Local Search Trends

After a year of major shifts, changes and general upheaval in the world of local search, 2013 is sure to bring more excitement and opportunity for businesses both small and large.   2012 was a year of unprecedented change and development when it came to local search.  Widespread adoption and use of smartphones and tablets altered the way people search for local businesses, and the introduction of Google+ Local, Apple Maps, the Google Maps search application for iOS, the release of countless new mobile devices and tablets programmed with countless different local search mechanisms, and a drastic shift in Google’s search results towards local intent, it was a year for businesses to scramble to catch up.

Boiling the momentous changes that happened in the local search world in 2012 is hardly worth it now; it’s time to look forward to 2013 and be prepared for the new trends to come.  Without further ado, here are the important trends we anticipate this year.

Google+ Local Gaining Even More Importance

google plus logo 275x300 Local Search TrendsMore than half of smartphones used in the US are Android devices, and more than one third are Apple iPhones.  Now that users of the iPhone with iOS 6 can download the Google Maps application, and since that application was downloaded more than ten million times the first day it was released in December, that makes a vast majority of smartphone maps and local searches happening every day powered by Google.  The move from Google Places to Google+ Local in 2012 can be seen as a harbinger of things to come, meaning that businesses small and large must be prepared to optimize their profiles and rapidly adjust to changes as they come (and they will) this year.

Apple Maps and Yelp Increase the Focus on Reviews

yelp button Local Search TrendsWhile it is true that Google Maps will be the key driver of mobile-local searches in 2013, Apple’s mapping system is sure to be highly utilized, and we are sure to see many enhancements of the widely criticized map platform this year.  One thing that most people agree was a smart move by Apple, was to seamlessly incorporate Yelp reviews on maps listings.  We are sure to see an increased focus on incorporating online reviews, tips and check-ins on local listing results.  Businesses must place an even higher importance on tracking reviews and understanding their implications on local search in the New Year.

Less Focus on Rankings – More Focus on Traffic

Local search results are extremely fluid.  Whether a person is searching from a desktop, tablet or smartphone, their exact location (no longer a general city or even neighborhood) plays a role in the local businesses that are provided in the results. This means that tracking rankings for local search phrases from a single geographic location is not an effective way of showing progress. Instead of focusing on keyword rankings, local search marketers must turn to traffic reports to know that local search efforts are paying off.  Monitoring mobile traffic, location page visits, and visits from specific referrers such as Google Plus, Google Maps, Yelp, and Bing Local will provide a better picture of results in 2013 than keyword reports did in 2012.

Go Directly to the Source

Large data aggregators such as Localeze must be leveraged for accurate business data proliferation across the Internet.  Our partnership with Localeze will allow us to directly control the business listing data across over 140 major directories and maps providers.  In 2013 savvy businesses will ensure that their key business data – their business name, address and phone number – is accurate and manageable through a key data aggregator.

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Google Launches “Full Value Of Mobile” Calculator

To Help Businesses Measure Online And Offline Impact Of Mobile Marketing

FVM google

The market for mobile advertising is forecast to reach $11.4 billion this year on the back of explosive growth in smartphones and tablets, but companies like Google, currently the world leader in mobile advertising, are all too aware of a big issue that could trouble the industry longer-term: there aren’t enough tools out there for businesses to measure how effective their campaigns are relative to actual sales. So the search giant is taking the bull by the horns and rolling out a new service to combat that: a calculator, called the Full Value of Mobile, that helps businesses that use Google’s mobile advertising services — specifically using AdWords — to measure how their mobile marketing translates into actual business, both online and offline.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Google’s calculator is launching on the same day that local listings serviceYelp is releasing its own estimating tool for small businesses to measure the impact that Yelp is having on their business. It’s like the old saying about buses.

Google has already made some efforts in this space, for example by extending AdWords analytics into mobile, but as Johanna Werther, head of Mobile Ads Marketing, notes in a blog post, “with more work to be done to improve measurement tools, most marketers still account only for sales happening on a mobile site and aren’t seeing the full picture.”

