>>TOM LEUNG: Welcome to the Google Trifecta
Webinar. This is Tom Leung, I am the Product Manager
for Website Optimizer. I’m very excited to be here with Michael Wyszomierski
from the Webmaster Tools Team, as well as Jeff Gillis from Google Analytics.
This is the first time we’ve done a joint webinar,
and we think it’s going to be pretty successful because these are probably the three most
important tools any website owner should consider using from Google.
What we’re going to cover today, specifically, is I’m going to talk for just a couple minutes
about how we see the three tools complementing each other,
and then we’re going to spend most of our time digging into a nice introduction into
each of the tools–the Webmaster Tools side, Analytics and Optimizer–
and then we will take a couple of Q&As from the registrations for questions that we saw
coming up over and over. So, without further adieu, when you think
about these tools, you can think about using them in sequence.
Specifically, you probably want to start with Webmaster Tools, because as Mike’s going to
tell you, it’s going to really make sure you maximize
the exposure of your site to the search engine so that Google can understand what’s going
on and what’s on your site. The next thing you do, once you maximize exposure,
is to really start understanding, “Okay, well I’m getting a lot of exposure;
now let’s see what’s going on on my site–what do people like? What do people don’t like?
Where are they going?” And Jeff is going to go into great detail
about that. Now after you do that–after you get a lot
of exposure, a lot of people coming to your site,
and then you start understanding what’s working and what’s not working and it’s time to make
improvements, that’s where Website Optimizer comes in,
and that helps you test different changes to your site and see which ones are most likely
to be well received by the visitors. Another way to look at it is that each of
these three tools can be used individually, but they also make the other two even more
effective. So with Webmaster Tools, you’re really going
to make sure that as many people are able to get to your site as possible, so–
because Google will understand all of the content on your site and know what’s going
on–and that’s going to allow more people to find it.
That is–the more people that arrive on your site and the more things they do will give
Google Analytics more data to show you– interesting trends, interesting problem areas,
interesting metrics–and that increased data and insight into what’s going on on your site,
is going to allow you to get more conversions; because then you’re going to be able to really
focus in like a laser and say, “Well, I know from Analytics–you know–these
are certain problem areas; I’m going to run an experiment on that specific page.”
And so you–as you can see, then when you get more conversions, those people will return
more often, greater word of mouth, more likely for other
folks to link to you, and it kind of is a virtuous circle.
So specifically, I’m about to hand it over to Mike, and what we’re going to do for all
three of the products is we’re going to try to answer three basic questions.
Like, what is the big problem Google is trying to solve with this product?
What are the customers’ benefits and features for the product?
And some specific things that you can do after this Webinar, to really make use of it and
resources you can consult to learn more about these things.
So I’m going to hand this over to Mike, and he’s going to tell you a little bit about
Webmaster Tools in more detail.>>MIKE WYSZOMIERSKI: All right, thanks, Tom.
And I’m going to start off by explaining why it’s important for us to have Webmaster Tools
in the first place. And it really goes back to Google’s mission,
which is to organize the world’s information, make it universally accessible and useful.
So in Web Search, we strive to provide the highest quality and most relevant results
for any query. And these results come from our index of your
pages. So how can we ensure that we’re presenting
the highest quality pages to users? Well, first you need to have good information
and content, which will lead to better pages. And these better pages are indexed by Google,
which gives us better results for our users. And then if we can better understand the content
of your sites, the search results get even better.
So in order to make this information universally accessible to our users, at Google,
we actually rely on you–the webmasters–quite a bit to make this content accessible to Google,
and that’s where Webmaster Tools comes in. And the features of Webmaster Tools all relate
to how your site is presented in Google’s organic, non-paid search results.
So keep in mind that this tool isn’t really designed to help boost your rankings; that’s
more determined by your site’s content. However, it can help you with giving Google
a better understanding of how your content is presented to Google, so it can better understand
it and present it to users. So Webmaster Tools provides statistical and
diagnostic information, as well as some control. And I’ll cover three main functional areas
of Webmaster Tools today: diagnostics, statistics and control.
I’d like to start out with diagnostics, because this is where you can find out if Google is
even able to access your content in the first place.
So in the “Web crawl” section, you can get a listing of errors that Google encountered
as it attempted to download pages from your site as part of our indexing process.
And this is the part where Google reads your pages to find out what information is on them.
But sometimes Google has trouble getting in. Maybe your webmaster, at some point, had blocked
search engine robots from accessing your site during development, and then upon launch forgot
to remove that restriction. That could prevent Google from getting enough
information about your site to present it to users.
Content analysis goes a bit beyond basic access and evaluates how well Google can understand
the content of your site. There are a few different ways you can describe
your pages to Google and using–including using title tags and meta description tags.
And both these tags may be shown in the site’s listing in Google.
And since that’s what users see before deciding if they want to click through to one of your
pages or someone else’s, it’s probably something you want to pay attention to.
So let’s take a look at a search result to better illustrate what Google users–your
potential visitors–see before deciding whether or not to click.
One way you can get them to look at your site’s results is by typing a site colon, followed
by your site’s URL, with no space in between, and this will show a listing of pages from
your site. In this case, we’re looking at pages from
google.com/webmasters, which is our Webmaster Central Portal.
Looking at the first result here, you can see that the title is Google Webmaster Central.
We often use the same title which you provided to us in the title tag of your page.
And in this case, I think that Google Webmaster Central is a good title for this page, because
it describes to the user exactly what they’re getting.
It would be less useful, for example, if all of Google’s pages simply had the title, “Google.”
If several of them were listed on a search results page, it would be hard for the user
to find what he or she wants. I just don’t go overboard with titles, because
if you had too many words, it can be just as confusing to the user.
