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12 Ways to Build a Winning SEO Strategy on a Small Budget



12 ways to build a winning seo strategy on a small budget 5de3b39968868

We’ve read the blogs, we’ve heard the talks, we’ve seen the case studies.

Big brands are winning at SEO.

They’ve got:

  • A team of experts working on fine-tuning their tech.
  • A world-class agency planning their next digital PR campaign.
  • A fund for stationery that rivals your entire year’s marketing budget.

It can feel demoralizing as a marketer with a small SEO budget to hear those stories. Their success can feel completely out of reach.

That doesn’t have to be the case.

If you are working with a small SEO budget for your brand or your agency’s client you can still have success.

The key to building a winning SEO strategy when you are low on funds is learning to prioritize.

Read on to learn the top 12 ways you can prioritize, structure, and run SEO campaigns that will bring exceptional ROI from your small budget.

1. Identify How Your Budget Limits You

This is a crucial first step. A small budget often means you are having to compromise in some areas. Regardless of whether you are working in-house, in an agency or as a freelancer, small budgets often mean:

Lack of Time

If your client has a small marketing budget then you are likely to be very limited in how much time you can dedicate to their SEO each month.

Similarly, if you work in-house for a brand with a small budget then your time is probably shared amongst other channels, too.

A small budget often means you are not given enough time to do all of the work you want to.

Less Resources

If you are working with a small SEO budget you might not have access to all the fancy tools you think you need. Extensive keyword trackers, backlink identifiers and log-file analyzers can be quite expensive.

If you are working for an agency you may have access to these, but in-house marketers on a small budget are unlikely to.


If you have a limited SEO budget as a brand marketer, chances are you don’t have an array of SEO experts at your fingertips.

Even as an agency marketer working with clients who don’t have much budget means your SEO team is probably not highly specialized. This can leave serious gaps in your knowledge that could be hampering your SEO efforts.

Money for Assets

A lack of money often means that you don’t have the budget for work outside of your skill-set. If you want to plan an outreach campaign, for example, you may feel blocked by the cost of asset creation.

For instance, you might have felt a designer, media producer and content manager would be crucial to get your idea off the ground.

Identifying what your SEO budget is, and is not, translating to in terms of your resources and knowledge gives you a good idea of what you should be prioritizing. It also helps you to stop wandering down paths that aren’t going to yield results.

2. Fill Those Gaps

If you know your budget means you cannot afford the best tools you may need to look at cheap or free alternatives.

There are ways to track rank, identify backlinks, and analyze log files without spending a fortune.

The options are usually just a little less shiny and require a bit more manual labor to get the same level of intel.

If it is time that you are short on then you may need to have a conversation with your team or your client about getting more.

I’ve heard of agencies who will sell SEO packages in at 3 or 4 hours a month. This is, in my opinion, hard to work with.

You may need to speak to your client about the limitations such a small commitment to SEO gives and perhaps show the possible increase were they to invest more.

Some in-house bosses are also unaware of how much time SEO analysis and implementation takes to carry out well.

If there is really no option to increase the time you have allocated to spend on SEO then you will need to be laser-focused on the work you do. See point 5 for more advice on that.

If it is a knowledge gap that you feel is holding you back then you need to know what your weaker areas are.

It may be that you are an excellent copywriter and feel that digital PR is your jam, but the technical side of SEO is still a bit baffling to you. This can be your opportunity to develop your skills.

3. Assess Your Strengths

You might feel like you are at a disadvantage due to your lack of budget, but what are you already doing well? It could be you have access to a great development team, or you are a digital PR at heart.

Make sure you keep an element of the work that comes easily to you in your plan. That way you will know that you are guaranteed some success for your efforts.

Your brand might be well known already in your industry or local area. You can capitalize on this fame to build backlinks or gain reviews.

Use your and the brand’s strengths to your advantage in your strategy.

Start analyzing what you have available to you. Audit the knowledge, skills, and resources you can access. This will help you to identify what to prioritize.

For instance, if you are limited on resources but have a good relationship with local business, reach out to them. There may be some deals that you can make to use to your advantage.

Perhaps you can partner with local sports teams or schools that will enable you to give back to your community as well as earn links from them.

Another local company or agency may swap their designer’s skills for your SEO advice. It is worth exploring the support you can get outside of your own team.

4. Set Expectations

The key to a really successful strategy when working with small budgets is setting expectations.

Your boss or your client may have lofty visions of what they expect SEO to achieve for them. They might be completely unrealistic.

Get an idea for the baseline of organic traffic currently going to your site.

From there you can use a predictive model to estimate organic traffic growth.

You may get pressure to drive rankings up or double organic traffic but you need to be clear about what is achievable.

It is also worth discussing the sorts of activity you will be able to carry out within your budget.

Elaborate outreach campaigns and redesigning the structure of the website might be completely unfeasible now.

