Adding Users To Google Analytics

When engaging in a digital marketing service such as SEO or Google Ads, one of the first things you’ll be asked for is access to your Google Analytics account.

If you already have an account and unsure how to add users, or what permissions you should be giving them, here’s a step by step guide below.

Step 1: Logging Into Google Analytics

First, you need to be logged into the Google account that is connected with your Google Analytics account.

Either log in first and go to: https://analytics.google.com

Or go to https://analytics.google.com and log in from there.

Once you’re logged into the right account, you should see a dashboard that looks similar to this:


Step 2: Go To The Admin Panel

In the bottom left of your screen, there is a little cog icon with and the words “Admin”.

Click on that to go to the Admin Panel.

Once you’ve clicked on the Admin tab, you should see your Admin panel like so:

Step 3: Click User Management

You will see three different panels from left to right.

Account, Property and View.

Typically you will want to give access to the Property level at the bare minimum if you want a digital marketing provider to be able to do things such as link up your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account.

In this example, we’re going to provide access to the Account level (which is the highest level of access to the account).

If you wish to provide access at the Property or View level, just click “User Management” under the Property panel or the View panel, respectively.

The steps going forward are exactly the same, regardless of which level you’re providing access to.

Step 4: Click Add Users

Once you’ve clicked on User Management (regardless of whether it was under Account, Property or View), you will be greeted with this screen:

Now, there is a small blue circle in the top left with a white + on the middle.

We’re going to click on that:

And on the little drop down box, we’ll click on “Add Users”

Step 5: Choose Permissions

Once you’ve clicked Add Users, you will be greeted with this screen:

This is where we need to pay attention a little bit to ensure we’re giving the right level of access here.

In most cases, you want to tick the “Edit” and “Collaborate” boxes which will allow your digital marketing provider to perform all the tasks that they need to.

Warning: If you click on the “Manage Users” box, you are giving this new user the ability to add any other users that they like and allows them to remove users, including yourself.

“Manage Users” at the Account level should only really be provided to people within your own organisation and not to external providers as a security measure.

Some SEO companies may demand full admin access. They don’t need it.

If an SEO claims that they need to have full admin access to access Google Search Console, there are other methods that they can use to claim it.

Step 6: Add E-Mail Address

Once you have selected which permissions you would like to provide, go ahead and enter their e-mail address in the line towards the top.

Once you have entered the e-mail address, you just need to click the “Add” button to finalise everything.

The “Add” button is at the top right of your screen.

Providing that there is a Google account associated with that e-mail address, that’s everything that you need to do to provide access to Google Analytics!

Error: This E-Mail Doesn’t Match A User Account

If you have entered an e-mail address and the e-mail address is surrounded in a red box, it can mean either one of two things.

  1. The e-mail address you entered may have been wrong or have typos
  2. The e-mail address doesn’t have a Google account associated with it

If there is no Google account associated with the e-mail address, the user will have to sign up to Google using that e-mail address.

You don’t have to create a Gmail address to sign up to Google.

Even if you have a Hotmail or business e-mail account, you can still sign up to Google’s services with that e-mail address.

To sign up to a Google account with your existing e-mail address, follow the prompts to Sign In, Create An Account and then click here on the sign up page:

How To Submit Directory Listing For SEO

2019 has barely started, yet the predictions of Voice Search, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence pollute most marketing/advertising publications.

It’s amazing how much attention these things get by business owners, looking eagerly into the future whilst they’ve neglected the basics.

Those basics being their branding, their website, their online marketing, etc – which the vast majority of businesses here in Australia don’t have ironed out.

Yet they want to know more about these new technologies that are barely even around, let alone matured, advertiser-friendly medium ready to be capitalised on.

And much could be said for SEOs, always looking for the next big link-building hack that will send them flying up the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs) when they don’t have their link-building basics down-pat yet.

Back To Basics

Directory links are typically the first backlinks you will obtain either for yourself or for a client.

They’re the quickest and easiest way to build up some domain authority along with giving Google some consistent information regarding your business Name, Address and Phone number (commonly referred to as NAP information).

The thing is; no one seems to treat this initial phase with much respect.

As if it’s that annoying first task you have to get out of the way before you get to the “real backlink strategy”.

Done quickly and out of the way as quickly and with minimal effort as possible.

Directory Links Are Golden

Most of these ‘advanced backlink strategies’ used by agencies are Public Blog Networks (PBNs).

PBNs are basically websites that are devoted to creating content for the purpose of providing links to those willing to pay.

They’re not real websites. They’re not genuine references to your business. They’re not something that Google wants you to do.

Building directory backlinks, however, is always a safe and reliable source of links that Google will never punish you for.

Even before the purpose of directories became primarily for SEO purposes, every new business would go and list themselves in every free website that they could in order to increase their reach and exposure.

So, building as many directory listings as possible is highly encouraged.

But they need to be done right.

What Most Agencies Do

And look, I used to do this too.

They basically prepare 3 or 4 different variations of descriptions for ALL of the directories that they plan to submit to.

These descriptions would all be around 30-50 words long, which isn’t long enough.

But it used to work just fine.

And it was a more efficient use of time.

However, as time has gone past and Google’s algorithm continues to mature, I’ve noticed that directory listings just didn’t have the impact that they used to.

Until I tried something different…

Make the content all directory descriptions lengthier, with each listing’s content being completely unique.

A directory link like this one below on TrueLocal for PWA Electrical Services will never run foul of Google’s algorithm.

PWA Electrical Service Link on TrueLocal

This directory listing is filled out extensively with content that you won’t find on any other directory listing or on the PWA Electrical Services website.

Unique Content

Google hates duplicate content.

I’m sure you’ve done a search of some sort where you find yourself scrolling deeper into the search results, looking for something specific, and have seen this message in the SERP.

Omitted Search Results In Google

What lays beyond here is basically useless and discredited content, in Google’s eyes.

Which is where some of your directory listings will live if you’re going around, copying and pasting the same descriptions into all of the directories that you fill out.

In other words, if a directory listing of yours lives in they beyond (Google’s omitted results) then the link you’ve obtained from that directory listing is basically worthless.

This is why, despite working with an SEO agency, Advanced Plumbing and Gas in Brisbane didn’t have much luck strengthening their backlink profile when they had the same content across all of their directory listings.

You can tell this agency has at least tried as the content above is actually quite good. But as you will see in the listing shown below – the content has been copied and pasted in the next directory listing (among all the other listings that this agency built).

Despite having filled out a lot of directory listing, this agency wasted their time trying to fill it these directories out and wasted an opportunity for their client to capitalise on the full (or any) value of these directory listings.

