Monday, December 7, 2015

Unit 4 Collecting Actionable Data with Google Analytics-Lesson 4.5 Collecting Campaign Data

For each user that comes to your site, Google Analytics captures a number of attributes, or dimensions, about where the user came from. These dimensions are source and medium. The source is the name of the website that referred the user to your site. The medium is the mechanism, or how the user got to your site.

Google Analytics detects 3 default mediums without any customization:  organic, referral, and none.
Organic:  this represents traffic that comes from organic, or unpaid search results
Referral: any traffic that comes to your site from another site that is not a search engine
None: this medium is applied to users that came directly to your site by clicking on a bookmark or typing in your URLinto a browser.  (Source: Direct/Medium: None)

Link Tagging
Tracking social, email, and display campaigns in Google Analytics. Link tagging is adding extra information to the link that users click on to get to your site. This extra information that you provide is stored in campaign tags and overwrites the default categorization that would normally be assigned.

Campaign Tags

  1. Source 
  2. Medium
  3. Campaign
  4. Term (optional)
  5. Content (optional)
Link tagging is important in situations where you have multiple display ads. You want to know which ad is leading users to your site. One ad may have a tagged link and the other may not.  The ad without a tag will not display campaign information and the one that has been tagged will. If you don't tag ads properly this will lead to incorrect data in your reports. 


A helpful tool called the "URL Builder" can be found at support.google.com/analytics  to help you build these campaign tags correctly. 


Unit 4 Collecting Actionable Data with Google Analytics-Lesson 4.4 Setting Up Goals and Ecommerce

Setting up goals in Google Analytics is one of the most important parts of implementation. Goals are the way we map the data in Google Analytics to the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you defined in your measurement plan. There are two types of conversions, macro and micro. Macro conversions are the primary business objectives. Micro conversions are the relationship building activities that lead up to macro conversions.



Once you have enabled goals, you will have the ability to view conversions and conversion rates. Different goals can be created for different views. There are 4 different types of goals: destination, duration, pages/screens per visit, and event. In a previous blog post I showed the setup of a destination goal.

Destination Goal: a page on your website that a user sees when they complete an activity.  For example, a thank you page, or a receipt page.
Event Goal: this triggered when a user does something specific. For example, downloading a PDF or viewing a video.
Pages per visit Goal:  triggered when a user sees more or fewer pages than a threshold that you specified
Time on site Goal:  triggered when a user's visit exceeds or falls below a threshold you set

Unit 4 Collecting Actionable Data with Google Analytics-Lesson 4.3 Setting Up Basic Filters

Filters can exclude data, include data, or change how the data looks. Filters help you transform the data so it's better aligned with your business' needs. Data you want to view should come from your customers and your potential customers, not your employees. By creating a filter, you can exclude traffic from your internal employees.



Filters can also be used to clean up the data. For example, sometimes a website will choose the same page regardless of the case of the url, uppercase, lowercase, or mixed case. Since Google Analytics treats data as case sensitive this can result in the same page showing up multiple times based on the case in your report. To prevent this separation, set up a lower case filter for all urls (lower, upper, mixed) to force all urls to a single case.

There are three parts to a filter, a condition, a field, and an action. Filters are divided into two categories: predefined filters and custom filters. Predefined filters are templates for some of the most common filters. Custom filters let you customize to fit any unique situation.

Filters are applied in the order they appear in your configuration settings. Filter order matters. Once you have created a filter it is added to your filter library, and can be reused. Remember to try any new filters on your test view first. This helps prevent mistakes and ensures that you understand the effects of the filter before adding it to your master view.

Unit 4 Collecting Actionable Data with Google Analytics-Lesson 4.2 Understanding your Account Structure

A Google Analytics account is a logical way to group data.  Configuration settings are applied to the entire account. Within each account you can have one or more properties that collect data. Each property is assigned a unique tracking I.D. that tells Google Analytics exactly what data should be collected, stored, and reported together.  An organization would typically create separate accounts for each unique business or distinct business units. Then you can create unique properties within that account for different websites, mobile applications, or other digital assets.



For each property, you have the ability to create multiple views.  "Views lets you define a unique perspective from a parent property." For example, you may want to create a separate view for specific geographic regions.  Google recommends having 3 views for each property:  an unfiltered view, a master view, and a test view.  *Warning* Once data has been processed, it cannot be reprocessed. Also, once a view is deleted it can only be restored within 35 days of deletion. This is why having a backup view, or the unfiltered view is important. One more note, once you create a view it begins reporting at the date of creation and does not account for any historical data that has previously been collected.

Unit 3 Understanding and Using Google Analytics Data-Lesson 3.2 Key Metrics and Dimensions Defined

This unit covers the types of data in digital analytics tools. Google Analytics is an analytics tool that records two common metrics:  Dimensions and Metrics. Dimensions describe characteristics of users, their sessions and their actions. Metrics are quantitative measurements of users, sessions, and actions. Metrics are numerical. Every report in Google Analytics will contain both dimensions and metrics. They are most commonly seen as a table, with the first column displaying a list of values for one particular dimension, and the rest of the columns displaying the corresponding dimensions.


