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There's no denying the utility and effectiveness of Google Analytics as a means to better understanding the way users interact with your website. Among all the features that GA has though, Real-Time Reports are often a bone of contention; it's a matter of dispute as to exactly how useful they are.
I decided to ask some experts for their views on the matter to try and get some answers.
On our Google Analytics Course you'll learn exactly how to make the most of its impressive features to maximise your online efforts, including Real-Time reports.
So let's take a look at what the experts say:
Great for Testing
A key theme that seemed to crop up regularly was how many found real-time reports useful for testing technical aspects of a campaign, whether that's for code, tracking or links.
@AaronCharlie Great for testing code, 'walking the shop floor', and getting non-experts interested in analytics. Underrated reports.
— dan barker (@danbarker) July 26, 2013
very useful for checking new tracking (e.g. events, goals, etc.). Also for testing emails to make sure all tagged links work — Dara Fitzgerald (@darafitzgerald) July 26, 2013
During my morning round up of BrightonSEO I asked the question 'Has SEO grown up?' For my afternoon round up I'm going to focus on one tip from each talk and why I liked it.
The afternoon was as varied as the morning with topics from linguistics to affiliate marketing, all from good speakers with something interesting to say and wisdom to impart on the audience.
We were also lucky enough to spot one of our Top SEO Trumps in the flesh! Here's Ralph Tegtmeier enjoying his pack. We left our final packs dotted about at the after party. Did you find one? Let us know!
If you did miss the talks and want to know more about SEO and inbound marketing, we offer a 5 day SEO training package. Pick from a selection of courses including SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and Google Analytics to create your own custom 5-day course! It's a great way to introduce yourself to the concepts of earned media or as a way to boost the skills of new employees so they can get to work straight away.
In the past week, Google released a video called ‘SEO for start-ups in under 10 minutes’ in which Developer Programs Tech Lead Maile Ohye runs through everything a start up should and shouldn’t do to help gain organic traffic from Google.
As it’s only in 10 minutes the tips are very succinct, but they’re also very Googlecentric to the point of assuming Google is the only search engine worth caring about.
Interestingly, the next day Glenn Gabe published a very detailed post about how most startups get SEO wrong. It’s interesting to get the two viewpoints within days of each other – what the search engines recommend you do and what a professional SEO thinks you should do. They’re not always the same!
So, as a startup, what should you do to ensure that your new site is visible in search?
Well, the first thing we would recommend is to come to Brighton for an SEO workshop. In 1 day you will get to grips with all the SEO basics and you’ll be able to ask questions directly to an SEO expert about your startup!
However, for those who have already been on the course or don’t like in the UK I’m going to run through Google’s SEO tips for startups, without being so Google centric! Many of these tips are also useful for existing businesses who may have been doing things wrong for a while!
Here are my first 6 tips - keep an eye out for part 2 on Wednesday with 6 more!
For some time now webmasters have been able to access data from Google Analytics via their Webmaster Tools accounts - for example the Search Queries report in Webmaster Tools has the ability to pull in Google Analytics data and graphs.
Now Google has merged Google Analytics with Webmaster Tools even further - so this works the other way too.
Even more Google Changes - First Look at Google Analytics Real-Time Reporting
Google Analytics users can access data from Webmaster Tools - including number of impressions, average position and clickthrough rate (CTR) - the result of which is some pretty nifty reports that will be of enormous benefit to SEOs.
For some advanced SEOs some of this was already possible through hacks using very clever custom filters - but providing this data as part of standard reports will open this up to non boffins and allow for more powerful and flexible data analysis.
This post provides a step by step tutorial on the new SEO Queries report (which we think is by far the most useful). We'll be updating our Google Analytics and Advanced Google Analytics courses to include all of the new SEO reports by the way!
How to Link Google Analytics with Webmaster Tools to Access SEO Reports
Before we look at the new reports - we'll need to link Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics so that the data can be shared.
OK - so assuming you have your site set up with both Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools - here's how to link them together:
1) Log in to your Webmaster Tools account - you'll see a list of the sites you have Webmaster Tools installed on (or just one - if you only have one site)
2) In the Manage Site drop down next to the site you're interested in, select Google Analytics Property
3) You''ll now see a list of all of the sites you have Google Analytics installed on (or again just one - if you only have one) - so select the correct site from the list and then Save at the bottom
Done! Now you should be ready to start seeing the new reports...
New SEO Reports in Google Analytics
OK - so we're all linked up and ready to rock. Let's find the new SEO reports...
It's worth mentioning at this stage that you'll only see the SEO reports in the new version of Google Analytics - so if you haven't already - hit the New Version button in the top menu bar
Now you'll see the new interface, with the new SEO reports included. You will find these under Traffic Sources > Search Engine Optimisation
So - let's have a look at the new SEO Queries report, what we can learn from it, and how we can make the data useful to us.
How to use the New Google Analytics SEO Reports: Queries Report Tutorial
We've always been able to see data on the number of visits particular keywords generate, how many pages people visited, how long they stayed, bounce rate etc...
By adding the Impressions, Average Position and Click-through Rate data from Webmaster tools - we can now also tell how many people saw your site appear in the SERPs for each keyword, where it was appearing (on average), and what percentage of people clicked on the link (Click Through Rate).
Welcome to Part 2 of our BrightonSEO 2011 round up. We hope you enjoyed BrightonSEO Part 1 featuring our round up of round ups! Once again we've provided either the slides or video for each talk for those who missed the conference. These presentations are all from the afternoon session and include the six 20 : 20 slide talks where each speaker had 20 slides which changed automatically every 20 seconds. After a great morning the afternoon session had a lot to live up to - but that it did with some interesting talks featuring Mad Men, James Bond and internet cats.
Neil Walker - Links - SEO Value vs Client Expectations vs Cost
Neil was the first of the afternoon speakers and was presenting his findings from research he had conducted on both SEOs and clients to find out if they shared the same expectations on links.
He found that clients didn't often know what links they were after and so it is the job of the SEO to be transparent with the client and explain the cost of links and link strategy.
Roger Warner - What Can Social Media Learn From Mad Men?
This proved to be a very popular talk with Roger using the TV show Mad Men to compare traditional advertising to SEO with the emphasis on learning from traditional methods to improved social media relations. Roger has posted up his talk in a nutshell using the following points:
- Social Media is not a spaceship - it's a communications tool.
- Stories sell.
- Technology doesn't.
- Ideas are everything.