Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Webinar: Google Trifecta for your Website

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>>TOM LEUNG: Welcome to the Google Trifecta Webinar.

This is Tom Leung, I am the Product Manager for Website Optimizer.

I'm very excited to be here with Michael Wyszomierski from the Webmaster Tools Team, as well as

Jeff Gillis from Google Analytics. This is the first time we've done a joint

webinar, and we think it's going to be pretty successful

because these are probably the three most important tools any website owner should consider

using from Google. What we're going to cover today, specifically,

is I'm going to talk for just a couple minutes about how we see the three tools complementing

each other, and then we're going to spend most of our

time digging into a nice introduction into each of the tools--the Webmaster Tools side,

Analytics and Optimizer-- and then we will take a couple of Q&As from

the registrations for questions that we saw coming up over and over.

So, without further adieu, when you think about these tools, you can think about using

them in sequence. Specifically, you probably want to start with

Webmaster Tools, because as Mike's going to tell you,

it's going to really make sure you maximize the exposure of your site to the search engine

so that Google can understand what's going on and what's on your site.

The next thing you do, once you maximize exposure, is to really start understanding,

"Okay, well I'm getting a lot of exposure; now let's see what's going on on my site--what

do people like? What do people don't like? Where are they going?"

And Jeff is going to go into great detail about that.

Now after you do that--after you get a lot of exposure, a lot of people coming to your

site, and then you start understanding what's working

and what's not working and it's time to make improvements, that's where Website Optimizer

comes in, and that helps you test different changes

to your site and see which ones are most likely to be well received by the visitors.

Another way to look at it is that each of these three tools can be used individually,

but they also make the other two even more effective.

So with Webmaster Tools, you're really going to make sure that as many people are able

to get to your site as possible, so-- because Google will understand all of the

content on your site and know what's going on--and that's going to allow more people

to find it. That is--the more people that arrive on your

site and the more things they do will give Google Analytics more data to show you--

interesting trends, interesting problem areas, interesting metrics--and that increased data

and insight into what's going on on your site, is going to allow you to get more conversions;

because then you're going to be able to really focus in like a laser and say,

"Well, I know from Analytics--you know--these are certain problem areas; I'm going to run

an experiment on that specific page." And so you--as you can see, then when you

get more conversions, those people will return more often,

greater word of mouth, more likely for other folks to link to you, and it kind of is a

virtuous circle. So specifically, I'm about to hand it over

to Mike, and what we're going to do for all three of the products is we're going to try

to answer three basic questions. Like, what is the big problem Google is trying

to solve with this product? What are the customers' benefits and features

for the product? And some specific things that you can do after

this Webinar, to really make use of it and resources you can consult to learn more about

these things. So I'm going to hand this over to Mike, and

he's going to tell you a little bit about Webmaster Tools in more detail.

>>MIKE WYSZOMIERSKI: All right, thanks, Tom. And I'm going to start off by explaining why

it's important for us to have Webmaster Tools in the first place.

And it really goes back to Google's mission, which is to organize the world's information,

make it universally accessible and useful. So in Web Search, we strive to provide the

highest quality and most relevant results for any query.

And these results come from our index of your pages.

So how can we ensure that we're presenting the highest quality pages to users?

Well, first you need to have good information and content, which will lead to better pages.

And these better pages are indexed by Google, which gives us better results for our users.

And then if we can better understand the content of your sites, the search results get even

better. So in order to make this information universally

accessible to our users, at Google, we actually rely on you--the webmasters--quite

a bit to make this content accessible to Google, and that's where Webmaster Tools comes in.

And the features of Webmaster Tools all relate to how your site is presented in Google's

organic, non-paid search results. So keep in mind that this tool isn't really

designed to help boost your rankings; that's more determined by your site's content.

However, it can help you with giving Google a better understanding of how your content

is presented to Google, so it can better understand it and present it to users.

So Webmaster Tools provides statistical and diagnostic information, as well as some control.

And I'll cover three main functional areas of Webmaster Tools today: diagnostics, statistics

and control. I'd like to start out with diagnostics, because

this is where you can find out if Google is even able to access your content in the first

place. So in the "Web crawl" section, you can get

a listing of errors that Google encountered as it attempted to download pages from your

site as part of our indexing process. And this is the part where Google reads your

pages to find out what information is on them. But sometimes Google has trouble getting in.

Maybe your webmaster, at some point, had blocked search engine robots from accessing your site

during development, and then upon launch forgot to remove that restriction.

That could prevent Google from getting enough information about your site to present it

to users. Content analysis goes a bit beyond basic access

and evaluates how well Google can understand the content of your site.

There are a few different ways you can describe your pages to Google and using--including

using title tags and meta description tags. And both these tags may be shown in the site's

listing in Google. And since that's what users see before deciding

if they want to click through to one of your pages or someone else's, it's probably something

you want to pay attention to. So let's take a look at a search result to

better illustrate what Google users--your potential visitors--see before deciding whether

or not to click. One way you can get them to look at your site's

results is by typing a site colon, followed by your site's URL, with no space in between,

and this will show a listing of pages from your site.

In this case, we're looking at pages from google.com/webmasters, which is our Webmaster

Central Portal. Looking at the first result here, you can

see that the title is Google Webmaster Central. We often use the same title which you provided

to us in the title tag of your page. And in this case, I think that Google Webmaster

Central is a good title for this page, because it describes to the user exactly what they're

getting. It would be less useful, for example, if all

of Google's pages simply had the title, "Google." If several of them were listed on a search

results page, it would be hard for the user to find what he or she wants.

I just don't go overboard with titles, because if you had too many words, it can be just

as confusing to the user. Below the title outlined in red is a short

description of the site, which here at Google we call a "snippet."