It’s a shame. Simple mistakes like this are committed by even some of the biggest agencies and it costs results.

It would have been better (although still not ideal) if they had a significantly lower word-count in their directory listings but at least made them unique descriptions.

Content That Makes Sense

There is no quick and easy (lazy) way to produce unique content on your directory listings.

So tools like content-spinners are not recommended – unless you’re okay with your content being at this level of quality:

Poorly filled out business directory on Bloo

Believe it or not, Google can actually read what’s written in the description of your directory listings.

And if Google can read lengthy, unique and highly relevant content about your website, it’s going to be a far more relevant (and powerful) link back to your website than the gibberish shown in the listing above.

On-Page Relevance

Writing not just unique content but trying to write lengthy content is the key to supercharging these directory listings.

See, every page in Google has a “theme”.

It’s a way to roughly know what category this content sits in.

It’s how Google figures out if content is relevant to electricians, to plumbers, to lawyers and so on.

By default, any page on a directory listing is going to fall in the “business directory” theme.

But if you can really bulk out the content on your listing’s page, you’re going to end up making the majority of the content on that page more relevant to your business and your industry.

That makes the link a lot more relevant to your business.

Meaning that you’ll have more relevant, industry related links pointing to your site if you can fill these directory listings out properly.

A Big Time Investment

Yes, this will suck up a lot of your time filling out directories.

Especially if you’re not the writing type.

But the directory listings are your backlink profile’s concrete slab.

It doesn’t matter what quality of bricks, plaster or roof tiles you have on top of that concrete slab, if it’s not strong, the whole house isn’t going to hold up very well.

So, invest the time or pay a copywriter to come up with multiple variations of lengthy and unique directory listing content.

Because it will be one of the best investments that you make in your long-term SEO strategy.

As Always, Take Security Seriously

As with anything that you do online, you always need to consider your security.

A couple of things I typically do is:

  • Use a separate e-mail account specifically for link-building to avoid your regular e-mails being bombarded with spam
  • Ensure your link-building e-mail has a password that is different to your regular e-mail addresses
  • When registering to directories, have a separate password for each one

Unfortunately, some of these less reputable directory websites get hacked or taken over and the information on those profiles can become compromised.

And because people tend to use the same or similar passwords for everything, attackers are able to use those passwords to gain access to your other online assets, doing damage or holding them ransom.

Keep Everything Recorded

It’s always handy to keep a spreadsheet of every website that you’ve submitted your business to along with the username, passwords and description that you’ve used for that directory.

That way, if you ever need to go back in and update anything you’ve got everything on hand to make life easy for yourself.

Should You Give SEOs cPanel/FTP Access?

Once you have signed up with an SEO provider and they’re setting the SEO campaign up, it’s not uncommon for them to request access to your Web Hosting logins, cPanel logins or FTP (File Transfer Protocol) details.

It’s an expected request, as placing or editing certain files on your server is necessary. However, this is sensitive information that grants a great deal of control over your digital assets (including, in most cases, your business e-mail accounts) to your provider.

It’s a big ask, especially since you’re likely only just at the beginning of this relationship with your SEO. It’s the same level of crazy as cutting a house key for someone you’ve been seeing for a week.

Why Do SEOs Need cPanel/FTP Access?

The common reasons that SEO’s will need to access your cPanel or have FTP access is to place files on your server, these files are more often than not:

  • Google verification file to manage your website in Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools)
  • To edit you .htaccess file to create redirects or disallow bots from accessing certain pages of your website
  • To edit certain parts of the website that aren’t accessible through your Content Management System (CMS)

Typically, these are once off tasks that an SEO would need to do at the beginning of a campaign.

The Safest Approach

Every business who relies on their digital assets should have a relationship with a locally based IT professional.

It’s important to ensure these services are local so that they are held accountable by local consumer protection laws.

Because these the tasks where SEOs need your cPanel/FTP details are a once off; it’s best to have your SEO send these files to your IT provider who can then check the files and implement them on your server themselves.

Extra Tips For Your Digital Security

Ensure that you’re not giving more access to your SEO or digital marketing providers than is absolutely necessary.

A few ways to avoid the common mistakes that I often see clients making are:

Provide SEOs with their own login details for your website and not the main/administrator login details. Ensure that they don’t have access to edit core files such as the header/footers or function files.

Never give login details to your e-mail accounts, especially if they are connected with your domain name. Everything your digital marketing providers need access to (like Google Analytics or Google Ads) can be provided by inviting their e-mail address to the account as a manager (and not as an Owner).

Never give Manage Users access to Analytics. Giving Manage Users access means that they can add whoever they like and remove whoever they like from the account, including you. That historical data in Google Analytics is invaluable and you don’t want your account held ransom. Edit permissions is usually all an SEO provider needs.

Would These Measures Annoy My SEO?

More than likely.

Yes, it is far more convenient for us SEOs to have unrestricted access – it does make the job quicker and easier.

But ultimately, I’d respect any client’s wishes to ensure their digital assets are safe and as long as there are ways for me to complete the work, the inconvenience is far from unbearable.

Why Do You Need To Take These Measures?

Sadly, the digital marketing industry is highly unregulated.

That means the people who can call themselves digital marketing professionals are not required to achieve a certain level of education, credentials or adhere to any industry body before being able to pose as “experts”.

Some SEO companies have been known to put malicious code on client websites and even create additional entry points to the website, so they can still access it even if passwords have been changed or their logins removed.

This is done to ensure that the website starts to perform poorly if a client decides to leave, hoping that the client will return since there’s a clear correlation with leaving the SEO provider and things going bad.

I’ve even seen a client suddenly have problems with their e-mails after leaving their overseas provider as they had the client’s web hosting logins – it was a lot of work liaising with the hosting company to get all the passwords reset and to rectify everything.

Of course, these are worst-case scenarios. You do limit the potential of this happening with local providers, but it’s always good to ensure the security of your digital assets as they continue play a greater role in most business’ marketing communications.

Writing Extended Text Ads in AdWords

When extended texts ads first introduced a 2nd headline and one, longer description field, it was hard to know what to write.

Now, finally, after getting into the groove of writing enticing ad copy filled packed only with value propositions – Google drops another change to extended text ads.

The change?

We now have 3 headlines plus 2 full sized descriptions (not like the two half descriptions that kinda made one proper description like the old old ads).

*Sigh*

Look, it’s a good thing.

It’s more opportunity to communicate all of a business’ unique or competitive value propositions in the one ad.

But God, it has become harder to think of things to write in order to fill up all of the extra space these new formats provide, but also, coming up with a good number of variations to split test.