The calculator, she says, provides “simple equations and benchmarks” that speak to different aspects of a mobile marketing campaign. For example, how many people phone you as a result of an ad (using Google’s automatic dialling feature); and what impact is a cross-device campaign having versus one across a single platform? The metrics, in a sense, bring into context the many features that Google has been building out for the platform, and provide a way for businesses to better access those analytics. This is important for small businesses in particular, who may not have the budgets for larger campaigns and teams of people to do this work for them.

Google claims that the set-up for using the new calculator takes only about 30 minutes, and other metrics that are revealed include total value, value per click, and ROI for a campaign. “You’ll also see how cost-effective your mobile CPAs are,” Werther notes.

TechCrunch’s Picks: The Top 7 Startups

TechCrunch’s Picks: The Top 7 Startups From Y Combinator’s W13 Demo Day

ANTHONY HAposted yesterday24 Comments
Y Combinator was tougher to get into than ever this season, and the quality showed on stage. Thirty-three startups presented on the record at the incubator’s Winter 2013 Demo Day today. Picking the most promising ones was no easy task. But after a team huddle and taking input from VCs and founders, TechCrunch has chosen seven startups that have the potential to disrupt big businesses and make the world a better place to live.

YC’s head honcho Paul Graham said that he and his partners were pickier than ever about which startups were admitted to the Winter 2013 class. YC sported an all-time high of female co-founders this time around, though they still only make of 10 percent of the class. Fourteen of the 47 startups have refused press for now, but you can read about all 33 of the startups that demoed on the record in our write-ups about Batch 1 and Batch 2. Congratulations to everyone who presented. But now, on to our favorites.

THALMIC: A WEARABLE GESTURE DEVICE
Thalmic Labs has developed a sensor you wear on your forearm designed to detect electrical signals that map to movements in your hands. The device, called the MYO, is a gesture controller that doesn’t require a Kinect-style camera. The limitation with camera-based systems like the Kinect is that you have to perform a limited set of gestures in a fixed space. Thalmic is pitching this as a “once in a generation” shift in human-computer interfaces. It can be used to move through a slide presentation, play games, or control other wireless devices via Bluetooth.

When it opened pre-orders in February, people bought 10,000 MYOs at $149 a pop in just two days, which adds up to $1.5 million in sales. You can read more TechCrunch coverage of Thalmic and the MYO here and here.

WATSI: A NON-PROFIT TO FUND TREATMENTS
Watsi is Y Combinator’s first non-profit. (Or, as YC’s Paul Graham joked, it’s the incubator’s first company that’s “intentionally” not-for-profit.) It’s a crowdfunding platform for global health care. Essentially, people can pool funds to pay the medical bills of someone in need. For example, the first patient it helped was a 12-year-old girl in Nepal whose parents couldn’t afford transportation to the country’s capital for surgery. Watsi’s community crowdfunded the project in eight days.

The company says that it’s working with 13 medical organizations, and that it funds 17 patients per week on average. And 100 percent of the donations go directly to fund the medical care, with Watsi planning to cover costs several ways, including optional tips. You can read more of our coverage here.

LOLLIPUFF: AUTHENTIC PRODUCT AUCTION
The eBay of designer goods, Lollipuff attempts to take the risk out of buying designer goods online by serving its customers with an authentication layer on luxury items from Chanel, Louboutin, and Herve Leger. That means zero counterfeits, so you can buy luxury items with confidence.

Since its soft launch in January, the platform has fulfilled over $45,000 in orders, growing 10x in 3 months. The startup has also seen 13 percent month-over-month user growth in the same amount of time. Founder Fei Deyle came up with the idea after starting a successful blog as a designer authenticator. Deyle brings up the crux of the buying-designer-goods-online problem in one statistic: 75 percent of Herve Leger sold on eBay is fake. “Would you spend $3k on ‘Chanel’?” Eventually she’d like to scale this authentication process by a combination of software and human expertise. “Over half of our users have never used eBay before,” she says, estimating the authentic designer retail market to be at $30 billion. Read more coverage of Lollipuff here.

