How to Exclude Internal Visits/Visitors from Google Analytics Reports Using Asynchronous Code

As a Goolge Analytics Consultant, McBuzz helps clients learn about traffic on their website so they can improve visitors’ experience and generate more leads and sales. If you have a website, you should be using Google Analytics to track visitors on your site. But you don’t need to track your own visits to the site, nor do you want to track visits made by other people in your company, or by your clients if you are a webmaster or online marketing consultant.

EXCLUDING INTERNAL TRAFFIC FROM GOOGLE ANALYTICS REPORTS

All these visits are called “internal traffic”: visits made by you or by people who work for the company that owns the website. Data from these visits will skew the results that you really want to see. You want to track visits made by customers and potential customers.

There are a number of ways to exclude internal traffic from Google Analytics reports. Continued… [ read more ]

Comments: 23

Is Search Engine Optimization a Science? Yes. Here's Proof that SEO is a Science, Not a Dark Art

Periodic Table of SEO Ranking FactorsIs Search Engine Optimization (SEO) an art or a science? Or is it neither? Although it’s as old as the Internet itself, SEO is still misunderstood by many folks, even those who know a lot about the Internet and Online Communications. […] [ read more ]

Comments: 2

Search Engine Optimization 101 – How to Choose Keywords: A Lesson from the Bayer Aspirin Marketing Team

Successful online marketers understand the need to talk about their products in terms customers recognize and respond to.

Search Engine Optimization 101 - Choosing Good Keywords - Low Dose Aspirin PackagingChoosing good keywords is hard – no matter what size your business is. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get my clients to see the importance of using language in their marketing materials – including their website – that they themselves wouldn’t necessarily use to talk about their products or services.

Sometimes C-level executives don’t like using words they feel have [ read more ]

Comments: 0

More Great Home Pages that Drive You to Take Action

Following up on Friday’s post, Search Marketing 101: Home Pages that Drive You to Take Action, here are more home pages that do a great job of telling you what the business does and how to take action.

Birchbox Home Page - McBuzz Search Marketing 101Birchbox

  • Nice slogan: “Delivering Beauty Better”
  • Bullet points to tell you exactly what the slogan means
  • Prominent call to action button: Join Now

Text follows below for those who want more info. And it looks like a new site is on the way, presumably with more about things like membership benefits. Right now these aren’t visible until you click the “Join Now” button. Not everyone will click the button, so this is a bit of a barrier to further exploration. Links to About Us and FAQs are hidden at the bottom of the page.

Note the active voice of the bullets – instead of “Hand-picked samples are delivered to your door…”, for example. Standard graphic design rules say use 3 or 5 bullet points instead of 2 or 4. How about:

  • Get hand-picked samples delivered to your door monthly
  • Discover what you love
  • Buy with confidence

I’m guessing Twitter and Facebook buttons are on the way, too.

Comments: 0

5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress

On June 12, I had the great pleasure of presenting at WordCamp Vancouver. Duane Storey and the rest of the organizers did an awesome job. The conference was a big hit. If you get the chance, definitely check it out next year.

My presentation was called “Get Found Easier and Grow Your Business: 5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress”. Thirty minutes is just about enough time to get through the essentials of SEO for WordPress, although I’m sure it could be a two-hour presentation without too much trouble.

Half of the time does not involve using WordPress! I do a quick overview of what a keyword is, how to pick a good keyword, how to check your initial search ranking, and, after optimizing, how to see if your optimization efforts had any effect!

Understanding keywords is absolutely critical to search optimization, but it’s not often talked about in a way that most people can get. This is going to have to change as more businesses use WordPress and other CMS solutions for websites and then decide that they need to do their own SEO.

The 5 Tips for Better SEO are spelled out in the presentation slide deck below. They are also available in PDF form here (right click and select “Save Target As…” or “Save Link As…” to download).

5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress (PDF)

At the end of the slides and the PDF, there are links to SEO Plugins, Tools and Resources. If you would like the .pptx file of  the presentation – including the Notes – contact me.

Here are the 5 Tips for Better Search Engine Optimization with WordPress in case you want a quick overview:

Tip #1 : Use keywords in your HTML page title

Tip #2 : Write a page description that makes people want to read more (include keywords)

Tip #3: Customize permalinks

Tip #4 : Use keywords in the visible page

Tip #4 continued: Make content “sticky”, useful, a resource

Tip #5: Links

•Inbound Links are the Number One Search Ranking Factor
(and #2, #3, #5)  according to seomoz.org
•External Links
•Internal Links
•Use keywords in link text
•Use inbound link tools

Comments: 0

How to See If a Page or Document on Your Website Has Been Indexed by Google

If you would like to find out if a page or document on your website has been indexed by Google, use the query modifier “site:url” like you would to see how many pages on your site have been indexed (and which ones), but instead of using “site:mcbuzz.com”, for example, use “site:mcbuzz.com/wordpress/what-is-wordpress” or whatever the entire URL or file name is that you want to check.

Click here » to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services offered by McBuzz.

In other words, say I have a PDF on my site called “mcbuzz-wordpress-tutorials.pdf” (which I don’t – this is just an example). I can do a search using Google for “site:mcbuzz.com/pdf/mcbuzz-wordpress-tutorials.pdf” and Google will tell me whether is has this file in its index or not. Remember to use the entire path or URL for the page or document. If you keep your PDFs in a directory on your site called “pdf”, then you need to include that in the URL as shown in this example. (If you have quesitons about this, send me a comment.)

