Google Analytics How To Video: Give Another Company Access to Your Account the Safe Way

When we start doing SEO and digital marketing for a new client we always need to request access to their Google Analytics accounts. In most cases where companies have used SEO and marketing agencies or consultants in the past, they have shared their Google login credentials as a way to let that entity into their account. So how does that sound to you? Well, if you have even a moderately cautious nature you probably hesitate to give the keys to your Google Analytics account to just anyone, much less a company you’re just beginning a relationship with.

And you don’t have to. Any professional digital marketing agency should be more than satisfied with the solution illustrated in this video. Use it and keep your analytics account secure!

Transcript

Hi. This is Ross with Horizon Web Marketing and this is a quick tutorial video to show you how to add a user to your Google Analytics account in order to give them access to the account. So here you’ll see, this is a demo of Google Analytics account and I’m assuming at this point that you know how to log yourself into Google Analytics.

And if you do [log into Google Analytics] you normally are given this dashboard or one that looks similar to it. And now you have an opportunity to add a user and we often will make a request of clients that we work with that they give us access to their Google Analytics account so that we can either manage it or do diagnostics on their site.

So you go down to the lower left there where it says Admin. Click on that and you’ll be given this panel here and Google allows you to change things that have to do with your account, your property or your view. Now you don’t need to understand what those three things are in order to do this process.

All you need to do is go to the account level which is normally where we need to have access. Click on User Management. It will show you what users are already granted access to this particular account. And then you’ll notice up here at the top right there’s a little blue or a white plus and a blue circle. You click on that and then we’re going to click on Add New Users.

Then you need to be able to do an email address that is a valid email address. So in this case I’m going to say Ross@HorizonWebMarketing. Then you have the chance to leave this by default. It’s checked and that is to notify new users by email. But if the person you’re adding doesn’t need to get an email you can just go ahead and un-tick that.

And then you also have a chance here to be able to enable certain levels of permissions. Now normally when we ask for access to account we want to have all permissions at least above the line here. Now to give full permissions you also need to tick this box here that says Manage Users and normally is you want somebody to be able to add other users to your Google Analytics account you’re going to have tick that box.
With respect to, for example giving access to a SEO Agency typically they’re going to want to have access these three and if you tick the top box here it’s going to by default, enable the other two. So at this point we are done with our job and now that new user is going to appear. And here I am, Ross@HorizonWebMarketing and then you’ll be able to see what the various levels of permissions are under the permissions column.

And once you’re done all you have to do is exit out. You can go back to the home screen of your Google Analytics property and you’re done. I hope this has been useful.

Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.
      

picture of children having search engine success

SEO is About More than Ranking High on Google

SEO stands for “Search Engine” Optimization. It’s Understandable People Get Confused.

Almost every day I delete an email from some “SEO” company, often written in broken English, telling me that they can guarantee a high ranking on Google. In the first place, such claims are always bogus (yes, I said “always” not “almost always”). In the second place, so what?

Ranking high is nice, it’s desirable, it stokes our egos, but ultimately, most business people realize that a high ranking, even a number ranking, can be completely meaningless. Of course once you think only in terms of “Search Engine” optimization, you might miss that the point of having a website probably is probably not achieved by a person searching on Google or Bing and finding your website.

picture of children having search engine success

Hurray! They found you! … Now what?

An SEO company owes it to their clients to focus, not on rankings, but on business success. Even Google drives this point, as mentioned by former Googler Maile Ohye

“A successful SEO also looks to improve the entire searcher experience, from search results to clicking on your website and potentially converting”

Not only does this make business sense, it’s absolutely critical from Google’s perspective. Think about it, Google is like a tour guide. If a tour guide keeps dropping the tourists off at destinations that bore them, that they can’t wait to leave, where they find nothing of interest that they’d like to take home, that tour guide will not get tips and eventually will lose customers.

Google has a vested interest in having people arrive at a website that they’ve “recommended” and say, “wow, this is just what I was searching for!”

When you become a client with Horizon Web Marketing, we view it an essential component of our program to analyze the type of website experience your customers will enjoy (or hate) when they land on your website. We’d like to offer some of the methods we use to understand and improve visitor experience on our clients’ websites.

3 Easy Ways to Understand Searcher Experience on Your Website

  • The best tool is still the easiest. Visit your own site and try to experience it through the eyes of someone who has never been there. This can be hard at first, but the longer and slower you browse, the more you can get a feel for that first-timer.
  • What good are friends if you don’t use them? Actually we’re talking about using them as unofficial testers. For example, if your site is an Ecommerce site, as a friend to buy one of your products (you might want to give them a substantial discount, say, 100%). Here’s the key, watch them do it. This is an occasionally painful, always useful experience.
  • Check your analytics. Google Analytics will show you on a page by page basis how long the average viewer will stay on a page (behavior > all pages > average time on page), how many of them leave without going deeper into your site ( > bounce rate).

