Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Google Webmaster Tools

Posted: August 19, 2011 in Google

Google has quite a lot of products from Google talk to Google Mail and a lot more. One tool I would like to briefly talk about is Google webmaster tools which basically is a tool Google offer you to be able to see how Google views your website. Within this tool there are a lot of features that provide you with different information about your sites performance. Every time you Google search, Google has what they call Google-bots that crawl sites looking for your search term on every site. If you have a webmaster tools account then Google will send you an email if they ever come across any error while crawling your site. Webmaster also provides a report that lists all search queries where your site came up on the results page.

Webmasters has a set of reports it provides the user to analyse their site performance.

Sitemaps

Sitemap’s are your way of telling Google about your website pages including those that Google might not already know about

Search queries

This gives you a list of all search terms that your  site get listed for in Google Search Results Page including their impressions and Average positions

Crawling stats

A statistics report after Google crawls your site

HTML suggestions

This report deals with you content. When Google-bots crawl your site any issues found with your content gets listed on this report.

Links to your site

A list of sites that link back to your site with page they point back to on your site

Keywords

A list of common keywords Google found when crawling your site

Internal links

A list of all internal links found on your site

Subscriber stats

Here you find a list of all users who have subscribed to your feeds using any Google product.

Webmaster Tools is Google’s way of communicating with your about your site to better manage your organic traffic and land on better Google Search Result pages.

 

Advertisements

Google offer A number of free Tools on the web for anyone to use, some of which include Google AnalyticsGoogle Webmaster Tools and Google Adwords. These three tools combined satisfy A lot of business needs for any IT company including non IT companies Ofcourse. Ecommerce has become very popular in the modern day as more people prefer to make money both off and online. Online markets need A lot of research to learn and know the market you are entering to be able to sustain and complete with other organisations.

One of the key aspects to monitor online are keywords because they are more likely going to be generating traffic for your business via search engines. When we talk about search engines Google always comes to mind because they dominate that niche.

To be able to make keywords work for your business you need to know how to work with them.

First research your market for possible keywords that are most common for your type on business (Assuming you already have all three accounts setup Analytics,Webmaster tools and Adwords). Before you get money you need to give and the starting point would be to bid for your researched keywords on Google Adwords. Once you have that going evaluate your Adwords and look for keywords with the highest impressions. Use those keywords to optimize your website for better organic traffic from Google this way you still get traffic without paying for it. Once optimized you can use your Analytics to evaluate how well or how bad your organic traffic is and if it is still bad optimize for better organic search results.

Google uses Adwords to their advantage by making you pay for traffic but only the traffic that clicks to your site, now you can use their Tools at your own advantage by using organic traffic to work for you.

In the world of analytics there exists A variety of ways to collect data from the web and Page tags and Logfiles happen to be two of the most widely used methods to capture data.

Page tags collect data via the visitors web browser. This data will be captured by JavaScript code you place on each of your pages commonly known as tags or beacons and this technique is known as client-side-data collection.

Logfiles refer to data collected by your web server independently of a visitors browser.All requests made by your web server including pages, images and PDF’s are captured in this technique known as server-side data collection.

Both these methods have their own way of capturing data and both are sufficient depending on what kind of data you want to analyze.

This implies that they both have pros and cons and they are listed below

Page Tags – Pro’s

  • Breaks through proxy and caching servers giving you more accurate session tracking
  • You can track client-side events like JavaScript,Web 2.0 and flash
  • Capture client-side Ecommerce data
  • The data collected and processed is almost real time
  • Your program updates can be done by your ISP
  • Data storage and archiving can be done by your ISP

Page tags – Cons

  • Setup errors lead to data loss meaning data lost cannot be tracked back to reanalyze
  • Firewalls can restrict tags
  • You cannot track bandwidth or completed downloads this is because tags are set when the page/file is requested and not when the download is complete
  • You cannot track search engine spiders because robots ignore page tags

Logfile Pro’s

  • Historical data cab be reprocessed
  • No firewall issues
  • Bandwidth and completed downloads can be tracked
  • Search engine spiders and robots are tracked by default
  • Mobile visitors are tracked by default

Logfile Cons

  • Proxy and caching are inaccurate because of cached pages
  • No event tracking (eg : JavaScript,Flash,Web 2.0)
  • Program updates must be done by your own team
  • Data storage and archiving must be done by your own team
  • Robots multiply visit count causing inaccurate visitors information

The funny thing here is that the advantage of one is the disadvantage of the other, contradicting so to speak meaning you either take one or the other. These two may be the most widely used methods for data collection but they are certainly not the only methods available. There are however other methods apart from these two collecting data on the web, Network data collection devices which gather traffic data from routers, web server application programming interface (API) are not mentioned here. Data collection enables you to gather more information from data which makes it easier for you to come with solution to unanswered question. A  lot of people may think data collection gives you the answer which would be nice believe me but unfortunately that is not the case.

