campaigns will allow you to tailor your target audience and do all you can reach only the most receptive of eyes.

SEO opens doors to your target audience

It can sometimes be challenging to decide where to pitch a marketing campaign, especially in a B2B setting. It makes sense that you’ll try to win over the hearts and minds of decision-makers, as these are people that will ultimately control the purse strings of a company account.

Before building your ABM strategy around occupants of the C-Suite, remember that CEOs and financial controllers lack time to pore over the value proposition of a product or service. They’ll ultimately sign off on a purchase based on the recommendation of their staffing teams. Each of these employees will have different priorities based on their unique roles. This is where SEO comes into play.

Promises of free or discounted services will attract the interest of financial departments, who will welcome any opportunity to improve the bottom line of a business. Support and administrative staff will be more concerned with how the product or service will resolve any common pain points, especially if they’re labor-saving. Managers are likeliest to respond well to any promises of improved performance and higher productivity levels from their subordinates.

By addressing these varied priorities in your SEO strategy, you’ll attract the attention of a wide array of business employees. Launching an ABM strategy aimed straight at the head of a company after laying these foundations means that you’re much likelier to see success. If a business leader asks their team if they are familiar with your offering, they’ll respond positively.

If you can use SEO to pinpoint a particular individual or business interested in your offering, the world of ABM is your oyster. Imagine that you notice significant traffic from a local business, and their offering is aligned with what you are looking to market. Clearly, you are attracting the attention of this business. You need to reel in the catch, now that you have successfully baited the hook.

SEO generates new ABM leads

In an ideal world, you will identify your ABM targets early on and enjoy roaring success with every campaign. Sadly, none of us do business in a perfect world. It’s unlikely you’ll hit the bullseye every time, especially when starting with ABM. You’ll always need to keep at least one eye on your next campaign target.

If your business has a solid SEO strategy, you’ll be tracking a great deal of data – most notably, who is visiting your website and how they’re behaving once they arrive. This is where ABM and inbound marketing start to co-exist. If your content is piquing the curiosity of consumers or other businesses, build a profile of these visitors.

Is this aligned with what you consider your existing target audience to be? If not, you have a new stream of potential clients to aim an ABM approach to. Something about what you have to offer is attracting attention. Use Google Analytics to dig a little deeper into this – sign into your dimensions and metrics summaries, and review reports that summarize page views, bounce rates, and sessions durations. Use these analytics to learn what is attracting the greatest attention.

Once you have this data, you can identify where these visits are coming from (more on that anon) and start approaching potential leads for an ABM campaign. Your content marketing has already done most of the heavy lifting, and these SEO-generated leads are low-hanging fruit. Pluck them with your ABM approach, and turn this potential client into a returning, long-term client.

SEO reveals the buyer journey of your target audience

As discussed, SEO and ABM combine to identify the perfect buyer persona. However, getting in touch with the right person is only half the battle. You also need to understand how this individual prefers to complete a transaction. The average B2B purchase encompasses four stages.

Awareness Your product or service is discovered through SEO marketing, typically a Google search based on relevant keywords. This discovery could be organic or based on a pay-per-click campaign
Exploration Interest piqued by your SEO content, the potential customer will look further into your offering – ideally sharing any blogs, videos, and infographics over social media
Comparison Users will conduct further research into your product or service, comparing it to competitors. This is where you should strike with an effective ABM campaign – use what you have learned through SEO to convince the buyer that your business will meet their needs best
Conversion Content that you understand their unique needs and desires, the customer completes a conversion – hopefully, the first of many in a long and fruitful working relationship

Use SEO to learn how you can appeal to your target audience through these steps, reinforcing promises of trust, value for money, and exemplary performance throughout. That means reviewing where your core web traffic is coming from and building a profile of who is visiting. Is your site more popular with local searches, or do you appear to have an international audience? Is your traffic spread across the globe, or do you appear to be particularly popular in certain regions, such as Eastern Europe or Western Asia? What pages are attracting more clicks than others, and does this mean that you should shift your primary SEO focus and use different keywords? Take each of these learnings and apply them to your conversion funnel, tailoring the experience to what appears to be an increasingly promising set of leads.

SEO analytics provide insight into ABM campaigns

Above all, you should use the results of your Google Analytics to build a tailored, account-based marketing campaign that ticks every box for your potential buyer. This will offer the greatest chance of success for a conversion.

Now, your mileage will vary on what metrics merit the most significant investigation. Every business will have varying priorities, while disparate industries will also attract unique customer behaviors. Examples of analytics to embrace include:

  • Does the user visit your website through a desktop computer or a mobile appliance? Should you develop an app and push this as part of your marketing approach, declaring it the most convenient way to do business?
  • Which channel does the potential customer use most to visit and interact with you? Do they come to your site via Google, or are they spending more time on a particular social media platform? Focus your ABM energy on whichever channel appears to delight the user most
  • Study user behavior once they are on your website. If they are spending prolonged periods on Page A and bouncing from Page B, you should tailor your ABM around the former – though consider adjusting the content of the latter (one more note)

Of course, knowing is only half the battle here. You’ll also need to take these educational opportunities and put them into practice. The first step of this creating audience clusters in Google Analytics and targeting different groups for different stages of the sales funnel.

In an ideal world, you’ll be able to use Google Analytics to identify regular visitors from a particular business. Sign into your Analytics account and select Audience, Technology then Network. From here, you can see the ISPs of who has been visiting your site – and with the aid of a little detective work (and, if we’re being realistic, a paid tool like Leadfeeder or something that suits your business best) you’ll uncover who has been visiting your site.

Let’s consider an ideal case scenario here, returning to our previous ABM business example. Imagine that you have clustered a group that spends several minutes at a time browsing your website, including the product pages, but never attempt to make a conversion. Research informs you that they all appear to be hailing from Samsung HQ in your country.

That sounds like you have the perfect lead-in for a targeted ABM campaign. You know that a number of people at Samsung know who you are, and what you do. This provides the ideal opportunity to introduce yourself as a business contact and seek to open a dialogue about how your two companies could work together.

Ultimately, SEO analytics are a goldmine for all marketing opportunities – including ABM. If effective SEO is the foundation of a successful business, consider account-based marketing the flair and finesse that helps you build and expand a business empire.

Joe Dawson is Director of strategic growth agency, based in the UK. He can be found on Twitter @jdwn.

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