Of course there are more sophisticated ways to measure searcher experience, but the priority remains the same, don’t get distracted chasing rankings or be satisfied when you’ve achieve them. As Maile Ohye said, “improve the entire searcher experience.”

Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.
      

Thumbnail for video explaining how to check website for malware

Is Your Website Infected with Malware? Free Tools to Help You Check.

And You Don’t Even Need to Be “Techy” to Use Them!

Scroll down to watch the video (audio transcript is below that)

Do you know that “bad actors” on the internet will try to infect your site with malware and spam in ways so subtle that you don’t even know they’ve done it? And often they aren’t after your secrets, they just need your website to help them blast spam emails, practice negative SEO, or host hundreds of advertising pages you don’t even know about.

In they process they can hog your website resources and earn you or other websites a bad reputation with Google. For that reasons you need to be able to quickly check your website for unwelcome intruders. Of course there are lots of more technical tools for doing this (if your site is running WordPress our favorite tool for checking and protecting is Wordfence).

In this video we take a look at a number of other tools that require no technical expertise to use, and we find that they are not all created equal.

(Interested in more in depth SEO training? We offer live SEO workshops like this.)

By the way, if you discover that malware is infecting your website, you will need technical help, so be prepared. But whatever you do, don’t ignore this issue. It’s one of the first things we do when we’re doing an SEO Audit.

Audio Transcript

Hi, everyone. I’m Ross with Horizon Web Marketing, and I’m here with another SEO Audit How-To. So, we’ve been working our way through the SEO audit checklist that we use internally when we do an SEO audit on a site and giving you little tips on how you can clear items from your audit checklist. Let’s take a look at the checklist. As we scroll down under the technical factor section of the checklist, you’ll see that one of the sections is security issues, and I’ve done another video that talks about how we can clear these two items. Is the site using https, and is that being served consistently?

detail image of seo audit checklist with the security issues highlighted

Today, we’re going to talk about this question, is the domain clean of hidden malicious code? Now, you may think that your domain is as clean as a whistle, but on the other hand, the people that are out there planting malicious code on websites often do a pretty good job of not letting you know that they’re around. And don’t be going according to the assumption that every time someone hacks into your website, they want to steal something from you. Often they’re hacking into your website so they can do things like blast out spammy emails or put up advertising pages that you don’t know about using your domain, and now also they might use your domain for something called negative SEO, where they plant a whole bunch of really lousy links to other websites to try to take them down, and you’re just the unwitting host of this.

So, here’s how we go about checking a site, and before I do that I’m going to show you this article here and I’ll put a link to this article. It’s a pretty good one, “11 Awesome Tools for Website Malware Scanning.” So I went through there, and I actually saw some tools that I didn’t know about before. They’ve got a list of some. Now, many of these tools are ones you have to install on the backend of your site. What we’re going to focus on today, with the exception of Google Search Console, we’re going to show you tools where you don’t have to have login privileges in order to check out a site.

So, if you do have, when it comes to your own site that you own, probably the first place you’re going to go is to Google Search Console. Now, if you’re not familiar with Google Search Console, you need to change that, and we’ve got some videos that show you how to get set up with it.

When you’re within Google Search Console, on the left you’ll see that there’s a choice called Security Issues, and when we click on that, if Google has picked up on any malware, any malicious code on your site, they’re going to give you a notification here. So typically, they’ll push a notification to you if you have your email entered into Google Search Console, but as a matter of course for sites that we maintain, we make it a practice to check this at least once a month, make sure that Google hasn’t picked up on something that we’ve missed. However, this is a cursory check. It doesn’t catch a lot of stuff. I have had it catch security breaches before, but I don’t think it always does that.

The security issues screen in Google Search Console

Now, some of the checkers that are listed on that page that I showed you are not that great at catching code, so what I did is I decided to go to a website that I know has malware infection because I’ve been following this website for years because they’re a host for what we call negative SEO and have actually been used to launch attacks on at least one of my clients. So, I’m going to go to this website, and here it is. It’s called coopercomputers.com. It’s still up and online. You can see that it’s like an abandoned site. If you dig down into this domain, you’ll see pages like this where basically the pages have been hacked, and then all sorts of images have been placed. And if you dig down into the code, you can find all sorts of shady stuff going on. So, I decided to take this and do a little test on some of the malware checkers that are listed in the article I showed you.

