Episode 1 – Google Analytics 4, Q&A

In our first episode, Andy answers questions about Google Analytics 4: Why Google ‘Killed’ Universal Analytics, What this means for Website Owners, How Long you have to move, can you move data, and what process is being advised.

If you are wondering if this is the end for Google Analytics and what the alternatives may be (because GA4 may not suit you moving forward), Andy has written this article – Andy will also be talking about it next week!

Wondering if Google Analytics is dead, find out more here.


What are the Free (and Paid) Analytics Alternatives?

You may have been living under a rock, as a digital marketer, for the last few weeks and missed the “news” that Google Analytics finally gave Universal Analytics a depreciation date (or two to be precise, one for free users and one for 360 users).

So if you are tempted to look at alternatives what are the options

As an example, on Sanctuary Foundation, a website I am proud to be part of, which is helping to help Ukrainian refugees get to the UK and assist them in the UK. The Sanctuary Foundation utilises FREE Matomo analytics, this is amongst the most customisable solutions for analytics, has some of the most strict privacy features and yet can be the most feature rich.

Another well used analytics solution, with a FREE core, is PIWIK. It is GDPR compliant out of the gate but can also be used in compliance with any consent manager you may have on your website, it can be used with Google Tag Manager and has a great API integration platform too (including for tools such as Power BI).

There are of course paid versions of the above analytics solutions too, and that brings us to the next analytics solution.

Oribi, is a great analytics solution which is built with funnels in mind. It is ideal for businesses and ecommerce in mind. It isn’t for your everyday website however. The cost is based on the number of monthly visitors you have (visits not pageviews), you get a discount is you pay annually.

My final analytics solution, isn’t one I often recommend. However, if you are an Enterprise business with a large audience then Adobe Analytics may well be the solution for you. However, I need to be clear, the data when compared to Google Analytics isn’t going to match and you need to be prepared for that. You also need to be prepared for a mismatch of naming practices of Adobe and GA. However, the data is accurate, and as with all the systems mentioned its feature rich, privacy focused and works amazingly well. Adobe Analytics is perhaps the most expensive platform I recommend (that isn’t GA360) and honestly, it is worth it if you need it — but you need a big audience to make it work.

(Read my full article on Find The Gaps on Medium)

local seo

Hyperlocal SEO Tips

Hyperlocal SEO can combine ultra-specific keywords, on-site website optimisation, and other methods to help you increase traffic from the community you want to target.

A great example of this is a barber shop or hair dresser serving a targeted community, a radius of perhaps a few miles from their location(s).

Of course, a barber shop is a pretty tight geographic target, however a large brand’s store in a city centre may target a larger area, or indeed a warehouse type store (Ikea or DIY store) may target a whole city-region. Hyper-local depends, in this case, on the type of store.

For all businesses thinking local is more important than ever, with 66% of shoppers indicating they are looking to shop local.

Google Study – 2020

Local SEO Tips for 2021

1 – Understand Your Keywords

Understand your local SEO terms / how people find your business and businesses like yours in search.

Finding the best keywords for a limited area can be a bit tricky. One thing its key to understand is that the world is going mobile and as the world unlocks from lock downs they want to know what is ‘near’ them and what is open – this will continue the trend of ‘near me’ searches and fuel growth in ‘open near me’ searches.

Near Me Searches on Google
“Near Me” searches since 2015 – Google Trends

The second thing to remember is that unless you are a known brand you need to think generic. What does your business offer, what services and what location. Can you utilise these in your domain or can you do so in a description or in your service descriptors.

Look at my brand for example SEO Andy < it says what I do.
My friends over at M60 Removals < exactly what it says on the tin, within the M60 area, a removals company.

If you can’t do that then on your services pages on your website or within your third-party listings say exactly what you do and highly target your information.

2 – Optimise Your Third-Party Services

It’s important that across the two big search engines you own your locations and brand. The way to do this is by claiming your locations using Google My Business and Bing Places.

Manchester Removals Company
Optimised Name, Area Coverage on Map & Services within Listing (not shown)

Top Tips for GMB & Bing Places:

1) Ensure all information is accurate, spelled correctly, and as comprehensive as possible (fill every box, category, and attribute if you can). Ensure your name, address, phone number (NAP) are in the correct Google/Bing format.
2) Link directly to your local page (eg /manchester).
3) Upload photos of the store regularly, upload videos where possible.
4) Ask your customers to review you on GMB (this is shown to increase the incidence of GMB showing in search).
5) Turn on messaging through GMB, allowing customers to talk to you.
6) Don’t neglect your GMB/BP presence ever, update them regularly (if there is a lot, do them on a cycle).

If you’d like to learn more about Local Search Optimisation you can read my in-depth blog here, or if you need direct help get in touch.