Embedding Google News into Your Layout

Google is always coming out with some great web site enhancements.  One new tool they are providing for free, for any webmaster out there to use is the NewsShow Wizard.  It allows you to embed your own Google News widget into your web site on any topic you might have in mind.

All you need to do is step through the wizard, customizing your news as you want it to be seen on your web site.  You can pick from a 728×90 leader board or a 300×250 medium square to display the news from. 

So take a look at this if you need something to replace that white space in your web site’s side bar or if you just want a little more interactivity on your web site.

Posted in SOE

Linking Analytics to your Adwords Account and trouble shooting auto-tagging

I have had some problems in the past in linking Google AdWords and Analytics.

There are two steps to ensure that AdWords and Anayltics are linked :

(1) In your AdWords account, go to My Account > Account Preferrences.  Click the ‘edit’ link next to Tracking.  Select the box that says ‘Destination URL Auto-tracking” and click Save Changes.

(2) Still in your AdWords account, click the analytics tab and choose to ‘Apply Cost Data” and select Save Changes.

With Auto Taging enabled and wehn someone clicks on your AdWord advert, the browser is redirected to your landing page with an additional parameter (gclid) added on to the url of your

landing page as follows :

http://www.mysite.com/landingpage.htm?gclid=C0vh48787CeEukef34

It is this additional parameter that identifies vistors as coming from AdWords “google(cpc)” as apposed to organic “google(organic)”.  The correct google cookie is then placed on to the

visitor machine.  When a customer clicks on your AdWord, and then lands on your conversion page, you should see that that within the google(cpc) displays. 

The key point is : Google Analytics cannot tell if the visitor came from an AdWords click if the gclid parameter is missing on the page that the user eventually lands on.

The key is to test whether your landing page retains the gclid parameter and this can be easily done as follows :

1. Take your destination URL (eg http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.html) and paste it into your browser’s location bar (where you usually type in a web address)
2. Add a test parameter on to the end of the URL.  If your URL does not already have parameters in it, append ?gclid=test.  If there are already parameters, append &gclid=test on to the end.  (For example, http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.html becomes http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.html?gclid=test; and http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.html?myval=1 becomes)

http://www.yoursite.com/landing_page.html?myval=1&gclid=test
3. Press enter
4. Your browser will take you to your landing page.  Be mindful of redirects, especially if you are tracking with Doubleclick, Atlas, etc tags.
5. Is the gclid=test parameter still visible in your browser’s location bar?
If yes, then auto-tgging should come through onto your landing page (providing that you have enabled auto-tagging on your account of course).

If no, there is most likely an intermediate redirect that is stripping out the gclid parameter.

   1. First – change your destination URL to the ultimate page that the visitor lands on, thus bypassing any redirects
   2. Configure your server so that the gclid parameter is passed along in the redirect

Other possible problems are that users are landing on a 404 error page, or that your landing page does not have the required google Anaytics Javascript code located on it.

Posted in SOE

Placing Google Anayltics Javascript code into the template system of PHP-eSeller

If you want to track the PHP-eSeller template driven shopping cart pages using Google Anaytic Javascript code then the best place for the code is in the file ‘footer.htm’ which is located in the /templates/ folder.

Just make sure that the Javascript code goes between the <patTemplate:tmpl name=”footer”> and </patTemplate:tmpl> and not outsite of those tags.

You should be able to test it by just looking at the source of the shopping cart web page when you display it in the browser.  You should see the Javascript code somewhere near the bottom of the page.

Google releases Keyword Tool External with accurate search traffic numbers

Google has released its new Keyword Tool which generates accurate traffic data for keyword terms. See :

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

With the new Google tool you can search for any keyword or keyword phrase and see the estimated traffic.

The first column shows Advertiser Competition. The bar graph represents the number of advertisers that are bidding on each of the keyword phrase in you results. From this you can determine quickly whether a PPC Adwords campaign will require a high bid price and large budget.

Posted in SOE

Tracking downloads made from your site

If you wish to track downloads or individual clicks on files such as pdf, or word files you can do so using Google analytics.

Adding a small piece of JavaScript to any link will tell Google to track when someone clicks on that link. This works for pdfs, Word documents, email addresses and external links.

It also works if you want to see which two links on the same page are generating more clicks. Even though they go to the same URL, you can tag one link as ‘link one’ and the other as ‘link two’ and Google will track the clicks separately for you.

If you have a WordPress blog, you can instantly tag all links across your blog with the Ultimate Google Analytics plugin. (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ultimate-google-analytics/)

A full description on adding the Javascript code to your web page can be found at http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=55529 when you are using the latest version of the tracking code.  If you are using the older of the tracking code version then refer to http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?answer=74985

Posted in SOE

Title tags and keywords

The title tags of a web page appear to be very important for all search engines.  For each web page create a different title tag that reflects its content but also contains keywords applicable to that page.  Search engines use the title tag as the main link to the page and hence it should contain words that reflect the content.

First write you web page which will contain key phrases.  It is usually better to do this before you look at the critical title tag content.  Once completed, you can write a well defined title line.  However, don’t be tempted to just copy a line of text form the web page, try to create a unique title of up to 10 words.

Blog software like WordPress can make things difficult in that they create the title tag for you out of various combinations of text strings made from the site name, the cateogry or the item title.  To overcome this with WordPress you can use the free SOE Title Tag plug in by Stephan Spencer.  This enables you to create your own title tags and make the pages more search engine friendly.

This can be downloaded at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/seo-title-tag/ and includes full description and installation.

PHP-eSeller is able to set the title tag of each dynamic shopping cart web page together with a meta description.

Posted in SOE