A few of the common dimensions in Google Analytics are user, session, and interaction.  An example of a user dimension is a geographic location. An example of a session dimension is a traffic source. An example of an interaction dimension is an action a user takes on your site, it could be a page title. Metrics help you understand the behavior of your users. Metrics count how often things happen. For example, the total number of users on a website or app.  This would be considered an Audience metric. A behavior metric tracked is the average number of page views. This is calculated by the total number of page views divided by the total number of visitors, to give you a page view average. Google Analytics can also be configured to track conversion metrics, as I've discussed in a previous blog post.

The metric called Visitors or Users measures the number of unique users that visit your site during a specific time period. Visitors can be divided in to two groups, new and returning users. Sessions also known as Visits, are defined as a period of consecutive activity by the same user. A session persists until a user stops interacting for 30 minutes. This is the default session timeout length. This can be changed in Google Analytics configuration settings.

Page view counts every time a page is viewed.  Google Analytics can also track other interactions, such as each time a video is viewed.  These are called events. Events require customizations to your implementation. These events keep a page view "active." By default, once a visitor stops engaging, or generating events for more than 30 minutes their session expires.

All of the time-based metrics rely on hits or a stream of user activity to be calculated properly. Google Analytics tracks when each interaction happens.  They take the last interaction and subtract it from the first to determine the length of the visit duration.  To calculate time on page they take the time they landed on a particular page and subtracts the time from the next page view.



Another important metric to understand are bounce rates.  Bounce rates are the percentage of sessions with only one user interaction. The goal is to have this number very low if possible.  For example, when I first setup this blogger site my bounce rate was 99.99% something ridiculously high. Bounce rates are counted when someone lands on your site and then leaves immediately. A bounce is counted if they only visit one page and do not generate any other events or interactions. There is no second interaction to track visit duration or time on page.

Why might you have a high bounce rate?

  • Setting the wrong expectations
  • Poor user experience on landing page

Understanding and Using Google Analytics Data-Lesson 3.1 How Google Analytics Works

Google Analytics has 4 main components: data collection, configuration, processing, and reporting.





Collection
Google Analytics collects user interaction data from websites, mobile apps, POS, kiosk, or any other digitally connected device.

Website:  To track analytics, a small piece of javascript code is placed on every page of a website. This collects data about how users are engaging with your site.  Javascript can collect information about your URL, language, browser, and operating system used to access the site. This piece of code can also store information about the referring source that brought the user to your site.  This information is then packaged and sent to Google Analytics.  These packages are referred to as hits or interactions. These pieces of information are automatically tracked, Google Analytics has many other possible customizations depending on your measurement planning process. Every time a user views a page tagged with the Google Analytics a hit is sent.

Mobile:
Mobile does not use javascript, there is a different method to collecting information depending on what specific operating system the site visitor is using.  Also, page views are not tracked, activities are.  You will need to customize which activities you would like to track on mobile using a custom piece of code. Every time a user completes an activity that has been tagged with Google Analytics, a hit is sent.

Because mobile apps are not always connected to the internet, analytics cannot be sent in real time. Google Analytics can store data and then dispatch once reconnected to the server again.

POS, Kiosks, etc.;
To track interaction data in Google Analytics using different types of devices requires a knowledgeable developer.

The other three components of Google Analytics are Processing, Configuration, and Reporting. Processing transforms the raw data into something more useful.  The data is either categorized as mobile or non-mobile. At the same time, the configuration process takes place as well. If you have added filters to your data or chose to include or exclude certain types of data from the final report. For example, you may add a filter that excludes reporting hits from your own employees. Once the data is stored in the database, and has been processed and inserted it cannot be changed.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Guide to Dealing with Your Feelings While Out of Work

This chapter of What Color Is Your Parachute? covers ten things you can do while you're unemployed to deal with your feelings. Being unemployed is tough!


1. Catch up on your sleep.  When you're depressed, your body feels rundown. Take naps, sleep, and catch up on your sleep. Sleeping during the nighttime could be difficult at this time. When you've caught up on your sleep, you usually turn into a happier more upbeat person. This will also help you to feel better.

2. Take care of your health.  Make sure you are exercising a little bit, drinking water, and eating right.  This will help you feel better. These are common sense, but sometimes we forget and need to be reminded.

3.  Take care of our physical space.  Sometimes our surroundings mirror how we feel.  If our space is a disaster, we may feel terrible.  Tidy up, get organized, and continue to hunt for that job.

4.  Get some fresh-air.  Get outside, take a walk, get some exercise, and get out of the house. When you're out of work you don't leave the house regularly and this could make you feel down. Do it everyday.

5.  Help others. Volunteer. There are plenty of places that need extra hands. I have recently volunteered at a food pantry, and the amount of help they needed was crazy! They were so busy and needed as many people as possible. I'm sure wherever you are, someone nearby could use your help. Maybe even a neighbor.

6. Take mini-adventures.  Pretend you're a tourist in your own city.  Visit museums, zoos, parks, aquariums, etc. Just get out of the house, and get moving around. If you're a foodie, check out what restaurants your local newspaper is featuring.