The first one that I went to is this one here called virustotal.com. I ran that site through it, came back pretty clean. This is basically a meta check, so it goes and it goes through a lot of different checks. Notice it shows Quttera’s listing this as suspicious. Quttera is another one of the sites that we’re going to take a look at.

Web Inspector, another one here we go to, and boy, it looks like it’s pretty clean so far. And then I’ve gone to Rescan.Pro, which is another resource. We’ve scanned the site and once again, looking good. Alright. Now we’re going to go to the site that we always use when we do a check like this on a client’s website or on a prospect that we’re looking, for example, for a link partnership arrangement. We’re going to go to Sucuri, and a lot of developers know Sucuri. They really know their stuff pretty well. Plugged in the website. Notice, not so clean. “Warning: malware detected. Critical Security Risk. Known Spam detected. Your site is hacked and needs immediate attention. Malicious code was detected on your site.” Notice down here, “Malware detected by the scan and injected spam detected.” So, obviously this site is not as clean as some of these tools would have made it out to be.

picture of results page of check on coopercomputers

Our Go-To Web-Hosted Site Check Is Sucuri

Now, I have plugged this same homepage of this site into Sucuri, and it’s come back clean, even with this tool. As a matter of fact, just last week I was doing a demo where I plugged this computer in. Sucuri came back and said that the homepage was clean, so I had to go and put an internal page into the checker in order to discover the code. The moral of that is when you’re doing a check on your site, don’t stop at the homepage. Pick a couple of internal pages and run them through a couple of different checkers.

Now here, Google has their own what they call a Safe Browsing Report. Notice Cooper Computers came back clean with Google’s own report. But, Sucuri is not the only one. There is Quttera. Remember they were mentioned. It says, “Potentially suspicious content detected on this website.” And you scroll down here and it’ll tell you that it has potentially malicious files that it found on this site.

Also, Siteguarding here, another tool, actually gave me an extremely good readout on this site although it’s a little bit on the technical side. It says, “The website is infected.” Now, this is the one that was probably the most surprising to me because they actually identified the infection as “Spam SEO Linking Anomaly,” which goes along with the negative SEO. That’s a subject for another time, but basically the bottom line is they were able to pick up on the infection at Siteguarding. I think I have one more example here. Nope. No more examples.

So, there we’ve just walked through a few tools. I would say if you’re in doubt, I would typically recommend Sucuri as my first bet go-to site. But as I’ve shown you, these tools are not entirely perfect, and they don’t claim to be. There’s only so much that a tool can do running a scan, but this will give you a good start in checking whether your website is infected.

So, I hope this has been useful to you. Let me know if you have any comments, suggestions for this video or for any others, and definitely subscribe with the big red button. Next to it there’s a little bell icon. Make sure you click on that too because that’s the only way you’ll actually get notifications pushed to you from Google.

I also drop a few more resources and links down in the description, so be sure that you click on the ‘Show More’ button underneath the description to see everything that’s available with this video. And definitely come back and check out our other videos when you have a minute. I’ll see you next time.

Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.
      

Bringing SEO In-House, Avoid these 7 Mistakes Companies Make

Companies often have bad experiences with SEO (search engine optimization) agencies and decide the solution is to bring SEO in-house. That can be a good choice, or a very bad one, depending on whether the company avoids the most common mistakes of bringing SEO in-house. In this video we explain the most common 7 mistakes that companies make (audio transcript follows the video).

Audio Transcript

Ross: Hi, I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing and the Horizon Web Marketing Academy. This is going to be a bite-size SEO video. I’ll try to keep it painlessly short.

I’m going to talk real quickly about in-house corporate SEO. A lot of companies are bringing SEP in-house or they already have SEO employees or departments that are dealing with SEO. That often can work really well or sometimes it can turn into a nightmare.

What I put together here is seven don’t do its, that’s in-house corporate SEO types of mistakes that can torpedo an SEO program. Let’s move through them really quickly.

Number one: delegate to the busy person. I know there’s a saying that, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person”. No, not so much. If you take a person who’s already got a full work load and you tell them, “Hey, by the way, do some SEO here,” it’s not going to happen. Your effort’s going to fail.