That doesn’t mean you can’t begin building a case for that work in the future.

5. Start Small

An important factor in developing a well-performing organic strategy on a budget is knowing where you can focus your efforts to achieve the most growth.

You may need to look at what your focus product, service, or content is. Prioritize the pages or goals that are most important.

You are going to be able to achieve more for those one of two pages than if you are trying to spread your limited budget across your whole site.

If you will benefit from traffic searching with local intent then optimize your Google My Business listing. It may only require some small changes.

Your effort and resources may be better spent trying to rank for  local terms where competition is more limited.

6. Fix Your Problems First

Your hard work can be for nothing if your website is fundamentally flawed.

You don’t have the money to waste optimizing your website whilst it is suffering from technical debt, or has an abundance of backlinks with anchor text for services you no longer provide.

A comprehensive audit, although time-consuming, can reveal issues that you never knew you had. It may seem like an indulgent use of budget but it will put you in a much stronger position to form a winning strategy.

Look into the state of your website.

A few points you need to cover include:

  • Has it migrated recently? Was that carried out effectively or might it still be suffering the effects?
  • What does your backlink profile, including anchor text look like?
  • Which pages have already been optimized on the site and are they growing in visibility?
  • What does the technical set-up of the site look like? Can it be crawled easily, with the signals as to which pages should be indexed consistently?

Once you have an idea of which areas of your site might be holding you back you can see a focus for the first stages of your strategy.

It’s important to note that the reason these issues have not been fixed before could be due to the limits of the budget.

Perhaps there isn’t enough money available to bring back the developer who built the site to fix the issues it’s suffering from or the migration went south because of the lack of knowledge in the company.

This can complicate matters but doesn’t mean your strategy is doomed. You may need to focus even more on compensating for the site’s shortcomings while trying to fix what you can.

For instance, I’ve worked on sites before that had terrible copy but the client was adamant it could not be changed because they did not want to pay for someone to re-write what had only just been written by their in-house copywriter.

Not being able to better theme a page’s copy to the search terms I know their clients are searching with isn’t great for ranking the page or converting traffic that lands on it.

In that instance, I had to focus even more on increasing the other signals that suggest the page’s relevancy for those terms, like page titles, internal linking, and anchor text.

7. Prioritize Results

It may be that you are not going to make much progress optimizing for your head terms in a crowded market.

It can be tempting in this situation to look at how to drive traffic the fastest, such as going for a long-tail keyword strategy. However, this might not be the best use of your budget if it doesn’t bring about conversions.

This comes back to point four, setting expectations correctly.

If you have agreed that conversions is one of your key metrics for showing success then a long-tail keyword strategy in isolation may not be your best course of action.

However, if the goal is to increase visibility or organic traffic only then it may be more suitable.

Your strategy needs to focus on what will meet the goals of the campaign. Look for opportunities that will bring about the best ROI.

8. Think Outside the Box

With a limited budget in a crowded industry, you will need to get imaginative with how you spend your resources.

Google’s standard organic results might not be your best starting point.

This sounds very counter-intuitive.

Depending on your SEO goals though you could be better off looking at another way to increase organic traffic to your site.

If your product is very visual, then consider focusing on ranking your images for image searches and carousels. This could land converting traffic to your site easier than if you are trying to rank for head terms associated with your product.

Consider Other Search Engines

Perhaps Google isn’t the search engine you should focus on immediately.

Depending on the industry you may find you have a high percentage of organic visitors from other search engines.

StatCounter shows Bing’s share of the U.S. search engine market to be 6.33% in October 2019.  I recently accidentally conducted a Yahoo search when using a very old laptop that had the default search engine changed.

There are still people not using Google.

This might be a focus point for you.

For instance, Bing Places is often forgotten by companies that are focusing on Google only.

It may be that you can rank your site’s local businesses’ Places easier in Bing than in Google due to lower competition. It may be enough to move the needle of converting organic traffic to your site.

Similarly, if you have a lot of video content, then optimizing them for YouTube’s organic algorithm may allow you to drive more awareness of your brand. Again, it all comes down to what the goals of your campaign are.

9. Ignore Best Practice

Something that is often a time-sink is trying to conform to “best practice”.

The results of audits by less experienced SEO professionals may highlight issues like the XML sitemap not being referenced in the robots.txt or page titles exceeding 60 characters.

If you are in a position where you need to be very careful with where you focus your efforts then trying to tick all the “best practice” boxes is likely to be a waste of time.

Often, these items will do little for your SEO other than make you feel like your above criticism from outside agencies trying to poach your job.

At worst, they can be detrimental to your work by stealing your attention away from results generating activity.

Everything you include in your strategy needs to have a clear objective that goes towards achieving your desired ROI.

Will adding a reference to the XML sitemap in your robots.txt cause an external development agency to charge for an hour’s work?