7. Learn something new. Read up on something you've always wanted to learn.  You now have time to learn about something you're interested in, and maybe even gain a new skill from this.

8. Talk with your friends and family. Talk to your friends and family about your feelings. Someone who will just listen.  It helps to give your thoughts and feelings a voice.

9.  Get physical. The book discusses punching pillows, but any sort of physical activity will do. Maybe pop in a kick-boxing tape? Or Just Dance for Wii? Ha!

10. Keep a gratitude journal. This is a great habit to have.  Everyday, write down things that make you happy, glad, or grateful. Looking back at this will remind of the good things you have, and that being unemployed is only temporary.

How to Start Your Own Business

Whether you have a specific business idea in mind, or you just know that you want to be your own boss, you can start your own business. Starting your own business does not require a lot of money. There is a lot of research involved to start out with. You can create a business by taking a less traditional path.  I have recently read Gary Vaynerchuk's Crush It! which is all about following your dreams, using the internet, "cashing in on your passion" and becoming free of the job you hate.  This chapter of What Color Is Your Parachute? really reminds me of this book.


If you have no clue as to what type of business you'd like to start, then you must take these four steps: Write, Read, Explore, and Get Feedback. This chapter suggests that you must go through The Flower Exercise discussed previously within the book. You must first know Who, before you know What. The Flower Exercise helps determine the Who, which will help guide the focus of the business.

One suggestion to figuring out what type of business to start is to use Daniel Pink's method of writing down 5 things you're good at, and 5 things you love to do, and looking for the overlap. Then ask yourself if anyone will pay you to do those things.

The explore part of this discusses talking to those who have done this before.  Interview others that have started their own businesses to make sure that you can avoid any mistakes that they have made. The first step is finding out what skills, knowledges, and experiences are required from these business owners you will interview.  The second step is making a list of these skills, knowledges, and experiences you have.  Then you must subtract the first list from the second to determine which skills, knowledges, and experiences you must acquire before you begin.  This can be written as A-B=C.

The final step is to gain some feedback from those around you.  You can use resources like www.checkster.com which sends a few friends and family members an email, has them answer a questionnaire anonymously, and then sends you a summarized report of their responses. This may help you understand if you're cut out for this.

Just remember, this is risky, but there is risk in everything. And remember to have a plan B, just in case this does not work out.

Creating a Contact Form on Weebly

In two of my blog posts I have discussed linking my Google Analytics account and then tracking a conversion. However, to do this I needed to create a Weebly account and add a separate page that way we could view the conversion on Google Analytics.  Here is how I set this Weebly site up.  

First, I logged into my account and clicked the Edit Site button.  

At the top of the page I clicked PAGES.  I then clicked the "+" to add a new page.  Here you can see the page titled Contact.

Once you have created your new page, you can add Elements. The Element I chose to add was the Contact Form. You can add this to your page by dragging and dropping.  Easy! Weebly limits the placement of this form, but this was just for practice so I don't mind too much. See the finished page here.  

Tracking a Conversion

In a previous blog post I discussed creating a Weebly site, linking my Google Analytics account to it, and then creating a goal in Google Analytics to help understand a conversion.  This blog post will cover tracking this conversion.

The goal I chose to set up was an acquisition.  On my Weebly site I created a separate page where a visitor could complete a contact form.  To make sure that I had set this up correctly I asked a few of my classmates to complete this form, and I completed it as well.  Now, let's take a look.

On the left-hand side of your Google Analytics Dashboard there are many options available to segment your data.  I want to view the goal I have created.  Scroll down to Conversion.


Then, beneath Conversion select Goals, and then click Overview.  


Here, we can see that my setup was successful.  I have had 4 conversion within the past month.  As I discussed in my last blog post you can choose from a long list of conversions and assign a dollar amount to them as well.  This well help you understand how conversions are to a company.  


The Five Ways to Choose/Change Careers

Chapter 10 of What Color Is Your Parachute? is about changing or choosing your career.  This is the guide to what was discussed earlier in Chapter 8.  This chapter covers the 5 ways to go about this.  

The First way To Choose/Change Careers:
The Internet

The book suggests visiting http://www.onetonline.org/search/ and http://www.onetonline.org/find/ These two links will lead you to a site with a great amount of up-to-date information about different careers.  Unfortunately, this site is somewhat limited.  There are however, about 900 different career titles listed.  These careers are sorted by whether this career has a bright outlook, or whether the job is in the green field.  Another option of course is to use the The Dictionary of Occupational Titles.


The Second way to Choose/Change Careers:
Tests

These are not the type of tests you're thinking of, these are more like assessments and instruments. These tests are used to help you find out what industry you belong in or what careers you may be interested in.  You can find these assessments by Googling "career tests" or "personality tests."  The book suggests a few other tests to consider.  The first is The Dewey Color System, the second is Dr. John Holland's Self-Directed Search, and The University of Missouri's Career Interests Game.  

The Third way to Choose/Change Careers:
Using The Flower Exercise

The Flower Exercise was discussed in great detail in Chapter 7.  This is the longest chapter in the book because it leads you through several exercises to help determine your interests and to learn more about yourself.  This flower exercise lays the path to changing careers.  