We generate these snippets from a variety of sources, including your page's content.

And one possible source of this snippet is your meta description tag.

And this allows you to give us input about how your page should be described.

Mostly the results here were generated without meta descriptions.

It looks like we did okay with the first one, again, outlined in red.

But if you look at the description for Google Gadgets, there's less useful information such

as navigation text and the phrase, "Terms of service."

And that page could probably benefit from the addition of a meta description tag.

Like titles, your meta descriptions are likely to be more helpful if they're unique to each

page, so the user can quickly determine which page is the one they want to click on.

The Content Analysis tool can bring issues about this meta data to your attention as

well as pointing out which content may be difficult for Google to index.

Here you can see that the Google Webmaster Central site has six pages with the same title

tag. Clicking on the duplicate title tags would

give you a listing of these pages, so you know which ones to change if you feel it's

necessary. Now since you're all here to also learn about

Analytics and Website Optimizer, I'm sure that you're very aware of the value of good

data. In Webmaster Tools, we provide a variety of

statistics to help you understand how Google users are finding your site.

But unlike tools which only analyze visitors that you already have, Webmaster Tools may

alert you to potential visitors by showing where you are in our results,

even if the user doesn't click through to your page.

One interesting application of this may be to look at your top search queries, in Webmaster

Tools, to see which terms you're appearing for,

and then check in Analytics to see if you're getting visitors for these queries.

You can also use the "What Googlebot sees" feature to see what other sites--possibly

your customers or your partners--are saying when they link to you,

and it can see what you're saying about yourself by evaluating which key words you're using

on your own pages. I mentioned links briefly on the slide before,

and we like to provide a lot of data about links since they can show how your site is

connected to the rest of the web. You can evaluate which of your pages are getting

links from other sites, and which of these other--and what these other sites are.

And again, comparing this data to Analytics--which is where your referrals are coming from--can

give you a better picture of how people find you out on the web.

The internal links data can give you an idea of how your pages are connected to each other.

They can also help out for very practical applications, such as learning where you have

broken links if you delete or rename a page. The third function of Webmaster Tools that

I'm going to talk about is control. Here are some examples of actions you can

take directly with Webmaster Tools. It can let Google know that if your site--or

a section of your site--is relevant to a specific geographic location,

so pay attention to this if you're running an international site.

It can remove outdated or private information from our results, can control Google's access

to your site by generating the robots.txt file,

it can monitor and control Google's crawl rate of your site, and it can even let Google

know about all of your URLs by submitting a site map.

This is what the Tools page looks like, and it's where you can take care of most of those

actions I just mentioned. So that's an overview of what you can do with

Webmaster Tools to help Google better understand and present your content.

And to get you started, here are three actions you can take this week:

First, verify that you own your site in Webmaster Tools.

This only takes about a minute and it will give you full access to all the features I

just talked about. It also helps us to notify you in cases where

we need to contact the site owner. Next, check for crawling errors.

If we can't get to your content, we'll have a pretty hard time indexing it and showing

it in our results. And finally, take a look at your titles and

snippets in Google and use the Content Analysis tool to see where they can be improved.

This may be your first and last chance to get a user to click on your site.

Next, I'm going to answer a couple of questions which were sent to us related to Webmaster

Tools. Does the link data on Webmaster Tools represent

all the link data that Google has? That's a good question, and the short answer

is not necessarily. One way you can get a sampling of links to

any site is to do a link colon search in Google. So that means that in the search box, you

type link: followed by the site, with no space in between.

This will give you an idea of what kind of sites are linking to it.

But if you verify ownership of your own site in Google Webmaster Tools, you can actually

see a much larger sampling of links to your site, down to the page level.

You can do this by clicking on the "Links" tab in the sidebar and then clicking on "Pages

with external links." However, even though it's a larger sampling,

the list may not contain all of the links which Google knows about.

What constitutes duplicate content? This is a very common concern among webmasters

once they start thinking about search, so I'm glad someone asked this.

Duplicate content refers to the same or substantially similar content across multiple pages.

At the most basic level, this means that if you have two or more distinct URLs which serve

the same page, then that's duplicate content. There are plenty of natural causes of duplicate

content across the web, including things such as tracking parameters in URLs, which would

change the URL, but not the content. And at Google, this is something we're well

aware of and try to handle properly. Duplicate content can be a problem for search

engines, because if we don't detect it, the results may not be as diverse as we'd like.

We wouldn't want to serve a list of results where every page had exactly the same content.

So what we try to do is detect which URLs are the same and then group them together.

We then show users what we feel is the best URL to represent that content.

To help us out in reducing duplicate content and to also help consolidate the links to

duplicate content on your site-- which may affect your ranking--we have multiple

blog posts on the subject that you can find on the Google Webmaster Central blog.

There's a link to it from Webmaster Central and I'll give you the link to that in a minute.

Getting back to Webmaster Tools specifically, there's one very common cause of duplicate

content. Many sites serve the same pages for domain.com

as well as www.domain.com. And since www is technically a subdomain,

and could have different content, it may be considered as a different site or page than

the other version. And we actually have a function dedicated

just to this in Webmaster Tools, called "Set preferred domain."

And here you can tell Google which URL you prefer if you serve the same content on www.yoursite.com

and yoursite.com. In addition to this setting, we also recommend

that you set up a 301 redirect on your server to the version of the URL which you prefer.

This will give another signal to Google and also help out other search engines which wouldn't

have access to the data in Webmaster Tools. So I'll end with a few helpful resources,

and I hope that you're all excited about trying Google Webmaster Tools if you haven't already.

So all of these resources are available at Google.com/webmasters, which is our Webmaster

Central Portal. We have the Help Center, containing comprehensive

articles about your site and Google. Our blog is used for feature announcements

as well as tips for improving Google's understanding of your site.