Is that worth coming out of your budget if you could add the XML sitemap’s location to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools?

Why are you going back through all the meta descriptions on your site to ensure they are less than a certain number of characters when Google may well change them in the SERPs anyway?

It can feel risky leaving your work open to criticism from less-informed parties.

Your strategy is not about ticking boxes. It’s about driving results.

All of your activity needs to reflect that.

10. Learn from Your Competitors

A good way of saving some time and resources is to look at what your competitors are already doing. Find out where they are getting their backlinks from.

See if any of those sites are worth approaching for your own links. Understand how their copy is out-ranking yours and use that knowledge to improve your own.

See who has the featured snippet you are coveting and improve your copy so it is structured similarly. Ensure it better answers the searchers’ question.

It has to be stressed though, just because another site is doing something does not mean your site should be doing it, too. The search algorithms are complicated.

There can be many reasons why a poorly optimized page might be ranking above yours. Don’t just blindly copy what you see others doing. Ensure your changes fit in with what you know about the algorithms.

It is also crucial that you don’t look too far out of your website’s industry for inspiration. These are not your competitors. They are not the websites that yours will be competing with in the SERPs.

Therefore the reasons they are ranking number 1 for a term that is not relevant to your site does not mean your site will start ranking better for the terms that should be driving traffic to your site.

11. Use Your Colleagues

Another factor in developing a winning SEO strategy on a small budget is borrowing resources from other places.

This can be achieved in several ways:

  • Educate your colleagues so they work in an SEO-first way. If your development team fully understands the implications of their coding changes they can work alongside you on technical SEO. Talk to your PPC team about their audience targeting for brand terms searches so they don’t cannibalize organic traffic.
  • Use their data. Other internal teams and external agencies working on your brand will have their own wealth of data that could be useful in informing your strategy. Make sure you are liaising with paid media team to find out what search terms are converting for them.
  • Ask for their assistance. If time and skills are limited in your SEO team then you may also need to get creative with asking for help from other members of your team. Can a designer help with your outreach assets, or a developer help you identify the cause of your spider trap? You may have the right resources at your disposal already, just not within your direct team.

12. Improve Existing Content Before Writing New

A final suggestion for making the most of your limited budget when creating a winning SEO strategy is to improve content you already have.

What can you optimize that is already on your site?

Think about videos, images and audio files.

Look into the schema markup available for your content. This can help its presentation in the SERPs which may gain you more visibility without having to spend money on new content.

Look at the copy on your site that is ranking on pages two or three. See if there are tweaks that can be made to get it ranking on the first page.

You must make sure the assets you already have are working hard for you.


It can be a struggle to drive well-converting organic traffic to a site when your budget is small. It isn’t impossible though.

Some of the most exciting SEO happens when you need to be creative with your time and resources.

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Hitta nyckelord som du faktiskt kan ranka efter med dessa 4 frågor



Hitta nyckelord som du faktiskt kan ranka efter med dessa 4 frågor

Driving organic traffic from search often requires attaining high Google rankings. Often, I see marketers creating content with that goal but without keeping keyword research in mind. They expend valuable time and effort creating a piece that ultimately falls flat.

Marketers often mistakenly create #content to draw organic traffic without keeping keyword research in mind, says @JohnHall via @CMIContent. #SEO Klicka för att tweeta

However, when you target the right keywords for your business, SEO can be one of the most valuable and highest ROI channels. But how do you identify and prioritize the right keywords? A consistent keyword research process can make your job easier.

Answer these four questions to qualify and find keywords that will deliver for your brand.

Is your site deep enough?

Just because a keyword has low competition doesn’t mean your site will easily rank for it. If you have not written much publicly about the subject, you do not have the necessary topical depth authority. In Google’s eyes, your site – even if your business has decades of experience on this topic – still falls into the newbie category.

To break out of newbie status, make sure you have published at least six articles on that same general topic in the last three months.

Gain topical depth authority by publishing at least six articles in the last three months on the general subject, says @JohnHall via @CMIContent. #SEO Klicka för att tweeta

Is the keyword really valuable?

Possessing topical authority for a keyword doesn’t necessarily mean you should pursue it. Targeted keywords should relate in some way to your business revenue.

For example, a calendar platform site might rank well for the keyword “time management.” But people who search for that phrase are likely looking for information about the topic. They will read the article on the site, but they won’t convert into customers. (I use this example from my knowledge as an investor in

However, if the calendar platform site ranks for the keyword phrase “alternatives to Calendly” on a listicle or internal page, the readers of this content would be 100% interested in the platform’s business offering and convert much better since they are looking for a solution in the space.

A successful SEO strategy should tie to your company’s offerings for maximum ROI. Otherwise, the content won’t really benefit the business in the long term. Choose keywords that have both your topical depth authority and relevance to revenue.