The Fourth Way to Choose/Change Careers:
Changing a Career in Two Steps

Once you have completed The Flower Exercise, and have successfully determined the direction you're headed then you can use this method.  Moving from one industry to the next is tough, but if you create a two-part path to the next career the move becomes easier.  The example given in the book is about moving from a career as an accountant in the television industry to a career as a reporter about medical developments.  The hardest path would be to jump directly into it.  By becoming a television reporter first, the jump to medical reporter becomes much easier.  The book has diagrams and explains this in much more detail.  

The Fifth Way to Choose/Change Careers:
Finding Out What the Job-Market Will Need

This career move isn't based on what your needs or wishes are, but on the projections of the the job-market needs.  For example, the most common occupation in the U.S. is truck driver, but this will never make it onto a "hot jobs" list.  Use resources like the Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out what the projections for your desired industry are.  The OOH has a feature called "similar occupations" if for some reason you don't qualify for the job you're interested in.  




Saturday, December 5, 2015

How to Create a Site Map on Blogger

Blogger offers a number of gadgets to add to your blog.  I have been able to add badges to my blog using the HTML/Javascript gadget.  Adding a sitemap to your site will help readers find what they're looking for.  It will also give them an opportunity to search around your site within a specific set of categories.  This makes browsing easier.  For example, if I'm looking for Christmas cookie recipes on a food blogger's site they may have labeled these recipes for me on their site map, making it easier for me to find what I'm looking for.  I may return again and again because of the ease of use.  

Step 1:  Head over to your blogger account and click Layout.  


Step 2:  Next, click Add a Gadget.


Step 3:  Find the gadget titled Labels.  Then click on the arrow.  This will add the gadget to your site. You can adjust the placement. 


Step 4:  These are the default settings.  I chose to keep them because this seemed like the most organized way to list them.  You can also change the name from Labels to whatever you wish.

The photo on the left is of the site map on my site with the labels I have chosen to use so far.  I have not gone through my entire blog labeling each blog post yet.  The photo on the right is of the post settings box that appears as you write and edit your blog posts.  This makes labeling much easier because the labels have been saved.  Once you click on a saved label it is automatically placed in the box.  

Can you think of any other benefits to adding a site map to your blog?

How to Create a Custom URL on LinkedIn

Creating a custom URL is easy, takes only a few seconds, and makes you look a bit more professional.  LinkedIn suggests that creating a custom URL will enhance your personal brand.  This will also help with SEO.  With a custom URL you are more likely to rank higher on the SERP (search engine results page).

Step 1:  Underneath your profile photo on your LinkedIn, your current URL is listed.  If you hover over it with your mouse, an option to edit appears.  Click this and you are led to a page where you can edit your public profile.


Step 2:  On the right side of this new page you will see this box.  Click on the pencil icon and insert your full name into the box.  Voila!  Easy, right?  Don't forget to hit save.  


"You Look Dirty, Wild, and Disreputable, and Smell Really Bad"

These are really the only things holding you back from getting a job.  If you know your talent, someone is looking to hire you.  Chapter 9 of What Color is Your Parachute is all about dealing with any handicaps you may have.  That's the title of the chapter "How to Deal with Any Handicaps You Have."
how to deal with handicaps what color is your parachute chapter 9

Employers are divided into two groups:  Those who are interested in hiring you for what you can do, and those who aren't because they're annoyed by what you can't do.  You will meet both.  Once you realize which of these groups they belong to, kindly thank them for their time, and ask if they know anyone interested in someone like you, with the skill set you have.  Even if they made you feel a certain type of way, don't forget the Thank You note!

This chapter also discusses how every single person has a handicap (hidden or obvious).  However, regardless of this handicap you do have transferable skills that are needed.  A handicap, or a dis-ability, only means a lack of ability.  This lack of ability may only pertain to certain areas.  You possess many other skills that are needed.  This chapter has an exercises that has you list what you have do, and what you cannot.  You are to list all the skills you have, and the skills you do not.  Then you must choose your top 5 favorite skills.  Think of a few examples when you used these skills recently.

Just remember to "keep going, day after day, week after week, month after month, if necessary, until you find the other kind of employer: the one who only looks at what you can do, not at what you can't." -What Color Is Your Parachute?

Thursday, December 3, 2015

You Get to Choose Where You Work

What Color is Your Parachute? is a job-hunting book.  Each chapter leads you through exercises to help you understand more about yourself.  This will give you the ability to find your dream job. My last blog post discusses the exercises that What Color is Your Parachute? leads you through and the 7 questions they help you answer to understand yourself better.  This book is a great resource for those out of work, those looking to switch careers, and those just beginning to look for work (like me!).  My suggestion is to purchase this book and work through these exercises.


Step 1:  You Need to Find Out What Careers or Jobs Your Flower Points To 
After you've done all the exercises discussed in Chapter 7, there should be a clear path to take regarding the job hunt.  However, it may not be clear for some.  This is when you will begin with the first step.  Take your top 3 of your favorite knowledges and then your top 5 favorite transferable skills.  Show this page to about five friends and family members asking them what career this page suggests to them.  Write everything down that your friends and family suggest.  This will help to find jobs that match your favorite knowledges and skills.

