Saturday, November 18, 2017

Understanding Log Analysis for Technical SEO

Logfile analysis is fast becoming the new standard in solving technical SEO challenges. While this is not new, developers and marketers have been diving into server network device and system logs to see how search engines like Google are crawling their websites. However, most people without a development background find log analysis for technical SEO complicated.
If your on-page and technical SEO is poor, options to improve your SEO efforts are pretty limited. Technical SEO is crucial in helping you crawl, index and parse websites, thus ranking them appropriately even before any SEO marketing efforts come into play. Your log files hold the data that is 100% accurate in understanding how search engines are crawling your website.
Here’s what you should know about log analysis as a facet of technical SEO:

What are Log Files?

Network devices, computer servers, computer applications and operating systems automatically generate a log entry each time they perform any action. In an SEO concept, such actions could include whenever a page is visited by a human or bot. Log entries are programmed to be output, recorded and stored by the device, server, application or system in use.
Server logs are particularly important when it comes to technical SEO. An administrator can check server log files and identify the number of visitors, the number of requests on each page and usage patterns. Log files are usually generated automatically and can range from several to thousands of entries.  

How to Access Your Log Files

Different types of servers, systems, and applications store and manage their logs differently. To find, access and manage log entries or files, you have to follow the provided general guidelines for the specific type of device, application, system or server. Log data often provides detailed documentation of any activities that have taken place on a system at any given time.

What is Log Analysis?

Log analysis is simply the process of checking through your log files to understand something about the data. There are different reasons why you may want to do a log analysis. These include:
  • Network troubleshooting
  • Investigating server or system security issues
  • Gathering information for compliance matters
  • Checking for problematic bugs for development and quality assurance
  • Technical SEO - This is our main focus
It’s important to understand that log analysis is not performed regularly. It’s mainly done in response to something like a bug, an error, a malfunction or a hack that affects the normal functionality of a system, server or application.

How a Log Analysis is Done

According to a Syslog Tutorial by Stackify, log analysis is a critical part of monitoring network devices, servers, applications and computer systems. There are several ways that developers and marketers can conduct log analysis much easier when dealing with technical SEO or other context. The most common include using excel or proprietary tools such as application management tools, log management tools, message logging tools and application metrics.

Technical SEO Insights in Your Log Data

Whichever way you decide to use to understand your log data, there are various technical SEO issues that need to be addressed. For instance, a close look at your website’s log data will give you clear information about important technical SEO aspects like:
  • Bot crawl volume over a given period
  • Response code errors in your system
  • Temporary redirects
  • Crawl budget wastes on advertising landing pages
  • Duplicate URL crawling
  • Last crawl date for monitoring purposes
  • Real-time crawl budget monitoring

Conclusion


As you can see, log analysis is critically important in solving technical SEO issues. Log file analysis is the most powerful tool in your SEO toolkit. While you can achieve effective technical SEO without logs, with some sites, it’s necessary to look at log data to find a way around issues.
Also See:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Using Effective Calls to Action to Improve Social Conversions

Are you looking to generate sales, improve your online visibility, increase attendance at an event or capture leads through social media?


It’s a known fact that generating conversions from social media can be difficult.  People are generally not un Facebook for transactional purposes.  They go to Facebook and Twitter to connect with others, read news, to be entertained.  Yet smart marketers can learn to use strong calls to action to incite their audience into action.  In this article, we’ll discuss strategy to use effective calls to action to improve conversions from social media.

Create a Sense of Urgency


The effectiveness of a call to action on social media is partly determined by the word choice. To grab readers’ attention and persuade them to follow through, use action words such as “download” “click” and “contact” to make your intentions clear to followers. Calls to action should never leave followers guessing about what you’re asking them to do, so be straightforward.


It’s also important to use word choice to create a sense of urgency with your call to action. Emphasize limited time offers or the fact that time is running out to take advantage of an advertised discount. Don’t rely on just the text either! Use accompanying images to repeat your call to action and bold choice words that create urgency or use a different font to make these phrases stand out from the rest.
Focus on a Single Offer


Many calls to action are unsuccessful because the reader is not sure where to begin. For example, let’s say you have an upcoming event you would like your followers to attend. When you create the post, you give followers the option of calling a telephone number or visiting a website to register. Although this seems like it may be more effective because you’re giving options, it’s actually not.


Limit each promotion to one call to action. If you’d like, consider doing testing with two different promotions, one featuring the phone number and one featuring the website. See which one has a higher conversion rate and focus solely on that one with future posts.


Customize Calls to Action For Each Platform


Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all social media platforms, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s important to customize your calls to action for each platform that you are using so you can maximize conversions. For instance, Instagram is an image-based social media platform, so the call to action should be primarily in your photo. Placing “FREE” or “REGISTER TO WIN” in an image will certainly grab your followers’ attention as they scroll through their feeds.


On Facebook, brands should be taking advantage of the call to action buttons. Business pages can customize the call to action button that appears in their header photo so anyone who visits the page will see it. The call to action button on certain types of Facebook ads can also be customized, so don’t stick with the default option.


Twitter recently conducted a study to determine which calls to action were the most effective on their platform. The researchers found that asking for a retweet, follow, or reply were the most effective calls to action. Keep this in mind when planning how you will convert customers that find you on Twitter.


Lead Into It

A call to action should always come after copy that leads into the need to take action. For example, say you are trying to encourage followers to sign up for an upcoming event. Simply posting “Sign up today” alongside a photo of empty chairs will not be effective because there is no copy leading into the call to action. To make this post more effective, write a few sentences of copy that describe the event. Include the date and location of the event, along with a very brief description of what attendees should expect. Then, follow this copy with the call to action. Now that your followers know more about the event, their interest is piqued and the call to action will become more effective.


Make it Personal

A branded post or ad on social media can often feel impersonal, which is why it’s important to use words such as “you” or “your” when writing your call to action. For example, it’s better to use “Reserve your seat today” as a call to action instead of “Reserve a seat today.” Social media users are more likely to respond when they feel as if a brand is communicating with them one-on-one. Adding these words is a simple way to make it seem as if you are interacting directly with each person who sees your post, instead of communicating to the masses.
Determine your Buying Funnel


Brands should create a simple path from call to action to conversion to ensure a higher success rate. If followers must click through to fill out a form that ends up being excessively long, you’ll lose many potential customers that don’t have the time or patience for it.


Instead, use a lead generation form that can only takes a few minutes to complete, and allows you to capture customers’ information before they lose interest and leave the page. Be sure that the call to action is easy for people to complete, otherwise they simply won’t convert.
What’s in it for me?


People always want to know how a product or service being advertised will benefit them. Make it clear in your call to action by explicitly mentioning the benefits. Use phrases such as “Double your followers with this e-book” or “Get access to exclusive deals” to convey to people not just what you want them to do, but why they should do it, too.
The most important part of any marketing strategy is to test and analyze. Using these tips, write multiple social media posts with different calls to action and test how each one performs. Measure these tests using tools like Google Analytics and Truesocialmetrics.com  These tests will give you insight into how your specific audience responds to each, and will help you develop your strategy moving forward.

(This post is contributed by Nick Rojas

Also See:

3 Golden Rules of SEO
Segmented Digital Marketing 
App Store Optimization Guide
How to Identify Top Converting Channels Using GA