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Seven Google alerts SEOs need to stay on top of everything!

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Seven Google alerts SEOs need to stay on top of everything!


30-second summary:

  • The search landscape is very dynamic and almost impossible to stay abreast of
  • While an SEO and search marketer’s email inbox can be overwhelming, it can also be a powerhouse that helps you stay in the loop of industry developments and keep an eye on the competition
  • These must-have, free Google email alerts will notify you when your site traffic drops or spikes, when your site is hacked, or when there’s a manual penalty applied to your site

SEO and search marketing are challenging because they’re scattered all over the place. Setting up email notifications is the best way to be on top of everything. Some essential email alerts include reputation monitoring alerts, competitors’ social media activity, new backlinks, and more. In fact, Google offers email alerts on both Google Analytics and Search Console which is an absolute need for any website owner. I’ll cover all the essentials you need to set up!

Why are email alerts beneficial?

Speaking of setting up a separate email inbox, it is not a bad idea to keep this archive separate from your business emails. But it is a good idea to add that inbox to your smartphone mail app to be able to keep an eye while on the go.

  • Email alerts are hard to miss: I love dashboards that consolidate multiple sources of data under one roof but life gets too fast too often and I can neglect my dashboard for weeks in a row. An email notification is unavoidable. Even if there’s no time to read an email, I can quickly scan it while scrolling through new emails and immediately see if it needs my attention right away.
  • Emails get archived: This creates an ever-growing database of everything that has ever been happening with my site. I can search my archive any time to see what happened when and attribute any traffic changes to some alert
  • Email operators can be free: You can set up a free inbox at Gmail in seconds and continue using it for free for years until you run out of free space.
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Google Analytics alerts

Getting notified of declining traffic is key for your ongoing organic visibility. It is the fundamental step behind a crucial SEO task called SEO maintenance

Google Analytics offers a custom alerts feature allowing you to get notified if anything weird is happening with your traffic.

How do you do this?

Login to your Google Analytics dashboard > Customization > Custom Alerts > Click “Manage custom alerts” > Click “NEW ALERT”

1. Traffic drop alerts in Google Analytics

There are various ways you can set up traffic drop alerts in Google Analytics. Here’s the most basic one. Set up your criteria that will trigger an email alert, for example:

  • Set up traffic source to “Google”
  • Set up your trigger: For the sake of simplicity I just set it to notify me anytime my organic traffic drops below an unusual level

Source: Screenshot from the author

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Don’t forget to check the box that says “Send me an email when this alert triggers” to receive an email notification once your traffic drops below a certain level.

You can also set up a certain percentage of the loss – this way you won’t have to modify your threshold as your traffic grows.

Source: Screenshot from the author

2. Referral or direct traffic spike alert

If any of your content assets is going viral, you want to know about that to be able to monitor the progress, help it spread even further, or reply to comments.

Likewise, if your product was mentioned by a social media influencer and suddenly everyone starts typing in your name to go buy from you, you should know immediately.

This is why this alert is a good idea to create.

For this alert, you can exclude Google from the sources of traffic to keep organic growth and declines from skewing your numbers:

Source: Screenshot from the author

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3. Revenue drop alert

Finally, if you have Google Analytics for ecommerce set up, make sure to create this alert.

For this one, I keep traffic to all sources and choose “Revenue” in the “Ecommerce” section of the drop down. Again, you can set the percentage of the loss. 

Take some time to estimate the threshold you want to be notified of. Keep in mind your slower days (weekends) or months and note those “normal” revenue declines.

Source: Screenshot from the author 

There are also several more web analytics solutions, many of which also offer email notifications, so it doesn’t have to be Google Analytics.

4. Lower load time alert

Google Analytics records how long your page loads and reports on the metric allowing you to identify slower pages. Ever since site speed became a ranking factor, keeping an eye on your page load time has been crucial. 

You can get notified by Google Analytics when your page average load time suddenly drops, so your dev team can quickly diagnose:

Source: Screenshot from the author 

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Google Search Console alerts

Google’s Search Console will send you email alerts of important changes or issues by default. You won’t need to set those up. All you need is to verify your site with Google’s Search Console (here’s how).

Search Console will immediately notify you of three important events:

5. Malware alert

When your site is hacked, you want to know immediately because it is a potential reputation crisis or any private data leak.

Google’s malware alerts are invaluable. If you needed a reason to verify your site with Search Console, this is the one. Google’s malware notifications are the fastest and the most accurate on the market. And they are free!

Source: Screenshot from the author 

Monitoring your own website changes is also a good idea since you will be immediately notified if any code or text is injected on your pages so you can fix and avoid getting your site into Google’s “hacked sites” list.

6. Internal errors alert

If Google notices an unusual spike in indexation issues or internal errors, you will get an email from Search Console.

Source: Screenshot from the author 

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There are a few more monitoring solutions that will alert you as soon as your site is down or broken. Even though those are not marketing alerts, I recommend looking at those too.

7. Manual penalty alert

If you get a manual penalty, Google will send you an email alert for you to be able to quickly fix an issue. While I hope you’ll never get any of these, it gives you a certain peace of mind knowing that you’ll get notified if anything happens.

Conclusion

Getting notified is the best way to fix issues quickly to avoid lasting damage. Keep alerted of traffic drops, site attacks, competitors’ social media activity, new links, and more.


Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer’s Landscape

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How Data Is Reshaping The SEO & Digital Marketer's Landscape

There is a new data revolution happening, and it’s sweeping across the industry so quickly that many SEO and digital marketers are struggling to make sense of the insights and intelligence at their disposal.

To utilize this opportunity, marketers need to evolve their mindsets and use technology to analyze multiple data formats and understand the new opportunities it can bring.

SEO marketers of today and digital marketers of tomorrow will need to extract, structure quickly, and manipulate data to drive the most critical business outcomes.

Data has always been mission-critical to digital decision-making.

The Economist, back in 2017, declared it the world’s most valuable resource.

Fast forward to today and the future, and we can see that the exponential growth of data fuelling this revolution is staggering.

According to the IDC, the amount of digital data created over the next five years will be greater than twice the amount of data made since the advent of digital storage.

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Think about that for a second!

Flash drives, for example, were introduced in 2000.

This means that in the next five years, marketers will have to analyze and make sense of 2x the data created in the last 22 years!

The Data Revolution Means More Sources & Complexity For SEO

The data revolution has gone on for some time now, and it’s changed our concept of what counts as “data,” rightfully so.

In the past, we thought only numbers mattered.

But, in this new digital world where everything is converted into ones and zeros, data is broader and contains text, audio, and visual information – all bits waiting to be processed!

  • Machine-based and human-generated data are growing at a rate of 10x faster than conventional business data.
  • Machine-created data is increasing exponentially at a 50x the growth rate. This data revolution is primarily marketing-driven and consumer-oriented who are “always on.”
  • In just the last 18 months, the volume of site processing data we have been generating at BrightEdge has increased by 11x!
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As a result of these increasingly demanding trends, SEO and digital marketers need to adapt and become more like data analysts and scientists in approaching the extraction of structured data insights and business intelligence – without adding more manual work.

Fortunately, SEO is well-positioned to take advantage of this new data revolution.

  • Increasing your keyword universe – More keywords mean more data points to look at with reporting and fuelling insights. While focusing on conversion rate metrics is very important, it wouldn’t be possible without opening the scope of your audience and getting more people in the door. SEO has drifted away from writing for a primary dedicated keyword and is now way more advanced with advancements in search engines like Google’s understanding of intent of searches through RankBrain and BERT.
  • Increasing your search footprint – will also help you discover unexplored of informing your future content strategy or ideate new keyword ideas. However, sometimes you might miss the boat, like the transition of Content Management Systems slowly turning into “Experience Platforms” as they offer more functionality to meet the needs of today’s webmaster or marketer.

Read More On SEJ

Data Is The Currency Of An Accelerated SEO & Digital Age

By 2025, Worldwide data will reach 175 zettabytes.

But unfortunately, the human brain can’t process, structure, and analyze all that data.

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So technology engines have to help, and digital marketers should be the driver.

There is a massive opportunity for companies that can utilize data to create more engaging experiences.

A recent study showed that 95% of business leaders recognize this as their biggest growth lever over the next three years, which means there’s plenty at stake here!

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Robust data analysis ensures decisions are evidence-based and have more accountability.

Drawing on existing and new data sources to fully integrate business acumen and analytical skills into decision making, sourcing, managing, and analyzing large amounts of unstructured data will ensure continued use and success.

SEO began with data and has evolved.

From the introduction of real-time SEO in 2019 and Page Experience Updates in 2021, SEO’s future lies again with data and the creation of intelligent systems. Here marketers can leverage combined data sources that structures data for them.

As a result, they can achieve business objectives and stay ahead during all data and digital transformation stages.

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Technology & AI Are Helping SEO Evolve

Advancements in technology and, in particular, AI and Natural Language Processing has meant that SEO and digital marketers can become data analysts without having to become an actual data scientist.

This is key to unlocking structured insights from your company’s big data to make more precise predictions about what is coming next based on existing information.

Digital marketers can evolve, understand key trends, and learn in new areas such as:

  • Predictive modeling of future trends and forecasting based on multiple types of data.
  • Real-time identification of opportunities and intelligence.
  • Digital research at scale with both historical and real-time data.
  • Leveraging automated visualizations for various stakeholders.
  • Improved data security and compliance.
  • Market and business intelligence at a macro level.
  • Consumer behavior at the most granular level.

SEO and digital marketers can learn critical skills such as statistics, data analysis, data visualization, and strategy.

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AI, NLP, and machine learning are helping them do this without needing expertise in computer programming and software applications.

What digital marketers must do is combine their communication skills and analytics skills with stakeholders who cannot think outside of the advertising box.

Read More On SEJ

Data Analysis & Intelligence As Competitive Advantage

The application of technology will be the driving force behind the next generation of data analysis technology.

Therefore, SEO and digital marketers of today should learn how to better utilize insights from data analysis.

It’s becoming more apparent that the marketing platforms of tomorrow will require the capabilities of data analysis and science infrastructure at their core.

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The future of marketing will blend technological know-how, business sense, and an understanding of data analysis.

The next generation of SEO will touch all components of marketing, from video, email, and voice, to digital performance of content.

SEO and data science will converge into one evolved discipline that drives omnichannel acquisition and democratizes data.

Marketers who embrace this new era of SEO will be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come.

Data is reconfirming its role as the new competitive advantage, and as SEO and digital marketers, you must evolve if you want to be part of the future.

More resources:


Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock

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