In 2013 it felt like I learned something new everyday. Really, ask my team, those poor unfortunate souls had to sit through it all. Sometimes I had so much to share that I couldn’t even put the first sentence together because I wanted to share a multitude of information but couldn’t figure out where to begin.
Fortunately, I work in an environment that encourages and allows us to apply tips, tactics, and the best practices we learn to our work. So, all year I was making changes to Local listings, title tags, h1’s, and offering suggestions in other areas faster than Lady Gaga changes outfits at an awards show. I was ALSO making a huge mistake. I didn’t keep a record of the changes I was making.
How was I supposed to know what worked and what didn’t? What could I attribute a spike in traffic to a specific web page or an increase in Facebook referrals to? Days or months down the road I found myself asking:
“What did we post on Fb that day?”
“When did we change the title tags on that page?”
“When did I make the changes to the NAP in the footers?”
Honestly…I didn’t know and it didn’t matter how much I learned if I couldn’t figure out what changes were responsible for the positive and/or negative affects.
Google is consistently updating their algorithm in order to serve up the best results for User queries and as a result we have to learn and adapt to this almost daily. In order for anyone to improve outcomes over a period of time you have to document all work done, track it, and see, with your own eyes, what is the best return on investment. Unfortunately the search engines don’t send us virtual high-fives or awesome memes with #NailedIt when we do something right.
How to Make Annotations in Google Analytics
Did you know that you can annotate changes for your site in Google Analytics? It’s a beautiful thing and here’s how:
Step 1.) Login to your Google Analytics account, choose the site you are working on, and click the +Create new annotation button.
Step 2.) Choose the date and leave a note specific enough so that anyone who reads the annotation knows exactly what was done, and “SAVE your work”- Every teacher I ever had.
If you can get into the habit of tracking actions that have a direct impact on traffic to your website or rankings you allow yourself to measure results. If you’re not measuring results you miss out on the opportunity to improve your product, whatever that may be.
“A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.”