Lesson Twelve Weekly Reflection

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?

  1. Who is going to do the work?
    1. 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.
  2. When is the work going to start?
    1. 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.
  3. Is the work ongoing? Or is there a date that the work should be finished?
    1. 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 There is always something that changes, upgrades to technology that happen, content that is out of date, etc.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.
  4. Who reports to whom? Is there a reporting process?
    1. 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?

  1. What web pages are the links directed to (in importance)?
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  2. What keywords (anchor text) will be used in each webpage?
    1. I took a page out of the example’s book and decided to take a look at my google adwords campaign. I really feel like I don’t have very good keywords (as I have tons of clicks on my ads but not a lot of clicks on my keywords) but some of the ones I do have lots of clicks on are “CSS help”, “online tutor”, “Javascript help”, “html tutor”, and “web development tutor”. Out of all of these the one that has the highest click-through-rate is “web development tutor” at 1.60%. I also have two keywords that have only been clicked once but they have a 4% and a 5.88% CTR so “website help” and “MySQL help” might also be good keywords to use in my anchor text because they have a high CTR.
  3. What types of content/websites will be targeted to get links?
    1. 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.
  4. How will the content/websites to get links be found?
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  5. How to approach the content/websites to gather links?
    1. 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.”
    2. 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?

  1. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

Project 5

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:

  1. Add a meta description – High Impact
  2. Missing a rel=”Publisher” tag for linking to my Google+ Page. – Low Impact
  3. 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
  4. Look at speed tips to make my pages faster — Medium Impact – uses this url: https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/rules
  5. Add a twitter account – Low Impact
  6. Add XML site map – Medium Impact – maybe use this url or something similar: https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
  7. Discovered Pages shows one page – Medium Impact – it recommends making sure my XML site map is present and submitted to the major search engines
  8. 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!

Lesson Eleven Weekly Reflection

The semester is coming to a close so quickly! Only next week and the week after and we are done!! Project 4 went well this last week (I think). I am hoping I started my campaign up again in time and that I was able to get enough numbers to show a difference. We shall see I guess. This last week was all about Social Media. The first assignment was about social media for SEO and the second assignment was an introduction to social media.

Social Media for SEO

For this assignment we needed to write an essay about our social media optimization strategy/goals. We needed to talk about long term goals and short term goals that we had for our site and how we would measure the success of those goals. Here is my essay. I feel I should share the whole thing here rather than have me botch a summary of it:

“According to the 2010 Social Media Marketing Report, 67% of marketers plan to increase their use of social media channels including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. As more companies integrate social media into their marketing and communications plans, emphasis needs to be on creating a social media strategy” (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-steps-for-a-successful-social-media-strategy/). I found this particular quote to be important. As it says, “67%” are planning to use social media more and I for one don’t want to be left out of the loop because I am not using it. I also don’t want to just jump in because ‘everyone else is doing it.’ As it says in the above quote, “emphasis needs to be on creating a social media strategy.” A key part to creating this strategy is to set goals.

“What’s important is to understand your social media goals and objectives and how they tie into your overall company goals. Keep it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timely (aka be SMART!)” (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-steps-for-a-successful-social-media-strategy/). When creating goals for our businesses we need to make sure, as it says in the quote above, that we make our goals, “specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant and timely.”

With that said, I would like one of my goals to be pulling more traffic into my website, specifically from Facebook. I would like to increase the number I am pulling in right now from Facebook by at least 1% by the end of the semester. In order to measure this goal, I will make use of the google analytics segment tool. Through this tool I can create a segment that checks specifically where a user it coming from when they come to my site. I have set up that segment and it currently checks if the source contains “facebook.com” and will show me all the information about users coming from there. The nice thing about this tool is I can use it on any report in google analytics. For example, the overview of my audience section shows that 15.38% of my sessions are coming from Facebook already. I believe this goal is attainable because I already have a presence on Facebook as well as a company page. All I need to do is post content on my company page, and share it with my personal account. I also have a presence on the “BYU-I Online WDD Majors” and the “BYU-I Online Student Support” group pages where I have many students who I have tutored already who might be willing to help me spread the word there. Because I have a presence on Facebook already I feel this is a realistic/relevant goal to my business. As the infographic on the notes from instructor page points out, Facebook “has 1 billion users worldwide.” This is by far the most popular social media platform and therefore gives me a more realistic opportunity to spread the word of my business faster and easier than some of the other social media platforms.  As I mentioned in my goal, I would like this particular goal to be timely and met by the end of the semester.

