Segments in Google Analytics Reveal Site Strengths, Weaknesses

Google Analytics has a tool called “Segments” that is useful in showing which parts of a site are strong and which parts are weak with audiences.

Google Analytics has a tool called “Segments” that is useful in showing which parts of a site are strong and which parts are weak with audiences.

The “Add Segment” button appears at the top of almost every report in the software. Look above the graphic and to the right on each report overview page. Continue reading “Segments in Google Analytics Reveal Site Strengths, Weaknesses”

AdSense Matched Content Increases Page Views

AdSense Matched Content gives a site another advantage with audience growth as online competition skyrockets.

AdSense Matched Content gives a site another advantage with audience growth as online competition skyrockets.

What site publisher isn’t looking for a way to increase page views, pages per visit and visitor engagement?

Google’s Matched Content promises to deliver all three of these benefits.

AdSense matched content example
This matched content example shows 8 recommendations in a single impression. Note the recommendation that doesn’t have an image. Also note the AdSense text ads below.

Continue reading “AdSense Matched Content Increases Page Views”

Forum Sites Produce Postings But Not Much Else

Forum sites can generate high visits and page views from a core group of site visitors, but they also generate quite a few headaches.

CrowdForum sites can generate high visits and page views from a core group of site visitors, but they also generate quite a few headaches.

Also known as message boards, forums come in two flavors: moderated and unmoderated. Moderated boards usually have a moderator who guides the direction of the discussion and sometimes even reviews the posting before it can go live. Visitors often have to register before posting.

Unmoderated boards allow anyone to post just about anything except for the usual list of dangerous or socially unacceptable behavior — vulgarity, threats, libel, etc. Continue reading “Forum Sites Produce Postings But Not Much Else”

Site Personalization Matters More to Advertisers Than Visitors

Site personalization is an essential part of any online advertising strategy.

crowdSite personalization is an essential part of any online advertising strategy.

It’s not just essential. It’s critical for long-term growth and even survival of traditional and online media companies.

Two companies that know this well are Google and Facebook. The two largest online advertising companies in the world generated $75 billion and $18 billion respectively in the most recent fiscal year, according to their public financial reports.

Google revenue grew nearly 14 percent year over year. Facebook revenue grew 44 percent during the same period.

Consider that all advertising expenditures will grow less than 5 percent in 2016, according to Advertising Age.

Consider as well that digital advertising online will grow 20 percent in 2016, Emarketer says.

That means the growth of Google and Facebook is coming at the expense of other companies in traditional media. It also means that Facebook’s growth is coming at the expense of other online companies.

Site personalization is key to their success with advertisers. Continue reading “Site Personalization Matters More to Advertisers Than Visitors”

Website Navigation Design Requires 3 Main Tactics

Basic web designWebsite navigation design largely comes down to three tactics.

  1. Put the main navigation at the top of the page, on the left side or via a combination of both.
  2. Provide subcategories in the navigation on every page of the site or put them only within each specific section.
  3. Decide whether to use an expandable navigation with javascript or similar technique.

What looks like the best design may not provide the best functionality and user response. It may look good, but if a user doesn’t want to click on anything in a multi-tiered dropdown menu, there isn’t any justification for adding all of the needed code.

So any design should include the ability to track the clicks in analytic software to see the results. From those results, the people responsible for the site can make adjustments to the site navigation.

Continue reading “Website Navigation Design Requires 3 Main Tactics”

Quality Content Development Mixes Interest and Importance

Online content development often becomes focused on what drives the most clicks to an article, but too much of a focus on clicks becomes pandering.

Content developmentOnline content development often becomes focused on what drives the most clicks to an article, but too much of a focus on clicks becomes pandering.

Pandering undermines the credibility of a Web site. Visitors start to lose confidence in the quality of the site as a result. The practice is not much different than the old bait and switch technique.

Traditional media newsrooms at newspapers and TV stations debate every day what stories should appear on page one or at the top of the news program.

They sometimes erupt into fierce debates about what stories to play at the top and how to present them. The headline, the photos and any adjacent stories become subject to debate.

A common content development strategy has developed for many of them that combines interesting stories with important ones.

Interesting stories tend to emphasize human nature such as personality profiles, quirky behavior, great achievements and the link.

Important stories don’t always attract much viewership or readership. One example is a city council or board of education that passes an annual budget. Continue reading “Quality Content Development Mixes Interest and Importance”

Increase Page Usability with 7 Steps

Page usability is a goal as important as audience and revenue growth. The three goals are closely connected.

Page usability is a goal as important as audience and revenue growth.

The three goals are closely connected.

Increasing page usability leads to higher pages per visit and return visits. Higher pages per visit and return visits will produce more ad inventory, which then leads to more revenue.

Various studies have shown that page speed and clutter are the two biggest criticisms that users have about Web sites. Google in particular places heavy emphasis on the importance of page speed as a ranking factor.

It stands to reason that making a page faster and simpler are the two most important recommendations on our list. Continue reading “Increase Page Usability with 7 Steps”