I can’t believe we are on our last week this next week! It seems like it hasn’t been that long but at the same time it feels like it has been forever since this class started. I was just looking back at some of my earlier assignments and realizing how far we have come.
This week we worked on ranking and link building as well as learning more about google analytics and how to use adwords in analytics.
Ranking and Link Building
For this assignment we needed to develop a strategy to build our rank on google and our back links for our site. We did this by figuring out the who, when, what, how, and where.
Who and When?
- Who is going to do the work?
- I am. Being the sole owner of my business, there is no one else to do it. I could hire someone who is trained in this subject to do it for me, but I think right now, it would be best for me to figure out how to do it myself.
- When is the work going to start?
- I would say it would need to be started as soon as possible. The sooner I can start, the quicker I can get my ranking up higher and get more traffic to and conversions from my site.
- Is the work ongoing? Or is there a date that the work should be finished?
- Because this is for a webpage vs a printed book, I would have to say that the work will always be ongoing. There is always something that changes, upgrades to technology that happen, content that is out of date, etc. That being said, it is always good to set mini deadlines along the way. For this particular project I am going to set the date to be finished for the end of the semester (April, 9, 2016). This will ensure that I have everything I need for the class requirements before the end of the semester.
- Who reports to whom? Is there a reporting process?
- There is not a reporting process as I am the only owner. This means I will need to do all the work and report to myself on what I get done (as well as to my professor for this class).
What and How?
- What web pages are the links directed to (in importance)?
- At first I wasn’t quite sure what this question was asking. I thought it was asking, “What of my web pages are the links from other sites going to be directed to.” If this is what it is asking, then most of the links will link to my landing page (with possible anchor tags of contact, about, mission, etc). They might also link to my pricing and payments page but I have the price on my landing page under a specific anchor tag so really the sites will just be going to my landing page tags.
- After reading the example for this assignment it seems like the question is really asking, “What web page’s links are going to be directing to our sites.” If this is what the question means then, for my site, it would be probably be best for me to get a link to my site on some “Find a Tutor” directory sites like maybe LinkedIn. I found this page (https://www.linkedin.com/title/web-developer,-tutor) which would be similar to what I am looking for and LinkedIn is a well-known site vs something like tutoruniverse.com (which I had never heard of till I googled it). By placing myself and my site on pages that are viewed more, I will get a better ranking.
- What keywords (anchor text) will be used in each webpage?
- What types of content/websites will be targeted to get links?
- For my website, I don’t have a lot of content. I will be making a blog for my site though with tips and tricks for different parts of web development (specifically for each language). So really looking at the keywords I mentioned in the above question might help me to see which content people are most interested in. My top clicked keyword was “CSS help.” So making content geared towards helping with CSS might help me get more people to find my site and stay on it. The keyword I had with the highest CTR was “MySQL help.” This will be similar to CSS help in that I can make content specific to that language and have other sites target that link.
- How will the content/websites to get links be found?
- For this I could use a couple different approaches. If I want people to find my landing page and my tutoring schedule then I would probably want to stick with “find a tutor” directory agencies. When people are looking for tutors they don’t usually click on a site with just one tutor, they click on a site with lots of tutors that they can search through to find the right one. If I can get myself on one of these directories, I think I will have a better chance of getting found.
- If I want people to find my blog which will hopefully lead to scheduling me as their tutor then I might want to look into getting links on pages that specialize in the specific languages that I am writing about. One that came to mind was w3schools.com. I am not sure if they link to other site like I need but I know they are a well-known site. I could also maybe have some of my friends that have a well-established blog share some of these links to help get the word out. There are many possibilities.
- How to approach the content/websites to gather links?
- When doing this assignment it seems obvious that I will probably get the best results for my site using directories. When looking at this link: (https://www.searchenginegenie.com/advanced-link-building-strategies.html), I found that “When submitting to directories, [I need to] make sure to vary anchor text and try to use [my] keywords in the description and title fields as obviously as possible.”
- I could also follow number 8 in the link above which talks about renting space on “a page hosted on a better or more authoritative site in [my] industry.” This basically is like putting my ad in a newspaper or magazine where lots of people look. I would have to pay for it though so I think it might be best for me to approach directories first and see how far they get me and then go for renting space if I need to.
Where will the links be gathered?
- This link (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/link-building-strategies-checklist/17256/) for this question gave lots of ides of where the links could be gathered. I think some of the best ideas from the list were to use, social profiles, social groups, friends, guest posts, some of my own sites, and directories post might be some good places to go to.