SEMANTICS3: PRODUCT DATA
How do e-commerce shops know which products to sell and how much to sell them for? Semantics3 wants to use big data to answer those questions. Its audacious goal is to index all the products and all the prices on the web in one centralized location. It then sells a data license or API access to e-commerce merchants. This lets them see who else is selling the products they’re selling, how much they’re charging, how their prices are changing, and what products are doing well. And beyond traditional e-commerce, Semantics3 wants to help app developers and other verticals, as well.

If it can sell a $12,000 a year license to just the top 1 percent of the 2 million U.S. e-commerce market, it could start earning $240 million a year and help a new wave of commerce entrepreneurs succeed. Read more coverage of Semantics3 here.

WEVORCE: THE TECH-POWERED STANDARD FOR CIVILIZED DIVORCE
Wevorce offers a system for handling divorces that attempts to avoid the pain and cost of going to court. It covers six broad steps — divorce planning, co-parent planning, a parenting agreement, financial mapping, financial agreements, and divorce settlement. Its service is a combination of divorce professionals and online tools. Apparently, the system is working for early customers. The company says that 109 out of 110 Wevorce clients have never gone to court with their divorce cases. Divorce has become an institution of modern culture as people search for fulfillment even if it requires some tough decisions. If Wevorce can smooth the process, we’ll be a happier, better-adjusted society.

SIMPLYINSURED: KAYAK FOR HEALTH INSURANCE
SimplyInsured wants to make buying health insurance as easy as booking a flight. The company says that the process normally goes through a health insurance broker, and between paper copies, phone calls and faxes, it can take two to three days to get a quote. Plus, it says that thanks to Obamacare’s reduction in commissions, there are 20 million policies that can no longer be served by traditional brokers. With SimplyInsured, you don’t need a broker. You just go online and get side-by-side comparisons of all the major providers.

The company has been seeing 60 percent monthly growth in recurring revenue for the past six months. Many people see health insurance as so complicated that they fail to make the best decisions about it, despite it being a huge cost to them or their employer. SimplyInsured could guide people to the most affordable and effective plan so when they get hurt, they’re taken care of.

FLIGHTCAR: AIRPORT CAR SHARING
Flightcar is a car-sharing startup that is specifically focused on travel around airports. Car owners drive to the Flightcar location that’s five minutes away from a given airport, drop off their cars and get black car service to their flights. With Flightcar, owners are guaranteed free parking, a free car wash, and curbside pickup and dropoff. In exchange, users authorize Flightcar to rent out their cars out to other travelers while they’re gone. From the rentals side of the business, Flightcar is the cheapest car rental agency at SFO.

Launched 10 weeks ago, the startup has seen 450 rentals of over 220 vehicles — since then it’s seeing 10 percent week-on-week growth in revenue, and it’s currently making $12,000 in revenue per week. Seventy-five percent of the cars parked at Flightcar have been rented so far. The founders see the market as a combination of the $11 billion a year rental market and $5 billion a year airport parking market. “A huge opportunity,” they said. Read our earlier coverage of FlightCar here.

Mobile Ad Revenues Will Top $11.4 Billion In 2013

The growing popularity of free mobile content — largely in the form of apps — is having a big impact on mobile advertising, the route that many developers and publishers are taking to monetize that content. Gartner has released its forecasts for mobile advertising today, and it predicts that this year, mobile ads will collectively bring in $11.4 billion in revenues, a rise of 18.75% on 2012′s $9.6 billion.

With that growth will also come an evolution in what kind of ads are doing best: display ads will grow faster than search and eventually overtake them, says Gartner. But other things will not change. The Asia Pacific region will keep its dominant position in mobile ads in 2013, and for the next three years, as the global market for mobile ads grows by a further 400% between now and 2016 to $24.5 billion.