This is a short term goal though as the end of the semester is in less than three weeks. As a longer term goal I would really like to just pull more users to my site (possibly from other social media platforms like I am planning on doing with Facebook but as a longer term goal I will take them coming from anywhere). Of those users, I would like to have at least three (specific) of those users schedule and follow through with me before the end of the next semester (timely). I have had quite a few people contact and set something up with me this semester so I think at least 3 people it is attainable and realistic for my business. I set the time to be before the end of next semester because I will get the most traffic during the semester. I will mostly be measuring this through Google AdWords, more specifically, through the conversion tool. I already have some conversion tracking code on my thank you message page after someone submits the scheduling form. I believe, though, that the conversion tracking tool only measures conversions when they come through one of the google ads I have created. If I want to measure my success no matter where someone is coming to my site from, I can keep a count of the people who schedule with me through the emails I get from someone scheduling with me. By also doing it this way, I will get a day for when they scheduled and I can check it with google analytics to see where the users were coming from that day.

Success comes in many forms and with social media marketing and social SEO, it’s the combination of social media monitoring and web analytics that provides the most actionable value (http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/07/4-social-seo-success/). Through planning and following through on these goals, I feel I will really be able to socialize with others in the same communities, build relationships with many people who share my same passions or with those who want to have the same passions but are just getting started, and market myself well enough to get a good amount of traffic to my site through social media. Social media is growing bigger and bigger as the years pass. Why not take advantage of it? Not only can it help me, but I can help others through it as well. “Good marketing itself is not about the platform, it’s about the idea. The platform is merely an enabler, but to utilize it effectively comprehension is vital. With social media gaining popularity daily it is necessary for marketing professionals and businesses alike to comprehend this dynamic communication environment. And the only true way to accomplish this is to become involved yourself”(http://www.toprankblog.com/2009/08/social-media-optimization-redux/).

 Introduction to Social Media

For this assignment we needed to do some reading and watch some videos about the different platforms for social media and then pick four that we could market our sites on. Of those four we needed to pick one and  list the different steps we could take to market our business. The four I chose were:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Google Plus
  4. LinkedIn

The one I picked to list steps I could take was Facebook. I chose Facebook because it is the platform that reaches the most people and is the easiest (I think) for people to use. It also has so many different generations of people which gives me a better reach (as a grandma might see my post and know that her grandson is struggling in school). The steps I would take to market my website would be to first create a company page and have my personal account like the page. By having my personal account like it, it makes it more likely to show up on the sidebar of my friend’s news feeds showing that I recently liked a page. I can then share that page with friends and on Facebook group pages dedicated to students learning web development. By sharing the page with these types of people, I am confident that if enough people share it around that it will help me get a great following. I can then start posting about things I can do; tips, tricks, and teasers I have; etc. that will hopefully help others learn from me and want to schedule to learn more.

After participating in the discussion board this week I actually found from several students that LinkedIn (which was my fourth platform I chose) is actually not that good of a platform to market a business on. If you are looking for employees, talking with other companies, or if your business is about recruiting, then LinkedIn is great. Otherwise it isn’t as easy as something like Facebook or Twitter to promote and share your page around with people.

I also found through the discussion board that becoming part of groups and first, making friends there, is very important! People are more likely to buy and work with someone they know or associate with vs a complete stranger. People are also more likely to work with someone who is friends with their friends. If someone can recommend you, you are set!

Just some of my thoughts from the week. This next week is about ranking and link building as well as learning more about google analytics. We also will turn in project 5 this next week and have lots of changes to make before turning in project 6.

Check back next week if you want to see how that all goes. Thanks for reading!

Lesson Ten Weekly Reflection

The weeks are flying by fast. We are at the end of week 10 and we only have 11, 12, and the conclusion week left!! This week we worked on learning how to optimize our landing page and our website in general and we also learned about basic SEO.

