Google Analytics does a lot for us, and it does so much that we can’t always find some of the cooler functionality.
I recently discovered some VERY useful information regarding social media linking in Google Analytics.
Google Analytics will let you review the social media discussions and events (+1, Like, Bookmaarks, etc) and do the usual stuff with it.
To find your Social Media actions in Google Analytics:
- Log into Google Analytics and get to your Standard Reporting dashboard
- In the left nav, navigate to: Traffic Sources -> Social -> Pages
- Here you can see your most “Liked” content, but it gets better… (and the activity incoming from social networks)
- Click on any of the “Pages” in the list, I clicked the first link
- You can now see various Social Media networks that drive your traffic (“Social Referral”)
- Click on “Activity Steam”
- Here you land on the “Conversations” section, you can also click on the “Events” section (next to “Viewing” above the actual data)
- Great — but there’s more…
- Click on “ALL” under the “Pages” title (top left corner) — this can be done under events and conversations
Using this you can see all social media conversations sending links to your site, as well as all actions (and sometimes which user) that saved/liked/plussed your site.
SEO professionals argue day in and day out about whether or not to use Black Hat SEO tactics. For those of you not aware of the difference between White Hat and Black Hat tactics, here’s a few bullets…
White Hat Techniques
- Improve usability of site
- Generate Content
- Improve site speed
- Marketing the site legitimately
- Technically implement the site correctly
- Anything a search engine would want you to do
Black Hat Techniques
- Buying links
- Keyword spamming
- Link circles
- Spam commenting / linking
- Farming out link generation
- Anything to fool a search engine into thinking you are bigger than you are
I will admit that for certain clients, it is useful to consider some black hat techniques. Black hat techniques come at a higher price tag, and much shorter term lifespan.
Matt Cutts (of Google), considered one of the closest things many of us have to seeing inside Google’s head, wrote an article talking about Google’s stance on White Hat versus Black Hat.
Sorry for all the posts today, I keep seeing things I think people would want to hear.
Google announced today that search will now include “Your World”. It’s a good idea to watch that Google Blog, always good stuff.
Google needs to push Google+ somehow, and this will sure help. Including “Personal results” in search results is both good and bad in my opinion.
You’ll start to see (as this rolls out over the next few days to everyone) Google+ posts and shared photos showing up in search results. These are posts of people who you are following.
Also in the Google search box, Google+ profiles will start showing up there.
If you don’t like it, you can opt-out (although it is opt-in by default).
This change means for SEO experts, having those Google+ profiles, and relevant Google Pages is important.
I wish you readers all the best in 2012.
If you haven’t seen it, check out the imgur Best of 2011. 11 of the most viewed image collections on imgur.com. One of my annual favorites to check out.
What do I expect in the next year?
- Much more WordPress work (on more complex and demanding sites)
- A trip somewhere, maybe Europe.
- To redo seangw.com at some point. The site is becoming more popular (we get thousands of visitors every day) — and the site now deserves some love. What web developer/blogger websites do you like most?
- To actually use my SEO knowledge on my own sites!
- Introduce an “Ask A Question” button on the site. If you don’t know, I welcome any and all feedback. You can Contact Me anytime if you have a questions not answered on the site.
- New monitors (I’ve had my 3 monitors since 2003?) — it’s time.
- Even more social interactions! The facebook and Google Plus buttons have been popular this year. Next year I will build dedicated brand pages (and maybe a Twitter brand page, if they open it up)
- I may even migrate this “blog” out from under the “wordpress” directory and to the root of my site! Craziness.
Finally, I want to thank all the people that have shared this site in 2011.
Some viewership numbers:
December 2008 – 200 readers/week
December 2009 – 1000 readers / week
December 2010 – 1,800 readers / week
December 2011 – 9,000 readers / week
So I appreciate all those Facebook likes, those tweets, and links to some of my posts.
If there’s anything you’d like to see covered in 2012, please shoot me a message.
Happy New Year
I still think at some point, Facebook will fade into our memories. It’s a safe bet.. given enough time.
For now it’s time to embrace it. Until this past summer, I hadn’t added Facebook like buttons to my site. This was done because I was opposed to having those irritating social media icons all over my site. I thought maybe I was missing out on a few percentage points of hits.
Today, and for the past few days, I’ve gotten more page views on my site from Facebook than from Google search. This is according to the WordPress Jetpack by the way, Google Analytics still says I get more from Google (but I’m inclined to have suspicions).
There are about 50 pages / articles on my site that people have “liked” on Facebook (go ahead and try it… ). A few of my posts have hundreds of likes.
This is currently generating about 500-1000 page views a day for me. I would have never though adding a stupid Facebook Like button could do that for my site.
Add them to your site, you won’t regret it.
An excellent write up over at Matt Legend Gemmell’s blog, SEO for Non-dicks, got me thinking again about the concept of “black/white” hat SEO. His blog post is in reference to an SEO speech given at BrightonSEO 2011.
I need to get this out, and I don’t think it’s what you may be expecting…
Web developers always say it’s important to speed up a site. Either cut the size of an image, or minimize requests.
Why should we? Everyone has a broadband connection and a fast computer. Why worry about an extra second or two?
First, it’s never just worrying about a second, it’s sometimes worrying about cutting a few milliseconds off a page load. Eliminating 1 HTTP request.
Fixing site perforamance is just as important as doing proper SEO. If you do all the SEO work in the world, Google won’t want to index a slow site.
Google has changed their indexing subsystem significantly.
It has now named “Caffeine” and is supposed to be another generation in terms of the quality of the Google index. The new index service supposedly indexes 50% faster than the old indexing system, and will delivery “fresh” results.
I have been using and recommending the WordPress plugin, All in One SEO, for years now. It is solid, provides the ability to manage terms that were more difficult before.
Headspace2, by Urban Giraff, is another SEO meta data manager. That means it helps you organize everything your website uses or organize itself.
Is it worth Switching?
So you have put all your efforts into typing specific keywords, overriding titles, and are finally happy with the results of your SEO work. That normally provides a huge barrier to switching tools, not with Headspace 2. Headspace 2 makes migration easy, and instantly gives you more control than you had before.