And finally, we have an interactive discussion group where you can ask specific questions

about your site and get answers from other webmasters interested in search.

It's also monitored by Googlers, including myself, who collect feedback and answer questions.

Now once you have your site indexed by Google and people are finding you, you probably want

to get some more information about these visitors-- what do they search for? Where are they coming

from? Are you getting visitors from other search engines or sites?

And to answer these questions and more, I'm going to throw it off to Jeff, who is going

to talk about Analytics.

>>JEFF GILLIS: Thanks a lot, Mike. Great, so now we'll move into Google Analytics.

So first of all, a little Google Analytics overview.

Google Analytics is a free hosted web analytics tool.

It helps website owners understand how visitors find and navigate their site, and also what

types of visitors they are and we'll get into all that in more detail a little later.

And it also shows all traffic from all sites--not just Google--which is a bit of a differentiation

point between Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.

And I want to touch upon a couple other differentiation points, as well as some commonalities.

So Webmaster Tools--as Mike said--it's an indispensible SEO tool for Google.com searches,

including things, like he said, search query impressions and how those relate to actual

visits from those search query impressions. And how does Google Analytics compare to that

particular bullet point? Well, Google Analytics is an SEM and SEO tool

for all traffic, plus website content evaluation, which is kind of where it ties between Webmaster

Tools and Website Optimizer. So you can see the queries that then lead

to conversions on your site. Where Webmaster Tools talks about geo-targeting

of certain websites where you can try and target, say Japan, for that website and those

Google searches-- with Google Analytics, you can then go on

to see actual geolocation of the people who came and visited your site, to see if that

had any affect. Where Webmaster Tools offers a URL removal

tool, if you don't want a certain section of your site to appear in Google search results,

Google Analytics will show you the popularity of certain content and folders and directories

on your site, and then navigation between that as well.

And so I'll get into all that stuff a little later.

Webmaster Tools also offers some other things such as Google robots reporting--which Google

Analytics doesn't offer-- and information about how your site is optimized

for mobile searches--which Google Analytics doesn't offer currently--

but Google Analytics offers a host of things which I'll just run through here--this is

the most text heavy side--but I wanted to go through all the benefits.

So first of all, with Google Analytics, you can understand how visitors engage with your

site, and it's almost any type of content can be tracked on Google--

from rich content to flash to outbound links and more.

You can also compare performance of all your marketing efforts, such as emails, keywords

or even offline campaigns. We have integrations where you can do a radio

ad and then see how that affected your website. Integrated with AdWords, but also tracks non-Google

campaigns such as Yahoo Search Marketing and adCenter in Microsoft,

it helps you identify areas for improvement on your site.

You can pinpoint breakdowns in conversion process use, which is very important--we'll

talk about that--it's setting up goals. And then also, lastly, and a little bit more

sophisticated, you can actually track e-commerce metrics and get a host of reporting on that,

and really do an in-depth ROI analysis on keywords and then how those relate to product

purchase. So for what type of websites is Google Analytics

appropriate? And the reason Google bought Urchin in the

beginning and turned it into Google Analytics, is because it really works with all types

of websites-- from e-commerce, retail websites--you can

see below each column the types of metrics that people who own those websites might be

interested in within Google Analytics-- lead generation, where you're possibly having

people sign up for a newsletter, trying to figure out conversions and analyze visitor

behavior, and then also branding, where you might be

more interested in a metric-like time on site--did they look at a movie that we have or are they

just spending time on our site? So first, I wanted to ask, what is your website?

So taking a step back, for many people, it's--at first, it's a webpage.

And then as you become a more sophisticated business owner or you're getting more visitors,

it becomes more than just your server and you've got a website--"Look, mom, my website

is up, here's the URL--" then you become a Google search result and

you say, "Oh, people are actually coming to my site; well, how do they find it?"

Well, it's on Google. Google's crawling it. And then, even further, now you're going to

start to possible try to get traffic directed--targeted to your site by buying key words.

So you become your statistics--CPC, CTR--maybe your website sales.

But what more? Well, usually nothing more. That's where people

leave it. And so when you're ready to look, there is

a ton more that your website is, and that you can actually use to get more visitors

and understand your audience. Without Google Analytics--I love this picture

and these characters--so that's obviously Professor Xavier, he can read minds--it's

a movie character--and that's a dog--his dog. Without Google Analytics, there's no communication--he

can't read your mind and you can't hear his thoughts either.

And--but, with Google Analytics the dialogue begins, so let's dive in and look at some

examples. I own a web design and hosting company.

You can see the web page; it's a beautiful, really polished web page.

We design web pages for you and we can host them as well.

Google Analytics says, "We've got some interesting news for the marketing team--1,000 visitors

came to the site this year--from another website, sitepoint.com, and converted."

Well that's really interesting to know. And you can see in this report, which is called

"Referring Sites," SitePoint is the number three largest referring URL.

It's bringing in over 1,000 visitors under this--in this time period.

What is SitePoint? Well, let's take a look at the website.

Here it is, you can see on the right, there's an ad.

Now for some reason, SitePoint is linking to your ad--your web design company--your

URL. So why not throw an ad up there, if possible?

And you can do placement targeting with a lot of the PPC products out there today, so

put some ads on SitePoint, it says on the right.

All right, let's move on. We redesigned our home page in September,

it's beautiful. What affect did it have? With Google Analytics, you can see after the

home page redesign, percentage of returning visitors went up 60%, so great job.

Here's a Returning--New vs. Returning Report within Google Analytics and you can see the

blue--that spike was the current time frame, compared to the green line,

which is the previous time frame. You can see down in the data table, the percentage

change in returning visitors, so that's a great indicator and just some metrics you

can see. The dog says, "Nice webmaster work."

