The Largest Canadian Google Analytics Study ever done-website strategy

The Largest Google Analytics Study We’ve Ever Done

This blog was originally published on Cupcakes & Websites website here: The Largest Canadian Google Analytics Study Ever Done

For this study we wanted to compare data from 2015 to 2016. Over those, only 57 qualified (had enough traffic over a two year period) to make the cut. If the website wasn’t setup until after 2015 we didn’t include the data as it is incomplete. Next years study (or later this year, we’ll see) will be even bigger!

What did we find?

Average number of visits to a website:

2016 – 14,267

2015 – 15,700

A decrease of 10%

A decrease in average traffic would indicate you can’t have the “build it and it will come” attitude. You have to be doing something on your website that gets people to come back again and again. No you don’t need SEO (search engine optimization) if you’re creating amazing content for your intended audience.

Monitor you traffic. One past almost client (they never said yes) asked if they could talk to us about their “new” website and why they lost 80% of their traffic. Get a monthly report from your website provider at the very least just to ensure someone is reading what you publish!

Average number of visits from search (traffic from Google):

2016 – 7,513

2015 – 6,150

An increase of 18%

Ever since we’ve been measuring websites in Google Analytics it’s always been an anomaly about how much traffic comes from search. And not just our website, EVERYONE’S, yes yours too! You just need to understand better what Google is looking for. Search in powerful, if someone if looking for what you sell, the odds are they will search for it eventually. Make sure when your potential customers search for what you provide, you come up!

Everyone needs a Google Strategy.

The average growth (loss) of traffic:

Total traffic – (10%)

Organic traffic – 18%

Facebook traffic – (.08%)

Traffic fluctuates. Google gives you some tools on seeing what the average search volume is for specific terms over the twelve months of the year to see when search peak.

Three Free Google Tools to Improve Your Website

One of my favourite podcasts from a cool company called EWebResults refers to the internet as “the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet”. Doesn’t always feel that way, does it? Increasingly I’m finding that once people have a brand-new fancy website their next question is “How do I get it to the top of Google”? WHOAH. Slow down there cowboy. That’s a long and complex process. However, if you’re managing your own SEO the first question you should ask yourself is “What’s most important to Google and why?” Because of Google’s ever-changing algorithm, what’s important to Google one week may not be the next (or, much more likely, the other way around). A sure-fire way to know that something is high on Google’s radar is if Google offers it’s own tools to measure and improve it. Here are some super helpful tools that let you do just that.

Google Page Speed Tool

As of late one of the newest big things Google looks at when ranking sites is user experience. Simply put, are users able to quickly gain an answer to their search query with minimum inconvenience and maximum enjoyment. One thing that can kill even a great website (potentially for rankings but definitely for user experience is a slow load time. Slow sites not only take a long time to load but hog memory and can slow down (or drain battery from) from whole device. Luckily Google offers a handy dandy tool which tests the load speed of any crawlable page on your website giving you a score out of 100 for both desktop and mobile, and ever offering a list of possible solutions for slow load time. Often times improving your page load speed is as easy as checking the page for unnecessarily massive images and reducing them!

Google Structured Data Tool

If you’ve never heard of Shema structured data markup it can seem awfully daunting and a little scary, but I promise it’s not that bad! Effectively structured data used very simple code to show search engines important information about your business (most notably your business name, address, and phone number) and gives it context by defining what the information actually is (a name, an address, a phone number, etc.) This allows engines like Google to quickly identify relevant information on your site, and when Google can quickly find relevant info Google is a happy camper. Tools like Microdata Generator can make the process super easy. Just plug in your information, copy the code, and paste it in the footer of your website. Google offers a tool to test any website (your own or a competitors) and see what kind of information is being marked up.

Google Webmaster

If you’re in a position where just doesn’t make sense to invest in paid SEO measuring software like Moz, have no fear. Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster) can provide you with a ton of additional data that Google Analytics doesn’t totally cover. Just add the tracking code to your website’s header and this tool will give you a full dashboard information on any broken links (or “404 errors”) to your site, what exact searches your Google search traffic is coming from, and the top domains that are currently linking to your site.

Well there you do, my top three favourite free Google tools (at least so far!) Obviously not listed is the all-powerful Google analytics, but that’s another blog for another time…If you have any questions about the tools above, give us a call! We’d love to chat.

 

be weird be awesome be loved

One of The Most Remarkable Non-Profit Organizations in the World

“Be weird. Be awesome. Be loved!”

This was the latest sticker COR had printed and left out in a container on a table just inside their office. A circular container that has the likes of stickers, postcards, magnets, stress balls, pens, you name it. All with similar bright colours and uplifting messages. The table they are on is located by the pinball machine, just down the hall from the coffee bar and to the right of the foosball table, and PS4 complete with beanbag chairs for optimum gaming comfort.

This isn’t your regular not-for-profit organization

I’ve never met anyone with the same consistent energy. COR has its own unique culture and brand. Talk to their employees family members, even people who don’t work there any more, you’ll hear nothing but amazing stories about how gentle teaching has changed their life. They don’t run the organization like a regular non-profit, they do things different and they don’t apologize for it. COR is a breathe of fresh air in an industry that was getting stuffy.

COR is an inspiring organization. You don’t have to go far to hear some of these stories:

“Being WITH one another is one of the main lessons I have grown to appreciate since being introduced to Gentle Teaching.”

“Gentle Teaching has pushed me to be the best support and friend possible”

“A culture of gentleness for me has come naturally by genuinely caring for the three gentlemen I serve.”

Or check out one of their “COR Cribs Episodes”

COR Cribs: Episode 2 from Creative Options Regina (COR) on Vimeo.