Step 2:  You Need to Try On Careers Before You Decide Which Ones to Pursue
Do you have a LinkedIn?  Because you're going to need it for this step!  In Step 1 you were able to find job titles for the list of skills and knowledges.  Log in to your LinkedIn account and start searching for people with these job titles within your area.  Ask to meet with them for 19 minutes. Listen to them, ask them for names of others in the field.  Get a feel for the career before you completely commit.

Ask a few questions like these:

  • How did you get into this work?
  • What do you like the most about it?
  • What do you like the least about it?
  • Where else could I find people who do this kind of work?
  • Do you have any ideas as to who else I could talk to who might know what other careers use the same skills and knowledge?

Step 3:  You Need to Find Out What Kinds of Organizations Have Such Jobs
Think about the kinds of places where one might get hired with this set of skills and knowledges.
Don't think about places you'd like to work.  This is too broad.  The example in the book is about teachers.  Teachers looking for work have options beyond just schools.  They have opportunities in corporate training, workshop sponsors, private research firms, educational consultants, professional and trade societies, state and local councils on higher education, etc.

Step 4:  You Need to Find Names of Particular Places That Interest You
Throughout the book they suggest looking to companies with less than 100 employees.  After you've completed Step 2, you may have a few leads from those who you have interviewed.  You could also use the Yellow Pages and search engines.  Vacancies should not concern you.  Look for companies that interest you and intrigue you.

Step 5:  You Need to Learn as Much as You Can About a Place Before Formally Approaching Them
Before you formally approach a company, educate yourself.  You must do your homework first.
You need to show them that you have something they need.  Find out what they need.

Things you need to know:

  • What kind of work they do there
  • Their working style
  • Corporate culture
  • The goals they're trying to achieve
  • Obstacles or challenges they're facing

The final piece of advice in this chapter is to send Thank You notes.  Don't forget this!
Something as simple as "I wanted to thank you for talking with me yesterday.  It was very helpful to me.  I much appreciated your taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this.  Best wishes to you." will work!  Sign it, and send it.  Most importantly, make sure you have their name spelled right.

You Need to Understand More Fully Who You Are

Chapter 7 of What Color is Your Parachute is about learning about yourself.  The more you know about yourself, the better you will be able to explain to others what you have to offer.  This chapter guides you through different exercises that help you learn to describe yourself several different ways. This will also help you to approach the several different job markets.

After completing these exercises about yourself, you will be able to use the Parachute Method to find a job. You will know more about yourself, and have the ability to convey this information to your future employers. Using the parachute method is the best way to find your dream job.  You will match your skills to an organization. This results in a perfect fit, both for you and your employer.

These exercises will help you describe what is unique about you.  They will also help you to learn to describe yourself using traits rather than adjectives.  You have this advantage over your competition. These exercises will also help those who are looking for a career-change to understand what path to take.

what color is your parachute THE FLOWER


All the exercises revolve around 7 questions you must ask yourself.  These questions will lead you to realizing what it is you're meant to be doing.

1.  My Favorite Knowledges or Fields of Interest
This first question helps to understand what you know.  This is a better way to describe who you are, by listing what you know, and what your favorite knowledges or fields of interest are.

2.  My Preferred Kinds of People to Work With
Don't think coworkers, think customers.  Who are the people you would like to work with on a day-to-day basis.  Think about age span, problems, handicaps, geographic location, etc.  Think of the people you believe you can serve best, and would like to serve.

3.  What I Can Do and Love to Do (My Favorite Transferable Skills)
Another way to describe who you are is by thinking of what you can do.  What are your sills?  What are your favorite skills that you enjoy using, that can be used for your future job.

4.  My Favorite Working Conditions
The fourth area that will help you understand more about yourself is understanding the type of place you would like to work.  Would you prefer working for a small company or a large one?  Think of all the variables of a workplace.  What are your favorites? This is important because this will enable you to be the most effective while you're at work.

5.  My Preferred Salary and Level of Responsibility
Are you a team player?  Or do you prefer working on your own?  Would you rather be managing and running the show, or supporting?  Think about where you feel the most comfortable and your experience.

6.  My Preferred Place(s) to Live
This one is pretty straight forward.  Where do your best work, and where would you like to live?  The book lists cold/warm, mountains/coast, etc.  There are many possibilities.

7.  My Goal, Purpose, or Mission in Life
If you were to work at your dream organization in your dream position, what would your mission for the company or for yourself be?

This entire chapter is dedicated to leading an you through these exercises and understanding yourself completely.  The book encourages you to work through all the exercises on sheets of paper, and then consolidate everything into a single sheet.  The book suggests a flower with many petals.  The petals represent each part of you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Planning a Facebook Ad

The overall goal of the class I'm currently enrolled in is to create content, get clicks, and then to analyze this data in Google Analytics.  However, to do this, we need clicks!  This blog post will cover creating a Facebook Ad.  This is a very simple and painless process.  I will lead you through the steps I took to create this ad.  

