Google Analytics Pt 3: The Final Wrap-Up

Google Analytics Pt 3: The Final Wrap-Up

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As we’ve learned over these last three weeks there is so much information inside your Google Analytics account. We learned how to connect it to your website in Part 1 and in Part 2 we learned how to read those statistics and how to find what you need quickly. Today, we’re talking about Google Analytics integrations that will take your stats to the next level

GA is a robust tool that can help you not only read those statistics, but it gives you a snapshot of the health of your business. From your website to MailChimp or other email service providers and even Youtube!

Mailchimp (which is what I use on a daily basis and you should too!) is the most important integration to me and that’s because it gives me the answers I need quickly and I don’t have to go to other places to find it. I can access the information right from my MailChimp reports page! To set this up follow these instructions:

 

 

screenshot of Google/Mailchimp integration
screenshot MailChimp/Google Analytics integration
screenshot of MailChimp / Google Analytics integration
screenshot of MailChimp/Google anlytics integration
screenshot of MailChimp/Google Analytics integrations

Google together with MailChimp can help you optimize your campaigns by giving your readers what they are most interested in.

Google Analytics & Youtube

You can also combine your Google Analytics account with your Youtube Channel. I found this great step-by-step video by ExtremeWebDesign.com

 

Google Analytics & Social Media

It’s very easy to track the amount of traffic that comes from different social media platforms. There is no integration, no coding!

This information is already there! Just sign in to your GA account and follow these intructions:

social media stats on Google Analytics
social media stats inside Google Analytics

As you can see you can easily keep track of your statistics and therefore improve your content creation, campaign optimization, social media ads or posts, etc.

Knowledge = Power!

Starting next week I’m going to be starting a new series on MailChimp! I hope you’ll join me. Don’t want to miss out? Sign up below↓.

Get Ready For The Holidays With These Customizable Pinterest & Instagram templates!

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Google Analytics Part 2: Understanding The Translation

Google Analytics Part 2: Understanding The Translation

black/white flatlay desktop keyboard, mouse, various office supplies

Last week, I started this Google Analytics series by showing you how to connect it to your website. Once you do that it will take time to record the statistics. Google Analytics doesn’t go backward! You won’t be able to check statistics from the past, but in just a few days or weeks will give you a snapshot of how you’re website. The longer that you have it connected the clearer that snapshot will be.

I completely understand that for some just looking at the GA dashboard is stressful. It’s almost like a foreign language until you start to understand the amount of information that you can find about your website, your sales, your readers, or whatever you’d like to track. Today, I’m going to show you how to find that information quickly and explain things that you might not understand.

The Main Dashboard

The first thing you need to do is to go HERE & learn the terms that you’re going to have to know to make any sense of data. Some of the information that is in GA are things that you really don’t need. Unless you’re running a larger eCommerce site. This is for bloggers and small businesses who need valuable information about

  1. How many people come to the website?
  2. What they do when they get there?
  3. What they are interested in?
  4. What is working & what needs improvement?

This will allow you to create content that your readers want. For a small business, it could help you decide when and what to put on sale. Who to target you’re marketing toward and understand what it is they need and most importantly how you can help then achieve it.

screenshot of Google Analytics dashboard

My screenshot is a little blurry, but you can see there is a lot here. Let’s go over where to find the important facts.

Google Analytics screenshot

AUDIENCE>>OVERVIEW:
  • How many people come to your website?
  • How long they stay there?
  • How many are new visitors and how many are returning visitors?
DEMOGRAPHICS>>OVERVIEW

Marketing has to be different depending on the audience.

INTERESTS>>OVERVIEW

You wouldn’t sell to a man the same way you sell to the women (just ask the creators of the tampon tax)! Unlike that example, there are reasons why you need to know your audience ages. Something that interests me at 50 would bore my daughter to death who is 28. My husband plays softball…me…not so much.

Learning how to read the language of analytics can help you drill down the best marketing approach for your individual readers. Next week, I’ll show you how to integrate GA and get even more information!

Do you still have questions? Comment down below!

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The Tools I Can’t Live Without Pt. 2

The Tools I Can’t Live Without Pt. 2

Entrepreneur working at a desk

*The tools and products below are used by me on a daily basis. However, I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE and I am not paid by these companies.