This post follows along the same lines as an earlier one called “Are PDF Files Indexed by Google?” But I also wanted to talk about this topic for a couple of reasons related to Search Engine Optimization and WordPress.

1. In WordPress, it is possible to specify the URL of a page or post — independent of the title you give the page or post — using the “Page Slug” / “Post Slug” feature. If you don’t specify a slug, WordPress will make one automatically using “Permalinks“. I told WordPress to give this post the URL “mcbuzz.com/2008/document-webpage-indexed-by-google”. If I hadn’t done so, WordPress would have called it “mcbuzz.com/2008/how-to-see-if-a-page-or-document-on-your-website-has-been-indexed-by-google”. Shorter is better as long as the relevant keywords are included in a URL, so I made it shorter by tweaking it a bit and removing words I don’t think are as relevant for SEO as the ones I kept.

2. Google is indexing pages and posts very quickly these days, sometimes in under an hour. The post you are reading right now was indexed in less than 7 minutes. If you have a URL indexed by Google, you may not want to change it because if you change it, the link to the page that’s in Google’s index will be broken. Someone might find your page or post by doing a Google search, but when they click on the listing, they will get a “Page not found” error from your site.

So, if you want to use the Page Slug / Post Slug feature in WordPress to customize your URLs, do so before or shortly after you publish a page or post. If you are thinking of changing a URL, you can check to see if your page has already been indexed before you change it.

If it has been indexed, you need to weigh the possible long-term SEO benefit of changing the URL so that it is more likely to show up on page 1 or 2 of Google for your target keywords — because Google will eventually re-index it. But if it has been indexed already and you want people to find it for some searches right away (in the next week or two, say) then you are probably better off leaving well enough alone.

Here’s an update to this post. News flash: That last paragraph applies only to WordPress.com-hosted websites and blogs. If your site is hosted by a third party rather than WordPress.com, and you are comfortable enough with WordPress to be able to download, install and activate a WordPress plugin (or you know someone who can help you do so), then you don’t need to worry about whether a post or page has already been indexed by Google or not. You can use a WordPress plugin called “Redirection” to redirect someone to the new URL when they request your page or post using the old URL.

In other words, say you create a post called My New Post with the URL http://www.example.com/my-new-post/. It gets indexed by Google in 30 minutes or whatever. Then you realize, Oops!, I should have named that post My New Post About WordPress, because it’s about WordPress! And you really should include “wordpress” in the URL to make the URL more search engine friendly, i.e., to let search engines know that the post really is about WordPress. One of the absolute best ways to do that is to put your keyword — in this case “wordpress” — in the URL. So go ahead, rename your post and either create a new post slug yourself or let WordPress do it for you.

Now your new URL can be http://www.example.com/my-new-post-about-wordpress/ (or whatever you want to make it using the Page Slug /Post Slug feature in the editing window). If someone finds your post using Google, and Google is still using the old URL, that person will click on the link and when their web browser asks your host’s server for the page at http://www.example.com/my-new-post/ , the server will know that they really want the page at the new URL http://www.example.com/my-new-post-about-wordpress/ and it will redirect them there. The fact that you changed the post title and the URL will not keep people from being able to find the page. Pretty cool.

Now for this to work, you have to know how to install the Redirection plugin, and how to set it so that it does what you want. And you also have to be using permalinks. (Read more about WordPress permalinks here.) I just installed the plugin on mcbuzz.com, at it’s one of the easier plugins to use. Just follow the directions in the readme.txt file that comes with the plugin. You can set it to create redirections automatically when a post slug changes, or you can do it yourself manually when a post or page slug changes.

Confused? Just send me a comment using the form below.

Comments: 3

Optimize PDF Files For Websites and Search Engines

Search engine optimization is a cornerstone of web marketing. Just as strides have been made in PDF accessibility for people with disabilities, improvements in Adobe Acrobat Professional and other PDF programs make it easier to optimize PDF files for websites and search engines.

Search engines read and catalog PDF files just like they do standard web pages. Many businesses create a lot of content as PDF files, and they don’t necessarily have time to convert these into HTML for inclusion on a website. Optimizing PDF files for websites (i.e., search engines) is a good compromise and well worth the trouble.

Using Adobe Acrobat Professional, PDF documents can be optimized with many of the same techniques used to optimize web pages.

For details, check out Eleven Tips For Optimizing PDFs For Search Engines on SearchEngineLand.com.

Not all of these tips make sense to someone with limited or no web marketing / development experience. If you have questions, just give me a shout using the Comments and I will answer them ASAP.

OPTIMIZING PDF FILES FOR SEARCH ENGINES IS NOT THE SAME AS OPTIMIZING PDF FILE SIZE
It’s worth noting that some of the most highly ranked web pages you find when you search using keywords like “optimizing pdf files for search engines” are more than two years old and they deal only with optimizing PDF file size.

Where PDFs are concerned, file size has almost nothing to do with search engine optimization. PDF files that have a high number of pages may be less likely to be completely scanned by search engine spiders* because they may have trouble getting through all the pages. So, it’s a good idea to break large PDFs into sections with fewer pages. But reducing PDF file size by compressing images in the file, which is basically what these articles are talking about, is not going to help optimize the PDF for search engines at all.

*A “spider” is web page reading software used by Google and others that “crawls” the World Wide Web, collecting and cataloging information so it can be used to rank a web page’s relevance for a given search.

Comments: 6