All right, that's a sizeable investment. I want to decrease CPC keyword costs for my

site, which is a volunteering opportunity portal, so I can--people come to our site

and they look for volunteering opportunities. Well, people are coming to your site on the

search term "volunteer abroad" and then bouncing--you don't offer abroad programs, just domestic.

Let's take a look at the report. Here we go, we can see bounce rate--this is

a visualization of comparison to site average, so some are green, some are red--these are

your key words on the left-- and you can see "volunteer work abroad--"

just like the guy said in Google Analytics--is getting a high bounce rate.

So people are coming and then leaving right away from that URL--that's what bounce rate

means--they come, look at one page and then take off.

They don't do anything--they don't look for more opportunities or sign up for anything.

So, we're going to want to get rid of that keyword or do something with it--

why not add "abroad" as a negative keyword to your PPC campaign so you're not paying

for those--or not showing up for those searches? I want to expand my business.

You want to expand your business? This dog can really read minds!

Well, you're getting lots of visits from New York and France.

And let's take a look within Google Analytics--this is called the Map Overlay Report.

And you can see the little bubbles are kind of a heat map--they show what cities across

the world that you've gotten--that you receive visitors from.

If you hover over a bubble, it shows you the number of visitors.

The bigger the bubble, the more visitors. And there's more data on this in a data table

as well, just numerically kind of spelled out--this same information.

But this is a great visualization to show customers if you have--if you're representing

clients, if you're an agency to say, "Here's where your visitors are coming from."

As you can see, there was a big bubble over New York, and also there were visitors coming

from France, as the dog said. So why not create a location-targeted campaign

and create New York-targeted key words and ad text.

You know--you're really trying to grow your business--you're getting visitors from there--why

not start a campaign like that? Also, perhaps offer a French version of the

site if you can translate it. Couple--one more example--I need to check

my laundry. Your laundry's done. I mean, if you're a really sophisticated user,

maybe this would work--just kidding! Moving on, let's dive into the product now

and take and look--I wanted to show some of the features that everybody could use today.

First of all, here's the dash board. This is what you're going to see when you

go into Google Analytics. There's a lot of reports and so I just wanted

to show you--in a simple way--this is what's offered.

So you've got the Visitors Report--which I'll show--Traffic Sources--where people are coming

from, Content, which is what they're doing on your

site, and then a Goals and E-Commerce section where you can actually configure it and tell

us what's valuable to you. Here are all of the reports maximized, just

to show you how to navigate. Where to start? I would just start at the

Overview of the Visitors section--the Traffic Sources and the Content section.

Here's the Visitor's Overview. As you can see, before I asked what is your

site? Well, here's what your site is--it's not just

CPC and CGR--it's also visits, page views, unique visits--which is people who--

it's not counting people twice who came twice in a certain period--it just counts them once--time

on site and more. Here's the Traffic Sources stuff--this is

all Traffic Sources, so it's showing how are people getting to your website?

What are the most popular ways they're getting there? What sites are directing traffic to

you? And then you've got a--this is the Navigation

Summary. This is the in the Content section.

This shows a certain webpage and where people came to get to that webpage, and how they're

kind of surfing through your site. Let's look some more at the Content stuff.

This is a--this is a list, again, of keywords and this was the keywords that actually brought

people to a specific piece of content on your site.

So I wanted to show this to you to show you that you can actually slice and dice information,

so that you can see one metric as it relates to another metric.

So sometimes we have a very important site, are keywords actually bringing them to that

site or not? Again, this is what your site is--it's the

keywords that bring people to your page. It's not just, again, CPC, CTR or just Google-centered

keywords, these are keywords from all search engines.

Great, so here two keys to Google Analytics: First of all, look at data in context.

We--and then secondly, set up goals. So the reason I put this guy on here, again,

is he's the guy who reads minds. And we can't read your mind unless you kind

of help us out a little bit, and we've given you tools to do that.

First of all, data in context. Data isn't an island. It should be read in

context, and that's in order to give it meaning. And so this is a technique for you to get

more out of Google Analytics, and I'll show you how to do that.

Context insight for the right questions--so here's a graph of keywords and basically the

popularity of keywords. Underneath you can see search sent one million

non-paid visits via 300 thousand keywords. Well that's great, but is it better than before,

is it good? I don't know what it means--it seems like

a lot of keyword activity, but I'm not really sure.

So what you can do is you can click this "Visits" button and actually compare it to another

metric that's important to you, such as--as you can see in here, there's a

whole list--why don't we compare it to conversions, so you can compare two metrics, and we'll

do conversion rate. So it seems like the keyword activity is going

up and to the right a little bit, but when you compare it to this other metric,

conversions, that's actually going straight or maybe even a little bit down, so that's

something that we should be aware of. We're paying the same amount in keywords,

our conversions might be tightening up a little bit.

Another way to get context out of data is compare date ranges.

This is a really easy and visual feature within Google Analytics.

So you just drop down any--you just click on the date and then you'll see you can compare

two date ranges by clicking that drop down menu right there.

And then you'll see that in this graph up above, there's a blue line and green line,

and they're plotting the same data, but different time periods.

You'll see that, interestingly, July 2, we have a spike in conversions in a previous

time period. So what did we do to get that spike?

You can also see that there's like red and green next to the data in the middle there,

underneath the "Visitors Completed" text, and that's showing whether we've gone up or

down in this time frame. And so it can show you what the areas that

you need to concentrate on are. So, again, context--you can see the question

mark area is without a comparison to previous timeframe, whereas the one with the exclamation

point is showing us context. Here is a Content by Title--and this is the

last area of context I wanted to show. There's some pretty mature visualizations

within Google Analytics that can show you real actionable areas.