One question that I get asked quite often is, “What tools do you regularly use to do what you do”. I spend 90% of my time online and finding tools that are easy to use, easy to set up, and affordable could be a whole career in itself. If you’re not familiar with me I run three websites, three FB groups, spending time on social media platforms, plus I manage over 58 websites (not including my own).

If you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. Today we’re going to talk about a few more of the important tools that I use to run my business. There are so many tools out there and I have to admit I’ve been guilty of shiny object syndrome and I’ve gone down enough rabbit holes in my time, but I have found that less really is better when it comes to running your business.

There are things you need to do:

  1. Email service provider (newsletter vs rss feed)
  2. Keeping track of your statistics
  3. Creating content
  4. Organizational

These are just a few, but they are the ones we’re going to cover today.

Email Service Providers

I’ve worked with a lot of email service providers and I’ve even recommended a few, BUT I always come back to MailChimp. I hands down recommend this to everyone whether they are a blogger or have an eCommerce site. You cannot find better value then the paid version of MC and if you have under 2,000 you can use totally FREE!

Below are a comparison of the top three email service providers CONSTANT CONTACT, CONVERTKIT & MAILCHIMP:

pricing charts for MailChimp

You can see here that for $9.99 you can have up to 50,000 contacts with a MailChimp Essentials account. Under 2,000 is completely free.

Pricing Chart For ConvertKit.

ConvertKit charges $29 for 1,000 subscribers.

 

 

Pricing chart for Constant Contact

As you can see Constant Contact wants a whopping $45 a month!

I use MailChimp, I recommend MailChimp and if you look right over there →→→ ( in the sidebar) you will see the MailChimp logo. I’ve recently partnered with MailChimp and after weeks of testing, I am now an official MailChimp expert. I AM NOT AN AFFILIATE I DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM YOU SIGNING UP. I just really love the service.

Have questions about what MailChimp can do for you? Just email me at Rena (at) theblogging911.com.

Tracking Your Statistics

You know I love me some statistics! So much so that I became a Certified Google Analyst. Also over there →→→ BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s the only tool I use. Sometimes you need comparing views especially when you’re trying to see if what you’re doing is working.

So of course, I turn to Google because let’s face it, they are the internet Gods. But I also like using JetPack’s statistics. You can get a lot of information by comparing the two. Jetpack has a free and a paid version and it does offer a lot of features but you can get the same information for free.

Google Analytics is free and very easy to set up these days and if you use the MonsterInsights plugin it gets even easier. I totally recommend all three of these products.

IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure to filter out your own IP so that you aren’t counted in those statistics. I made a video showing exactly how to do that in this blog post.

Creating Content

Creating content is nonstop so anything you can find that will help you accomplish creating compelling content that people are actually wanting to read can be difficult some days. I usually write all of my content right in the WordPress post editor but when I’m working on ideas I like to open up a Google Doc. They are easy to use and easy to share. I do have Microsoft Word, but Google Docs is just easier sometimes and this especially true if you’re using Gmail.

I like to get inspiration from several places. It may be a newsletter I’ve read, a webinar I’ve watched or a podcast I’ve listened to. My favorite place to go for a little inspiration is Pinterest first. I am a visual learner and Pinterest is the eye candy of visual learners. I love to learn and I try to learn something new every single day even if it’s just about myself.

I also get a lot of inspiration from your questions, but lately, my most favorite way to create content is in my newsletter. I share a blog post every week, but I also like to have conversations with all of you. I love hearing your replies so please keep them coming! Also, if you have something that you’d like me to cover let me know.

Organizational

I have to be totally for real here. I struggle with organization every single day of my life. I am not an organized person and I work hard, but don’t always accomplish my goals. My mind doesn’t work the way it used to and some of my struggles are memory issues, spatial judgment, and organization. That being said as a business owner I require a certain amount and the way I’ve found to deal with this is to try not to overcomplicate it. I have bought courses on time-blocking, organizational concepts, and automation and on and on. All a waste of money in hindsight.