Google Analytics Reports

Posted: March 18, 2011 in Google

As you might have read in the previous article on Analytics that is provides some great features for businesses to better understand their customers and their habits and behavior towards certain products. With Google analytics comes reports that give you a clear understanding A lot of things taken place on your site and here are a few reports described. This article takes an example of an valentines advertising campaign that  took place in February (hypothetically speaking) .

The Dashboard Overview

This is the page you land on after clicking view report on the first page when you enter your analytics account. Basically here is an overview with links to your different detailed reports. It gives you an option to customize your  dashboard with what ever information you want displayed when you enter your Analytics account.

Visitors Report

This is where you can view all your visitors information such as your unique visitors, time on site , Pageviews , Bounce rate, new visits etc. Analytics lets you choose a time frame from which you would like to view. Say you wanted to see if people were coming to your site to see the campaign on the site taking into consideration that an email was sent and was being track to see its overall contribution to the campaign. Google Analytics can track emails to see how many emails were opened and how many were ignored so that way we know if traffic was from the email or not. You can now see who came to view your site for the first time how much time people spent on your site and what percentage of them left before even looking at your site. This information can now put you in a position where you are able to tell if emailing customers about your business is efficient or not.

  • Loyalty is another feature that can tell you the amount of people who come once and never return and those that are loyal viewing you page frequently.
  • Browser can tell you which browser people were viewing your site and what percentage each browser contributed to the overall visits total
  • Operating systems tells you which operating systems your visitors are using which can say A lot about A visitor
  • Network properties informs you about which network service providers your visitors are using
  • Mobile has information about your mobile visitors what devices they are using and which carriers they are using

Map overlay is another one of those useful features because it tells you where most of your visitors come from geographically, that way you can even open competitions in certain regions or cities with your most visitors because they are more familiar with your services or products.

Ecommerce Report

The eCommerce report is arguably one of the most important reports any company wants to see each day because it tell you in-depth information about your revenue which is one of the primary goals most companies are operating on (No money no business). This report gives you the total revenue made by the organisation on the online store. Some of the information available is the number of products purchased on the site, Average order value, conversion rate, Product performance, visits to purchase and days to purchase.

At least now you can see your product performance and how much money you are making by a few simple clicks.

Gaols Report

Goals help you a lot regardless of whether you have a online store or not because they tell you whether your site is engaging to your visitors or not. Within this report lies goal verification that enables you to view specific URL’S that trigger the reporting of a goal. They also help is measuring  media files you may have on your site that you are tracking like pdf’s.

Reverse gaol path is another help that is available here because it show you the last three steps a visitor took before reaching a gaol which is very useful in funnel analysis.

Funnel analysis (also known as path analysis) is a section within Gaol report. Its basically a set of undefined goals that take place on your site.

Traffic Sources Report

As the word implies itself this section cover all the data around your traffic. The traffic sources that bought traffic to your site, referrals to your site, direct traffic to your site and search engines that directed visitors to your site. It also provides you with a list of keywords people were searching for to get to your site which makes the meta data on your html code very important.

To mention a few things provided by this report are which search engines generated the most traffic (Google.com), any referring sites (Facebook.com) and direct traffic are the people who typed your URL straight from the browser.

Now this essentially is very important information because now you can be able to see which sites are referring the most like Facebook that way you can now open a Facebook page that may provide more information to your customers

Adwords is a powerful feature presented on this report helps you see how well you campaigns and keywords are doing to convert or purchase

Content

Content deals with the content your have on your site namely your top landing pages and top exits pages and the average time spent on the landing pages respectively.

Site search is one of those things essential for websites with hundreds and sometimes thousands of products/pages and therefore need built in search engine to find products/pages quicker. With this said Google analytics has a feature called site search that tracks all the search taking place within your site with data like search terms, start pages, destination pages and trending.

Now that we know the possibilities of tracking activity taking place on websites it seems as if life keeps getting easier and more convenient each day. Analytics is certainly a tool businesses need to monitor actions taking place on their sites. If we can now tracking our product performance, monitor our revenue, get time estimates of how long people are taking on our sites, track emails, know our referrers, where visitors come from, what they are viewing the most don’t you think technology is reaching new frontiers and making life simpler for us ? Well i certainly do and with this data A lot of improvements can be made to improve services/products for the customer. Google Analytics is not the only tool available with this kind of infrastructure/abilities there are other tools on the web.

Have you used or currently using Google Analytics ? how has it helped you thus far

Google Analytics

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Google

A tool we all should know by know is Google Analytics which for those who may not know (where have you been ?) is used to track your website activity, how many visits, views, bounce rate, product performance, popular pages, visits sources etc. This is one of The search giant – Google’s outstanding products.

There are a lot of companies who take full advantage of such products because of the advance features it offers.