A targeted keyword for which your business can rank but isn’t likely to convert into revenue is not a smart choice, says @JohnHall via @CMIContent. #SEO Klicka för att tweeta

How authoritative is your site?

While topical depth authority grows in importance to Google rankings, general site popularity remains a factor. Your website’s domain authority (DA) indicates how well your pages are likely to rank for the targeted keywords. Use a tool like Moz domain authority checker, Domain Rating from Ahrefs, eller Authority Score from Semrush. Compare your site’s score to the sites already ranking for your target keywords. If your score isn’t close to their scores, you won’t find it easy to rank for that keyword.

In general, companies with high domain authority scores or ratings will have an easier time ranking for competitive keywords. If you’re a smaller company with a low domain authority, spend your time focusing on lower-volume search terms.

How do you spot content competitors’ weaknesses?

The secret sauce to a winning SEO strategy is capitalizing on the weaknesses and problems you find on the search engine results page. Among the weak signals that could indicate positive opportunities to pursue:

  • Page title misses terms in your target keyword
  • Page word count is less than 1,000 words
  • Page takes more than three seconds to load
  • Page was published over six months ago
  • Page is a forum site such as Quora, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn
  • Page’s Moz spam score is above 10%
  • Page reading level is at least ninth grade
  • Page mobile user experience is poor

Find a keyword with a few of these weakness indicators in the results for which your company already has the topical depth and domain authority. Then, you can capitalize on them to create content that delivers better for the audience and the search engine results page.

Putting it all together

It can be helpful to start your keyword search using a tool like Ahrefs to get insights into monthly keyword search volumes and competitor domain authority to get a baseline understanding of ranking difficulty. But you still must evaluate the search results to find weaknesses to capitalize on.

A variety of tools can help in that process. TopicRanker shows how to use the data to make better decisions around keyword research. Enter your website’s URL and a topic relevant to your business expertise. (Avoid using generic keywords.)

In this example, I input as the URL with the keyword “sms for marketing.” The results indicate it has a medium keyword difficulty with a search volume of 18,100. It includes the Moz domain authority for the site along with the missing number of words in the meta title, word count, readability score, load time, and spam score.

1679368005 495 Hitta sökord som du faktiskt kan ranka efter med dessa 4The TopicRanker tool can:

  • Analyze your website and inputted keyword
  • Crawl search results for thousands of keywords related to that topic to find specific weaknesses and problems in the SERP
  • Uncover all the search results where the content does a poor job of helping the reader
  • Suggest keywords your company should be able to rank for (usually between five and 10).
  • Break down the SERP results for each suggested keyword, showing competitor weaknesses on which you can capitalize and create a better piece of content

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Making SEO progress

With so much competition for attention, you can’t simply skapa innehåll based on gut feelings. It requires knowing which questions to ask and, more importantly, which answers will lead to the creation of an effective SEO strategy. Failure to do that means you’ll exhaust resources creating content that doesn’t impact your company’s bottom line. But by following this process, you can create winning content that ranks high and brings customers organically.

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

Vill du ha fler tips, insikter och exempel på innehållsmarknadsföring? Prenumerera till arbetsdags- eller veckomail från CMI.


Omslagsbild av Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute


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Så här undviker du dubbletter av konverteringar och återskapar konverteringstratten för GA4



20 Google Analytics-alternativ - Moz

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

As you’re probably all too aware at this point, GA4 is coming. Old versions of Google Analytics will be switched off for pretty much everyone come June 2023.

While GA4 is improving all the time, there are quite a few things that people are used to seeing in old versions of Analytics which, at the very least, take a bit of creativity in the new world.

One example is how conversions are handled. In the old versions of Google Analytics, a conversion could only fire once per session. In GA4 conversions are just another kind of event, so it’s possible for a conversion to fire multiple times in one session.

Problem is, you might be very interested if someone signs up via your contact-us form once. But that person might reload the thank-you page, or sign up for something else via a different form on the site. That doesn’t mean you necessarily want to track two conversions.

Speaking of signing up via different forms, on some websites, users may wind up on the same thank-you page having taken very different routes to get there. If we don’t have that much control, and we’re having to rely on thank-you page views to track conversions, it can be hard for us to separate out different kinds of conversions.

In old versions of GA you could use funnels with a “required” step. You might have one goal with a funnel requiring your event page, another goal with a funnel requiring a different page, and rely on them to give you different conversions. There also isn’t an obvious way to do this in GA4.

In this post, I’m going to take you through how to:

  • Avoid double counting in GA4.

  • Automatically ignore suspicious conversions (like people landing direct on the conversion page).

  • Recreate the kind of funnels we expected in Universal Analytics (in fact we’ll make them better).