Step 1:  The first thing I did was head over to http://www.facebook.com/ads/create  I then chose Clicks to Website.  At first I didn't see the option Clicks to Website, so I began clicking on all the links to read the description.  Here it says "Increase the number of visits to your website" BINGO! That's exactly what I wanted to do.  The box on the right appeared with all this information as I clicked through the list on the left.  From this list I chose Send people to your website.  I then copied a link from my blog and pasted in that box.  I made sure to choose a specific blog post, not just the site.  I figured I would be able to see conversions on this specific link much easier.  


Step 2:  The second step was creating an ad account.  As I was going through the process again to make sure I had all these steps in order, I realized this window doesn't pop up again.  This is most likely because I have already created an account.  Here the information was already set.  


Step 3: The third step is to define an audience, budget, and schedule. 



Step 4:  I was able to manipulate many variables, demographics, and interests.  For this particular blog, I chose interested related to the topics here.  Content marketing, inbound marketing, digital marketing, social media marketing, and online advertising.  Facebook has major categories with many sub categories within the larger categories to choose from.  This is a pretty neat feature! These interests come from the individuals' Facebook page.  This makes me think about what type of interests I've listed on my Facebook page that has resulted in specific ads being shown to me.  

Step 5:  Next, I chose a budget.  We were required to use a $25.00 budget to do this test.  I set it at $5.00 per day, for 5 days. 
Step 6:  The final step was creating the actual ad.  I chose a photo, a headline, inserted some text, and then placed the order.  However, I kept getting an error when I failed to enter an Instagram Account.  Overall, this process was very simple.  I am looking forward to viewing this data in Google Analytics.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Understanding a Conversion Using Weebly and Google Analytics



I have created a Weebly Page to help understand a conversion in Google Analytics.  I have chosen to track an acquisition.  I thought this is something that is important to businesses.  This is an integral part of learning about Google Analytics and all the functions available.  I will lead you through the steps I took to create the goal in Google Analytics.  

Step 1:  Login to your Google Analytics account.  Click on the Admin tab. There are three tabs at the top:  Account, Property, and View.  Under View, choose Goals.


Step 2:  Google has a templates in a few categories.  They have goal setup templates for revenue, acquisition, inquiry, and engagement categories.  On my weebly site I created a contact form on a separate page.  Google has a template for this specific goal under acquisition.  



Step 3:  Choose Create an Account under the Acquisiton category.  
Step 4:  Google will lead you through the setup.  So we've already done the first step of the setup, which was choosing the type of goal we'd like you track:  creating an account.  Now you will name the goal.  I chose "Create an Account."  This way it would be easy to remember once we have multiple goals in this area.  Depending on the goal, there are different variables to track.  Here we can see destination, duration, pages/screens per session, and events.  We wanted to track whether the user completed the contact form, so I then chose destination.
 Step 5: We can now move on to the final step of setup.  We need the destination URL. What I highlighted in the image below is what can be deleted.  The only part of the URL is that last bit:  "/contact.html"  However, to get this URL we need to move through the steps of completing a contact form.



Step 6: Go to your site and complete the contact form. Once this has been completed we can access the URL we need. Copy this URL, or just the last part "/contact.html" and we will put putting this into our Google Analytics account.











Step 7:  The final step is to place this important piece of the URL into Goal Details-Destination. 
Alright, so that's it!  You have successful linked this goal to your site.  By doing this we will be able to view a conversion and have a better understanding of how to analyze our Google Analytics account.  We have also been able to view the other templates in Google Analytics for tracking goals.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Job Hunting: The Traditional Way Vs. The Parachute Way

There are two ways to hunt for a job.  The traditional way, and the parachute way.  The traditional way is the way that it's always been done.  The traditional method isn't too time consuming.  You create your resume, and send it out to everyone.  If this doesn't work, you look at the ads online and offline for vacancies, and then you continue to send out resumes.

what color is your parachute:  free fall


The second way to hunt for a job is the parachute way.  You do not begin searching on the job-market, you begin with yourself.  Instead of sending out countless resumes, you understand yourself better, what you love to do, and find an organization that matches you.  The way you approach this organization is through a person, not through a resume.  This method is much different than the traditional way, but you will be a better fit for the company you seek out.

This method is the key to finding your dream job.

Some of the worst and most ineffective ways to look for a job are the traditional ways.  For example, searching for an employer's job posting is effective only 4% of the time.  This isn't as effective as asking for job-leads or knocking on the door of the employer.  These methods work more than one-third of the time.  Going directly to the employer and knocking on the door is more effective with smaller businesses.

Another traditional method is posting or mailing your resume to employers.  We all know this method. Unfortunately, it is effective 7% of the time at getting you only an interview.  What Color is Your Parachute encourages the Parachute Method.  This is the most effective method of getting hired, and you will be employed at a place that you have specifically sought out that matches who you are and what you love to do most.  Never wait for a vacancy, always approach them first.