No one thing works for me so I use a multitude of services to achieve the mediocre amount of organization I can actually stick with and here it goes.

Dropbox

I save all of my clients’ assets to a shared folder in Dropbox. This is also where I store all website backup copies. I also store most of my assets there as well, but historically I have used Google Drive for client files and One drive for mine, but recently decided to keep it all in one place. I spent a REALLY LONG weekend setting it all up, but I love it now.

Trello

I am very new to the Trello game and I cannot believe what I have been missing! I am still working out my system there because I did what I always did and ran around like a sugar addict in a candy store creating more and more boards, but I have created ONE BOARD that contains EVERYTHING I need in my daily business. Client info, passwords, subscriptions, and even a list of the many, many courses I’ve bought over the years.

Canva

Is also a great place to store graphics and pdfs etc. You can create folders to keep it all in order. This way when I’m making a graphic I have what I need to create it in the client folder. I love Canva so much (I have the business account) that I totally did away with Photoshop & Illustrator. I can do everything I need to do with Canva and $12.95 is a lot better than $53 monthly!

Pinterest

Is another place to store things. I create a secret board with every new design to pin inspiration, ideas, and branding pieces. I always have a few secret boards going for research purposes.

What tools do you depend on to do what you do?

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What You Don’t Know About SEO Could Be Hurting You

What You Don’t Know About SEO Could Be Hurting You

flatlay- pink desktop with tea, hair scrunchy and notepad with paperclips scattered around.

SEO is the ban of a blogger’s or small business owner’s existence, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as some make it out to be. Search Engine Optimization is the science behind making search engines like Google or Bing find your article relevant enough to push it to the top of search requests.

Think of it as a dating service. The reader puts in keywords looking for information on a certain topic and Google or other search engine matches it with a list of pieces of content that come closest in keywords matches. Then from that Google compares how many of those links are current and how many of those links are used throughout your site. It’s comparing your expertise within your niche to give their reader the best content.

Is it’s considered “Cornerstone Content”? Cornerstone Content is described in the great blog post by SEO by Yoast.:

Cornerstone content is the core of your website. It consists of the best, most important articles on your site; the pages or posts you want to rank highest in the search engines. Cornerstone articles are usually relatively long, informative articles, combining insights from different blog posts and covering everything that’s important about a certain topic.

There is no one answer, but I’ve created a system that works for me and today I’m going to share it with you. There are a few steps to make this work properly, but just like any recipe the proof ingredients.

When you create a blog post SEO should be involved in every single aspect.

  • Title
  • keywords
  • headlines
  • image titles
  • image descriptions
  • categories
  • tags
  • Cornerstone Content
  • social media posts

For example, we’re going to write a piece of content for our food blog:

The Title

You’re creating a post all about potato salad. (I love me some good potato salad!) So we’ll use the list above and start with the title. I like to use CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer when I’m creating my titles, but let me tell sometimes I think that we “overthink” it. I like to come up with 3 different headlines and see which one scores the most, maybe tweak it a little bit. So a potato salad title:

  1. This Is The World’s Best Potato Salad & You Won’t Believe What’s In It!
  2. The Potato Salad Everyone Will Be Begging You To Make Over & Over.
  3. Summer Isn’t Summer Without This Potato Salad Recipe.

Below are each of the headlines analyzed:

 

Keywords

Keywords are important not only in search engines but also in social media platforms use it as well. I like to keep my post keywords to between 3-5.

  1. Potato salad
  2. potato
  3. salad
  4. recipes
  5. summer salads

Those keywords should be in your title, description, excerpt, social media posts, categories, tags, and even in the title and description of the images. Now you can’t just go in there packing in keywords like you’re trying to shove a weeks’ worth of clothes in a carryon bag. It needs to be natural. Think of ways that you can use longtail keywords within the post such as:

  • This potato salad was my mother’s and it is always at the top of my summer salad recipes.
  • I make potato salad every year and we always use mustard in our recipe.
  • Potato salad recipes are everywhere and each one has it’s own variations.

Then we come to images. This is where for most people SEO goes right out the window. I see it all of the time. Naked images. There are a few places that keywords can be used.