Below the title outlined in red is a short description of the site, which here at Google
we call a “snippet.” We generate these snippets from a variety
of sources, including your page’s content. And one possible source of this snippet is
your meta description tag. And this allows you to give us input about
how your page should be described. Mostly the results here were generated without
meta descriptions. It looks like we did okay with the first one,
again, outlined in red. But if you look at the description for Google
Gadgets, there’s less useful information such as navigation text and the phrase, “Terms
of service.” And that page could probably benefit from
the addition of a meta description tag. Like titles, your meta descriptions are likely
to be more helpful if they’re unique to each page, so the user can quickly determine which
page is the one they want to click on. The Content Analysis tool can bring issues
about this meta data to your attention as well as pointing out which content may be
difficult for Google to index. Here you can see that the Google Webmaster
Central site has six pages with the same title tag.
Clicking on the duplicate title tags would give you a listing of these pages, so you
know which ones to change if you feel it’s necessary.
Now since you’re all here to also learn about Analytics and Website Optimizer, I’m sure
that you’re very aware of the value of good data.
In Webmaster Tools, we provide a variety of statistics to help you understand how Google
users are finding your site. But unlike tools which only analyze visitors
that you already have, Webmaster Tools may alert you to potential visitors by showing
where you are in our results, even if the user doesn’t click through to
your page. One interesting application of this may be
to look at your top search queries, in Webmaster Tools, to see which terms you’re appearing
for, and then check in Analytics to see if you’re
getting visitors for these queries. You can also use the “What Googlebot sees”
feature to see what other sites–possibly your customers or your partners–are saying
when they link to you, and it can see what you’re saying about yourself
by evaluating which key words you’re using on your own pages.
I mentioned links briefly on the slide before, and we like to provide a lot of data about
links since they can show how your site is connected to the rest of the web.
You can evaluate which of your pages are getting links from other sites, and which of these
other–and what these other sites are. And again, comparing this data to Analytics–which
is where your referrals are coming from–can give you a better picture of how people find
you out on the web. The internal links data can give you an idea
of how your pages are connected to each other. They can also help out for very practical
applications, such as learning where you have broken links if you delete or rename a page.
The third function of Webmaster Tools that I’m going to talk about is control.
Here are some examples of actions you can take directly with Webmaster Tools.
It can let Google know that if your site–or a section of your site–is relevant to a specific
geographic location, so pay attention to this if you’re running
an international site. It can remove outdated or private information
from our results, can control Google’s access to your site by generating the robots.txt
file, it can monitor and control Google’s crawl
rate of your site, and it can even let Google know about all of your URLs by submitting
a site map. This is what the Tools page looks like, and
it’s where you can take care of most of those actions I just mentioned.
So that’s an overview of what you can do with Webmaster Tools to help Google better understand
and present your content. And to get you started, here are three actions
you can take this week: First, verify that you own your site in Webmaster
Tools. This only takes about a minute and it will
give you full access to all the features I just talked about.
It also helps us to notify you in cases where we need to contact the site owner.
Next, check for crawling errors. If we can’t get to your content, we’ll have
a pretty hard time indexing it and showing it in our results.
And finally, take a look at your titles and snippets in Google and use the Content Analysis
tool to see where they can be improved. This may be your first and last chance to
get a user to click on your site. Next, I’m going to answer a couple of questions
which were sent to us related to Webmaster Tools.
Does the link data on Webmaster Tools represent all the link data that Google has?
That’s a good question, and the short answer is not necessarily.
One way you can get a sampling of links to any site is to do a link colon search in Google.
So that means that in the search box, you type link: followed by the site, with no space
in between. This will give you an idea of what kind of
sites are linking to it. But if you verify ownership of your own site
in Google Webmaster Tools, you can actually see a much larger sampling of links to your
site, down to the page level. You can do this by clicking on the “Links”
tab in the sidebar and then clicking on “Pages with external links.”
However, even though it’s a larger sampling, the list may not contain all of the links
which Google knows about. What constitutes duplicate content?
This is a very common concern among webmasters once they start thinking about search, so
I’m glad someone asked this. Duplicate content refers to the same or substantially
similar content across multiple pages. At the most basic level, this means that if
you have two or more distinct URLs which serve the same page, then that’s duplicate content.
There are plenty of natural causes of duplicate content across the web, including things such
as tracking parameters in URLs, which would change the URL, but not the content.
And at Google, this is something we’re well aware of and try to handle properly.
Duplicate content can be a problem for search engines, because if we don’t detect it, the
results may not be as diverse as we’d like. We wouldn’t want to serve a list of results
where every page had exactly the same content. So what we try to do is detect which URLs
are the same and then group them together. We then show users what we feel is the best
URL to represent that content. To help us out in reducing duplicate content
and to also help consolidate the links to duplicate content on your site–
which may affect your ranking–we have multiple blog posts on the subject that you can find
on the Google Webmaster Central blog. There’s a link to it from Webmaster Central
and I’ll give you the link to that in a minute. Getting back to Webmaster Tools specifically,
there’s one very common cause of duplicate content.
Many sites serve the same pages for domain.com as well as www.domain.com.
And since www is technically a subdomain, and could have different content, it may be
considered as a different site or page than the other version.
And we actually have a function dedicated just to this in Webmaster Tools, called “Set
preferred domain.” And here you can tell Google which URL you
prefer if you serve the same content on www.yoursite.com and yoursite.com.
In addition to this setting, we also recommend that you set up a 301 redirect on your server
to the version of the URL which you prefer. This will give another signal to Google and
also help out other search engines which wouldn’t have access to the data in Webmaster Tools.
So I’ll end with a few helpful resources, and I hope that you’re all excited about trying
Google Webmaster Tools if you haven’t already. So all of these resources are available at
Google.com/webmasters, which is our Webmaster Central Portal.
We have the Help Center, containing comprehensive articles about your site and Google.
