Things Learned in the Last 5 Months
So its been a while since my last blog post. I learned a lot of new things pertaining to SEO, SEM and CRO, so this will be more of a brain dump with little structure.
1. Google Data Studio
This thing is a life saver. I used to have to export csv files from Google Analytics and make charts and graphs on Excel and then make a report for all 20+ clients. It took me a good week to create these reports back then. With Google Data Studio, I’ve cut down the reporting to 1 day - talk about efficiency! Taking elements from Distilled’s Better Business Document Guide, we’ve also been implementing what we like to call the “Pyramid” style reporting. This is when we tell “the story first, following up with the document for reference and action, and providing the underlying data as an appendix for the interested reader”. Most people are less inclined to read the details and want a simple “are we up or down this month?” answer. With this style of reporting, we’ve been much more efficient in communicating our findings and action plan.
2. Google Tag Manager
I’ve been toying around with Tag Manager for the year but recently ramped things up with it. I’ve been installing and implementing Tag Manager on our most recently acquired clients. This one is another life saver. In most cases, the websites I work on, we have full control over since we built the site using our proprietary LEAP CMS. But now, we’re starting to deal with clients where there is a third-party webmaster who we have to go through first before making recommended changes. In my humble opinion, I find this process to be a “stop and go train” causing too many delays. With Google Tag Manager, I’m able to implement all the things I need to do my job (such as tracking various conversion points) without ever having to touch the back end of the CMS. For bigger websites where there are 10,000+ pages having an automated trigger from Tag Manager to track all conversion points makes everything much more manageable. Again, very efficient tool.
3. PageSpeed Insights
I know the SEO and SEM community have polarized opinions on Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool. Some say you need to fully commit and abide by it, while others say to take it with a grain of salt. I’m on both sides of the fence: 1) most clients and competitors still use it to look at faults in their website. 2) but on the other hand, certain page load techniques to increase server response and rendering can negatively impact your PageSpeed score. I wrote a piece on it on Treefrog’s blog: “How To Increase Google’s PageSpeed Insights”.
I think that’s all the brain dumping I can do for now. Currently, I’ve been studying and obtaining my Adwords certificate and will start on Bing’s certificate. Our team at Treefrog continues to grow; we have 1 new member and another one on the way. And I continue to tinker with all available tools I can get my hands on. Exciting times!