  1. The image itself should be relevant to the post. Don’t put a picture of an elephant in the potato salad post.
  2. When you upload your image into WordPress there is a box for the description. Now, this is a description of the post, not the image itself. Something like: “This is my favorite potato salad recipe. and I’m showing you step-by-step how you make it”.
  3. The “alt text”. GOOGLE WILL PENALIZE YOU FOR NOT FILLING THIS OUT. This section is imperative so that visually disabled people can still enjoy the internet. If you’re using relevant images this is another place where you can build SEO. Is the image of your recipe? So for the alt text, you could use, “an image of my summer potato salad”. Which is “exactly” what it is and also included a few keywords.
  4. The link to your current post, of course.

Each little piece of this puzzle makes up the whole. A complete strategy also uses “categories” and “tags”. Using these two things consistently does a lot for your SEO. Don’t give them cute names use keywords:

  • Summer Salads – category   –    Potato Salad recipes – tag
  • Salad Recipes – category    –    Potato salad, Summer salads – tags

Social media is also a great place to use keywords. Pinterest especially because it is a visual search engine, not a social media, but I’m grouping it with them because people share their content with the platform. When people go to Pinterest they’re looking for something. So they search…just like Google. This again is where that image SEO kicks in.

So in conclusion, no one thing will work to help you build your SEO successfully. Each little piece goes together much like the ingredients of the potato salad. You can’t just throw a couple of potatoes in a bowl and call it potato salad. It’s the combination of all of those things that will make you consistently ranking.

Of course, you know that I’ve done it for you.

Get Your Own Blog Post SEO Checklist

Fill one out for each blog post and remember SEO is created by:

  1.  Great content.
  2. Good structure.
  3. keywords
  4. relevant images
  5. time

P.S. Bonus points if you use keywords
in your free incentive pieces!

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Best Content Writing Tips to Boost Your Personal Blog Storytelling

Best Content Writing Tips to Boost Your Personal Blog Storytelling

People love stories. That’s a fact. There is something about that compelling narrative that makes us want to know more. So, if your blog embodies personal storytelling you are on the right path to win over an audience. However, besides the powerful form of storytelling, you need great content writing to keep the audience engaged.

Your blog can exude with impressive stories but without a good content writing strategy, it won’t reach its full potential. Are you ready to boost your personal blog storytelling? If the answer is yes, then keep on reading and employ the following content writing tips.

Express Your Voice

Authenticity is what the audience seek for. Give your blog authentic form by finding and expressing your voice. People will memorize your stories and link them back to you if they recognize a specific type of writing each time.

You can notice this in different types of content writing. Successful brands have a unique voice that makes them recognizable. That’s what gives a more personal tone to the content.
Your voice should present your personality. Everyone is unique in its own way so the easiest way to find your voice is to simply let your personality shine in your stories. The consistency of using the same voice will make your blog wholesome.

Grab Attention with the First Sentence

The first sentence is the crossing point. A good one will lead the reader further into the story and the bad one will make them give up on the post instantly. There is no SEO strategy that can help you acquire more readers if you ruin the first impression.

There are several ways of creating a good start for your story:

  • Quote – A relevant quote will tickle the readers’ imagination and give them a sense of what your story will be about.
  • Anecdote – Anecdotes can make the readers’ laugh or educate them. Either way, they are always interesting to read.
  • Question – Questions have the power to get people to keep reading as they subconsciously need to get an answer.
  • Statistic – Statistics give credibility to your story.

 

Have a Key Message

Ask yourself: What’s the moral of this story? This question should resurface in every new blog post. If you don’t know why you are telling that story neither will the audience. That’s why defining the message is a good start.

Use your stories to convey the message that carries some sort of solution or revelation. Each story you include in your personal blog should have a purpose. This is what all content writers do. Whether they are writing a brand copy or video script, they form a message that will be conveyed.

The message of the story can be in the opening or closing part of the post. If you include it in the beginning, it will give the readers a reason to read it. On the other hand, if you form it as a conclusion it will sum up for the audience what they can learn from that story.

Incorporate Elements of a Good Story

Storytelling is a method that is popularly used for different purposes. From website content to promotional material, it can be found everywhere. What we can learn from various uses of storytelling are the elements of a good story.