Our blog is used for feature announcements as well as tips for improving Google’s understanding
of your site. And finally, we have an interactive discussion
group where you can ask specific questions about your site and get answers from other
webmasters interested in search. It’s also monitored by Googlers, including
myself, who collect feedback and answer questions. Now once you have your site indexed by Google
and people are finding you, you probably want to get some more information about these visitors–
what do they search for? Where are they coming from? Are you getting visitors from other
search engines or sites? And to answer these questions and more, I’m
going to throw it off to Jeff, who is going to talk about Analytics.>>JEFF GILLIS: Thanks a lot, Mike.
Great, so now we’ll move into Google Analytics. So first of all, a little Google Analytics
overview. Google Analytics is a free hosted web analytics
tool. It helps website owners understand how visitors
find and navigate their site, and also what types of visitors they are and we’ll get into
all that in more detail a little later. And it also shows all traffic from all sites–not
just Google–which is a bit of a differentiation point between Google Analytics and Webmaster
Tools. And I want to touch upon a couple other differentiation
points, as well as some commonalities. So Webmaster Tools–as Mike said–it’s an
indispensible SEO tool for Google.com searches, including things, like he said, search query
impressions and how those relate to actual visits from those search query impressions.
And how does Google Analytics compare to that particular bullet point?
Well, Google Analytics is an SEM and SEO tool for all traffic, plus website content evaluation,
which is kind of where it ties between Webmaster Tools and Website Optimizer.
So you can see the queries that then lead to conversions on your site.
Where Webmaster Tools talks about geo-targeting of certain websites where you can try and
target, say Japan, for that website and those Google searches–
with Google Analytics, you can then go on to see actual geolocation of the people who
came and visited your site, to see if that had any affect.
Where Webmaster Tools offers a URL removal tool, if you don’t want a certain section
of your site to appear in Google search results, Google Analytics will show you the popularity
of certain content and folders and directories on your site, and then navigation between
that as well. And so I’ll get into all that stuff a little
later. Webmaster Tools also offers some other things
such as Google robots reporting–which Google Analytics doesn’t offer–
and information about how your site is optimized for mobile searches–which Google Analytics
doesn’t offer currently– but Google Analytics offers a host of things
which I’ll just run through here–this is the most text heavy side–but I wanted to
go through all the benefits. So first of all, with Google Analytics, you
can understand how visitors engage with your site, and it’s almost any type of content
can be tracked on Google– from rich content to flash to outbound links
and more. You can also compare performance of all your
marketing efforts, such as emails, keywords or even offline campaigns.
We have integrations where you can do a radio ad and then see how that affected your website.
Integrated with AdWords, but also tracks non-Google campaigns such as Yahoo Search Marketing and
adCenter in Microsoft, it helps you identify areas for improvement
on your site. You can pinpoint breakdowns in conversion
process use, which is very important–we’ll talk about that–it’s setting up goals.
And then also, lastly, and a little bit more sophisticated, you can actually track e-commerce
metrics and get a host of reporting on that, and really do an in-depth ROI analysis on
keywords and then how those relate to product purchase.
So for what type of websites is Google Analytics appropriate?
And the reason Google bought Urchin in the beginning and turned it into Google Analytics,
is because it really works with all types of websites–
from e-commerce, retail websites–you can see below each column the types of metrics
that people who own those websites might be interested in within Google Analytics–
lead generation, where you’re possibly having people sign up for a newsletter, trying to
figure out conversions and analyze visitor behavior,
and then also branding, where you might be more interested in a metric-like time on site–did
they look at a movie that we have or are they just spending time on our site?
So first, I wanted to ask, what is your website? So taking a step back, for many people, it’s–at
first, it’s a webpage. And then as you become a more sophisticated
business owner or you’re getting more visitors, it becomes more than just your server and
you’ve got a website–“Look, mom, my website is up, here’s the URL–”
then you become a Google search result and you say, “Oh, people are actually coming to
my site; well, how do they find it?” Well, it’s on Google. Google’s crawling it.
And then, even further, now you’re going to start to possible try to get traffic directed–targeted
to your site by buying key words. So you become your statistics–CPC, CTR–maybe
your website sales. But what more?
Well, usually nothing more. That’s where people leave it.
And so when you’re ready to look, there is a ton more that your website is, and that
you can actually use to get more visitors and understand your audience.
Without Google Analytics–I love this picture and these characters–so that’s obviously
Professor Xavier, he can read minds–it’s a movie character–and that’s a dog–his dog.
Without Google Analytics, there’s no communication–he can’t read your mind and you can’t hear his
thoughts either. And–but, with Google Analytics the dialogue
begins, so let’s dive in and look at some examples.
I own a web design and hosting company. You can see the web page; it’s a beautiful,
really polished web page. We design web pages for you and we can host
them as well. Google Analytics says, “We’ve got some interesting
news for the marketing team–1,000 visitors came to the site this year–from another website,
sitepoint.com, and converted.” Well that’s really interesting to know.
And you can see in this report, which is called “Referring Sites,” SitePoint is the number
three largest referring URL. It’s bringing in over 1,000 visitors under
this–in this time period. What is SitePoint?
Well, let’s take a look at the website. Here it is, you can see on the right, there’s
an ad. Now for some reason, SitePoint is linking
to your ad–your web design company–your URL.
So why not throw an ad up there, if possible? And you can do placement targeting with a
lot of the PPC products out there today, so put some ads on SitePoint, it says on the
right. All right, let’s move on.
We redesigned our home page in September, it’s beautiful. What affect did it have?
With Google Analytics, you can see after the home page redesign, percentage of returning
visitors went up 60%, so great job. Here’s a Returning–New vs. Returning Report
within Google Analytics and you can see the blue–that spike was the current time frame,
compared to the green line, which is the previous time frame.