Although, I remember thinking the exact same thing when the first expanded text ads came out.

It’s something we’ll get used to.

Really, though, the most complex thing about these new extended text ads is figuring out what to call them, differentiating them from the old extended ad formats.

Google hasn’t even given these new formats a specific name…So, what are we supposed to call them?

New expanded text ads? Expanded texts ads v2? 3+2 ads?

First-World problem, I know.

I’ll just have to do my best to differentiate the two in this blog article.

Don’t Just Fill In The Gaps

Just as I’ve mentioned in my previous post about writing good ads for in Google:

You don’t have to sell what you do, they’ve already sold themselves on that by searching for what you do, you just have to sell them you!

The most important thing with writing ad copy is to ensure that everything you are writing conveys value over the business’ competitors.

So, that makes things very difficult when you’ve already got ads that fit all of your USPs (unique selling points) neatly squeezed in.

To write anything more feels like you’re just waffling on.

If that’s the case for you when writing in the new formats, waffling on in order to fill the second description up, my advice is don’t even bother with the new formats.

Value propositions > Real estate on the SERPs.

Quality over quantity.

Always.

A smaller, yet punchier ad is far more effective (and helpful to the search user) than a long-winded, space consuming pile of s***.

Just give the search users what’s important to them.

Nothing more.

The 3rd Headline

The 3rd headline is a bit of a pain as it often shows up on mobile devices, but not commonly on desktops.

Which makes it a pain to follow the whole “every word must be valuable” if that valuable message may not be seen.

My advice here is not to put your killer value propositions in the 3rd headline.

Because, if it doesn’t appear like you’re hoping it does, it could make the difference between that purchase-ready search user clicking on your ad or on someone else’s.

Luckily there are a few things you can do with your 3rd headline to maximise value but not hide important messages.

Add your brand name in. Because we often use the 1st headline to stuff a keyword in (to improve quality scores) and save the 2nd headline for our main value proposition, we don’t ever get the chance to brand our Google Ads (unless you think people take notice of the display URL).

And if you’ve been investing in branding exercises, like Absolute Cosmetic have, it’s a good way for search users to immediately recognise you, trust you and click on your ad over your lesser known competitors.

Showing Absolute Cosmetic's new extended text ads

Use the 3rd headline for your keyword stuffing. Since that 1st headline that we normally use for keywords is really valueless to the consumer, why not stuff it in the least valuable part of the ad?

Showing Cleanetic's new extended text ad with keyword in 3rd headline

Especially since the content of the 3rd headline still works towards the Ad Relevancy part of your Quality Score whether it is shown or not.

Or you can put a weaker call to action in the 3rd headline, like I’ve done for a local suburb ad for The Plumbing And Gas Guys with “Free Over The Phone Quote”.

New extended text ad for The Plumbing And Gas Guys

Remember, the 3rd headline and 2nd description sometimes don’t show.

So not only do we need to ensure that important messages don’t get lost but that the ads still make sense if the 3rd headline and 2nd description aren’t displayed.

The 2nd Description

First off, know that the 2nd description field is not compulsory.

If you’re just wanting to take advantage of the 3rd headline but not utilise the 2nd description, you can.

For the most part, I’ve been seeing the 2nd description appearing both on mobile and on desktop.

However, I have once seen the 2nd description being truncated.

And I’ve heard people complaining that the 2nd description isn’t being shown at all.

So, it’s a tough one.

Yet again we’re prioritising messages.

Whilst initially I thought the 2nd description was a pain in the backside, there is an opportunity here.

There has always been heads butted over branded messaging verses search messaging.

Us search advertisers are used to slamming multiple USPs within a very small space, so messaging has to be short and to the point and traditional marketers hate it.

Now, we can have the best of both Worlds with description 1 being filled with our Search style messages and we can fit the more long-winded, on-brand messaging into description 2.

And if description 2 doesn’t always appear…? Oh well! 😛

Be Careful Of Repetition

It looks pretty stupid when an ad repeats itself and this sometimes happens unintentionally with call-out extensions.

If you’re reworking your ads and filling in more space with more value propositions, make sure they’re not being repeated by these extensions.

It’s always better to use call-out extensions for non-essential messages such as:

  • Qualified and experienced
  • Plenty of parking
  • Always on-time
  • Fully insured

These types of messages are nice, but quite often it’s a given that a business would have these “advantages” and therefore not worth the space in your main ad copy.

Always save the main body copy for USPs (Unique Selling Propositions).

Especially since call-out extensions, sitelink extensions and highlights don’t always show up in the SERPs.

Don’t Kill Off Your Old Ads, Yet

Unlike our classic ads that had been around since the beginning of AdWords, Google isn’t planning on killing off our existing extended text ads.

(At least not yet).

So, keep at least some of your existing extended text ads live and split test them with your new extended text ads.

Your old ads have likely gone through revision after revision, surviving split test after split test and have come out on top.

It’s not smart to completely replace highly polished ads with a new ad format that we’re just getting used to writing with.

Sometimes, New Isn’t Better

I’m not sure if anyone else thinks this, but…

These new extended text ads looks like a big brick of text, especially when accompanied by multiple ad extensions.

Because, us advertisers are in the attention economy where everything needs to be snack-sized and easily consumed on the web.

And as a result, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the smaller extended text ads actually perform better.

Bidding On Competitor Brand Names In Adwords

Bidding on your competitor’s brand name is a great way to capitalise on traffic that you would never normally be exposed to.

Yes, bidding on competitors’ brand name perfectly okay/legal to do and it’s a strategy that I’d always highly recommend.

When done right, it’s a great source of cheap and highly qualified leads.

And there are some businesses that have just as much search volume for their brand name as your big-hitting non-branded keywords.

Just check out how many searches Orbit Fitness have for their brand name. It dwarfs some of the biggest geo-tagged fitness equipment related keywords.

Search numbers of Orbit Fitness verses non-branded searches

A lot of the time, the people behind these searches are hot, ready to buy customers who aren’t particularly loyal to the company that they’re searching for.

Think of it like how some people will still say that they will “Hoover” the floors (with their Dyson).

If you’re able to present a better deal or a competitive advantage over the business that you’re targeting, you can pull a lot of opportunity your way.

So, competitors’ brand names can be a valuable source for additional traffic, leads and sales. Especially if you’re not currently hitting your daily budget in AdWords.

However, when done wrong, it can waste your budget at best, and land you in some really hot (even legal) water at worst.

Don’t Use Other Brand Names In Ads

Target your competitors’ brand names as keywords, for sure.

