Archive for the ‘Web Analytics’ Category

How to Add a User to the New Google Webmaster Tools

Here  at Boston Logic we set up a LOT of new websites for our real estate clients. We also perform a lot of website-upgrades, switching existing website URLs over to our Sequoia platform and implementing 301 Redirects in order to help ensure a smooth SEO transition to your new real estate website.

In helping our clients switch to a new website, we often have to coach our new users through the process of adding a new user to their Google Webmaster Tools account, especially now that Google Webmaster Tools has recently upgraded it’s appearance.  So, I decided to write this step-by-step guide with screenshots to help our clients (and all of our readers) with the process.

How to Add a User to Your Existing Google Webmaster Tools Account

1.  Log into your Google Webmaster Tools account at:
www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

2.  See the “Home” screen on the left sidebar of your Dashboard.

Adding a User to Google Webmaster Tools

Your Webmaster Tools Dashboard

3.  Click on the drop-down arrow next to the ‘Manage Site’ button of the website you wish to add a new User to. (You may only have 1 site listed on your dashboard, or several like the example above.)

4.  This will bring you to the ‘Verification Details’ screen for that particular website. This screen shows the Verification Attempts history for the account, as well as listing the Verified Owners. Scroll to the bottom of this screen and click the ‘Add an Owner’ button in the lower left corner.

Verification Details Screen in Google Webmaster Tools

Verification Details Screen in Google Webmaster Tools

5.  Enter the email address of the User you would like to add, then click the ‘Continue’ button.
Enter the Email Address of the New User You Want to Add

Enter the Email Address of the New User You Want to Add

6.  The User you just added will now appear in the Verification History section.

New User will appear in Verification Attempts History

New User will appear in Verification Attempts History

If you want to remove a User, just return to this Verification Details screen, and click the ‘Unverify’ link next to that User’s email address on the list of Verified Owners.

I hope this was a helpful and useful guide to those who are new to navigating Google Webmaster Tools! Be sure to subscribe to this blog, along with our Sequoia System blog, for more hints, guides, and advice on how to better leverage your website platform.

 

 

When Is the Best Time to Publish a Blog Post?

We all know that publishing content on a  regular basis is an important aspect of your online marketing campaign. Boston Logic recommends that our real estate SEO clients blog at least once per week, and that those new sites try to blog twice per week to generate content faster so Search Engines crawl your blog sooner – when a site has 100 posts, that’s the magic number when the search engines start to pay attention.

Boston Logic real estate SEOSo you’ve been blogging once  a week since your site has launched. Things are going good. But when is the optimal time or day of the week for your blog post to be published? When will it be most likely to capture the most readers? Be more likely to be shared on Facebook or Twitter? Unfortunately, there are just as many answers as there are businesses. Each business has a different customers: so how do you go about finding out what works best for you?

1) Experiment. As David Friedman mentioned in his “What is an Online Marketer?” article, it’s all about tracking, making educated changes, and then measuring for success. If you have Google Analytics installed in your website, (which you should!) tracking is easy.

If you blog 0nce per week, take the next few weeks to conduct an experiment: try publishing on each weekday to see which generates the most interest or traffic. For example, blog next Monday. Then write a blog the next week on Tuesday. Keep going until you have a full week days’ worth of posting so you can measure your results. You’ll always have variables such as high-traffic topics, but it’s a good place to start.

Finding the day your blog is most trafficked is a good start – a more advanced experiment, and ideal for those who blog every day, would be to find out what time of day would be best for you to be blogging. If you’ve found the best week day already in the previous experiment, start the process over again by blogging once during each time of day and measuring the results.

2) Tips and Data. Experimenting to find out what’s best for your personal blog is the best way for you to get the most accurate results. However, there have been studies conducted to help point you in the right direction when it comes to days and times to blog. Thanks to our good friends at Hubspot,  we have some great findings to help point you in the right direction:

  • The best time of day to get shared on Facebook: 9am

  • The best day of the week to get shared on Facebook: Saturday

  • The best time to get your blog read: Morning

Also, take a look at this great image Hubspot created. Based on this data, we can see that most blog post views activity (people reading your blog) seems to take place in the late morning every day – Hubspot reported in a “When Do You Read Blogs?” survey that 80% of people who read blogs answered in the mornings. This also seems to be true for links to your blog and blogger comments.

Another interesting visual is that the most heavy commenting activity seems to take place on the weekend, and a bit on Mondays.

real estate SEO

Click to enlarge

If you take these tips as a starting point and then experiment to find out what works best for you, you will be able to improve your own real estate online marketing presence. Don’t have time to worry about blogging or real estate SEO for your website? Contact Boston Logic today to find out what we can do for you!

Understanding Your Google Analytics

We have always recommended to our clients that they have Google Analytics installed on their real estate websites. We’ve even given great step-by-step instructions on how easy it is to set up Google Analytics on the Sequoia Real Estate Website platform. So let’s say that you’ve done it: now what?

In order to successfully interpret Google Analytics, you need to understand analytics terminology and language. Defining the information available to you is a great first step in understanding the effect of your web presence.