Google Analytics involves a process whereby snippets of code are used to track all activity taking place on specific tracked pages within a website. These snippets of code are called Google Analytics Tracking Code (GATC).

The process of tracking begins when a visitor submits a transaction which is then received by the web server which usually passes that data to the application server where it is processed. This process may include adding the data to database or validating a credit card at a point where you create a receipt page for the visitor. This is where you make modifications to accommodate Google Analytics but before the application sends a receipt back to web server it must make some info about visitors transaction and this information is tranmitted to Google Analytics Server via a request for an invisible GIF file named _utm.gif.

Three steps are involved in adding Google Analytics e-commerce tracking to a site
  • Making sure the tracking code is installed – receipt page must be tagged
  • Enable e-commerce reports to profile which is disabled by default
  • Making application logic to show the e-commerce tag with transaction data

Some problems to look out for :

Duplicate content – usually a result of copy-pasting the same text in different pages or submitting the same content/article/review in multiple sites. Additionally poor Web development techniques or of developing a bad link structure.

Garbled data

Inflated e-commerce revenue

Tracking third party e-commerce platforms

Mobile Tracking

Mobile tracking helps track all the mobile visitors to your site who access it using various mobile operating system (iOS, Android, Rim etc). You do however find that not every is using the advanced mobile OS’s as mention, those are the people still using very old cellular devices and therefor tracking these visitors need to happen on the system level where as the modern way takes place on the server level. Google provides four mobile tracking libraries namely PHP, Java, ASP, and Perl, they all work in the same way although the code may be different.

To track mobile built in PHP you must add a block of PHP code before the<HTML> tag on all your mobile pages. You must also add a small block of PHP codeimmediately before the closing </BODY> tag.

In addition to tracking mobile and standard websites Google Analytics can also track mobile apps. This however is different from tracking website because app functionality is different from websites. Although App tracking is currently available for iPhone and Android applications. Those interested in tracking apps can download the SDK from Google.

Pageviews

One of the essential parts of GATC is _trackPageview(). This is A method where visitors data is collected, stored in cookies and sent to Google Analytics Server. Here is a snippet of code using  __trackPageview (bold).

<script type=”text/javascript”>var _gaq = _gaq || [];_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-XXXXXX-YY’]);_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview‘]);(function() {var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’;ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ?’https://ssl&#8217; : ‘http://www&#8217;) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’;var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);})();</script>

This may not mean much to many but the things it can do are awsome. Everytime a _trackPageview() executes a pageview is created by sending data to GA server and each pageview includes many dimension like IP address, city, country, region etc.

 

The very same process is used to track visitors clicks, outbound links and non html files like pdf’s. below is a snippet of code with this example

<a href=”/schedule.pdf” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackPageview‘,’/vpv/downloads/pdf/schedule.pdf‘]);” />PDF</a>

To conclude Google offers a very useful and powerful product that enables us to track our products performance among other things. This in return tells us a lot about our customers what they are looking for what they like, what they don’t, what the view , what they buy and this becomes a behavior that the supplier of the product can use to their advantage. There is more to this tool then what meets the eye and I am yet to discuss more on it in the next coming weeks so keep yourself posted.

 

 

Last March Apple’s market cap was at $208 billion with Microsoft standing at $261 billion. A year later Apple has passed Microsoft to become the most valuable tech company with a whipping $330 billion. Those iPad’s, iPhone’s, iPod’s and that App store are generating A lot of revenue for the company. I’m sure Steve jobs has no problems sleeping at night lately, well apart from the the health issues he has recently been experiencing which I hope he recovers from soon. Microsoft looks to be stable the $261 billion while Google is ranking third at $233 billion which is only $28 billion away from Microsoft. IBM on the other hand sits at $202 billion ranking forth in this race.

By the looks of things Google is fast dominating almost every aspect of the internet meaning they are more likely to knock Microsoft one down and rank them selves second runner up. With Apples sales at their peak and still growing it is going to be very hard for Google take the crown from Apple

Apple on the other hand are A little over $90 billion away from becoming the most valuable public company in the world ahead of  Exxon’s who are sitting at $422 billion.

 

Do you think Apple will become number one ? if so how long would it take them to get there ?

 

Chrome 9

Posted: February 9, 2011 in Development, Google, Internet, Opera, tech

Google chrome 9 which is now available is the first browser with WebGL and comes with Google instant on the status bar. Google have A website that has the latest experiments using WebGL called chromeexperiments. They have some awesome feature here that i think you should check out. Chrome having been available for only two and A half years have already overtaken IE which is currently on IE9 which has had some good improvements compared to their previous browser versions. Chrome is expected to overtake Opera currently on version 10 by the end of this year. Google is cooking up the next version of chrome expected to be released in A few months.

 

The new version of the browser has A new tab Above the “Most visited” tab  called “App” which includes three links including one to the web store. You can click on Tools then “About Google chrome” to see what version you are currently running.