But don’t actually write ads where you write their brand name in.

Never. Ever.

Firstly, in your own interest, you’re just going to fool search users who are just going to bounce straight off your website, running up your daily budget with very little return.

Secondly, it’s a real d*ck move. It’s not going to help you get on with everyone in your industry.

Thirdly, there’s always the potential of legal action.

Just steer clear of that “strategy” all together.

Don’t Use Dynamic Keyword Insertions

So (hopefully) you know not to use your competitors’ brand names in your AdWords ads.

But you could end up displaying a competitor’s name in your ad without meaning to.

Despite how sh*t they are, some people are still using Dynamic Keyword Insertions (DKI) in their ads.

(Okay, DKI has it’s place in some large e-Commerce websites. But for most businesses, it’s a lazy way to try to provide relevancy in their ads).

If you don’t know how DKI works, basically, when you’re writing your ads you can use the {Keyword:Example} command.

As long as the Search Term that a search users looks for (and matches with your ad) fits the character limit of your ad, the “Example” part will be replaced with the Search Term.

In the best case scenario, your ads will look pretty stupid like in this example below from Amazon, who would have written their Headline 1 like this:

“Shop {Keyword:Products} on Amazon”

Amazon ad bidding on Door Stop

The {Keyword:Prodcuts} has been replaced by my search term “door stop”, changing the Healine 1 to read:

“Shop Door stop on Amazon”

So you can see how in the worst scenario, one of your broad match keywords could end up matches with a competitor’s brand name.

And the Dynamic Keyword Insertion feature kicks in, displaying that competitor’s brand name loud and proud in your in your ad.

(Whilst I did manage to find an example of doing this, I thought it was best not to show the example and avoid calling someone’s business out).

Setting It Up Right

It’s always ideal to have a seperate Campaign for targeting your competitors.

Firstly, you can use your competitors’ brand names as negative keywords in your other campaigns so that they aren’t indirectly bidding on those terms through broad match keywords.

Then, in your Competitors Campaign, I would have a dedicated AdGroup for each competitor that you plan to target – making it easier to identify which competitor’s keywords are actually working for you.

Having a seperate budget for your Competitors Campaign is also a good way to ensure that your other Campaigns’ budget isn’t chewed up by this new one.

Writing Good Ads

Ensure you’re writing ads that boast a competitive advantage which your targeted competitor doesn’t have.

It’s also a good idea to ensure that your brand name (not your competitor’s) is very obviously stated in the ad copy.

Because if you don’t do that, the only identifier you have for your business is your URL (which a lot of people don’t always glance at).

A good example of an ad that is designed to be used with competitor’s brand names (without tricking or confusing anyone) is this one with Door Stop:

Door Stop Competitor Ads

Door Stop haven’t mentioned their competitor’s name in the ad.

And whilst the word “better” is used, it requires the search user to put two and two together, and doesn’t explicitly state who their quality and prices are better than.

There’s also the opportunity to be a bit cheeky if the competitor’s brand name can be used naturally in a sentence, like Himac Attachments in this example:

Himac Attachment competitor ad with pun

This one just about gets away with murder here as luckily this competitor’s name can be used naturally. The fact that the word “norm” wasn’t capitalised also helps.

If you want to have a bit of fun but don’t have the chance to perform some word play on your competitor’s brand name, you can try something like what The Plumbing And Gas Guys did:

The Plumbing And Gas Guys Targeting Pascoes

Or if you just want to play it safe, use an ad that you would typically use when bidding on your own brand name like so:

Himac Attachments generic ad on competitor keyword

Monitor Performance

Always ensure that you’re tracking conversions with your AdWords campaigns – such as phone calls and enquiry forms filled.

Monitor your Competitors Campaign and its AdGroups closely and ensure that you’re pulling in leads at a reasonable cost.

If things are starting to look expensive, try lower your bids, revise your ads to be more clear and/or look through the Search Terms report to see if there’s any keywords that are causing waste.

If, for whatever reason, you’re not seeing results from bidding on a particular competitor’s brand name – you may have to pause the AdGroup.

Don’t forget to segment data by device types when analysing, too.

Because there’s a chance that people searching on a mobile are looking for an address or phone number rather than researching.

So, you may get poorer results on mobile.

Or you may not.

That’s the beauty of AdWords.

Every Account is different so you’ll just have to see for yourself 🙂

The Favour May Be Returned

A potential downside to bidding on your competitors’ brand names are that your competitors might start bidding on your brand name too.

However, the risk is easy to weigh up- especially if your brand is relatively unknown and has very small search volumes in Google compared to your better known competitors with larger search volumes.

Dealing With Confrontation From Competitors

Even if you’re playing by the rules, some competitors may give you a phone call or an e-mail expressing their displeasure over your ads.

It’s always best in these situations to be able to compromise somewhat.

Ask what specifically about the ads is causing an issue and show that you’re happy to revise the ads to keep everything civil.

That way, despite the fact that you’re not taking your ads down, they may feel as if they at least got something from their effort. Especially since they’re likely worked up on making contact and adamant for a result of some sort.

Now, you’re not required to do that – but I genuinely believe it’s always better to just get along with your competition if you have the chance to.

Can I Stop People From Bidding On My Brand Name?

For displaying your brand name? Yes.

You can file a request to have your brand name recognised as a trademark in Google which prevents others’ from even creating ads.

But stopping them from bidding on your brand name as a keyword? No.

Google do not investigate or restrict trademarks as keywords.

So, there’s no way to stop it.

The best way that you can combat it is to ensure that you’re also bidding on your own brand name and price your competitors out so that it’s simply not profitable for them to do so.

Calling A Truce

I have one client where the cost per conversion from their own brand terms was around $20…which is far too much.

In scenarios like this, where it’s super expensive just to protect your own brand name; it may be worth calling a truce with your competitors.

Because brand bidding can be a retaliatory measure that can spiral out of control, if you’re paying too much to bid on your own brand, it’s likely that your competitors are too.

Since competitor bidding isn’t always the most profitable source (or largest source) of lead generation it may likely be in everyone’s interest to agree to add each other’s brands as negative keywords.

If this is the case with your business/client, the savings from your branded campaign could significantly outweigh the opportunity loss from bidding on competitor’s brand names in AdWords.

How Branding Impacts Search Advertising

It’s little wonder that so many businesses are abandoning traditional media in favour of search advertising like AdWords or SEO.

The return on investment on AdWords, for example, is quick and highly measurable.

But there is a danger in discontinuing or not engaging in branded advertising at all.

