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The filters within Google Analytics allow the tracking, monitoring and recording of a variety of different metrics. One particularly useful filter allows you to track your site’s position within the search engines when a visitor clicks on your listing.
This information can be incredibly valuable as you may be optimising your site for one phrase, but this filter can show that a slightly reworded phrase delivers better quality traffic. If you have e-commerce tracking and goals set up then the real value of these visitors will clearly be displayed.
Before creating the filters it is important that you create a new profile in your Google Analytics Account. Give an appropriate title like, ‘Search Engine Rankings’. There should always be a profile in your Analytics Account which has all your data with no filters, otherwise you won’t have a record of your overall traffic.
To create the report which provides you with this data you will need to set the following three filters. Make sure you set the filters up in the correct order, otherwise you may well find that you don’t achieve the desired result.
If you want to change this filter to track another Campaign Source for example, Yahoo or Bing, simply amend the Filter Pattern.
The field details are as follows:
Campaign Term (.*)
User Defined $A1 (page: $B3)
Once saved there should be three filters in your new profile. There won’t be any data in your reports immediately as you need to leave it overnight for Analytics to collect the data.
Now the important part, where to find your data. The next day, login into your Analytics account and on the left hand side navigate to Visitors, and at the bottom of this menu you should be able to see User Defined.
Click on this and you should see the terms that you are ranking for together with the number of visitors, average time on site and bounce rate. If you have goals set up you should also be able to view the terms which delivered goals.
Next to each term will be (page: ) and in some instances there will be a number. If there is no number e.g. (page: ) then this means your site is ranking on the first page of Google for that term. If there is a number e.g. (page:10) then this shows that your site is ranking on page two, (page 20) is page three etc.
This filter will help to work out which terms are profitable for your site to rank for in Google. As you will know doubt be aware, it’s far better for your site to rank for terms where visitors convert into paying customers rather than receive a high number of visitors who just browse. So having this data at hand will help you to identify the most valuable key terms for your campaigns.
Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.
Site speed is an important area of website optimisation that people working in the world of Search Engine Optimisation are becoming increasingly concerned about.