I’ll take you through a few bits in GA4 and others using Google Tag Manager. The GA4 approach is more straightforward, but the Tag Manager is more robust and can help you make sure that all of your conversion pixels are showing roughly the same information (because we’re long past the point where GA is the only place we’re recording conversions).

Managing conversions in GA4

This section is about changes we can make purely through the GA4 interface. As long as you’re sending your page views conversion events to GA4 you should be able to use these tactics without any code changes.

However: There are some limitations of doing things through GA4, for example it can mean that your GA data doesn’t line up with conversions recorded via Övrig platforms.

Avoiding double-counting

Julius Fedorovicius (of Analytics Mania fame) has produced a fantastic guide to making sure that conversions are only recorded once per session.

You should have a read but broadly:

  • You create a custom audience based on a sequence that begins with “session_start”

  • You fire an event when someone enters that audience

  • You use that event as your conversion.

No surprise that Julius has come up with a really smart way to handle the problem of double-counting:

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If you’ve created Segments in Universal Analytics Audience sequences in GA4 look very like the sequences we used to create for Segments. However, the old Segments were just a way of visualizing data, whereas Audiences in GA4 are a way of grouping data. We can use Audiences to create something new.

That distinction is important because we can do cool things like fire custom events when someone enters an audience (which Julius makes use of in this solution).

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Universal Analytics Segment sequence creator

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GA4 Publik sequence creator

The limitations of using Google Analytics audiences

This isn’t really a limitation as far as GA goes but it’s a consideration nonetheless. Julius’ solution is great for making sure we’re not double-counting conversions in GA, but GA probably isn’t the only way we’re recording conversions.

The average site probably has a bunch of separate conversion tracking pixels and those could end up double-counting conversions.

Till exempel: Facebook och Google both describe how they avoid double-counting conversions, but their solutions largely rely on exactly matching transaction IDs, and even if they’re handling it okay, there’s a bunch of smaller fish out there that are also offering conversion tracking and can need a bit more hand-holding.

If we want to make sure that we’re only recording one conversion per session, it’s useful to make sure all of our conversion tracking is working in a similar way. Tag Manager is a great solution for that (I describe a solution in the Tag Manager section below).

You can also run into problems if, for example, your confirmation page is somehow indexed or bookmarked by users — people landing directly on it can lead to weird unexpected conversions. We can also use Tag Manager to guard against that a little bit.

Recreating the conversion funnel

Sticking with the GA4 interface for now, we can also adapt the AnalyticsMania approach to create our funnel-based conversions too by adding additional steps to the sequence.

For what it’s worth, conversion funnels are not the ideal way to categorize conversions. If you can use anything more direct (like the id of the form they’ve filled out, a separate thank-you page) then that’s a much more reliable way to categorize conversions. That said, we don’t live in a perfect world, and sometimes there isn’t the option to completely rebuild your conversion process.

In Fedorovicius’ example we just have two steps in our audience sequence:

  1. Session_start
    Indirectly followed by

  2. Conversion

Which basically means “someone lands on the site and then at any point during their session, they convert”.

To recreate the goal funnels you might be using in Universal Analytics – we can just add another step to the sequence. For instance:

  1. Session_start
    Indirectly followed by

  2. Visiting our event_page
    Indirectly followed by

  3. Landing on our thank you page/converting

That should mean we can create one conversion which is: Users who went through our event page and then converted.

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And another conversion which is: Users who went through our sponsorship page and then converted.

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There are some limitations here though, for example, what if someone:

  1. Landed on the site

  2. Visited our event page

  3. Then visited our sponsorship page

  4. Converted using the form on either.

They would fulfill the criteria for our event conversion och the criteria for our sponsorship conversion. We’d record a conversion for each and we’d end up double-counting after all.

This is also a limitation of the old Universal Analytics funnels: Just because a step in the funnel was required doesn’t mean the user can’t wander off around the site between that step and their final conversion. So, if it’s any consolation, this isn’t any worse than old Universal Analytics funnels (but we can still do better).

The problem with using “directly followed by”

You might say “well that’s easily solved — at the moment the sequence says is indirectly followed by and we can just change that to is directly followed by”.

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Surely that would mean that someone is on the sponsorship page and goes directly from the sponsorship page to the thank you page, right?

Unfortunately that’s usually not what “directly followed by” means because there’s all kinds of things that can get recorded in analytics which aren’t page views.

For example if someone lands on the sponsorship page, and then scrolls down and lands on the thank you page, the thank you page view doesn’t directly follow the sponsorship page view. It goes:

  • Page view: sponsorship

  • Scroll

  • Page view: thank you

So “directly followed by” isn’t an easy solution.

How about “within x minutes”?

GA4 has a really cool feature in the sequence builder where we can set a timer in-between steps. Even outside of tracking conversions within a session we can use it to keep track of cool things like people who came to our site, didn’t convert that time, but came back and converted within the next couple days.