I work with a lot of different business from a range of different industries and over the time, you start to notice the difference between businesses who have, or still are, engaged in branding exercises and those who are not.

So you’re probably wondering someone like myself can see that difference – since I’m only operating in search advertising at the moment.

And it’s easy to see.

The Difference With Well-Branded Businesses

Firstly, a business who has been engaged in lengthy branding activity actually has a decent number of searches per month for their own brand name.

These are called branded searches.

When search users type in a branded keyword into Google, they already know what what and who they’re looking for. So, just because an AdWords ad is the traffic source that finally converts them – it’s far from meaning that AdWords was the cause of sale.

Secondly, these businesses have far better metrics in AdWords than those with practically zero or little brand equity.

These better metrics include:

  • Higher click through rates on ads
  • Higher conversion rates on the website
  • Lower cost per conversions

I’ve seen two dentists, who had the same number of clinics, spending the same amount of money and had very similar campaigns. One consistently converted leads at under $15 whilst the other converted at over $40 per lead.

The difference between the two is that the one that was getting the cheaper leads had a stronger brand identity from years of radio and print advertising.

It makes sense. When you search for a product or service you would be more likely to engage with a business that you’ve heard or seen before.

Resistance To Branded Activity

Whenever I recommend any forms of branding activity, I get a lot of resistance such as “we tried radio for a week and it did absolutely nothing” or “we put one ad in the paper and barely covered costs from the calls it generated”.

Branding, unlike search, isn’t an instant fix.

You’re building a relationship with your audience. And like any relationship – the longer you’re around each other and the more you invest, the more you’re going to get out of it.

A consistent branding campaign continues to build and solidify your brand, products and/or services in people’s minds.

Equally…once you’ve built up some brand equity and suddenly stop your branding activity – you’re not going to see an immediate drop.

This is why so many businesses felt no immediate repercussions when they pulled a lot of their traditional or branded advertising.

People don’t just forget overnight, but they do forget gradually over time…which is why some businesses feel like things are drying up after a year or two from pulling their traditional spend and pumping everything into digital.

The Risk Of A Weak Brand

Of course, even if you’re absolutely killing it from just AdWords at the moment…it’s very risky to have all of your eggs in one basket.

Especially since AdWords is a bidding system and if you get a flood of competitors entering the market your cost per click, and as a result your cost per acquisition, could go up considerable….

This has happened in a few industries where it simply isn’t viable for some businesses to advertise on AdWords anymore due to the leads costing so much where they’re barely covering costs or even working at a loss.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE AdWords and think it’s one of the best mediums out there…but there are just some external factors that you cannot fight.

Branded Activity Doesn’t Always Mean Traditional Advertising

So branding exercises is a good way to build your reputation in the market and further improve the metrics that you see in other advertising channels – such as AdWords.

But don’t think that you have to split your bank account wide open and dive straight into the paper, outdoor advertising or radio to participate.

There are cost effective methods of branded advertising that even the smallest of businesses can engage in.

Such as display advertising on the Google Display Network and Facebook or pre-rolls on YouTube.

A lot of brands that I’ve work with, such as Door Stop, have ceased traditional media like print advertising but it doesn’t mean they’re against branding exercises – they just can’t justify the high cost of those placements when there are much better value alternatives.

You Have To Commit To Building A Brand

Building a brand is not a quick fix or delivers immediate results, like AdWords.

You have to commit and be prepared not to see a return on investment immediately… continual exposure over a long period of time builds a strong brand.

And you need to continue branded activity even when you are seeing the benefits.

There is a reason why large brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola and HBF (to give a more local example) continue to appear on billboards, bus wraps, shopping centre banners and ad shells.

Measuring Branded Activity

It’s very difficult to near impossible to directly measure the impact of branded activity.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good indication, though.

One method I really like is to ensure that you have a branded campaign set up in AdWords with a separate budget that will cover 100% search impression share so that you can actively monitor the impression that they get and see if there is a build up over the months.

Another way is to see if you’ve seen a spike upwards in direct traffic or even in organic traffic with consideration to whether or not your rankings in Google have fluctuated or not.

How To Stop AdWords Automated Ad Suggestions

If you’re like most of the people I spoke to in the industry today, you may have received an e-mail from Google, skim read it and understood that Google are going to start providing recommendations for advert copy.

Lolz.

So, most people assumed this meant that there would be a heap of recommendations in the Opportunities tab just like there is with keywords at the moment.

But no.

As from the 29th of April 2018, Google will suggest these ads to you and if you don’t manually approve or disapprove them in 14 days, they’ll just go ahead and Enable them for you.

Seriously, look below.

Google Auto Ad Recommendation Email

Suddenly, not so funny.

Why Not Let Google Try?

Because writing good AdWords adverts that use up all of the real estate whilst being grammatically correct and appealing is a difficult task that most humans can’t get right.

Good ad copy requires thought and some level of strategy.

I heavily doubt that any of these ad suggestions that Google will algorithmically spin up would be any good at all.

Especially if it’s anything like how Google automatically populate meta descriptions for their organic listings.

In fact, here’s a perfect example of exactly how pointless these automated ads can become if you let them run free on your account.

Ad example taken from: Psyberware

“Leaf Blowers Are Powered By Electric Or Gasoline Motors.”

Well…I don’t know about you but I’m sold.

How To Stop These Ads Approving Themselves

Firstly, you need to get out of the good version of AdWords and enter the dreaded Beta zone (the new interface).

Step 1: Enter AdWords Beta

Step 2: Click on “ACCOUNTS” on the left panel then click “MANAGEMENT” on the top bar.

Stop Ad Suggestions 1

Step 3: Select all the accounts in your list and click “Edit” in the blue bar above.

Step 4: From the drop down box, click “Change ad suggestions settings”.

Stop Ad Suggestions 2

Step 5: Click the circle next to “Don’t automatically apply suggestions”.

Step 6: Click “APPLY”.

Stop Ad Suggestions 3

And there you go!

You don’t need to provide any reasons or comments, that’s all optional.

Provided Google don’t sneak any other changes on us before the 29th of April, we shouldn’t have a problem with auto-generated ads populating our AdGroups.

Keep in mind that this only stops automated ad suggestions the accounts you have right now.

Any accounts you create in the future will, by default, have automated ad suggestions turned on.

So, each time you create an account from now on, make sure that you go into its settings and switch off automated ad suggestions.

UPDATE: It’s not a bad idea to periodically check that all of your accounts have automated ad suggestions turned off as I’ve just been told by another agency owner that found some accounts having auto ads turned on despite previously turning them off.

Why Does SEO Take So Long?