So when you click on this "Views" area, this one is probably the best.

It's called "Compare to site average," and as you can see right away, what's in red and

what's in green. These are articles by our friend, Alvin (S/L

Ashcowsheek) on his blog, and you can see which ones got the most page views,

sorted by "Page views," if you look above the column on the right, there, and then it's

sliced by "Time on page." I can see they got a lot of page views, but

are people actually sticking around and reading these posts? That's what I really want to

know. Another area for this visualization that's

really helpful is in optimizing keywords and campaigns, under the "Traffic" section.

So you can see here, you've got a list of keywords and you can immediately see which

ones have a high average time on site or a low average time on site.

So just to race through this, we've got a couple of visualizations, but the best one

is the one on the lower right, which is the "Compare to site average."

Lastly, Goals--take your data to the next level of usefulness.

So this you can see--this guy--there's a purchase page and we say, "Thanks for your purchase!"

And so that's the goal page. And what you do is, you put that in Google

Analytics--very easy, just copy and paste that URL into Google Analytics--

and then you can also--that's up at the top where the circle is--and then you can also

tell us the steps to get to that page, such as, enter your name, view your shopping cart.

And what Google Analytics will do, is we'll populate this beautiful report called Defined

Funnel Navigation, and so you can see at the bottom there, we have completed order.

Great, okay, that's my conversion page--that in itself is--will populate a lot of data

within Google Analytics to show you what keywords are converting and things like that.

But if you have a funnel, though, the top will be populated--funnel one step, funnel

step two--where are people coming in and then going to the next step in the funnel,

and which funnel steps are causing people to leave?

And so this--if you do a little bit of optimization, it can save you a lot of money and customers.

Some funnel step pages might be too confusing. You can just make minor changes and this is

an area where you can see that. And Tom will talk a little about this with

Website Optimizer as well. And then just to finish up, this is, again,

the Compare to Site Average--if you have a goal configured,

you can see that you can actually use the Compare to Site Average to sort by goal on

the right. So before we did time on site and bounce rate,

but now we're looking at our keywords sorted by popularity, and then segmented by which

ones had conversions. So it's more than just CTR and CPC, it's actually

conversions. You might be getting a lot of traffic from

one keyword and paying a lot, but not having any conversions.

Lastly, for best results, as I said, get started with the Visitor's Traffic and Content Overviews--those

are the reports to start with-- and then view data in context--we had those

looking at--comparing the site average, looking at those visualizations and looking at data

over two time periods as well. And then lastly, creating goals is probably

the most powerful and very easy thing that you can do within Google Analytics,

to figure out what your valuable key words and content pages and traffic sources are.

And then take action on those things. And speaking of which, I'm going to turn it

over to Tom and Website Optimizer to talk about how to take action.

>>TOM LEUNG: Thanks very much, Jeff. So let's make believe that you've set up Webmaster

Tools, Google sees all of the content on the web that you offer,

and then you use Analytics and you see all these wonderful insights from Anayltics.

So the next question would logically be, "Well, what should I do about it?"

And that's where Website Optimizer comes in. And specifically, you can look at a bunch

of reports and get a lot of insights and a lot of understanding about what's happening

and what has happened. The next step would be to say, "Well, as a

result of that," let's say I'm looking at a Funnel report, like Jeff was just showing

us. If I find that a large number of people are

not proceeding after the first step of a funnel and they're kind of dropping off,

well, how do I increase the rate at which people will move on and continue the process,

and ultimately complete whatever action it is that we're looking for them to complete?

Be it purchasing something, filling out a lead generation form, watching a video, reading

a white paper--you know--signing up for a newsletter--it really could be anything.

So in the old days, there are a number of ways that you "improve" a page.

One, is you kind of go by your gut feel and you just say to yourself, "Oh, wouldn't it

be cool if we made the button a little bit bigger and moved it on the left?

I think--you know--that would be better for users," or "Wouldn't it be cool if I, instead

of having one image, I had an image kind of rotate between a number

of different images?" That's one way to do it, but it's often wrong,

because you don't really know if it's going to work or not,

sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't make any difference and sometimes it actually hurts.

We'll talk about how Website Optimizer shines a bright light on these kinds of decisions.

The second way a lot of people make decisions is with, what Avinash Kaushik--one of our

colleagues--calls the HiPPO--the highest paid person in the organization.

Now this is usually the head of your design department, or the CEO or owner of the company--

and he'll just--you know--walk over and say, "Hey, I was looking at the website and I'd

like us to add this chart and I think that's what the customers want,"

or--you know--the hotshot designer will come by and say,

"Oh--you know--I read an article and it showed that this kind of pattern is the best way

to encourage people to complete a transaction, so we're going to redesign this form of it."

That is fine, but it's also subject to the same risk, which is basically that those are

people's opinions. Now they may be highly informed and highly

compensated opinions, but they're not necessarily--you know--metaphysically certain to be the right

thing. In fact, what we find is almost always, there's

a better way than what your gut is telling you.

And then the third way is this before and after, which is a slightly more evolved way

of making an improvement to your site, which is you look at your metrics for this

week, you make a change and then you look at your metrics for next week, and then you

see if the metrics went up or down. The problem with this method is that if it

went up, you don't know if it went up because of the changes you made,

or because it was just seasonal, or because--you know--one of your colleagues downstairs in

another office was optimizing their AdWords campaign,

and so was getting better traffic to the site, or--you know--you got mentioned in a major

media publication--so it's really hard to know what lead to those improvements.