Jill Quick has been talking a bunch about how powerful these options are.

We could use this to say something like: person landed on our event page and then landed on our thank you page within 10 minutes.

But as I’m sure you’ve guessed, that ends up being a kind of arbitrary cut off, maybe someone spends some time thinking about how to fill out our form, or maybe someone really quickly goes to one of our other pages and converts there. This could be better than the basic funnel, but we could also end up ignoring completely legitimate conversions.

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So what do we do?

Using GA4 sequences for this is kind of fine, as I say above it’s certainly not worse than Universal Analytics, but we could do better with Google Tag Manager.

Managing conversions in Google Tag Manager

These approaches require you to run all your tracking via Tag Manager. Though even aside

from this, if you’re not already using Tag Manager, I’d advise you to look into it!

Since we need to keep track of what’s happened to a user across multiple pages, these solutions are also going to make use of cookies. In case that fills you with dread, don’t worry:

  • I’m going to walk you through how to create and delete these cookies (it takes a little Javascript but it’s copy-paste and easier than you think!)

  • These aren’t the kinds of cookies designed to give away people’s information to other services.

To reiterate what I say above: While this approach takes a bit more effort than just doing things through Google Analytics it allows us to do two things:

  1. Make sure all of our various tracking tags are firing in the same way

  2. Have more fine grained control, particularly if we’re trying to categorise different paths to conversion.

Avoiding double-counting

To recap what we want to do here, we want to make sure that if someone visits our site and converts we fire a conversion. However, if they revisit a thank you page, or go through a different conversion, we don’t fire a second conversion that session.

To do that, we’re going to:

  • Set a cookie when a user converts.

  • Make sure that the cookie automatically disappears after 30 minutes of inactivity (this is the default timeout for GA4 sessions but if you think that’s too short you can set it to whatever you want).

  • Every time we go to fire a conversion, check if that cookie is present and, if it is, don’t fire the conversion.

That should mean that if someone comes to our site and converts, we’ll set the cookie, and that will stop us from firing any more conversions (GA4 or otherwise) until the user has taken a little time away from the site.

Setting a cookie in JavaScript

The first thing you need to know is that we can use Tag Manager to run any JavaScript we want. The second thing to know is that we can use JavaScript to set cookies.

So first: Go to Google Tag Manager, create a new Tag and select the Custom HTML type

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Give the tag the name “[Tag] setCookieConverted” and in the html content paste:


// Get time 30 minutes from now (this is because the default GA session time out

// is half an hour and we want our cookie timeout to match)

var minutesToAdd = 30

var currentTime = new Date(); // Get current time

var newDateObj = new Date(currentTime.getTime() + minutesToAdd*60000); // Add our minutes on

// Set the domain your’re working on, this is because we want our cookies to be

// accessible in subdomains (like if needed

var yourDomain = “”

// Set a cookie called ‘converted’ with the value being ‘true’ which expires in 30 minutes

document.cookie = “converted=true; path=/; domain=”+yourDomain+”; expires=”+newDateObj+”;”


It should look like this:

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The custom HTML tag will add the content there to the page, and as soon as the page detects a new script (the one we’ve written) it’ll run that script.

What our script does is:

  • It finds the current time, and what time it’ll be in half an hour.

  • It uses that, and your domain, to set a cookie called “converted” which can be read by any page on your website.

When you go to save your tag it’ll probably say “No Triggers Selected”.

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For now we’re going to click “Add trigger” and choose the “All Pages” trigger.

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This is purely so that while we’re putting this together we can easily test it..

Reading our cookie value

Tag Manager has a built-in way to read cookie values using variables. So go to the variables section, create a new variable called “convertedCookie” and set the Cookie Name as “converted”.

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Now, if you click the “Preview” button and open up your site we can start to look at what value the convertedCookie variable pulls through for you.

Click into the “Variables” tab and you should see convertedCookie somewhere in the list. Here’s an example with other cookies blocked out so you know what to look for.

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So now we can use the value of that variable in Tag Manager as part of our logic.

Using conversion cookie in our conversion logic

Everyone’s conversion setup will be the different so this might not match what you’re doing exakt but if you’re considering using GTM I’m assuming you are firing conversions something like this:

  1. You have a trigger based on some condition (probably either a custom event or a pageview)

  2. You have a tag (or multiple tags) that send your conversion information whenever that trigger is activated.

What we’re going to do is tweak your trigger to add another condition.

Imagine that your trigger was previously firing on every thank-you page visit:

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What we’re going to do is add a second condition to the trigger:

convertedCookie does not contain true

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While this example uses the thank you page path, it doesn’t have to, it can be anything.

Once you make this change, you can go and test your conversion. Because you have another tag adding the converted cookie on each page view, your conversion shouldn’t fire when it normally would.

Now we just need to change our converted cookie so that it only appears after someone has converted.