Think of this – you’re driving on the freeway and you want to be ahead of someone that left an hour before you.

They’re already up to their maximum speed of 100km/h and are miles in front.

So, not only do you have to catch up to the speed that they’re doing, but also go a little bit faster.

Now wait, before you go pedal to the metal, remember that you can’t get caught by the Police!

*WOOP* *WOOP*

They’ll pull you up straight away if they catch you screaming down the freeway at 200km/h.

That’s basically your situation in Google when you’re trying to climb in Organic rankings.

Ranking in Google genuinely takes time.

It’s not just a line that all SEO companies use to try and bleed you out over time.

Even if you’re doing awesome work, there’s a few things that will prevent you from a meteoric rise to the top of the G-pile.

Quality Of SEO Work

Obviously, the quality of SEO work performed on your website is going to be a major factor between how quick and effective your SEO is going to be.

And for most business owners, being able to tell whether or not they’re getting quality SEO is a challenge.

Especially since most SEO agencies are pretty keen to keep their “formula” a secret. 

Explaining what quality SEO work is is another series of blog posts on its own.

But basically, you need to ensure that your provider is optimising and adding content on your website (on-page work), and building good quality links to your website (off-page work).

If you’re looking for more posts relating to quality SEO work, you can look at the following articles:

Yet, even with quality work, SEO can still genuinely take time.

Below are a few contributing factors that are often outside of all SEO’s control.

Domain Age

Ever had a new guy come into the workplace and act as if he’s been a part of the team for years almost immediately?

Yeah, no one likes that guy.

And neither does Google.

If your domain has only just been registered and you’ve whacked a website on there, don’t expect the same respect as the old timers who have some solid history behind them.

At least not straight away, anyway.

There is typically a sandbox period that Google gives websites that can last anywhere from a month to a few months.

Your Industry

There are some industries where the level of investment to SEO is so low that ranking a website within a month (with exception to the “sandbox” mentioned in Domain Age) is actually a real possibility.

Then there are industries like law, where firms are throwing money around to get to the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and ranking for major keywords can take a full year or more depending on how aggressive the competition is.

It took me just over a year to get WA Legal to rank ahead of some big names for the term “lawyers perth”.

Search results for "lawyers perth" on Google

Results Get Slower Over Time

Going back to our freeway analogy again, if we’re driving at 105km/h; we’re going to overtake the plebs travelling at 90km/h in the loser lane pretty quickly.

That means if your website is on page 10 when you start doing SEO then you’re likely to feel the NOS kick in as you scream up to page 4.

But you’re not going to keep passing cars at that pace because the cars that are ahead of the pack you just passed aren’t travelling at 90, those guys are cruising along at 100.

Provided you maintain your speed, you’ll get past them. It will just take longer to catch up and overtake.

Suddenly you’re on page 1…

Now you’re trying to overtake the cars that are doing 104km.

Slowly, but surely, you hit the middle of page 1.

Now here’s where things get tricky.

The cars in front are going the same speed as you are, fluctuating under and over by a km/h either side.

It will feel like you’re making no progress at all at point.

Then suddenly you’ll overtake someone, getting from position 4 to position 3.

Then you may see yourself slipping back down to position 4.

Then back up to position 3 again.

I think by now you get where I’m going with this. The higher you are, the tougher the competition is going to be and it will feel like the results are ‘tapering off’.

Using PWA Electrical Services as an example, you can see how within a month they’ve come from absolutely nowhere on some of their keywords to being on the first and second page for electrical keywords in their key service suburbs.

Rankings for PWA Electrical Services

These results will improve, but it will start moving slower now that we’ve had this massive jump from the easy wins in the initial rounds of optimisation.

Googlebot

Every time you search Google, you’re not actually doing a live search of the Internet.

You’re actually looking at Google’s library of website that it has discovered on its search.

And Google searches the web using Googlebot.

Googlebot is the little search engine spider that crawls the web, archiving everything, understanding everything and registering which sites are linking to other sites.

Despite Google being our all-powerful Lord who is everywhere at all times, it does actually take time before it can get to read everything.

So that means if you’ve built a backlink on a directory, for example, it could take a couple of days, weeks or even months before Google eventually finds that link to your site.

And even when it finds the link, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Google has started using that link to contribute to your overall score.

This is why there are cases of businesses leaving their SEO provider to find that their rankings are still increasing anyway.

It’s not that the SEO provider wasn’t doing anything and that your website magically rises on its own – it’s just the work that was done ‘however long ago’ getting noticed and rewarded by Google.

When Lavish Limousines’ previous domain was burnt and we had to create a brand-new domain with no redirects in place.

So that we didn’t carry over the bad link profile that got them penalised in the first place over to the new site (which is what would happen if we did a 301 redirect from the old site to the new site).

I had to go and update every single one of their directories and profiles with the new URL.

And it took Google MONTHS before it re-crawled some of those pages.

I knew this because you can see the latest version of a webpage that has been cached by Google.

Cached view of directory listing

Clicking the down arrow next to the backlink page’s URL on Google’s search results page will reveal the current version of the page Google has stored.

Frustrating, I know, but it’s beyond the control of any SEO.

Trial And Error

Copywriting with the aim to please Google can be painful sometimes.

And this issue is down, again, to Googlebot.

Even when you make a small change to a meta title, submit the change to Google and wait to see what that does to your rankings…and then wait a bit more to see how things stabilize…it takes time.

Google doesn’t like being fooled and it will often not immediately reward sites that hit the right buttons.

So again, even if you’re are intensely trying new variations of copy, meta titles and headlines you have to sit and wait to see what results those changes have actually made before revising what was done and trying again with other variations/improvements.

No One Actually Knows How Google’s Algorithm Works

That’s not to say that SEO’s don’t know what they’re doing.

Most experienced SEOs know a range of different strategies that helps increase websites’ rankings in Google.

But nobody actually knows Google’s exact formula and everything that Google looks for in a #1 website.

That even includes Google themselves.

So, there is always trial and error going on with each and every website to try and squeeze those extra few positions up the SERPs.

Real World Activity

If a business is getting mentioned in news sites for achievements, partnerships or anything else and getting links back from those sites, it is going to be a hell of a lot easier to rank compared to a business that’s getting zero love from the press.

I’ve come across businesses sitting on a Gold mine of a backlink profile and they never even knew it.

They had links from major local news websites, industry publications, .gov.wa.au domains – the jackpot!

All I had to do was tweak their meta titles and heading tags and boom!

1st position overnight and their competition don’t have any hope of catching up for a very long time.