You can see down in the data table, the percentage change in returning visitors, so that’s a
great indicator and just some metrics you can see.
The dog says, “Nice webmaster work.” All right, that’s a sizeable investment.
I want to decrease CPC keyword costs for my site, which is a volunteering opportunity
portal, so I can–people come to our site and they look for volunteering opportunities.
Well, people are coming to your site on the search term “volunteer abroad” and then bouncing–you
don’t offer abroad programs, just domestic. Let’s take a look at the report.
Here we go, we can see bounce rate–this is a visualization of comparison to site average,
so some are green, some are red–these are your key words on the left–
and you can see “volunteer work abroad–” just like the guy said in Google Analytics–is
getting a high bounce rate. So people are coming and then leaving right
away from that URL–that’s what bounce rate means–they come, look at one page and then
take off. They don’t do anything–they don’t look for
more opportunities or sign up for anything. So, we’re going to want to get rid of that
keyword or do something with it– why not add “abroad” as a negative keyword
to your PPC campaign so you’re not paying for those–or not showing up for those searches?
I want to expand my business. You want to expand your business? This dog
can really read minds! Well, you’re getting lots of visits from New
York and France. And let’s take a look within Google Analytics–this
is called the Map Overlay Report. And you can see the little bubbles are kind
of a heat map–they show what cities across the world that you’ve gotten–that you receive
visitors from. If you hover over a bubble, it shows you the
number of visitors. The bigger the bubble, the more visitors.
And there’s more data on this in a data table as well, just numerically kind of spelled
out–this same information. But this is a great visualization to show
customers if you have–if you’re representing clients, if you’re an agency to say, “Here’s
where your visitors are coming from.” As you can see, there was a big bubble over
New York, and also there were visitors coming from France, as the dog said.
So why not create a location-targeted campaign and create New York-targeted key words and
ad text. You know–you’re really trying to grow your
business–you’re getting visitors from there–why not start a campaign like that?
Also, perhaps offer a French version of the site if you can translate it.
Couple–one more example–I need to check my laundry. Your laundry’s done.
I mean, if you’re a really sophisticated user, maybe this would work–just kidding!
Moving on, let’s dive into the product now and take and look–I wanted to show some of
the features that everybody could use today. First of all, here’s the dash board.
This is what you’re going to see when you go into Google Analytics.
There’s a lot of reports and so I just wanted to show you–in a simple way–this is what’s
offered. So you’ve got the Visitors Report–which I’ll
show–Traffic Sources–where people are coming from,
Content, which is what they’re doing on your site, and then a Goals and E-Commerce section
where you can actually configure it and tell us what’s valuable to you.
Here are all of the reports maximized, just to show you how to navigate.
Where to start? I would just start at the Overview of the Visitors section–the Traffic
Sources and the Content section. Here’s the Visitor’s Overview.
As you can see, before I asked what is your site?
Well, here’s what your site is–it’s not just CPC and CGR–it’s also visits, page views,
unique visits–which is people who– it’s not counting people twice who came twice
in a certain period–it just counts them once–time on site and more.
Here’s the Traffic Sources stuff–this is all Traffic Sources, so it’s showing how are
people getting to your website? What are the most popular ways they’re getting
there? What sites are directing traffic to you?
And then you’ve got a–this is the Navigation Summary.
This is the in the Content section. This shows a certain webpage and where people
came to get to that webpage, and how they’re kind of surfing through your site.
Let’s look some more at the Content stuff. This is a–this is a list, again, of keywords
and this was the keywords that actually brought people to a specific piece of content on your
site. So I wanted to show this to you to show you
that you can actually slice and dice information, so that you can see one metric as it relates
to another metric. So sometimes we have a very important site,
are keywords actually bringing them to that site or not?
Again, this is what your site is–it’s the keywords that bring people to your page.
It’s not just, again, CPC, CTR or just Google-centered keywords, these are keywords from all search
engines. Great, so here two keys to Google Analytics:
First of all, look at data in context. We–and then secondly, set up goals.
So the reason I put this guy on here, again, is he’s the guy who reads minds.
And we can’t read your mind unless you kind of help us out a little bit, and we’ve given
you tools to do that. First of all, data in context.
Data isn’t an island. It should be read in context, and that’s in order to give it meaning.
And so this is a technique for you to get more out of Google Analytics, and I’ll show
you how to do that. Context insight for the right questions–so
here’s a graph of keywords and basically the popularity of keywords.
Underneath you can see search sent one million non-paid visits via 300 thousand keywords.
Well that’s great, but is it better than before, is it good?
I don’t know what it means–it seems like a lot of keyword activity, but I’m not really
sure. So what you can do is you can click this “Visits”
button and actually compare it to another metric that’s important to you,
such as–as you can see in here, there’s a whole list–why don’t we compare it to conversions,
so you can compare two metrics, and we’ll do conversion rate.
So it seems like the keyword activity is going up and to the right a little bit,
but when you compare it to this other metric, conversions, that’s actually going straight
or maybe even a little bit down, so that’s something that we should be aware of.
We’re paying the same amount in keywords, our conversions might be tightening up a little
bit. Another way to get context out of data is
compare date ranges. This is a really easy and visual feature within
Google Analytics. So you just drop down any–you just click
on the date and then you’ll see you can compare two date ranges by clicking that drop down
menu right there. And then you’ll see that in this graph up
above, there’s a blue line and green line, and they’re plotting the same data, but different
time periods. You’ll see that, interestingly, July 2, we
have a spike in conversions in a previous time period.
So what did we do to get that spike? You can also see that there’s like red and
green next to the data in the middle there, underneath the “Visitors Completed” text,
and that’s showing whether we’ve gone up or down in this time frame.
And so it can show you what the areas that you need to concentrate on are.
So, again, context–you can see the question mark area is without a comparison to previous
timeframe, whereas the one with the exclamation point is showing us context.