Website Optimizer kind of changes that, and essentially what happens,

is visitors arrive at your site and Website Optimizer will redirect those visitors to

an entirely different page that you tell us about,

or if you use a more advanced, multi-variant testing we'll actually change the content

of the page, as the visitor's browser renders that page;

so that effectively, every visitor to your site gets assigned to an experimental group,

and then we will report back to you as to, "Well, group A had this percent that made

it to the goal page and group B had a larger percent,

and group C had the smallest percentage." And those goals could be a thank you page,

they could be reading--filling out a form, it could be just going deeper into the site--you

can put those goal tags wherever you want. But the bottom line here is that instead of

guessing, instead of using sort of office political power to make changes to your site,

why not do an experiment, randomly assign visitors to each of the different ideas that

you have, and then let the visitors tell you-- if they all convert because they like--you

know--the image without the model and with the green buttons,

then let's go with that, and let's not sort of spend time kind of using voodoo web design

strategies. So Website Optimizer really helps make all

this possible. It is the web's most popular testing platform;

it's free; very easy to use. Often times, we see increases in conversion

rates--easily over 25%--a number of other resources that we make available,

and basically let's you do any kind of testing you can think of; works with all of your traffic,

not just your AdWord traffic, but your organic traffic from other ad networks;

it doesn't require any other of the other tools in this webinar--although as I mentioned

earlier, it really--when you use all three together--it's

really a powerful combination. So let's talk a little bit about what it would

be like if you decided to use Website Optimizer and you said, "Okay, I want to start the wizard

and create an experiment." The first thing we ask you is whether or not

you want to do a A/B or multi-variant test. A/B is the simplest way to get started.

It's great for low-traffic pages, also works great for high-traffic pages and helps you

test layouts very easily. And as long as you can create another page,

you can do an A/B test. Multi-variant is a little bit more advanced;

it lets you actually carve your page up into multiple sections and will basically swap

out content within those sections as visitors hit the page.

Let's make believe you decided, "Well, I'm just going to start with a simple A/B test,"

and you have your current page, you create another version of that page, you publish

it to the web, and maybe it's--you know--you have your index

page, and then you have your index2.html for your B page.

You just click "I want to create an A/B," you give the experiment a name, you give us

the URLs of the original and the test page; if you a have more than one test page, you

just say, "I want to add more," and then you just give us the URL of your conversion page--

usually your thank you page, or--you know--your contact form,

or whatever it might be--whatever page you consider to be a good outcome for someone

who saw that test page first. Then you can either have someone else add

the tags for you, and we'll basically give you a URL that you could email to your IT

Department, or if you are the IT Department, then you

say, "Okay, I'm going to do the tagging myself," and the way the tagging works is very simple

for A/B. You just have a control snippet that you put

at the top of the A page and then a tracking snippet that you paste at the bottom of the

A and B page, and then a goal snippet that you put at the

bottom of your thank you page or your goal page, and that's basically it.

So it's really three very simple copy and paste operations.

And then one on the goal page and--you know--it typically takes a few minutes to set up an

A/B test. Then you--after you add those tags and update

the pages, you basically click "Launch experiment," and then after a period of time when we start

seeing people visiting the site and we start dividing the traffic,

we'll report back to you and tell you exactly which version of the page did better, by how

much, with what confidence, what was the raw data,

what percentage improvement was the winner over the original, and really taking a lot

of the guesswork out of website design. So instead of kind of arguing around a conference

room and lobbying people, you can just say, "Well, why don't we just run a test?"

And everybody can come up with ideas and then we can see what the customers like best.

So here's an example of a test that we ran at Google for the Picasa team, and basically

they were curious about whether or not this page could be improved,

which actually had been performing pretty well.

As you can see, it's got an image of the product, it uses the word "free," pretty clean layout,

very action oriented headline. This was an alternate version that actually

had a 30% higher download rate. And what's most interesting is that we actually

took out one of the images, we changed the link to a button, changed the headline--

this was one of many different versions that we tested--we would never have picked this

one by ourselves. We probably would have picked one of the ones

that had more imagery, a little bit more content--but as it turns out, this one was the one that

won. So even at Google, we think we do a pretty

good job designing web pages, but we test everything, and Website Optimizer allows you

to do the same thing. If you ever use Gmail, you may notice that

sometimes you'll see things changing on the page--you know--

you might come in a couple weeks later and notice that, "Hey, I notice the login box

is now above or below." That team is always running experiments--they

probably run dozens of experiments--they test everything from text changes, to layout changes,

the order of the box, the design of the buttons, and they have had

great success with Website Optimizer. And so it's important to know that this is

a tool that is not only available to yourselves, but it's also a tool that we use and that

we've been using for the last couple of years. So here's another example.

This was provided by our partner, Wider Funnel, which is an agency that consults on onlining

pages and conversion optimization. Here their client had a pretty good looking

homepage, but they wanted to test a number of different layouts and--you know--

the naked eye doesn't really know immediately which one would do better, and certainly can't

tell which one would do better for all of the visitors.

What's most interesting is you'll see there's two different overall designs; there's a two-column

and a three-column. What's most interesting is that one of them

actually did better than all of the other ones.

You would think two would do similarly and then the other two would do similarly.

So one of them actually did double the conversion rate of the original--all of them did slightly

better--but one really pulled away and it was this version here.

Again, really hard to know until you run a test.

Here's another example, and this was provided by another partner, LunaMetrics.

Their client had a pretty good page right here; they sell stair supplies.

What they wanted to do was run a test where they provided the menu item, already expanded,

and then they had a friendly picture of an operator standing by to take your order.

One would not have expected this to make a major increase in your conversion rate, and

actually one would not have expected it to hurt it either.

But as a result of the test, they were able to find that these hypothetical improvements

that they wanted to test actually hurt their conversion rate.

