Basics of Goal Setup in Google Analytics

Understanding Google Analytics can be a very tough task . However, once you get the gist of Google Analytics, analyzing data will be a lot simpler. To begin with, you should learn how to make Google Analytics work for you through Goal setup and configuration.

Your first step after login is to find where to set up goals. You can find most of the setup in Google Analytics behind the sprocket on the upper right hand corner of the page. Once you click on the sprocket, the page will display ‘Goals’ tab, where you have to choose the profile. You can choose 5 sets of goals with 5 goals in each set. However, please be careful while choosing goals as you cannot delete a goal. There are certain ways to setup a goal so that you can see a lot of information in one goal.

Let us consider the example of an e-commerce website. The 3 main questions to setups goals for an e-commerce website are: did the visitor search for something, did they add it to their cart and did they buy it. Though shopping cart is not used for all types of websites, it is a valuable resource to understand user behavior. Your first goal is to find how many people complete a quick search. After that, you will need to set up a goal for conversions.

After you set the goal to ‘active’ and give it a goal type, you need to enter the ultimate URL under ‘Goal Details.’ If your URLs are case sensitive, please check the box which asks for this information. If you run a lead-generation site and not an e-commerce website, you can set a value for every user that completes the goal. However, it is not recommended in the initial phase as goal setup can get confusing. You then have to check a box if you want to set the goal funnel. Here, you get to copy steps a user is likely to take to reach the goal. You can see each execution of that goal if you do not check the ‘required step’ box. Once you feel that you have mentioned all the essentials in the goal setup, click on save and witness the results.

If you follow the simple setup steps, you will automatically pave way to find important details of your website, the buying cycle and the selling process. It will also help you find areas of improvement on your website.


Changes in Google’s Algorithm

Of late, Google’s constantly changing algorithm has had numerous updates. Google is always working to make their algorithm more user-friendly. Here, we have enlisted the improvements made by Google to provide better search results to its users.

  • Cross-language information retrieval update: Queries in certain languages have limited web content available. The new update will translate the relevant English pages and display the translated titles below the English titles in the search results. This feature was previously available at the bottom of a page in Korean. When a user clicks on translated titles, he will be guided to a page translated into the query language.
  • Snippets with more page content, less header content: This feature enables Google to pick text from the actual page content rather than using the text that it is a part of the header.
  • Better page titles on SERP: Google intends to generate page titles by de-duplicating boilerplate anchors and emphasizing less on boilerplate links with duplicated anchor text. This will result in content relevant titles.
  • Rich Snippets for applications: This will sport details like cost and user reviews in the search result and will be beneficial for users who are searching for software applications.
  • Retiring a signal in image search: Google has decided to retire a signal in Image Search related to images that have references from multiple documents on the web. This will stop Google from revisiting signals launched in the past which no longer have a significant impact.
  • Fresh results: This change, announced recently claims to impact 35% of total searches. Google aims at ranking content based on its freshness.
  • Refining official page detection: Google tries to provide the most relevant results to its users. This change will help Google to determine which pages are official and rank official websites higher on the SERP.
  • Due-date restricted queries: There is an improvement in due-date restricted queries to ensure that the users get the most relevant search results as per the date range specified by them.
  • Improvement in handling IME queries: This change improves how Autocomplete handles IME queries, which contain non-Latin characters.

These are some of the improvements in Google’s search algorithm; however, there are hundreds of more updates from Google on a regular basis. So, you need to keep reading to keep yourself updated about Google’s search algorithm changes.

Make Your Website Google Panda Proof

Google periodically makes changes to its search algorithm, and the most recent update was that of Google Panda. The Panda update is Google’s attempt to provide relevant search results to its users.

Google’s search algorithm is affected by several factors, which include number of back links to a website, source of back links, page loading time, on-site optimization factors, etc. The search team’s job is to track all the changing factors and tweak them to provide accurate search results. Google Panda belongs to the set of tweaks that Google has made for their search algorithm, so that the search results are devoid of spam and low quality websites.

You can find if your website has been affected by the Panda Update or not, by checking your Google Analytics Dashboard around the date February 22nd, 2011. Several websites noticed a drop in traffic but some webmasters noted an increase in traffic.

