Rebecca Dellenbaugh

Google Analytics: Key Metrics 101

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You’ve got a website for your business but you’re not sure how to measure success or engagement. Setting up Google Analytics is easy and can give you insightful metrics on what’s working on your website – and what’s not.

The first step is to get Google Analytics installed on your website. This is free to set up for any website. Here’s an introductory article from Gmail on how to set up Google Analytics:

Once Google Analytics is set-up, here are three easy but important metrics to start with to qualify website performance:

1. Who is visiting your site?

Where to look in Google Analytics: Audience Insights > Overview

The Audience section of Google Analytics gives you a profile of your current site visitors. Audience insights can include: demographics (age, gender), geographic distribution, devices used, and more.

Key Takeaways: Does the audience match your expectations? This is helpful information in thinking about who your content is currently resonating with in order to make informed decisions about how to update content to attract the types of site visitors you really want for your business

2. How are people getting to your website?

Where to look in Google Analytics: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

This section of Google Analytics breaks down incoming traffic to the site by source. Here are frequent channels and what they mean:

  • Direct Traffic: traffic from visitors who either enter your website URL directly or have the website saved from past visits
  • Email: traffic directly from emails
  • Organic Search: traffic from people searching through search engines (Google, Bing) that select your website as an organic result
  • Paid Search: incoming traffic from paid search platforms like Google AdWords or Bing
  • Referral: traffic directed to your website from other sites
  • Social: combination of organic and paid traffic from social channels like Facebook or Twitter
  • Other: unidentified or untrackable sessions

For each channel, you can see relative performance including:

  • Total sessions – total number of Sessions within the date range.
  • Bounce Rate – the percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds.
  • Average Session Duration – average length of a session

Key Takeaways: Both the bounce rate and average session duration are indicative of how engaged visitors are. If a channel currently has a high number of sessions but poor engagement metrics, think critically about how you’re using that channel, who you’re targeting, and what your messaging is. Alternatively, if a channel has high sessions and good engagement metrics, that may be a channel worth investing in more.

3. How are people engaging with your website?

Where to look in Google Analytics: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

This view in Google Analytics shows the breakdown of pages on your site so you can look at top pages and relative performance.

Key Takeaways: First and foremost, you can see the pages on your site that are the most popular and getting the most traffic. Also, pages with high traffic but low engagement metrics (high bounce rate, low average time per page) are the top ones that should be reviewed and optimized for 1. strong, relevant content and 2. clear call to action so visitors can take a next step.

Make a Promotion Plan to Launch a New Website

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You’re about to launch a new website … congrats! You’ve put in months making sure your site will be intuitive, attractive and easy to navigate but now you need to get the word out.  It’s worth taking the time pre-launch to put a plan in place to make a bigger splash with your new site. Here are some basic ideas to work into your promotion plan.

1. Notify Your Customers and Prospects with an Email Announcement – Send an email announcing the new site to your email lists including current customers and leads. This is a big announcement with no hard sell so you may see higher open and click-thru rates. Use an email template that is consistent with the new look and feel of your site to help this email stand out! Highlight the most popular, visual and interactive pages so visitors will be encouraged to explore. Bonus: if the email announcement is a success, consider a second email with a slight variation to keep the buzz going.

2. Get Your Internal Team Excited – Develop an email to send internally to announce the new website launch to your entire team. Or better yet throw an ice cream social to take an afternoon to celebrate the hard work of the team and get people excited about the new company site.

3. Generate Social Media Buzz – Your Facebook and Twitter fans are already interested in your brand so they are the perfect audience for this exciting news. Build a posting schedule including a teaser post, a launch announcement and a series of posts highlighting popular new pages or features. Encourage your fans to share and interact so your post hits even more people.

4. Bonus  Increase Paid Spend to Compensate for Post-Launch Organic Dip – Launching a new website typically results in a temporary dip in organic ranking as Google and other search engines crawl the new content and site structure. In addition to recommended best SEO practices that will shorten the post-launch dip duration, consider a small increase in paid channels like AdWords or Facebook to make up for the temporary decrease in total website traffic.