At the moment we’re setting the “converted” cookie on every page view, so we’ll never get any conversions.

We need to update that so:

  • We set a cookie when someone converts.

  • Every time we load a page, if the person is marked as “converted” we reset the cookie (I‘ll explain).

Setting a cookie only when someone has converted

First: we need to remove the trigger from [Tag] setCookieConverted so it doesn’t fire at all.

Then we go to whatever tag we’re using to send our conversion, open up “Advanced Settings”, click “Tag Sequencing” and select “Fire a tag after”.

Then we select our setCookieConverted tag and check “Don’t fire if conversion tag fails”.

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This should mean that whenever we send our conversion, we’ll automatically then activate our cookie tag and mark the user as converted.

So now our logic is:

  • If someone converts, we check if there is a cookie saying they recently converted already.

  • If they don’t have that cookie we send a conversion.

  • Then we automatically set that cookie.

To test this, you can either clear the cookie or wait for it to expire. Here are instructions for how to clear cookies in Google Chrome (which you’re probably using if you’re working with tag manager).

Now, if you got into GTM preview and click around you should be able to look at your variables and see that convertedCookie is back to being ‘undefined’.

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If you convert, you should see that both tags fire — your conversion tag and your setCookieConverted tag.

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But if you convert again (reload the page, re-fill the form, whatever you’ve got to do) you should see that neither tag fires.

Congratulations! You’re filtering your conversions to avoid recording a conversion more than once for someone in a 30 minute window.

We just want to make one last tweak now.

Refreshing the cookie if it has been set

Our cookie has a 30 minute expiration. That means it’ll stick around for 30 minutes and then automatically be deleted from the browser. But what if someone hangs around on our website for more than half an hour, reading a blog post or something, and converts again?

To help deal with that, we’re going to add another trigger which checks if the user has recently converted, and if they have, refreshes the cookie with each new page load.

Head back to [Tag] setCookieConverted

At this point it should have no firing triggers. We’re going to add one back in.

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Click the blue plus sign in this screen, and again in the next screen that comes up, we’re going to create a new trigger.

In the new trigger, we set it to fire only on page views where convertedCookie contains true.

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So this gets a little bit circular, but basically:

  • When someone converts we set a “converted” cookie for the next half hour.

  • Every time someone loads a page, if they have a “converted” cookie we reset that cookie for another 30 minutes.

  • If at any point the user doesn’t load a new page for 30 minutes, the cookie will expire, which means our refresh won’t be triggered.

You can test this by clicking around your site with the GTM preview. Once you’ve converted, the [Tag] setCookieConverted should fire on every new page load.

Wrapping up

All you need to do now is make sure that all of your conversion tags use that same trigger (the one that has the condition that convertedCookie isn’t “true”). Once that’s set up, they should all behave the same — only recording one conversion per session unless someone clears their cookies or just hangs around on one page for a very long time.

What if we find we’re getting weird conversions where users haven’t visited any other pages on the site?

I have worked with sites in the past where:

  • There’s useful information on the thank-you page and users have been keeping it open/coming back to it.

  • Confirmation pages have been indexed in Google or people are finding their way to the conversion page some other way.

That can lead to weird tracked conversions that don’t correspond to actual conversions. While these problems should be solved at source, we can also clear up our analytics using the steps in “Creating a conversion funnel” below.

Creating a conversion funnel

This builds on the cookie meddling we’ve done in the last section, so if you haven’t read that bit, it’s worth taking a look!

Om du inte är här för att du vill ha en specifik tratt utan för att du vill hantera konstiga omvandlingar där användare bara landar direkt på omvandlingssidan – oroa dig inte, du följer dessa instruktioner exakt likadant, du ställer bara in triggern för varje sida förutom din omvandlingssida (jag tar dig igenom det).

Ange en "sökväg"-cookie

Precis som den "konverterade" cookien tidigare, kommer vi att skapa en ny cookie som registrerar platsen för den aktuella sidan.

Skapa en ny tagg som heter [Tag] setCookiePath, välj "Anpassad HTML" och lägg till följande JavaScript


// Get time 30 minutes from now (this is because the default GA session time out

// is half an hour and we want our cookie timeout to match)

var minutesToAdd = 30

var currentTime = new Date(); // Get current time

var newDateObj = new Date(currentTime.getTime() + minutesToAdd*60000); // Add our minutes on

// Set the domain your’re working on, this is because we want our cookies to be

// accessible in subdomains (like if needed

var yourDomain = “”

var pagePathName = window.location.pathname // Hämta plats för aktuell sida

// Set a cookie called ‘converted’ with the value being ‘true’ which expires in 30 minutes

document.cookie = “conversionPath=”+plats+”; sökväg=/; domain="+dinDomän+"; expires="+newDateObj+";"


It should look like this:

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Detta kommer att spara en cookie som registrerar platsen för sidan. Första gången den laddas kommer den att skapa en ny cookie med den informationen, varje gång efter det kommer den att ersätta värdet.