If you want to make your website Google Panda proof, you need to focus on certain factors so that the Panda does not hamper your website traffic.

Keep in mind that this new update is a site wide penalty. It means that if a single page on your website is identified to have duplicate content, your whole website will be penalized. The Panda update is more human centric, meaning that, Google will love and prefer your website, if it is readable and appealing to a real human.

We have enlisted some simple steps to make your website Panda proof. Firstly, ask an old person to scroll through your website. Check if he finds your website user friendly or does he face problems to find information on your website. Then, reduce the number of duplicate content pages on your website. If content on two different pages on your website is overlapping, merge them and delete the irrelevant content to avoid being penalized for duplicate content. Lastly, it is not the quantity of the content but the quality which matters to the Panda.

The Google Panda update is a major update to Google’s search engine algorithm. In order to make your website Panda proof, you not only need to impress Google’s spider but also need to make it more user friendly.



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High exit rate: Are they always such a bad thing?

Exit Rate reflects the percentage of people who left your website altogether from a certain page – meaning the last page a person viewed before leaving the website. Everyone who comes to your website has to leave at some point. If someone came, made a purchase and left, that’s an ideal situation to have. Similarly, if you blog daily and people come, read your post and leave, this too is an ideal state of situation. The conclusion then stands that exit rates are a reflection of percentage people exiting your website from a particular page, with or without fulfilling a purpose.

In a website where people have to go through more than one page to complete a task, say on an online retail website, exit rate can be very helpful in understanding where people are getting lost in the process. By knowing where people are getting lost in the conversion process, exit rate can help you fix those pages to increase conversion and decrease the exit rate on those pages. Consider this. If your multi-page website is designed in a head and tail style, it can be assumed that the tail piece (say 5th) is the one which will have the higher exit rate. But what if your website’s head piece (say the 1st page) has a higher exit rate? In such a situation a high exit rate points to a buckle in your website’s head and suggests that the link bait is a poor match for subsequent pages and needs SEO diagnosis.

A glitch, however, in exit rate metrics is that it is sometimes quite useless. What if someone came looking for particular information to your website, found it on a page and then left from the same spot.  Ideally this is what web publisher want. You may want them to stay longer, look around the website and provide attractive links to the same, but since your goal of satisfying a visitor’s need was met through a page, the exit rate of that page stands no purpose then. It does not give a picture of what you ought to improve on such a page.

In such a situation, an alternative metric is often used by web publishers – the Bounce Rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who landed on a page and immediately left without clicking anywhere else on that page. Bounce rate accounts for one page sessions. A high bounce rate is usually an indicator of a problem on a specific page, most of which can be taken care of by proper SEO measures.

On-Page Auditing: An Aid to SEO for Optimal Page Visibility

Major SEO’s fail to attract target traffic because they often neglect On-Page auditing. On-Page auditing can be done using any of the following 3 methods: manual editing, semi-automatic software and fully automated SEO platform. Of these, the fully automated SEO platform is the quickest and less time-consuming as compared to manual editing.

46 SEO professionals were surveyed to check how often they conducted on-page audits and their opinion about its usefulness. More than 50 percent of these professionals scrutinized their pages less than two times per month.

More than 11000 web pages were examined to get a fair idea of the relation between the number of times they were edited and the audit frequency. The audit frequency is very low, and if it is increases it will certainly turn the tables for their website’s optimization.

Manual auditing requires more man hours and man power. If 500 pages need to be examined manually, it will require almost 4 full-time resources to handle the job. The outcome is not cost efficient. The same applies for semi-automatic auditing, which can result in a narrower view of the on-page landscape. Even while using semi-automated software, 35 to 45 percent of auditing needs to be done manually.

87 percent of the surveyed SEO professionals believe that an automated SEO platform for on-page auditing will be more productive. 28 percent feel that they lack the tools to conduct audits on a regular basis. They said that they would conduct audits more frequently if they had the tools. More than three-fourth of the surveyed pros audit their pages less than once a week. If you want to visibly increase your page’s ranking, SEO’s should conduct on-page auditing frequently.