And so had they not run a test, they may have just made these changes and let them run,

and actually harmed their sales dramatically. But because they ran a test, they were able

to basically roll it back and stick with the original, and then test other things that

might help increase your conversion rate. So one of the things to keep in mind is that

testing in not just about improving your conversion rate,

it's also an insurance policy, so that even the best intentions and the best changes that

appear to be good in a conference room-- you want to make sure that they're really

not going to hurt your sales--and so testing helps you kind of give you a safety blanket.

We got a lot of questions about Website Optimizer, let me roll through some of them.

One is, how can a communications based site benefit from Website Optimizers?

So, you don't sell widgets--maybe you are a professional services firm.

Every site has an objective. It may be not necessarily to sell something

and get someone's credit card information and sell them a product,

but it could be having someone contact you and filling out a lead generation form--

maybe you are a law firm and you want more people to contact you and fill out the "I

would like to talk to a lawyer." Well, you could test a whole bunch of things

on that homepage and see which one had the greatest result in getting new clients.

You may be a publication and your interest is actually people subscribing to your monthly

newsletter, or even more interesting, spending a minimum

amount of time reading a page. So whatever your goal is, you can run a test

for it. We've designed the tool to be very flexible;

it's not just for folks who are selling things. Will this affect my search engine ranking?

Website Optimizer is about testing and increasing your conversions, it's not for increasing

your search engine ranking. Will I be penalized for cloaking?

We have a whole FAQ about that. Testing is not cloaking.

Cloaking is where you're trying to mislead GoogleBot and then search engines and showing

them some piece of content, and then showing your users something completely

different. So--you know--if you're telling search engines

that you sell baby carriages, but you show visitors to your site stuff about online gambling,

then that is absolutely cloaking and it doesn't matter what technology you use--you will not

be protected for doing that kind of thing. But if you're just trying to improve a customer

experience and do the right thing for customers, and using a tool like Website Optimizer, that's

encouraged. What if I have a dynamically generated page?

No problem, as long as our tags get on the page, you can just add it to the template,

you can have your server add our tags dynamically as well.

Basically when the visitor's browser renders the page, that's when our tags do their magic.

They don't have to be--you know--officially part of the source code of the page from the

very beginning, they can be injected there by your server as well.

So, a few things to do this week. If you decide that Website Optimizer is a

good tool for you, one of them is look at your top landing page or homepage and ask

yourself, "Yeah, does it look professional? Is it going

to let me get my goals done? Does it make sense?"

Probably you're going to answer, "Kind of" to those questions and there's probably going

to be things that you can do to improve it. Well, make those changes, but don't make it

directly to the page in question, but make it to another page.

Then do a simple A/B test; maybe change the image, the text, the layout.

Then we'll split the traffic and then we'll help you compare them.

And then you can even make it fun--maybe have--you know--print out both of the mocks and have

folks in the company bet on which one they think would be better,

and make it a little bit more interesting. Or have two designers--you know--that are

always competing against each other--have them come up with their best version of the

page and see who's really better. Now for those who want the VIP treatment,

there are a number of partners that we have-- that we have authorized consultants as well

as technology partners that make it a lot easier for you.

The authorized consultants basically are available if you need spot technical assistance and

you want to talk to someone on the phone, or you want someone to actually do it and

to have it as a managed service; they can do all of that for you.

We also have contact management partners that make it really easy to set up those tags and

get the experiments running. The last thing I want to talk about for this

particular section is the resources available. So if you go to google.com/websiteoptimizer,

you're going to find a number of articles, tutorials, video demonstrations, links to

our user forum, case studies, a partner directory--it's the most information and resources on the

web for testing, so I hope you'll go there.

So now that brings us into the next section, which is a panel discussion, and these are

questions that kind of apply to all of the different products,

and the first one is how much the tools cost and why, and I was thinking maybe Jeff could

answer that.

>>JEFF GILLIS:

Yeah, sure. Well, obviously, as we've all said that these

tools are all free, and there's questions from everybody that we got recently is why

these tools are free; and one of the answers is that--and a very

legitimate answer is that Google's very user focused and all of these tools are going to

help webmasters make better websites, and also help users find the websites that

they're actually looking for, so Webmaster Tools will make better results in the Google

Search queries. Google Analytics will help with both content

and also you to understand where users are coming from and who your audience is;

and then obviously, Website Optimizer is going to help you really make appropriate web pages

that are very user friendly and navigation friendly as well.

But there's also another answer. All these tools can also help advertisers

and help our AdWords advertisers buy better keywords and do better AdWords campaigns,

And so there is also a benefit to Google's bottom line, but mostly it's user focused,

advertiser focused. And then none of these tools are--you know--without

some backend kind of effort. We'll talk a little bit, hopefully, at some

point about the partner network--I think Tom might have mentioned it--some of their partners

already-- but these tools are free, but it's a bit of

an investment to get something out of them. And so hopefully that answers that question,

Tom.

>>TOM LEUNG: Thanks, Jeff. The next question--maybe Mike, you can answer--whether

nor not these tools are for small companies or big companies.

>>MIKE WYSZOMIERSKI: Yeah sure, I can take that.

So the nice thing about these tools is that really anyone can use them.

But the applications of how they use them may depend on probably the size and the traffic

of the site. So starting with Webmaster Tools specifically,

a small business may not have a large advertising budget,

and really relies on organic search or non-paid search for their customers, so they really

need to use Webmaster Tools to make sure that they're showing up in the results.

A larger site may use the more advanced features of Webmaster Tools to monitor crawling or

manage site mass if they have a large number of URLs.

For Analytics, it's always great to know your visitors and both through Analytics and Optimizer,

a small business might just appreciate the fact that such a powerful tool is free,

while a large business would like Analytics because of how the data is presented in an

easily readable format and has all the various reporting options.