Landing Page Optimization and Website Optimizer

For this assignment, we needed to answer 3 different questions. I have the questions and how I answered them here below:

  1. What would you change on one landing page that you believe would increase conversion and why?
    1. I think one thing I would change is the text that the user sees right off. It isn’t very “attention grabbing.” I like that right now it works with my ad but I think it needs some changes to make it a little more appealing and help visitors want to stay on the site. I want them to look at the headline and say to themselves, “That is exactly what I need.” I will want to make sure I reflect the change in my ad once I come up with the right text. Right now the text reads “AN AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE WEB DEVELOPMENT TUTOR.” I am hoping to use the discussion board tomorrow to get some ideas about what to change this text to. I felt this was something I could experiment with because this reading mentioned that some elements I could test might be “headlines and headers.” I think I will get more conversions if I can convince the visitor right off that I am exactly what they are looking for.
    2. The reading link above also mentioned experimenting with “calls to action.” I am not sure if my site needs it but I was wondering about having more call-to-action buttons. I feel like I have a couple already and I don’t really want to be in their face, but I also think it might increase my conversions if visitors are seeing calls to action throughout the site.
  1. Is the page featuring what you promised in the ad?
    1. I believe it is. The very first thing they see when they come to the site are some of the exact words I used in one of my ads (Affordable Reliable, Web Development Tutor, etc). I also have the price from my ad on the landing page once they scroll to the right section with a link to schedule right by it in the hopes that after they see the price they want to schedule).
  1. Can people easily find what they are looking for on your site?
    1. I think that it is easy for people to find what they need on my site. I have contact and pricing buttons right first off on my page because pricing is always something people want to know first off and contact is how I do business. I have my navigation at the top that allows them to find what they might need, whether that is to learn more about the company, pay an invoice, read some testimonials/reviews, etc. it is there at their fingertips.
    2. Another thing I think that is helpful is the fact that most of the links are on the same page. There is no reloading of content, or having to jump back and forth. The link at the top just makes it convenient so they don’t have to remember the scroll order of the page and allows them to get back to any section they want through the link.

After going through the discussion board (which there wasn’t room to ask my classmates about my own website), I posted on the office hours discussion board with my question about what I could change on my landing page and my professor thought that changing the headline would be a good idea. I talked with my husband and we came up with a few ideas:

  1. “Try” Your Code Before It “Catches” You.
  2. Broken Code? Broken Bank? Affordable Tutoring
  3. Bug-Infested Code? Call the Exterminator.

I really liked the first one but I wasn’t sure how many people would understand it (because it is a php thing). I liked number two because it keep the keyword “affordable tutoring” but it didn’t really roll off the tongue well. Then we came up with number 3 and that is what I decided to go with. Everyone knows about bugs in your code and it gives a call-to-action right in the headline with the word “call” (which in my case technically means contact but call was shorter and fit better with the phrase) and then it has pricing and contact buttons underneath to help them out.

Basic SEO

For this assignment, we had a few different questions to answer as well but I really only want to share the first question and what I came up with for it here:

  1. List the five best things you can do to help your sites be optimized for search engines. Explain your reasoning.

After doing the reading, I found that some of the best things I can do to help my site be optimized for search engines are:

    1. To check my title tag for my website and make sure I am using my keywords in it. I am using WordPress so I am not sure if this is already getting set somewhere from something I input or something WordPress input. The reading says that, “Using the primary keyword phrase at least once in the page’s title, and preferably as close to the start of the title tag/element as possible is highly recommended. Not only are titles key to how engines weigh relevance, they also dramatically impact a searcher’s propensity to click” (https://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization).
    2. Check my body text for potential keywords/make sure to use my keywords in the body text. The reading talks about making sure I have keywords in my body text but it also mentions not to overdo it. “It’s wise to make your content comprehensive, useful, and relevant as possible, not just filled with instance of a keyword” (https://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization). It needs to make sense when I read it and not just end up being a bunch of keywords. I think that making sure I have some keywords in there (whether using some of my own text as a keyword or inserting some of the keywords I already have) it will make my site more optimized for the web.
    3. Adding share links to my site. Right now I have links to my business Facebook and LinkedIn pages but I am realizing I don’t have share links on my site anywhere. The reading mentions that, “A well-optimized page should help to make social sharing as easy and seamless as possible” (https://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization). So by adding share links it will make my site more optimized and also allow others to share my site with friends (hopefully because they enjoyed my service).
    4. Making sure my headers have keywords in them. I know I made a big effort to make the main header (the first thing visitors see when coming to the site) had keywords in it but I am realizing that each section on my website has a sub header that I should probably see about putting a few of my keywords in them as well. The reading mentions that “Failure to do so may increase the odds of pogo-sticking, and our most recent rank correlations suggest that a topically relevant H1 is associated with higher rankings” (https://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization).
    5. Making sure all my images have alt attributes. I hadn’t realized this was so important for SEO. I knew it was important for accessibility. The reading says, “For search engines, the image’s title, filename, surrounding text, and alt attribute all matter from a ranking perspective. In particular, those doing SEO should know that when an image is linked, the alt attribute is treated similarly to anchor text in a text link” (https://moz.com/blog/visual-guide-to-keyword-targeting-onpage-optimization). So by making sure my images have the right information in their attributes, I can make my site more optimized for search engines.

