Internet Marketing Professional

Archive for May 2007

Otherwise known as Oh My God Regular Expressions

Google Analytics, for all its strange reporting levels, is free and is quite good at what it does. I don’t trust it fully but as a simple way of introducing people to what analytics can do and as a way of determining trends within your site it can be useful. One of the good ways of using it is to create filters so that your website information is presented in a way that you can understand most easily.

What are Google Analytics Filters

Google Analytics filters allow you to change the way that aspects of your website are displayed to make your website analysis more intelligible for yourself.

Accessing your Google Analytics Filters

To access your Google Analytics Filters you first login to your account. From there select the ‘Access Manager’ Option at the bottom of the page. Click on the ‘Add Filter’ link and you’re away to building your first filter.

Just give the filter a name – if you make the filter name easily relevant to what you are going to be doing with the filter so much the better – spent half a day changing filter names from filter 1, filter 2, filter 3 etc that had been set up in an account to make it far simpler for me to use.

Google Filter Options Drop Down

The first three options in the drop down menu marked ‘Filter Type’ are pretty self explanatory; ‘Exclude all traffic from a domain’, ‘Exclude all traffic from an IP’, ‘Include only traffic to a subdirectory’, and you’ll have no problems with these.

The fourth option,’Custom’ is where we get interesting and we start using regular expressions.

Google Analytics – What are ‘Regular Expressions

Regular Expressions
Regular expressions, commonly known as “RegEx” are a set of key combinations that are meant to allow people to have a large variety of control over what they are searching for. RegEx is used a lot under Unix, and is common between many programs.

www.cis.ksu.edu/~bhoward/vi/vi90.html

In essence these allow you to write rules that will change aspects of what is inputted to a system into a new version, if you use .htaccess files on your server you’re likely to be used to these.

My next post, assuming my guest bloggers get their finger out and write some good stuff, will be a run through of how to write your first custom filter in Google analytics.

If you have any suggestions as to what you would like to have a filter do that would help you. Send me a comment and I’ll have a look into making my post use your site as an example.

I know bits and pieces about affiliate marketing – I ain’t no expert. It makes me money and it makes me enough money to pay for things that I like to do – i.e. beer and holidays. So for this very reason I’ve invited the affiliate department at Equator Internet Marketing to do some guest blog spots on this thing.

So far I’ve talked Ana and Kerry into doing it – a few double vodka’s a bit of begging etc.

That said their SEO team were asking about putting links into their posts – hmmm wonder why 🙂

On which subject I’ve also blagged Bill Marshall from Oyster Web to do some bits and pieces on Search Engine Optimisation which will probably  involve a tirade against microsoft oh and complaints about website validity!

All good stuff coming soon

In the quest to locate new blogging platforms today I came across a new one located at my.telegraph.co.uk. I don’t read the telegraph I was just meandering about the supermarket looking for a paper and saw this bit at the top of the paper and thought I should try it.

Review of my.telegraph.co.uk

I was greeted with a simple enough account creation process it asked for my name, email twice and password twice and asked me to upload an image to go with my account. So far so good until I found that I could only upload a jpg or jpeg file as the avatar for the account – which was a bit of a pain. Allowing gif and png formats would have been better but not a huge gripe.

Writing the post was simple – write a headline and write the post. Here I was a bit less happy, to make it useable by all you cant edit code. The system does not put in an H1 tag and you cant structure it effectively with headings – you can insert lists I suppose but is a little weak but is really simple to use. So I tried to add some links by way of seeing how the interface works for this and I couldn’t submit the links easily – the window corrupts in firefox. So after working out that the submit button was the tiny line to the bottom right of the window it became workable, had to be pixel perfect with the clicks but I’ve seen worse.

You then submit the post and you are asked to tag the posts. Simple to use drop down – not long enough and lacking in options for anyone who really wants good categorization but is useful enough for normal posts. The you can add your own tags – enter them into a text line input and separate these with commas which is usable enough.

Click on the publish button and your live.

You can’t add a blog roll, outputted code is weak

my.telegraph.co.uk – Good or Bad platform

For me its a weak platform for the new blogger who is looking to dive in for the first time. Its simple to sign up and is simple to create a basic post – embedding links in firefox is a bit of a nightmare but you cant have it all. The outputted text is not coded with search engines in mind – hx tags are used for formatting so the ranking possibilities are reduced. But all in all of you want a simple to use, effective blog, and use Internet Explorer have a go.

For me its not flexible enough and doesn’t allow me the control I want. Let me know your thoughts through the comments and I’ll re-blog about it.

Ebay has started being spammed with Madeleine Mccann stuff. For some reason everywhere has started to say that all money raised will go to the Madeleine McCann fund. Maybe I’ve just been working online too long but it seems reminiscent of the email spam that I always get about these sort of issues.

An exmaple can be found at:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2-Elton-John-Belfast-HAVE-U-SEEN-MADELEINE-McCANN_W0QQitemZ180116157996QQihZ008QQcategoryZ1306QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

These could all be truthful attempts to raise money but I find the whole idea of promoting any product under this banner hard to stomach. Inherently I find it hard to trust people who use this as a way to sell something even if the proceeds do go to a fund.

One of the best ways to promote your blog is to get links into it. I’m sure you know the importance of getting links for anything on the internet so I won’t bore you with it all again. Just now I am doing tests to a number of blogs in ways of getting links. I have split these into three categories:

Blog Directories

In essence you apply for a link and get an inclusion for

Blog roll Links

Where you get included within the blog roll of another blog. These can be:

  • Reciprocal
  • One Way

Natural Links from Content

As usual by providing good content you should get good links – at least thats the theory

Will post in a few weeks with the result of this experiment.

Today I was chatting with one of the guys at conSEOquences and was hearing about a study that they’d recently posted on to do with Hotel Booking Process. Equator Internet Marketing are conducting a study of these and are looking at hotel sites throughout the world in an effort to bring design, conversion and search engine rankings together to determine what is the best way to get a website that ranks to also convert visitors into sales and also have a design that allows for multiple uses by multiple user types. Its a tall order – with so many different designs out their, so many different styles of website etc. But it seems worthwhile.

Booking Process Articlis here.

Will keep you posted on the results of this when we can blag a copy 🙂

Google, Glossaries and Good Links

I love glossaries – I know that may sound a bit strange but they make my life easier. If I’m asked to optimise a site, especially a technical site, a glossary can help me effectively understand your products, the same is true when I want to buy something.

What is a website Glossary?

In essence a glossary is a huge section of your site that lists the terms that your consumers may not understand. A term may seem obvious to you but is it to your consumer. I had no idea what web compression was before I started writing about it. It took me an age to understand how it worked and what it would deliver to a client. In essence it makes your website appear on users computers faster by making files smaller. I know the name says this but it is the how I want to know – if I want a website to load faster I make images smaller and improve responses from my server by improving background coding.

You know more about your business than any SEO does

If you help us to help you your glossary not only helps users it helps search engines. By placing your keywords in the usual places:title, h1, body content you make something that will keep your site fresh. The by cross linking to related definitions you strengthen the pages in the glossary. If you then link these to internal pages talking about the concepts you discuss and back the way to help users can do a lot of good.

Where to find good examples of a glossary

  1. Oyster Web SEO Glossary – Nice little glossary from the boys at Oyster-Web (Where I used to work)
  2. SEO Glossary – Useful site dedicated to being an SEO Glossary