Let’s face it, Google Analytics (GA) can be daunting. Luckily there is a good Analytics help center from Google about getting started and digging in to your analytics.
After you have the basic tracking in place you can see how many visitors you have to your site, where they come from and their behavior.
The next logical step is to look at how your social sites are doing for you. Are they driving traffic to your site? Which posts or campaigns worked the best? Which social media activity didn’t work out so well? That’s where Campaign Tracking comes in. Google Analytics offers the ability to add tracking code to your URL and when used in a social post, you can measure the traffic.
Recently I ran across a great blog by Kristi Hines on KISSMetrics about how to setup campaign metrics with UTM parameters. Kristi Hines breaks down the coding for social sites including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest. In her post, Hines mentions Bitly for shortening URLs — a must for Twitter. I use Bitly but also do a lot of posting through Hootsuite which has it’s own shortener.
While Hines offers various syntax for tracking code, she also touts the URL Builder; that’s the route I recommend.
Let’s say I’m going to post on Facebook about my Website Design offering and I want people to click on a link to get more information. Here’s what I would do. Visit Google’s URL Builder and go through the steps.
- Enter my website URL, like “http://keenerdigitalmarketing.com/website-design/” (without the quotes)
- Enter my Campaign Source, I’ll enter “Facebook”
- Enter my Campaign Medium, “social-post”
- Enter my Campaign Name, “Design March 2015”
- Click Submit
This is the resulting URL: http://keenerdigitalmarketing.com/website-design/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=social-post&utm_campaign=Design%20March%202015. Nothing top secret there — you can hand-build these once you get the hang of it. When I use this URL in a clickable post link on Facebook, I can check my GA account and see how many clicks I’ve gotten to my design page and learn more about the effectiveness of my Facebook “campaign”.
Shortening the URL is easy too. Just jump over to bit.ly and paste the long URL into the box provided, then click Shorten. You’ll get something like this: http://bit.ly/1Oz1IS5. You can copy the link and paste it in your post or your profile description or… If you sign up for a free account with Bit.ly, you have the opportuntity to create a custom link out of the short link. So instead of …bit.ly/O1Z1IS5 I could have …bit.ly/keenerwebdesign.
So give it a try. You’ll be surprised how much information you can get from one shortened UTM link!
Tell me how you’re using Google Analytics and Social Media in the comments below.
Andrea Vahl brings us this great post about using Facebook Graph Search. It is especially good for local business and restaurants. You can use it to analyze your page traffic too. Check out her video and links below to learn more about Facebook Graph Search.
A new product has arrived for your marketing pleasure! Twitter Cards, available in eight flavors, will help you increase engagement and likely conversions.
“Twitter Cards make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.”
The below Card types that can be attached to Tweets, each of which has a beautiful consumption experience built for Twitter’s web and mobile clients.(the links below will take you to dev.twitter.com)
- Summary Card: Default Card, including a title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.
- Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but with a prominently featured image and additional details and attribution.
- Photo Card: A Card with a photo only.
- Gallery Card: A Card highlighting a collection of four photos.
- App Card: A Card to detail a mobile app with direct download.
- Player Card: A Card to provide video/audio/media.
- Product Card: A Card optimized for product details.
- Lead Generation Card: A Card to drive lead generation for your product or service. Available via the Twitter Ads Dasboard.
- Website Card: A Card to feature your website and drive click through traffic. Available via the Twitter Ads Dasboard.
Add the HTML to any page you want to associate a card with — in the head section. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr, visit this page and learn more about integrating Twitter Cards with your site. By the way this does include information about WordPress.com sites.
Updates this week courtesy of Social Media Examiner (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/uberconference-for-google-hangouts/)
Released last fall, (late September) Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm has changed the way we develop our websites and market to our customers. In the past, we have focused on keywords, populating ALT tags in images and of the meta tags (or meta data) in page titles, descriptions and content. Now with this latest change, we need to look at what a searcher intends. This is referred to as semantic or conversational search. Google’s new algorithm looks at the entire search phrase instead of a few key words.
Does that mean mind-reading? Not really, it’s just another way to look at search terms or phrases and catering our content to answer those queries. As always, content should be high-quality and focus in on the needs of your intended audience. For instance, my business is located in Hoschton, Georgia, which is close to Braselton, Flowery Branch, Dacula, Buford and other surrounding cities. By adding this to information to my blog, it may be that people from those locations will find Keener Digital Marketing in their search results. I do work for companies across the United States but this just gives me one more way to reach my prospective clients.
There’s plenty of information about Hummingbird available by companies that specialize in search engine marketing. Here are a few links, that you may find helpful if you want to learn more about SEO and the latest trends.
By the way, I’ve been following SearchEngineWatch.com since the mid-nineties and highly recommend this site. (Image provided by searchenginewatch.com)
Today we’re looking at a couple of my favorite online applications for business. Now, right out of the box, I require an application (sometimes called software-as-a-service or SAS) to be free or at least offer a free trail. Most do, but the ones who offer totally free for level “1” — I like those. As a small business, they usually meet my needs.
Okay, so an obvious opener — Social Media. For managing all of my social networks, I turn to HootSuite. HootSuite is totally free if you only need to manage a few networks (Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for instance). If you have more networks you can pay the nominal $9.99 a month and get the added features.
HootSuite offers online tutorials, often hosts free training webinars and you can find tons of videos on YouTube to get you started.
Sharing Documents and Files — Most of the time I am working remotely from my clients and occasionally have a need to share documents, like proofs or articles, sometimes a video. And occasionally they are just too large to share via e-mail. Those times, I turn to Dropbox. Dropbox is a cloud-based storage service. Cloud-based just means it’s a server, away from your home or office, on the Internet. And this one meets my requirement, free for the 1st tier. Just upgrade if and when you need more space – simple. It’s easy to get started and share the address with a friend. You’ll be trading videos in no time!
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If you haven’t already, surf over to Social Media Examiner and sign up for their newsletter. Founder and CEO Michael Stelzner and his staff, along with guest writers, offer an enormous amount of information on what’s happening in the world of social media.
If you’re writing your own content and managing your own social networks, check out the Blogging Fundamentals for Business workshop.
What is Social Media Marketing? From our friends at Mashable.com, “Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.”
It’s the activities you do on Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness of your business or your cause, or even yourself! Posting interesting industry news on your Facebook page is marketing if you target your customers and potential customers. Ideally these people will find your content worthy of sharing.
Sharing is the key to effective social media marketing. And that’s why quality content is important. Make them want to read it and then make them want to tell their friends and colleagues.
Another aspect of social media marketing is that of clout (aka Klout) — when your content gets shared, it adds to your clout score which means you might rank higher in search engines. Aha — that’s the best reason to enhance your social media marketing — you want new customers and they’re searching for you (and your competitors) on Google.