A good story is:

  • Well-written
  • Entertaining
  • Educational
  • Organized
  • Truthful
  • Relatable

“By analyzing numerous storytelling content, our team has come to the conclusion that you can spot the same elements is all of them. It’s important to mention that we only considered successful storytelling campaigns and content forms. Using elements such as good structure, authenticity, everyday language, and relatable stories, you will increase the effectiveness of your blog,” says Cara Gordon, a senior writer, and editor at writing service TrustMyPaper with years of blogging experience.

Easily relatable stories such as a different crisis that most people go through will not only make boost your blog but they can truly help people. Be honest, speak from experience, and focus on delivering a story that speaks to people.

Use Visuals

As visual beings, we tend to navigate towards content that is enhanced with images. Complete your stories with appropriate imagery and you can bring them to life. When readers get the help of images to visualize what you are writing about, the story will be more memorable.

Try to avoid stock photos in your personal storytelling. Instead, include the photos you took or images of quotes. You don’t have to add images that portray you, just take original photos that will complement the story. If you’ve been using stock images it’s time to re-evaluate your visuals.

If you want to build your social media presence through the blog, adding your Instagram feed to the website is a good option. It can give users a glimpse into your world and add some color to the website.

Final Thoughts

When you combine strategic content writing with an amazing story you’ll have all you need to build an army of followers. Apply what you have learned from this content writing tips to your blog and you’ll be able to boost the effectiveness of storytelling. Remember that success demands strategy just as much as it demands talent and authenticity.

Dorian Martin is a professional content creator who writes the best essays for expert academic services. In his free time, Dorian runs his own blog and reads publications from fellow writers.

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Have You Audited Your Website’s Mobile View? Here’s What You Could Be Missing!

Have You Audited Your Website’s Mobile View? Here’s What You Could Be Missing!

I read A LOT of blog posts and like most people, I use a variety of devices to do it. At this time I have, a laptop (2), an iPad, and my iPhone, and what I find most often really surprises me.

80% of the blog posts I read are not totally mobile responsive AND you are being penalized by

  • a lower ranking,
  • a lower domain authority, and whether not your website is showing up in Google searches.
  • no matter how good of an SEO strategy you have if your site isn’t mobile responsive it’s all for naught.

To see this many websites who just aren’t getting it really concerns me. This can mean lower readership, lower sales, and a user experience that leaves a lot to be desired.

Answer this honestly: When was the last time you looked at your website on your mobile device? That doesn’t mean getting on and taking care of something like approving a comment, but really looking at what your readers and clients see when they visit your website on mobile view.

Have you?

  • Read a blog post & attempted to comment?
  • Tried to opt-in on your phone?
  • Tried to fill out your contact form?
  • Clicked on your social media buttons?
  • Tried to share a blog post on social media?

These are all tests that you should use to check your website for mobile responsiveness. I say at least every 6 months or anytime you make changes to your website.

As I was reading just this morning alone I saw:

  • images that wouldn’t load or were not the right size
  • no sharing buttons anywhere. I saw several food and/or tech blogs who didn’t have Pinterest buttons or Pinterest sized images on your site. Did you know that most community boards won’t allow you to pin unless your image size is 735 x 1102 or even better 1000 x 1600?
  • no commenting section

& that was only after an hour of testing out different sites!

I know this isn’t something new, I mean Google started putting the word out in 2015 so why aren’t people listening? I’m not sure but I’m going to hope that you just don’t know what you don’t know. When I was researching this issue I found lots of articles on “mobile-friendliness”. Here’s a great one I found on Search Engine Journal or this one on Business News Daily.

Here are a few facts:

  1. More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices.
  2. Google prioritizes mobile pages load speed as a key metric.
  3. They offer all sorts of free tools to help you achieve complete mobile responsiveness.

Are you tired of trying to find these answers by yourself or you just need a little help knowing what to do and how to do it?

Today I want to offer you this:

A free mobile responsiveness audit of your own website. That’s right I’m offering you a completely free of charge audit. What do you have to do? Sign up below and give me 72 hours and I’ll email you the results! That’s it!

 

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