That leads us, also, to number two, what I call “Foolish optimism” and it’s sort of in this same vein. It’s sort of, also, this type of attitude that, “Well, we can get SEO done with a few minutes here and a few minutes there.” Unfortunately, SEO now is a time-intensive practice. It’s also pretty broad. There’s a lot of different components to it. For a larger company, let’s say if you have 10, 20, 30 million dollars more in revenue well inept the boards, it’s really the type of the project that is going to need even more than one person. You’re going to need a team if you’re going to bring it in-house because it’s going to take a team to get everything done. So being optimistic is great but being foolishly optimistic about how much you can get done with hardly any time investment, is a huge mistake.

Now let’s talk about number three: no authority, no respect. This is the Rodney Dangerfield point. Namely, if you set up an SEO department or you put in place an SEO staff member and they don’t have authority or respect from the other departments, particularly from the web developers, they’re not going to make much progress because here’s how it goes. They go to the web guys and they say, “Hey, we need to make this change because od x, y, z.” The web developers will say, “Oh yeah, right, that’s just SEO. We’re not going to worry about that until when we get to it” and “when we get to it” means “never.” If you have a situation where your SEOs are not getting the respect that they need, the effort’s going to fail, as well.

Next item, number four and this kind of is all part of a culture, the executive team not on board, isn’t really invested, or doesn’t really believe int he success or even in the mission of the SEO team or the SEO person. If that’s the case, if the executive team is only giving grudging permission for this to move forward and they don’t really understand the value it brings to the organization, you need to work on changing that before you start hiring SEO people or start training SEO people in-house.

Now let’s go on to number five, ignorant manager. I’m not saying this as an insult. Maybe you’re one of those, all right? Ignorance is nothing wrong with that, just means you haven’t learned about something, right? Well, a manager who, let’s say, is a financial person, human resources person, maybe hard-core marketer and who is expected to then supervise and manage an SEO team or an SEO individual is going to have a very hard time because, for one thing, they won’t really know if the person is qualified, doing the right job. It is fairly detailed and there are a lot of things you can be doing that are wrong. So the person who’s managing them doesn’t need to be an expert but they do need to know something about SEO. That’s another reason in-house SEO efforts often fail.

Let’s take it down to number six, unrealistic or nonexistent goals. So if an SEO team is just told to make things better, what’s going to happen? Like in any other business department, nothing really much is going to happen or the wrong thing is going to happen. But what about those goals being realistic? First of all, there need to be existing goals. They need to be specific. They need to be realistic and they need to match the business mission as well as what SEOs can accomplish. That leads back into point number five. If you’re the manager and you don’t know anything about SEO, it’s going to be really hard doing a good job with number six.

Now let’s talk about the last one and that is whether you delegate SEO to a person or a team in-house or you bring on new people, the lack of skills and training is one of the biggest mistakes that companies make. Here’s how this normally works out. You’ve got, I don’t know, Barbara in marketing and she just finished a project and Barbara maybe has a pretty empty schedule so somebody has the bright idea, “Let’s have Barbara do SEO for us.” You call in Barbara, “Hey, Barbara. Do you know about SEO?” “Well, I’ve heard of it before.” “Why don’t you educate yourself on SEO a little bit and then you can do SEO for us.” What happens, well, YouTube videos, You to me courses, blog posts, in other words, just a hodge-podge of bits and pieces of information that aren’t really coherent. It’s going to lead to a poor effort at best. Sometimes it can lead to doing outright damage.

So, if SEO is going to be important which it is for most companies, the training needs to be in place. And when you come to hire a person, sometimes it’s hard to evaluate their skills, especially if we go back up here to the ignorant manager point. Sometimes it’s best to hire or delegate based on character and train for skills. There is a way to get in-house corporate training and one of those ways is to hire us to do it. You knew this was leading up to some sort of a pitch but I won’t make it a hard pitch, just a soft pitch. That is, if you’d like to contact us, we do private in-house corporate training, minimum of three employees or more. We also do workshops that you can send your employees to to get them trained. So keep that in mind, look for the links below and I’ll see you next time. Oh wait, also, subscribe, right? Hit the subscribe button. It’s something you could say. All right. Talk to you next time.

Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.
      

Corporate In-House SEO Training? 7 Questions Answered

SEO Training for Teams

We offer SEO training for companies who want their employees trained in house. But there are always a lot of questions. In this 7-minute video lead SEO trainer Ross Barefoot answers the most 7 common questions about in-house corporate SEO training (an audio transcript follows the video, if you’re one of those brave souls who would prefer to read)

Audio Transcript

Ross: If you have questions about in house customized corporate SEO training, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll be answering the top seven corporate SEO training questions right after this.