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How do you pick a website domain name

How To Pick A Website Domain Name

How do you pick a website domain? 

Two words: chat roulette 

Kidding!

YES, finally someone answers all those questions we’ve had over the past two years about domain names and best practices for picking a URL. It’s changed so much because of how competitive search engine results have become.

At one time you could have bought the domain name “www.ReginaWebsites.com” and you’d get all the organic traffic for people search for websites in Regina. Times have changed. You can’t just “get” to the front page by setting up a keyword heavy domain name. Yes there will be exceptions to the rule and if you’re on the front page of Google with very little work it won’t last long.

Make it brand-able and pronounceable

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remarkable customer service is similar to being a dog

Customer Service Explained By The Friendliest Person In The World || Eps 33 of #InTheLab

  

I’ve only known Maple for a few years, but in that time she’s taught me a life time of lessons on how to treat people. We used to work up above Coda Clothing and shoes. Maple would be working on the floor of Coda when we’d come into work. We’d have to walk past her as we shared an entrance. She was always excited to see us no matter what. She genuinely wanted to get to know you better, it wasn’t fake or contrived, Maple is actually one of the happiest people I’ve ever met. She could keep a conversation going with a mute person!

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How we measure your website using Moz

How We Measure Your Website || Episode 32 of #InTheLab

Warning, Jeph gets nerdy in this one!!

The slides I go through in the video are included in the Slideshare below. Some of the images aren’t the highest quality in the presentation, if you want to look at the specific reports referenced, scroll down I’ve included them in this post!

1. Open Site Explorer

Open Site Exporer strategylab website metrics

You have to start somewhere with measurement, Open Site Explorer is a good place to start. It’s also a Free SEO tool you can use. We use Domain Authority as a central metric to compare websites to each other. If you want to learn more about Domain Authority check out this blog here (What is Domain Authority? And why do we use it?).

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a beginners guide to website strategy

A beginners guide to website strategy


In the real world if your store has a better location, if you can get in front of more people, if everyone can recognize your store from a mile away, you have a distinct advantage.

 

The Internet doesn’t work that way.

 

If you rent space in the West Edmonton mall beside a popular retailer you’re sure to increase your foot traffic. The catch is, retail space beside Holts, the Disney or Apple store will come at a premium.
When you build a website it’s like you put your store in a farmers field somewhere near Grenfell, SK. As your site acquires more links, is updated more often, you move closer and closer to a bigger town (more “traffic”). The front page of Google, the epicentre for qualified traffic, takes time and deliberate effort to get to the front page of and every day it’s getting more and more competitive.

The front page of Google is a zero sum game…

as one website goes up, another has to go down. All four major players in the market can’t rank number 1. As one company builds links and increases their rankings, other websites feel the equal and opposite reaction. If you don’t start being proactive about your online presence you’re going to see you traffic decrease from Google.

And I’m not sure if you’ve checked your traffic sources report in Google Analytics lately, Google organic search is probably your websites largest traffic provider. Might be a good idea to build a strategy to increase that traffic from Google.

You could advertise on Facebook or LinkedIn or reddit or the Leaderpost.com. Telling more people to come to your website should help you get closer to your goal.
You have defined a goal haven’t you?

OK we may need to take a step back here. No one really “needs” a website, think about it.

You need a contact us page so people can get a hold of you. You need a products page so people can see your new products regularly. You need a staff page so potential customers can see ‘who’ they’ll be dealing with if they so choose to set up an appointment. But no one really needs a website, a website is a tool, a tactic within a strategy. The sooner you recognize this the sooner you can being to use your website to its full potential.

 

No one really needs a website, companies need to be found, they need to be searchable, within a couple words hopefully. So that in the moment when your next customer has a problem, they pick up their phone, pull up Google and search for (insert your company’s keywords here) “funny marketing speaker Regina” and boom you’re right there.

Funny marketing speaker regina

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Moz + google analytics = awesome

What is Domain Authority & Why Do We Use It? (66 Websites Ranked)

 

Every website on the Internet has a Domain Authority, yes yours does too. 

You're still measuring hitsDomain Authority is one of the most effective website measurements because you can benchmark against your competitors, see the impact of your SEO efforts, and set future goals based on a quantitative outcome. We use Domain Authority to measure the websites we manage. It’s an objective indicator for how your website will perform in the future. You want to see your Domain Authority increase over time.

If you start with all the qualitative malarky (focusing on design and feel and making it “pop”) sooner or later you’re going to be fired. That’s a certainty. If you really want to impress the boss start with some substantial quantitative metrics. Hook up Google Analytics and you’re off to the races. If you want to get more technical you’ll have to consider using a company like Raven or Moz (the company we use).

When dealing with website measurement, Moz is pretty much the bees knees. Out of Seattle Washington, they’re like a small vigilante group of online special forces who ensure your website is firing on all cylinders.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is Moz’s best prediction at how well your website will rank in search engines. This is a number calculated from many different data points from all over the internet. Every page on the internet has a page authority, also a number out of 100, this would be that specific pages’ ranking potential.

Every page on your website has a page authority and together those combine to make up your Domain Authority. It’s a relative metric in that your competition will have a similar number and whether it be higher or lower, generally you can explain why one website is ranking better than another based on Domain Authority. It doesn’t always mean a higher domain authority will always out-rank a lower domain authority, but higher domain authorities always have a better chance of ranking higher in search engines.

Why do we use it?

imagine- you can see why your competitors are out ranking you in googleIt’s a standard metric that can be compared to all of your competition. It’s the number you can use to test your hypothesis’s of what works and doesn’t work when it comes to your online strategy. If you increase Domain Authority, you increase your organic traffic.

 

The coolest part? You can look up your websites Domain Authority by using this tool called Open Site Explorer.

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