And even if there isn’t a flurry of high value backlinks heading to the website – a well branded and known business will always attract higher Click Through Rates in the SERPs and will likely engage users on site for longer due to the higher trust factors.

If you’re one of these businesses, lucky you.

But if you’re against a business like this…well…best of luck!

The Naughty Ones

This is probably the most frustrating thing about SEO.

There are certain ways of optimising a website that are not recommended.

In fact, they will get you penalised by Google…

…in theory.

Somehow though there are countless website that are enjoying being at the summit of Google’s SERPs despite having a dangerous amount of spammy links pointing towards their website.

This is where any reasonable person would question their SEO provider as to why they can’t replicate the same results and if they’re talking nonsense about this whole Google penalising spam stuff.

Jumping back into our car analogy – we all know that one guy who is always speeding down every road yet somehow never gets caught.

Yet that one time when you start venturing over the speed limit, without meaning to…

FLASH!

“****!”

And that’s pretty much how Google works and why some websites just seem to get away with murder.

Don’t be tempted to go down that road.

Wait things out because Google is getting smarter every single time they update their algorithm which is happening more and more frequently.

Algorithm Updates

They way Google crawls website, finds links, brings all the information together and credits website isn’t perfect and Google knows that.

Google are always trying to improve their algorithm to reward the good websites and punish those who are trying to take advantage.

If your website is being optimised in the way that Google likes, you will be rewarded every time one of these algorithm updates rolls out.

But as with everything mentioned in this article; it all takes time.

How Long Should Blog Posts Be For SEO

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

And coincidentally there’s also more than one way to write a blog too.

It really depends on what you plan to do with each blog article and what you hope to achieve.

In this blog post, we’re going to focus on the cheap and cheerful method of getting traffic for your blog posts.

Which is by ranking it in Google and capitalising on free organic traffic.

The short answer to how long your posts should be? As long as you can possibly make it whilst remaining relevant, helpful and insightful or entertaining.

But just writing about anything and everything in your blog isn’t going to magically get you that free traffic.

First, you need to plan your attack.

And the first move you want to make is deciding what it is exactly that you want to write about.

You need to know that people are actually asking the questions that you’re answering in your blog post.

Because if no one is searching in Google for your blog post, it may as well be invisible (for this approach, anyway).

How To Pick Your Topics

First things first.

Don’t use your blog to target your main keywords.

It’s pointless.

I see a lot of companies over here making blog posts called “Website Design Perth” or “Why You Need A Website Designer Perth”.

It doesn’t work for ranking your website for main keywords and it doesn’t do anything on your blog to provide anything useful or make you look like an authority in your industry.

Your blog is an opportunity to capture searches that you normally couldn’t on the standard pages of your website.

Visa Solutions Australia have done extremely well in targeting search queries with their blog posts and not only capitalising on the free traffic that answering those questions have generating but it also results in booked appointments.

Just two of their examples is a write up for the search queries:

These two posts pull in a lot of traffic to the website.

And best of all, they pull in enquiries that result in appointments and work.

On top of that, all of the extra activity in Google’s search engine results page and the awesome user metrics that come with having a helpful and engaging blog has done wonders for their overall rankings site-wide.

There are countless questions about your industry/trade being asked in Google every single day and for many of those search queries, there aren’t many good guides/articles for people to find. That’s an opportunity for you to fill that void.

Most Of My Traffic Is Through My Blog

I’ve made content work for the Doyle Digital website too.

If you look at this Last 30 days snapshot of my Organic traffic, you can see that more people land on blog posts than they do on my homepage, SEO page and AdWords page combined.

Doyle Digital Landing Pages

My most popular page, by far, is my post about click fraud which even ClickCease picked up on.

You’ll notice that all of this content is attracting people to my website because it actually helps people out and answers the questions that they asked through their Google search.

Your Post’s Topic & Identifying Potential

I was recently working on my Best Position In AdWords post, trying to make it a bit longer to boost its on-page value and its rankings in Google.

I thought to myself “I wonder if most people know how to do this”.

Then I thought “How many people even ask this question?”

And that’s when I turned to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

Using the Keyword Planner in Google to see search volume for topics around how long a blog post should be

Bingo!

At least 70 searches per month for the exact search query of “how long should a blog post be”.

And there’s likely to be heaps more for very similar searches that I can rank for at the same time.

So now I know what I want to write about, let’s see how I need to go about writing it so I can crack that sweet first page on Google for that term.

Checking Out The Competition

Let’s see who I’m up against for this target then!

The reason this step is important is because from here, you learn what the benchmark for a good ranking post/article is and what you need to do to provide something better.

Whilst some industries will compete just fine with 300-400 word blog posts (like in our example before), this whole SEO industry is fairly competitive as you could imagine.

So I suspect the competition is going to be a bit stiff and will require a fair bit of effort on my part.

Okay then!  We’ll do a quick search for “how long should blog posts be” in Google and check out the top four websites for this exercise.

Google search results for how long should a blog post be

Yoast has around 660 words for their position 1 listing.

The Write Practice has roughly a whopping 1,200 words for their 2nd place listing.

Sword And The Script has about 1,150 words for their 3rd place listing.

Forbes is coming in at around 1,100 words too.

You can see the similarities here with the exception of Yoast, which is ranking first despite only having half of the word count as the other 3 listings.

The thing is, Yoast  is a hugely popular SEO tool for WordPress and has a monster backlink profile.

If I want to compete, I’m either going to have to match the backlink profile of Yoast, or I have to smash that ~1,200 word count.

So I’ll aim to make this blog post around 1,600 words in order to have a really good crack at one of those tops spots.

I don’t know about you, but I think the word count route is going to be far easier, cheaper and more effective for a solo operator like myself.

Of course, I’m oversimplifying a whole bunch of ranking factors in Google and quality of SEO copywriting over sheer quantity, but I don’t want to stray too far off the “how long should a blog post be” topic 🙂

How Can You Write So Much About One Topic?

Easy!

Because this is about my industry and I know what I’m talking about.

And chances are, you have the same level of knowledge about your own industry and are capable of writing equally long blog posts.

It can be painful at first, but it’s always best to write these blog posts yourself or at least put the meaningful insights down and then let a copywriter elaborate to get the word count up for you.

Because expecting a copywriter to do eve an average write up on “How To Install A TV Antenna” when s/he has never installed an antenna before in their life is just unrealistic.

Give Good Information Away, For Free

Yes, seriously.

Because average content, no matter how well written isn’t going to get your backlinks, shares, business or even decent time on site.

So give some value away.

Think of it like this.

People pay you for your skills and expertise and because they don’t have the time to do or learn what you do.