Hi, I’m Ross Barefoot with Horizon Web Marketing. You may know that we don’t just do SEO consulting. We also produce SEO training videos, SEO training workshops. We even have a division of our company called the Horizon Web Marketing Academy, which is a partner of the Search Engine Academy. You may not know, though, that we also do in house corporate SEO training where we come to you and train your team. I’ve done another video where I talk about the common mistakes that companies make when they bring their SEO in house. One of those mistakes is to put people into roles without the proper training. People who do SEO with appropriate knowledge and skills can actually do more harm to your website and to your web marketing than good. You may have questions around this subject, and in fact, that’s the point of this video. I’m going to answer the most common questions that we have about our corporate SEO training. Let’s get started right now.

Number one question is always what’s the minimum or maximum number of trainees. Well, there’s really no minimum per se, but we do have a minimum price, so where it starts to usually make financial sense for a company is if you have at least three people to train. Now, SEO trainers have taught groups as large as 20 people successfully, but often the best number of employees is around five to ten. That’s a good sized team.

What about curriculum and customization? You probably know web marketing and search engine optimization any more are broad, demanding fields so you may legitimately wonder, “Well, what does the training include?” For corporate SEO training, that can vary a lot because the biggest single advantage of dedicated training is that we customize it to your company’s situation. Now, you can go to our website, and I’ll give you a link in the description here where we list the curriculum for our typical five day workshop. You can take a look at which subjects to give you an idea of the types of subjects that we do training on, but again, our corporate SEO training is designed specifically for your company and your team.

So the next question is typically, “Well what does the company need to provide for us to come in and train?” Well, first of all, remember that bit about customization? For us to create a program to suit your business, we usually are going to ask you for some access to at least your website analytics. That’s because part of our corporate training effort is to assess where your program stands right now so that we can make sure and address your key needs. In addition to some access, there’s the more obvious stuff. We need your company to provide a training room large enough to accommodate the group, and it does need to be an area where the group can focus without any unnecessary interruption. Now, some companies will opt for a virtual training space away from the main office to make sure their employees get the best experience. Also, it’s best if each of your employees has a laptop or a workstation ready. Remember this is a workshop type of training, so we’d like students to be able to follow along on their machines and even implement where it’s appropriate to what they’re learning.

So question number four is usually, “Well, how long is the class, either in terms of hours or days?” Typically a class starts at about 9:00, goes to 5:00 with an hour or so off for lunch and a couple of breaks. It can also last any number of days depending on the level of customization and what your needs really are, but typically we do in house training programs in two, three, or five day segments.

Question number five is, “Well, what if we have different types of employees needing different types of training?” This often is a really tough problem. For example, I’m preparing to conduct a training in just a couple of weeks for a company that has a team of web developers that need to get a handle on technical SEO, but they also have content creators that need to know SEO so that they can create and pursue content strategies that align with SEO goals. Well, here again, the advantage is in the customization. Now, often we will teach the fundamentals of search to employees that have different job assignments because a holistic understanding of how search works and what works with search engine optimization can get the whole team playing on the same game so to speak. But then we can structure a program where training is split and focused differently for different job roles.

Question number six, we’re usually asked, “Well, who actually does the training and the customization?” Well, as it so happens, I’m the lead SEO trainer and the chief SEO strategist at Horizon Web Marketing, and I usually lead the in house corporate SEO training. I also usually am the person that will get on the phone and work with you to craft a workable program. Now, as you can imagine, this does limit the number of corporate SEO training clients we can accept each year, but we’re committed to keeping our program small enough to ensure the type of quality instruction our clients expect.

Now, the big question, “Well, how much does all of this cost?” Usually you’re going to have to consider budgeting anywhere in the range of one to three thousand dollars per employee for in house training. Because our training varies so much from company to company and situation to situation, we can’t really come up with a price that we can just plug into a page or even a video like this, but we can give you a very specific and a very competitive price as soon as we have a conversation and learn more about your needs, so call us at 702-836-3278 to have that conversation. Select option one when you call in.

Well, I hope that answers some of your questions, and in the answers you see how a powerful, customized in house corporate SEO training program can help your company. Now, if you want to save time on that phone call, go to HorizonWebMarketing.com, Train My Team, and fill out our secure, no obligation quote request form, which will get us started. Again, my name is Ross Barefoot, I’m with Horizon Web Marketing and Horizon Web Marketing Academy, and I look forward to training your team.

 

 

Ross Barefoot is the Chief Technology Officer at Horizon Web Marketing. In his work with Horizon Ross brings 35 years of small business management experience, 25 years programming experience, 20 years web development experience, and 13 years experience as a professional SEO. Ross is also currently a certified SEO trainer with the Search Engine Academy and serves on its board of directors.