Gartner, it should be pointed out, first published these projections in November 2012, but has actually revised them up. ”The mobile advertising market took off even faster than we expected due to an increased uptake in smartphones and tablets, as well as the merger of consumer behaviors on computers and mobile devices,” writes Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

The growth of display advertising against search ads is down to a few different factors. The first of these is the increasing ubiquity of smartphones, and smartphone-like feature phones: while there is still an issue that one in every five smartphone owners never uses their device for anything other than basic voice and text, those that are using them for other services are proving to be voracious consumers of apps and mobile internet. That rise in usage means more eyeballs and more inventory for advertisers to fill.

“Smartphones and media tablets extend the addressable market for mobile advertising in more and more geographies as an increasing population of users spends an increasing share of its time with these devices,” writes Andrew Frank, research VP at Gartner. That usage, Gartner says, is currently very strong in native apps, although Gartner is in the camp of people who believe that mobile internet, and web apps, will ultimately become the more popular format over native apps.

The second trend is the fact that there are a number of new ad units that are rolling out to make the display ad experience more engaging: whether it is through reward schemes, or less invasive ways of serving those ads, these are, by many accounts, getting more people clicking on display ads, and more advertisers investing in using them.

The third is the decline of more traditional advertising, for example in newspapers and magazines. As these mediums get used less by consumers, media buyers and brands are turning to the places where consumers are reading more: tablets and smartphones. ”Growth in mobile advertising comes in part at the expense of print formats, especially local newspapers, which currently face much lower ad yields as a result of mobile publishing initiatives,” writes Baghdassarian.

But this does not mean search is disappearing — far from it. The rise of more integrated and functional maps, for example, will give that ad unit another big boost, as more brands and businesses look to buy paid placements on mapping apps. Gartner also highlights augmented reality as a rising category — but I personally remain skeptical that for now this is not more than a nice technology.

In terms of regional domination, Gartner points out an interesting shift taking place in Asia Pacific.

Whereas in the past the region was strong because of Japan and South Korea — two relatively small but early-adopting, mobile-crazy countries — its continuing prominence won’t be solely because of that. It will be down to China and India, two of the world’s biggest mobile markets, where we are seeing a big surge for smartphones and mobile data usage among a “growing middle class” of users.

North America and Western Europe, Gartner says, will “close the gap” on Asia with what Gartner refers to as “360-degree advertising campaigns.” This is another term for the kind of advertising that Google is also pushing, with the idea that ads can follow you regardless of what device you happen to be using. (Creepy but possibly useful too.) Growth in the emerging regions of  Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa will be led by gains in the big markets of Russia and Brazil, as well as Mexico.

Mobile Advertising Revenue by Region, Worldwide, 2012-2016

(Millions of Dollars)

2012

2013

2014

2016

North America

3,181.5

3,825.7

4,694.9

8,866.2

Western Europe

1,600.5

1,941.4

2,367.8

4,445.4

Asia/Pacific and Japan

4,333.0

4,864.9

5,506.7

9,480.2

Rest of the World

644.1

788.0

960.6

1,768.3

Total

9,759.1

11,420.0

13,530.0

24,560.1

Source: Gartner (November 2012)

New Google Analytics Features

1. Dashboards


Dashboards got a much needed overhaul in the new GA. Users can now create up to 20 personalized dashboards, developing widgets and formats that make the most sense for them or their company. For instance, each company department could develop its own distinct dashboard to quickly access site performance statistics that relate to department goals. Keep in mind: Dashboards can only be shared by users on the same login.

At a minimum, these four widgets would benefit the average user.

  • Visits – Timeline (can also include Metric)
  • Goal Completions and/or Transactions – Timeline
  • Source/Medium – Table
  • Bounce Rate – Timeline

2. Keyword Clouds


Rather than viewing a long list of keywords to spot trends, users can now evaluate a keyword cloud. This cloud makes it easy to visualize top keywords based on different user-selected criteria, including visits, bounce rates and pages per visit.


3. Real-Time Data


In the past, Google Analytics data was typically delayed up to 24 hours after the visit. For the first time, GA offers a real-time data solution. With its real-time reports, users can view the activity on the site as it happens, drilling into the top active pages, top referrals, keywords and geographic locations driving the traffic. In addition to monitoring current activity on the site, these reports can also be used to test campaign tracking prior to launching campaigns.