Here is a Content by Title–and this is the last area of context I wanted to show.
There’s some pretty mature visualizations within Google Analytics that can show you
real actionable areas. So when you click on this “Views” area, this
one is probably the best. It’s called “Compare to site average,” and
as you can see right away, what’s in red and what’s in green.
These are articles by our friend, Alvin (S/L Ashcowsheek) on his blog, and you can see
which ones got the most page views, sorted by “Page views,” if you look above
the column on the right, there, and then it’s sliced by “Time on page.”
I can see they got a lot of page views, but are people actually sticking around and reading
these posts? That’s what I really want to know.
Another area for this visualization that’s really helpful is in optimizing keywords and
campaigns, under the “Traffic” section. So you can see here, you’ve got a list of
keywords and you can immediately see which ones have a high average time on site or a
low average time on site. So just to race through this, we’ve got a
couple of visualizations, but the best one is the one on the lower right, which is the
“Compare to site average.” Lastly, Goals–take your data to the next
level of usefulness. So this you can see–this guy–there’s a purchase
page and we say, “Thanks for your purchase!” And so that’s the goal page.
And what you do is, you put that in Google Analytics–very easy, just copy and paste
that URL into Google Analytics– and then you can also–that’s up at the top
where the circle is–and then you can also tell us the steps to get to that page, such
as, enter your name, view your shopping cart. And what Google Analytics will do, is we’ll
populate this beautiful report called Defined Funnel Navigation, and so you can see at the
bottom there, we have completed order. Great, okay, that’s my conversion page–that
in itself is–will populate a lot of data within Google Analytics to show you what keywords
are converting and things like that. But if you have a funnel, though, the top
will be populated–funnel one step, funnel step two–where are people coming in and then
going to the next step in the funnel, and which funnel steps are causing people
to leave? And so this–if you do a little bit of optimization,
it can save you a lot of money and customers. Some funnel step pages might be too confusing.
You can just make minor changes and this is an area where you can see that.
And Tom will talk a little about this with Website Optimizer as well.
And then just to finish up, this is, again, the Compare to Site Average–if you have a
goal configured, you can see that you can actually use the
Compare to Site Average to sort by goal on the right.
So before we did time on site and bounce rate, but now we’re looking at our keywords sorted
by popularity, and then segmented by which ones had conversions.
So it’s more than just CTR and CPC, it’s actually conversions.
You might be getting a lot of traffic from one keyword and paying a lot, but not having
any conversions. Lastly, for best results, as I said, get started
with the Visitor’s Traffic and Content Overviews–those are the reports to start with–
and then view data in context–we had those looking at–comparing the site average, looking
at those visualizations and looking at data over two time periods as well.
And then lastly, creating goals is probably the most powerful and very easy thing that
you can do within Google Analytics, to figure out what your valuable key words
and content pages and traffic sources are. And then take action on those things.
And speaking of which, I’m going to turn it over to Tom and Website Optimizer to talk
about how to take action.>>TOM LEUNG: Thanks very much, Jeff.
So let’s make believe that you’ve set up Webmaster Tools, Google sees all of the content on the
web that you offer, and then you use Analytics and you see all
these wonderful insights from Anayltics. So the next question would logically be, “Well,
what should I do about it?” And that’s where Website Optimizer comes in.
And specifically, you can look at a bunch of reports and get a lot of insights and a
lot of understanding about what’s happening and what has happened.
The next step would be to say, “Well, as a result of that,” let’s say I’m looking at
a Funnel report, like Jeff was just showing us.
If I find that a large number of people are not proceeding after the first step of a funnel
and they’re kind of dropping off, well, how do I increase the rate at which
people will move on and continue the process, and ultimately complete whatever action it
is that we’re looking for them to complete? Be it purchasing something, filling out a
lead generation form, watching a video, reading a white paper–you know–signing up for a
newsletter–it really could be anything. So in the old days, there are a number of
ways that you “improve” a page. One, is you kind of go by your gut feel and
you just say to yourself, “Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if we made the button a little bit
bigger and moved it on the left? I think–you know–that would be better for
users,” or “Wouldn’t it be cool if I, instead of having one image,
I had an image kind of rotate between a number of different images?”
That’s one way to do it, but it’s often wrong, because you don’t really know if it’s going
to work or not, sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t make
any difference and sometimes it actually hurts. We’ll talk about how Website Optimizer shines
a bright light on these kinds of decisions. The second way a lot of people make decisions
is with, what Avinash Kaushik–one of our colleagues–calls the HiPPO–the highest paid
person in the organization. Now this is usually the head of your design
department, or the CEO or owner of the company– and he’ll just–you know–walk over and say,
“Hey, I was looking at the website and I’d like us to add this chart and I think that’s
what the customers want,” or–you know–the hotshot designer will come
by and say, “Oh–you know–I read an article and it showed
that this kind of pattern is the best way to encourage people to complete a transaction,
so we’re going to redesign this form of it.” That is fine, but it’s also subject to the
same risk, which is basically that those are people’s opinions.
Now they may be highly informed and highly compensated opinions, but they’re not necessarily–you
know–metaphysically certain to be the right thing.
In fact, what we find is almost always, there’s a better way than what your gut is telling
you. And then the third way is this before and
after, which is a slightly more evolved way of making an improvement to your site,
which is you look at your metrics for this week, you make a change and then you look
at your metrics for next week, and then you see if the metrics went up or down.
