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Track your Social Signals in Google Analytics and Webmaster tools

Thursday, June 30th, 2011 | SEO | No Comments

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Its been a busy couple of weeks for Google, with the launch of their +1 and Google+ set to rival Facebook they are proving to have their finger on the pulse when it comes to becoming more social after appearing to be a little reluctant to jump on the social band wagon.

Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools have added new tools for tracking the impact of tweets, likes, +1s & more on your website’s traffic.

Google Webmaster Tools now allows you to report on the impact of the +1 Button and how this can affect your click through rate. You can also view the new “Activity Report” within Webmaster Tools which will help you see how many +1’s your site pages have received

A great new tool launched within Google Analytics is the Social Plugin Tracking tools. This not only tracks +1s but other Social Signals such as Twitter tweets, Facebook Likes and Facebook Sends.

Google recently admitted that Social Signals now do play a part in ranking success and this is backed up in a study by SEOmoz’s Rand Fishkin for the new Ranking Factors for 2011 have been revealed with Social Signals play a significant part.

The Social Plugin Tracking allows you to create three reports: Social Engagement, Social Actions and Social Pages.

Social Engagement tracks behavior changes (time on site, pageviews, bounce rate, etc.) for visits from social plugins.

Social Actions tracks the number of social actions users take on your site,

Social Pages compares your pages on the number of social actions they are receiving.

These new tools offers a greater insight into Social Signals and the impact of such on your website. Especially how Social Signals are driving traffic to your website.

This is invaluable data and means web masters can better devise a social strategy to aid website rankings.

Tags: google, google analytics, google webmaster tools, SEO, social engagement, social signals

Link Building and SEO – A quick guide

Monday, November 16th, 2009 | Career, General Interest, SEO | 4 Comments

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Recently I have been more “hands on” with link building and link building strategies as part of SEO. I thought I would share my findings – although I have kept this basic and brief!

What is Page Rank?

Page Rank is an analysis of links which is used by Google to establish a numerical weight of the page of your website based on the volume and relevancy of links to your site from other sites of a similar genre and good page rank.

As my own page rank has lapsed a little in recent months I decided that I needed to take on more research into this subject and optimise my page rank and that of my clients.

My research and professional opinion is that link building is an important part of any SEO strategy.

Why is link building Important?

Well in order for a site to gain creditability and maximum exposure you need to look at getting back links from other websites linking to you.

Think of back links as a “vote” for your site. So a “vote” from a high page ranking site is a very credible “vote” and a high page ranking site will be a site that will be crawled often so you link will be picked up.

Now this sounds easy but it takes quiet a strategic approach as it is not productive to target just any websites for you back links.

The websites page rank is important and its relevancy in relation to your website. So this means taking the time to indentify websites with high page ranks who are themed around the same subjects or products as your own website.

Where to start…

Well a good place is look at submitting to Dmoz (Page Rank 8 ) and other directory sites (basic stuff). Dmoz is great as it is a high page rank and gets crawled by Google regularly so there is a good chance your site will be picked up and associated with the category you have submitted to. Also to submit to Dmoz is free! Just make sure you submit as specifically as possible i.e. drill down you category as far as possible rather than trying to get submitted to the highest level of category. Dmoz is edited by real people and a more narrow category may mean that your submission gets revised quicker.

Another place to look at getting back links is simply use web searches for subjects you want your site associated with – then approach them for a link to your site. Not all sites will offer you a link for free or at all so be warned you may need to pay for links – the question to ask yourself at this point is whether the back link from this site is worth the money.

You can purchase software which will analyse your website and find sites associated with the same subjects/products that may be looked at for potential back links – however my experience of this software is that it still need a human touch to filter out competitors (who aren’t going to give you a back link) or sites that are just of no value.

Another area is to submit well written optimised articles to various websites and contain a back link to your site. These sites are usually reputable with a high Page Rank and categorised so you will find a relevant category to post your article. Just three sites I have found are www.HubPages.com/ www.ezinearticles.com/ and http://www.articlesbase.com/

Another area to explore is social networking site but I feel this is a subject in itself so I will post separately about this.

You can also opt for link exchanges (sometimes called reciprocal links) although I believe this is to be avoided where possible to avoid search engines seeing a straight forward link from a site, to another site and back again.

In some circumstances this needs to be adopted to take advantage of a sites relevancy and page rank although this need to be kept to a minimum and only considered from sites that will enhance relevancy and page rank.

Another common technique is commenting on blogs relevant to your site – this is fine but check for no follow links and ensure your comments are constructive and relevant to the post not a blatant attempt at shoe horning you url in as this will be seen as spamming and removed.

So what have I learnt from my recent link building 101? Well it is certainly organic process and takes time. It needs to be a natural progression and well strategized . There are lots to consider and it really involves thinking outside the box. You are also in the laps of the gods as to when your link will be picked up as it depends on the webmasters of the website you are linking from and how often they submit sitemaps, and how often Google visits.

As I submerge deeper into link building I will do my best to share my experiences with you. Watch this space!

Tags: back link, google, link building, page rank, SEO, submit url

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