4. Site Speed


When Google released this report several months ago, it required additional code to be added to sites. Now speed reporting is standard on GA, and doesn’t need extra code. Use the site speed reports to get information about average page load time.

Why is this important? A slow site can have a negative effect on quality score for paid search, so visits can cost more to a slower site. Google has also indicated that site speed may be an important factor in organic search rankings. Additionally, a one-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Use this report to monitor site speed and avoid these issues.


5. Search Simplifies Navigation


GA has activated menu search, a phenomenal usability update. The tool makes it easier for users to quickly navigate to the proper report. Google also created an account search that lets users directly access the correct profile, rather than scrolling through hundreds to locate the right one.

GA also introduced the ability to switch between multiple profiles while staying with and maintaining the settings of the same report. Previously this could only be done using a Firefox plugin.


6. Webmaster Tools


The new integration incorporates Google Webmaster Tools data into Google Analytics. Using this tool, users can get a better sense of which Google property (web, image, local) drove site traffic. Similar to statistics provided to paid search advertisers, Webmaster Tools provides impressions, average position and CTR data for GA.

Although the numbers are not 100% accurate, they can be used to evaluate relative trends and to provide insight into data lost due to Google’s search update. Although the Webmaster Tools report is in Google Analytics, it’s limited to a single part of GA.


7. Social Engagement


Use Google Analytics to track how visitors interact socially with your site. A 2010 study showed 54% of small and medium-sized businesses said they already use or plan to use social media, and 17% planned to increase their social budget again from 2010 to 2011. With more companies making a push for social, it makes sense to analyze social site interactions.

GA’s new social reports break down how many of a site’s visitors are socially engaged with the site, itemizing which social source and action occurred. That way you can determine how many of your visitors +1′d site content vs. how many Liked it, as well as the pages that prompted this social action. Social plugins ShareThis and AddThis easily integrate with Google Analytics, passing information on social interactions back to GA with minimal changes.


8. Visitor Flow & Goal Flow Visualization


Flow Visualization was announced in October, but only recently started rolling out to most users. Flow Visualization consists of two reports: Visitors Flow and Goal Flow. The Visitors Flow report can be used to visualize the “flow” of visitors through the site, while the Goal Flow is an improvement on the original Funnel Visualization reports.

The Goal Flow report is especially valuable, as it simplifies evaluating a conversion funnel. Have a checkout process six pages long? Now you can determine at which page people are abandoning their carts. Then improve the process and save the sales.


9. Event Tracking


Prior to this new feature, any goal interaction with a site that didn’t result in a new URL needed to be tracked using special code to create a virtual pageview, which resulted in inflated numbers in GA. For the first time, Events can be used as goals. Want to find out how many people downloaded a PDF? Interested in knowing how many visitors viewed more than 30 seconds of a video on your site? Now users can easily track these events without affecting other metrics.


10. Multi-Channel Funnels


The Multi-Channel Funnels are a series of reports intended to help provide attribution information. For example, a person visits your site first from a paid search ad, then from an organic search listing, then from a link in Twitter, and finally from an email link. Therefore, which channel should get credit for the conversion? With many analytics platforms, the credit goes to the final funnel, thus, the email marketing campaign.

Multiple reports in the new Multi-Channel Funnels allow users to view further back than the final channel. Now GA shows every interaction a user had with the site in the 30 days prior to conversion. Using these reports, departments can take credit for their assists to conversions, and companies can make more informed decisions about which marketing activities have the highest ROI.

These are just a few of the many great advancements made to Google Analytics with the new rollout. While there are still several features missing (such as the PDF and email export functionalities, percent comparisons, missing graph by week option, etc.), Google is constantly striving to correct these with future iterations of the platform.

Great article by  via Mashable!!!