I feel that by making these changes to my site, I can have it better optimized for the search engines that people use to find my site. I also how that it brings in more people.

That is all for this week. We have been working on Project 4 but that really has just been pausing the campaign, taking down numbers, implementing the changes I have been talking about making to the site, and then re-enabling the campaign and taking down the new numbers to see the difference. So check back next week to see how that went.

Thanks for reading!

Lesson Nine Weekly Reflection

This week we are really starting to see results from our ad campaigns and google analytics account! It is fun to see how many people click on the ads I made and that I have people coming to my site. This week we actually put some tracking code in our sites to track when a conversion is made. For me that would be either when someone contacts me for services, or pays me for my services. For this assignment though I just picked one conversion for now and figured I could add the other conversion after I learned how to do one.

ROI and Conversion Tracking

For this assignment I picked to track when someone contacts/schedules me through my form on the landing page. It was a little tricky (after setting the conversion up on adwords) to figure out where to put the code though. I am using WordPress for my site so I am using a plugin called “Pirate Forms” to put my contact form on my landing page. Because of this, I decided to just go through the php code for the pirate forms and, at first, tacked the tracking code onto the variable that was getting set for my thank you message (that way it was only on the page once it reloaded and showed the thank you message).

I then got the Chrome Tag Assistant extension that was recommended to check if my tracking code was in the right place and I found that it recommend for me to have my code right before the ending </body> tag in order to be found easier. When I tested my submit button before (with the code tacked onto the thank you message variable), I found that my website’s redirect was actually setting a GET variable in my url. This allowed me to move my code to my footer file and do some PHP to check for that GET variable and if it was there, then I have the code echo out to the page right before the ending </body> tag.
I think this might be the solution for me. It looks like the Tag Assistant finds it because it shows a conversion id number but I did have two items under “where to optimize” that said I don’t have the conversion value set (but I do have it set in google adwords) and that I have a non standard implementation (and I am not sure what I did wrong because I didn’t change the code snippet and I don’t have it in a library). After researching both of these items, I found that there were a few things I did need to add to my code snippit to show the conversion value. After making that change I didn’t have that come up anymore. I still have the non-standard implementation item but after research it looks like something that won’t interfere with the tracking and I was told to just “not worry about it”. So all is well there! 😀

Optimizing Ad Performance

For this assignment I needed to take down some numbers from my campaign (when I started running it, how many clicks it had, average cpc, etc) and then I needed to go through both my ads and my keywords to see what I would add, pause, or remove about them.

For my keywords, I found that some of them were higher in cost per click and didn’t have a good average position on the search page. I also had some keywords I felt weren’t relevant to my site anymore like I thought they were when I added them. These are some that I paused:

  1. web design and development (avg. cpc was .34 and avg. po. was 4.1)
  2. web development support (didn’t have any data on it)
  3. styling help (didn’t have any data and was redundant with another keywords I had: “css help”)
  4. help with web development (avg. cpc had no data and avg. pos was 3.1)
  5. web development classes (avg. cpc was .12 which isn’t bad but avg. pos was 3.8 and it wasn’t all that relevant to my business)
I also went through my negative keywords and got rid of a couple that I felt weren’t needed.
After that I went through my list and tried to think of more specific/relevant keywords I could use. I still am unsure with my particular business what good keywords are so I hope the changes I have made help my campaign. I added some keywords like “private tutor” and “online tutor” but I am wondering if they are two general.
I also looked through my Ads but I am not sure what I would change on the ones I have. I might add one but for now I think it would be better for me to work on making the two I have better.

I hope I can get more conversions by using this tool. Check back next week for more info! 😀


Lesson Eight Weekly Reflection

So this week was all about Adwords and Analytics. We have started our campaigns for Adwords now (so hopefully I can start seeing some ads showing up in google and clicks being made into conversions) and we set up Analytics and linked it with Adwords.