The problem with this method is that if it went up, you don’t know if it went up because
of the changes you made, or because it was just seasonal, or because–you
know–one of your colleagues downstairs in another office was optimizing their AdWords
campaign, and so was getting better traffic to the site,
or–you know–you got mentioned in a major media publication–so it’s really hard to
know what lead to those improvements. Website Optimizer kind of changes that, and
essentially what happens, is visitors arrive at your site and Website
Optimizer will redirect those visitors to an entirely different page that you tell us
about, or if you use a more advanced, multi-variant
testing we’ll actually change the content of the page, as the visitor’s browser renders
that page; so that effectively, every visitor to your
site gets assigned to an experimental group, and then we will report back to you as to,
“Well, group A had this percent that made it to the goal page and group B had a larger
percent, and group C had the smallest percentage.”
And those goals could be a thank you page, they could be reading–filling out a form,
it could be just going deeper into the site–you can put those goal tags wherever you want.
But the bottom line here is that instead of guessing, instead of using sort of office
political power to make changes to your site, why not do an experiment, randomly assign
visitors to each of the different ideas that you have, and then let the visitors tell you–
if they all convert because they like–you know–the image without the model and with
the green buttons, then let’s go with that, and let’s not sort
of spend time kind of using voodoo web design strategies.
So Website Optimizer really helps make all this possible.
It is the web’s most popular testing platform; it’s free; very easy to use.
Often times, we see increases in conversion rates–easily over 25%–a number of other
resources that we make available, and basically let’s you do any kind of testing
you can think of; works with all of your traffic, not just your AdWord traffic,
but your organic traffic from other ad networks; it doesn’t require any other of the other
tools in this webinar–although as I mentioned earlier,
it really–when you use all three together–it’s really a powerful combination.
So let’s talk a little bit about what it would be like if you decided to use Website Optimizer
and you said, “Okay, I want to start the wizard and create an experiment.”
The first thing we ask you is whether or not you want to do a A/B or multi-variant test.
A/B is the simplest way to get started. It’s great for low-traffic pages, also works
great for high-traffic pages and helps you test layouts very easily.
And as long as you can create another page, you can do an A/B test.
Multi-variant is a little bit more advanced; it lets you actually carve your page up into
multiple sections and will basically swap out content within those sections as visitors
hit the page. Let’s make believe you decided, “Well, I’m
just going to start with a simple A/B test,” and you have your current page, you create
another version of that page, you publish it to the web,
and maybe it’s–you know–you have your index page, and then you have your index2.html for
your B page. You just click “I want to create an A/B,”
you give the experiment a name, you give us the URLs of the original and the test page;
if you a have more than one test page, you just say, “I want to add more,” and then you
just give us the URL of your conversion page– usually your thank you page, or–you know–your
contact form, or whatever it might be–whatever page you
consider to be a good outcome for someone who saw that test page first.
Then you can either have someone else add the tags for you, and we’ll basically give
you a URL that you could email to your IT Department,
or if you are the IT Department, then you say, “Okay, I’m going to do the tagging myself,”
and the way the tagging works is very simple for A/B.
You just have a control snippet that you put at the top of the A page and then a tracking
snippet that you paste at the bottom of the A and B page,
and then a goal snippet that you put at the bottom of your thank you page or your goal
page, and that’s basically it. So it’s really three very simple copy and
paste operations. And then one on the goal page and–you know–it
typically takes a few minutes to set up an A/B test.
Then you–after you add those tags and update the pages, you basically click “Launch experiment,”
and then after a period of time when we start seeing people visiting the site and we start
dividing the traffic, we’ll report back to you and tell you exactly
which version of the page did better, by how much, with what confidence, what was the raw
data, what percentage improvement was the winner
over the original, and really taking a lot of the guesswork out of website design.
So instead of kind of arguing around a conference room and lobbying people, you can just say,
“Well, why don’t we just run a test?” And everybody can come up with ideas and then
we can see what the customers like best. So here’s an example of a test that we ran
at Google for the Picasa team, and basically they were curious about whether or not this
page could be improved, which actually had been performing pretty
well. As you can see, it’s got an image of the product,
it uses the word “free,” pretty clean layout, very action oriented headline.
This was an alternate version that actually had a 30% higher download rate.
And what’s most interesting is that we actually took out one of the images, we changed the
link to a button, changed the headline– this was one of many different versions that
we tested–we would never have picked this one by ourselves.
We probably would have picked one of the ones that had more imagery, a little bit more content–but
as it turns out, this one was the one that won.
So even at Google, we think we do a pretty good job designing web pages, but we test
everything, and Website Optimizer allows you to do the same thing.
If you ever use Gmail, you may notice that sometimes you’ll see things changing on the
page–you know– you might come in a couple weeks later and
notice that, “Hey, I notice the login box is now above or below.”
That team is always running experiments–they probably run dozens of experiments–they test
everything from text changes, to layout changes, the order of the box,
the design of the buttons, and they have had great success with Website Optimizer.
And so it’s important to know that this is a tool that is not only available to yourselves,
but it’s also a tool that we use and that we’ve been using for the last couple of years.
So here’s another example. This was provided by our partner, Wider Funnel,
which is an agency that consults on onlining pages and conversion optimization.
Here their client had a pretty good looking homepage, but they wanted to test a number
of different layouts and–you know– the naked eye doesn’t really know immediately
which one would do better, and certainly can’t tell which one would do better for all of
the visitors. What’s most interesting is you’ll see there’s
two different overall designs; there’s a two-column and a three-column.
What’s most interesting is that one of them actually did better than all of the other
ones. You would think two would do similarly and
then the other two would do similarly. So one of them actually did double the conversion
rate of the original–all of them did slightly better–but one really pulled away and it
was this version here. Again, really hard to know until you run a
test. Here’s another example, and this was provided
by another partner, LunaMetrics. Their client had a pretty good page right
here; they sell stair supplies. What they wanted to do was run a test where
they provided the menu item, already expanded, and then they had a friendly picture of an
operator standing by to take your order. One would not have expected this to make a
major increase in your conversion rate, and actually one would not have expected it to
hurt it either. But as a result of the test, they were able
to find that these hypothetical improvements that they wanted to test actually hurt their
conversion rate. And so had they not run a test, they may have
just made these changes and let them run, and actually harmed their sales dramatically.
