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From Brain To Blog – How to Work with Industry Experts

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The Scenario:

You’re developing web content for an industrial B2B company that has 20+ employees, most of whom are experts in their field. Their premier product is highly technical and in a niche market that is traditionally offline, as are many B2B businesses. Their site and its audience are relatively small, but growing rapidly.

Because this particular industry was so slow to migrate to a digital world, the competition isn’t incredibly high. This means that, hypothetically, keyword-targeted high-quality content rich with expert information could easily rank well.


"Writing Is Hard" Charlie Brown Comic Strip

It sounds simple, but getting a handful of industry veterans to contribute content by writing down the wealth of knowledge in their brains is no field day. The expert’s first question is typically, “What do you want to know?” It’s a valid question. If I worked in the industry for 20+ years and someone asked me to write, I’d likely respond with a similar remark.

So how does one coax information from an expert’s brain? This question becomes more challenging when you are not an expert in the industry yourself. Here are a few of my tried-and-true solutions: Read More…

What Should You Do With Old Content? Part 3 of 3

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PART ONEPART TWOPART THREE

Making the Right Choice – Part 3 of 3

In the two previous parts to this three-part series, we discussed the issues facing us as we evaluate potential outdated content, and we investigated options to handle that content. In part 3, we discuss how to pick the right right options.

Matching Option to Scenario(s)

By now, you should have answers to important questions like, “How much effort is this worth?“, “what are my SEO needs”, and “what are my UX issues”?

You can now use the table below, which shows the impact of your options for handling old content on labor costs, SEO, and UX.

Old-content-options

Read More…

Linking AdWords to Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

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Roughly 85 percent of Google queries are not new searches. The majority of searches are old favorites that are asked nearly each day.

The same is true at our Google AdWords trainings where FAQs dominate Q&A. People tend to struggle from similar obstacles year after year, whether it be match type or account settings or whatever.

Somewhere just beyond Michael’s top 5 common PPC questions is linking Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts, a question that we hear at most AdWords training sessions.

“Why can’t I see my AdWords data in my Google Analytics?”

Read More…

Where Should The Google Tag Manager Snippet Be Placed?

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Perhaps this sounds familiar: Your team has just decided to start transitioning to Google Tag Manager. However, you’re stuck on where you need to place the container code.

Traditionally, you’ve placed the Google Analytics immediately before the closing head tag, or perhaps it’s even still in the footer. (gasp!)

With Google Tag Manager the placement is now a little different. Instead of placing it in the head section, Google recommends putting the container code immediately after the opening body tag. Read More…

What Should You Do With Old Content? Part 2 of 3

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PART ONEPART TWOPART THREE

Options for Dealing with Old Content

This post is part of series on how to handle old and outdated content. Part 1 focused on your internal resources and the reasons you may want to update old content. Part 2 focuses on the 6 types of potential options you have for how to update old content, and Part 3 will help you make the right decisions.

As you identify problem pages, whether they’re outdated, incorrect, or no longer relevant, you can also start thinking about the best way to fix these pages. Read More…

Best Practices to Avoid Dark Social

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The rise in unattributed, or ‘direct’, traffic is a growing problem in the web analytics world and social media may be a big part of the problem.

Dark social was a term first used by The Atlantic to describe social visits to their site that were misattributed. Even though these users theoretically came from social media platforms, they were grouped in with ‘direct’ traffic.

When a link is opened from inside a mobile app or from some web applications, it can be difficult to determine how the user got to the site. The main social media giants Facebook and Twitter have taken some steps to help this problem, but social traffic is a long way from being 100% accurate. Read More…

What Should You Do With Old Content? Part 1 of 3

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PART ONEPART TWOPART THREE
Answer: It depends. But don’t ignore it. 

Don’t ignore your old and potentially outdated content. You don’t yet know if it could be a huge burden or a huge opportunity for your site. Your old pages might also be where the majority of your audience lands; in October 2014, for example, about 2/3rds of traffic to our blog was to articles published prior to 2014.

Many folks take the “set it and forget it” approach to content (and to blogs in particular), spending a ton of time creating it, yet never revisiting it. This is a shame – there are potentially huge returns to investing time in revisiting-and-revising the old stuff. (I can personally attest to said returns, as we’ve seen plenty of success addressing old content for our clients). So do something.

You should carefully consider several options to handling old content. In this series, I’ll lay out those options and suggest a framework for choosing the most appropriate method for dealing with it. Part 1 begins with considerations.

Read More…

Search Lessons From Google’s Eric Schmidt

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Eric Schmidt, executive chairman (and longtime CEO) of Google knows a thing or two about managing a growing business in the 21st century. He also knows a little bit about search.

In promotion of his new book How Google Worksco-written by Jonathan Rosenberg, he released a terrific little slidedeck summarizing the company’s approach to work (Full slidedeck at bottom of post).

Though the book and the slideshow are primarily aimed at the Management audience, these lessons are very relevant to those of us in the search world as well. Read More…

Extracting Schema & Metadata With Google Tag Manager

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If you’re evaluating the performance of your site content, it can help tremendously to segment that content into a variety of cohorts. Unfortunately, many website owners have trouble getting enough information about their content into Google Analytics to help them with their analysis.

Some information may already be available on your website, like information about your page or extra information that gives context to the page.

Ultimately we want to bring these additional dimensions about your content into Google Analytics to help with your analysis. One way to do this is by leveraging Schema and Google Tag Manager.

What’s Schema

If you’re still unaware of Schema, it’s a way of marking up your content so that it is recognized by Google and other search providers. This helps search engines to better understand your content, and hopefully deliver it in a more relevant way to people searching on their systems.

Ultimately, it’s about driving more organic visitors to your website. Read More…

Easy Upload for Google Tag Manager’s Lookup Table Version 2

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In October 2014, the Google Tag Manager team announced a new version of their popular tool, complete with easier workflows, a brighter design, and many other wonderful features. Most things work in a familiar fashion, with a few name changes.

Macros are now called Variables, and the Lookup Table Variable works exactly as we would expect it to. Sadly, there is still no support for CSV upload, so there still exists a need for a tool that people can use to quickly copy and paste from Excel or Google Drive.

I created a clunky workaround for Version 1, and at the request of many, I’ve now created an updated version that works with the new interface. As the GTM team continues to improve the design and functionality of Version 2, this tool could possibly stop working, and could hopefully become unnecessary.

Read More…