A large business might like Website Optimizer because it allows changes, which at a large

scale, could really affect a business positively or negatively,

to be tested safely and accurately, even in a complex environment where multiple factors

are affecting conversions. For all these tools, a large business may

decide to outsource the actual use of these tools to agencies who are experts on them,

but it's really up to you--anyone can be a user.

So Tom and Jeff, did you have anything to add on this?

>>TOM LEUNG: No, I think that was spot on. I think the next question is, I'm not that

technical, could someone use these tools for me?

I'd love to take that one. So all of these tools are designed to be kind

of do-it-yourself tools in the Google way that we've tried to really make the user experience

as intuitive and simple as possible. There is some technical involvement, as an

example, with Website Optimizer, you have to add a few tags to the page;

with Analytics, you put one tag at the bottom of the page; with Webmaster Tools, it's even

easier to get started. But some people may feel that, "Wow, I just

don't want to even kind of dip my toe in the water."

All of our tools are highly used by agencies and web design firms and SEO firms and web

development firms, and you could just ask whoever built your

site or runs your technical department to do it for you;

and we also have formal partner programs for the Analytics and the Website Optimizer businesses.

So that kind of is a good segway into some of the things that you can do that are really

exciting. And these may be things that you do or you

ask your professional services firm of choice to do for you,

but I thought maybe we could start with Mike and then we'll go to Jeff and myself,

as to what's the one coolest thing that people should be using from your tools that may not

be something that's entirely obvious, that's a good tip?

>>MIKE WYSZOMIERSKI: Yeah, sure. Starting with Webmaster Tools, I'm actually

going to combine two features into one super feature,

and I would say look at your external links in the "Links" section, and combine that with

the "What Googlebot sees," in links to your site feature as well,

and using this data together, you can find out who's linking to you and what they're

saying when they're linking. And if you look at this, you can get things

like product feedback or do reputation management--you know--

if you would find that a customer had blogged about your product--you know--find their link,

go to the blog and leave a comment on their blog,

and--you know--do it right and don't spam and they might just love to see a human face

from your business.

>>JEFF GILLIS: Thanks. For Google Analytics, this is Jeff.

I talked about a couple of the advanced features in the presentation, such as using those visualizations

like a Compare to Site Average, and segmenting by goals--it's just such an

easy way to see the performance of your keywords and your content and your campaigns and things

like that. But the coolest advanced feature right now

that I'm hoping people start using is the Site Search report.

So if you have a search on your website, again, not Google Search,

but a search box on your website where people can put in a keyword and maybe search for

a product that they're not finding easily, Google Analytics will show you a number of

reports about the data--about what people are searching for, what content they're actually

looking at after they do a search, what pages caused them to search and then

whether they're converting after a search, or doing another search--if they have to like

do multiple searches-- and it's so powerful, one of the ways you

can use that information is if you look at the terms that people search for on your site,

those are great keywords to possibly purchase or to look at and see if you're using them

at all, because that's what people are really looking

for and it's also stuff that they're not finding. Another way to use it is you can see for a

certain keyword, what page the person actually went to,

and you can use that to make Webmaster Tools know which landing pages you want certain

content to get, or create a campaign with that landing page

for that specific keyword. And then you can also see--you know--at its

most basic, what people are searching for, what content needs to be bubbled up and surfaced

because they can't find it easily. So it's another way to do some website optimization.

Thanks.

>>TOM LEUNG: So I think for Website Optimizer, my favorite feature is our Time on Page testing

capability, and this is one where instead of saying, "Well,

I want to find the page that is most likely to get people to some thank you page at the

end of a funnel," which is perfectly fine. What you do is you say, "I want to see what

version of this page is most likely to have people actually consume the content."

And so the way you set up the experiment is the goal tag is actually put on the test page,

and we give you a little code sample to have basically a little timer,

and you can say, "Well, if someone spends more than three seconds on this page, I'm

going to call that good--that's a good result." And so you can imagine like if you really

want people to read the "About Us" page, or if you really want people to watch--you

know--the 30 second flash demo of your product, or if you really want people to read some

article that you've written, and you're not sure if the layout should change,

or if a different version of the video is more likely to have people stay on the page,

you can run this Time on Page test, and the other hidden benefit to it is that

it has--usually will have a high conversion rate

in that a very large percentage of people will stay more than the number of seconds

you set it for, and that's going to allow us to give you much more rapid results as

well. So it's great for people who don't have a

specific commerce goal in mind, it's great for getting a lot of data quickly and having

a test run, and then getting to a winner soon, and it's also great for people who are interested

in making sure that people aren't just bouncing off of their--off that first page of the visit.

So that would be the Website Optimizer one and I think I'll end this with just a slide

showing you some of these great URLs. So if you found that Webmaster Tools is something

that you haven't been using, but now you understand why it's critical, go ahead to that URL and

get started. You've got nothing to lose, and it's free,

and you should help Google understand your site as best you can,

and that's going to likely increase the exposure that you get in the long run.

And then you can head over to Analytics and really understand everything that's going

on on your site; and why are people coming? And what's going

on? And be able to talk intelligently about what your site's doing and what the trends

are looking like, and then--you know--hopefully after that you'll

decide, "Oh, well it seems like this page is not doing as well as I thought it could

be, or our conversion rates are a little bit low,

or our cost for acquisition is getting up there,"

so then use Website Optimizer--start doing some A/B tests or get a little fancy and want

to do some multi-variant, that's great as well.

So hopefully this was useful. We really appreciate you taking to time to

learn about these tools and look forward to talking to you again soon.

Thanks very much.

The Description of Webinar: Google Trifecta for your Website