Category: Web

Google Analytics 4: What is it and Why it Matters

Web analytic software has been around since the internet’s earliest days. Does anyone remember when web page counters were a popular feature on many websites?!  These counters were a simple script that ticked the counter whenever someone opened the web page! Back then, the server log was one of the only ways to dig deep into web analytics. But today, things are much better, thanks to Google. If you have a website, then you can use Google Analytics to track numerous metrics from your site. (Note: other software packages do web analytics; however, they are substantially more expensive. Google Analytics is free to everyone.)

A Recent Change: Welcome Google Analytics 4

Technology advances quickly in the digital world, so within the past few years Google has been developing better technology for web analytics. Welcome Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest update. According to Google, GA4 is replacing their previously used Google Universal Analytics, technically GA3, or the third version of Google Analytics.

What’s New in GA4?

GA4 has some new features that help make it a powerful marketing tool. First, there are updated connections between Google Maps, Google Business, and local web searchers. This interconnectivity can help provide better insight between consumer data on the various Google apps. Second, there are different information streams that present the data in a more simplistic user dashboard. GA4 allows users to view how many visitors visited the website and how long they stayed. These are just two of the several metrics GA4 monitors.

New and updated metrics reporting tools and insights include:

  • Social media stream reporting
  • Goals / Conversion
  • Real-time data
  • Custom reports
  • More intuitive debugging
  • Mobile device and app tracking
  • Audience building / advanced segments
  • Flow visualization
  • Time
  • Video performance measurement tools
  • Data export and tracking API

This is just a small sample of the new and improved GA4. True integration with powerful web advertising tools helps business owners drill down their sales funnels to targeted audiences. GA4 works with AdWords, AdSense, Search Console, and DoubleClick AdExchange.

How Is GA4 Different From Universal Analytics?

Both the backend (how data is collected) and the front end (how someone sees the data) are both being changed in GA4, which is why this might be the most dramatic upgrade Google has made to date. The primary difference between the old and new Google Analytics is how it handles data across several channels. Some might say that there is too much data in Universal Analytics, making it almost overwhelming for businesses. With that said, marketers alike expect GA4 data to be somewhat more insightful and relevant. The entire model of data collection has changed along with the tracking code required for data collection.

New Features In GA4

In one way, GA4’s features are all new because of Google changed how they will handle the incoming data. For instance, when looking at conversions, UA has you define a specific goal. In GA4, users define events that lead to conversion. This makes GA4 almost entirely different because it wants metrics about “behavior” not “action.” The logic states the behavior as the action and Google helps business owners understand user behavior.

How to Upgrade to Google Analytics 4

Google is sunsetting Universal Analytics in June 2023, forcing those who still need to upgrade to GA4 to decide. (Note: the data from UA will still be available til 2024; that analytics will no longer track new data coming in.) If you already have Universal Analytics set up on your site, an upgrade to GA4 is handled through your Google Analytics dashboard. Here’s Google’s documentation on that. For new Google Analytics accounts, the default experience is now GA4. While there is a migration assistant within the platform, it is worth working with your web developer and/or marketing team to be sure that GA4 is set-up properly, collecting data as needed, and the correct tracking code is installed (and working) on your site.

If we can be of assistance, connect with us here!

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We Used AI to Write a Blog

Using a chatbot called ChatGPT, we asked it to write the blog post below. You can judge it for yourself, but for a few hundred words written in twenty seconds, we feel confident about the future of AI.

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3 Website Must-Haves That Have Nothing to do with UX

Must-Have Website Features You May Not Know You Need

If you’re considering a website, you might be wondering what the essentials are. You want to make sure that your site is easy to use, looks good, and can accomplish what you need it to do. But there are a few things that are often overlooked that can seriously impact your business’s success.

We’ve put together a list of three must-haves for any website, whether you’re building one from scratch or updating an existing one:

1. Added Website Monitoring & Security

Your website’s security should be your top priority. You don’t want to risk losing all of your hard work to a hacker or malicious attack. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in website monitoring and security.

It’s important to have the right tools in place so that you can keep an eye on your site, its performance, and its traffic patterns. This will help you identify potential threats early on and prevent them from destroying your business.

Website monitoring services can send you alerts when something happens on your site that may be suspicious or potentially harmful to its performance. These alerts are sent via email so that you’ll know right away if anything is wrong with your website or if there has been any unusual activity taking place on it recently (such as an increase in bot visits).

2. Google Analytics 4 and Google Search Console

These two tools are essential for understanding how visitors interact with your website, and then using that information to improve their experience.

Google Analytics 4 offers a plethora of data that can be broken down into different categories such as traffic sources, page views, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc. This data can help you determine which pages on your site are popular with visitors and which ones aren’t getting much attention from users.

You can also find out what percentage of people who visit one page go on to view another page or convert into customers through an e-commerce purchase or subscription signup form.

Google Search Console provides information about how Google sees your site in its search results based on its algorithms for ranking pages based on relevant factors like keywords used in content titles/descriptions (on-page optimization).

They also provide information about how many times someone clicked through from SERP results to your site, how many times someone clicked on a particular page of your site (if they landed on one of your pages), and how long people spent on the page before leaving or returning to Google results.

3. Social Media Integration

As a business owner, you know the importance of social media. It’s an essential part of any modern business. Integrating your website with your social media accounts can help you expand your reach and engage with your audience. But it is key to make sure your website has clear links to your social media pages. Even including a simple “Follow us” button on the bottom of each post or page on your website allows users to easily follow you on Instagram without having to search for it themselves.