So giving golden information in your blog isn’t going to lose you any business.

Its like how anyone can paint their own home, it’s hardly the most complex thing on the planet.

Yet painters, like our friends at Allure Painting, still seem to business and making a good living from it too.

The people who are going to do things themselves are going to do it themselves.

If they’re going to search for how they should do something, then they may as well learn it from your website so that you at least gain something from it.

Even this information that you’re reading right now is me giving away knowledge for free.

(You’re welcome, by the way).

What do I get out of this?

Well, you’re still here, reading my post and improving the user metrics on my website.

So, thanks!

How Often Should I Be Blogging?

It really doesn’t matter.

I know everyone has read that “Google loves fresh content” somewhere at least once.

I even get some marketing managers arguing with me about this.

But how often do you Google something and a post or article from years ago still towers over the newer and “fresher” posts?

Even when we scoped out the competition for this blog post – notice how Yoast’s post from August, 2016 towered above all the other listings that were written earlier in 2017?

And the article from Forbes was published all the way back in 2014, yet it still holds its own in the top half of page one for that key phrase.

The point here is that the content is what matters.

So however long it takes you to put out something that’s well though out, properly laid out and contains information that search users will actually care about and value – that’s how often you should post.

It’s way better to have just one of these mammoth 1,000+ word posts that actually does something for your website than having ten 300 word posts that you’ve put on every Friday without fail.

Remember that Google is a search engine with an aim to serve up the most useful and relevant piece of information in regard to you search query – not the most recent.

How Did This Post Do?

Well, I’m hoping that you found this article through a search in Google, so you’ll know that answer for yourself.

But for those who have come through other sources, here’s a quick report for where this post currently sits for a couple of competitive keywords.

How Long Should Blog Posts Be:

Google Search Page For How Long Should Blog Posts Be

How Long Should Blog Posts Be For SEO:

Google Results Page For How Long Should Blog Posts Be For SEO

Considering that my domain strength isn’t anywhere near those above or close beneath, even, I’ve achieved a pretty good result here just from having 1,600+ words.

Of course, it does help that the content here is informative and useful.

If content is unhelpful and Google sees search users jumping straight back to the SERPs from your site, it’s a sign to demote your article.

How To Track Phone Number Clicks On Your Website

OnClick Script Below Updated To Work With Global Site Tag (gtag.js)

I’m always encouraging clients to get onto phone call tracking so that we can see exactly where there calls are coming from.

The problem is that proper call tracking incurs a monthly cost.

And if you’re not running AdWords, you won’t be able to take advantage of Google AdWords’ dynamic call tracking service.

So for those looking for a budget alternative, you can always make do by tracking how many times the phone number link gets clicked/touched on a website.

Limited Trackability

This should fall under common sense… but I’ll say it anyway.

You’ll only get proper insights into phone calls from mobile users.

The reason being is that only someone using a mobile has the ability to click on a phone number and make a call instantly.

When people are using desktops, they’re not clicking their mouse on the phone number to make a phone call.

If you are using Google’s Call Tracking service with AdWords – I recommend not importing this goal into your AdWords panel, as it will cause some doubling up of data.

Plus, sometimes a click doesn’t always result in a call. Proper call tracking is always more reliable and tracking clicks.

The Tracking Code

Go into your website and insert this script where your telephone number is.

Replace INSERT_NUMBER with your/your clients telephone number.

Typically, you would find this in your header file. Although some CMS’, such as WordPress, will allow you to edit it more easily in the dashboard.

<a href=”tel:INSERT_NUMBERonclick=”gtag(‘event’, ‘clicks’, { event_category: ‘Phone Number’, event_action: ‘Clicked’});” class=”cont_no”>INSERT_NUMBER</a>

Update your file/theme options.

Now go check the website and make sure the number looks okay and that no code or strange characters are being displayed where the number should be.

Here’s an example of the exact same code being utilised for the Able Removals website.

This one was quite straight forward, replacing their existing tel: link in their header.php file with our code above.

Onlick Script in Able Removals Header

Old Universal Analytics Code

In case you’re still rocking the older implementations of Google Analytics, I thought I’d leave the old variation of the code on here, rather than removing is as I updated this article.

The code is as follows:

<a href=”tel:INSERT_NUMBER” onclick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Phone Number’, ‘Clicked’);” class=”cont_no”>INSERT_NUMBER</a>

Below is the header.php file in the Mad Cow Entertainment WordPress website which is found through the left hand menu under Appearance>Editor.

Once you’re in the header.php file, you can search for “tel:” which will usually take you straight to the relevant piece of code.

Search on Windows with Ctrl+F and on Mac it’s Command+F.

Mad Cow tel code

There are other times where editing the phone number code is a bit difficult because it’s pulling data from another part of the CMS.

For scenarios like below with CRFWA, you have to play around with the code a bit until you can make it work.

CRFWA Phone Link Tracking

The phone no href section in their Theme Options is there to wrap whatever we INPUT into this field with “tel:INPUT”

The INSERT_NUMBER section of our code is also taken care of by the phoneno field.

That is why there is no <a href=”tel: at the beginning of that code and no “>INSERT_NUMBER</a> at the end of it.

Basically, we took the tracking code example and just removed what was already there like so:

<a href=tel:”0892494889″ onclick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘Phone Number’, ‘Clicked’);” class=”cont_no“>INSERT_NUMBER</a>

Create The Phone Link Goal In Google Analytics

So we’ve taught the website how to tell us there has been a click on the phone number.

Now we need to teach Google Analytics how to hear it.

So to do that, let’s head over to Admin>Goals.

Create a goal and name it Phone Link Clicked or something similar.

Then, select our goal type as an Event.

Now, this is where we have to be EXACT, you can’t vary these inputs at all because they have to match up with our tracking code EXACTLY.

In Category, insert: Phone Number

In Action, insert: Clicked

You can leave Label and Value blank

Phone Link Analytics Setup

Testing The Phone Link Goal

We should be good to go.

But as always when you’re setting up goals, you need to test them to make sure everything is working okay.

So now we’re going to go over to our reporting section of Google Analytics and click on Real Time>Conversions.

Real Time Conversions Link

Now, in another tab, let’s go onto our website and click on the phone number.

Switch back to your Real Time>Conversions tab in your browser and check that the conversion has come through. There can be a good few seconds delay so be patient. You don’t have to click refresh.

Phone Link Conversion Real Time

If you’re seeing the same thing I’m seeing, then congratulations! You’ve successfully set up phone link tracking in Google Analytics.

Did this work for you? Has this improved the trackability of your or your client’s website? Got more questions? Get involved in the comments below!