Relevance and Quality Score

This assignment was pretty tricky for me because I hadn’t started my ad campaign yet so all of my keywords had a default quality score of 6/10. I had to try and look at other data in order to figure out how to best determine everything. After talking with the teacher, I found that “You get a quality score to start on your ads, but all it’s comparing up front is the relevance between your ad and your landing page.” So in order to bring this score up we need to look at the relevance of the keyword to the ad, the ad to the landing page, the keyword to the landing page, and the words used in the ad.

I found for my own ads that I could improve the quality of my adds by:

  1. Making my ad/keyword relevant to my landing page.You don’t want someone seeing your ad, clicking on it and then not seeing the same type of thing on your landing page. This confuses people. I know from personal experience that I don’t like it when I see what I am searching for in the description of the ad but when I click on it, I can’t find that text anywhere. It makes me leave right off. So If I can make them match, I should get more people to stay on my site after initially clicking on it.
  2. Making my ad/keyword specific.I need to focus on making the keyword/ad be specific to what someone is searching for. If I just used “Tutor” as my keyword, there might be another ad for a Web Development Tutor that would get all the clicks over mine because it targets exactly what the searcher needs.
  3. Grouping my keywords with other keywords that match.By making several small groups/themes of keywords, I will hopefully reach more people. I could specifically have a languages group that targeted people looking for help with a specific language (HTML, PHP, CSS, etc) as well as one geared directly at web development.

A few other things after doing the discussion board this week that I would add to this list would be to make sure there is a call to action in the ad, and making sure the ad descriptions are short and to the point (no two liner descriptions).

Installing Google Analytics

The second assignment had us set up a Google Analytics account for our business. Google Analytics really is a powerful tool once you know how to use it. Just today I had 9 people real-time on my site. I was able to see which pages they were on, on average how long they stayed, which pages they left on, where they were located at when they clicked on my site, etc. I wish I knew more about Analytics to really dive in deeper so I think I will need to look up some YouTube videos.

I think that Google Analytics will be very helpful to my business because it allows me to track not only how many people come to my site, but also the location at which they are viewing the site. This, I think, will help me narrow down my ad location to these specific areas and help me optimize my ads better and save some money. Analytics also tracks which pages are getting the most views as well as the amount of time people spend on those pages. This I think will help me to make my site better because I will be able to see which pages people aren’t spending a lot of time on,  try and see why this is the case, and make the pages better so people spend more time on them. I know someone who uses analytics to track how long it takes for a user on the page to either leave or buy their product. I think this would be a useful tactic for me to do as well to see how many people leave without contacting and how long they are on the site before they do that as well as the opposite, the amount of time it takes for them to contact.

That is all we did this week. I will have to let you know next week how the campaign is going. Thanks for reading!

Lesson Seven Weekly Reflection

This week we only had one assignment due with the discussion board (HALLELUJAH!!) so I am posting this reflection earlier in the week since I am moving on Saturday and won’t have time (or possibly internet) in order to post this.

Ads and Ad Groups

This week was all about ads! Now that we worked on setting up the campaign last week and finding out what made good and bad keywords we got to make ad groups and create some ads. Here are two of the ads I made

first ad

second ad

The first ad I made partially before doing the reading and then changed a few things after finishing the reading. The second ad I did completely after doing all of the reading. I think between the first and second ads I already made an improvement but I also feel that it could be a lot better.

The focus of my ad group was the price of the service. Most of my audience will be students that don’t have a lot of money to spend on a tutor. In these ads I single out that it is a cheap but quality service and even put the price on one of the ads. I am hoping this helps people want to click on me more than my competition because most other tutors charge up to $80. By putting my price right up front, it might give me the advantage I need.

After putting these ads to the test through the discussion board I found that I still have a ways to go. It was suggested that I use the word Affordable instead of cheap because then it will show it is quality rather than just cheap. An analogy that was shared with me was:

If they are selling a pizza for a $1.00 on the sidewalk, I already know that is cheap and I naturally want to know why it’s so cheap. If they had a sign that said “cheap pizza, only $1.00” I would assume there is something wrong with the pizza. If they had a sign that said “fresh quality pizza, only $1.00” I would buy the pizza becuase I interpreted $1.00 as a bargain price, they advertise it as “fresh quality”addressing my caution, and successfully created a good value in my mind.

I think this is a great analogy and really hit home for me. I don’t want people to be suspicious of my business. I want to be open and friendly so I agree that I should change the word cheap to something else. I will still keep cheap as one of my keywords because that is a word I use when I search.