Overall, the most important lesson I learned in this chapter was to Never Give Up.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to Answer the Age-Old Question: "Tell Me About Yourself"

The number one question you should expect in an interview is "Tell me about yourself."  When answering this question, keep these four points in mind:


  1. This question is a test to see how well you answer open-ended questions.  
  2. Do not answer this question with, "Well, what do you want to know?"  This is an employer's least favorite response. 
  3. Employers are looking for your professional history, skills, experience related to the job.  This is not where you talk about your hobbies or where you grew up.  
  4. This is your elevator speech.  An elevator speech is a brief, persuasive speech about yourself to spark your interviewer's interest; the response should last no longer than a short elevator ride (20-30 seconds). 
You should also have the answers to these questions at your finger tips:
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you know about this company?
  • why are you applying for this job?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What are your major strengths?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?
  • What type of work do you like to do best?
  • What are your interests outside of work?
  • What accomplishment gave you the greatest satisfaction?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • Why were you fired (if you were)?
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  • What are your goals in life?
  • How much did you make at your last job?
These are the five basic questions you need to pay attention to.  These questions make take various forms, but these are the five roots for the majority of the questions you may be asked in an interview.  If you aren't asked these directly, make sure to stress your answers to these questions, because this is the information the interviewer needs.   

"Why are you here?"
"What can you do for us?
"What kind of person are you?"
"What exactly distinguishes you from nineteen or nine hundred other people who are applying for this job?"
"Can I afford you?"

You should also have questions for the organization you're interviewing for!  They are similar to those you will be asked.

"What does this job involve?"
"What are the skills a top employee in this job would have to have?"
"Are these the kinds of people I would like to work with, or not?"
"If we like each other, and we both want to work together, can I persuade them there is something unique about me, that makes me different from nineteen or nine hundred other people who are applying for this job?"
"Can I persuade them to hire me at a salary I need or want?"

Great You've Been Offered the Job! Let's Talk About Salary Negotiation

There are six things to remember when negotiating your salary.  Don't expect the employer to give you a fair wage.  They're running a business!  Their entire motive is to make money, so if they can pay you less they will.  




First:  Discuss salary at the end of the interviewing process, only if they have actually offered you the job. 

If the interviewer asks prematurely, "What kind of salary are you looking for?"

Here are 3 responses you should be prepared with:

  1. "Until you decide you absolutely want me for the job, and I also believe I'm fit to do this job then, then any further discussion of salary is a little premature."
  2. If the employer wants to know what salary you are looking for within the first two minutes, this is not a good situation to be in.  In this situation you could say "I'll be glad to answer that, please tell me a little more about what this job involves?"
  3. Your final option is to give a range, perhaps you could say "I'm looking for a salary in the range of $35,000 to $45,000 a year"


Only discuss salary after these condition have been fulfilled:

  • The employer has gotten to know you at your best.  This way, you will stand out above other applicants.
  • When you have gotten to know them completely.  You feel absolutely certain this is where you want to work.
  • You understand what the job entails.
  • The employer believes you match their job requirements.
  • They have conveyed the feeling, "We need to have you here."
Second:  The entire goal of salary negotiation is to discover the most an employer is willing to pay to get you.

Employers will always start the bidding process much lower than they are willing to go. Their goal is to save money, and your goal is to bring home the most money for the work you will be doing.  

Third:  During the salary negotiation, let the employer mention the first salary figure.  

What Color is Your Parachute? doesn't explain the reasoning behind this, but my guess is purely out of curiosity from the employer.  If you're asked to name a figure, simply respond with "Well, you and your company have created this position, so I'm sure you have a figure in mind, and I'd be interested to learn what that figure is."

Fourth:  Remember to do careful research on typical salaries for this field and this particular organization you are interviewing for.  

Salary Research Online:
  • http://jobstar.org/tools/salary/index.php
  • http://www.salary.com/
  • http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
  • http://stats.bls.gov/oes/oes_emp.htm
  • http://www.myplan.com/
  • http://www.salaryexpert.com/
Salary Research Offline:

Apply at an organization where you're not too interested in working at, but the job description is similar to one you're looking for.  You can decline any offer at any time, so this is harmless.  Or, you can even go to this particular company and ask around.  Another option, if you're out of a job, is to find work through a temp. agency.  You can work various jobs and learn about different organizations and the corresponding salaries associated with these jobs. 

Fifth:  Research the range the employer has in mind, then define an equivalent range for yourself regarding the employer's range.  

This research is a little extensive, but will be well worth it.  First you must find out the salary for the position below you makes, and then the salary for the position above you makes. This will give you a range of figures to use a guide.  You can use LinkedIn to help you find employees, ex-employees, friends, family, anyone with a little information about this particular organization you're interested in, or one similar in another city or region.  

If you want to do even more research, you can!  "Governmental agencies have civil service positions paralleling those is private industry" (WCIYP). These pay ranges and job descriptions are available to the public.  You can find this information in your nearest city, county, regional, state, or federal civil service office.  Find the job description nearest to the job you're looking for, and then find the corresponding starting salaries.  

Sixth:  Know how to close the salary negotiation.

When the interview, the discussion of the job, the finding out if they like you and you like them, the salary negotiation, and the discussion of benefits has concluded, then your job is to get everything is writing.  You should get everything they're offering summarized in writing, typed, and signed.  Sometimes everything that has been discussed in this process gets "forgotten."  It's important that this "letter of agreement" or "employment contract."  You can ask for this, and if they won't give it to you, be cautious!  