- I already have a social profile on a couple different sites that I could post content to but according to this site (http://www.searchengineguide.com/stone-reuning/a-brief-intro-to-link-building-for-small.php), “It’s tempting to think you can just link to pages on your site from your Twitter tweets, Facebook and other social media applications. However, many of these sites as well as online ads and also some directories employ “no follow” tags that prevent the search engines from following a link to your site. In this case, it’s as if the link doesn’t exist in the eyes of the search engines.” From this, I am not sure if this posting to social media would actually help me to get links and build my ranking.
- I am not sure if social groups are different than social profiles but I am already in a couple of groups/communities in the particular topic on Facebook and this seems to get me business but not really any backlinks.
- I could have some friends who have well-established blogs do a guess post for me to help spread the word but again this may not be the best way to get my ranking up. I think it would definitely be worth a try though. The more people I can get to spread the word, the better for me.
- I have some of my own sites (personal blog, business blog for this class, website I made for family, etc) that I could put my link on but I fear that they aren’t the most traveled pages and might be bad for my site.
- I think again that directories (if they are the right ones) are probably going to be the best place to gather my links. People tend to like to search for a product/service they want amongst similar products/services so that they can make sure they are getting the best one. Comparison is everything!
Google Analytics Overview
This was an interesting assignment that was actually really frustrating for me because there was something I apparently missed earlier in the semester in linking my adwords and analytics accounts together. I needed to enable auto tagging so I didn’t have any data in my adwords section in my analytics account.
I turned the functionality but I took a couple of days to verify (and it doesn’t just auto fill all the days I missed so I have to wait for data to accumulate).
Because I didn’t have this data, I decided to look at some of the other sections that the video we watched did talk about and found the landing page section under behavior -> site content. From there I was able to see that it showed tons of landing pages (not sure what all of them are) but I found two that I know are on my site (my root page ‘/’ and my make-a-payment page). From the information on this page, I saw that my make-a-payment page had a lot less sessions and new users. This is to be expected though because most people come to this page after viewing and contacting me through the site to pay. The bounce rate was a lot lower and the session duration was higher than that of my root landing page but the bounce rate is probably lower because it is usually the second page that is viewed unless I give someone the direct link (which I do in all my invoices) so this to me says that most people coming to this page either came from my landing page and then either left or went back to the landing page or they came directly to it and clicked the payment button to leave (so the bounce rate was lower).
I then looked at the exit pages section of analytics and found that only 6 people exited from the make-a-payment page out of 23 page views whereas 293 people left from the landing page out of 416 page views. This showed that most people don’t leave from the payment page but from the landing page.
The make a payment page isn’t as important for people to view as my landing page (as I have my pricing on the landing page) so I would think that my worst landing page would be my main landing page because that is where people come in, view my site and other links in it, and then leave. It has a high bounce rate (which isn’t necessarily bad) but I want them to interact with my site (i.e. fill out my form to contact me). I found through the video, though, that filling out a form and then leaving the site can still count as a bounce. Because of this, I plan to make a goal on google analytics to see how many interactions people have on my landing page before they leave (buttons clicked, forms filled out, etc) to see if people are even reading/interacting with the site or if they just look and leave (a true bounce). Hopefully this will help me add more appealing things to my landing page to keep people on my site.
We also completed project 5 this last week which was interesting because we used a site called woorank.com that went to our site and checked the speed of it, keywords, social media connected with the site, etc. We then needed to pick a couple of the things it suggested we fix to make our sites better. We then need to complete the ones we picked before next Saturday when we need to run woorank.com again to see if the rank score it gave us before is higher now. Here is the list of changes I chose to make:
- Add a meta description – High Impact
- Missing a rel=”Publisher” tag for linking to my Google+ Page. – Low Impact
- Optimize load time (1.18 seconds right now) – High Impact – use this url: http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebdevtutoring.com
- Look at speed tips to make my pages faster — Medium Impact – uses this url: https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/rules
- Add a twitter account – Low Impact
- Add XML site map – Medium Impact – maybe use this url or something similar: https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
- Discovered Pages shows one page – Medium Impact – it recommends making sure my XML site map is present and submitted to the major search engines
- Make a blog for the site – Medium Impact – this actually shows as being found but only because it is a WordPress site which has a built in blog. I am not currently using this blog but I want to incorporate a blog to get better SEO.
Next week we have to make a presentation about our site and make the changes above for project 6 so check back next week to see how that all goes. WE ARE ALMOST DONE!