Top tools of web analytics, best blogging strategies and experts to follow for SEO issues
The blogpost is based on the interwiew Barry Schwartz taken by Anton Shulke during the Conference on Analytics and Usability organized by WebPromo.Expert.
Barry Schwartz has been listed #5 in Forbes’ “15 SEO gurus you should know for 2015.”
Top Tools of Web Analytics
Anton: Our conference is devoted to analytics and usability. What are your favorite tools on it?
Barry: I like Google Analytics. There’s no web master out there who wouldn’t. But in terms of analysis, outside of the Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics, and all various Google tools, I like to look at Search Matrix to see how seriously a large or small website was impacted by a certain Google algorithm. In most cases it pretty accurately tells you how a website, especially a large website, is doing – whether it improved or decreased over the time.
In terms of other tools I’m playing around. Similarweb is an Israeli company doing pretty cool job in terms of trying to measure not just search data and search traffic, but everything from social referral, including mobile apps, which is pretty nice tool. For looking at links and digging into what’s going on, I like to look at Majestic, Ahrefs, Moz, Open Site Explorer and stuff like that.
Tactics for Successful Blogging
A.: You project – SE Roundtable is one of the most important SEO blogs in the world. On the blog itself, do you measure any KPIs? Which analytics you would suggest for news site or blog?
B.: I primarily use Google Analytics. The KPIs that I look at are obviously traffic, i.e. Google traffic and overall traffic.
I look at referrals. I look at social engagement – are people sharing stuff, Twitting things? Those are very important matrix. The most important thing when it comes to a blog in terms of ad dollars is page views, and that’s a very important indicator. I like to look at whether people are engaging or not (social shares, comments).
A.: Besides having a great content and writing regularly, do you use any SEO tactics to get more subscribers?
B.: My tactic is really to give my readers something they haven’t heard before or an evidence of something they’ve heard before, but they’ve never seen anybody talking about it before. But in terms of small stuff, there’s lots of basic SEO stuff: title tags, how you word your content, etc.
Google, Bing and user behavior signals
A.: My next question is on Google, Bing, and user behavior signals. Do you think they actually check user behavior signals in algorithms?
B.: Google has gone on record several times that Google does not use user behavior, they do not look at click stuff, algorithm for linking purposes, they don’t look at Google Analytics. They say that sites with a good user experience – those that users like, visit them a lot, click around a lot – usually they are sites with great quality content. So, if a site has really great content that people want to engage with, it usually correlates to people being happy with the website.
SEO Experts to Follow
A.: Which forums and blogs would you recommend on web analytics and usability?
B.: Daniel Waisberg used to be a huge analytics guru and he still is. He now works for Google. He has a website online-behaviour.com. That’s a very-very good resource to learn Google Analytics and all the stuff around analytics. He also has links to a lot of other useful resources.
There’s a bunch of people I would follow on Twitter. Obviously it’s Danny Sullivan, John Mueller from Google, Greg Sterling – he’s more on the news end. I also like to follow Glenn Gabe; he covers a lot of stuff on social search. Those are the main players, but there’s so much out there on search that people could follow.
Major CEO changes in 2015
B.: I think, the greatest change that you’ll see towards the end of this year and beginning of next year is around apps and app indexing. I think in the SEO space you’re going to see a lot on how Google surfaces content from mobile apps on Android M and iOS9.
To my mind, the next frontier is still mobile, but it’s more to apps. I think, the next thing SEO should be really looking into is App Indexing and Deeplinking.
A.: Thank you very much, Barry, for your time.