But because they ran a test, they were able to basically roll it back and stick with the
original, and then test other things that might help increase your conversion rate.
So one of the things to keep in mind is that testing in not just about improving your conversion
rate, it’s also an insurance policy, so that even
the best intentions and the best changes that appear to be good in a conference room–
you want to make sure that they’re really not going to hurt your sales–and so testing
helps you kind of give you a safety blanket. We got a lot of questions about Website Optimizer,
let me roll through some of them. One is, how can a communications based site
benefit from Website Optimizers? So, you don’t sell widgets–maybe you are
a professional services firm. Every site has an objective.
It may be not necessarily to sell something and get someone’s credit card information
and sell them a product, but it could be having someone contact you
and filling out a lead generation form– maybe you are a law firm and you want more
people to contact you and fill out the “I would like to talk to a lawyer.”
Well, you could test a whole bunch of things on that homepage and see which one had the
greatest result in getting new clients. You may be a publication and your interest
is actually people subscribing to your monthly newsletter,
or even more interesting, spending a minimum amount of time reading a page.
So whatever your goal is, you can run a test for it.
We’ve designed the tool to be very flexible; it’s not just for folks who are selling things.
Will this affect my search engine ranking? Website Optimizer is about testing and increasing
your conversions, it’s not for increasing your search engine ranking.
Will I be penalized for cloaking? We have a whole FAQ about that.
Testing is not cloaking. Cloaking is where you’re trying to mislead
GoogleBot and then search engines and showing them some piece of content,
and then showing your users something completely different.
So–you know–if you’re telling search engines that you sell baby carriages, but you show
visitors to your site stuff about online gambling, then that is absolutely cloaking and it doesn’t
matter what technology you use–you will not be protected for doing that kind of thing.
But if you’re just trying to improve a customer experience and do the right thing for customers,
and using a tool like Website Optimizer, that’s encouraged.
What if I have a dynamically generated page? No problem, as long as our tags get on the
page, you can just add it to the template, you can have your server add our tags dynamically
as well. Basically when the visitor’s browser renders
the page, that’s when our tags do their magic. They don’t have to be–you know–officially
part of the source code of the page from the very beginning, they can be injected there
by your server as well. So, a few things to do this week.
If you decide that Website Optimizer is a good tool for you, one of them is look at
your top landing page or homepage and ask yourself,
“Yeah, does it look professional? Is it going to let me get my goals done? Does it make
sense?” Probably you’re going to answer, “Kind of”
to those questions and there’s probably going to be things that you can do to improve it.
Well, make those changes, but don’t make it directly to the page in question, but make
it to another page. Then do a simple A/B test; maybe change the
image, the text, the layout. Then we’ll split the traffic and then we’ll
help you compare them. And then you can even make it fun–maybe have–you
know–print out both of the mocks and have folks in the company bet on which one they
think would be better, and make it a little bit more interesting.
Or have two designers–you know–that are always competing against each other–have
them come up with their best version of the page and see who’s really better.
Now for those who want the VIP treatment, there are a number of partners that we have–
that we have authorized consultants as well as technology partners that make it a lot
easier for you. The authorized consultants basically are available
if you need spot technical assistance and you want to talk to someone on the phone,
or you want someone to actually do it and to have it as a managed service; they can
do all of that for you. We also have contact management partners that
make it really easy to set up those tags and get the experiments running.
The last thing I want to talk about for this particular section is the resources available.
So if you go to google.com/websiteoptimizer, you’re going to find a number of articles,
tutorials, video demonstrations, links to our user forum, case studies, a partner directory–it’s
the most information and resources on the web for testing,
so I hope you’ll go there. So now that brings us into the next section,
which is a panel discussion, and these are questions that kind of apply to all of the
different products, and the first one is how much the tools cost
and why, and I was thinking maybe Jeff could answer that.>>JEFF GILLIS: Yeah, sure.
Well, obviously, as we’ve all said that these tools are all free, and there’s questions
from everybody that we got recently is why these tools are free;
and one of the answers is that–and a very legitimate answer is that Google’s very user
focused and all of these tools are going to help webmasters make better websites,
and also help users find the websites that they’re actually looking for, so Webmaster
Tools will make better results in the Google Search queries.
Google Analytics will help with both content and also you to understand where users are
coming from and who your audience is; and then obviously, Website Optimizer is going
to help you really make appropriate web pages that are very user friendly and navigation
friendly as well. But there’s also another answer.
All these tools can also help advertisers and help our AdWords advertisers buy better
keywords and do better AdWords campaigns, And so there is also a benefit to Google’s
bottom line, but mostly it’s user focused, advertiser focused.
And then none of these tools are–you know–without some backend kind of effort.
We’ll talk a little bit, hopefully, at some point about the partner network–I think Tom
might have mentioned it–some of their partners already–
but these tools are free, but it’s a bit of an investment to get something out of them.
And so hopefully that answers that question, Tom.>>TOM LEUNG: Thanks, Jeff.
The next question–maybe Mike, you can answer–whether nor not these tools are for small companies
or big companies.>>MIKE WYSZOMIERSKI: Yeah sure, I can take
that. So the nice thing about these tools is that
really anyone can use them. But the applications of how they use them
may depend on probably the size and the traffic of the site.
So starting with Webmaster Tools specifically, a small business may not have a large advertising
budget, and really relies on organic search or non-paid
search for their customers, so they really need to use Webmaster Tools to make sure that
they’re showing up in the results. A larger site may use the more advanced features
of Webmaster Tools to monitor crawling or manage site mass if they have a large number
of URLs. For Analytics, it’s always great to know your
visitors and both through Analytics and Optimizer, a small business might just appreciate the
fact that such a powerful tool is free, while a large business would like Analytics
because of how the data is presented in an easily readable format and has all the various
reporting options. A large business might like Website Optimizer
because it allows changes, which at a large scale, could really affect a business positively
or negatively, to be tested safely and accurately, even in
a complex environment where multiple factors are affecting conversions.