With your website promotion plan, make sure to think through what content will have the biggest impact and be the most interesting to your audience. Do you have a new resource? A video gallery? A new white paper? Make sure to put your best asset forward to draw people in. Note it may be worth waiting a few days after launch to promote the site to the public to make sure all the kinks are worked out. After all the hard work that went into your website, make sure to do your part to promote it!

Creative Ideas for Developing Content

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Struggling to think of fresh content for your blog, social media or other marketing assets? Developing content is essential in marketing your brand and your products but it doesn’t have to be difficult!

Here are some simple and helpful ideas to consider when developing content:

  1. Leverage your employees – often the best resource you have is your employees. Each employee has a different expertise and a unique voice. Get employees to write a blog post (like we do here at TribalVision) or set up an interview with an expert employee on a valuable topic. This will also showcase all the talent you have to your audience.
  1. Interview industry experts – who would your readers be most interested in hearing from? How about an industry expert? By offering relevant information from a credible source, you can reach a larger audience and build your own credibility. Get in touch with someone you know or reach out to someone who is a leader in your industry. You can schedule an interview or let them develop content on their own for you to use.
  1. Answer your FAQs – do you have a list of frequently asked questions? If this is what people are asking about in your industry, then it’s probably what they would be interested in learning about. Dedicate a blog post or a piece of collateral to each one of your frequently asked questions to leverage them into something more impactful.
  1. Use Google Keyword Planner – if you run out of FAQs, log into Google AdWords and take advantage of the search features of the Google Keyword Planner tool. Keyword Planner generates lists of keyword ideas along with data about how many searches each keyword is receiving. You can use this data to brainstorm topics for developing content. Note: optimizing your content for popular search terms will also help with SEO so it’s a double win.
  1. Ask your customers – what’s the best way to know what your audience wants to hear about? Ask them. Send out a survey or email with questions about what content people want to see. Make sure to follow through and give them what they ask for.

If you don’t want to ask your audience outright, then look at past trends as an indicator of what type of content works best. Looking at your most popular pieces of content, what information did they cover? What format were they in? Draw some conclusions and use that to adapt your content moving forward.

  1. Recycle materials – browse your archives and see what old content you can repurpose or be inspired by. Consider adding a new spin to an old post or even just reposting a popular past post.

Content is critical so next time you’re stuck, remember to use the right tools to help develop new ideas and, most importantly, leverage the resources you do have to their biggest impact.

Facebook Advertising – Keys to Setting Up Effective Campaigns

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With over 1.4 billion users worldwide, Facebook advertising has come a long way over the past few years (and even months!). Compared to other display channels, Facebook can be relatively inexpensive and offers more visibility into audience performance.

Once you have a Facebook page, you are free to start setting up audiences and campaigns. But first, here are some important thing you should consider to maximize effectiveness.

Targeting the Right Audiences

Facebook allows you to get extremely granular with the development of target audiences. Here are 3 types of audiences that can be important to build out.

  • Custom Audience – A good first step for developing audiences is to start with an existing list of contacts. Facebook will match existing email addresses, phone numbers, etc. to user Facebook profiles. By uploading a Custom Audience of existing customers or email sign-ups, you can develop a solid base of users you know will be interested and invested in your brand. For example, if you want to advertise a new product, it may make sense to direct it towards an existing list of customers. Custom audiences are also the ideal jumping off point for developing bigger audiences.
  • Lookalike Audience – Facebook enables you to expand Custom Audiences using their Lookalike model. In this setting you can use a Custom Audience to create a larger audience of similar users based on shared demographics.
  • Interest Audience – Facebook also allows you sort by demographics, geographic location, interests, behaviors, connections, and more. Using these targeting options lets you build the exact audience you want to target new users. Not sure where to start with targeting options? Facebook also offers a useful tool called Audience Insights that affords you a look at the demographics of your custom audiences. If you upload a Custom Audience, you can look at it the way Facebook looks at it: with statistics and demographics. You can see the age, geographic location, interests and much more of any Custom Audience that you upload. This is a great starting point for building out more experimental Interest Audiences.