Website Showcase

We also had a website showcase discussion board were we could share our website and get some feedback on them. One of the replies to my post had a mock-up logo that they did and I LOVE IT!! I thought I would share it here because it is most-likely going to replace the logo I have for my site. What do you all think?


Rather than:


I think the one given to me has a fun tutoring type style to it using symbols used in programming and making it in the shape of a graduating owl!! So great! I like my computer I made but I think this other one is a little more fun and tied to what I am doing.

Thanks for reading and tune in next week to see what I will be learning next!

Lesson Six Weekly Reflection

We are a little over halfway through the semester now! Crazy how fast it is moving… This week we started working on our ad campaigns (just haven’t made them public yet) as well as working on keywords.

Start your Adwords Campaign

For this assignment we had to answer 4 questions that would help us set up our campaign.

  1. What geographic locations do you want your ad to show in? Why?
    1. I chose to show in all countries and territories. Because I am not selling a product that has to have sales tax or shipping costs I feel I am ok to advertise everywhere. I believe this will help me to reach a greater amount of people (as BYU-Idaho students, in particular, come from everywhere). The only hitch is that I don’t speak a foreign language so the person needing help will have to be able to speak English in order to use my services.
  2. What devices do you want your ad to show on? Why?
    1. According to Google Adwords, “Ads will show on all eligible devices by default.” I am just fine with this option though because 1. My site is already mobile friendly. 2. My target audience will mostly likely be using all devices since most are students.
  3. Did you choose automatic or manual bidding options? Why?
    1. I went with the automatic bidding: maximize clicks option. I am not very experienced in knowing how CPC’s and daily budgets work with AdWords so I decided to at least start out automatic to learn how it works and then I can switch to manual later if I feel the need to. With the maximize clicks option, it “automatically sets [my] bids to help get as many clicks as possible within [my] budget.” I think this would be the best option for me as a beginner so I can learn the ropes.
  4. What is your daily budget? Why?
    1. I chose my daily budget off of what we used in project 1. It was decided before that I would spend $25 on the campaign and then get $100 in adwords credit to spend as well. This brings my total amount to spend to $125 so this made my daily budget over the next 42 days equal to $2.98/day. I can adjust this amount later when I become more experienced with my campaign and begin to use it more. I also understand that my budget may be higher than this number in the beginning because I am really trying to promote my site.

By figuring out the answers to these questions I was able to get my campaign all set up.

Keyword Basics

Next we needed to pick 20 keywords after reading about what made a good keyword and what made a bad keyword. We were asked to answer these questions:

  1. What do you think the characteristics of a good keyword would be?
    1. A good keyword would be something that is relevant to what you want people to find. It targets those words that you think most people would search when looking for your specific business. You don’t want it to be too general that you get a lot of unrelated searches but you also don’t want to be too specific that you lose potential searches. So for me, I don’t want just tutoring because that will come up with math tutors, English tutors, etc. But I don’t want an exact phrase of “I need a web development tutor” because people may not know to use that exact phrase. By making it a broad phrase it will help find similar words to what is in the phrase in case someone searches for something similar but not those exact words.
  2. What do you think the characteristics of a bad keyword would be?
    1. A bad keyword would be something that isn’t as relevant to what they are looking for. Say you have boots as your keyword and you only sell hiking and designer boots, you would have your site pop up on winter sport searches for people looking for snowboarding boots or other sites when looking for rain boots, etc. You need to be more specific with the keywords to help them find exactly what they want (but not too specific). You also don’t want to have too many negative keywords because they can conflict with your other keywords and cancel out some of them. You should also “make sure that your negative keywords don’t overlap with your regular keywords, because this will cause your ad not to show” (https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453972?hl=en&topic=1713958&ctx=topic). I was doing keywords like ‘math tutoring’ as a negative keyword before but I realized that I want my ad to show up when they search for tutoring. I need to make sure I just use ‘math’ as my negative keyword so that I have my ads still show up on the tutoring keyword but not show anything relating to math in that keyword.

We then had to pick 20 keywords that went with our business. Here is the list I came up with. I am sure we will be working on and revising this list next week to really make sure that we have the best keywords for our ads:


Well that was what we did this week. Next week will be all about making an ad for our business (and making it awesome) and then starting our campaign.

Tune in next week to check things out. Thanks!