For all these tools, a large business may decide to outsource the actual use of these
tools to agencies who are experts on them, but it’s really up to you–anyone can be a
user. So Tom and Jeff, did you have anything to
add on this?>>TOM LEUNG: No, I think that was spot on.
I think the next question is, I’m not that technical, could someone use these tools for
me? I’d love to take that one.
So all of these tools are designed to be kind of do-it-yourself tools in the Google way
that we’ve tried to really make the user experience as intuitive and simple as possible.
There is some technical involvement, as an example, with Website Optimizer, you have
to add a few tags to the page; with Analytics, you put one tag at the bottom
of the page; with Webmaster Tools, it’s even easier to get started.
But some people may feel that, “Wow, I just don’t want to even kind of dip my toe in the
water.” All of our tools are highly used by agencies
and web design firms and SEO firms and web development firms,
and you could just ask whoever built your site or runs your technical department to
do it for you; and we also have formal partner programs for
the Analytics and the Website Optimizer businesses. So that kind of is a good segway into some
of the things that you can do that are really exciting.
And these may be things that you do or you ask your professional services firm of choice
to do for you, but I thought maybe we could start with Mike
and then we’ll go to Jeff and myself, as to what’s the one coolest thing that people
should be using from your tools that may not be something that’s entirely obvious, that’s
a good tip?>>MIKE WYSZOMIERSKI: Yeah, sure.
Starting with Webmaster Tools, I’m actually going to combine two features into one super
feature, and I would say look at your external links
in the “Links” section, and combine that with the “What Googlebot sees,” in links to your
site feature as well, and using this data together, you can find
out who’s linking to you and what they’re saying when they’re linking.
And if you look at this, you can get things like product feedback or do reputation management–you
know– if you would find that a customer had blogged
about your product–you know–find their link, go to the blog and leave a comment on their
blog, and–you know–do it right and don’t spam
and they might just love to see a human face from your business.>>JEFF GILLIS: Thanks.
For Google Analytics, this is Jeff. I talked about a couple of the advanced features
in the presentation, such as using those visualizations like a Compare to Site Average,
and segmenting by goals–it’s just such an easy way to see the performance of your keywords
and your content and your campaigns and things like that.
But the coolest advanced feature right now that I’m hoping people start using is the
Site Search report. So if you have a search on your website, again,
not Google Search, but a search box on your website where people
can put in a keyword and maybe search for a product that they’re not finding easily,
Google Analytics will show you a number of reports about the data–about what people
are searching for, what content they’re actually looking at after they do a search,
what pages caused them to search and then whether they’re converting after a search,
or doing another search–if they have to like do multiple searches–
and it’s so powerful, one of the ways you can use that information is if you look at
the terms that people search for on your site, those are great keywords to possibly purchase
or to look at and see if you’re using them at all,
because that’s what people are really looking for and it’s also stuff that they’re not finding.
Another way to use it is you can see for a certain keyword, what page the person actually
went to, and you can use that to make Webmaster Tools
know which landing pages you want certain content to get,
or create a campaign with that landing page for that specific keyword.
And then you can also see–you know–at its most basic, what people are searching for,
what content needs to be bubbled up and surfaced because they can’t find it easily.
So it’s another way to do some website optimization. Thanks.>>TOM LEUNG: So I think for Website Optimizer,
my favorite feature is our Time on Page testing capability,
and this is one where instead of saying, “Well, I want to find the page that is most likely
to get people to some thank you page at the end of a funnel,” which is perfectly fine.
What you do is you say, “I want to see what version of this page is most likely to have
people actually consume the content.” And so the way you set up the experiment is
the goal tag is actually put on the test page, and we give you a little code sample to have
basically a little timer, and you can say, “Well, if someone spends
more than three seconds on this page, I’m going to call that good–that’s a good result.”
And so you can imagine like if you really want people to read the “About Us” page,
or if you really want people to watch–you know–the 30 second flash demo of your product,
or if you really want people to read some article that you’ve written, and you’re not
sure if the layout should change, or if a different version of the video is
more likely to have people stay on the page, you can run this Time on Page test,
and the other hidden benefit to it is that it has–usually will have a high conversion
rate in that a very large percentage of people
will stay more than the number of seconds you set it for, and that’s going to allow
us to give you much more rapid results as well.
So it’s great for people who don’t have a specific commerce goal in mind, it’s great
for getting a lot of data quickly and having a test run, and then getting to a winner soon,
and it’s also great for people who are interested in making sure that people aren’t just bouncing
off of their–off that first page of the visit. So that would be the Website Optimizer one
and I think I’ll end this with just a slide showing you some of these great URLs.
So if you found that Webmaster Tools is something that you haven’t been using, but now you understand
why it’s critical, go ahead to that URL and get started.
You’ve got nothing to lose, and it’s free, and you should help Google understand your
site as best you can, and that’s going to likely increase the exposure
that you get in the long run. And then you can head over to Analytics and
really understand everything that’s going on on your site;
and why are people coming? And what’s going on? And be able to talk intelligently about
what your site’s doing and what the trends are looking like,
and then–you know–hopefully after that you’ll decide, “Oh, well it seems like this page
is not doing as well as I thought it could be,
or our conversion rates are a little bit low, or our cost for acquisition is getting up
there,” so then use Website Optimizer–start doing
some A/B tests or get a little fancy and want to do some multi-variant, that’s great as
well. So hopefully this was useful.
We really appreciate you taking to time to learn about these tools and look forward to
talking to you again soon. Thanks very much.