  • Visits - the number of times a person interacted with your website, or the number of sessions on your site
  • Bounce – the number of people who instantly left your site after visiting it
  • Page Views - how many pages users clicked on and viewed in the total amount of visits
  • Pages Per Visit - the total amount of pages in each specific visit
  • Average Time on Site – how long people stayed engaged on your website
  • % of New Visits - how many sessions or interactions were from first time visitors

Google Analytics Traffic Sources

Traffic to your real estate website comes from many different online sources. Direct traffic refers to the people who already knew about your website, and came to it by typing in your real estate website’s URL into their browser, or had your site bookmarked.

real estate seo

Referring Sites are other outside websites that are directing traffic to your website. The referral traffic can originate from blogs or affiliates that link to your site.


Search Engines
, such as Google and Bing, are the online tools that allow users to search for any topic simply by typing in a word or phrase. When you are looking at the “search engine” category, note that this  includes both organic and paid traffic. Organic Traffic is traffic coming from search engines: that is, the search engine combed your website and produced organic results to the user. Your Paid Traffic includes traffic from any online advertising campaigns that you are running, such as Google’s PPC, Adwords.

Now That You Know…

With this information, you can better understand what your web analytics tool is trying to tell you. Now, what do you do with it? How can you analyze this information so you can implement some of the data’s suggestions on your website?

While these are fairly broad questions without specific answers, you can start to analyze the information provided with Google Analytics by asking yourself:

  • What are the trends that you notice in your website’s data?
  • Where is recent growth coming from?

Similar to online survey data analysis, the key to implementing positive changes for your website that will help you continue to grow comes from asking the right questions and responding appropriately. The more that you practice using the analytics tools, you will continue to discover areas of improvement for your real estate website, and reacting to your data will become second nature.

Twitter To Launch Real Time Web Analytics

After talks of website analytics being offered since December 2009, Twitter is finally jumping on the Analytics train. Twitter, one of the top social media sites in real estate marketing, recently announced at a company conference earlier this week that the popular social media site plans to offer up free, real-time  analytics in the fourth quarter. There will be a phased roll out of the analytics dashboard to show users valuable information (specifically those using Twitter for their real estate business) on how their tweets are being spread, and who is of significant influence in their network.

Fortunately, following the Google Analytics example, Twitter will not be charging for its analytics feature, which was a concern as the company’s execs had alluded to the feature’s potential revenue as a possible business model in the past. Ross Hoffman of Twitter’s development team commented that Twitter would also incorporate the technology it’s using to measure tweet “Resonance” for search results and other similar features.

When the idea was first broached in December, the announcement of the Website Analytics feature was in reference to use of commercial Twitter accounts, which you would have to pay for, that contain premium features like multiple Twitter authors and an Analytics Dashboard – similar to LinkedIn’s premium accounts. However, this notion was also born out of the idea that Twitter would one day be a paid service, and as of yet there doesn’t seem to be any indication that there will be a Twitter business model.

Since that late 2009, Twitter has also matured significantly. It has been steadily competing with third party developers, and the company has consistently grown by purchasing and launching new software, such as mobile products. As for the Analytics offering, the Twitter App lists 151 applications to better understand the Twitter component of your real estate internet marketing campaign. This is great news for those of us in real estate marketing to help manage and understand Twitter presences.

Source Article: Twitter Analytics

Normalizing Search Engine Traffic Reporting

We’ve all known about Google Trends for a while. I’ve had a thought about using Google Trends to normalize our search engine optimization campaign reports. Let me explain.

If your campaign is producing 1000 visitors per month in month 1, then 1100 in month 2, then 1200, that’s great. Let’s say that the trend in month 4, 5, 6 then goes 1200, 1150, 1100. Well, that’s not so good, it was going up ~10% per month, now it’s falling about 5% each month. Well, if the site is optimized around a set of target search terms, and then other traffic comes from halo terms, then to assume that the SEO is providing more or less traffic is also to assume that search volume for this family of terms is constant.

If we used Google Trends to normalize, we might find that the number of times a term was searched on fell 15% during those down months. So, the 10%/month upward trend was actually sustained.

google-trends

Another way to look at this is to simply ask, what percentage of potential clicks did you get? If this percentage is trending up, then you’re in good shape. This means you’re taking more market share.

Another way to think of this is the following: Let’s say that you’re doing search engine optimization for a site that sells air conditioners. Let’s further assume that you start the SEO campaign on January 1st. Well, no one is really looking for AC units in January. Then, in April, you start to see an upward traffic trend, it goes higher and higher and peaks in August. Then, by mid September, you’re not seeing any traffic from the search engines. You start Googling around and see your site, but no visitors.

Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that people just aren’t buying air conditioners in October. So, you’d pretty much expect to see less traffic. In this case, the best way to judge if the SEO campaign is succeeding is to either look a target terms and catalog placement in search engine results pages, or to normalize your numbers. Take a benchmark at the beginning of the campaign, say a ratio of traffic to searches, then, each month you’d want that ratio to climb. This way, you’ll know if your SEO is working, regardless of market trends.

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