Vi kommer att använda detta för att se till att den kanalsida som vår användare senast interagerade med är den vi spelar in.

Utlöses på dina trattsidor

När vi skapar vår "tratt" antar vi att det finns vissa sidor som en användare går igenom för att konvertera. Så vi kommer att ställa in detta på att triggas endast när en av dessa trattsidor är inblandad.

I din [Tag] setCookiePath tagg – klicka för att lägga till en ny utlösare och skapa en ny utlösare.

Vi kommer att konfigurera vår tagg så att den aktiveras vid varje användarklick. Detta innebär att om en användare hoppar mellan olika trattsidor kommer var och en att skriva över cookien när de klickar runt men bara den de interagerat med sista kommer att vara den som fastnar i cookievärdet.

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Hämta vår trattCookie

Som i instruktionerna för dubbelräkning, skapa en ny variabel. Men den här gången, kalla det funnelCookie och ställ in "Cookie Name" till conversionPath.

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När du har gjort det bör du kunna testa genom att använda förhandsgranskning, gå till valfri gammal sida på din webbplats (så länge det inte är en av dina trattsidor) och kontrollera funnelCookie i variablerna (den bör vara odefinierad).

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Gå sedan till en av dina trattsidor, du bör kunna se cookieändringen.

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När du besöker andra sidor på webbplatsen bör funnelCookie förbli densamma, såvida inte du besöker en annan trattsida.

Ändra våra konverteringar baserat på trattenCookie

Nu finns det smarta saker du kan göra här med att extrahera värdet av funnelCookie och lägga in det i en variabel i din konverteringstagg, men inställningen för varje tagg kommer att vara annorlunda och jag vill ge dig ett alternativ om du inte är det kunna att göra det.

Detta kommer att skapa en liten lite mer röra i ditt Tag Manager-konto eftersom du kommer att duplicera några av dina trigger- och konverteringstaggar.

Låt oss först gå tillbaka till konverteringstriggern vi arbetade med tidigare. Det såg ut så här när vi lämnade det:

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Vi kommer att lägga till i ett annat tillstånd:

trattCookie innehåller händelse-sida

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Detta betyder nu att denna konvertering kommer endast brand om den sista trattsidan som vår användare gick igenom var händelsesidan.

Efter detta kan vi duplicera den här utlösaren, våra konverteringstaggar och, för vår andra uppsättning omvandlingar, ändra trattenCookie-värdet för utlösaren.

Kanske gör vi det istället:

trattCookieinnehåller formulärsida

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Nu har du två uppsättningar omvandlingar, som var och en aktiveras baserat på vilken trattsida användaren gick igenom. Därifrån kan du redigera de värden som skickas.

Ett par varningar

Istället för att duplicera våra konverteringstaggar skulle det vara det much bättre att dra in värdet på variabeln funnelCookie och använda den för att bara dynamiskt ändra några av värdena vi skickar som en del av konverteringen.

Med detta tillvägagångssätt riskerar du också inte registrera några konverteringar alls om en användare inte har gått igenom en av dina kanalsidor. Det kan vara vad du vill, men det är värt att ha den risken i åtanke om du tror att folk kan ta legitima men ovanliga vägar till konvertering.

Även om jag inte kan ta dig genom processen att uppdatera alla dina konverteringstaggar, är ett alternativ för att göra denna information mer redo för att fylla i konverteringstaggar (och eventuellt ställa in en reserv om du vill undvika att förlora konverteringar) att använda en uppslagstabell som denna, där du tar funnelCookie-värdet och kategoriserar värdena.

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Sedan istället för att lägga till funnelCookie-värdet i din trigger, behåller du triggern densamma och drar in uppslagstabellvärdet.

Utlöses på vilken sida som helst förutom din konverteringssida

Om du inte är orolig för att konstruera sidkanaler men vill försäkra dig om att användarna har besökt dem minst en sida innan du konverterar. Det finns ett par ändringar:

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  • Du bryr dig inte om att skapa olika konverteringsflöden, du har bara ett flöde, men du lägger ändå till ett funnelCookie-krav som säger att din funnelCookie måste vara någon sida snarare än odefinierat

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Förhoppningsvis har detta hjälpt dig att få en uppfattning om hur du kan få mer kontroll över de konverteringar som registreras på din webbplats, oavsett om det är helt genom GA4 eller med hjälp av kraften i Tag Manager.

Lycka till med spårningen!


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7 delar av innehåll som din målgrupp verkligen vill se [Nya data]



7 delar av innehåll som din målgrupp verkligen vill se [Nya data]

Konsumenternas preferenser utvecklas ständigt, vilket gör saker intressanta.

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