Pinterest Unveils Analytics Platform

Pinterest-ipad
Pinterest introduced a web-based analytics tool Tuesday morning, allowing site owners to track users’ engagement with their sites on the social network.The free tool allows site owners to track the number of pinners and pins collecting material from their sites, and the number of repinners and repins those initial pins received. Site owners can also track total impressions and reach on the network, as welll as referral traffic, both in cilcks and unique visitors, sent back to their sites.The analytics are pretty basic, and don’t pose much (if any) threat to more robust third-party Pinterest analytics systems like Pinfluencer and Curalate, which allow site owners to identify their most engaged and influential pinners, and track the popularity and reach of their own boards and pins. Still, it could prove a powerful motivator to site owners who have never examined their site’s engagement on Pinterest and want to improve it.

Although Pinterest has not yet launched any ad products, the startup is laying a foundation for their arrival, first with the introduction of business accounts and tools late last year, and now with its analytics platform.

In developing its ad strategy, it seems Pinterest took note of Tumblr’s missteps. Advertisers were annoyed when Tumblr began asking for large sums without offering them any analytics tools to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Pinterest has been careful to roll out those tools first.

Images courtesy of Flickr, Bunches and Bits {Karina}; Rosenberry Rooms/Pinterest; and Pinterest; Via Mashable.

Actionable Web Analytics

“What key metrics should I be tracking?”

  1. Metrics that are actionable – why measure stuff you can’t do anything about?
  2. Metrics that help you get stuff done – using data to fight internal battles is vital
  3. Everything else – meh, wouldn’t worry about it too much!

While I love diving into data and getting into the how and why trends appear in analytics, I have to remember that my time is limited, in particular when looking at a clients analytics account. I need to understand as much as I can, but ultimately I need to focus on the metrics that make a difference. Also if you are a bit of a newbie in SEO or analytics, the amount of data available to you can be very overwhelming. Far too many people make the mistake of focusing on the wrong metrics which can be costly to a project. It can sometimes look like you are doing a bad job if you are measuring the wrong metrics.

Metrics that are actionable

If a metric isn’t actionable, then its just fluff that fills up space in a report and doesn’t mean very much. While metrics can be interesting, there is a difference between a metric that is interesting and one that is actionable. Below I’ve listed a number of metrics that I define as actionable.

1. Beat Panda – Measure Content

Whilst the Google Panda updates of 2011 have looked to address a number of quality issues, one of the key ones in my opinion was the amount of good, quality content on a page. Many pages of thin or duplicate content across your site could potentially cause your entire site to fall foul of Panda. One way to assess this on your own site is to use custom variables to measure the content on your page. This works very well if you have an ecommerce site or any site where you collate reviews:

Action to take –

  • Measure the number of reviews on your pages and see if pages with little or no content are as visible in Google

If you want to learn more about using Google Analytics custom variables, checkout this tutorial video.

2. % Visitors who view product pages

The reason this is important is quite simple, no view of a product page = no product sale.

This is one that is usually taken for granted by many ecommerce sites. They assume that because they have lots of product pages, that visitors will automatically find them. However there can be barriers to a visitor getting to your product pages, for example poorly designed navigation, poor internal site search, unclear category names etc. Also lets now forget that many ecommerce sites have other sections of their site such as a blog, a news section, buyers guides, videos and help pages, so a visitor can easily get distracted by one of these and end up leaving your site without ever seeing a product page.

Actions to take –

  • Improve internal site search
  • Improve navigation menus

Pro tip – make sure your internal site search works for both plural and singular product names. A classic mistake I’ve seen over the years is exact matching of queries to product names which means either singular or plural returns no results.

3. % of people who search your site then exit

If a visitor has made the effort to type in what they are searching for on your site and still left without buying, then you should take a closer look into why. So many internal site searches are not only badly designed, but also return bad results. If your website is like this, then you are losing sales. Actively improve your search results pages to make them more relevant and useful. it still amazes me that SEOs obsess over Google SERPs, yet neglect to take a look at the quality of their own despite having control over them!

Actions to take –

  • Test it and make sure it actually works
  • Do the results you see make sense
  • Include special offers or discounts in results
  • Enhance results with images – see Apple for a good example:

If you haven’t got it setup on your site yet, check out this information on setting up site search for Google Analytics.