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

All About Tracking Metrics Within Google Analytics

This week, we were assigned to read this article:  The Six Most Important Web Metrics to Track for your Business Website

After reading it, I really wanted to check this out on Google Analytics.  I'm fairly new to analytics and I wasn't sure how to go about this, so I figured it out and created a tutorial I will post throughout this blog post.  It's really simple once you know what the top six important web metrics are.  You can type them into here:  
google analytics
I simply typed "referral" into the search box and it showed me the path to take, or I could just click referrals.  This is actually one of the important web metrics to track.  This tells you where the traffic is coming from.  Referrals track users and the path they took to get to your site. Google Analytics will show the visitors that are coming from social sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This is important because this will help you promote your site wherever these people are coming from, and also understand your visitors better. If you have been using social to gain more visitors, then you will either see that it's working or not. If visitors are coming from other company sites or blogs, this may help you forge relationships with these companies. This strengthened relationship will help both you and the other company contributing to your page views.  
Bounce rate is the second metric this article discusses.  When I first started using Blogger and linked my Google Analytics account to it, I didn't understand what the "Bounce Rate" measurement was telling me.  It was usually around 99% (which is horrible!)  The goal is to get your bounce rate as low as possible.  Bounce rate measures how quickly someone clicks the back button or closes their browser.  The example the article gives is great!  "This is the equivalent of someone walking in the front door of a store, taking a quick look around, and immediately walking back out the door." -Noah Parsons  The goal is to get this number low, you want your visitors to spend more time on your site and click around.  This will eventually turn leads into conversions.  Every visitor is a new opportunity.  If you can understand why they're staying longer, this will help you.  The next metric will help determine the reasons that they may be staying longer.

Another metric to keep your eye on, would be the top ten pages on your site. If you understand which pages your visitors find the most important, then you can focus your posts on these specific topics. How to find this information is not discussed in the article, so I will show a quick tutorial here:

On your sidebar, scroll down and choose "Behavior." Then choose "Site Content," and finally choose "All Pages."
google analytics
After you have you have done this, choose a date range.  This is key!  Do NOT forget this step.  For this example, I chose the past 30 days.

google analytics
Next, click "Page Views" so that Google Analytics sorts your pages by most popular.  See how it sorted my page views from most to least?  Here you have your "Top Ten" most popular posts.  

google analytics


Another important metric is conversion rate. This is measured by setting goals. For example, getting visitors to complete a purchase, stopping on a landing page and entering e-mail address, or viewing a specific page on your site. This is the most essential metric to track because it determines how successful your site is. You want your site to have a high conversion rate, unlike the bounce rate. Also, you will be able to determine if your site has any broken links if your conversion rate drops unexpectedly.

Tracking unique visitors is another important metric. Unique visitors represent the number of new visitors regardless of how many times they have returned to your page. For example, I visit a specific food blog almost every other day http://www.shutterbean.com/ When she looks at her analytics page I will count only as one unique visitor, however the number of page views will be higher because of how frequently I visit. It's great to have both unique visitors and high page views. If the number of repeat visitors continues to expand, then you have been successful at creating "sticky" content.

On the left sidebar, choose "audience" then "behavior" and then "New vs Returning" this will give you data about new visitors and returning visitors.


google analytics
Google Analytics will sort the data by New Visitors and Returning Visitors.


google analytics


The final important metric to track is "exit." This is not the same as the bounce rate. Although the concept may sound similar, in the analytics world they are different. Bounce rate refers to a user clicking away or closing the browser almost immediately. Users exit after viewing multiple pages within your site, and then leaving the site. See the difference? The article discusses pages that naturally have high exit rates. For example, order receipt pages usually have high exit rates. Lots of shopping around the site, an order is placed, and then the receipt page is the final step in the process.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Don't Believe Everything You Hear About the Job Market

There Are Over Eight Million Vacancies Available Each Month
The job hunt has changed dramatically, but it really hasn’t changed much at all.  Are you confused?  This is because of two words:  essence and behavior.  On the surface, the behavior has changed.  The way we job hunt has been influenced by technology, the internet, computers, smartphones, and other digital changes made to the environment. Today, we will sit with our laptop searching for a job, instead of a newspaper and a pen. However, in essence, job hunting is the same.  In essence, the question asked is “Do you like me?”





Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
“Good-paying jobs are still scarce.  I cannot afford to be picky.  There are very few vacancies out there.”  This is completely false!  The media chooses to focus on the negative.  When the unemployment rate is discussed they are focusing on only one side of the story.  The media chooses to report on the jobs added, not the net number of jobs available!  To find this information visit www.bls.gov/cps and then compare it to the data available at www.bls.gov/jlt By comparing the Current Population Survey and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, we can get a more accurate estimate of jobs available.  


Things to Remember:

  • Job-hunting is an art
  • Job-hunting is mysterious
  • There is no “right way” or “wrong way” to hunt for a job
  • Job-hunting is a full-time job