Building on that, be sure your social media accounts are updated regularly with fresh content. Post interesting photos or helpful info to encourage engagement from followers. Post frequently and consistently to keep your followers engaged with your brand. A solid posting schedule and strategy will help drive traffic to your website and increase your social media following.

Bonus! 4. Set up Auto-Renewal

Here’s a bonus “must have” connected with your website: make sure that all of your website’s products and services are set to renew automatically. This includes your domain name, hosting, security, and any other services you might be using. You don’t want to risk losing your website because you forgot to renew a service. (And that happens!) Set everything to renew automatically and make sure that you have a valid credit card on file to pay for the renewals.

If you need more assistance on how to improve your website, we can help. Contact us today for personalized advice and guidance on how to improve your website’s performance and achieve your goals. Let’s work together to make your website a success.

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Why Your Website Needs an FAQ Page

When it comes to designing a small business, the digital marketing industry isn’t always in agreement. Here’s an example: there are some marketers who say that having a page set aside to answer common questions — the “frequently asked questions” page, or just “FAQs”, for short — should be a thing of the past.

To that, we say no way!

Of course, the information there should be on other pages of your site, but the FAQs page provides benefits you may not have access to otherwise.

The 5 Biggest Benefits that a FAQs Page Can Add to Your Website

For your website, the simple addition of an FAQ page can benefit your business in a number of different ways. Here are the top 5:

1. It Improves the User Experience on Your Site

Have you ever clicked around a website and gotten frustrated that you couldn’t find the information you were looking for? Most people who can’t find the answer look for an FAQs page almost instinctively. By adding this page, you provide instant improvement in the website experience for your visitors.

2. It Takes Some of the Burden Off the Navigation

The alternative to having an FAQs page is often adding pages for each of the topics covered. But in some cases, more pages could be more confusing for users. If they have to dig deep into the site to find a basic answer or click repeatedly throughout the site, they may bounce altogether. The beauty of an FAQ page is that offers clarity on the page content and supports a simple site navigation.

3. It Increases Organic Reach and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Why are frequently asked questions linked so closely with organic search? Because by virtue of being “frequently asked,” some of the questions that appear on your FAQs page will also be top questions that prospective customers are entering into search engines every day.

This means that when you add an FAQs page, Google and Bing will crawl your updated site and see these common queries answered thoroughly. They’ll classify your site as one that provides value, boosting your small business’s likelihood of appearing in the top results the next time any of those questions are searched.

4. It Saves Time for Your Customer Service Reps

FAQs often address common objections that come up in the sales cycle as well as points of clarification most often brought up by current customers. This means that not only is your FAQs page adding value for prospective new customers, it’s limiting the need to call your service or sales team to answer simple question.

5. It Shows Transparency and Builds Trust in Your Brand

Customers are looking for brands they can trust, and a FAQs page can help you communicate that your business can be trusted. Putting the answers to common questions right out in the open on a dedicated page tells people that your brand is committed to be honest and transparent.

An FAQ Page Adds Value to Your Small Business Website

Do you have a FAQ page on your small business site? (You can see our FAQ Page here!) If not, maybe it’s time you reconsidered that choice. Our team can work with you to hone in on the best questions, clearly articulate the answers, and add it to your site in a well-branded way. Let us know if you are ready to add this to your site!

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The New Word of Mouth: Online Reviews

Online Reviews ‑ why do they matter?

Did you know that according to Bright Local, 82% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase?

Reviews are powerful! Here’s what reviews do:

  • Influence decision-making
  • Affect a business’ credibility
  • Shape perceptions of your brand
  • Drive sales (up or down)
  • Open up conversations about your business
  • Help you get found online
  • Contribute to how your business ranks in search engine visibility

As a small business owner, getting found online and ranking in search engine visibility is key! If you aren’t already, it’s time to seek out those positive testimonials!

Replying to Reviews…Is it worth my time?

Yes! It’s important to always reply back to the customers who leave you a review. Of course, you will want to sincerely address any bad reviews that may come up. But also, take time to acknowledge and appreciate the good ones! 

Replying to reviews is a type of customer engagement that leaves a good impression. It shows your customers that you care about their opinions and appreciate their business. It also shows other Google users or Facebook followers that you care about providing a good experience for your customers!

How can I get more online reviews for my small business?

  1. Just ask. Most people are very willing to leave a review, but just need the invite or reminder to do so.
  1. Make it easy. Always share the direct link to your Facebook Reviews section or to your Google My Business listing. People don’t want to search for the right place!
  2. Share the process. Explain when and how the invitation for a review will arrive. Be sure to share why reviews are important to your business and also what areas you might be seeking feedback on.
  3. Timing is key. You want the review to come when the experience with your business is still pretty fresh. So make reviews a part of your own workflow. It should be a task inside your project manager or a key part of your sales process.
  4. Provide multiple reminders. Don’t spam someone, but do utilize all your marketing platforms to gather reviews. Send out an email after purchase. Share a positive review on social media, and ask others to leave theirs, too. Put the link to your review page in your own email signature, so it’s there for the taking. Ask via text message. Send out a quarterly Google Form to ask how you’re doing.

Online reviews are the new word of mouth, but possibly even more important because they have sticking power! They are going to stay around for a long time for people to read. Boost your business and ask for feedback today!

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Should I Put a Copyright on my Website?

The time has finally come. You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your most recent content piece, and it’s ready to be packaged up and sent to the client to be pushed live. After a few final checks and only…

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