4. Page load speed

If it isn’t already clear to you, Google is obsessed with speed. I can see why, a faster web is better for everyone and we all get frustrated if a page takes longer than a few seconds to load. Google have confirmed that site speed is part of the algorithm, albeit a small part. They’ve also made it measurable in Webmaster Tools and more recently they made it available in Google Analytics.

Now that we can measure load speed in analytics, it becomes much easier to see the results of the actions you take. Its also easier to see which pages of your site are slower than others, which allows you to try and work out why and fix the issues.

Something I wanted to point out here too is that you shouldn’t be worrying about site speed because it forms a small part of the Google Algorithm. You should be worrying about it because it is important to your visitors, they will not come back to your website if they are left hanging around waiting for the page to load.

Actions to take –

  • Look at which pages or sections of your site are the slowest
  • Focus on improving the speed of your money pages
  • Bug your developers and educate them on why its so important

If you want to learn more about what you can actually to do speed up your site, take a look at Craig Bradford’s site speed for dummies part one and part two on the Distilled blog.

5. Average Order Value

This metric is all about squeezing as much revenue as you can from each order. Quite often, an SEO will start a project and the first thing they do is assume they make more revenue for the client by getting more traffic. Whilst this can be true, the quickest wins can often come from taking a good look at ways to get more value from the existing traffic.

There are actions you can take though if you are looking to drive traffic that will increase your order value.

Actions to take –

  • Add up sells as much as you can to the buying process – Amazon are awesome at this
  • Look at keyword trends to see which ones drive a higher order value
  • Look at traffic sources to see which ones drive a higher order value

6. Measure SEO Variables

Similar to point one above, you can also use custom variables to track various SEO variables of your website such as –

  • Pages tagged with Rel=canonical
  • Pages that are linked to sitewide
  • Tag certain “types” of content across your site

Action to take –

  • Measure things such as the above and see how these pages perform in search results

7. Completion of Tasks

This one falls outside Google Analytics but I still wanted to measure it as it can be a great way of getting quick feedback about your site. I’d recommend taking a look at 4Q survey for this one, they offer a free trial so you can give it a test drive and see what you think. Avinash wrote a pretty in depth review of it on his blog if you want to read a bit more into it.

Quick sidenote, if you are into Analytics and not following Avinash on Twitter or reading his blog, you should be! He is also speaking at Mozcon in July and I’ve heard great things about his presentations.

Actions to take –

  • Ask your visitors questions that matter using this software and feed the answers back into your strategy

8. Share of Search Landscape

I really like this metric. The main reason I like it is that it is a metric that anyone can understand, even people who don’t get SEO will understand this. This is because its very similar to a traditional marketing metric of market share, so it can be used when demonstrating SEO growth and targets to your clients.

Here is an example of how this may look (dummy data!):

9. Form Field Tracking

This is such an easy one to action and can make a big difference to your conversions. If you are able to identify fields that are consistently confusing customers and perhaps making them abandon the form, then you are able to look into why and remove these barriers to conversion. You can even take a step back and ask yourself if that field is even required at all.

Action to take –

  • Identify form fields that are causing problems and either remove them or improve them

Pro Tip – you can use Google Analytics events to track which form fields are causing problems. Here is a good thread over on the Analytics help forum which points you in the right direction for setting this up.

10. Branded vs Non-branded Search Traffic

If you are an SEO, or you employ an SEO agency, you should be measuring this metric. The great thing about measuring non-branded traffic is that pretty much 100% of the credit can be given to SEO efforts. Whilst credit for branded search increases can be credited to a number of marketing channels such as PR, offline advertising or online display advertising.

Action to take –

  • Measure non-branded keywords and see which ones convert best, then focus on increasing rankings for these

11. Conversion Rate

I’m pretty sure you are all looking at this metric, but I bet that some of you are not using it properly. By not measuring it properly I mean that you are probably looking at this overall figure:

You can’t take any actions from this figure. In order to take actions, you need to segment by relevant dimensions such as traffic source, type of visitor, location, keyword etc.

Action to take –

  • Segment conversion rate by best performing dimensions and invest more resource into those dimensions