Web Search & Marketing Newsletter - May 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of our monthly newsletter, which covers news, tips and advice on effective website marketing, with a particular focus on search marketing techniques and trends.
In the first article this month, we take at look at how the correct ownership and allocation of User management permissions in a Google Analytics account can be an vital factor in the successful running of an online business, in terms of the control and security of data.
We also look at Facebook's ad relevance score, which can help achieve greater visibility for ads and also lead to lower costs to reach your target audience. Finally this month, we review Google's recent announcement about the use of 'doorway pages' for search optimisation and how recent ranking adjustments could penalise this technique.
On to this month's edition...
Ownership of Google Analytics Accounts
This is a critical topic for analytics managers in online businesses of all sizes, as it's vital to know who owns and manages Google Analytics accounts and access permissions for your company. The analysis of this important data can be crucial for streamlining the profitability and success of a modern-day business, but the management of access to it is often over-looked.
At corporate, SMB, or small business levels, there can often be multiple accesses granted to numerous administrators of an analytics account over time. These can be across various departments, or for internal or third party managers who may have also created the account in the first place. Most large companies have multiple pockets of analytics professionals spread throughout the organisation so it's possible that there are multiple users of the account/s with differing levels of access privileges.
The important issue is that the business needs to ensure ownership of their own website analytics data, and have control over access to this information to maintain security and longevity of the reporting. There have been many cases where a website developer has created the Google Analytics account, for example, but not provided the site owner with full admin rights, so that there is always a danger that in the long term, if relations with the supplier sour, then the business could lose access to their account.
Since many companies are now using Google Analytics, Google has improved the ways in which access permissions are granted, as they understand the importance of the access privileges and have therefore provided the ability of users to do this in a logical manner. Google introduced two big changes to user permissions in recent years:
- There are now three different types of user permissions: 1) Manage Users provides full control of the settings and user access 2) Edit access enables users to make changes to the set-up options, but not provide access to other users, and 3) Read & Analyse access gives users the ability to view reports but make no changes to the settings.
- These 3 different types of permissions can now be applied any of the 3 different admin 'levels' of a Google Analytics account: Account level, Property (website) level and View (reports) level.
This set of options enables Analytics administrators to apply the correct permissions based on what the User should be able to do. For example, a big company with a separate marketing team can provide access to only those sections they wish them to view. It's important that ownership of the account is clear, as many organisations forget to audit the people that have access to the data and so this should be done at least once a year (or once a quarter depending on the required level of data governance).
People that that don't need access should be removed, or have their permissions adjusted as necessary. It's also best practice to regularly assess and limit the number of users that have Edit permissions at the Account level, and of course to ensure that the login accounts with full manager access are part of the business and not an email that is linked to an external agency or could be lost in the future.
Analytics data can provide valuable insights into the way in which a website is running, so maintaining full ownership of the account is a significant consideration, which is often over-looked in the successful running of a business. You can read more about managing Google Analytics User permissions in this article by Justin Cutroni, the primary Analytics evangelist at Google.
If you would like to know about ensuring the correct levels of Google Analytics management for your business, contact us now for more information.
Facebook Ad Relevance Score
An increasing number of businesses are using Facebook to advertise to their customers and target market. If your business is already doing so, or considering it in the future, this information is useful to bear in mind, as it's important to understand the advert relevance score. The more relevant an advert is to its audience, the better it's likely to perform and advert relevance score makes it easier for you to understand how your advert resonates with your audience.
Facebook considers how relevant an advert is when determining which adverts to show to a user. When your advert is relevant to your audience, its relevance score is higher and it is therefore more likely to be served than other adverts targeting the same audience. As a result, you pay less to reach your audience and this relevancy factor is similar to the way in which the Google AdWords keyword Quality Score works.
Advert relevance score can also help you:
- Know when to refresh your advert. When your advert's score drops, it may be an indicator to refresh your advert's creative or change its targeting.
- Determine which advert creative is more relevant. You can use the score to test your creative to help determine which message, image or video resonates most with your audience.
After your advert is served more than 500 times, it receives a daily relevance score from 1–10. Ten means that Facebook estimates your advert to be highly relevant and one means that it's estimated to not be very relevant. (You can view the score in Adverts Manager by going to Campaigns and clicking Adverts).
Your advert's relevance score is based on positive and negative feedback that Facebook expects from the people seeing it, based on how the advert is performing. It is calculated differently depending on your objective (e.g. clicks to website or video views) but it's based on:
- Positive feedback: The number of times Facebook expects people to take a desired action, such as sharing or liking your advert, or help you achieve your objective, such as visiting your website.
- Negative feedback: The number of times expected for people to hide your advert or indicate a negative experience, such as choosing not to see adverts from you.
There are a number of ways to improve your advert's relevance score, with the five most important being:
- Be specific with your targeting
- Consider your advert's image and message
- Refresh your advert
- Learn from testing
- Avoid using offensive content
Following these tips can save your business advertising revenue by reducing the cost of Facebook advertising. You can read more about the Facebook ad relevance score here.
If you want more details about how we can help your business succeed through advertising on Facebook, contact us now.
Google Sets Guidelines for SEO Doorway Pages
Google recently announced that it will soon introduce a search ranking adjustment to clamp down on the use of web pages that are created solely for search engines. This is very important for webmasters and online marketers, as sites with large and well-established 'doorway page' campaigns might see a negative impact from this change.
Google's Search Quality team is continually working on ways in which to minimise the impact of 'webspam' on users. This includes targeting these so-called 'doorway pages' as they have a long-standing view that such webpages are developed only to improve rankings on search engines, which in turn can harm the quality of a user's search experience. For example, searchers might get a list of results that all go to the same site, so if a user clicks on one result, doesn't like it, and then tries the next result in the search results page and is taken to that same site that they didn't like, that's a really frustrating experience.
Over time, Google's seen sites try to maximise their 'search footprint' without adding clear, unique value. These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as multiple pages on a site, or across a number of domains. To improve the quality of search results for Google's users, it will soon be introducing a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages and this could have a dramatic impact on the rankings of sites that use this unfavourable SEO technique.
To help webmasters better understand their guidelines, Google has added clarifying examples and freshened its definition of doorway pages in its Quality Guidelines for Webmasters. Therefore here are questions to ask of pages that could be seen as doorway pages:
- Is the purpose to optimise for search engines and funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site, or are they an integral part of the site's user experience?
- Are the pages intended to rank on generic terms yet the content presented on the page is very specific?
- Do the pages duplicate useful aggregations of items (locations, products, etc.) that already exist on the site for the purpose of capturing more search traffic?
- Are these pages made solely for drawing affiliate traffic and sending users along without creating unique value in content or functionality?
- Do these pages exist as an 'island?' Are they difficult or impossible to navigate to from other parts of your site?
- Are links to such pages from other pages within the site or network of sites created just for search engines?
Therefore it's essential that webmasters who have previously used 'doorway' pages take notice of this imminent change and edit their website accordingly. You can read more about Google's 'doorway' page guidelines here.
If you want to know more about how the use of these pages could seriously impact your business's rankings on Google, contact us now.
We hope you've found this month's newsletter useful. Please contact us if you need any more information on the items covered, or our advice on any aspect of your website's performance. Also, if there are any issues you would like to see in future editions of this newsletter, please submit your suggestions to us.
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