Choose the Right Campaign Type

Selecting a campaign objective is the first step in the creation of any campaign. What do you want your campaign to accomplish? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Capture new leads? Increase conversions? Facebook lets you build campaigns that optimize for various objectives. Keep in mind that each new campaign you develop may have a different objective. Here are some of the top campaign objectives to consider:

  • Page Likes – Get page likes to grow your audience and build your brand. Once people ‘like’ your page, you can use organic posts to nurture them further down the conversion funnel.
  • Clicks to Website – Get people to visit your website. This is especially helpful when your website offers more information that doesn’t fit into a Facebook ad but would be useful to the user.
  • Website Conversions – Get people to perform certain actions on your site. This requires adding a Facebook Pixel to your site but can pay off when you are prioritizing conversions.
  • Lead Capture – Capture new email addresses. This is the newest type of campaign on Facebook and can be extremely valuable. When you think about display advertising, a hard sell like ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Donate Now’ may be asking too much of users that are interested but not yet willing to purchase or convert. By asking users to sign up instead, you give them the option to take action without committing up front. These newly captured leads are perfect to add to email marketing lists or marketing automation streams where they can receive more information and be nurtured further down the funnel.

Test, Test and Test Some More

With Facebook advertising you will see results right away. However, you will not have it perfect on the first go. It will pay off to test different types of campaigns with different audiences until you find a mix that works for you. The landscape and your competitors will always be changing, so you should constantly continue adjusting and tweaking your campaigns to maximize your investment:

  • Broad audience targeting vs narrow targeting
  • Different types of campaigns
  • Varied ad creative and content
  • Different call-to-action buttons

Also, keep an eye on frequency as a campaign metric. If the delivery frequency of an ad is getting too high, switch up the ad content or tweak the audience so the campaign will not get stale.

8 Blogging Tactics to Support Your Business

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Is blogging still important for your company? Years after Content was declared King, many question whether blogging is worth the time spent researching and writing worthwhile entries. The reality is that blogging is absolutely still relevant and worthwhile for several reasons: blogging can be a valuable tactic to attract new visitors to your website, establish you as an industry expert and help convert traffic into leads. Perhaps most importantly, blogging can increase SEO because search engines place high value on relevant and engaging content for your community.

Here are 8 blogging tactics you can use to support your business and increase your audience:


1. Incorporate Keywords – You want to make sure any content you’re sharing is SEO-friendly. When you start a post, consider listing out the most important keywords for the post before you write to make sure these are well-integrated into the writing. Make sure not to force keywords where they don’t belong, or to stuff too many keywords, as search engines have more advanced algorithms and can penalize you for this.

2. Answer User Questions – What are the common questions that your audience is asking? If you can answer these questions as an authority or expert, that’s a great place to start for blog topics. (Hint: use Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner to see what search terms are currently bringing people to your site and what other search terms you should consider adding).

3. Take a Stand – You can help build your brand by taking a stand on controversial or current issues. It’s important to show emotion, passion and character by taking a stand on things that are important to your company inside and outside of your industry. Just make sure your view aligns to your corporate standards.

4. Use Guest Bloggers – Invite industry experts or industry connections to guest blog for you. First and foremost, this will show authority and offer a fresh point of view to your readers. Secondly, this offers the potential to tap into a new audience or following that you’re not already accessing.


1. Incorporate your Content into Other Marketing Channels – Once you have developed good, fresh content… use it! Maximize the impact of your blog posts by sharing on social media, email marketing, email signatures, and more.

2. Consider Existing Online Communities – Do some research to look for existing online communities where your content is already relevant, and don’t be afraid to engage. If you can answer questions and participate in discussions, you can become a credible source and include links to your own blogs.

3. Integrate your Blog on your Website – It’s easy to set up a ‘Blog’ on your website and add posts there, but it’s more effective to integrate relevant blog posts onto specific pages of your website. Add popular posts to relevant pages with a “Read more about XYZ on our blog” link to drive more traffic (and more quality traffic).


1. Track Analytics– What posts are bringing the most traffic? Driving the most leads? Getting the most feedback? It’s essential to use simple Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track your blogging efforts. The best place to start for beginners is Google Analytics.

And that brings us full circle. Good bloggers use past posts and trends to improve the process moving forward. Attention to analytics and trends will allow you to start writing more relevant and more popular blog posts moving forward. It often takes time and effort to develop an effective blog, but the impact can be well-worth it.